Most of you know by now that on Tuesday our candidate — Brent Golemon — lost the hotly contested runoff for House District 17 by 52% to 48% — just 329 votes. (See the full results under this link.)
I’m pretty heartsick about it and I know that many of you are too.
If you look at ths race objectively, what happened was nothing short of incredible. In this runoff, Golemon was outspent by Cyrier by somewhere between 20 and 30 to 1!
So, how did such a close election happen? Take notes because you won’t see this in the regular press.
* Brent and Cynthia Golemon knocked on 4000+ doors. In a rural district, this was extraordinary.
* Lee countians of all stripes voted for Golemon by a 71% margin, clearly to stop the water grabs.
* Bastrop countians, for similar reasons, went for Golemon by a 58% margin AND feedback we have received — that we warned about — was that Bastrop County’s engagement in voter suppression backlashed on them.
You might also enjoy reading Green Party leader Paul Pipkin’s analysis of the runoffs in San Antonio right here.
What happened in House District 13 to Carolyn Bilski’s lead that she lost, coming in at 43%? In a few words, she needed independent support that we did not have in this district. Hint…
This recent Gallup poll shows a new record plurality of American voters (43%!) now identify as independents. We vote for the person not the party because we are open to new approaches and new solutions. We reject ideology as well as party allegiance.
Should we now go back to our corners and let the party machines and lobbies keep running the show? Or should we keep working together?
The answer to this question is really up to you.
Thank you — ALL OF YOU — for the little and big things you did with us…from the bottom of my heart.
This piece was submitted to us by Paul Pipkin of San Antonio who sits on the Green Party National Committee.
The 26th Senatorial reveals the utter irrelevance of choosing between the corporate “brands”. Winner José Menéndez (a title insurance guy) is nominally a “Democrat”. Yet, when his developer patrons jerked the strings, “Republican” groups (notably Texans for Lawsuit Reform) ponied up $229K to marshal their marching morons against trial lawyer Trey Martinez-Fischer, who was apparently fully supported by the “Democrat” establishment: Castro brothers, Wolff, Hardberger, etc–with all their developer ties.
In other words, this was a contest between developer interests & the party stalwarts merely pawns in the game.
The 123rd State Representative was more complicated and easier at the same time (from a developer standpoint). The Green & Libertarian entrants drew very few first-round votes. What had been pivotal in dividing the heavily Democrat district’s first round was the surprise entry to the race of former Councilman & one-time legislator Walter Martinez. Walter took enough votes to prevent Melissa Aguillon (small businesswoman with ties to the Alamo City CoC) from making the run-off. (Interesting factoid re the incestuous SA musical chairs: Aguillon had worked at City Hall for José Menéndez when he was on Council.) Thus the run-off contender was Republican novice Nunzio Previtera, who stood NO chance against Vista Ridge-compromised Diego Bernal, who easily took the seat vacated by Mike Villareal (Who will now run for SA Mayor.)
For Independents & opponents of the Vista Ridge water grab, it may be less significant whether Leticia Van De Putte or Tommy Adkisson become Mayor of SA than assuring Mike Villareal comes in a poor third.
Are you ready to put a stop to these good ol’ boys? This is incredible!
On February 9, the first day of early voting no less in House District 17, Bastrop City Councilman Joe Beal was pitching the new Austin City Council to “act quickly” to buy Bastrop and Lee counties’ water!
Read it and weep — then get yourself and your friends out to vote for Brent Golemon. HD 17 includes Bastrop, Lee, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes counties. Early voting ends tomorrow, Friday, February 13th. Click here for details and your poll site.
If you live in Bastrop County, due to the County’s severe limitation of poll sites on Election Day that may help their favored candidate (Cyrier), we urge you to get out and vote early for Brent Golemon.
***** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *****
8:30 a.m., February 12, 2015
Contact: Linda Curtis, Director, Independent Texans, 512-657-2089, firstname.lastname@example.org
(For the full video tape of the Feb. 9 Austin City Council meeting — it’s all about water — click here then on Feb. 9.)
Bastrop Water Salesman Joe Beal Sells John Cyrier
On February 9, In the midst of early voting in the runoff for House District 17, John Cyrier endorser and Bastrop City Councilman Joe Beal, made the following pitch to members of the new Austin City Council:
“We’re fortunate there is an abundant supply of water under Bastrop and Lee counties that is available to us. I’ve done the numbers. It can be brought in here pretty cheaply, but we have to act quickly. I would say to you that we need a call to action today and let’s figure out what we’re going to do for these additional supplies that I believe are needed. Thank you very much for your time.”
Former Caldwell County Commissioner, Republican John Cyrier is in a heated runoff with Bastrop County Republican and small businessman Brent Golemon, for the Texas House District 17 seat vacated by Tim Kleinschmidt last November. Groundwater – and the efforts to move it out of Lee and Bastrop counties to the IH-35 Corridor — has become the most important issue to HD 17 voters as evidenced by the dueling mailers flooding mailboxes in this race. Early voting is underway now. Election Day is Tuesday, February 17th.
Brent Golemon said, “John recently stated in our debate that he surrounds himself with good people and takes care of them. Joe Beal is an endorser on his campaign mailers and is certainly more than ready to broker our water out from underneath us. John has also surrounded himself with developers and real estate related interests from outside the district who have given his campaign over $100,000. These are the folks who want to keep building in areas that don’t have their own water supply. Our district needs to be greatly concerned and take John at his word when he says that he takes care of those with whom he surrounds himself.”
Golemon is enjoying the support of longtime independent, Linda Curtis and Independent Texans. Independent Texans has helped lead the fight for local control of water resources in Lee and Bastrop counties for the last four years. Curtis came in third in a five-way race in the first round of voting in HD 17, then threw her support behind Golemon. Curtis said, “I’ve seen too many good ol’ boys like Joe Beal in my life to put up with it and neither should the voters. This should tell voters all they need to know about John Cyrier, who has flat out refused to tell us anything about what he will do to protect our water, while deluging our mailboxes with devious attack mailers about Brent Golemon.”
The Austin City Council had convened a discussion on Austin’s water future as an information session for new Council members, and heard from a panel of experts on water. Beal, however, was not a member of the invited panel and spoke to the Council in the citizen comment portion of the meeting. Beal, a former CEO and general manager of the LCRA, claimed in an email to an inquiring Bastrop constituent that he was asked to speak to the Austin City Council by the new Mayor, Steve Adler.
For more on Joe Beal, we highly recommend this article printed in the Hays County Roundup in 2011 by then Contributing Editor and now deceased Charles O’Dell.
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
8:00 am, February 6, 2015
CONTACT: Linda Curtis, Director of Independent Texans, (512) 657-2089, email@example.com
HEAD: Why John Cyrier is Attacking the Golemon-Curtis Alliance in HD-17
(Austin, Feb. 6th, 2015) Many allies of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, including prominent leaders in central Texas real estate circles, sponsored a fundraiser last Tuesday at the exclusive Headliner’s Club in Austin for House District 17 runoff candidate, John Cyrier. That same day, a Cyrier mailer arrived in GOP voters’ mailboxes in HD 17 warning, “CONSERVATIVE VOTER ALERT: In recent days, Brent Golemon teamed up with a liberal activist-for-hire to launch false, last-minute attacks against conservative John Cyrier.”
Linda Curtis, a longtime independent burr under the saddle of the central Texas real estate lobby, ran in the first round of the district’s special election, placing a strong third place as an independent in a field of five candidates. Curtis and Independent Texans, the PAC she chairs, recently threw their full support behind conservative Republican, Brent Golemon, who is in the runoff with Cyrier. Early voting begins on Monday, February 9.
About the mailer, Curtis said, “Though Mr. Cyrier didn’t have the courtesy to name me, it’s clear that he is upset about the Golemon-Curtis alliance. His polling is likely telling him that our cross-partisan effort has traction. If our independent effort to unite with independent-minded Democrats and Republicans succeeds at electing Golemon, it’s game on with the central Texas real estate lobby and Joe Straus’s plans to mine our aquifer.”
Cyrier may also be trying to shift voters’ focus away from Bastrop County. Curtis continues to claim that Bastrop County officials are suppressing the vote in Bastrop County by limiting the numbers of poll sites to four — 1 for every 10,000 voters while all other counties in HD 17 (Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee) will have 1 poll for approximately every 2,000 voters. Golemon is from Bastrop County. Cyrier is from Caldwell County but has received the backing of Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape and Commissioner Clara Beckett, both Republicans.
In an article in Thursday’s Austin American-Statesman written by Judge Pape, he defended Bastrop County’s decision to continue to use the same poll site plan in Bastrop County for the runoff. Pape wrote, “Our Election Department’s recommendation to have four polling places for these elections is sound. There are no reports of long waiting times to vote. As always, we have made voting convenient and accessible.”
Former Republican Bastrop County Commissioner, Don Loucks, responded to Pape, stating that, “Pape knows full well that no one was complaining about long lines. He also knows that the problem was that most of the poll sites were, unbeknownst to voters, closed on Election Day and nine of them had no signs redirecting voters. He also knows that many Paige area residents were forced to drive as many as 34 miles round trip to vote. I see the new independent-Republican alliance in HD 17 as a necessary alliance for honesty in government.”
Gary Gerdes, the coordinator for Independent Texans’ efforts for Golemon in Lee County and a former 30-year board member of the Bluebonnet Electric Coop Board, said, “We will see on February 17 that voters fully understand how dangerous a moment we are in. Lee County shares a water district with Bastrop County. Judge Pape has been a trusted ally on water issues, but we have been concerned that he has remained silent while Mark Rose, CEO of Bluebonnet Electric and a leading Democrat, has been working behind the scenes to gain support from our elected officials for the Forestar Real Estate Group’s massive water grab in Lee County, and San Antonio’s Vista Ridge water grab in Burleson and Milam counties. Those kinds of alliances are of genuine concern.”
Curtis filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct claiming that Judge Pape violated the Canons of Judicial Conduct by allowing his photograph and endorsement of Cyrier to appear in a mailer paid for by the Cyrier campaign. The Commission has not yet rendered a ruling. She also filed a complaint with the Secretary of State. In a January 21 letter, that they informed her that they “lack investigative authority”, and suggested that she file a lawsuit in district court instead.
In Thursday’s Statesman article, Judge Pape claimed a county judge’s engagement in “duties which relate to a judge’s role in the administration of the county” is an exception to the prohibition on endorsement of candidates. The Judge stated, “I am exempt from the prohibition…when I believe, as county judge and administrator of the county, that [Cyrier’s] election is in the best interest of Bastrop County and her citizens”.
For more information:
PO Box 651 * Bastrop, TX 78602
512-535-0989 home office * 512-657-2089 cell
This post comes on the heels of the latest deceptive mailer to voters in House District 17 (at least voters in Bastrop and Lee counties) attacking Brent Golemon for supposedly having received a big donation from a lobbyist tied to a water authority. At first glance, it appears that this donation is $100,000 to $150,000. If you look closer, it is a $500 donation from a guy who lobbies for a water authority that has no interest in HD 17’s water.
Meanwhile, Cyrier has taken at least $70,000 from real estate interests who have a clear interest in HD 17’s water. Click here: Who Owns John Cyrier
This Cyrier fundraiser event (well after the report linked above) at a posh Austin venue tells you lots more about the interests outside HD 17 who will pull Cyrier’s strings. They are the central Texas “growth lobby” that continues to invite the rest of the nation to move to areas in central Texas without the water to sustain them. Austin real estate moguls, Gary Farmer, Paul Bury and Pete Winstead, are well known as the purveyors of unbridled growth and the practice of offloading the costs for new infrastructure (roads, public safety, water lines, etc.) for newcomers onto the backs of current residents. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) has been one of the big promoters of the “California model” — to move large masses of groundwater from HD-17 to the growth lobby boys down to San Antonio. Larson called us “un-Texan” for protecting our rural water. Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-Bryan) turned away from farmers in his own district fighting a land grab by Union Pacific, through eminent domain, of the richest soil in the US. And the list goes on…
Remember, Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt quit on us just 17 days after his reelection last November to be lead counsel at the Texas Department of Agriculture. He was kept in office with $250,000 donated by the Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio). We believe that Mr. Cyrier is Straus’s new “water boy”.
Vote for Bastrop small businessman and father of four, Brent Golemon — he’s our independent pick (though both these candidates are Republicans). Brent has passed our water survey with flying colors. Cyrier has repeatedly refused to answer these questions. Now we know why.
Don’t let them get away with it!