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Democratic Populist Who Ran Against Congressman Lamar Smith in 2016 Announces He is Running for Texas Governor

For Immediate Release
Press Conference
Scheduled for:   Saturday, July 22nd

Where:     Bexar County Democratic Party Headquarters, 3000 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201
Time:                                    11:00 am

July 18th, 2017

Wakely, a populist independent Democrat threw his hat in to run for Governor of Texas

– Tom Wakely, who ran against 30-yr. Congressional Republican Lamar Smith in 2016 announced today that he is running for Texas Governor. Wakely, an economic populist who ran on a progressive agenda in 2016, stated that he “entered the Congressional campaign on the heels of Senator Bernie Sanders bid to secure the 2016 Democratic Party nomination for President. Today, I enter the Texas Governor’s race on the heels of Gov. Abbott’s attacks on labor, on women, on refugees and immigrants, on Hispanics and other minorities, on the LBGTQ community, on the poor in our state, on our environment and on our great cities. His attacks on our fellow Texans need to be responded to with the most forceful weapon we have at our disposal – the ballot box.”

Wakely went on to say, “I am entering this race for Governor not because I want to but because I have to. When I was in seminary I learned about Martin Niemöller, the Lutheran minister who was an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He summed up perfectly my feelings and why I am running for Texas Governor. Niemöller said: First they went after the Communists, and I did not stand up, because I was not a Communist. Then they went after the homosexual and infirm, and I did not stand up, because I was neither. Then they went after the Jews, and I did not stand up, because I was not a Jew. Then they went after the Catholics, and I did not stand up, because I was Protestant. Finally, they went after me, and there was no one left to stand up for me.”

According to Wakely, the defining principles of the 2018 Texas Governor’s race are moral issues: respect for the dignity of everyone living in Texas; respect for the dignity of work and the rights of workers; the call to family and to community; the rights and responsibilities of all Texans; a preferential option for the poor in our state; valuing our fellow Texans and respecting who they are as individuals; and caring for God’s creation – the air, water and land.

“With only a little more than 22% of the state’s registered voters supporting Gov. Abbott and his tea-party brethren, I have to ask myself why are over 60% of our state’s registered voters not voting.” Wakely asked. “The answer I believe to why so many Texans are not voting is because no serious candidate for Governor has ever talked to them about the issues that matter to them.

“Well, I intend to talk to the 60% about income inequality in our state and why raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and repealing our state’s right to work laws, will help them. If we are serious about rebuilding the middle class in Texas we need to make it easier for people to join a union, not harder. I will talk to them about how I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment but I am also a strong supporter of common sense stuff, like the need for gun violence prevention programs like background checks at gun shows. I will explain to them why abolishing the death penalty in our state makes sense. I will reach out to the 60% and ask them a simple question, does your child or grandchild have child have asthma. I will then remind them that Texas is the number one source of oil and gas methane pollution in the country. I will tell them I want to ban fracking and flaring in our state. I will also tell them we can create tens of thousands of new jobs by moving our state from a fossil fuel economy to a renewal energy economy.

“I also want to know why Governor Abbott is not supporting Texas Representative Valoree Swanson’s (R-Spring) proposal to abolish school property taxes altogether and find new revenue streams. Well, I think it is a great idea and among the many revenue streams I see available to us are scraping the state’s franchise tax system in favor of a business income tax and the legalization and taxation of marijuana. The revenue from both sources would put a serious dent in the funds needed to make our public school system number one in the nation and at the same time lowering the personal property taxes that so many of us pay.”

Wakely went on to say,

“I am running for Governor because I want to make Texas Great. After decades of abuse, the women and children of our state need someone to stand up for them. When we see so many Texans hurt and killed by senseless gun violence, they need someone to stand up for them. When we see racist legislation like SB 4 signed into law by Gov. Abbott and his support of Lt. Governor’s Dan Patrick’s effort to regulate bathroom use by transgender people in public buildings, such things leave me fearful. Fearful of the word’s that Martin Niemöller spoke so long ago, ‘Finally, they went after me, and there was no one left to stand up for me.”

Contact:            Manuel Medina, (210) 430-7943
Email:               information@tom4governor.com

 

 

 

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Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Great!

George Washington, father of our country

If this newsletter inspires you to jump in we need volunteer writers, artists, programmers, policy wonks, researchers, fundraisers, attorneys and just good ol’ organizers…we need it all, so give us a call!

Note: Independent Texans is a political action committee with our mission best expressed in the following excerpt of George Washington’s farewell address in 1797:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

In this newsletter:

  • San Antonio, Hope is in the Wind!
  • Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Good!
  • On the Water Front: Handsome Dog or Nothin’ But a Water Houndog?
  • Cedar Creek Waste Transfer Station Petition — sign-it, Bastrop Countians.

Upcoming Events!

  • Austin: If you were a supporter of the 10-1 voting system and independent citizens redistricting commission, plans are developing for Austin. Call us right away to get involved at 512-535-0989.
  • Bastrop: Bastrop City Council Ethics Workshop, Tuesday, July 11, 5 pm, Bastrop City Hall
  • Texas! Hide your wives, the Special Session starts! Seriously, we have no dog in the hunt between and internal to both parties in this 30-day session, but we’ll be paying close attention.
  • Lee & Bastrop Counties: Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Monthly Meeting, Wednesday, July 19, location TBA.

San Antonio, hope is in the wind!

The San Antonio city council and mayoral election resulted in the election of a new Mayor – Ron

Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio

Nirenberg. That’s right, Vista Ridge cheerleader Mayor Ivy Taylor got the boot! Much to his credit, Ron Nirenberg at least took the time to travel to Burleson County last year to hear landowners’ concerns about the effects of the San Antone Hose on their water and their lives. What’s more, a number of new council members have already been raising questions about the Hose, so there is hope in the wind.

Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Great!!!

Connie Schroeder, Bastrop’s new mayor

The historic election of Bastrop’s first woman Mayor, Connie Schroeder, brought another wonderful surprise when she decided not to reappoint water marketing ally Joe Beal to the Bastrop Economic Development Board. You might remember that Beal’s latest news coverage was about his association with End Op, LP, now “Recharge”. We defy you to discover anything about who is running this outfit on their website. Two months ago, their PR man was none other than former Austin Mayor Will Wynn, a downtown developer who helped the ongoing raid on the Austin’s affordability.

Read this article in today’s Bastrop Advertiser – the good Mayor does her homework!

It was also fun watching a grown man cry — newly elected Bastrop Councilman, Lyle Nelson. Watch his touching, and very brief, acceptance speech at the 8:15 in the video.

Suffice it to say, elections have consequences and sometimes they are good ones, especially when more regular folks like us get involved like we did with petition drives for recall and more reasonable petition requirements on July 4, 2016.

On the waterfront! Handsome Dog or
Nothin’ But a Water Hound Dog (Crying All the Time)

Hydrologist Michael Thornhill showed up at the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District last week as the sole representative for “A Dog aka A Handsome Dog LLC”, a 1,000+ acre ranch in Lee County. The ranch is owned by the heirs to the Enterprise Products pipeline and oil storage empire based in Houston. Because it probably has never happened, we can’t remember the time an applicant thought it sufficient not to show up to personally ask for the privilege of a commercial-sized permit, or at least send an attorney or other authorized representative to answer any and all questions of a governmental board. Instead, the Board tolerated the “I don’t know the answer, but you have to give them the permit” responses of Mr. Thornihill.

The Dog is looking for 444 acre-feet of water every year to keep its 100+ acre “recreational” lake brim-full year round, regardless of drought. Very quickly this dog started looking like just nothing but a Water Hound Dog. The already-drilled well is within 4,000 feet of two Forestar wells but Forestar’s attorney and the manager of the company (Archway – that has little information available about) that is buying out Forestar, sat silent in the audience. Keep in mind that, under Texas water law, all landowners own the groundwater under their land, no matter how many times they are told they are not “affected” by a neighbor’s pumping because they don’t have a well in the “right” place or even if they don’t have a well at all.

What made all the difference here is that a few neighboring landowners did their homework, especially Nancy McKee. McKee’s testimony here hit the nail on the head. Read it and come to the next Lost Pines Meeting!

Cedar Creek Transfer Station/Landfill Waste

News is getting out about a waste transfer station that is seeking approval from the TCEQ to be located near 812 and Highway 21 in Cedar Creek.

Landowners in the area are organizing and have asked us to share this petition to TCEQ with Bastrop County residents.

Both area representatives – Rep. John Cyrier and Sen. Kirk Watson – have asked for a public meeting by TCEQ. Rep. Cyrier also asked for a traffic study by TxDOT. There are very serious traffic and highway safety concerns. Cedar Creek a Lost Pines GCD to take a look at this. A TCEQ meeting asked for our legislative representatives will take place sometime after the comment period closes on July 31st. Go here to make comments by July 31. Again, Bastrop countians may sign this petition and contact the circulator, Steve Chamberlain at (817) 360-0678.

On July 4th, a year ago, we initiated a petition for recall and petition rights in the city of Bastrop. Today, Bastrop is finding itself. Though we are far from done, it’s a great start. We hope to see similar results across Texas in the coming year. YOU can help!

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Cedar Creek Waste Transfer Station Petition

If you live in Bastrop County, especially in or near the Cedar Creek or Del Valle communities, please consider signing this petition. It will be used to question the placement of a waste transfer station in an area that appear to us to not be the best location.

Read this Fact Sheet and sign the petition below — share it with your friends in Bastrop, Caldwell and eastern Travis Counties. Fact Sheet — Cedar Creek Transfer Station

We’ll let you know when area meetings will be taking place soon or you can call Steve Chamberlain at 817-360-0678 for more information.

We, the undersigned residents of Cedar Creek, Del Valle and Bastrop County living near the proposed LEALCO Municipal Solid Waste Facility, petition the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to deny MSW Permit 40291 for the following reasons:

1. The proposed facility will degrade the area, which is a residential area. We live here because it is a peaceful, secure, quiet area of family homes. Having a MSW facility nearby will fundamentally change this. In addition, such a facility will have a devastating effect on the value of our properties. Noise pollution caused by trucks constantly entering and exiting the facility will degrade our lives and property values.

2. The facility would be located on Hwy. 21, which is heavily used by commuters, commercial traffic, and large trucks. The proposed facility would introduce 300 additional trash trucks per day, coming and going, as well as many larger trucks taking the collected trash to landfills. The facility would greatly increase the likelihood of serious collisions, as the trucks entering and leaving the facility to cross Hwy. 21 at low speed, interfering with the flow of traffic. Many school busses pick up and drop off children along Hwy. 21 and adjacent streets. These children would face additional danger caused by garbage trucks entering and exiting Hwy. 21.

3. Pollution caused by truck exhaust fumes and by trash that escapes from the trucks and from the facility will spread throughout the area, especially along roadways and into nearby Cedar Creek and its tributaries.

For the above compelling reasons, we petition TCEQ to deny the permits requested by LEALCO.

For more information contact Steve Chamberlain at 230 Oak Forest Drive, Cedar Creek, TX 78612 * or call (817) 360-0678

[signature]

We, the undersigned residents of Cedar Creek, Del Valle and Bastrop County living near the proposed LEALCO Municipal Solid Waste Facility, petition the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to deny MSW Permit 40291 for the following reasons:

1. The proposed facility will degrade the area, which is a residential area. We live here because it is a peaceful, secure, quiet area of family homes. Having a MSW facility nearby will fundamentally change this. In addition, such a facility will have a devastating effect on the value of our properties. Noise pollution caused by trucks constantly entering and exiting the facility will degrade our lives and property values.

2. The facility would be located on Hwy. 21, which is heavily used by commuters, commercial traffic, and large trucks. The proposed facility would introduce 300 additional trash trucks per day, coming and going, as well as many larger trucks taking the collected trash to landfills. The facility would greatly increase the likelihood of serious collisions, as the trucks entering and leaving the facility to cross Hwy. 21 at low speed, interfering with the flow of traffic. Many school busses pick up and drop off children along Hwy. 21 and adjacent streets. These children would face additional danger caused by garbage trucks entering and exiting Hwy. 21.

3. Pollution caused by truck exhaust fumes and by trash that escapes from the trucks and from the facility will spread throughout the area, especially along roadways and into nearby Cedar Creek and its tributaries.

For the above compelling reasons, we petition TCEQ to deny the permits requested by LEALCO.

For more information contact Steve Chamberlain at 230 Oak Forest Drive, Cedar Creek, TX 78612 * or call (817) 360-0678

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Congrats to Lyle Nelson and all of Bastrop!

Tom & Kelly Dawson with newly elected Bastrop City Councilman, Lyle Nelson, all residents of Hunters Crossing

Yesterday’s historic runoff for the Bastrop City Council Place 3 seat resulted in a very decisive win for Lyle Nelson — 59%, 361 votes — over Lee Harle.  Congrats to Lyle, his family, his neighbors in Hunters Crossing and Riverside Grove, and to the entire Bastrop community!

This is a big win for the entire city of Bastrop community, a community that is still reeling from years of ‘good ol’ boy’ cronyism that seemed unchangeable. Bastrop city voters put their boots on in the first round of voting in May and elected the first woman mayor, Connie Schraeder, with a similar decisive lead.

This comment by “Texas Voter” in the Bastrop Advertiser article today about the race well captures the significance of Lyle’s triumph:

Nelson’s achievement here is historic in that he was able to marshal outlying voters to overcome the solid block of downtown votes consistently wielded by the handful of power brokers who control and exploit Bastrop. Congratulations to both Nelson and Bastrop.

Another way of saying it is this — the Good Ol’ Boy Network had its ears clipped in this city election — good for us all! Just don’t take your boots off yet…we still have some kickin’ to do.

There are still people on the Council who think it’s their task to serve themselves and their friends, not to mention similar characters on the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation. Both are handling YOUR money and still don’t know where the buck stops.

There are now ongoing discussions about the Ethics Ordinance. We are asking you to pay close attention to this. While we support any tightening up of the ordinance that is needed, we have already lodged a concern about what appears to be a complete rewrite of the ordinance. Not only do we not believe a costly and complete rewrite is necessary, we heard enough whining at last week’s Ethics Workshop from Council members Deborah Jones and Gary Schiff to signal that a rewrite could wind up doing more harm than good. Watch the video of June 13 and see for yourself.

We hope to see you at the next Ethics workshop at 5 pm on Tuesday, June 27. The Council meeting starts at 7 pm and will likely start with Lyle Nelson’s swearing in.

We’ll be calling our own meeting soon to lay out some ideas we’ve had cookin’ but were waiting to share with you until after the election.

Of course, always feel free to contact us any old time.

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Another dump in Cedar Creek? Vote for Lyle!

Reminder for you city of Bastrop Voters. Early voting in the historic Place 3 runoff for Bastrop City Council ended

Lyle and Jennifer Nelson & Family

on Tuesday. Election Day is this Saturday. Here is why we support Lyle Nelson. It’s pretty simple. Lyle is clearly committed to transparency at City Hall, a prerequisite for good government.

Cedar Creek (Bastrop County) Another Dump? This message is also being sent to our pals in Caldwell County who have been fighting a dump in Lockhart.

As Austin’s affordability crisis has made Bastrop County the 6th fastest growing county in Texas, we see yet another plan to put a dump on the westside of Bastrop County in the Cedar Creek area where growth is headed. It’s a 47-acre facility – though a “transfer station” — proposed for an area close to the junction of Highway 812 and Highway 21 for garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, abandoned automobiles; dead animals, drugs, contaminated foods, empty containers which have been used for pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or rodenticides; Class 2 industrial waste; and Class 3 industrial waste which includes rock, brick, glass, dirt, and certain plastics and rubber.

We don’t know yet what “transfer station” really means. Area residents are checking this out and getting in touch with County officials.

You can read the 75-page application right here.

A public meeting with TCEQ – Texas Commission for Environmental Quality – has already been called for by Sen. Kirk Watson. This meeting will happen sometime after the public comment period is over on July 31st.

Click here for the TCEQ notice and how to post a public comment
with the permit number 40291

If you want to work on this issue please contact us. We will assist you in every way we can.

Is it not yet clear to you that voters of all persuasions are going to have to work together to get things done? We vote for the person, not the party and we call ourselves small “i” independents!

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Austin is Not Developers’ Monopoly Board

Sign it, if you live in Austin

Austin is Not Developers' Monopoly Board

Dear Mayor Adler and Austin City Council Members:

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Why don't you share this with your friends, please:

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

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