Folks, there’s a whole lotta political shaking going on in Texas.
The earthquake we’re detecting is related to the convergence of both party establishments. That’s right. On some things – like the brokering of arguably the most valuable resources on the planet – groundwater and land resources – they agree. Do nothing because Oil and Gas and Real Estate are the King and Queen lobbies. No one will tell you – but us, the independents – these “emperors” have no clothes!
In this Newsletter:
Groundwater Game in Lege is on!
Why are we so focused on groundwater? Did you miss that it’s the “new oil”? The world is struggling with finding enough of it, while Texas is getting ready to sacrifice it at the alter of “all growth is good.”
Yesterday, HB 1066 passed the Texas House nearly unanimously. The primary author is east Texan, Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin -- see picture). The joint author is Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio). Ashby had earlier refused to amend his offensive Vista Ridge handoff bill to SAWS in Committee as he was requested to do. We wrote about it here.
We asked legislators at ground zero over the Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in counties east of Austin, to vote no on the bill when it came to the floor. Rep. John Cyrier, who represents two of the four most affected counties -- Bastrop and Lee counties -- greatly impacted by SAWS and other’s extreme mega-permit “water grabs”, surprised us by voting yes on HB 1066. Rep. Ben Leman, a freshman legislator who represents Burleson County (home of the terribly mistaken Vista Ridge water pipeline) also voted yes on HB 1066.
We would also remind you that this is what happened on another debacle, the Trans-Texas Corridor. Only two legislators voted against it – then Reps. Lon Burnam (D-Ft. Worth) and Terry Keel (R-Austin.) It took 5 years of hard labor by ordinary citizens to pull the monstrosity down. It happened with a statewide cross-partisan coalition and the independent breakout gubernatorial candidacies of then Republican Comptroller Carole Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman. The earth moves in not so mysterious ways.
Check out our new San Antonio page! Alamo City, here we come!
Did we thank you all for coming or watching the stream of our “Cross Community Alliances” event last Saturday. Well, thank y’all!
On Tuesday, LIV’s San Antonio Board Member, Ellen Berky and local fiscal accountability watchdog, Stan Mitchell (SAMBA Coalition), spoke to the San Antonio Water System Board of Trustees. Watch Berky call for “An Independent, Managerial, Legal and Financial Review” of the $3.4 -- $4.5 billion boondoggle, aka Vista Ridge water pipeline to Burleson County. Mitchell’s call for an end to “Pay to Play” with a rather damning spreadsheet of whose paying what to play, will knock your socks loose. (Check out Mitchell’s credentials on page 2 and look at the spreadsheet on pages 3 and 4.)
Next week this page will introduce you to the candidates and Council Members who are supporting the Vista Ridge Resolution. Watch for it!
City of Austin’s Sucker Stadium Gets Spot Kick With Senate Bill 1771
Here’s a no-brainer bill by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), SB 1771. The backdrop of this bill is the City of Austin’s giveaway of future property taxes for all other authorities, not just the City’s, to the Precourt “Sucker Stadium” deal.
This Austin Monitor piece tells you what you need to know. What can you do? Call your state rep and senator and ask them to pass SB 1771 and give these stinky stadium deals a swift kick. Find your legislators here.
Houston Moving to End Pay-to-Play!
In Houston, this new End Pay to Play PAC has emerged to take on the apparent trough feeding in the City of Houston. We’re not yet endorsing this, but we’re watching and so should you. You should also be watching Bill King, who is running for Mayor against incumbent, Sylvester Turner. Though LIV does not endorse candidates, we pay WAY attention when an independent is running a major campaign in a major race and he's blowing the whistle on pay-to-play.
What the heck is LIV anyway?
In our opinion, the two-in-one-party system needs continued shock treatment. This cannot be done by a partisan outfit or a namby-pamby group that won’t tell you the truth.
Telling you the truth is the purpose of a third force (not to be confused with a third party) that can unite Texans across all parties. A “cross-partisan movement" that will go to bat for all the voters is what it takes to shake those in government out of the bed they’re sharing with those in the private sector continually looting the public purse.
The pundits say that we – independents – don’t exist. Funny thing is, the Gallup Poll has been study independents since 2004. We are the plurality of voters that – for good or not – are the foundational change voters.
The pundits also say we independents just cannot make up our minds. The truth is that all voters are left starving for some new menu items to digest that can’t get to the table right now without an independent movement to shake up and bake up a new small "d" democracy.
The League of Independent Voters of Texas is a non-partisan, non-profit organization focused on issues.
We might be small for now. But, like David, we’re striving to be brave enough to stand up and hit Goliath in the right spot.
We've got a place at LIV ready made for you!
Independently yours, Texas!