Thursday, March 17, 2011

Increasing Calls For Bexar County Democratic Party Chair Ramos To Resign

After disparaging remarks were made by Dan Ramos, Chair of Bexar County Democratic Party, and posted on a San Antonio news blog, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Ritchie asked for Ramos' resignation and released the following statement:

“From virtually the first day he took office, Dan Ramos has kept the Bexar County Democratic Party in a constant state of turmoil. He has consistently refused to follow the Bexar County Democratic Party Rules and the Texas Democratic Party Rules, failed to call or attend meetings required by the local Rules, failed to recognize properly established local committees and officers, refused to elect Precinct Chairs in the manner required by the Rules and the Texas Election Code, and failed to assist Democratic candidates seeking office.

“I will not dignify Mr. Ramos’ most recent outburst by restating it, but I will make it clear that the bigoted attitudes he expressed are totally contrary to the Beliefs and Declarations of the Texas Democratic Party. I am shocked and outraged that an individual who claims to be an officer of the Democratic Party would hold such positions and I’m appalled that he would make such absurd statements.

“For many months, Democratic Party officials and activists have petitioned the State Party to intercede in the Bexar County situation. Until recently I resisted those requests because I believed that the best remedy would be one crafted and agreed to by Democrats inside Bexar County. Just yesterday I sent a letter to Mr. Ramos and other concerned individuals inviting them to a sit-down to discuss the problem. I no longer believe that such a meeting would be useful or have any purpose. What is necessary is for Dan Ramos to immediately resign and allow the Bexar County Democratic Party to move forward with new, more unifying leadership.”

Terry Gildea - Texas Public Radio News

Ramos is ignoring the calls for his resignation, according to the San Antonio Express-News , and he isn’t backing away from his comments. Democrats demanding Ramos' ouster have complained that the Texas Election Code doesn't provide for removing a wayward county chair who won't step down voluntarily.

On March 11th, Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, filed legislation (HB 2752) to amend Texas state election law governing the state franchise of political parties organized in Texas. That legislation would "enable the State Executive Committee of any political party to remove a county chairman for incompetence or official misconduct." Currently, the only reason for removing the Chair of a party is for publicly supporting or endorsing a candidate in any opposing party.

State Executive Committees are a special body created by state law and each political party to effectively serves as the party's governing body and carry on activities of the party between State Conventions. For the Democratic Party that governing body is known as the State Democratic Executive Committee, or SDEC. The SDEC is composed of two elected TDP officers from each of the 31 Senate Districts currently defined in Texas. Texas Senate District 8 includes a large portion of Collin Co.

Senate District 8 SDEC Representatives today released a statement joining Dallas County Democratic Party leaders and a growing list of other groups that condemn Ramos’ remarks and call for him to resign:

Thank you, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Ritchie, for asking for the resignation of Bexar County Democratic Party Chair Dan Ramos. After making bigoted statements about various minority groups and insulting his own Precinct Chairs to reporters, Mr. Ramos has proven himself unworthy of his position.

The Democratic Party is a place for all people to feel welcome and be supported in their efforts to raise a family, make a living wage, and educate themselves and their children. We need leaders who live our Democratic values, not pretend to believe them to get elected.

A Party Chair's job is to bring people together to solve Texas' problems, not drive them away with divisive language and power grabs. Ours is a proud party of tolerance and equality. Bexar County needs a Chair who reflects those qualities. Mr. Ramos, please resign.

Linda Magid, SDEC Senate District 8
David Griggs, SDEC Senate District 8

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