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August 28, 2013     Hays Free Press
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August 28, 2013
 

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Hays Free Press * August 28, 2013 OPINION Page 5A Party purity pricks pragmatism nd now, this week's freshly pdated, highly specu- ative, oddly prescient, extremely long-range, totally indispensable, magically deli- cious, 2016 Presidential Cam- paign Alert. Pay no attention to that bilious sensation you are experiencing. It is simply sweet anticipation swelling into full- bloat boogie as the race for the White House floats tantalizingly around the corner. Admittedly, awide corner. Multiple lanes. Many laps to come. Think Tal- ladega, baby. Putatively premature per- haps, but hey, it's the only game in town. What else you got inked on your critical political calen- dar? The upcoming Arkansas gubernatorial election? And come on, Arkansas guber? How redundant is that? Like saying Hollywood facade? Or NewYork attitude. North Dakota drowsy. Congressional disappointment. Part of our fascination with the upcoming presidential replace- ment process is a termed-out incumbent ensures competitive action on both sides of the aisle wilt be crazier than Norman Bates on peyote riddled with corn fungus. Exactly why for the next 38 months we can count on machinations wilder than a singles bar rest room during the zombie apocalypse. Motives, more convoluted than press releases from Alex Rodriguez. Democrats seem intent and content to hurtle headlong, arms akimbo, down the path of least resistance, envisioning some sort of loosely recollected Clintonian squishy soft land- ing. While over on the GOP side, the road promises to be just a tad rockier with immense and immovable internal obstacles to be negotiated. And no, we're not talking about Chris Christie. At least a baker's dozen GOPers have had their names bandied about as prospective suitors for the top slot of their party's ticket. Rand Patti, Christie, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, ScottWalker, ]eb Bush, Patti Ryan, Mike Beebe. Then don't forget the old standbys- Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitt Ronmey and Michele Bach- mann. And it would be most unwise to write off a possible GING ....... spontaneous Cheneyincursion. This particular nomination process is primed to probe identity: party purity pricking the pragmatists. The true believers versus the moderates. Ideologues taking up arms against those who do whatever it takes to as- sist their constituents, even if it means consorting with Demo- crats. You know, traitorous toads. Threats of boycotts and arguments over government shutdowns and distractions involving dual citizenships have already filled the air like Syrian shrapnel, making it impossible for any individual candidate to gain traction. Then you factor in further slippage on all the mud being tossed at each other by Christie and Paul, the party's version of the Battling Bickersons. Added onto the slippery slope created by absolutely everyone tarring absolutely everyone else as a RINO, and it's a miracle any conservative is still standing. Desperate to throw a positive spin onto things, Reince Prie- bus, chair of the RNC, said these "debates" are good for the party. Yeah. "Good," which is national party chairman code for "you're killing us here." Also, to call these barbed attacks "debates" is like calling a sledgehammer a finger massage. So, put on your Kevlar aprons, kiddies, because it's only going to get hotter in the GOP kitchen. This war is just beginning and looks destined to culminate in nothing less than a fight for the very heart and soul of the Republican Party. Although, many folks would be willing to debate whether either of those objects actually exist. Five-time Emmy nominee Will Durst's new one-man show, "Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG,"every Tuesday until November at The Marsh, San Francisco. Go to... themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com. Tea party: Time for an explanation "He is not an American. He was born in Kenya. His birth ce.ificate is a fake. His mother telegraphed his birth announce- ment to the newspapers in Hawaii." These are quotes from various members the tea party in an a,ttempt to de-legitimize Presi- dent Obamas presidency. The tea party members and many U.S. representatives and senators are now faced with a real problem. They are going to have to explain their"nativism" - what is their idea exactly on the definition ofa"natural born" U.S. This is a dilemma if the dema- gogue from Texas decides to mn for the presidency. Why? According to the tea party, a candidate for the office of the President of the United States must be born in the United States. The candidate must not be "naturalized." This was the argument that they used against Barack Obama before and after he became the President. Having a mother who was a United States citizen was not enough, according to them. They would not accept the certificate of a live birth that was an official document of the State of Hawaii. They even went to court to force Hawaii to release the original. Even when denied by the court, the accusations continued. (Hawaii became a state of the U.S. in 1959; Obama was born in 1961.) Now the tea party is going to have to explain whether they consider Texas fresh- LEERS FROM .... iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!000000iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii man Senator Ted Cruz a U.S. citizen or not. It is not going to be easy unless they resort to pure hypocrisy. Cruz was born in Calgar:fi Canada, to a mother who is from Delaware and a father from Cuba. The father was given asylum under the "wet toes, dry land policy" of folks from Cuba. The senator has released his birth certificate from Canada to the Dallas Morning News and it has been shown nationwide on television.According to Canadian law, the senator automatically became a citizen of Canada because he was born there. Is he a citizen of Canada, a citizen of the United States, or both? Is he eligible to be President of the United States? The senator maintains that since his mother is a citizen of the United States, he is therefore a citizen even though he was born in Canada. Is this not a dilemma for tea party members? How can they be sup- porting the senator from Texas based on the fact that his mother is an American and deny the President the same legitimacy? There is no doubt about where the Senator was born but the claims about the Presi- dent are based on mmor, innuendo and pure figments of some imaginations. In reali W, the courts have held and prac- tice has shown that having a parent who is an American citizen makes the child an American. We have seen that in the case of John McCain and also Mitt Romney's father in modem times. I do not doubt that Sena- tor Cruz is an American citizen. The tea party is going to have to give more explanations about its adamant denunciation of President Obama. They have to explain their contentions that all ofthe bills he has signed into law are null and void because he is "not a citizen of the United States." They have to explain all the figments of their imagination. They will have to explain why there still is talk by members of Congress about impeaching the President because he has broken laws by declaring himself a United States citizen. Those of us who are not questioning the citizenship of Senator Cruz are awaiting explanations from the tea party and mem- bers of Congress who have screamed the loudest. I suspect we will hear nary a peep on these explanations. I also suspect that if some of those people ever write a modem history of the United States, they will put an asterisk byyears 2009-2016 stating"we had an illegitimate president. jdlinden@satx.rr.com Water District Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Rate The Plum Creek Underground Water will hold a public hearing on a proposed tax rate for the tax year 2013 on 09/12/2013 at 1:00 p.m. at PCCD Office Building, 1101 W. San Antonio St., Lockhart, TX. Your individual taxes may increase or decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted. FOR the proposal: President-James Holt, Vice President-James O. Lipscomb, Secretary/Treasurer-Peter Reinecke, Director-Ben Tidwell, Director-Lucy Knight, Director-Fred Rothert AGAINST the proposal: PRESENT and not voting: ABSENT: The following table compares taxes on an average residence homestead in this taxing unit last year to taxes proposed on the average residence homestead this year. Total tax rate (per $100 of value) Difference in rates per $100 of value Percentage increase/decrease in rates (+/-) Average appraised value General exemptions available (excluding senior citizen's or disabled person's exemptions) Average taxable value Tax on average residence homestead Annual increase/decrease in taxes if proposed tax rate is adopted (+/-) and percentage of increase (+/-) Last Year This Year $0.021000/$100 $0.022000/$100 Adopted Proposed + $0.001000/$100 + 4.76% $92,707 $94,426 $0 $0 $92,707 $94A26 $19.47 $20.77 +$1.31 + $6.70% NOTICE OF TAXPAYERS' RIGHT TO ROLLBACK ELECTION If taxes on the average residence homestead increase by more than eight per- cent, the qualified voters of the district by petition may require that an election be held to determine whether to reduce the operation and maintenance tax rate to the rollback tax rate under Section 49.236(d), Water Code. Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Increase The Plum Creek Conservation District will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 7.317073 percent (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax calculated under Chapter 26, Tax Code). Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted. The first public hearing will be held on September 5, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at PCCD Office Building, 1101 W. San Antonio St., Lockhart, TX. The second public hearing will be held on September 12, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at PCCD Office Building, 1101 W. San Antonio St., Lockhart, TX. The members of the governing body voted on the proposal to consider the tax increase as follows: FOR: President-James Holt, Vice President-James O. Lipscomb, Secretary/Treasurer-Peter Reinecke, Director-Ben Tidwell, Director-Lucy Knight, Director-Fred Rothert AGAINST: PRESENT and not voting: ABSENT: The average taxable value of a residence homestead in Plum Creek Conser- vation District last year was $92,876. Based on last year's tax rate of $0.021000 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed last year on the average home was $19.50. The average taxable value of a residence homestead in Plum Creek Conser- vation District this year is $94,426. If the governing body adopts the effective tax rate for this year of $0.020500 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $19.36. If the governing body adopts the proposed tax rate of $0.022000 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $20.77. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearings and express their views. * "Appraised value" is the amount shown on the appraisal roll and defined by Section 1.04(8), Tax Code ** "New property" is defined by Section 26.012(17), Tax Code *** "Taxable value" is defined by Section 1.04(10), Tax Code