Friday, July 28, 2006

Campaign 2006, Washington Post analysis

The Washington Post's analysis of the Texas Governor's race comes to this conclusion:
...Friedman has garnered state and nation-wide attention for his candidacy and Perry has the advantage of the incumbency in raising publicity, but Strayhorn, and especially Bell, have suffered from lack of name recognition. However, Strayhorn is the only other candidate besides Gov. Perry to raise over a million dollars in campaign contributions, which is a key factor in a huge state like Texas. Perry should be reelected easily enough in November, but with such a host of unique alternatives Election Day should be interesting nonetheless.
(emphasis added by yours truly) Click HERE for the full story, including info on all the candidates, Texas demographic data and previous election results in Texas.

So how can we prevent another win for Perry? Do you think it's still worthwhile spending millions and millions of dollars knowing full well the chances are slim for winning? What could provide the tipping point? How to get more votes and how many more votes than Perry would Strayhorn need? Is this a matter of getting people registered to vote who normally wouldn't? What?


Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Representative Government, Part II

The Hankster: NATIONAL: Independent voters need to demand full debate on the war and US foreign policy . This post at The Hankster inspires me to finish what I started in my previous post. I am an independent, moderate liberal. I generally don't trust Democrats or Republicans, and I'll explain my feelings on that. Both parties are beholding more and more every day to their individual special interests, and beholding more and more to the corporate dollar. So who do they answer to under these circumstances? It obviously isn't us. Both sides are out of touch, many of them rarely set foot in the districts that elected them (except when they're running for office); so that the only feedback they're getting is from each other, just like two football teams huddled opposite one another, getting ready to battle to win, not to represent us.
Half of all Democrats don't know what they stand for. Another high percentage of them know what they stand for but don't have the guts to stand up and fight for it. So yes, in many ways it's a party of flipfloppers, good intentions or not. Yes, there are those Democrats I don't agree with ideologically.
Half of all Republicans know what they stand for but don't believe in what they stand for...they're just being politically expedient; thus, in my opinion, the ever-increasing shift further right. Most of the rest I simply don't agree with ideologically and feel they're not open minded enough to ever think they could be wrong. Remember the old adage: There's your truth, my truth and the truth.
Both parties are out of touch with mainstream America. They've pushed each other further and further in opposite directions. They also seem more and more intent on telling the American public what the other half thinks and not taking the effort to understand how we all think. So I'll be supporting even more independents than usual. We have to show the two comfortable, entrenched, out-of-touch parties that they can't take our votes for granted any longer. We need politicians who are accountable to us, the citizens, and us only.
Also keep in mind that you should vote for the person who will represent you and your district the best, that Independents with a capital I can be no different than capital D's and R's. Please read a great article on being a true independent.
So while I think now is the time for independents to seize the day, we must always be informed and vote for the best candidate for US.

Zeb, Inside Zebster

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Linda Curtis KOOP radio interview

I am a bit late with this so hopefully some people can still squeek this in;
Linda Curtis is going to be interviewed today, Wednesday July 26th, on 'The Right of Way' which is an alternative transportation discussion on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM. Dick Kallerman hosts.
Here is KOOP's info;
Right of Way
Alternative Transportation Discussion
Wednesdays, 12:00 noon - 12:30 p.m.

Host: Dick Kallerman

The Right of Way is a program for alternative forms of transportation, and energy supply, particularly petroleum. We broadcast news, opinion and interviews. Dick Kallerman is the programmer and Roger Baker is a regular member of the broadcast team. Guests are experts in bicycling, walking, passenger rail, buses, etc. We endorse all means of transportation except the single occupant vehicle.

Dick Kallerman can be reached at 444-1326 and

Please also see and

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot Off The Press...Strayhorn Calls For Clean Energy

Today, the Strayhorn campaign issued this press release;


Will Reverse Perry’s Order

(DALLAS) -- Texas Independent Candidate for Governor Carole Keeton Strayhorn today said she will change the state’s permitting process in order to fight air pollution and announced her opposition to “dirty” coal-fired power plants that Gov. Rick Perry ordered fast-tracked through the permitting system.

“We first need to look to clean burning natural gas, wind energy, other renewables and energy conservation using the latest technology to meet our electricity needs,” Strayhorn said. “I will reverse this governor’s executive order, order a review of any final permit issued, appoint a clean air advocate to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and fight for clean energy using the latest technology to reduce pollution.”

“In this 21st Century, Texans don’t want or need more outdated polluting coal plants crammed down our throats by Rick Perry,” Strayhorn said.

Last October, Gov. Perry issued an executive order expediting plant permits for TXU Corp. and others. The utility company is racing to build 11 big coal-fired power plants impacting air quality most in Dallas and Waco.

Click on quote for the full press release.
Furthermore, here is Carole, giving a speech at the Forth Worth Trans Texas Catastrophe hearing. Instead of doing all the press ops that Kinky has been doing, Carole is actually going around to important meetings to be heard and seen and focussing the media's attention where it should be; on the issue, not on her personality. 'Grandma or not!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The importance of money

This is from a blog from , Peggy Fikac to be precise. I don't really know why newspaper or newpaper type outlets have blogs as they seem to be just another way to report on something rather than it being a personalized site but..that's perhaps just me. Peggy reports from her Austin Bureau on the campaign finances so far;

Republican Gov. Rick Perry reported having more than $10 million cash on hand today.

Democratic challenger Chris Bell reported having $654,501.62.

Perry reported raising $4.7 million since the last reporting period in January, while Bell reported raising $1.6 million. Cash on hand is a running tally of how much campaigns have in the bank.

Libertarian candidate for governor James Werner, responding to an inquiry about the money he has raised, quipped, "I hope you have a big sheet of paper to accommodate all the zeros."

He reported $1,330.38 cash on hand.

Stay tuned for reports from independents Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman.

The reports due today cover campaign activity for the first six months of the year.

UPDATE: Strayhorn reported more than $8 million cash on hand as of June 30. She raised more than $3 million during the first six months of the year.

Click on the text for more of Peggy. do you think the money should be used or how do you think it is being used?


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Representative Government

Hello, Indy Texans. My name is Zeb and I'm an independent from Maine. Ingrid requested that I come over as a guest blogger. She and Linda are doing a great job here. My blog can be found here, Inside Zebster, where I write about independent issues, social and political issues.

Following is a piece I wrote several weeks ago that I feel represents what many of us want in our government and what we, especially as independents, can do to help put government more back into our hands. I hope you enjoy it. If so, I'll be more than happy to post the second part of it later. Thanks for having me.

We all can make a difference, one person at a time, an increasingly louder drum beat of involved, informed citizens who demand again a representative government. Our elected officials will not change unless we make them change. We all have to get involved and stay involved...let them know we will no longer tolerate anything short of accountability.
What can you do? Most importantly we must be informed, informed regarding the issues and informed regarding how those we elect vote on those issues and why they vote the way they do. You can write editorials in your local newspaper; you can call politician's offices; you can even blog. But most importantly you must vote, and don't throw away your vote because you always vote for your party or your total source of information is through political ads. Be informed, be involved.
Let's get together, red and blue and purple, and have some civilized discourse regarding the issues. Politicians know if they can polarize us, they can conquer us. The left and right are much closer on most issues than they realize; but our elected officials have been successful in making us think the other side is crazy and irrational...that every Democrat believes in the radical left and every Republican believes in the radical right. Actually, the vast majority of us are moderates and centrists. So let's open the channels of communication amongst ourselves; let's cut out the middle man who's telling us what the other side thinks.
Did you know the reelection rate in this country hovers around 98%?! How is that possible? One reason is due to the shameless reorganizing and gerrymandering of districts so that in all but the most rural states each district is heavily red or heavily blue. Also, all the special interest money, be it corporate or social or what have you, knows that statistic and will put their money being the incumbent. Let's show them this fall what a waste of money that was; that the power of an informed citizenry is stronger than special interest money.
We are to blame for the current state of our government. We haven't been involved; we haven't been informed; we haven't demanded change; we've voted party lines over and over again regardless of the issues; we've listened to and believed the clever sound bites that roar from both sides of the aisle. Politicians, political parties and organizations, election experts all know how to feed on our fears, on our herd mentality, on our laziness and that we are a sound-bite, knee-jerk, rush-to-pick-sides public.
So look around at the scandalous activities on both sides of the aisle. It's a feeding frenzy of greed, ego and comfortability. I hope we're proud of ourselves...we allowed this to happen. And we will send a message loud and clear that we don't mind these activities, that in fact we support them if we don't get involved and do something about it.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This is why the Republicans do not want Initiative in Texas

Read up on how proposition 106 in Arizona amended Arizona's Constitution which led to the redrawing of AZ's legislative and Congressional districts by way of a five member commission of balanced appointments; 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent.


Politicians who like independent redistricting

Other states with independent commissions

Read the commentary on Texas' redistricting decision in the Indiana Law Blog


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Kinky Friedman in Newsweek

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The still "lacking voter's rights"

Here is an interesting article by Wade Anderson. He is the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Two weeks ago, when the House was set to vote on renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and extend coverage of three key protections, a small band of Republican obstructionist derailed the process.
This surprised many who recall the rare bicameral, bipartisan introduction of the bill to renew the law in May.

The handful of renegades—like Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia—are from states that continue to have the most egregious voting rights violations. That these representatives bucked both their party leadership and President Bush over renewal, highlights the weakened stance of House leadership and the recalcitrancy of these members.
But you don’t have to look far back in history to uncover the legacy of disenfranchisement they stand for and the challenge they present to the Republican leadership as the House again schedules a vote on the bill today.

Click HERE for the full article.

Carole Strayhorn receives endorsement

It's official;

The Blackland Coalition political action committee picked Strayhorn — a former Austin mayor, former Democrat and now former Republican running as an independent — over Democrat Chris Bell and independent Kinky Friedman. All three appeared at a well-attended coalition event in March near Temple to ask for the group's support

Click HERE to read it in full.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Perry Re-elected?

Predictions have been made that the GOP voters will again outnumber the Democrats and anyone else vying for Perry's job as Governor. Here is an excerpt of W GARDNER SELBY's commentary in the Statesman;

Political professionals see GOP Gov. Rick Perry sitting pretty in the aftermath of the spring special session promising cuts in property taxes for higher state taxes.

Republican operative Bryan Eppstein, who is not part of Perry's inner circle, cites voter turnouts and election results since 1988 as indicators that the gubernatorial election is over: Perry wins.

History says that GOP voters solidly outnumber Democrats and that more voters align with the parties than with independents. Barring a seismic surge in turnout (which reached a piddling 36 percent four years ago), the Dept. of Conventional Expectations advises Perry to plan his inauguration.

Eppstein skipped one stone toward Perry's challengers: "Don't spend any of your personal money" on the campaign.

Click on the quote for reading the full commentary.

It sounds like the same old story ... what is your response to that? Do Independents back a potentially winnable candidate or do we focus on getting people to vote who normally wouldn't? How can we as Independents make a difference for real, not just as an intellectual exercise.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

One tough Grandma indeed!

Carole Keeton Strayhorn spoke out several months ago against the Trans Texas Corridor. See the video and see why people last night in Denton got equally excited to hear her speak!

Read Linda's latest report on what's been going on;

The Grandma spoke at the Corridor hearing in Denton last night to a crowd of about 250 and practically brought the house down. It's exciting to see a statewide elected official and gubernatorial candidate who will call Guv Goodhair on his public "tellings", as she calls it, since TxDOT and company still think they can tell us to lay back and just accept their boondoggle.

Dems, Repubs, Libs, Greens and indys are showing up to share their disgust and to see what we can do together. That's most exciting to us at Indy Texans - as a "fusion" outfit of split ticket voters.

While Grandma was beating the drum in Denton, I was at the hearing in Bonham, a small city of 10,000, and joined by Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, who had been sent there by the Save Our County folks in Gainesville. SOC is part of our growing statewide coalition called "Triple R - Rout Rick's Route, aka the Trans-Texas Corridor". Farmers and ranchers were very upset that this huge project was going to greatly impact on their way of life. When I spoke about how the Governor and legislature placed Prop 15 -- the Texas Mobility Fund -- on the ballot in 2001, no where in the language was there anything about the Trans-Texas Corridor, yet TxDOT now cites its passage as their mandate to build the super-NAFTA highway -- folks practically jumped out of their chairs. Clear ballot language is required in many other states. These are the kinds of reforms that we can win through statewide I&R -- the mother of all reforms. 2/3 of the audience came to sign up with me to join our movement, including several grandma's who were the most vocal and wanting to work for Guv Grandma!

It's going to take a unified movement to reroute Rick and enact I&R. Grandmas and grandkids of the world unite

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New look and some changes

Hi, I am Ingrid and I will be the main volunteer for the next three months at the Indytexans blog. I know there are many existing volunteers at the Independent Texans organization, but I have not had the pleasure of meeting any of you yet. I know we are dispersed throughout the great state of Texas, and are equally passionate about common denominator issues, inspite of our political differences. As someone who was born and raised in the Netherlands, I was used to seeing a multi-party system. When I first emigrated to Canada, and then later to the U.S., I always felt left out and that I could never ever belong to either the Democrat or the Republican party. To me, the fact that anyone was supposed to toe the party line was just unacceptable to me. I guess I am not a follower by nature, and I am not saying that out of bravura either. "I can't help it, I'm just drawn that way"!

It's going to be busy until November. I hope that this blog will become a venue to discuss and naturally, to agree to disagree. I or Linda will keep you posted and check back to see what else we have in store. Short of IM'ing, this is the place where we can keep each other posted on the goings on in their part of the state. Our eyes are on you!