PRESS RELEASE April 27, 2015

GRIMES CITIZEN ADVISORY GROUP, GRIMES COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY & TEXANS AGAINST HIGH-SPEED RAIL TO HOST HIGH-SPEED RAIL OPPOSITION RALLY

WHAT: Grimes County and surrounding area residents are invited to an informational meeting regarding the currently proposed Dallas Houston high-speed rail project. Speakers will share information about the project and its impact to directly impacted landowners, as well as the impact on those not directly in the path of the proposed routes. Speakers will also provide an update on legislative efforts and what area residents can do to join the fight to stop this project.

WHO: Hosts of the rally are Grimes Citizen Advisory Group, Grimes County Republican Party, and Texans Against High-Speed Rail. Co-Sponsors include: Grimes County, Town of Anderson, City of Bedias, City of Iola, Waller County Advocacy Group, Grimes County Firefighters Association, Montgomery County Tea Party, Madison County Tea Party Patriots, Sam Houston Tea Party, Texans Uniting For Reform & Freedom, Texas Patriots PAC and Texas Forestry Association.

WHEN: TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015; 7:00 PM

WHERE: GRIMES COUNTY EXPO CENTER, 5220 FM 3455, NAVASOTA

WHY: Area residents are concerned about the lack of detailed information being received from the company promoting the railway, the inconsistent information being shared by company representatives and are against the use of eminent domain by a private company that will remain the predominant financial benefactor. The company planning the 240-mile HSR project refuses to share ridership and project viability studies for the project being touted as “privately funded,” while company officials lobby in Austin for access to public funding options. Event organizers will present the plan to oppose this project and how individual residents can contribute to that effort.

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Montgomery County Residents Travel To Austin To Join The Capitol Battle

READ THIS, THEN MAKE PLANS TO BE IN AUSTIN ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23rd!! (Details will be shared again later today!)
Todd and Tiffany Cauley
“Come and Take it!”
Montgomery County residents
Donors and supporters of Texans Against High-Speed Rail

11054826_851589598248787_8327874117409709010_nThe Cauleys have invested both their dollars and time in Texans Against High-Speed Rail to help stop the high-speed train. We were excited they joined us last week in Austin and wanted to share their take on the experience. No need for political experience to have your voice heard in the Capitol!

Tiffany said:

Not having any political background or experience, we were nervous about traveling to Austin to support HB 3915. After summoning up our courage, we walked in to several senator’s and representative’s offices with our Texans Against High-Speed Rail business cards in hand. We were very surprised at the reactions. Everyone listened to what we had to say and were very nice. Todd and I were both so encouraged by the end of the day. We felt like just our little bit of help let TCR know we were there and are very serious about saving our farms and ranches from this disastrous high-speed rail. In addition to writing letters and going to Austin, it is vital for everyone to give financial support so we are able to continue our fight.

Todd said:

Recently, I drove to Austin to visit the Texas State Capitol to show support for House Bill 3915 that was discussed to award damages to landowners that lose access to their property because of high speed rail. Basically, it compensates ranchers, farmers, and homeowners from having a high speed rail track that devastates their property and makes the company or entity responsible, liable for damages up to 50% of the total value of the entire property value.

My family has been fighting this proposed ­Japanese funded bullet train for about six months, and I have to say that I have learned a lot about politics. It is crucial that the citizens of our State/Country take a stand – physically, just not verbally – to show our legislators what we believe in. We need to show them that this is not the most practical/sensible effort to help our “transportation problems.”

This is a major issue for our great State of Texas and few people know about it, but it is a very real detriment to our State and our private properties. We all need to come together and fight this Japanese backed train. That means showing support at hearings and giving money to our cause. Let’s all get together to stop this bullet train from happening ANYWHERE in Texas.

PRESS RELEASE April 17, 2015

Despite Behind the Scenes Pressure to Derail Legislative Efforts,
Texans Against High-Speed Rail Picking Up Steam in Austin

JEWETT, Texas, April 17, 2015 – With a $10B high-speed rail project proposed through rural Texas between Dallas and Houston, in February of this year volunteers created a united opposition group, Texans Against High-Speed Rail (TAHSR), to utilize all options available to oppose this project and level the playing field between Texas Central Railway (TCR), the promoter of the HSR project, and the thousands of rural Texans who would be negatively impacted. Recognizing that the heavy legislative efforts of TCR would go relatively unchecked without a substantial presence in Austin, Texans Against High-Speed Rail engaged the legislative representation services of Galt Graydon and the Graydon Group, a highly respected governmental affairs consulting team based in Austin. From the outset, TAHSR was aware that Graydon represented several clients including Southwest Airlines and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), among others. Because DART is solely involved in traditional mass transit for residents of the DFW Metroplex and not high-speed rail, no legal or ethical conflict exists for Graydon’s representation of both DART and TAHSR. Even still, Graydon received agreement from DART that although there was a shared transportation element with both groups, there was no conflict in representing TAHSR. Further, in a blog entry posted yesterday (April 16, 2015) by The Dallas Morning News stated, “DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said on Wednesday that the agency is OK with that arrangement. ‘We see high-speed rail as a good opportunity for the region. Galt’s client may have a different position,’ he said, calling Graydon an ‘amazing supporter and advocate’ for DART. ‘But we respect Galt’s right to work with different clients.’” Despite agreement by all parties before contracting with Mr. Graydon and yesterday’s public support by DART, Texans Against High-Speed Rail announces the withdrawal of representation by the Graydon Group.

Texans Against High-Speed Rail board member Frank Reilly, who serves as TAHSR general counsel and also regularly practices before the Texas Ethics Commission, stated, “There simply is no legal or ethical conflict between DART, a traditional regional commuter rail service with no connection to the proposed Dallas HSR station, and Texans Against High-Speed Rail, which opposes a high-speed system between Houston and Dallas; however, we respect Mr. Graydon’s decision to withdraw from representing TAHSR. The Graydon Group has provided outstanding services to our organization, and we appreciate their guidance and expertise.”

TAHSR president Kyle Workman stated, “Because not everyone can take off work or leave their farm or ranch during this time of year, we knew it was important to make sure Texans Against High-Speed Rail had a regular presence in the Capitol to provide our legislators with accurate information about the proposed Dallas Houston HSR to consider, and hiring a lobbyist to support those efforts was a significant step to that end.”

Workman emphasized, “We are disappointed but not surprised that proponents of this project would use political pressure to create conflict where one does not exist. Despite the mutual agreement from the outset that there was no conflict of interest in the Graydon Group representing both DART and Texans Against High-Speed Rail, DART contacted The Graydon Group this week to declare a conflict had arisen. As a result, the Graydon Group was forced to withdraw from lobbying on our behalf because of their long standing obligation to DART. It is clear that behind the scenes pressure can be placed on those who could influence the outcome of this high-speed rail project…without regard for the thousands of Texans who are just trying to protect their homes and properties. The effectiveness of Texans Against High-Speed Rail in promoting the protection of property owners and taxpayers through the legislative process is a real threat to those pushing for high-speed rail, and we feel this is an obvious attempt to slow our momentum. However, we are in the Capitol today visiting with legislators and interviewing multiple lobby firms. Our lobbyist may have changed, but our mission has not. We look forward to successfully supporting the legislation filed by Sen. Kolkhorst, Sen. Nichols, Rep. Metcalf and Rep. Wray, and opposing high-speed rail in Texas.”

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PRESS RELEASE April 13, 2015

Texas State Legislators Urge Texas Congressional Delegation to
Oppose High-Speed Rail Project

Jewett, Texas – Lawmakers in Austin who represent thousands of Texans along the proposed Dallas Houston high-speed rail project being promoted by Texas Central Railway (TCR) have officially requested opposition to the project from the Texas delegation in Washington, DC. With an application to the federal level Surface Transportation Board (STB) likely, all five state senators and nine state house members who represent the areas between Dallas and Houston called on the federal delegation representing those areas to preemptively oppose any application for public convenience and necessity by the high-speed rail company at the STB.

Texas State Senators Brian Birdwell, Brandon Creighton, Lois Kolkhorst, Robert Nichols and Charles Schwertner, as well as State Representatives Trent Ashby, Cecil Bell, Jr., Byron Cook, Kyle Kacal, Mark Keough, Will Metcalf, John Raney, Leighton Schubert and John Wray, signed the April 10 letter siting TCR’s intent to use eminent domain to acquire land, loss of property value, project viability concerns and widespread opposition as their reasons for opposing the proposed bullet train.

“For the rural counties impacted by the proposed routes, this project would only serve as a detriment. Although rural counties may benefit from a few jobs during the construction phase, the long-term costs far outweigh any temporary benefit. This project holds real consequences for rural constituents, their property and their livelihoods. Private property interests will be taken by eminent domain. Farm and ranchland, often held by families for generations, will be divided, creating a loss in access and a loss in revenue for those who rely on farming and ranching to make a living. The value of nearby land will decrease due to sight, noise and restricted use of property caused by the high-speed rail.”

The letter went on to state, “We appreciate any assistance you can provide in opposing any TCR application at the STB…As duly-elected officials representing our constituents at the federal level, each of you has a unique opportunity to have an impact on this project before it is unilaterally advanced by the appointees who comprise the STB.”

Texans Against High-Speed Rail President Kyle Workman was appreciative of the show of support by state legislators and encouraged by the possibility of federal level opposition. “Texans Against High-Speed Rail was created to unify the thousands of Texans who will be negatively impacted by this high-speed rail project. Our state legislators have taken a stand with us to protect our private property rights and protect our state from the inevitable collapse of this project,” Workman said. “We are overwhelmed by the support of our state legislators and are hopeful that Senators Cornyn and Cruz and Congressmen Barton, Flores, Brady and McCaul will represent our best interest in Washington by opposing an application by TCR to the Surface Transportation Board.”

Please visit www.TexansAgainstHSR.com for more information about Texans Against High-Speed Rail, Inc.

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