Stop Formula 1 Subsidies!

In the midst of budget cuts on ordinary citizens, the state legislature has not yet seen fit to cut the billionaires at Formula 1 racing, who do not need a subsidy.  (Comptroller Susan Combs continues to push this $290M ($25M per year for 10 years) tax dollar giveaway.  It must be matched by either the City of Austin or the County of Travis by $4M per year.  

You can watch this video of Susan Moffat's testimony to the Austin City Council on Thursday (who's husband co-owns South by Southwest Music and Film Festivals, that's brought hundreds of million of dollars to Austin without a handout) or read the article by Pulitzer Prizing winning journalist, David Cay Johntson, to see what a turkey this deal is.
1.  Call your Texas House or Senate member and tell them to cut the billionaires at F1.
2.  Get active!  Join us on our conference call TOMORROW (Monday) night at 8 pm. Just hit reply and we'll send details.
Thank you to the many who have called to ask the Governor to veto SB 341.  The Governor's line, again, is 512-463-2000.  They're just tallying numbers now, so it's a very quick call.
Hope to "see" ya tomorrow night at 8 on the conference call line.  Send a note to us at: if you want to join the call.  Give us your name, zip and phone.
Agenda for the call:
1.  Upcoming Texas elections.  Where can we elect an independent?
2.  What should we be doing this summer to help grow the independent movement?
3.  Your suggestions/ideas/brainstorm!

Stop the Central Texas Water Grab: SB 341

Please call the Governor to urge that he veto of Senate Bill 341, in order to protect local control of water rights.  

Senate Bill 341 will help San Antonio Water Systems (aka “SAWS”) in their quest for everyone else's water in central Texas — from BexarMet customers in northwest Bexar and Medina counties, to Victoria and Corpus Christi's, to Bastrop & Lee counties'.  How?  By setting a very bad precedent that boils down (pardon the pun) to regulation without representation.  Right now, BexarMet customers vote on their leadership.  BexarMet has had internal problems, to be sure, but SAWS is trying to exploit that now in order to build a virtual water monopoly in central Texas in the future. 

Here's the real kicker.  If SB 341 passes, BexarMet customers will be asked to vote to end their own voting rights!  SB 271 is also sitting on the Governor's desk.  It would go a long way to reforming BexarMet by instituting term limits and legislative oversite — and BexarMet customers get to keep their voting rights.

Please call the Governor NOW between 8 and 5 pm at 512-463-2000, and ask for a veto of SB 341.  


The Good, the Bad and the Good Hair – Call Perry to Veto!

It took a lot of guts for State Senator Wendy Davis of Ft. Worth to stand up to the Governor and use the filibuster to force a special session.  Read what Davis has to say about why she thinks this special session should address education funding only.

It’s another water grab folks — no matter where you live, please call the Governor NOW at 512-463-2000 and politely ask him to veto this stinker, SB 341:
Citizens in House District 117 (Helotes, Lackland Air Force Base, Von Ormy, and in both Bexar and Medina counties) are up in arms to stop the “regulation without representation”  and local water grab that’s behind SB 341.  The San Antonio Water System (SAWS), is behind the passage of  SB 341. SB 341 transfers approximately $500 million dollars in equity and water rights from the current water district, Bexar Metropolitan Water District, to SAWS and gives them immunity from all current contracts, vested rights holders, partnerships and investors.  It is clearly intended to be a taking of the Bexar Metropolitan Water District’s water rights and the voting rights of their ratepayers.  Though BexarMet is far from without its own problems, this is not the solution as it sets a bad precedence against local control. And, oh yeah, competition between utilities is a good thing, so SAWS should back off!
Again, please call the Governor’s office at 512-463-2000 from 8 to 5 p.m. and simply ask that he veto SB 341.
Other legislative news:
o The good news is that even though an informal coalition of groups fighting against the Governor’s “Trans-Texas Water Highway” — was unable to stop the passage of a “vested rights” bill (to further privatization and commodification of precious Texas groundwater), the bill was, pardon the phase, watered down considerably.  More importantly, the administration’s move to give the Texas Water Development Board revolving and permanent bonding authority, erroneously called “evergreen authority” (perhaps they mean the green that money is), is DOA!  Congratulations to all.
o  Bob “no relation” Perry (‘cept he gives Rick more money than anyone) had “his DNA” all over the killing of anti-consumer practices of Homeowner’s Associations.  (Maybe you heard about the Iraq-war vet who had full ownership of his own home until his HOA grabbed it for non-payment of his HOA dues!) Here’s the Perry money trail from our trusted friends at Texans for Public Justice.
o  The natural gas fracking drillers disclosure bill passed, but with major loopholes. The law to make the frackers disclose the chemicals they’re pumping into the ground doesn’t start till 2013.  It also allows them not to disclose if they simply deem the chemicals “trade secrets.” Are you getting nauseous yet?




o  Can anyone say non-partisan redistricting? No matter how you lean — Democratic, Republican or you’re just a plain ol’ independent who votes for the person not the party — we’re all fed up with watching legislators draw their own districts.  Our biggest disappointment this session was Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who in the past championed redistricting reform, waited until late April to start moving his reform billWhen we got the call from Wentworth’s office, our response was, “sorry, it’s too late.”
Join us on our next conference call, next Monday night, JUNE 6TH AT 8 PM.  Just hit reply button and give us your name and number or Reply here.
And/or be in Bastrop on Saturday, June 11th, 2-4 pm at the Bastrop Library.  Out of towners, think about staying a little later for more strategy.
The full report on the 2011 legislative session with the good, the bad and the ugly from the independent’s perspective is forthcoming, so watch for it.

Both Parties Lied: The Texas Nightmare


Texas House and Senate members are locked in a stalemate on what to do about funding (or, more accurately, cutting) public education. Your typical member, Republican and Democrat, is catching absolute and deserved hell from their constituents. Because both parties lied to the people of Texas by not making the $27B deficit a front and center issue in the last Governor's race.  Carole Strayhorn was right in her 2006 letter to Rick Perry, calling him on the plan to write a "hot check", predicting a $24B shortfall this year.  But it was both parties that let him get away with it. 

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Water War Meeting Hosted by Bluebonnet Electric Coop

Central Texas Meeting on the Water War

Sponsored by Bluebonnet Electric

A meeting took place on Wednesday, March 18th, sponsored by Bluebonnet Electric Coop at the Lost Pines Hyatt Regency Resort  in Cedar Creek.  To see the line up of speakers at this meeting click here State Highway 130 Meeting Hosted by Bluebonnet Electric.  These are the folks whose day jobs involve circling the great Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer — the aquifer that feeds millions of Texans from NE Texas through the heart of Texas, down to the Mexican border.  The counties that could be most dramatically affected by decisions discussed at this meeting are Bastrop, Lee, Caldwell, Burleson, and Milam over to Brazos (Bryan-College Station) – they are the counties that cover the outcrop of the Carrizo-Wilcox, and specifically the Simsboro portion of the aquifer.


State Pipeline

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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:


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

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose