Trans Texas Corridor
Have fun with the release below about my WONDERFUL and quite entertaining endorsements from all persuasions sent to the media on December 23.
As I write today on Christmas eve, I am asking for your help after Christmas to make this specially called election in the middle of the Christmas holiday Rick Perry’s worst blunder since the Trans-Texas Corridor. He opened the door for voters to unite to put an independent in the Texas House (HD 17) — that’s me, Linda Curtis.
I most need your help to reach voters before and during early voting, which starts on Monday, December 29th!
Come to my Bastrop event on Sunday, Dec. 28, 4 to 6 pm* at Neighbor’s (formerly Bastrop Brewhouse, 601 Chestnut — on the Colorado River next to Wells Fargo Bank.) Can’t make it? Call me at 512-535-0989. (*Note: Our apologies if this conflicts with other events. We tried to rearrange, but couldn’t — so come when you can.)
If you want to donate to my campaign, Linda Curtis for Texas House District 17, I prefer that you give securely online here: (if not check instructions below)
Mail a check to: “Linda Curtis for Texas House District 17“, PO Box 651, Bastrop, TX 78602. Donations to political campaigns are NOT tax deductible. (Note: I will need your employer and occupation if you give $500 or more.)
If you send a check in the mail, due to slow mail, please call or email me to let me know it’s on the way. Email: email@example.com
Watch your email — more fun stuff coming after Christmas! Did I mention that you should have a merry one?
Independently yours, Linda
Linda Curtis for State Representative District 17
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Early voting starts in the middle of the holidays, Monday, December 29 and continues until December 31, and picks up again on January 2. Election Day is Tuesday, January 6.
Dec 23, 2014
Longtime Independent Voice Files for House District 17
“If you can’t join em, beat em!”
(Bastrop) Linda Curtis, a longtime community activist and staunch, independent political voice filed to run for the Texas House of Representatives, District 17 recently vacated by Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt. House District 17 includes Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes Counties.
Linda has cut her political teeth on the grassroots level and has stayed true to her roots for 30 years.
Linda helped found Independent Texans, a political action committee for independent and non-aligned voters. Independent Texans has endorsed candidates running on all party lines, but has been urging – for years – that candidates run as unaffiliated independents in order to reach out to voters of all persuasions. Lately, Linda has been leading the charge against central Texas water grabs and property rights and calls herself an independent populist.
So true to form, Linda is stepping up to the plate: “Let’s make this the last time Rick Perry makes a grab for our property — our land and our water. Rick Perry is sneaking an election during the Christmas holiday. Lets not make this The Grinch That Stole An Election. The citizens of Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes Counties will be stuck with the same old tired representation that we can’t possibly regift! Everyone talks about Texas and independence all the time. How’s this for a New Years Eve resolution we can keep: Put a true independent in the Texas House in 2015.”
Linda has begun to assemble an impressive array of supporters from across the partisan divide: Debra Medina, Pati Jacobs, Judith McGeary, Julia Trigg Crawford and Calvin Tillman.
Debra Medina, Republican mover and shaker, said this about her endorsement, “Linda Curtis has proven herself a rare gem – principled and tenacious, often the underdog, but always committed to protecting individuals from the overreach of government. I am proud to offer my support for her independent candidacy. It’s time both parties get a wake up call with someone who shoots straight against cronyism and sweetheart deals.”
Pati Jacobs, former Democratic candidate for HD 17 and owner of Bastrop Cattle Company, said: “I am supporting Linda Curtis because she is the only candidate in this race that really knows the issues that matter. She has spent many years fighting to defend our water and to protect it from those who would move it for their own profit and benefit – to the detriment of the rest of us. She fought successfully to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor scheme, and she is committed to stop the overreach of government abusing both eminent domain and property taxes. I hope you all join me in offering Linda Curtis your enthusiastic support!”
Judith McGeary, founder of the Farm Ranch Freedom Alliance (for organizational purposes only) says: “Linda speaks truth to power on behalf of people from all walks of life. For farmers, she’s been a powerful voice for property rights, fighting against the land grab by the Trans-Texas Corridor years ago and the water grab by big money interests now. Without water, local agriculture is dead. As a farmer and local food advocate, I endorse Linda wholeheartedly.”
Julia Trigg Crawford, NE Texas farmer leading the fight for eminent domain reform and against TransCanada/Keystone XL’s land grabs says: “There’s no one more qualified for this position than independent Linda Curtis. For years she’s led her community’s efforts to protect precious water resources, and campaign for eminent domain reform. It is time her voice and representation has a bigger stage.”
Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of DISH, Texas: “I left the Republican Party not long ago, to become an independent like Linda. I am endorsing her because she knows what is best for Texas is for us to get out of the parties, stop straight ticket voting and to create a new political culture for us all to stand up to the big lobbies. That would be the real estate and oil and gas lobbies that are running rough shod over Texans and our property rights.”
Martha Estes, grassroots leader to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor: “STEPPED ON one time too many…
Voting is the best revenge!!” Always willing to have fun with Perry’s political charades, check out Martha’s rendition of “These Boots are made for walking.”
Brian Rodgers, Austin civic activist, whistle-blower on the real estate industry: “Linda and I share this bond — a passion for economic populism – that our government shouldn’t favor certain powerful economic interests over prosperity for all of us. Linda understands how special interests, like the real estate industry, control the levers of local and state government and the allocation of public resources to further their own economic gain while the rest of us pay the costs in the form of higher taxes, fees, and utilities while endangering our self reliance as our water is pumped from beneath our feet. Few elected officials of either party bother to push back but Linda has been pushing back successfully for her entire life. Only an independent like Linda Curtis has the freedom to operate unshackled by the party doctrine. Please join me in supporting Linda as State Rep for 17.”
Texans for Accountable Government (TAG) members are concerned with government overreach and business as usual in Austin. Linda Curtis brings authenticity to the race for House District 17. With demonstrably leadership, we can count on her to empower property owners, ensured fair representation, and represent the interests of the people, rather than the powerful. We proudly endorse Linda Curtis for Texas House District 17. When it comes to the status quo, we say NO THANKS. We want independents!”
Ms. Curtis has a long history working in the independent movement; from her early efforts gaining ballot access for the first woman and African-American to get on the ballot for President in all 50 states (Lenora Fulani in 1988) to the Ross Perot founded Reform Party in the 1990s.
“If you’re a Texan, you’re independent. And if you’re independent, you should support our campaign for HD 17,” says Curtis.
Linda Curtis resides with her two dogs, Miss Penny and Mr. Boo, in the piney woods of Bastrop County. Her neighborhood, just outside the city of Bastrop on the doorstep of Bastrop State Park, was spared from the 2011 Bastrop fire simply because the wind was blowing the other way.
Pd ad pd for by Independent Texans, PAC
Many of you have been asking us, “What can I do to help.” Read this update, then please vote for these candidates, depending on where you live. Then get on the phone or on the computer and get your friends out! These are tight races where your vote will count extra!
Early voting ends this Friday, Feb. 28. Election Day is Tuesday, March 4th.
THE BIG NEWS FOR STATEWIDE RACES IS THIS…
DEBRA MEDINA stands to come in first in a crowded race for Texas Comptroller! Read the rest of this entry »
Cities form 391 Commission Out of Concern regarding Southern Segment of Keystone’s Tar Sand Pipeline
About one year ago, three small cities in East Texas, located south of Jacksonville, formed the East Texas SubRegional Planning Commission (ETSRPC). The ETSRPC is a 391 Commission, formed out of concern for numerous issues surrounding TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. The initial cities consisted of Gallatin and Reklaw. Later, the city of Alto also joined. All three cities are within Region 6 in the state of Texas with populations of less than 1200 citizens.
The 391 Commission is part of the Texas Government Code, established in 1987, that allows at least 2 or more cities, counties, or combination thereof, to form a sub-regional entity within a region to work together to make plans or discover answers for their communities on matters of concern.
The formation of a 391 elevates a city and/or counties position with state and federal agencies, as it gives the 391 the power of a regional government recognized by the state, requiring agencies to “coordinate” their activities around issues and answer questions regarding issues of concern.
Basically, when a 391 is formed, the groups involved have a bigger voice in what happens in regards to a project within their geographical jurisdiction. In the case of the Keystone XL pipeline, the 391 can ask questions and expect answers from agencies such as the Railroad Commission, TCEQ, Army Corps of Engineers, etc. over various issues that apply to a project or issue of concern. During the Trans-Texas Corridor controversy, several 391 Commissions were formed in opposition to the proposed road project, with the end result being the road not coming to fruition.
Gallatin, Reklaw and Alto formed the 391 Commission for the following reasons regarding the Keystone XL pipeline:
1) Water: The cities are concerned about their municipal wells being contaminated should a spill occur and what alternatives they would have to have potable water. Tar sands crude is laden with far more chemicals and pollutants than conventional crude, and these cities are also concerned about the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer that underlies their water supplies.
2) Emergency Response: A tar sand spill is a hazardous material spill. Since it is not conventional crude, there is concern regarding how these towns’ voluntary fire departments would deal with such a spill. On the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, where a tar sands spill occurred involving the Keystone Pipeline, residents were evacuated at least six miles from the spill site due to benzene and hydrogen sulfide levels that were at dangerously high exposure levels.
3) Liability and Safety: The tar sand spills in Kalamazoo, Michigan have cost more than $800 million. It was the largest and most expensive onshore spill in U.S. history according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The spill has taken more than two years to clean up. Since TransCanada doesn’t have to pay into the U.S. spill fund due to an IRS exemption, a real question that deserves a real answer is what would be the liability for these local municipalities, the county, or state should a spill occur? On TransCanada’s new Keystone 1 line, the company has already had more than twelve spills in less than one year.
The East Texas Subregional Planning Commission formed to preserve the “health, safety and welfare of their residents and plan for future development of their communities for almost any activity.” In July, the 391 Commission joined a suit against the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the water crossing permits needed by TransCanada. Currently, the suit is on appeal at the 10th circuit court in Denver.
“There’s no such thing as a voluntary agreement with a company or government that has the power to take your property,” – Bill Peacock, vice president for the Texas Public Policy Foundation
Dear Fellow Texans:
Thank you for being a good neighbor. When you added your name to a petition calling for Texas public hearings to discuss illegal land seizures along the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, you stood up for Texans’ property rights and against corporate entitlements.
One such regular Texan is Julia Trigg Crawford, who has almost single-handedly stopped (for the moment) TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in its tracks in NE Texas.
Texans defeated the Trans-Texas Corridor for the same reasons that TransCanada deserves defeat – eminent domain abuses in the extreme.
Apparently, those who are rushing to bring TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline through Texas haven’t yet learned their lesson: Don’t mess with Texas landowners.
Our movement is gathering momentum by the day, but your help is urgently needed.
How you can help:
1) We need your financial support (small, medium and large) for Julia Trigg Crawford’s “David and Goliath” fight against TransCanada. It will be the first test case of the Denbury decision by the Texas Supreme Court. (more later)
Stand with Julia, Stand with Texans: Donate to the Crawford Defense Fund at www.standwithjulia.com.
2) We need your help to pressure the state of Texas to hold hearings along the planned pipeline route throughout east Texas in order to further expose eminent domain abuses yet to be publicized.
A Texan’s Story: Julia Trigg Crawford and Her Keystone XL Nightmare
In Direct, Texas (a little town near Paris, in NE Texas), Julia Trigg Crawford manages a 600-acre farm that’s been in her family since 1948. The land is adjacent to the Red River and filled with Caddo Indian artifacts. Mega-corporation, TransCanada wants to seize parts of the Crawford’s land to build the Keystone XL — a 36” export pipeline that will pump corrosive tar sands at a pressure far higher than conventional oil — down to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico in South Texas.
When TransCanada came knocking to try and buy the Crawford family land, Julia Trigg did not want to sell. That didn’t matter much to TransCanada — they thought they had the right to take the Crawford’s land, whether the family wanted to give it to them or not. They had filed and been granted their T-4 permit from the Railroad Commission; they had checked a box on this form claiming to be a common carrier — nothing more was needed for them to use the power of eminent domain to seize land from uncooperative landowners.
The Fox is Minding the Hen House — The Railroad Commission Passes the Buck while Texans’ Private Property Rights Are Abused
The Houston Chronicle recently quoted, James Prescott, a spokesperson for TransCanada, “With the RR Commission’s issuance of the [T-4] permit, the ability to exercise eminent domain is included with it.”
But, Railroad Commission spokesperson, Ramona Nye, gave a different answer:
“The Railroad Commission has no authority over granting pipelines such as Keystone,”
And further stated that eminent domain “is a private property rights issue, established in statutes enacted by the Texas Legislature.”
She added that the T-4 permit “is not a permit to develop and construct a pipeline. It is a registration process and a permit to operate a pipeline with the commission . . . The Railroad Commission does not have the authority to determine who is and who is not a common carrier.”
Stand with Julia, Stand with Texans: Donate to the Crawford Defense Fund at www.standwithjulia.com to make TransCanada Prove Their Common Carrier Status!
Without the Crawford family ever seeing the inside of a courtroom, TransCanada condemned their land. To prove their right to seize the Crawford family’s property, they claim that the Railroad Commission gave them the power of eminent domain — even though the Railroad Commission claims they have no authority over granting the power of eminent domain!
The Supreme Court of Texas recently reaffirmed their opinion in the Denbury Green decision: checking a box does not conclusively establish eminent domain power. TransCanada took the Crawford family’s land before they ever had to show proof of fulfilling the legal requirements of a public pipeline — And, that’s not right!
The Crawford family is fighting the oil giant TransCanada for their land and for the rights of all property owners in Texas. But, they can’t do it without you — TransCanada has a legion of lawyer hounds that are desperate to stop them and us.
Please join with Texans who played a key role in defeating the Trans-Texas Corridor. We are sick and tired of state officials pretending to care about “private property rights” while they give multinational corporate interests the green light to take our land.
Stand with us against corporate bullies that use unconstitutional legal loopholes to steal land from Texas property owners. With a court date on April 30th, the Crawford’s urgently need your financial support to help with legal costs. Go to www.standwithjulia.com and donate today — 100% of the funds go to support their legal defense.
Ordinary Texans from across the spectrum defended their land from the Trans-Texas Corridor project and won — with your help we can win this fight, too.
You can also help by asking more Texans to sign the letter/petition calling for public hearings in Texas on eminent domain abuse here: http://www.indytexans.org/2012/02/18/sign-the-petition-letter-for-texas-hearings-on-transcanada-pipeline/
Stand with us,
Terri Hall, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom
Debra Medina, We Texans
Linda Curtis, Independent Texans
Jessica Ellison, Texans for Accountable Government
Thanks to the many of you who moved so quickly to support Julia Trigg Crawford and family. Their efforts to maintain a temporary restraining order on TransCanada’s trenching of their property in NE Texas for the Keystone XL pipeline, without any federal nor state approval, is still in place, but the hearing continues this Friday in Paris.
The hearing on the temporary restraining order continues this coming Friday, Feb. 24, Paris, Texas, 1:30 pm. There will be no protest, but we hope some of you can help fill the courtroom of Lamar County Courthouse, 119 North Main- Paris, Texas. We will listen and pray the court does the right thing.
Click on this link to sign the petition calling for state of Texas public hearings on eminent domain abuses related to TransCanada and then Facebook it to your Texas friends and family — or just forward this entire email to them with a note asking them to sign too.
Note: A legal defense fund is getting established for the Crawford family. Watch for those details as their full case comes to trial in April
Believe it or not, even after the Judge asked that this case not be politicized, TransCanada attorneys started reading a letter into the record signed by Gov. Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison urging the court to lift the temporary restraining order. The Judge stopped them stating that he wanted to hear the legal arguments.
There was an avalanche of coverage and though we assume you’ve seen much of it, check out the links below, including an article in today’s Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
Independent Texans has concerns about the rights of property owners related to the claims by TransCanada that they are a “common carrier.” Common carrier status gives them to right to use eminent domain to seize private property against a landowner’s will. Last August, the Texas Supreme Court rendered their becoming infamous “Denbury” decision. Industry firms are marshaling their resources to get the Texas Supreme Court revisit their opinion, despite the fact that it was unanimous. Here is what a pro-industry law firm, Jones Walker, says about the Denbury decision:
It is clear that pipeline companies must do more than simply check the common-carrier box on their Form T-4. Because the burden shifts to the pipeline companies to prove their common-carrier status once it is challenged, they should ensure that there exists clear documentation establishing an expectation that customers unrelated to the pipeline company will utilize the planned pipeline. In other words, pipeline companies should make intentional efforts to document that the pipeline will, in fact, be used by third party customers transporting third party gas. (read more here)
If the court rehears this case it will be unusual. If they overturn it, Katy bar the door for another grassroots populist movement the likes of which haven’t been seen since Texans rose up to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Here’s the hearing Transcript – Enjoy! Crawford v. TransCanada Hearing Transcript 2-17-12
Here’s just some that press coverage we mentioned: