Archive for the ‘populism’ Category

Y’all come Friday Indy Lobby Day Austin, Saturday Conference Cedar Creek

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You will be kicking yourself if you miss these events on Friday and Saturday.

Register now and please come to the Capitol on Friday to join us in our first Lobby Day -- Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections!

On Saturday, join us in Cedar Creek for the Texas Populism Conference: Building the Independent Rural-Urban Alliance! Please register by 3 tomorrow to get the best lunch on the menu.

With 50% of Millennial voters now self-declared independents, these events are most about the incoming generation. But be there, no

matter what your generation.

We're including this 3-minute video sent to us from West Texas landowner Kirby Franklin Warnock just in case you missed it a few days ago. It says it all about what we're fighting for -- with passion and humor.

We can at least promise you that we're not all talk and no hat.

Git' along you little dogies and register now!

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Love Letter to Texas about Claytie Williams, Charles Perry and Mr. Balkanizer.

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Watch this extraordinary touching 3-minute video from West Texas filmmaker Kirby Franklin Warnock. ==►

Did you see who's helping water bully, Claytie Williams, in his quest to export water from Ft. Stockton, recently denied by a court? Why, it's "Mr. Balkanizer" who now chairs Texas House Natural Resources Committee. Be sure to watch that last frame -- it would be hilarious if if weren't too true.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Perry, who chairs Senate Ag, Water and Rural Affairs, suddenly sprang this bill (HB 1172) on food growers' local control to protect their crops and local citizens. Perry files it late, gives himself a quick hearing in HIS OWN Committee and he calls that fair? Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance wants you to take action on this bull.

Listen up, people.
We don't have to put up with this.
Do this, por favor!

  1. Call Senator Charles Perry (512-463-0128) and Rep. Lyle Larson (512-463-0646). Tell the staffer who answers the phone that you would appreciate it if Rep. Larson or Sen. Perry would please stop abusing their authority.
  2. Register for Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day now and come to the Capitol on Friday, March 24. We'll get you all set to visit your reps.
  3. Register for the Texas Populism Conference: Building the Independent Rural-Urban Alliance now for Saturday, March 25 in Cedar Creek!

Want to talk directly with your representatives? Find them here.

One more thing. Share this message, won't you?

PS Hey San Antonio, we're co-sponsoring an event about Vista Ridge on April 6. Check our events calendar and please share!

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Release: Texas Populists Building Independent Rural-Urban Alliance to Protect Water, Land and Elections

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For Immediate Release

Texas Populists Building Independent Rural-Urban Alliance
to Protect Water, Land and Elections

Bastrop, TX, 6:00 am:  Leaders of the non-partisan, non-profit League of Independent Voters of Texas (LIV) put out the call for Texans to help disengage citizens from partisan warfare and to unite across urban and rural Texas to protect their common and vital interests -- water, land, and elections. They will be joining hands at the Texas Capital on Friday, March 24th for Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day, followed the next day by the “Texas Populism Conference: Building the Independent Rural-Urban Alliance” at McKinney Roughs Nature Park in Cedar Creek.

Samantha “Sam” Davis, a former senior staffer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign and new to the LIV Board, said, “The power of populism lies in our ability to unite people to take the power away from those who are set to do real and permanent harm to future generations. Protests are a show of people power, but chances are that you’re still going to have limited or no choice when you walk into the voting booth. That is what we need to change.”

Simsboro Aquifer activist and LIV Board member, Michele Gangnes, said, “The water grid that we called Gridzilla in the last session is back on steroids. At the same time opposition to mass transport of groundwater, also known as the California Water Model, is mounting among ordinary citizens. Landowners don’t want their water taken on the cheap for real estate deals and urbanites don’t want to be saddled with more and more costs of growth. It’s time to unite, regardless of who we voted for last November.”

Calvin Tillman, City Council member of the small town of Aubrey and LIV Board Member said, “Eminent domain for private gain has rural Texans fit to be tied with 9,000 entities that can seize private land. Though we strongly support the reforms carried in this session by Texans for Property Rights, they are not near enough to deal with the cronyism in state agencies that has put rural and urban citizens in the crosshairs of the war between the two parties.”

Both events will cover signature issues at the League of Independent Voters and Texans for Electoral Competition – an ad hoc coalition involving LIV, the Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties, Left Up to Us and Texans for Accountable Government dedicated to:

  • Ending the water grabs,
  • Stopping eminent domain for private gain, and
  • Opening up our electoral process to competitive elections, thereby freeing the millions of Texans who call themselves simply "independent" to exercise their power as voters for change.

More information can be found at IndependentLeagueTX.org or by calling LIV at 512-213.4511.

 

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Come and Take It, San Antonio Water System!

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Yesterday was the last day to file bills (other than local) to be considered in the 2017 Texas Legislative Session.

On the water front there's been a flood (pardon the pun) of bad bills from...you guessed it, from water BULLies on rural Texas and urban ratepayers. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) who now chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, waited until late yesterday to file his omnibus water bill (HB 31). No doubt it will be comparable to the omnibus water bill (SB 1392) filed by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee.

There were some VERY good ones too from both urban and rural legislators. Here's a real doozy of a surprise:

House Bill (HB) 3996, filed by Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) also last minute, calls for Sunset Review of San Antonio Water System (SAWS)! Citizens across the region all know SAWS for its water bullying ways -- including, of course, the water boondoggle of the century Vista Ridge aka the "San Antone Hose".

Here's what you can do to take the bull by the horns:

►Join us this Wednesday, March 15, at 7 pm at Bastrop City Hall for the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Meeting to learn more about the bills.

►Register now for Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day on Friday, March 24th at the Capitol.

►Attend the Texas Populism Conference: Building the Independent Rural-Urban Alliance on March 25th at McKinney Roughs Nature Trail in Cedar Creek.

Make sure you've watched the 17-minute in-depth video, "I Oppose the San Antone Hose" I oppose SA hose video imageand share it with your rural and urban friends. Tell your friends it's time to unite at these events!

The session ends on Memorial Day, May 29th. A whole lot can happen in between now and then.

We especially need more volunteers now. Call us or reply to lend a hand.

PS We will be testifying on Monday for HB 25 -- ending straight ticket voting in Texas -- and against a bad little petition bill, HB 907. Contact us for details.

 

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An All-American Independent Revolution. We humbly request your participation!

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We here at the League of Independent Voters are not willing to stand there and take what this guy is taking. Are you?

While the country appears irreversibly divided, many ordinary citizens are coming to us and asking "how can I become an independent?" Who knows, maybe there's a chance to save the republic before the two parties' war on each other destroys us and our system of government based on consensus.

What are Texas officials doing? They are locked in fake fight -- the "great potty political debate" (the bathroom bill) -- at the same time an immense and truly immoral transfer of wealth is happening right under their noses. That transfer is the mass movement by profiteers of groundwater (our most valuable Texas resource) to the growth corridors by abusing government condemnation of private property to make it happen. We call it eminent domain for private gain. Millions of people are facing unaffordability, aquifers we depend on face damage or depletion, and the next generation's future is stolen.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's appointee, Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), will be rolling out his omnibus water bill, likely on the last day to file a bill -- March 10th. (UPDATE: the bill was released on March 7th -- more coming soon!) Perry held closed interim hearings throughout 2016 and is -- unbelievably -- keeping his bill secret. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has also appointed water grabbing Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) to chair the House Natural Resources Committee. He's the guy who wantonly calls landowners “Balkanizers” if they do not want to sell their water, as if they are wrong-headed rebels who just won’t get with the program. Larson just introduced a bill (HB 2948) to add yet another layer of bureaucracy to the convoluted water code, we suspect for the purpose of adding more opportunities to game it.

You're probably asking yourself, who do these people think they are? The real question is who do we think WE are?

Come join us to answer both those questions! We humbly request that you show up at these urgently important TWO events -- regardless of your party persuasion or who you voted for in the last election:

Please register NOW! Click on the links for each event below for March 24th & 25th 

  • Come to this! Our Water, Our Land and Our Elections Lobby Day -- Friday, March 24th. Reserve a seat NOW for this FREE event at the Capitol. It's from 10 to 4, but show up at noon if you can.  For details:

Come to this the next day, Saturday, March 25th:
Texas Populism Conference: Building the Independent Rural-Urban Alliance at McKinney Roughs Nature Trail in Cedar Creek. It's just $25, including lunch, or $15 and you can bring your own. For more info:

Both these events (on Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th) are all about our signature issues here at the League of Independent Voters:

  • Ending the water grabs,
  • Ending eminent domain for private gain, and
  • Opening up our electoral process to competitive elections, thereby freeing the millions of Texans who call themselves simply "independent" to exercise their power as voters for change. (Read about Texans for Electoral Competition here).

The March 25th conference will begin with this question:

►Can citizens from across partisan lines – rural and urban -- work together with both major parties increasingly at war? Or are we just beating our heads against the wall? Let's discuss, you decide.

The League is also establishing a writing team for the independent movement. If you're interested, give us a call or reply to this message.

Please share these events widely. Get a move on, you little dogies. United we stand, divided we fall, y'all.

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UT Dell & State Senator Kirk Watson Misspending Central Healthcare Funds?

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Are UT Dell Medical School and State Senator Kirk Watson
Misspending Central Healthcare Hospital District Funds?

Austin, 2:30 pm: UT Dell Medical School appears to be misspending taxpayer dollars committed to the Central Healthcare Hospital District. If they are, this raises serious questions about potential violations of law and the public trust, so says longtime reform attorney, Fred Lewis and former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos (D-Austin). Linda Curtis of Independent Texans is raising questions about her own State Senator, Kirk Watson’s law firm having benefited from it.

From UT's own financial records, the reports shows 84% of all UT Dell Medical School compensation is paid for with Central Health funds and the vast majority of these expenditures are going to personnel who do not provide any health care of any kind.

Linda Curtis of Independent Texans PAC said, “Everyone knows that Senator Watson has been the leading cheerleader for building the medical school, which is fine. However, when he failed to pass legislation in 2011 (SB 821) to authorize Central Health to help pay for medical education, I believe he continued to find ways to get his way. Senator Watson nor UT can now claim that in 2012, when Travis County voters gave the Health District the right to increase property taxes, they also gave them the power to do what SB 821, in its failure, did not do for them. Spending tens of millions of dollars per year -- for things other than health care -- is a rip off of low-income citizens, not to mention all who are paying for it.”

Lewis remarked that, “No other hospital district in Texas, to our knowledge, has funded a medical school’s non-health care services. Hospital districts typically contract with medical schools to provide health care for the poor, but no hospital district other than Central Health funds non-health care services of medical schools.”

Former longtime State Senator for the Austin area, Gonzalo Barrientos, helped draft the bill that passed in the 2003 legislative session to allow for the creation of the Central Healthcare Hospital District. Barrientos commented, “My intent in passing the law that we passed in the legislature was to create a district that medically treated poor people, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year but right now when they’re hurting.”

Senator Kirk Watson is a partner at Husch Blackwell LLP. The firm represents Central Healthcare Hospital District and has paid Watson's firm over $3 million.

For more details on matters contained in this release, see these 4 charts and the Fred Lewis report.

For More Information:

Linda Curtis, Independent Texans, PAC 512-657-2089

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Letter to Join Texans for Electoral Competition

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Texans for Electoral Competition

Hello Friends:

The signers of this letter represent an array of Texans across party lines and ideology that recently formed a coalition -- Texans for Electoral Competition. TEC intends to engage in supporting and opposing legislation in the 2017 legislative session to open up electoral competition for all Texans. You are receiving this letter to invite you to join our coalition.

Our broad concern -- one that grew out of what we all witnessed in this last election -- is that the major party machines have worked to shut down competition within their parties and from those outside the two-party duopoly. Yet, a clear plurality of voters since the 2002 Gallup poll have self-identified as “independent” and a majority of major party voters expressed clear support for “more choices”.

Our specific goals in the 2017 Texas Legislative Session are to:

*  Win fair ballot access for independent candidates and other parties.
*  End "one-punch" straight ticket voting thereby encouraging voters to learn more
about  individual candidates, their platforms and qualifications.
*  Protect petition rights, a right Texans have enjoyed in home rule cities since 1912.
*  Protect the integrity of our elections and ensure that they are verifiable.
*  Support real redistricting reform.

The coalition meets every Wednesday night for 1-hour conference calls from  6:30 to 7:30 pm. Please join us on the call and bring your questions. Contact one of us below to get call information.

We are planning a lobby day on Friday, March 24th at the Capitol to be followed by a panel at the “Texas Populism” conference on Saturday, March 25th in Cedar Creek. Mark your calendars and watch for event details.

Click here for a paper — Death By a Thousand Signatures — by attorney Oliver Hall, a founder and counsel to the Center for Competitive Democracy in Washington, D.C.. His paper lays out some important history about how, over the last 50 years, America’s political system has become a virtual monopoly by the major party machines.

Thank you for caring about our democracy and we look forward to speaking with you and your organization.

For now, please consider liking and sharing our Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/txelections.

Sincerely,

TEXANS FOR ELECTORAL COMPETITION

Linda Curtis, League of Independent Voters, Volunteer Coordinator 512.213.4511
katija gruene, Secretary, Green Party of Texas, 210.471.1791
Mark Miller, Libertarian Party of Texas, Vice-Chair, 512.789.6957
Mike Lewis, Left Up to Us, 719.337.6635

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San Antonio Water Pipeline Watch Out!

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This San Antonio water pipeline sounds the alarm to any community in Texas that
 wants to Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.01.43 AMprotect their aquifers from sharks -- the sharks in the
 Chamber of Commerce who want YOUR water for unbridled
 growth and its intimate partner...unaffordability.

San Antonio Water Systems is set this Monday to ink a $3.3 BILLION water grab from counties 140-miles to their northeast. The good news is this has to go to the San Antonio City Council, so it's not a done deal.

Robert Puente, SAWS CEO, was against this bad deal for San Antonio's ratepayers until the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce decided they "own" the utility and put their foot down. Don't believe us -- read this.

JOIN tomorrow's (Saturday) conference call tomorrow at 9 am. (Reply for call instructions)
Step up to the plate to make some calls from home and come to the Alamo City with us on October 2nd!We also need funds to pay for a bus San Antonio. Donate on our website or send us a check but let us know it's on the way.
 FlierOgallalaAlamo-final

You might also read my letter to the editor about the Hays County water forum last week: Well Meaning People Can Still Poison Your Well.

We have the other central Texas water grabs on hold. The SAWS deal needs to be put on hold too until the ratepayers and the Council have a chance to review the contract.

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Release: Marvin Nichols a fight for all Texans’ local control.

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The following release was sent to over 1500 news outlets throughout Texas today.

Texas Water Development Board Seeks to Overturn Local Control
in Water Planning for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir,
Caring Less for Farm and Timber Jobs in NE Texas

During the campaign for Proposition 6, Texas independents warned voters that the new Texas Water Development Board had become a political tool for Governor Perry and his special interest allies in their efforts to promote uncontrolled population growth. Now, a new independent non-profit citizens lobby – the League of Independent Voters of Texas – is calling out the “new and politically improved” TWDB for its attempt to push the Marvin Nichols Reservoir on Region D, the regional water planning area in NE Texas. Region D and area citizens have long opposed the Marvin Nichols because it would flood 70,000 acres of prime farm and timber land, potentially wreaking havoc on local economies.

Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of DISH and an Interim Director of the League of Independent Voters of Texas who lives in Denton County and Region C said, “There is a conflict in the state water plan between Region D and Region C, which encompasses the DFW area. Rather than resolve the conflict, TWDB tried to move forward for Region C – for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir -- but they ran into a road bump. A court said they had to settle the conflict before moving forward with the project. TWDB’s idea of ‘settlement’ was to order Region D, even before their hearing today and Region C’s hearing tomorrow, to end their opposition now and forever. This is obviously an abuse of state power and portends what is to come. The TWDB is apparently willing to ignore local control in water planning in Texas, plain and simple.”

Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) has tried his best to reason with the TWDB. Simpson recently wrote, “Even the executive administrator has admitted that relying on the Marvin Nichols reservoir is not feasible because it is highly unlikely it can be permitted and built in time to meet the projected needs of DFW Region C. Why, then, has he proposed to eradicate the conflict on paper if it is impractical? Why would he do so prior even to public comment? Besides throwing out local control of planning, his injudicious and unequitable proposal may well cause future investment and development in major industries in Northeast Texas to begin to dry up.”

Linda Curtis, Executive Director of the League of Independent Voters, who lives in Bastrop where citizens, alongside the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, are fighting to hold on to their groundwater in the face of litigation by private water marketers (Forestar Real Estate Group) said, "Politicians often underestimate the extent to which citizens will fight for local control and their heritage. It is time long overdue for the 40% plurality of voters who identify as independents to disassociate with the partisanship that is getting us nowhere. We must now and forever refuse to accept violations of our rights to own and enjoy property, our rights to clean water and air, and our rights to apolitical government."

Citizens across the state are being urged to send the letter at the end of this release, or their own comments, to the TWDB through the comment period ending this Friday, May 2, even if it falls on deaf ears.

The first of 36 “Regional Round Ups” of the League of Independent Voters of Texas will be on Saturday, June 7, starting at 6 pm at the American Legion Hall in Bastrop. The theme of this event is, “Local Control, new Environmentalism…Texas Populism”. It will be a rally for local control and protecting aquifers from increased fracking slated for Bastrop and Lee counties over one of the most sought after aquifers in the state. Mayor Tillman will be a keynote speaker. The League has 36 districts across the state and plans to hold similar events to build its membership before the pivotal 2015 legislative session.

#

Dear Texas Water Development Board:

I believe that you are interfering with the rights of Texans to local control and the rights of local communities to have the biggest voice in projects that significantly impact their land, their water and their local economies. I also believe that, in interfering with the rights of all Texans to local control, you are risking a dangerous precedent for all local communities across our state.

In the case of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir, I believe that the Texas Water Development Board is trampling on the rights of citizens and officials in Region D by forcing them to put aside their concerns now and forever, and thereby accept a bad result for themselves and their descendants. How do you ask Texans to virtually give up what makes them Texans in the first place --- the right to question authoritarian leaders who do not have their interests at heart?

I urge you to back off of the Marvin Nichols and listen to the people and leadership in Region D. Their point of view is at least as valuable as those who would deny their voice.

Interfering with the rights of the citizens and officials of Region D will not only worsen the state's water crisis, it will confirm the crisis in confidence in the newly organized Texas Water Development Board. Voters were warned in the campaign for Prop 6 last November that the TWDB had become a politicized agency. I would urge you to not prove those criticisms correct.

John or Jane Q Citizen

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