In the process of developing this effort, I had made contact with sympathetic members of the platform committee and was in touch with them by text message during their meetings and deliberations and saw draft sections of the platform and provided input outside of the normal process of testimony at hearings. I did attend the hearings, but ended up having to testify only once in person, though I also had confederates giving testimony.
The platform committee was under the leadership of Tom Mechler, whom I would describe as state chairman Steve Munisteri's right hand man, a choice which tipped me off early that I and my group were not the only ones with a plan to influence the platform. Sitting in the audience at the committee meetings, it quickly became clear that the other organized effort was coming from an element of the party leadership headed up by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a long-time ally of the Republican Liberty Caucus, who was pushing a comprehensive immigration reform plank to replace the entire section on immigration in the platform with a single, coherent plan. Their goal did not conflict with ours and between their influence and our activism we were more effective than expected.
Our first success came when Mechler split the platform committee out into subcommittees for each section of the platform and specifically instructed them to trim down the verbiage and resolve inconsistencies. I assume this was done to protect the new immigration plank with a hand-picked subcommittee, but it also meant smaller groups looking at each section, with more autonomy and room for individual initiative. The revisions that came out of this process were excellent. The overall word count was cut by almost 40% and, although not many full planks were cut, secondary clauses containing controversial content were cut aggressively.
At the start of the process there were eight anti-gay planks and almost 30 foreign policy planks on specific countries. By the final committee meeting this was down to three anti-gay planks and the only country specifically mentioned under foreign policy was Israel. Along the way bad bits in other sections also got the axe, including much of the language supporting creationism. Planks equating homosexuality with pedophilia, condemning gay scoutmasters and opposing gay adoption were among those we had targeted and been removed. In the original draft of the family values section, which came out of the subcommittee, a particularly ridiculous plank expressing support for the Texas law criminalizing sodomy which was struck down by the Supreme Court several years ago had been removed, but it was put back into the platform by the committee at large.