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When you know they’ve gone too far.

FlierIndyTexans-1You know they’ve gone too far when they want to steal your water and your petition rights. Call your Texas House Member today — right now — and ask them to vote NO on House Bill 3298 (Gridzilla) and HB 2595 taking away 110-years of citizens’ petition rights in Texas.

Find your Texas House Representative here. Ask him or her to vote NO on House Bills 3298 and 2595. (Or, you can call the Capitol Switchboard and ask for your House Rep — 512-463-4630.)

Legislators will be hand delivered this flier today.

Please use the share buttons on this page to share with your fellow Texans.

 

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Independent Texans First Convention Ever – Sept. 21st!

Since this post, we have added a whole new area of our website for the Convention click here.

Independent Texans Convention Agenda
Theme: Building Cross-Partisan Coalitions
Location:  Bastrop Convention Center, Bastrop, Texas
Date:  Saturday, September 21, 2013
Time:  9 am Registration, Adjourns 9 pm

Convention Suggested Donation:  $10 before September 1, $15 at the door.  You can give online under the donate button on our home page, or send a check to Independent Texans, PO Box 651, Bastrop, Texas 78602.

Purpose of this event:  To further coalesce a cross-partisan effort for eminent domain reform, water conservation/protection and redistricting reform; to inform citizens about the $2B Constitutional Water Amendment on the November 2013 ballot; to encourage candidates for 2014 elections (regardless of party) to run on these issues; and to provide some foundational skills for potential candidates and campaign organizers.

Please note that we have invited both Attorney General Greg Abbott, running for the Republican nomination for Governor, and Wendy Davis, who appears to be likely running to for the Democratic nomination for Governor, to come speak to us on these issues.

Caterer:  Comfort Café, Continental Breakfast starts at 9 am when the hall opens, lunch will be available from 11 to 2 pm., please bring $10-12 for food.

Exhibitors:  Political organizations $100, non-profits $50 information tables.  Limited numbers, so these will go fast!  Email or call Lea at silvernaillea@yahoo.com, 512-718-5288.

9:00        Registration

10:00      Welcome:  Building Cross-Partisan Coalitions   

Linda Curtis, Independent Texans

10:15       How can we tame eminent domain?  

Background:  All three speakers have been deeply involved in efforts to reform eminent domain laws through legislative and court action.  This includes closing  the “T4 loophole”, which currently allows pipeline companies to simply check a box on a Railroad Commission form and receive eminent domain power to seize your land.

Julia Trigg Crawford, NE Texas farmer fighting TransCanada
Debra Medina, We Texans    
Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) tentative

11:30      Proposition 6:  Statewide Water Amendment, Good or Bad for Texas?

Texas Legislators who both support and oppose the amendment have been invited to come state their cases.  You will be asked to cast a straw poll vote after you hear the arguments.

12:30      Lunch Break

1:00       How do we – citizens – win the Texas Water War?

Background:  All three speakers have been intimately involved in a variety of efforts, both in the courts and in the legislature, seeking protection of our water resources.  Michele and Malcolm will hone in on the Bastrop/Lee County groundwater war as the potential source of the next landmark cases on groundwater protection.  Alyssa travels the state speaking about drought and a variety of challenges to water protection, including fracking. Her broad exposure also includes the regional clashes over the Marvin Nichols Reservoir in NE Texas.

Alyssa Burgin, Texas Drought Project, Drought & the Fracking/Water Debate
Michele Gangnes, Esq., The Lost Pines Water War
Malcolm Harris, Esq., Wimberley Valley Watershed Association

2:15       Disarming Politicians…of their redistricting pens.

Those who led the campaign for passage of the first independent citizens redistricting commission passed in the state of Texas!  (City of Austin, November 2012)

3:00      Breakout Sessions

These sessions will be one hour and will be run twice between 3 and 5 pm.

•    How to organize a public hearing on eminent domain, public safety and water protection in your community.  Linda Curtis, Independent Texans
•    Groundwater & Surface Water 101.  Steve Box, Environmental Stewardship, Phil Cook, Sierra Club
•    Making Growth Pay for Itself.  CostofGrowth.com
•    The Fracking and Water Debate.  TBA
•    One Day Petition Drives to Change Your City Charters:  Barry Klein, Houston Property Rights Association
•    Eminent Domain Reform – really.  Calvin Tilman, former mayor of DISH, Texas
•    Gerrymandering, the documentary.
•    So they contaminated your water.  Case Study of Galveston.  Texans Together

5:00 – 6:30  Celebration/Dinner/Mingling

6:30 — 8:30  Campaign Mega-Workshop

Are you considering running for office or trying to persuade others to do so?  Do you want to build a cross-partisan effort in your community?  Want to get a bill passed in the next legislative session?  This is a joint session.  It’s all done at the same time – by people with experience, soon to be announced.

•    How to get the press to pay attention.
•    Running an issue or candidate campaign – the basics.
•    Fundraising and the campaign finance laws.
•    Know thy enemy: Opposition Research.
•    Citizen Lobbying the Legislature.
•    Internet tools, even for baby boomers.

Please note that the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Conference is starts the day after this event in the same facility!  We hope you will consider staying over and attending this great conference, especially you farmers and ranchers. Click here for more information.

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BISD Election til 5 pm today!

You can still vote in the BISD election today up to 5 pm.  Just go to the BISD Administration Building at 906 Farm Street.

Please consider voting for Steve Miller and Debra Thorne-Frances who support the most fundamental reform for BISD — geographic representation aka single-member districts.  This way, you would have a school board member who lives near you in your neighborhood — allowing candidates to go door to door.

Elections should not be decided by who has the most money to spend on big signs.  More competitive elections, which geographic representation can foster (if we citizens use them) can help make campaigns more relevant contests versus shoe-in elections where everyone already knows the outcome.  When everyone already knows the outcome, they choose not to vote.  It’s a simple as that!

Thanks for your consideration.

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State Senator Kevin Eltife: Time to Properly Fund Transportation

Note:  This is taken from the Daily Buzz of Quorum Report, a newsletter that covers the goings on at the Capitol and is by subscription.  Therefore, we are unable to provide the entire article.  But, boy howdy halleluja y’all, a legislator has been honest with us about needing more taxes (not tolls) for roads and we should pay as we go, like we used to!

Senator argues more debt for roads is wrong direction; even if it means taxes, the conservative path is to pay as you go

The State of Texas is at a crossroads, and the decisions we make this Legislative Session will affect Texans for years to come. We have spent the last ten years funding a large portion of our transportation needs with debt, now totaling $13 billion. The amount of state debt issued in all categories has more than doubled in the last ten years. You will hear many boast that we have not raised taxes during this same time, but I would argue that this debt, coupled with interest, is a tax on future generations. If we do nothing this Legislative Session to address this debt, it will be the year 2045 before we pay off the $27 billion in debt plus interest owed for transportation projects.

Coming up with the money to pay for debt and interest has caused us to fall behind on the funding necessary to maintain our roads and to pay for new projects. The Texas Department of Transportation states that we need a minimum of $4 billion more per year to keep up with our transportation needs. There are several options on the table, including dedicating motor vehicle sales taxes to transportation, increasing the gas tax, increasing vehicle registration fees, and my proposal, SJR 47, which would let voters decide whether to temporarily increase the sales tax and dedicate the revenue to retire our transportation debt. But some in state government are calling for more debt and believe borrowing some $41 billion more over the next twenty years is a solution. Some want to sell bonds with a 100 year maturity. With interest rates at record lows it is very easy for elected officials to fund government with debt and avoid raising new revenue.

The rest of Senator Kevin Eltife’s column can be found in today’s R&D Department.

Copyright April 24, 2013, Harvey Kronberg, www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved

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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:

[signature]

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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