With due respect to both sides of the truly out-of-control scene last night on the floor of the Texas Senate, we wonder why no one on either side bothered to ask this question: Can we agree on the abortion issue? We all know that we cannot. Moreover, we independents know the reason we cannot is because it’s none of the government’s business!
So why did the Governor and Lt. Governor agree that abortion should be the subject of a Special Session? To state the obvious, it’s about the 2014 mid-term election where all statewide offices, all Texas House members, many Texas Senate seats and County Commission seats, and more, will be up for grabs.*
The Texas abortion brouhaha took place on the very same day of the US Supreme Court decision to dismantle the “preclearance” provisions of the Voting Rights Act. (That means that voting system changes no longer have to be pre-approved, prior to their implementation, by the US Justice Department in areas of the country with a history of discriminatory voting practices.) The Court’s ruling, together with the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s abortion antics, underscore the need to get the parties out of the business of determining our voting systems. This is especially true of redistricting – hello!
The only solution is to have a citizens takeover of the electoral system, starting with the redistricting process, like the one Austin voters won at the ballot last November. (More here at TrustAustin.org).
Yes, obviously, each side is revving up their partisans to do battle with the other party. It’s not a conspiracy (other than the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s perhaps), it’s just what parties do. Note: Terri Hall of Texas TURF, wisely pointed out that in the midst of all the bedlam over abortion, what didn’t get to the table in the Special Session that ended at midnight last night was an actual solution to our road funding problem! After ten years of fighting about it, this is a big deal, folks. Read this piece by Terri Hall here.
The press reported there was more collegiality and consensus building that took place in the regular session.. We do not doubt that. But we would ask for what purpose? They did not resolve the state’s water and land crisis. Throwing $2B at the water problem, for projects set to squander water (through reservoirs and moving groundwater to the growth corridors) is will crush already fragile independent agriculture and landowners. Luckily, we get a chance to vote on it in November.
The TransCanadian pipeline, carrying toxic tar sands that will traverse critical water supply and towns not yet prepared for potential spills, is set to be up and running in early 2014. Fracking is using potable water in areas of the state where there is no water. Texas towns are running out of water. Growth (500 people are moving to Texas per day) and the dominance of the real estate industry are killing affordability in our big cities and pitting urban against rural for our resources.
Now we have another session with abortion at the top of the Call, and the parties are getting set for another deadly battle where there’s no winning for ordinary citizens — pro-choice, pro-life or whatever your beliefs. Now ain’t that special? The Republican majority will ram a likely unconstitutional new abortion law on Texas. They will beat their chests and tie up the courts (there’s your “tort reform”) and use it to refocus as many voters as they can swindle away from the impending crisis of land, water and growing poverty.
The bottom line: Job creation in Texas cannot keep up with the crisis underway because the costs of our unnatural growth will never catch up. (If you want to understand this in just one Texas city, go to CostofGrowth.com, a site created by a whistle-blower real estate develper, Brian Rodgers.)
We must come together — as a people — to bring this agenda into the upcoming election. We can start by defeating the constitutional water amendment that will be on this November’s statewide ballot.
You can help by volunteering some time and sending us those nickels and dimes to help us put on a conference about all of the above in Bastrop in the fall. Thank you so much to those who contributed last week.
We’d really like to know what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments section below, please and thank you!