Let me tell you a little story about how we got to this place as energy and water cutoffs are in the air as King Greg Abdicates.
In the late 90s, I called on Austin voters to vote to put me on the City Council using my tongue-in-cheek slogan, "Linda for A Little Less Corruption." It got me plenty of laughs and some unexpected votes.
I was making calls to get out the vote during early voting, and Greg Abbott, then Texas Supreme Court Justice, picks up the phone. He says he already voted for me.
I confess that since that incident, I've held a ray of hope for Greg Abbott.
Harvey Kronberg's first-rate piece in the June 1 Quorum Report about the Governor's threats to withhold legislative pay and hold a summer special session on "voter integrity" legislation snapped me out of it. Maybe it was Kronberg's irreverent second title: "Life would be simpler if you also defund the Judicial Branch, and oh, there is the matter of Legislative bribery."
So I was about to crown King Greg, but Donald Trump beat me to it.
The Big Freeze and the Big Squeeze
How did changing voting rules become an emergency item for a Texas special session when, despite what your legislators are telling you, the Legislature has NOT fixed the Texas energy grid?
For crying out loud, they didn't even have the decency to investigate the deaths! (It was independent media, BuzzFeed, which had to conduct a real investigation to tell us approximately 700 people perished.)
We agree with independent Bill King, who calls this a coverup.
By the way, this is a two-party coverup.
Think about it:
What if Texas Democrats had walked out by calling the Governor's "voter integrity" claims for what they really are – a coverup for the abject failure of government to protect millions of Texans from the Big Freeze, to account for the loss of life and loathsome price gouging, as some deep pockets walked off with $50B? Instead, the politically incompetent Democratic Party insists on playing into the Governor's hands by throwing their base the other side of the same red meat.
Now, what do we have in store for the Governor's oh-so-special session? More red meat between the two parties as energy companies are now free to do cut-offs, and SAWS is rattling shut-off sabers. (See Quorum Report, June 17, Energy Cutoffs).
The same two-party failure is unfolding now on the Big Squeeze – our out-of-balance water policy. Politicians in both parties are aware of the risks to critically important aquifers by Vista Ridge (the "San Antone Hose") not 40 miles east of the Capitol Dome.
Public hearings about the future of groundwater are underway (see Events page). Show up at one and take notice as to which officials in your community are there...or not.
Wake up, Texas.
Meat and Potatoes for ALL Texans
Let's face it. Big Energy and Big Real Estate – and their hired gun lobbyists – are the real Kings and Queens of Texas.
The real Kings and Queens called the shots for Rick Perry's 2013 move to Texas campaign' that accelerated a snowball already rolling down the hill – hyper-growth.
You know you have hyper-growth when infrastructure (energy, water, and transportation) cannot keep pace with growth, including the costs. Austin is at the epicenter of our state's addiction to hyper-growth. San Antonio is competing to build out a metroplex between them and make us all pay for it, including a diminishing quality of life.
From 2008 to 2014, local Austin visionary developer Brian Rodgers and friends did all they could to warn Austin with concrete and doable solutions to "make growth pay for itself." Their work was rejected for fear it might slow down growth (profits) -- even just a little. Just like those who repeatedly warned about the grid failure starting in 2011, Rodgers and pals' warnings were ignored. (See LIV's Costs of Growth Page to view some of Rodger's incredible work.)
The Good News
We see little way out of this mess without a full-blown independent electoral revolt in Texas.
The good news is if anyone is to be King or Queen around here, it's going to be most of us Texans. We are neither just red nor blue. We are the royal color of purple.
We created the League of Independent Voters to bring this vision to Texas:
Policy, not politics • Fix problems -- don't make them. • Electoral competition, not chaos!
Five years after I lost my city council race, Jay Leno read in his "Funny Headlines" bit, "Here's this woman, Linda Curtis, running for City Council in Austin, Texas who says she wants just a little less corruption." Big laugh.
Today, here at LIV, we want a helluva a lot less corruption, and a helluva lot more meat and potatoes -- no kidding.
"You and I own this country, and we are responsible for what happens to it." Ross Perot, Texas independent.
JOIN US! To understand what we mean by "independent," join us at our monthly forums. The next one is June 23, 7 pm is, "Are independents just swing voters?"