Posts Tagged ‘Toll roads’

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 http://BootPerry.org/give-him-the-boot 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.

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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!

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obLGOITasek&feature=related

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.)

Announcements:

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: http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/conference-2009.

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!

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Update on Special Session

Dear Friends & Members:

Listen y’all. Word on Austin’s Capitol Hill is that phone calls from citizens across the state are having an effect. Reporter, Peggy Fikac, says we’re “raising a ruckus”, and gave this report here.

Legislators are very uneasy about passing Perry’s third item to reauthorize TxDOT to do private toll road deals, which might include the Trans-Texas Corridor. They also really don’t want the public to know they are planning to use even more state pension and retirement funds to prop up these risky toll deals. (Rep. Liebowitz will be introducing an amendment tomorrow to SB 1 to eliminate pension funds from the SB 1.)

Tomorrow the Legislature is going to have to come to or stand up to papa (Rick Perry).

Keep up the pressure. Call in tomorrow and tell them no to the Corridor, no to privatizing and selling off our highways to the lowest bidder, and no to using pension and retirement funds to prop up risky toll road deals.

The Capitol Switchboard number is 512-463-4630. They will send folks to their appropriate Representative.

Got questions? Feel free to email me or call me tomorrow.

Thanks to the many people who contributed to help get the word out across Texas. Tomorrow we will finish reaching hundreds of thousands of people, focused on areas most affected by the Trans-Texas Corridor.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT SO MUCH (especially in today’s economy)!

Don’t let up on those guys and gals in the lege — they work for you!

Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
http://IndyTexans.org
ljcurtis@IndyTexans.org
PO Box 14294
Austin, TX 78761
512-535-0989 home office
512-383-8484 Austin office
512-657-2089 cell

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Indies Out to Dump the TTC & Perry in the Special Session & In March Primary

Independent Texans, a citizens’ political action committee, put out tens of thousands of “Impeach Perry” bumper stickers and buttons across the state over the last two years. The organization is calling hundreds of thousands of independent voters today to join with anti-TTC Republicans to help ensure the defeat of the Governor’s plan in the special session to reauthorize the Trans-Texas Corridor. Further, the independents are using Perry’s continued push for the Corridor and “double-tax” toll roads to establish organizing committees throughout the state to “identify, organize and lasso” independent voters to enter the March Republican Party primary to dump Perry. The message being delivered today says, “Once again Governor Perry is attempting ram the Trans-Texas Corridor on Texans (HB 3), despite our universal opposition to it AND to use our state pension and retirement funds (SB 1) to prop up the risky toll roads. Contact your State Representative NOW at 512-463-4630 and sign up at IndependentTexans.org to join the citizens’ movement to dump Rick Perry next March.”

Linda Curtis, Director of Independent Texans, a 30 year veteran of the independent movement, said, “The Governor has a ‘thing’ about the Corridor and hiring lobbyists for the Corridor to push his legislative agenda. The newest example is Perry’s recently appointed Chief of Staff, Ray Sullivan, who came to the Governor’s office from his lobbying job for HTNB, the senior engineering firm consulting on the Trans-Texas Corridor. Is it any surprise that the Governor’s office has cranked out legislation to reauthorize the Corridor and comprehensive development agreements that the people of this state, including most of our elected officials, have said emphatically that we don’t want? Now, as the Governor’s toll roads are beginning to experience financial troubles due to low traffic volume (yesterday a plane was able to land on Texas 130, a leg of the TTC just outside of Austin), he is pushing to involve even more state pension funds to prop them up. We urge legislators to stand tall and to join Texans of all political persuasions to send this Governor down his toll roads by defeating this legislation.”

Independent Texans is one of many organizations working to mobilize voters for this special session to, once and for all, end Perry’s toll road schemes, foisted on Texans in the 2003 legislative session by then Transportation Committee Chair in the House and Perry loyalist, Mike Krusee. Krusee was forced not to seek reelection over the issue and is now a high paid lobbyist.

Many organizations from across the state and across the political spectrum — representing farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, transportation advocates, property rights groups, and all political parties — are fighting the TTC. A letter to the incoming Obama administration was sent in January detailing their concerns about public-private partnerships and calling for major reforms. The legendary chair of the US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, James Oberstar, put out a press release on June 22 calling for less tollways and more public transit.

The numbers of independent (non-aligned) voters in Texas is unknown, but is probably about 5 million people. 1.3 million of them voted for one of two independent gubernatorial candidates in 2006, Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman. The only organization in Texas attempting to organize political independents (a process often likened to ‘herding cats’) is Independent Texans.

For More Information:
Linda Curtis
Independent Texans
http://IndyTexans.org
ljcurtis@IndyTexans.org
PO Box 14294
Austin, TX 78761
512-535-0989 home office
512-383-8484 Austin office
512-657-2089 cell

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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:

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

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

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