Posts Tagged ‘Linda Curtis’

Breaking…Are UT Dell Med School & Watson Misspending?

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 details on matters contained in this release, see these 4 charts and the Fred Lewis report.

For More Information:

Linda Curtis, 512-657-2089
Fred Lewis, 512-636-1389

 

 

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Release: Charter Amendment Petition Filed in Bastrop

For Immediate Release                                                                        August 1, 2016  Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.23.12 AM

Charter Amendment Petition Filed for
Reasonable Petition Requirements in City of Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas: At approximately 10:30 am, Independent Texans PAC filed signatures for a charter amendment to the Bastrop City Charter for “Reasonable Petition Requirements in the City of Bastrop” with Bastrop City Secretary, Ann Franklin. If petitioners meet the required 214 signatures, the measure will be certified by the City Secretary and the Bastrop Council must place the measure on the November ballot for a vote of the people. Bastrop city voters will then have the opportunity to vote on easing petition requirements for citizens’ initiatives, referenda and recalls. The group also announced the end of the petition to recall Bastrop Mayor Ken Kesselus, citing the city’s 25% petition hurdle as “draconian,” when most Texas cities require 10%.

“We offered to hold this charter amendment for the May election to give a charter revision committee appointed by the Council the time to review the city charter,” explained Linda Curtis, director of Independent Texans PAC. “However, this changed for us with City Attorney Jo-Christy Brown’s resignation this week, followed three hours later by that of the Interim City Manager, Chief Steve Adcock, a respected law enforcement official. Kesselus and his clan of self-interested influence peddlers like water marketer Joe Beal and recently retired Bluebonnet Electric Coop General Manager, Mark Rose, have pushed this city into a real crisis of confidence, and it is time to take action.”

Bastrop City Secretary, Ann Franklin, looking over the petitions for "Reasonable Petition Requirements"

Bastrop City Secretary, Ann Franklin, looking over the petitions for “Reasonable Petition Requirements”

In a memorandum to the Mayor, City Council and City Secretary that accompanied today’s filing, Independent Texans explained that this filing of 298 valid signatures is “a portion of the total signatures gathered and should readily meet the 214 signatures required for ballot certification.” The group did not reveal how many total signatures they have gathered for either petition.

The memorandum also spelled out in detail what the group believes the Council is legally bound to do and why they are prohibited by state and federal law from “playing petition games in order to deny Bastrop voters the right to vote for or against this amendment.” The memorandum stated that once the City Secretary certifies the signatures, the Council is bound to place the measure on the next available ballot – the November 8th election. The Council can do so at any upcoming meeting.

“After watching the recent actions of this mayor and council, I fully support this initiative to allow citizens a means to more easily recall self-serving or inept city officials, and to overrule their actions when they don’t match our citizens’ needs,” commented former Bastrop City Council Member Kelly Gilleland. “If these more realistic petition percentages were already in place, there would also have been enough signatures to initiate a recall on Kesselus. As it stands now, our elected officials know that the current charter makes it virtually impossible for recall, no matter how badly they behave. We don’t have to accept being treated like lowly serfs in a royal kingdom.”

At a recent City Council Meeting Councilman Willie DeLaRosa complained that a November city election could cost the city as much as $13,000. Today Curtis fired back, “What the city will spend on this election is less than the $17,500-plus the City has shelled out in legal fees dealing with Kesselus’ repeated attempts to circumvent the Ethics Ordinance, City Charter, and Texas Open Meetings Act. This Mayor and Council better not waste one penny fighting the rights of citizens to vote to secure their petition rights.”

The group also released a slide show entitled, “The Right to Petition: Bastrop Voters’ Source of Power to Take Back Their Town.” It explains some of the history of petition rights, starting with founding fathers Jefferson and Madison, the 1913 Texas constitutional amendment guaranteeing citizens living in home rule cities the right to petition and the details of their proposed amendment.

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For more information:
Linda Curtis
IndyTexans.org
512-535-0989 office
512-657-2089 cell

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Independent Texans’ Meeting, Elgin

This event is from 6:30 to 8 pm and is being held at the Fleming Community Center, 802 Avenue C, Elgin, Texas. Come on out and bring a friend!

Independent Texans has called a meeting in Elgin to discuss election irregularities in the HD-17 first round of voting on January 6th and what can be done to ensure all Bastrop residents have an opportunity to vote in the critically runoff election for our new state representative. We will also provide an update on the “water front” — and what citizens can do to in the upcoming legislative session to protect our rights to local control.

Meet Brent Golemon, the candidate we endorse in the Texas House District 17 runoff for Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee counties. The Governor has not yet called for the runoff date, but it could be as soon as February 3rd.

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Independent Texans in Paige, Texas

Independent Texans has called a meeting in Paige to discuss election irregularities in the HD-17 first round of voting on January 6th and what can be done to ensure all Paige residents have an opportunity to vote in the runoff election. We will also provide an update on the “water front” — and what citizens can do to in the upcoming legislative session to protect our rights to local control.

Meet Brent Golemon, the candidate we endorse in the Texas House District 17 runoff for Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee counties. The Governor has not yet called for the runoff date, but it could be as soon as February 3rd.

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Independent Texans’ Meeting – Lexington

This meeting is to discuss the House District 17 runoff and to share with area residents updates on the battle to protect local control of our groundwater districts in this legislative session. Please come and bring your neighbors!

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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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