After receiving criticism that he was personally deciding which members of the state legislature aren't true conservatives, state Sen. Dan Patrick announced a new round of members to his organization, the Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas.
Patrick, a Houston Republican, launched the group earlier this month with 14 of the state senate's 19 Republicans and 44 of the 77 Republican State House members. In a press release posted on the organization's website today, he announced the addition of 19 more "founding members."
Patrick also appears to have tweaked the requirements for getting into his invitation-only club.
"Some have asked ‘who are invited’ to join our group," said Patrick in the statement. "Everyone was invited. I am not concerned how members voted in the past. I'm only interested in how they vote in the future, their commitment to our contract with Texas, and their pledge to put people before party."
That's a different story from when the group was first launched and members were touted as having been invited "based on their conservative record and their willingness to honor the principles of our organization." (That language is still here on the group's website.)
The Houston Chronicle's Peggy Fikac reported earlier this week that several Republican elected officials declined invitations to join Patrick's group.
From Tarrant County, Patrick added three state house representatives: Todd Smith of Euless, Diane Patrick of Arlington and Vicki Truitt of Keller.
That leaves just one local Republican not in the group: state Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth.
While technically a political action committee, Patrick has said the group won't raise money or get heavily involved in elections. Instead, Patrick said he hopes the group's membership will serve as a guide to voters of who they can trust will follow conservative principles such as fighting for free markets and protecting life.