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Press Conference Draws 5 TV Stations, KLBJ and Statesman

TCTU campaign launch 22-Apr 2013

TCTU “Not For Kids” Vote Against $892 million Bonds press conference:  with sign, l-r, Adam Cahn, Roger Falk, Karen Flanagan.

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/22045158/battle-over-proposed-aisd-bond-package-heats-up

 

 

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“Not For Kids – Vote NO $892 Austin ISD Bonds” CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

19-Apr-2013

Austin, TX —
Press Advisory — Travis County Taxpayers Union (TCTU) “Not For Kids – Vote NO $892 Austin ISD Bonds” CAMPAIGN LAUNCH.

NotForKids - Vote NO AISD bonds

 

WHAT: Live Press Conference from TCTU Leaders officially launching opposition campaign; announcements on legal action and ethics complaints against illegal and unethical Austin ISD campaign activity, and certain Freedom of Information / Open Records requests to AISD regarding east Austin / minority contract business awards.
WHEN: Mon., Apr 22: at 11:00 AM.
WHERE: Travis County Commissioner’s Court, 700 Lavaca (downtown Austin)
WHY: Learn what the Austin ISD Bond opposition is doing and plans to do to educate voters in a predictably low voter turnout election which may be dominated by special interests and ask live questions. TCTU will unviel 4×8 “Not For Kids! Vote NO” signs and FAQ flyer for taxpayers, to answer FAQ from taxpayer funded AISD website.
For more information, contact Don Zimmerman, 512-577-8842
www.TCTunion.com

The Travis County Taxpayers Union was established in 2012 to represent the best interests of Travis County Taxpayers against special public and private interests demanding subsidies at the taxpayer’s expense.

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TCTU Austin ISD Bond opposition schedule

PRESS ADVISORY:

The following summarizes upcoming events of interest for opponents of the AISD $892 Bond proposals.

April 17th – 19th:   KVUE-TV news hour stories on the Austin ISD Bond election date and past expenditures.

April 18th:  East Austin “Conversation” on the $892 million bonds (speakers for and against);  5:30 – 7:30 PM at the Simpson United Methodist Church in east Austin.

April 22nd:  Launch of Travis County Taxpayer’s “Not For Kids” campaign against AISD wasteful Bonds to enrich contractors and special corporate interests, exposing the Bonds as profiting everyone except teachers and students.  Live Press Conference starts Mon. Apr. 22nd at 11:00 AM, at the (new) Travis Commissioners Court at 700 Lavaca.

April 29th:  Start of early voting

May 3rd:  8-day campaign finance reports due

May 8th:  RFC-TC hosts Bond Forum (John Blazier speaking for/Roger Falk against),  11:30 – 1PM, at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse; RSVPs are requested at the link below:

http://www.rfctexas.com/?page_id=120

May 11th:  Election Day

 

The Travis County Taxpayers Union will join the “Conversation” next Thursday, Apr. 18th, at the Simpson United Methodist Church in east Austin, to express opposition to the $892 million in new Bonds.

Albert Hawkins, a co-chair of the AISD Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, will also attend to speak in favor.

The news media and the public are cordially invited to attend.

TCTU and the AISD area appreciates the Simpson United Methodist Church hosting this important event.

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TCTU joins ‘Community Conversation’ on AISD Bonds, Apr. 18th, 5:30p. – 7:30p. at Simpson United Methodist Church, 1701 E. 12th Street.

PRESS ADVISORY:

The Travis County Taxpayers Union will join the “Conversation” next Thursday, Apr. 18th, at the Simpson United Methodist Church in east Austin, to express opposition to the $892 million in new Bonds.

Albert Hawkins, a co-chair of the AISD Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, will also attend to speak in favor.

The news media and the public are cordially invited to attend.

TCTU and the AISD area appreciates the Simpson United Methodist Church hosting this important event.

 

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TCTU’s Roger Falk on FOX 7 – where has all the AISD tax money gone?

TCTU’s Roger Falk explains AISD Bond waste and asks:  WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

FOX 7 News with TCTU’s Roger Falk

As Roger says…. SHAME on AISD for deliberately picking a May election tiny-turnout date  —  about 10,000 voters, with fewer voters than AISD’s has employees (over 11,000) — and that doesn’t even include the Bond brokers, lawyers, construction companies, bankers, equipment vendors, and the host of other special interests who reap exorbitant profits from AISD mismanagement of taxpayer’s dollars.  AISD intends to maximize the special interest vote — will you help TCTU get out the message and get fed-up taxpayers out to vote?

If you haven’t already, please pledge $50 today for a campaign against AISD’s Bond!  Show solidarity with fellow taxpayers and oppose the Bond even if you don’t live in AISD — your District will be after you next, round-robin style!

Let’s remind voters that there is a WAITING LIST for better schools (like Charter Schools) that do NOT issue Bonds and raise taxes for absurd spending on existing and new buildings — these school choices can handle the modest growth WITHOUT ADDITIONAL DEBT AND TAXES!  School Districts are paying lobbyists with OUR MONEY to limit school choices, so they can intimidate voters in voting only one choice – expand the government school monopoly and the outrageous debt and taxes it brings, while delivering a sub-par education product that completely fails many students.

Right now, serious bills are pending in the House and Senate to expand school choice and make this Bond debt completely unnecessary.

Please forward this message to your lists!

 

 

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AISD’s $892 Million Bond at “no show” election date – Another Exercise in Irresponsible Stewardship

http://www.kvue.com/news/Taxpayers-to-vote-on-nearly-900-million-school-bond-193396821.html

http://austin.ynn.com/content/top_stories/290642/critics-suspicious-of-aisd-bond-election

Travis County Taxpayers Union Opposes AISD $892 Million Bonds on May ballot

Feb 26, 2013 — Austin, TX

On the heels of a huge private and public propaganda campaign last fall to mislead Travis County voters into approving a 68% “Central Health District” property tax rate increase, the government round-robin robbery of property taxpayers now moves to AISD in May — just in time for the historically low turnout which maximizes the special interest vote of the government school monopoly.

The political strategy of the school district is very well established, and it’s as simple as ABC:

A.. Form a “bond advisory committee” (BAC) that presumably represents “the community”, to “study the facts”, and “make independent recommendations”.  The reality is, only persons known to be sympathetic to the political position of the District (that is, to promote and pass the Bonds) are allowed to serve on a BAC.  The “facts” the BAC is presented with are carefully screened and manipulated by the experienced school District bureaucrats.  Facts or questions regarding taxpayer affordability of the Bonds, risks of rising interest rates and declining credit ratings, possibility of declining student enrollment, likelihood of further economic recessions, alternative school choices for growth like charter schools or home schools which don’t issue Bonds, and any other such facts or concerns relevant to a truthful Bond deliberation, are discouraged or repressed;

B. Raise campaign funds from corporate donors such as architectural firms, construction companies, law firms, government bond-broker agencies, banks, developers, and other entities which may stand to profit from more un-affordable bonds; in addition, small companies sensitive to be accused of being “anti-education” can also be shaken down for small donations.  The District will affirm and supplement the campaign by releasing “educational Bond information” which amounts to illegal campaign advocacy under Texas Election Code Title 15, because it overwhelmingly presents and emphasizes only information which supports a YES vote for Bonds;

C. Attack and marginalize, publicly and privately with District resources, anyone who effectively opposes the Bonds as being “against education” and “against children”.

This strategy has worked for many decades, so why wouldn’t the government school political machine continue to exploit such unethical strategy?  Indeed it will.

The TCTU is preparing a press releasing announcing it’s opposition to the Bonds and is investigating the feasibility of an opposition campaign.   TCTU also encourages other taxpayer advocacy groups to investigate the folly of nearly doubling the AISD debt at a time when Federal and State debt has already risen to dangerous, unprecedented levels in history.

“The truth is, government school districts like AISD give taxpayers and parents too much debt and taxes, and too little learning and choice when it comes to education”, says Don Zimmerman, founder and treasurer of TCTU SPAC.  “We agree that the government school Districts have demonstrated considerable incompetence in managing taxpayer money and ALWAYS ‘need more money’.  For example, by overpaying ‘non-teaching staff’ bureaucrats like the superintendent, and underpaying teachers, Districts use their mismanagement to pass guilt onto overburdened taxpayers; taxpayers are blamed for the problems of the District’s mismanagement.  Asking the school District to define an adequate tax is like asking a wildfire to define an adequate forest.  Taxpayers must say no to AISD Bonds or still more families and businesses will be driven from the Austin area, and school children will continue to be under served”.

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local-education/aisd-trustees-ok-892m-bond-eastside-timeline/nWZmJ/

 

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TCTU Objects to Private Organization Spending Taxpayer’s Money

 

http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/waste-watch-travis-county-taxpayers-union-considers-suing-central-health-again-6253.shtml

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TCTU Plaintiffs disappointed as Judge declines to issue preliminary injunction — TCTU Explores Further Options

http://www.kvue.com/news/local/Injunction-denied-but-case-not-closed-against-Central-Health-Prop-1-179575611.html

 Nov. 15th,  10 PM   ****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

Plaintiffs disappointed as judge declines to issue preliminary injunction

AUSTIN, TX—Today the district court declined to issue a preliminary injunction in the case fighting
Proposition 1 in Travis County.

“We’re obviously disappointed in the decision,” responded Stephen Casey, counsel for the plaintiffs. “As
we read the law, any change in voting triggers Section 2 protections of the Voting Rights Act, and we
provided several cases for the judge to follow.”
Casey continued, “It is silly for the District’s attorney to suggest that the suit is ‘condescending’ or
“offensive.’ Two of the plaintiffs are from ethnic minorities. How condescending or offensive is it for
them to file suit to protect their rights? Data publicly available from both the Texas Education Agency
and a non-profit literacy group, Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, demostrated there are significant
literacy problems in Travis County. If that is the case, a change in the voting language of a ballot
proposition, far beyond what is permitted by law, can have a harmful effect on the ability of some voters
to understand what is on the ballot.”
Casey refers to language the District added beyond what the law permits, language that promotes the
ballot proposition. The proposition is printed below, with the extra language in bold-face type.

Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $0.129 per $100 valuation in Central Health, also
known as the Travis County Healthcare District, for the 2013 tax year, a rate that
exceeds the district’s rollback tax rate. The proposed ad valorem tax rate exceeds the ad
valorem tax rate most recently adopted by the district by $0.05 per $100 valuation;
funds will be used for improved healthcare in Travis County, including support for a
new medical school consistent with the mission of Central Health, a site for a new
teaching hospital, trauma services, specialty medicine such as cancer care,
community-wide health clinics, training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare
professionals, primary care, behavioral and mental healthcare, prevention and
wellness programs, and/or to obtain federal matching funds for healthcare services.
Don Zimmerman, Treasurer for TCTU SPAC, responded similarly. “We disagree with the judge’s assessment,
particularly that we could point to no authority regarding this change.

The Voting Rights Act considers any change in voting enough to warrant protection. We will be discussing our next legal option.”

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TCTU Asks for Injunction against Prop 1 illegal & misleading ballot language

Travis County Taxpayer’s Union announces grassroots rally:

Prop 1 opponents support federal lawsuit against illegal Prop 1 ballot language, Nov 14th, 1:45 PM, Federal Courthouse

WHAT: Rally at Federal Courthouse supporting lawsuit against illegal Prop 1 ballot language
WHERE: Federal Courthouse, 200 West 8th Street (downtown Austin)
WHEN: Nov 14th, 1:45 PM
WHY: Urge judge to block official canvassing of Prop 1 election results because of illegal ballot language, and demand new election with legal ballot language.

 

FOX 7 News Story on Prop 1 and ballot language lawsuit
Nov 7th, 2012

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

Initial Briefing submitted in taxpayer suit against Proposition 1

AUSTIN, TX — Today attorneys for the Travis County TaxPayers Union (TCTU), and the individual plaintiffs, submitted the initial brief to the federal district court in Austin on why it should issue an injunction to stop the votes from being officially certified—a process called “canvassing”—and prevent Proposition 1 from being implemented during the duration of the lawsuit. The hearing is set for the 14th of November at 2 pm.

“There is good existing law to support the judge issuing an injunction,” stated Stephen Casey, one of the attorneys in the case. “Each provision under which the plaintiffs sued provides for injunctive relief. In addition, data publicly available from both the Texas Education Agency and a non-profit literacy group,  Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, demostrates there are significant literacy problems in Travis County.  If that is the case, a massive change in the voting language of a ballot proposition, far beyond what is permitted by law, can have a harmful effect on the ability of the average voter to understand what is on the ballot.”   Casey refers to language the District added beyond what the law permits, language that promotes the ballot proposition. The proposition is printed below, with the extra language in bold-face type.

Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $0.129 per $100 valuation in Central Health, also known as the Travis County Healthcare District, for the 2013 tax year, a rate that exceeds the district’s rollback tax rate. The proposed ad valorem tax rate exceeds the ad valorem tax rate most recently adopted by the district by $0.05 per $100 valuation;
funds will be used for improved healthcare in Travis County, including support for a new medical school consistent with the mission of Central Health, a site for a new teaching hospital, trauma services, specialty medicine such as cancer care, community-wide health clinics, training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, primary care, behavioral and mental healthcare, prevention and wellness programs, and/or to obtain federal matching funds for healthcare services.

Don Zimmerman, Treasure for TCTU, agreed. “This proposition extends far beyond what the Texas legislature expressly provided.  By loading up this Proposition with advocacy words, voters who may have struggled to get through the ballot are unquestionably challenged.  Had the District simply followed the neutrality the law requires and the neutrality the law requires and valued the voters’ free choice above its own financial gain, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Media inquires can be directed to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Stephen Casey, by phone at 512-949-7818.

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Press Release: UT Reports “Number of Doctors in Texas Booming”

Travis County Taxpayers Union: New UT Report from Dr. Ronald Stewart of UT Health Science Center in S.A. Demolishes Prop 1 Propaganda of “Doctor Shortage”

Nov 4, 2012;   Austin, TX —

TCTU SPAC Treasurer Don Zimmerman made the following remark concerning a recently released UT study which makes the opposite conclusion from the “doctor shortage” argument made by the special interest, corporately funded Prop 1 campaign:   “UT’s ‘Number of Doctors in Texas Booming’ report could have come at a better time – like this past summer when the undisclosed corporate campaign machine ‘HealthyATX.org’ began it’s ‘doctor shortage’ propaganda”.  But at least it came out days before Nov. 6th, instead of days after”.

THE REPORT PUBLISHED ON WOAI Radio’s website is below:

A new report shows the number of physicians in Texas has grown twice as fast as the increase in the state’s general population in the nine years since health care lawsuit reforms were approved by the voters in 2003, 1200 WOAI news reports.

The spike in physicians is especially strong in Central Texas, in the cities of Austin and San Antonio, according to Dr. Ronald Stewart of the U.T. Health Science Center in San Antonio, the lead author of the report.

In 2003, the citizens approved controversial measures designed to decrease junk lawsuits against physicians, hospitals, and health care groups, and Dr. Howard Marcus, who heads the Texas Alliance for Patient Access, says the numbers show it’s working.

“This is just one more piece of evidence to verify what we’ve been observing for years,” he said. “Texas’ 2003 reforms have kept their promise. Sick and injured Texans today have more physicians to see when they need medical care.”

Stewart says this means more physicians to provide treatment to indigent patients, and more doctors to deal with the increasing demands of Obamacare when Health Care Reform is fully implemented, bringing as many as 30 million new patients into the primary care system.

The increase in the number of doctors is greatest in the specialties which are needed the most, including general medicine and surgery.

The increase in doctors is making more treatment options available for patients, and holding down health care costs. Stewart says 52% of hospitals report being able to expand emergency or specialized services due to more physician call availably or physicians’ willingness to expand their practice.

SOURCE:   http://radio.woai.com/cc-common/mainheadlines3.html?feed=119078&article=10544738#.UJXxMFdqllE.mailto#ixzz2BGs5G2mu

 

Number of Doctors in Texas Booming