State District Judge Stephen Yelenosky ordered Austin city council to rewrite two citizen-initiated charter amendments (Open Government and Clean Water amendments)
Judge found ballot language created by Brewster McCracken and other council members to be misleading, biased and written to sway voters to reject the measures.
Brewster McCracken and other council members are not interested in Prop 1, Open Government, since it would make their back room deals with special interests - public. Nor do they want Prop 2, which prohibits corporate welfare subsidies for development over the aquifer and prioritizes investments in preferred growth areas.
The Judge found problems with the use of specific examples that are "exclusively negative" as well as the inclusion of uncertain cost estimates and the mention of a tax increase that the city's lawyer conceded may not be necessary. The council has until 5 p.m. Monday to craft new language.
Read the Statesman article, click here:
City of Austin spanked over misleading ballot language
It was revealed today that CINTRA, the Spanish Corporation already in line to build a cross-state toll road, has submitted a no bid offer to build a 600-mile, $5 Billion dollar, high-speed freight rail track from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Mexico.
Numerous details remain a secret. Based on Cintra's Comprehensive Development Agreement for a portion of the TTC last year, signed by Gov. Perry's appointed TxDOT Transportation Commission, it's sure to stay a secret.
CDAs are the special interest tool created to hold back public disclosure, public debate, legislative oversight, open and transparent government and local control. The short history of the CDAs have already proven to be rife with secrecy.
1) Attorney General opinion states Cintra must release Perry/Cintra CDA to Houston Chronicle:
2) Cintra sues Attorney General to keep CDA a secret: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/dfw/11984950.htm
CDA road, land and rail development contracts hand over our tax dollars, our public highways, our right of way, and our private property to private corporations for profit. Financial reports show, many of the same corporations that profit also fund the special interest campaigns of Gov. Perry, Todd Staples and Rep. Mike Krusee.
Last November Gov. Perry, Staples, Krusee and others pushed for and helped to pass Prop 1, which, as a Constitutional Amendment allows unlimited tax dollars (and debt) to be spent on rail relocation. That would allow our tax dollars, as corporate welfare, to sweeten the Cintra/TTC pot for the benefit and profits of private corporations.
Strayhorn today reiterated her call for Gov. Rick Perry to make public the secret 50-year contract his Texas Department of Transportation signed with Cintra, a European-based company, to build and charge Texans to drive on toll roads. Cintra and TxDOT took the agreement to court on June 25th—now over eight months have passed with the public still kept in the dark as to the details—why accept a proposal from the same foreign company which does not want to release the unfair details of their first still secret agreement.
“Whether it is a foreign company running our roads, our rails, or operating our ports, it’s wrong,” she said. “What happens if ownership of these foreign companies changes hands?”
“Texas belongs to Texans, not foreign companies,” she said. “My administration will not be cutting secret sweetheart deals with foreign companies like Rick Perry has.
KRUSEE DO FOR A LIVING?
This incident has caused me to look closer at his financial disclosures from past years. The TEC disclosers are supposed to give citizens an insight on where legislators make their money. Krusee has listed such nebulous sources of occupation as "consulting" and "legal services". This is strange since Krusee has NO college education for anything, and he's certainly not a lawyer.
In 2005, Mike Krusee, Wilco's House 52 State Rep, listed he received occupational income by being Vice President of Paramount Document Retrieval (PDR), 550 Westcott, Houston, TX 77007. The Secretary of State shows David M. Hasha being VP of PDR and Mike Krusee is not listed for any position at all.
I will be going to the TEC today, speaking to one of the TEC lawyers, and if I have grounds I will be filing a complaint.
Lawsuit says Williams plan to take two months to verify petitions is unreasonable hindrance of campaign
Independent gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn filed suit in federal district court on Friday, asking for a speeded-up process to verify the signatures she is collecting to earn a place on the November ballot.
According to her lawsuit, Strayhorn said that Secretary of State Roger Williams’ decision to wait for the receipt of all of her signatures and then manually review them after May 11 will harm her ability to campaign effectively for governor.
Strayhorn, the state’s comptroller, and humorist Kinky Friedman are both in the process of collecting more than 45,000 signatures to get on the ballot as independent candidates for governor. They each have until May 11 to gather signatures. Williams has said in the past that it will take two months or more to verify the signatures and certify the candidates’ places on the ballot.
The lawsuit posits that Strayhorn is "effectively hindered" by Williams’ decision to hand verify each signature. While she waits for her signatures to be verified, Strayhorn "will not be able to raise campaign funds as effectively as possible, will be hampered in invitations to candidate forums, and will for all practical purposes not be considered a candidate on the ballot."
In addition, "Until the Plaintiff voters know whether they actually have a candidate, any attempts at organizing, fundraising or other types of political advocacy will be unnecessarily difficult."
Besides Strayhorn, the suit listed three additional voter-plaintiffs including former Texas Medical Association legislative director Kim Ross.
I saw Mayor Will Wynn, this past Friday afternoon, March, 17th, about 3:10pm at Opal Devine's on 5th Street.
I had a meeting at Opal Devine's. As I drank a coke and waited for my associate, I noticed the mayor was not standing totally balanced - just about everyone was getting trashed - it was St. Patrick's Day.
I didn't think much of seeing the Mayor. Other than what ran through my head. I thought to myself "There's that damn mayoral fool who, along with Brewster McCracken, voted to toll roads we've already paid for. He didn't care that 93% of the public feedback opposed tolling our freeways."
Little did I know, later that night, about 11:00pm, the mayor would loose his cool and break the law by put his hands on someone, that didn't want to be touched.
The Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 22, Assaultive Offenses § 22.01(3) Reads:
"A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative."The Mayor's apology via KXAN proves he did get physical.
The mayor, at the very least, broke the law.
The victim, Luke A. Johnson filed an Austin Police Department report against the Mayor for "Assault by Contact".
Here are the details: Mayor Wynn was getting teased by the 26 year old Johnson, who was invited to the party. The party took place at the community outdoor area of Mayor Wynn's home, on 800 W. 5th Street. Mayor Wynn grabbed Johnson and forcibly removed him from the party. This KVUE report states that Johnson called the police and said that Mayor Will Wynn choked him.
Johnson said he was taken to a hospital and has X-rays documenting his injuries.
The mayor will not be held accountable by the law enforcement officials or the media. The official APD statement says "officers did not observe visible injuries". Apparently they don't know the law.
Or, perhaps Mayor "Double Tax" Wynn is above the law.
Nobody has asked the mayor if he was intoxicated. No media outlet has reported what the law says. Maybe it's too much work to look it up via google.
The Statesman buried the news, without an article, at the bottom of the Metro Briefings. The San Antonio Express (not even our city) did an whole article.
The other media laps up the latest Mayor's "spin" (distraction). The incident has somehow made the Mayor think he needs a full time police officer to keep him safe.
The way I see it - we need a full time cop escorting us - to protect us from our Mayor.
UPDATE: MAYOR WYNN ATTACKS AGAIN IN 2007! LOOK HERE.
UPDATE: MAYOR WYNN Charged with Assault in 2008!
share this story with others.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3-21-06
Bell, Friedman and Strayhorn
confirmed to speak on TransTexas Corridor
and Eminent Domain
March 24, Seaton Star Hall (5 Mi. East of Temple on Hwy 53 - 10842 State Hwy 53, Temple, Texas 76501), 7:00-9:00 PM, the Blackland Coalition will hold a meeting open to the public and interested parties. All four candidates running for Governor of the State of Texas were invited to speak, only Rick Perry has not responded. Carole Strayhorn (I), Kinky Friedman (I) and Chris Bell (D), candidates for the office of Governor will speak on the issues and impact of the proposed TransTexas Corridor and Eminent Domain. Time permitting, a limited number of written questions from the audience will be addressed.
Blackland Coalition will present information regarding the status of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and the process for filing comments and objections by the public.
Seaton Star Hall SPJST will open at 5:30 PM - BBQ and refreshments will be sold. Meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Blackland Coalition is organized to educate, protect and defend Texans against the TransTexas Corridor.
CONTACT: Blackland Coalition and Blackland Coalition PAC, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Major voting irregularities found. Our attorney, and endorsed former Justice Steve Smith considers contest or challenge.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 16, 2006)
may file an election contest or request for recount,
says “serious mistakes were made.”
Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Steve Smith announced today that he has taken the next step towards filing an election contest or request for recount in his race for Texas Supreme Court, Place 2. “Serious Mistakes were made in the counting of ballots in Tarrant County. We want one fair, accurate and complete count,” Smith said. “To that end, we have filed a Public Information Act request with the Tarrant County Elections Administrator seeking to review public documents relating to the Republican Party primary election in Tarrant County,” added David Rogers, Smith's campaign manager.
“Unfortunately, the true result in Tarrant County may never be known,” said David Rogers, Campaign Manager for former Justice Smith. Though there were 211 election day voting locations for the 635 precincts, audit tapes reporting the election results in each machine were run in only 103 locations. One hundred and eight (51%) of the voting locations did not have properly run audit tapes.
Initial results in Tarrant County included 27,895 phantom votes. The final statewide margin between Smith and Willett was 5,441 votes. The first “corrected” result reported by Tarrant County was a margin of 7,922 (62%-38%). That margin is larger in terms of raw votes than the margin in Harris County, Dallas County or Bexar County, all of which have substantially larger populations than Tarrant County. The “corrected” results switched the first and second place results in Tarrant County's 342th District Court.
Those numbers for Tarrant County are suspect in part because Tarrant County voted for Smith in the 2004 primary by 11,423 to 10,331 (53%-47%), and Smith only lost Tarrant County in the 2002 by 17,411 to 15, 215 (47%-53%). In 2002 and 2004, the statewide margins were substantially higher (7% and 6%, respectively) than the statewide margin in 2006 (less than 1%). The combined statewide margin between Smith and his primary opponents over three elections is less than 1/40th of one percent (417 votes). (Smith: 841,586; Rodriguez, Green & Willett combined: 842,003.) If Smith's margin in Tarrant County is actually the same as his margin in either 2002 or 2004, he won statewide.
Despite the fact that Tarrant County Interim Elections Administrator Gayle Hamilton has expressed a desire to count the Tarrant County ballots correctly, attorneys for the Tarrant County District Attorney's office and the Secretary of State's office have told Hamilton she may not count the ballots without a court order, an election contest or request for a recount.
“To date, there has not been a correct count of Tarrant County ballots,” said Rogers. “There has been an incorrect count and there has been an attempt to correct the errors in that count. What we want - and what we understand the County Elections Administrator and the County Republican Chair want - is a single correct count of the ballots in Tarrant County. We know for certain that mistakes were made, and the acknowledged mistakes changed the Tarrant County result by a number of votes more than double the remaining statewide margin. Former Justice Smith thinks that a single accurate count is a reasonable request.”
The Texas Election Code requires that a recount for a statewide office would require that all paper ballots statewide be recounted in addition to the ballots in Tarrant County, and that the expense would be borne by the party requesting the recount.
Additionally, in far west Texas, Winkler County, which went for Smith by margins of 260-92 (74%) and 468-249 (65%) in the 2002 and 2004 elections, went against Smith by an unbelievable 0-273 (100%) margin. Governor Perry received only 83% of the vote in Winkler County, and no other contested candidate topped 80%. The propositions on the ballot topped out at 93%.
Winkler county used machines from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), a company that was severely criticized by county officials in Webb county for programming errors and delays during the primary election, according to reports from the Laredo Morning Times of March 14, 2006. ES&S machines operate in 144 of Texas's 254 counties.
Beyond that, Duval County, made infamous by Lyndon Johnson's 1948 theft of the U.S. Senate election in that county, has reported an astonishing 55% turnout, with allegations of vote farming and vote fraud, as reported in the March 16, 2006 Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Additionally, Jefferson County vote totals were changed by more than 1,500 for each candidate in a race for Jefferson County Judge when a recount was held on Monday, according to reports from the March 14, 2006 edition of the Beaumont Enterprise. Jefferson County had double-counted some ballots, including 644 Republican ballots. (The Jefferson County margin between Smith and Willett is 325 votes.) Some precincts had reported more votes than voters. Tarrant County double, triple, quadruple, quintuple and sextuple-counted some votes. The Enterprise reported that ES&S would cover the cost for the recount in Jefferson County, estimated at $8,000.
According to a March 16, 2006 report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tarrant County will charge any candidate who wants a recount. No mention was made of any offer by Hart InterCivic, whose machines were used in Tarrant County, to pick up the cost of a correct count.
Smith won 152 of 254 counties. No Republican primary was held in 18 counties, and the candidates tied in 2 counties. Willett won 82 counties (33%).
Steve Smith is best known as a conservative former Justice of the Texas Supreme Court who was elected in 2002 despite opposition from insurance industry interests. In private practice, Smith was best known as the attorney who filed, litigated and won the Hopwood case that ended racial preferences at Texas universities from 1996 through 2003. Smith served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court from Nov. 20 of 2002 until Dec. 31, 2004, and was one of only two Republican justices who did not accept contributions from insurance industry front group Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
AUSTIN CHRON: "Anti-tollsters, like zombies, feed only on living political flesh". (click here - near Bottom of page).
throw some additional sand in the gears
of the more grandiose regional toll plans..."
– Austin Chronicle, 3/16/06
click above to read more.
March 15, 2006
TONY SANCHEZ, SPEAKER PRICE AMONG THOUSANDS WHO HAVE SIGNED CAROLE KEETON STRAYHORN’S PETITION
(AUSTIN) – In a show of bipartisan support for her campaign, Independent Gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn announced that former Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez and Republican and former Speaker of the Texas House Rayford Price have signed her petition to place her name on the November ballot.
“Republicans, Democrats and Independent signers are all Texans who care about the future of Texas and know that Carole Keeton Strayhorn will shake up state government in Austin,” she said.
Sanchez was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Governor in 2002. Price served as Speaker of the House in 1972 and became a Republican in May of 1973.
“Carole Strayhorn is committed to making the kind of changes we need in education,” Price said. “She will put the children’s interests ahead of the special interests.”
Sanchez said: “Carole cares passionately about our state and cares passionately about issues that are important to Texans, such as education. She has been my friend for over 20 years.
“She is an honest person and an ethical person and she will be a governor who will be very inclusive,” he said. “My family and I have a lot of respect for her.”
The Toll Party's triumph
In the March 8 American-Statesman under "Urban Affairs," the Statesman writer casts a doubt on the effectiveness of Sal Costello and the Austin Toll Party: "The jury remains out on the political power of the tool road issue."
Well, I don't know about politics, but I pass over William Cannon Drive on MoPac Boulevard every day, and I (and thousands of others) don't pay a toll, thanks completely to Sal Costello and the Austin Toll Party. There's no doubt about the verdict.
Kinky Friedman is irresponsible.
As candidate for Governor he only voted once in the past 12 years!
There were hundreds of candidates running in the primaries throughout Texas, maybe thousands. Kinky didn't give a rat's ass about any of them.
The 10 million who normally wouldn't vote in the primary were not enough for his 45,000 sigs. So he told people not to vote. That's irresponsible in my book, and it has ramifications for every one of the candidates who ran in Texas.
In contrast, independent candidate Carole Strayhorn told folks to go vote for pro-education candidates and vote against tollers.
This past weekend he was caught by the Associated Press violating Texas law as he was seen drinking beer while in a car.
OK, so the guy might be funny to some folks. But one liners are certainly not solutions. Heck, I like Bozo the clown, but I wouldn't consider voting for him for county dog catcher.
Kinky has no shame. He's so desperate, his car was parked out in front of Strayhorn's campaign office this week to try and intercept signatures from folks going to one tough grandma's house to sign.
Years ago, the National Organization for Women named Kinky Friedman "Male Chauvinist Pig of the Year" for his song, "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed."
The fact is Kinky is not serious about this Governor position. He's using this campaign as an opportunity to sell a few more books and a few more comic show tickets for his upcoming tour after the November election.
That's the real joke on Texans. But we can't afford this distraction if we are serious about removing special interest Gov. Perry.
To be a viable candidate for Governor, Kinky knows millions of dollars are needed to communicate with millions of Texans. Strayhorn is the only candidate with the millions to take on special interest Governor Perry. When it comes right down to it, this is a two person race. Strayhorn and Perry.
Is it responsible to tell others NOT to sign Kinky's petition? I'll let you decide. Write a letter to your editor today and tell them what you think.
It appeared that our endorsed Steve Smith lost his election by a fraction of 1 percent, But, the press is now reporting that phantom votes have been found in Tarrant County.
Smith, with virtually no money, went up against Don Willett (who was appointed by Gov. Perry with NO expreience) who amassed over $600,000 of special interest dollars.
Excluding Tarrant County, Steve Smith, PET Inc Attorney and Texas Supreme Court Justice candidate, is leading statewide by three thousand votes.
Candidates and the local Republican Party are pressing the Tarrant County election administrator to count all the ballots properly, once. She says she wants to do it -- but the lawyers at the Secretary of State's office and the local D.A.'s office are stopping her. Dallas News reports:
"County officials said the only race potentially affected was the close contest between GOP incumbent Don Willett and challenger Steve Smith for the Texas Supreme Court Place 2 seat. It's not clear yet whether the new numbers would alter the outcome of that race.Read more here:
David Rogers, campaign manager for Mr. Smith, said his candidate is considering asking the secretary of state for a recount. Mr. Smith originally lost by 21,000 votes, but the margin is now fewer than 5,000.
By early Wednesday, the Tarrant County Web site reported that 98,324 people had cast ballots in the GOP governor's race. The actual number was 28,374."
and here: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/14051304.htm
Founder of Austin Toll Party & Texas Toll Party
TRAVIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT,
314 W. 11th Street, AUSTIN, TEXAS.
Latest news of Taxpayer Scam (Click here)
Karen "Toll Road Queen" Sonleitner!
57% to 43%!
A real spankin!
An early analysis of the early voting in Travis Precinct 2 proves we delivered a substantial percentage to this important Sarah Eckhardt victory. The final analysis of November's 2005 constitutional amendment election showed we delivered a staggering 20% of the vote in the counties we are strongest in!
The Austin American Statesman irresponsibly and blindly endorsed the freeway toll plan 2 years ago (without looking at ANY study), then they endorsed Sonleitner last week and today they called our group "those at the margins".
At the margins? Hell, we are the voters, the taxpayers, the 93% of the public feedback who opposed the tolls on roads we've already paid for - and we will not be ignored. It's too bad the AA Statesman is out of touch and not part of the checks and balances we need to fix our corrupt political system. We'll just keep firing and hiring at the voting booth!
Our other important endorsed victory's last night:
Our Bill Welch (39%) will be in Primary Runoff against Castano (28%)!
Our Don Zimmerman (44%) will be in Primary Runoff against Fleece (47%).
Our Donna Howard, who we endorsed in December, won her special election!
Our Nathan Macias beat toller incumbent Carter Casteel by 45 votes!
District 101 (Dallas area):
Our Tom Latham beat toller incumbent Elvira Reyna!
Statewide, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals:
Our Terry Keel will be in Primary Runoff against incumbent Holecomb!
Of special note: An unknown person by the name of Barbara Samuelson, with virtually NO money, who registered to run on the last day, in the last hour, went up against Transportation Committee Kingpin and freeway toller Mike Krusee. Barbara Samuelson received 36% of the vote! Barbara's fantastic grass roots run illustrates that Krusse, who sits on over $320,000 of special interest dollars (most of which is from out of town) is very, very vulnerable. Everyone on the Barbara Samueslon team, including our great friend Richard Reeves should be proud of what they accomplished! It's just a matter of time for Krusee to be removed from office.
Endorses Carole Keeton Strayhorn!
4 BIG reasons March 8, 2006
Carole Strayhorn has been the ONLY State official to fight the corruption with us, down in the trenches.
Perry's secret deals turns half a million acres of private land into foreign profits - Perry MUST be stopped. Strayhorn is the only opposing candidate with the millions of dollars NEEDED to run TV spots to communicate with millions of Texans.
And, Strayhorn's done more than just make promises. She's already taken action, BIG action in four (4) very important ways:
• As one of three members of the Texas Bond Review Board, Strayhorn fought and was successful in keeping Perry's TxDOT from using our gas tax dollars as BLACKMAIL when it comes to Texas Mobility Funds (one Perry source of our tax dollars being diverted to toll roads).Strayhorn is the only candidate with a common sense TTC alternative that will:
• As TEXAS COMPTROLLER Carole Strayhorn’s produced a Special Investigation into one of Gov. Rick Perry's new bureaucratic Freeway Tolling Authorities (CTRMA) and found CORRUPT board members giving themselves and their friends NO BID contracts using our gas tax dollars. The Report described these activities as: “Double Taxation without Accountability” and “Favoritism and Self-Enrichment”
• Strayhorn is spending millions of her advertising dollars to tell other Texans about the Boondoggles we've been fighting: --- the privatization and tolling of our funded freeways and the TTC land grab.
• Strayhorn is pushing for I & R which will that would give the people means to influence and control large statewide issues.
• PROTECT our private land.Strayhorn offers much more than one liners. Strayhorn is the ONLY candidate that has the needed millions to defeat Gov. "Special Interests" Perry. Any vote going to the third, fourth or fifth place candidate ensures Perry another term.
• Stop secret deals.
• Stop land grab for foreign profits.
• Keep our roads Toll Free.
This 6.25 x 11.5 oversize postcard was sent to educate the voters about the truth since County Commish Karen Sonleitner had sent direct mailers to voters that she's been fighting for free roads. The truth is just the opposite.
We've waited since Summer of 2004 for one of the double tax tollers to go up for reelection. As you know, freeways have NEVER been shifted to tollways in the history of our country. Without any studies, Sonleitner took the lead to push the privatization and tolling of our public highways. She also fought any review of the radical plan to toll our public freeways.
The postcard drives home that Sonleitner has:
1) Voted to privatize and toll hundreds of millions of dollars worth of our public highways! (6/04 & 6/05)
2) Ignored 93% of the public feedback that opposed the toll plan. (6/04 & 6/05)
3) Raised County tax rates for ALL Travis County residents. (11/05)
4) And, after all that, Sonleitner gave herself a Pay Raise! (11/05)
Karen Sonleitner's push to toll our freeways will cost our families $1,000's of dollars a year. IT IS CRUCIAL that we all vote FOR Sarah Eckhardt and, therefore, FIRE Karen Sonleitner.
Grayson fails to mention that many of the roads have been under constrcution as free roads long before the toll plan came down the pike. And, how they are 100% fully funded with our tax dollars, and how if we stop the tolls they will open as free roads.
Tolls get roads built
The only thing correct in the March 3 letter to the editor, "Tolls should be the issue of the election," was the statement that, "The large network of new and upgraded highways (is) rapidly nearing completion."
That's the key. A great deal of new capacity is about to open that was built in only a few years. I keep wondering if the people complaining about toll roads have only been in the area for a short time. Maybe they weren't here or don't remember how long it took to build U.S. 183 and Ben White Boulevard.
Unlike the distortions spread around the last few years such as "double taxation," the truth is the only roads that will be tolled here are new capacity. Everyone can choose whether to use the new roads.
Grayson Paynter is a hired gun. He works for TateAustin, a PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM who has a contract with the CTRMA. Here's his email address at the bottom of this Tate Austin Page. BUSTED!
Tolls should be the issue of the election
The large network of new and upgraded highways rapidly nearing completion throughout the area look like toll roads on the outside, but actually are a permanent revenue stream more on par with a state income tax. This new toll tax will cost thousands per household per year. Never in the history of our country have public roads been given over to private companies. But it is happening right now in your backyard.
The election coming up Tuesday is our chance to throw out the toll taxers. Let's bring in candidates who have pledged to turn this monster around, especially Barbara Samuelson in Williamson County and Sarah Eckhardt in Travis, and statewide look for Steve Smith and Major Buck Werner.
For more information, go to www.TexasTollParty.com