HB 3250 to protect aquifers hearing! Clarification on Giddings Meeting/Hearing!

If you agree that we should “Conserve First, Import Later”, protect Texas aquifers and call the water profiteers off Texas landowners, we urge your support for House Bill 3250.  It’s up for hearing this Tuesday, the day before crucial hearings begin in Giddings.

House Bill 3250, proposed by the Texas Landowners Council (TLC), and introduced by Rep. Bill Callageri (Katy), gives landowners the ability to require Groundwater Conservation Districts to reduce production of groundwater where the rate of production is drawing down their wells.  Read TLC’s bill analysis here.

What you can do to help:
1.  Email the Natural Resources Committee if you live in their districts.

2.  House Bill 4, already passed the House (now there’s a fight brewing about it), sets up a water bank for good and TERRIBLE water projects that can raid aquifers.  Call or write your legislator, no matter where you live and tell them Conserve First, Import Later and that you’re counting on them to protect our aquifers and landowners.  Plan to call again on “Flood the Legislature Call-In Day” next Friday, April 19th.

3.  Attend the Tuesday hearing on HB 3250. (Note:  It starts at 8 a.m. but it’s likely it will come up late.  Call 512-657-2089 for regular updates throughout the day.)

4.  Come to the Giddings Hearings – TIMES CHANGED SLIGHTLY – Wed. 6 pm, Thurs. 6 pmflier here.  We’re bringing out media and shooting for statewide coverage so bring something visual (pitchforks, scarecrows…??)

We need to quickly raise $1,000-1,500 to reach voters in the districts of the Natural Resources Committee.  Please give online at our website, or, if you’re sending a check reply to this message with the amount, so we can plan.

If you have a landline and high-speed internet from home, you can also volunteer your time.

Thank you Texas, you know what to do.




URGENT: Fight TransCanada’s Unfair Keystone XL Land Seizures: Stand With Julia!

“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

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 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 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:

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

PS. Don’t forget to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Like the Stand With Julia facebook page here:


It’s protest time as TransCanada sicks legal hounds on Texas property rights

A coalition of groups including Independent TexansWe Texans (founded by Debra Medina), Texas TURF (founded by Terri Hall), and Texans for Accountable Government, are standing up for Texas property rights and to put a stop to the continued abuses by foreign corporations and the refusal of our legislature to truly reform eminent domain laws.

You may have seen the news coverage yesterday about the bullying tactics used by TransCanada to grab private property in NE Texas for the Keystone XL pipeline.  This is happening despite the fact that not only do they not have a federal permit, they have no state permit.  What they have is complicity with violating the property rights of Texans, from the Governor to the Railroad Commission.  (See press herehere and here.)
Last Tuesday, Julia Trigg Crawford and family of Paris, Texas, won a temporary restraining order to stop TransCanada from moving forward with trenching on her property for the Keystone pipeline.  She reported that her property had been condemned and seized by TransCanada and she had never even seen a judge.  So, it appeared she would get her day in court.  However, yesterday TransCanada filed a motion to dissolve the TRO.  There is a hearing on Friday in Paris, Texas on this issue.
Yes, Texas, we have an eminent domain problem.  Until the legislature REALLY fixes it, it’s time to stand up and be counted.  Therefore, we are supporting a protest outside the courthouse in Paris, Texas and in Austin, outside the Railroad Commission.
Please come!  Please pass this message on by forwarding this message or here on blog (use the share buttons.)
You can also help with phone calls or make a donation to our efforts.  Donate here.
Friday, Feb. 17, Paris, Texas, 9 am, In front of Lamar County Courthouse, 119 North Main- Paris, Texas.  Dallas Car Pool:  Meet in the parking lot at Walmart on Midway/LBJ at 6:45 am.  Park your car near the Lazy Boy store, not near the Walmart. Look for Rita’s silver Toyota 4-Runner.  Estimated time to be back in Dallas around 1:30 pm.
Friday, Feb. 17, Austin, 10 am, outside the Railroad Commission, 1701 Congress.  Bring quarters for parking meters.
Wear your Texas regalia, bring the Texas, US and “Don’t tread on me” flags.  It is time for us to stop this nonsense.
Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
PO Box 651
Bastrop, TX 78602
512-535-0989 office
512-657-2089 cell
PS  You can also make sure your friends have signed the petition/letter calling for legislative hearings in Texas on TransCanada.  Go here.

Time for an Independent Break in Texas House

For Immediate Release

Independent Texans, a citizens PAC seeking recognition for approximately 5 million independent non-aligned Texas voters, announced its search for candidates to challenge Texas House incumbents. The group believes that the Governor’s poor performance in the presidential race, together with both parties’ refusal to address redistricting reform, have rendered the Texas Republican Party vulnerable to another exodus of independent voters, particularly in the Texas House of Representatives.

Linda Curtis, a co-founder of Independent Texans in 2001 following her stint as State Organizer for Ross Perot’s Reform Party said,

Rick Perry’s poor performance in the presidential race has been good for Texas independents in a funny sort of way. The Governor’s ‘crony capitalism’ record has been highly scrutinized, clarifying the dire need for electoral competition in Texas elections.  For years, Texas independents have challenged the early filing deadline – the earliest in the nation for independents – as it served to curb electoral competition. Now, thanks to the redistricting mess and the Governor, the new filing deadline for candidates on February 1 is very likely to be moved again.  We welcome community leaders who are agents of change to step up and run, run, run. Call us now!

Michele Gangnes, a Lee County volunteer and political independent, said,

One key district we’re looking at is the ‘new’ House District 17 which will continue to include Lee and Bastrop counties. Our Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt has failed to stand up to an attempted raid on our water, to feed the real estate lobby that feeds Rick Perry.  Ordinary citizens who are actively challenging the raid feel they are at the mercy of the water marketers, with no one to speak for them at the state level. When asked during the last election cycle to advocate against massive groundwater transfers to fuel development south of Austin, Rep. Kleinschmidt assured us that the Legislature wasn’t going to deal with water issues. Instead, we saw over 30 bills introduced and the passage of two constitutional amendments, all related to water.  One amendment widens state government’s already open door to funding a pipeline big enough to move 71 million gallons per day of our water to the I-35 growth corridor.  It’s time Texans wake up to the false assurance that growth and development are always for the greater good – and always worth the price.

Phil Cook, a Bastrop small business owner and environmental leader said,

There are other key areas of the state we need to watch for an independent outbreak.  One would be in northeast Texas where the Perry administration appears to be rolling over for a pipeline carrying tar sands – not your run of the mill oil, but highly toxic crude that must be piped at high pressure. The Trans-Canada/Keystone XL pipeline threatens the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer which serves almost 12 million Texans.  This project could help unite opposition groups and spur another independent outbreak, just like the Trans-Texas Corridor did in 2006.

Independent Texans is calling on citizens to step up to the plate across the state.  They can encourage candidates who are willing to resist the policies of the Perry administration. They can also contact the organization through its website at and sign a petition letter in the “news” section of the site urging public hearings on the Keystone XL Pipeline, or by calling 512-535-0989.


Grassroots declare victory, issues warning!

Thank you to Terri Hall and Texas TURF, for issuing this joint press release with Independent Texans and We Texans about Tuesday’s election results on statewide propositions:

Release:  Grassroots declare victory, issues warning!

The Texas Water War is now officially on.  The filing deadline for candidates in all parties, or as independent/non-unaffiliated, is December 15th.  The courts are now drawing the lines, as the legislature made fatal errors.

The upcoming election is a great opportunity. Independent Texans is looking for candidates!

We will call a meeting real soon. Meanwhile, get this poster out across Texas land! Post it around town and email it, and Facebook it!

Wanted - Citizens to fight the Water Robber Barons!


Ten proposed constitutional amendments appeared on the ballot in the November 8 election. Here is a summary of each. Results appear beside each proposition. For more details, head to or

Proposition 1 — PASSED

Allows a full property tax homestead exemption for the surviving spouse of a totally disabled veteran if the spouse has not remarried and the property was the family’s homestead when the veteran died.

Proposition 2 — PASSED

Authorizes the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional general obligation bonds up to $6 billion.

Proposition 3 — PASSED

Authorizes the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to issue general obligation bonds on a continuing basis to finance student loans.

Proposition 4 — FAILED

Allows the Legislature to permit a county to issue bonds or notes to develop an “unproductive, underdeveloped or blighted” area.

Proposition 5 — PASSED

Permits cities and counties to enter into contracts with other cities and counties without having to assess property taxes to pay the contract costs.

Proposition 6 — PASSED

Increases the amount of principal available for withdrawal from the permanent school fund each year and clarifies some references to the fund in the state constitution.

Proposition 7 — FAILED

Adds El Paso County to the counties allowed to create conservation and reclamation districts to develop tax-financed parks and recreation areas.

Proposition 8 — FAILED

Provides for a lower property tax appraisal for land where the owner is engaging in good water stewardship, similar to the existing agriculture and wildlife exemptions.

Proposition 9 — PASSED

Allows the governor, upon recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, to grant a pardon, reprieve or commutation of a sentence for someone who has completed deferred adjudication community supervision.

Proposition 10 — PASSED

Extends the length of the unexpired term that causes the automatic resignation of a local elected office holder if the official becomes a candidate for another office. The length of the remaining term is extended to one year and 30 days, instead of the previous one year.

For reports on each County click here.


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:


Why don't you share this with your friends, please:

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose