Posts Tagged ‘Rick Perry’

Where Do Indies Go Now that Rick Perry’s Party is Over

Riddle: What unites conservative and liberal Texas voters?

Answer: Booting Rick Perry and disarming both parties of the power to draw their own district lines, a practice called redistricting.

Many political pundits just don’t get it about Rick Perry and his relationship to independent voters who will likely decide the outcome of the hot Texas Governor’s race in November. In the view of Texas independents, Rick Perry did not do well on Tuesday, while securing his party’s nomination. The Governor was doing so badly he was forced to viciously attack one of his own, Kay Bailey Hutchison. Moreover, the all powerful Rick Perry was forced to pull a Glenn Beck on opponent Debra Medina, an unknown Republican insurgent over whom the Tea Party was split, and who was outspent by 30 to 1.

The real question is what did Rick Perry have to do in order to win his party’s 51%? The result that may well count the most is the continued exodus of voters out of the Republican Party who can no longer stand the political stench created by the Governor.

How do we know this? Four days prior to election day, volunteers from Independent Texans including yours truly, were on the phone calling independent voters in House District 92. These voters had backed Carole Keeton Strayhorn or Kinky Freidman as independents for Governor in 2006. We asked them to kindly vote in the Republican primary for Debra Medina and to help reelect their Texas House representative Todd Smith. On Saturday, I received a call from Smith’s opponent, Jeff Cason, who claimed he didn’t really know who Bob Perry was, though he had just taken $25,000 from him. Ironically, on Monday a jury awarded a Mansfield couple $51 million in a case against Perry Homes. Maybe now Cason knows who Bob Perry is.

Bob Perry’s connections to Rick Perry and the Governor’s appointees to the Texas Residential Construction Commission had been a big issue back in 2006 when Smith asked then State Comptroller, Carole Strayhorn, to review the agency. This investigation eventually led to the abolition of the agency by the Sunset Commission.

Mr. Cason seemed to think that, as an independent, I would be angered if I knew the ‘truth” about Smith’s failure to pass the Voter ID bill. I might have caught him off guard when I said that from the vantage point of Texas independents the real failing of Voter ID was its dominance of the last session. I further pointed out to Cason that about 4 million independent, non-aligned Texas voters have been disenfranchised for about 40 years. We were much hotter to trot on real reforms like Redistricting Reform” taking the redistricting weapon out of the hands of both parties.

I wouldn’t, for one minute, claim we saved Todd Smith, though we were happy to help. My point is the same as Will Lutz of the Lone Star Report. There is a growing lack of decency and honesty in Texas politics. Political honesty is a prerequisite for any true reform. Cason’s temerity in sending out a mailing implying that Todd Smith was soft on sexual predation deserved a smack down – which HD 92 voters likely figured out for themselves.

I got a note from a member of the Texas media (one of the few who likes Rick Perry) who wrote to me, “Why don’t you just get over it” referring to Perry’s penchant for privatized toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor. Our grudge against Rick Perry goes way deeper than the resentment Texans naturally feel for the Governor’s attempt to grab 500,000 acres of prime, private farmland for the TTC. It goes to the structural problems in our electoral system which breeds more and more polarization. This creates opportunities for likes of Rick Perry despite the fact that they actually enjoy minority (no pun intended) support. An example of my point is the defeat of Victor Carillo, Republican incumbent Railroad Commissioner. It appears that Mr. Carrillo’s only “sin” was his Hispanic last name.

One out every two of those voting in the Republican primary voted for Debra Medina (18.6%) or Kay Bailey Hutchison (33.3%). Kay’s concession speech came with less than 20% of the precincts having been counted. It was clear that regular Republicans, out of weakness in the face of the Medina insurgency, needed to circle the wagons. If we, at Independent Texans, have anything to say about it, the wagons will be re-routed somewhere else in November. We can start with the political reform that gets to the heart of partisan power over the next two years of redistricting.

Prediction: If Bill White figures out how to reach out to independents with real reform propositions on redistricting and more, he will beat Rick Perry. If he doesn’t, Rick Perry will keep fueling the rise of independent politics in Texas and some day we will win.

Message to Texas Tea Partiers: You have an important decision to make. Are you really independent, or will you patch things up like Kay did with Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, who are out to use and then crush you? It’s your choice.

Message to Bill White: Pledge to move redistricting to a special session and have the Governor’s Call contain this simple message “legislators should not be allowed to draw their own district lines”. This is an example of what it means to be a small independent (and, as you say, inclusive) Governor.

PS For to those wanting to be knowledgeable: The new online Texas Tribune newspaper is providing excellent followup coverage of Texas races, including a nifty tool to search for where candidates are getting their contributions:


We Proudly Endorse Debra Medina for Governor

Dear Members & Friends:

Independent Texans, the only voter association seeking representation and political rights for approximately 5 million non-aligned Texas voters, proudly endorses Debra Medina for Texas Governor in the Republican primary. Early voting begins February 16th. Mrs. Medina met the 60% support threshold of Independent Texans’ members to receive our endorsement. Congratulations to Debra Medina and her supporters!

Details below. Wanna talk about it? Go here after you read about it below and please post a comment.

Linda Curtis, Independent Texans

Debra Medina for Governor

Independent Texans’ members are well aware of Governor Rick Perry’s record which is why he received not one vote of support from our members. Perry has become legendary for his abuses of power and the veto pen, his revolving door for lobbyists, and for poisoning the halls of the legislature with a redistricting gerrymander on steroids back in 2003. For Texas independents Perry is the embodiment of what is so wrong in government today. Rick Perry is such a problem for political independents that we have resorted to joking about it at to make our point.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, who received about 30% support from our members, grasps our concerns about the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), but has not yet fully made the connection between such policy monstrosities as the TTC and political reform. Though the same might be said for Debra Medina, our endorsement of Mrs. Medina springs from the long-held desires of independent voters for citizen legislators. Debra is an ordinary person (a nurse to be exact) who has held her own in this race with two titans in Texas politics. She has demonstrated that she deserves our support.

What Independents Want – A United Front for Reform

Since 1992 when Ross Perot received the largest independent vote in US history, independent voters (now at 41% of the American electorate – Pew Research Center, May 2009) and our concerns, have grown. We are even sicker today of the partisan gamesmanship that keeps voters fighting amongst ourselves while the big shots in both parties have put the economy and our very livelihoods on the edge of a cliff.

We never liked Bush bashing and we don’t like Obama bashing either. We want the parties to either come together or get out of the way. We – Americans of all persuasions — want to be part of the conversation about fixing our problems before it is too late.

Once every ten years we, as a country, have an opportunity to damp down the partisan game immediately following the census. It is called redistricting. We can no longer afford to allow politicians to choose their own voters. We must take the gerrymandering weapon out of the hands of both parties, through a non-partisan independent redistricting commission. This is the single most important thing Texans need to bring any real policy solutions to the table. Is there a gubernatorial candidate out there who will stand up for a Texas Redistricting Commission? Rick Perry would never sign it. Would Kay? Debra Medina…our best hope. (Read more about political reform here.)


Mommy, Where Do Independents Come From?

Everybody talks about us in the third person, as if we — the independents – aren’t in the room. That’s because we rarely are in the room, except come election time when politicians on either side of the aisle need us.

We independents used to think we had to have a leader to guide us. There was Perot, Nader and Jesse Ventura, or more recently in Texas there was Carole and Kinky. They made a contribution, but their political careers got the best of them and they too began talking about us in the third person or not at all.

President Barack Obama? He spoke to us powerfully with his post-partisan message before election day, but since then hasn’t made an effort to reach out to us. Instead, his political crew made a decision to build Organizing for America within the confines of the Democratic National Committee, even when his campaign ground game guru, Marshall Ganz (a brilliant political organizer) advised him not to.

It’s the same old story. There is the rush to get elected. They tell us, “Trust us, we will include you.” Some of them even sincerely mean it.

Howard Fineman wrote in the latest edition of Newsweek about how the President can win back independents. Fineman says for independents “it’s all about process.” But then he goes on to quote budget hawk and moderate Democrat, Evan Bayh who says the President is, “to the left of the mainstream.” Does Evan Bayh or Fineman have any clue that most Americans either do not know the difference between politically left and right or simply don’t give a rip? This out-dated paradigm makes no sense to most independent voters who hold a variety of views on issues. For example, many Texas independents, though we are largely understood as conservatives, believe that the banks rule the world and they should be overthrown. That is a left-wing idea supported by the right-wing John Birch Society!

So here is my advice as someone who has been out there for 30 years walking the walk of independent politics. First, why don’t you just ask us? We want to be part of the political conversation in our country. We cannot be part of the conversation when our participation is choked off by unfair restrictions and regulations designed to limit competition to the two-parties like impossible petitioning requirements, government apparatus’ like the Federal Election Commission (3 Democrats and 3 Republicans) and Redistricting committees that have representatives from the two parties only. We need open primaries in all 50 states (one of the few progressive features of Texas elections) and the right to petition to place issues on the ballot (initiative, referendum and recall) at all levels of Texas government – not just municipalities Texans are limited to currently. Government should protect our rights to petition rather than participating in criminalizing such a fundamental right to organize in our country. Independents will never forget the Democratic Attorney General of Oklahoma’s recent criminal arrests of petitioners, which was thankfully overturned by the courts. And how ’bout those term limits?

Texas politicians naturally do things bigger and badder than most. That is why Texans desperately need the right to recall politicians at the state level. If Texans had the right to recall state officials, Rick Perry would have had to “get on down the road” years ago for his outrageous manipulations of state laws and state agencies to carry out the largest land seizure in US history related to Trans-Texas Corridor. Not long after the Governor pronounced the Corridor DOA (in large part because Republicans fled to the independent movement based on this issue), it became apparent the Governor was involved in covering up the fact that he allowed the execution of an innocent man (Todd Willingham). Our legislature would never impeach Rick Perry based on these “high crimes and misdemeanors”, but you can bet that ordinary Texans would have pulled the political recall trigger if we could get our fingers on it.

I wish I could say these ideas are new. Perot in 1996 said that the problems in government are vertical not horizontal. In other words, the conflicts in America are increasingly between the few people at the top with the people at the bottom, who are the vast majority of Americans. In other words, the left-center-right paradigm that keeps ordinary Americans fighting amongst each other rendering us vulnerable to the manipulations of the parties and their corporate backers, was DOA 14 years ago!

The Massachusetts upset will pale in comparison to what Texas independents can do in the Texas gubernatorial where we have the opportunity to ‘recall’ Governor Rick Perry. That is why Independent Texans, the state’s only voter association seeking recognition for approximately 4 million independent Texas voters, is urging Texas independents to vote in the open Republican primary, to send Rick Perry down his toll roads once and for all. Watch for our endorsement shortly before early voting starts on February 16th. We can shop the ballot in November between the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian nominees. (Don’t forget to go to and give ol’ Rick a kick right) now and donate to our just cause!)

The American people that politicians and pundits like to banter about so much are in one particular way woefully culpable in the political predicament in which we find ourselves. We are like parents who don’t want to admit our role in raising irresponsible children. We vote for our “children” (or ignore them by not voting) – politicians in both parties – and we complain about them endlessly. Maybe American voters are ready for a new role in political life. That would be a change for sure. And that is one change that we, the people, can do for sure.


Texas Gubernatorial Debate-What's Your Feedback?!

We — Independent Texans across the state — would like to know what you think about the first Republican candidates debate for Governor. Let us hear from ya!


"Adios Mofo", Rick Perry, June 20, 2005

Yes, he said it on June 20, 2005. And yes, we want to dump Rick Perry in November 2010. (Not the brightest bulb in the pack, ol’ Rick thought the mike was off as he nastily mimicked a reporter who was trying to get a real answer out of the Guv.)

Yes, Rick Perry said it, on June 20, 2005.  Send Rick down his toll roads.

Send Rick down his Trans-Texas Corridor!

We know you’re just not going to be able to resist adding one of the T-shirts to your wardrobe and wearing it around town.

They’re $20 a piece, and the proceeds go to fuel our organizing for Rick Perry’s defeat in 2010.

Place your orders here (be sure to include the size(s) you want.)
You can give a secure online donation here or send a check to Independent Texans, PO Box 14294, Austin, TX 78761. But, again, don’t forget to place your order by sending an email to Pat Jones, our state secretary.

Independent Texans members will vote on our endorsement for Governor and other races sometime in January. You must be a dues paying member to vote. Dues are just $10 for the year. (Please note: There is no partisan voter registration requirement in Texas, so becoming an independent is a self-declaration.)


1. Independent Texans will hold a crucial conference call on Sunday, September 20, at 7 pm. We will focus on the Governor’s race, but the agenda will be open to discuss any and all down ballot races on any and all party lines or independent. Please mark your calendar and send a note to our secretary, Pat Jones, who will email you conference call instructions closer to the date of the call. (Note: Our members will vote on our endorsements sometime in January, not on this or other conference calls!)

2. We were asked by our friends at the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance to announce their terrific Farm and Food Leadership Conference on September 14-15 in San Antonio. Check it out here y’all:

3. Many members and friends have asked us to pass on some important information to you about the swine flu vaccine. Click here for this information.

Hope to “see” you on the call on September 20th!

PS Feel free to forward this message to all who want to dump Perry this November!


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