WhosPlayin recently received an anonymous comment (excerpts shown in yellow below) on one of our blog postings which raised some questions and some allegations regarding Lewisville Independent School District's leasing of its land for oil and gas drilling.
Though I've removed the comment for libel reasons, it made an accusation that Board President Fred Placke had negotiated gas leases for far below market rates.
I contacted LISD, and received a call from Mr. Placke today. I asked if he could provide some comments, and he was more than glad for the chance to set the record straight, saying that the comments had made his blood boil.
"Fred [Placke] said the Mayor of Flower Mound, Jody Smith, had approached him sometime back encouraging him to lease the LISD land. Fred was positively GLOWING about this "found money" for the district! He waxed eloquent about how he had leased all of LISD's land for gas drilling to the tune of about $1,000-$1,100 per acre and 25% royalty."
Mrs. Miller states on her campaign Web site that she attended Western Kentucky University. Laura Dilliha, student records specialist there, said the school has no record of her having been a student. Mrs. Miller's former husband said that he attended Western Kentucky but that Mrs. Miller did not.
Mrs. Miller said Monday that she attended the school for about two months in 1968.
Wow, two months? Now THAT is resume-worthy! But at least lying about college sort of makes some sense. But it gets weirder:
Sang backup for Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. Engaged to Eagles singer-songwriter Don Henley. Devastated by a brother's death in Vietnam.
All are part of the colorful past described by Carrollton Mayor Becky Miller, acquaintances say.
But spokesmen for the famous singers said the three don't know her. And the mayor's father said she never had a brother who died in the war.
In the article, Ms. Miller states that she used another name when she sang, but declines to say what that name is. Her "brother", well, she's been caught in a lie twice on that. She now says it was a person who was "like" a brother, and she won't name him.
Becky Miller would appear to be another one of these radical Republican anti-immigrant activists. Here's the first paragraph from her campaign website:
Mayor Becky Miller is proud to announce that the City of Carrollton has finally been approved for 287G funding so that our city can participate in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement program. “We have applied for this funding before but we have been held up by Federal Budgeting issues. It was really the cooperation and support of Congressman Kenny Marchant that cleared the way for us to get the funding necessary for Carrollton to participate and we thank him for that,” said Miller. “Congressman Marchant knows how much this means for Carrollton. Our time spent with regional, state and federal leaders really helps bring giant returns for the Carrollton.”
It's Monday Tuesday and time for the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Blog Round-Up.
CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme notes Republican-run government favors crony money over Texans' health. Asarco, a proven polluter, is given a permit to start polluting again and Abbott says lead poisoning landlords have a right to privacy.
WhosPlayin writes about the disturbing trend for hospitals to require payment up front for expensive services like chemotherapy. Even "non-profit" hospitals like U.T.'s M.D. Anderson are doing this, even while reducing free care and racking up huge surpluses.
This is despite the fact that she has not a state employee, and has earned over $664,000 in the past 5 years "working" for Craddick's campaign and operating her own company "Direct Contacts". Yep, the affluent daughter of a millionaire mud-peddler in the oil and gas industry can't be expected to go into the free market and purchase health insurance.
Children of single mothers in the pink-collar ghetto be damned when it comes to making SCHIP available to the citizens of our state. As long as the immediate family members of our corrupt state legislators are well taken care of.
The 21-year-old North Texas man was arrested last week for trying to cash a $360 billion check, saying he wanted to start a record business, authorities said. Tellers at the Fort Worth bank were immediately suspicious — perhaps the 10 zeros on a personal check tipped them off, according to investigators.
So this dimwit goes into a bank with a $360,000,000,000 personal check drawn on his girlfriend's mother's bank account, and tries to cash it so he can start his own record company.
Not surprisingly, when he was arrested he was found to be carrying a .25 caliber pistol (perfect for shooting your nuts off by accident) and some marijuana. He was released on $3,750 bail. (Do you think they let him write a check for it?)
You, Mr. Fuller, have earned the Texas Dim Bulb Award for the month of April, 2008. Now pack your shit and get out of Texas.
Looking at today's Lewisville Leader, I see that the candidates for Lewisville City Council were asked questions about budgetary priorities and taxes this week.
One of the responses that I thought was most telling was provided by Councilman Lathan Watts, who is looking for re-election for his first full term.
The Leader asked this question:
"Under what conditions would you vote for a property tax increase?"
Candidates John Gorena and David Fogle both "got it" and showed their understanding of what drives property tax rates. Councilman Greg Tierney answered correctly, but didn't show his work.
Councilman Lathan Watts, who never ceases to provide us with material, flunked. His answer:
"I can not imagine circumstances under which I would vote for a property tax rate increase."
Really? OK, look - nobody wants a tax rate increase, and it's not something a council should do just for the hell of it. But an increase in the property tax rate is not the same as a tax increase, necessarily.
A situation that we have to be aware of in the coming year is that due to the mortgage market crisis and resultant drop in property values, it may very well be necessary to raise the rates per $100 valuation in order to match the previous year's revenue. So the value of your homestead may have decreased by 10%, but city tax rates might increase just slightly to take up the slack and keep the same total tax bill.
Further, we are in a very "interesting" phase of our economy right now where we see HUGE inflation, even as real property values are dropping. Consumer confidence is down, and retail sales may falter. We'll have to see how well those "stimulus" checks work, and whether people will spend them in Lewisville. (Mine is going to pay bills) The price of fuel is way up and there's just no predicting where it will go. Each time a fire truck rolls out on a call, our city is burning more expensive fuel. We want good police patrol, and we have to fill up those tanks too.
So, with all of this looming and a lot of uncertainty, I want a Councilman with some understanding of where we might be, and the courage to do what is necessary to keep our city budget in the black without cutting services. Tax increases and rate increases are never popular, but are sometimes necessary. In politics, it seems, you can never go wrong by promising never to raise taxes - unless you have to later. ("Read my lips...")
Should Lathan Watts be re-elected, he may very well face that tough decision. Unfortunately he has tied his own hands. But luckily for him, there are four other Councilmen and a mayor who have the experience to know that there is more to fiscal conservatism than just keeping tax rates low.
The article basically points out that many hospitals are now requiring cash on the barrelhead before you can get chemotherapy if you have cancer.
Apparently this is: - Even if you HAVE insurance - Even at "non-profit" hospitals.
Yes folks, if you are uninsured or under-insured, try not to expose yourself to our filthy air, filthy soil, pesticide-laden produce, and MTBE-laden water. Because if you get cancer, and you don't have a family member willing and able to mortgage their house and come up with $60,000 - $150,000 then you're just gonna die, sucka.
Last week, when I was in Atlanta, I learned that one of my coworkers there - a young man in his twenties, fresh out of college - has cancer throughout his body. Though the prognosis is grim, this fellow was very upbeat and hopeful because he had been referred to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
M.D. Anderson, specifially mentioned in the WSJ article, is a non-profit extension of the University of Texas system, with an endowment of $1.88 Billion, and an income last year of $310 Milliion. The President of M.D. Anderson is John Mendelsohn, who earned $1,180,000 last year. Anyone in Texas who has ever known someone with cancer knows that this place has a stellar reputation.
What is unfortunate is that M.D. Anderson is mentioned in the report as having gained a 44% increase in income while lowering its indigent care expenses significantly over the past several years.
My young friend is lucky that our employer has some damn good medical insurance.
That a state-chartered hospital like M.D. Anderson could be allowed to withhold care, even while stacking up cash and lavishing their executives is an outrage. The legislature ought to step in and put a stop to this nonsense.
IT IS TIME FOR UNIVERSAL SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE.