For Immediate Release February 8, 2017
Are UT Dell Medical School and Sen. 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 the firm over $3 million.
For More Information:
Linda Curtis, 512-657-2089
Fred Lewis, 512-636-1389
Independents — now 42% of America — will decide this election. This is especially true in Hays County as more and more Millennials (the majority of whom now identify as independents) have moved to Hays County seeking the affordability that would allow them to raise a family.
QUESTION: Guess who is trying to saddle this generation with the $237.8 million additional debt for an unnecessary jail expansion and roads to nowhere — Props 1&2?
Answer: The Hays County Commissioners Court – led by Commissioner Will Conley.
Conley even had the nerve to defend Hays County’s official Facebook page deleting posts from citizens raising questions about their taxes AND Props 1 & 2.
Conley just said in open court that for the county to answer these questions, “would be a waste of taxpayer money.” (Click on the 40 second video and see for yourself).
Vote No on Props 1 & 2 and help us reach voters with this half-page handy flier.
You can print it out and take it to the polls or we can get you some.
Of course, lots of great information has been gathered for you to share from the SaveHays.com website.
Those little fliers can make a huge difference if you hand ’em out right there at your poll site as folks will be standing in line. Just make sure you stay outside of the 100 foot marker.
Thank you, Hays Countians!
The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District meeting tonight at 6 pm at Bastrop City
Hall (1311 Chestnut) is one of the most important meetings you’ll ever attend.
There has been much confusion about End Op, Forestar, Vista Ridge (the San Antone Hose) and so many other water deals for a reason. The Simsboro is under siege.
We live in an area of the state where the goose that laid the golden egg — our groundwater — is about to get choked to death. Others of you who live along the I-35 growth corridor are also about to get choked to death with mounting debt for infrastructure to make sure that we keep bringing masses of people here as quicklly as possible to feed the growth lobby. Simsboro water is integral to this “growth machine.”
Lost Pines GCD has also been under siege as well, and they are buckling. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. What is surprising is that we — residents and landowners — are not only still standing, we’re still fighting for the incoming and next generation — not to mention our property rights, ecosystems and local economies.
Bring donations small or large for the new non-profit Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund and get ready for a whole new ballgame in the courts!
Quick note about the Bastrop City Council meeting last night: The petition games have started with lots of silliness to go around. Councilwoman Deborah Jones acted like she knew nothing about the “filers” of the petition — Independent Texans — or who I am. If memory serves us…here she is speaking at our candidate forum on April 18th sitting not 5 feet from me, the moderator.
Yes, we made a big mistake not endorsing Kelly Gilleland in that race. Bastrop is now paying for it but don’t worry, we will make amends in November and beyond with a whole new crop of people who are starting to pay attention.
Looking forward to seeing you tonight!
P.S. If you live in the city of Bastrop, please make plans to attend the next city council meeting — next Tuesday at 6:30 pm. More soon.
The city of Bastrop has descended ever deeper into crisis with its two top management officials resigning. Longtime City Manager, Mike Talbot resigned for the second time in June. Tuesday night, longtime City Attorney Jo-Christy Brown tendered her resignation stating,
“This negativism, which I believe is entirely unwarranted, has now escalated to an extent that I simply no longer have the energy or desire to continue to subject my good name and hard-earned reputation to it any further”.
Not three hours after Brown’s resignation came Interim City Manager Steve Adcock’s. Adcock is also respected and an honest guy in law enforcement.
Frankly, what we fear most is what’s coming next. That would be the appointment of a new city manager and city attorney on Tuesday. You can bet they will be part of the good ol’ boy network in Bastrop. How do we know this? Here’s Mayor Ken Kesselus’ response to Adcock’s departure in today’s Austin American-Statesman:
“I don’t know what to make of it except that my mother used to work in a funeral home and said that death always comes in three,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s an old wives’ tale or what, but it seems to be true.”
Seriously? This is the guy who is leading the city of Bastrop?
Listen up people. Kesselus and his clan are trying to shift the blame for their own mismanagement and misplaced priorities onto their employees. It’s really that simple.
We have put out a warning to all. Bastrop’s high growth, if not managed properly, spells for a new and unfamiliar kind of disaster. We cannot afford to make the mistakes that Austin’s “growth machine” has made, leading to an affordability collapse. Bastrop is far more vulnerable than Austin. We all know it. So let’s not treat this like a crazy aunt in the basement that no one is willing to talk about.
Only the voters can do anything about this now. Here’s what can YOU do.
Note: Last call Monday for petitions!
Go to our Petition page here and get our petitions signed by city voters.
Click here to see a map of the Bastrop City Limits
You can also call us and we’ll do home visits.
We deeply appreciate your financial contributions and your participation so very much!
All three photo credits are to the Austin American-Statesman.
When SAWS CEO, Robert “what-me-worry?” Puente, was asked about the possibility of an open meetings violation this week, he suggested that we — the folks living over the aquifer he plans to raid – might be living in a “cave”. (It’s on the last page of this article).
Also, take note on that same page of the $1.25 million SAWS is giving to a number of organizations to make themselves look like the great benevolent conservation organization that they are NOT. (We say to those organizations, good for you and take the money and run. But please, realize SAWS wants to alienate you from other environmental organizations opposing Vista Ridge. Instead — consider using those funds to help us beat the SAWS buzz saw and save your city from being ridiculed as the water grabbing baron of Texas.)
Now, we take these SAWS people very seriously.
Watch this 1-minute video to see our very statesmanlike response to SAWS Chairman Berto Guerra who shares his conviction that SAWS has channeled divine intervention in the Vista Ridge deal to benefit San Antonians. (Berto’s rapture simply overtook him just before he leaves on his most recent junket to Spain.)
Sincere thanks to Terry Burns, Alamo Sierra Club Chair, for the best testimony yet on Vista Ridge. We, on the other side of the pipeline, appreciate you so much.
Please share this video and get your Texas friends to sign the petition right here.
NOW, WE HAVE VERY IMPORTANT WORK FOR YOU TO DO. Please do this!
Today, Friday, May 20th, is the last day to early vote in the small turnout runoff elections. Every WILL count. Election Day is next Tuesday, May 24th. Independent Texans proudly endorses these three fine candidates below.
Do you know someone who lives in their district? Click on the link below and look at the 35 counties they collectively represent: then, contact your friends now, please
THANK YOU, TEXAS.
PS Did you see the Conservation Scorecard that was released yesterday? SAWS, once a leader in conservation in the nation, is now ranked 14th in Texas. Great work, Texas Living Waters Project: http://www.texaswaterconservationscorecard.org/
PPS Did we forget to beg you for money again? We’re shameless: http://indytexans.org/donate/