AUSTIN – Today, in an afternoon press conference, RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri was joined by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to announce the creation of a new “Rainy Day” Fund for the Republican Party of Texas. Chairman Munisteri gave brief opening remarks before introducing the Lt. Governor, who spoke at length about the need for strong, fiscally responsible leadership from all our elected officials as we enter the new Legislative session. We thank Governor Dewhurst for his own leadership in these areas, and also for his generosity in helping to raise the money for this fund!

Below is the text of Chairman Munisteri’s statement regarding the RPT’s “Rainy Day” Fund announcement:

Three weeks ago on November 2nd, the Republican Party had a record setting night. We elected not only the largest number of Republicans ever in the State House of Representatives, but also the largest number of Republicans statewide in the history of the Republican Party of Texas.

There can be no doubt that our candidates, contributors and volunteers deserve the bulk of the credit, but I sincerely believe that a revitalized Republican Party of Texas played a significant role in these successes. These efforts would not have been possible without the help of numerous officeholders, major donors, our Grassroots Club, and our Debt Busters Committee. With their help, the RPT was able to solve its financial problems, and use our resources to send over two million pieces of direct mail, make over one million phone calls, provide direct candidate assistance, and recruit over 2000 volunteers we called “Texas Trailblazers”, who knocked on doors, made live telephone calls, etc.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was one of the primary reasons for turning around the financial fortunes of the RPT and for allowing us to have the resources to compete in the fall elections. Specifically, Lt. Governor Dewhurst contributed $65,000 from his campaign funds directly to the Republican Party soon after I was elected chairman, at a time when the party was in a desperate need for financial assistance. Additionally, he personally helped raise another $100,000 for the RPT – clearly, he deserves much credit for our successes this election by his actions.

Governor Dewhurst has taken an active interest in helping us solve the party’s past financial problems, but has also graciously agreed to continue helping the state party in the future, to ensure that these financial difficulties do not resurface. Beyond his commitment to hold two fundraisers for the RPT in the spring, he has made an additional suggestion to ensure that the RPT never again finds itself in debt. What he wisely suggested is that the $100,000 of funds that he had raised be put aside into a “Rainy Day” fund, to only be used in emergency to prevent the party from ever going in debt in the future.

I am happy to announce today that the Republican Party of Texas is establishing just that – a “Rainy Day” financial contingency fund in the initial amount of $100,000. We have already set aside an amount equivalent to the $100,000 raised by Governor Dewhurst, and purchased a CD which cannot be cashed in for a year – a copy of which is before you. It is our hope to continue growing this fund by adding an additional $100,000 each year.

Today, the Republican Party of Texas is solvent, and we are rapidly approaching another important day when we can announce that all of the party’s debt has been eliminated. For all his help and leadership, I extend my heartfelt thanks to Governor Dewhurst on behalf of the entire Republican Party, and even today, we look forward to starting work with him in preparing for the 2012 elections.