Pati Leads But Loses, the People Win…The Local Story

            The great news about Pati Jacobs is that though she lost this election for State Representative House District 17, her candidacy played a critical role in putting a really bad water deal for Bastrop and Lee counties on the back-burner and thoroughly embarrassing her opponent, Reppublican Tim Kleinschmidt.  Whether the “Trans-Texas Water Highway”[1] in Bastrop and Lee counties can be officially killed is now up to the people of this district who Pati has awakened and brought together, and we trust Pati will continue to lead.  Pati is an independent voice in the Democratic Party who reached out across and beyond the aisle.

            In a brief interview following the election, Pati put it like this, “The difference between surface water (streams, rivers and lakes) and groundwater (aquifers) in Texas is a convenient fiction. We understand the urban areas need water.  Rural interests need just as much protection to ensure the viability of sustainable agriculture.” 

            In the midst of a Republican “tsunami”, Pati lost this election by just 12% points in Bastrop County, holding her own against a $300,000 cash infusion from Texas House Speaker Straus to her opponent.  The Kleinschmidt campaign was truly panicked.  That explained their no less than 8 (probably 9) very costly mailings in the last 2 weeks making conflicting claims bordering on the ridiculous.  For example, one mailing claimed that Pati was both an “radical funded by Austin environmentalists” while “smuggling toxic waste across the Mexican border.’”[2]

            We also wish to thank the very smart CEO of Aqua Water Coop, Bill Loven, and the entire board who helped open the door for a community effort to protect our aquifer – a fight that will continue no doubt since the Texas Water Development Board has not yet changed the priority status of the project.  Aqua had the vision to hold a public forum six weeks prior to the election where Kleinschmidt showed his disdain for doing anything to stop the raid on our Wilcox-Carrizo aquifer.  The deal will have an even more difficult time resurfacing since Aqua just found 25,000 square acre feet of water available within 20 miles of the GBRA (Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority), the group vying for the rewards of this raid on groundwater!

            Independent Texans is making plans to continue pushing for groundwater protection from private water vendors.  We have produced a Texas Water Statement of Principles to begin circulating statewide.  We hope ordinary Texans in urban, suburban and rural areas will help circulate it. (See Attachment)

            Last but not least is a congratulations to the Bastrop County Taxpayer’s Association for their important win to defeat the ACC annexation in Bastrop, saving taxpayers needed dollars.  Independent Texans reached approximately 5,000 voters with the “Vote No” message, so we were glad to do our part.  We look forward to hearing about a much less costly plan for higher education in our community and we hope all sides can come together to do that.

  • Donate to Pati Jacobs to pay off a small ($6,000) campaign debt.  If you want to see more ordinary citizens run for office, make it financially feasible for them to do so.  Send a check to Pati Jacobs Campaign, PO Box 115, Bastrop, TX 78602.
  • Print out the Texas Water Statement of Principals and take if to your neighbors.
  • Are you a member of the Farm Bureau and plan to attend their conference in Waco on December 4th & 5th
  • Austin area folks can invite Brian Rodgers to come talk about the Cost of Growth.  Contact ChangeAustin.org.
  • Central Texans Mark your calendars –
  • Bastrop area indies meet on Saturday, January 15th, 2 to 4 pm at the Bastrop Library.
  • The film documentary, Gerrymander, is playing at the Alamo Ritz on January 24th.  We expect you populists to show up!

[1] We would be remiss not to mention here the TV ad campaign by Back to Basics PAC that sought to hang a dead cat (the Trans-Texas Corridor) around the Governor’s neck. Though we could relate, the TTC issue was over.  Texas Democrats failed to take a position on the real issues left in the Corridor’s wake, such as the growing crisis in groundwater protection.  In HD 17, independents helped Jacobs fully engage the issue and it set off a competitive race.

[2] This was also posted online at an attack site owned by the Kleinschmidt campaign, but apparently the site was quickly removed from the web.

 

Texas Water Statement of Facts, Fiction, Principles & Action

Facts:

  • Land is worthless without water.
  • Local agriculture is necessary for a healthy economy and a healthy people.
  • Texas towns and cities do not practice serious water conservation, wasting as much as 30% due to leaky pipes alone, and 70% in the summer for watering lawns.
  • Private water marketers have one goal:  to profit from rural water.

Fiction:

  • Groundwater (aquifer water) is so different from surface water (rivers, lakes and streams), it is too unpredictable to be protected.
  • Local groundwater districts have local control when in truth the Texas Water Development Board is trying to circumvent their local decisions to protect area groundwater.

Principles:

  • Nobody should have the right to take the water out from underneath our land and squander our most precious resource.
  • All Texas officials – urban, suburban and rural – have the same job when it comes to Texas Water – to protect it as a God-given resource for generations to come.

Action: 

Therefore, we, the undersigned people of Texas, demand that the following steps be taken in keeping with the above facts, fiction and principles.

1. The Texas Legislature enact a two-year moratorium on the transfer of groundwater until the Texas Supreme Court rules on Edwards Aquifer v. Day and/or legislation is passed to adequately protect Texas groundwater.

2. The Sunset Commission, under the Chairmanship of State Senator Glenn Hegar, proposes legislation calling for the election of the Texas Water Development Board by region, so as to guarantee fair and equal representation to rural Texas.

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Return your signature (with address, phone and email) in support of the Texas Water Statement to Independent Texans, 906 Main Street, Bastrop, Texas 78602,  or you can also sign it online at www.IndyTexans.org under the red link “Stop the Trans-Texas Water Highway.

Independent Texans, 906 Main Street, Bastrop, TX 78602, 512-535-0989

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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