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State Platform

The Reform Party is a grassroots organization.   Each level of the organization is able to adopt and promote a platform document that best represents the interests of that constituency.

Returning Government to the People
Platform of the Reform Party of Texas

The noble ideals upon which our nation was founded, the constitutional concept of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, must be restored to all levels of government. The Reform Party of Texas is committed to this restoration. The well being of all people of Texas, present and future, is the fundamental objective which must influence every executive, legislative and judicial decision. Voters must have the option of voting for candidates who will represent their constituents. The Reform Party of Texas will nominate and endorse candidates for office who pledge to uphold these principles of reform which unite us.

Standards in Government

  • Allow no gifts, no trips and no free meals, and no favors paid for by private interests.
  • Allow no preferential treatment, no favors and no influence peddling by elected officials or other government employees.
  • There must be equal application of legislation concerning issues of conduct, benefits and accountability for all elected officials and other government employees.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • There must be fair and rational distribution of the tax burden.
  • Corporate welfare must be eliminated.
  • Eliminate the pension system for elected officials.
  • Set appointee and consultant compensation at levels comparable to the private industry average.
  • Oversight and monitoring of spending programs at all levels of government must be done on a regular basis and the reports made public through electronic access.
  • The annual financial report for the State of Texas shall be made available, through electronic access, to the public.

Lobbying Reform

  • Limit lobbying activities to the dissemination of information and ideas.
  • All bills containing wording written or provided by lobbyists must be identified as such for the record.
  • Prohibit lobbyists from giving money, trips, gifts or other incentives to current or former government officials or their staffs.
  • Prohibit any former state employee – including elected officials – from working as a compensated lobbyist for five years after leaving government service.
  • Prohibit foreign governments or corporations from circumventing State lobbying policies in any way.

Campaign Reform

  • Limit campaigning to the four months prior to the election.
  • Require candidates to raise all money from voters in their districts.
  • Eliminate the current practice of “soft money” from special interests being used to circumvent contribution limits.
  • Prohibit employers from pressuring employees to contribute in any way to political parties or candidates and from using employees as channels to circumvent limits on contributions.
  • Prohibit unions from using the dues or other required fees of a member for political contributions without the full knowledge and consent of the member.

Returning to a Government of the People

  • Amend the Constitution to establish a specific process for citizens to petition for legislation to be put on the ballot for adoption by popular vote.
  • Hold elections on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Set term limits for all elected State officials.
  • Enable people of average means to run for elective office by establishing fair and reasonable compensation.
  • Pass “True Bill” legislation which requires that every specification within a bill must refer only to the title and subject of the bill.
  • Legislation must be written in common, comprehensive and concise language.
  • Broadcasters and Cable Operators should allocate free air time to the candidates on the ballot during the election cycle as a public service.

State Jobs Environment

  • Candidates for State and national office from Texas must pledge to support policies which ensure state’s rights and which protect and promote the jobs of Texas workers and the companies employing them.
  • Create an environment that is not detrimental to small businesses.
  • Require the Governor of Texas to provide a detailed, accurate, fully indexed, annual report on the economic, labor and environmental impact of NAFTA and other trade and investment agreements.
  • Enforce Texas commercial vehicle standards and commercial operator licensing laws for all commercial traffic on Texas roads.
  • Promote an environment where business and government work together to train and employ individuals being moved off welfare rolls.

Education

  • The State must set the highest standards for the education of its citizens.
  • The State must be instrumental in recruiting and preparing the most qualified and dedicated teachers.
  • Schools must be restored to local control.
  • Create a climate of participation whereby parents, community leaders and businesses can pool resources and expertise to enhance education at all levels.
  • Consider innovative programs for the improvement of out schools.

Law Enforcement

  • Legislate humane treatment of persons in custody with mandatory criminal prosecution for violators.
  • Require maximum sentencing for persons convicted of crimes against persons or of dealing in illegal drugs.
  • Persons will not be unreasonably detained, imprisoned or otherwise harassed, nor will property by confiscated, by law enforcement authorities, until accused individuals have been found guilty.

Immigration

  • Candidates for federal office from Texas will support policies that deal with immigration in a fair and orderly manner.
  • There must be an equitable system whereby all States share with the border States the financial, social and legal obligations related to immigration.
  • Adopt laws which are practical, enforceable, and provide strong penalties for companies employing illegal workers in Texas.

Environment

  • Set and maintain the highest public health standards to ensure the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink.
  • Initiate and expand effective recycling programs throughout Texas.
  • Instigate legislation which will foster commonality of purpose among industrial, agricultural, and environmental factions so that all are promoting the common good.
  • Environmental legislation affecting the Texas/Mexico border must be strictly enforced.
  • Citizens must have access to information that allows tracking the performance of both industry and government environmental promises.

Agriculture

  • Family farmers and ranchers are essential to the well being of Texas, and candidates for office will work for policies that will enable family farms and ranches to survive – not regulate them out of existence

The Reform Party exists because our government is not representative of the people.

The Reform Party will work to make government truly responsive to the will of the people.

[As adopted at a Reform Party of Texas State meeting, December 6, 1997]