Coalition Emerges In Landfill Fight - A Better Wilco

Posted in Take Action, Landfill, Had Enough Yet?, Williamson County at 3:05 pm by wcnews

A Better Wilco is a coalition of groups that want to insure community involvement in the landfill expansion and contract renegotiation in Williamson County. Or, as Zac Trahan of the Texas Campaign for the Environment says:

“Since the county owns this landfill, all county residents and taxpayers have a stake in these discussions,” said Zac Trahan of coalition member Texas Campaign for the Environment. “Citizens in Williamson County should have a right to review any new contract for a minimum of 30 days, and they should have a voice in the decision-making process.”

Again the Williamson County Commissioners Court wants to keep secrets from the citizens. Here’s a list of the groups involved.

Organizations which have passed resolutions requesting public input include the Hutto Citizens Group, Hutto Independent School District, the Jonah Water SUD, the Hutto Chamber of Commerce, the Hutto Economic Development Corporation, and the Mount Hutto Aware Citizens.

The full press release can be read here (.pdf). Their recent mailing can be viewed here. Also, be sure and check out this page - New Coalition Emerging to Fight for Improved Landfill Contract, Expansion - at the Texas Campaign for the Environment. It’s has a bunch more information on this issue.

It’s important to remember that this is not just a NIMBY issue. Not only does the landfill have county wide repercussions for taxpayers but also because of its potential/probability as a regional facility - see CAPCOG - for 10 Central Texas counties.

Next Wednesday is the next meeting of the Hutto Citizens Group.

The next meeting of the Hutto (TEXAS) Citizens Group will be held on Wednesday, July 18, at Carmine’s Pizza in Hutto, beginnng at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

These are groups and an effort worth supporting. Attempting to bring sunlight to our county government and holding our elected officials to account is the American thing to do.


Let Us Begin - The End Of Republican Dominance In Texas

Posted in Take Action, Election 2008, 2008 Primary, Had Enough Yet?, Around The State at 12:14 pm by wcnews

Over the weekend Opinion Journal had an interesting article on the state of Republicans in Texas, The Troubled Texas GOP. The main idea of the article is explained in the subtitle, Will Lone Star Republicans blow it on immigration like the California party did? Meaning, is the GOP in Texas headed back to the minority because of the angry, intolerant stance they are taking on immigration? The answer is like so many things yes, but.. With this intolerant stance on immigration and the “inevitability of demographics” it is definitely possible. BUT it takes is an opposition that is willing to take advantage of this opportunity. If Democrats take action to paint the Texas GOP into the corner they’ve already started moving into then it will happen. But if they wait for the inevitable to happen, “..depending on voters to reject the other party is a losing strategy”, then it won’t. Democrats must take the opportunity not just to highlight the ugliness of the Texas GOP’s stance on issue but must show the difference between that ugliness and the restoration of the American Dream.

Make no mistake this is an opportunity for Democrats and many are realizing it, as evidenced by the amount of interest there is at the opportunity to take out the vulnerable John Cornyn. There are many more vulnerable Republicans all around the state, in local races too, that only need good Democrats to run against them to send them home. EOW wrote about this last week - at least as it pertains to Williamson County - but it’s true for the entire state. (Everywhere you see Williamson County substitute Texas).

My gut tells me there are many Democrats in Williamson County Texas that have been voting Republican and working with the Republicans because that was the only game in town. Well, that’s changed and it’s time to come home. If that was the case, there’s no reason anymore to wait in line for someone to decide not to run again and continue to keep quiet and aid the other side. Your needed to run as a Democrat, run a campaign for a Democrat, fund raise for a Democrat, block walk for a Democrat, NOW. Opportunity is knocking with the Democratic Party in Williamson County Texas.

Many factors are moving in the Democrats favor, not the least of which is the Republicans inability to govern. But without an opposition party that will hold them accountable for their mistakes they will, more than likely, stay in power. If that happens then the Democrats have lost a huge opportunity to take this state back and will have no one to blame but themselves. So let us begin.


More On The Animal Shelter (WCRAS) And Our County Commissioners

Posted in Animal Shelter, Take Action, Had Enough Yet?, Williamson County at 12:00 am by wcnews

They’re hiring, no surprise there.

But from the comments to EOW’s earlier post on the shelter it’s recommended everyone check out this site, Shelter Concerns. Also be sure and check out the blog and especially these two posts on the commissioners court meetings (here and here).

We went inside the courtroom at 9:30 am. The Commissioners were friendly with each person who addressed them. They were even laughing about planting some bushes and helping water them. When it came to agenda item #36 I made eye contact with County Judge Dan Gattis and nodded my head that I would like to speak. He immediately allowed a man from Hutto to speak who showered the Commissioners with praise. He added a few comments at the end. Then Judge Gattis immediately went to item #37 on the agenda. I raised my hand to speak and he would not acknowledge me. I then stood up and said that I wanted to speak on the shelter. He said they had moved on and I had lost my turn. I stated that I came to address the Commissioners and waited until the man from Hutto was done speaking. Judge Gattis begrudgingly allowed me three minutes.

While I spoke to the Commissioners, Ms. Birkman appeared to be nodding off. The Commissioners’ body language spoke volumes. I found their tone and demeanor to be rude and quite unprofessional. I was really taken aback by their reactions to the problems at the shelter. Unlike every other person who addressed them that morning I was cut off after speaking for three minutes.

Ms. Birkman proceeded to ask me a question and Judge Gattis instantly cut her off and said they were moving on. Ms. Birkman again attempted to ask me a question and Judge Gattis said “no, not right now.” Lisa Rogowski wanted to speak next and Judge Gattis would not permit any further discussion or statements on the shelter.

Well we know what this court has done with women and children, therefore it really should be no surprise the way they’re treating animals. Or as an email EOW received said:

This pathetic, shameful event should make citizens aware. In God’s name the Commissioners can’t even run an animal shelter. How can we expect them to run Williamson County. AMAZING!!

Not amazing, just how our county officials run our county, that’s all. It’s time for these people to go, they’ve done enough. The only way to “wake up” our court is to vote some of them out. Be sure and give them a call or send them an email letting them know how you feel.


Williamson County Democrats Taking Action

Posted in Take Action, Williamson County, Uncategorized at 11:49 am by wcnews


Grass Roots Action Democrats (GRAD), an organization founded in 2006 by a handful of Williamson County Democrats, began its 2008 Voter’s Registration Drive at the sneak preview of “Sicko” on June 23 and its nationwide opening on June 29. We are deputized to register both Williamson and Travis County voters and also dispense mail-in cards for those moving to other counties in Texas. Scroll down to see the pictures from Austin, Texas (right after Bensalem, Pennsylvania). The first eight pictures after the words “Austin, Texas” are of GRAD members Liz Bleier, Keefer McKee, Tracie Storie, Dennis Dadey, Robin Meade, and Henry Kight registering voters and several new voters signing up. Before the 2006 General Election we registered over 1500 voters in just a few months at venues that drew Democrats. Starting this early we know we’ll register many more.

Great job!! This is exactly what we need and more of it to take back Williamson County.

More pictures below the fold, and to see many more click here.

Read the rest of this entry »


231 Years Ago Today

Posted in Take Action, Had Enough Yet?, Around The Nation at 2:13 pm by dembones

The people stood up to tyranny.

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

It is a document that remains hauntingly relevant today. Read the rest here.

Democrats Need Your Help To Take Back Williamson County

Posted in Take Action, Election 2008, 2008 Primary, Had Enough Yet?, Williamson County at 12:03 am by wcnews

Ask not what the Williamson County Democratic Party has done for you, ask what have you have done for the Williamson County Democratic party.

When you point a finger, there are four pointing back at you.

If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.

Keep those in mind while reading the article below.

Democrats in Williamson County made historic gains in 2006. Almost knocking off an extremely powerful incumbent state representative in Texas state house district 52, and coming close to winning the commissioner’s race in Precinct 4 as well. To the outside observer that might not seem like anything special but to Democrats in Williamson County it was huge. In 2008 that same state house seat is even more winnable for a Democratic candidate and the Precinct 1 commissioner’s race is in play as well. The good news about the gains last year is that they were accomplished with very few volunteers doing ALL the work. The bad news about the gains last year is that they were accomplished with very few volunteers doing ALL the work. Which means that while great gains were made, with more support those two seats would now be held by Democrats. This is a call to action for all those in Williamson County that are fed up with the current unaccountable, tone deaf, and arrogant elected officials that keep getting elected in this county. They can’t be voted out unless YOU get off the couch, away from your yard, and get out and talk to your neighbors, friends and family about changing the status quo.

The running joke used to be, “I didn’t know there were Democrats in Williamson County”. Well nobody is telling that joke anymore, everyone now knows there are Democrats in Williamson County. Don’t believe it, ask Mike Krusee. Many people have been asking, why the Democrats in Williamson County don’t run a candidate in every race. In years past it was hard to get well qualified Democrats to put themselves and their families on the line with little organization, money, and party infrastructure to help them with their campaign. That has changed in the last couple of election cycles as the Democratic gains were made. A foundation has been built to enable future gains, but in order to begin winning we need more help for the work that’s still to be done.

A hand full of volunteers with very little money can only take a political party so far, whether Democratic or Republican. 45% of the vote, in targeted races, with better candidates may be as far as we can go with our current resources, people and money in Williamson County. We need more people to register voters, work at local festivals to raise money and awareness, block walk, phone bank, talk to neighbors, work on campaigns, become a sustaining member of the WCDP. And more than anything we need everyone who has been asking why there’s not a Democrat in every race on the to look at themselves and make the decision to run for judge, attorney, constable, clerk, sheriff, etc.. As I keep hearing from Democrats, the one good thing the Republicans have done since taking over in Williamson County is raise the salaries to a very comfortable level. These are now well paid positions.

My gut tells me there are many Democrats in Williamson County that have been voting Republican and working with the Republicans because that was the only game in town. Well, that’s changed and it’s time to come home. If that was the case, there’s no reason anymore to wait in line for someone to decide not to run again and continue to keep quiet and aid the other side. Your needed to run as a Democrat, run a campaign for a Democrat, fund raise for a Democrat, block walk for a Democrat, NOW. Opportunity is knocking with the Democratic Party in Williamson County. Don’t keep waiting in line until the current crony, elected official setting up their retirement decides not to run under an ethics cloud (.PDF).

This is about unchecked power. We need to restore the checks and balances our Founders knew HAD to exist for democracy, not only to exist, but to flourish. Unchecked power allows elected officials to make morally wrong decisions without fear of repercussions - imprisoning mothers and children for $1/day. It allows elected officials to shut out citizens concerns from important county business - see Hutto Citizens Group. It allows elected officials do make decisions that enrich themselves while in elected positions no matter how bad it looks.

Democrats can win in Williamson County. But it can’t happen without your help.

Next entries »