To illustrate these flaws, take a look at Galveston County Tax Assessor/Collector Cheryl Johnson’s attempt to explain Proposition 5 to attendees at the Clear Lake Tea Party Townhall meeting Tuesday. I’ll use three short video clips.
The first clip is Ms. Johnson’s overall explanation of the proposition, in which she states that it is flawed but she will vote for it.
The second clip is one I’ve already put up but repeat here for context. At the end of her speech, Ms. Johnson recaps her recommendations. In this clip, her vote has changed from yes to maybe.
After she finished her speech, the floor was opened to questions from attendees. Watch as she is asked why she would vote for a proposition that she knows is flawed.
Finally, she gets to the right answer. Vote no and send the legislators back to get it right.
That is exactly what the voters should tell the legislature on both prop 5 and prop 11.
Prop 5 is seemingly innocuous because the ‘intent’ is to allow small, rural counties to consolidate appraisal review boards. But the legislature didn’t bother to define their ‘intent’. Who knows how this amendment would be used 50 years from now? As Ms. Johnson points out, there is nothing in the bill to stop Harris and Galveston from merging, creating an even larger monster.
Prop 11 is written in the same way. On the surface, it appears to offer protection against the type of eminent domain seizure that the U.S. Supreme Court made legal in the Kelo decision. But it is so broad and vague that government could actually use it to provide cover for their land grabs. It uses the term “urban blight” to describe a legitimate taking of property. But it fails to define “urban blight”. Are you willing to trust local government to define that for themselves? The proper course of action was put forth by the legislature in 2007 but Gov. Perry vetoed it under pressure from cities and counties. Vote against this bill and tell the legislature to go back and get it right. While you’re at it, vote in a new governor that will put the people ahead of the government.
So, as I said earlier, vote AGAINST props 5 and 11.
OPPOSING VIEW: Red Ink Texas has a different view.