Thursday, June 07, 2007

"They're in for the fight of their lives. People in Texas will not put up with this."

Spoilers or swing voters?

Independent Texans founder discusses corridor, politics with area group

June 07, 2007

The Victoria Advocate
Copyright 2007

Members of the independent movement can make a difference in United States politics with their ability to "spoil" elections, Linda Curtis said.

"The two parties use that word to describe us," said Curtis, a spokeswoman for the independent movement and founder of Independent Texans. "They say we're spoilers. I choose to think about it differently. We are the swing vote right now and we can swing and sway elections."

Curtis spoke with the Concerned Citizens for Responsible Government on Tuesday about pushing the independent movement forward in a positive way. People are upset with the way politicians are running the U.S., she said, and it's time to find a solution.

"There is unrest," she said. "People are trying to figure out what the heck is going on in this country. I think people are ready to hear what independents have to say."

One of the main issues the group hopes to tackle is the Trans-Texas Corridor, a stretch of highway that would run the length of the state.

"They need to slow it down," Curtis said. "We certainly need roads but this is not a road. This is a trade agreement."

Curtis attended 18 of the 54 TTC hearings that took place last summer and said the plan gives China a trade advantage, while it hurts America's neighbor to the south.

"The people of Mexico will be hurting even more," she said. "When you impoverish people across your border, what are they going to do? I know if I were one of them, I'd be jumping that fence. They're further impoverishing an already impoverished country."

The funds involved is something to take notice of, she said.

"It's scary the kind of money that's getting thrown around about this," Curtis said. "If you add up all the dollars it would take to build the corridor completely, they said it was originally $184 billion. Actually it's close to $1 trillion. It's $754 billion."

More people have taken notice of the movement, Curtis said, and 42 percent of the public self-identifies as independent.

"When people say they're independent they mean they don't identify with a party, but with the candidate," she said.

And that's one thing people need to work toward, she said. People must start voting for a candidate and for the issue, rather than for a political party.

"Corruption has no party line," said Russell Pruitt, a spokesman with the CCRG. "We tend to support party politics. I'm hoping to get people thinking about what's in their best interest. If people are informed on what's going on they will make the right decision."

Independent Texans will meet Saturday and Sunday in Bastrop to discuss ways to bring in members to the independent movement and to discuss which candidates to support in upcoming elections.

The group will continue to stand for what it believes in, Curtis said, on issues such as the TTC.

"They're in for the fight of their lives," she said. "People in Texas will not put up with this."

© 2007 The Victoria Advocate:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE