Dear #FIRST_NAME#Friends#: (trouble reading this? click here, comment and share)
On a serious note, our hearts go out to all in Texas caught in the wake of the floods and tornadoes.
In the midst of all the chaos, Texans managed to stop the petty-"Larson-y' (as in Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio) of "Gridzilla", smacked down the anti-petition bill, and even passed a good water bill. But eminent domain reform went down...along with lots of other good bills.
We provide you this report with some humorous relief. As they say, "truth is stranger than fiction." This is all true...including that it's now game on for Vista Ridge. More soon...
So...during this legislative session did you feel like:
Your chance of getting a bill passed was about as likely as this woman’s chance of getting hit by a meteor? We actually managed to pass one -- HB 3163 -- thanks to freshman Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) and his capable staff -- to protect water conservation district board members from being sued individually or held liable when performing their duties in good faith.
That you looked like melted dummies from the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum to members of the ________ Committee (fill in the blank) when you testified? But didn't the 11th-hour (Sunday, May 31st at 9 pm), failed amendment for the Vista Ridge 142-mile water pipeline project make you feel better? Watch the Senate give it the stomp!
You might just be beating your head against a wall in the face of a herd of corporate lobbyists who waltzed right in and took their time making scurrilous claims legislators never asked them to prove? "The lobby" killed SB 474, a modest eminent domain reform bill. Watch the the carnage in this video here (starting at about 2 minutes.)
You were just a tad weirded out by the gun-obsessed in this session, while your local control was under serious fire? A cross-partisan populist coalition thankfully laid waste to HB 2595, protecting 103 years of Texans' right to petition in home-rule cities. Watch these powerful testimonies, especially the three mad-dog attorneys!
These are no big fish stories, despite the little attention received in the media. And it is OH SO TRUE THAT THIS WAS DUE TO YOU and your many phone calls, emails and efforts to spread the word.
Our very serious fight -- to protect our land, our water and our political rights -- has only just begun.
So...don't let them drive you to drinking...start thinking...about what you can do to help us build the independent movement!
There's more coming, but we wanted to get these out to you today.
PS Additional and special thanks to Steve Box (Environmental Stewardship), Judith McGeary (Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Ken Kramer (Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter), Brian Rodgers (ChangeAustin.org), Brent Golemon, an anonymous professional lobbyist for all your free advice and LIV board members Michele Gangnes and Calvin Tillman for all your help in the 2015 legislative session!