Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Austinites Refute TSA Propaganda About ABIA Naked Body Scanners

Heather Fazio with Texans for Accountable Government, Wesley Strackbein, and Bradley Pierce, speak before the Austin City Council about the outrageous abuse of power exhibited by the Transportation Safety Administration at Austin Bergstrom International airport.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fans of The Jeff Davis Show

Several Access Television Producers Proclaim their Love For the Jeff Davis Show!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tough Road Ahead Collecting Late Tolls

Courts would be overwhelmed, no way to enforce

Chris Willis
KXAN Austin News
May 24, 2010

AUSTIN (KXAN) - More than 150,000 toll violators owe $56.1 million in outstanding tolls and "administrative fees" - but the Texas Department of Transportation is hitting a roadblock, or several, when it comes to collecting them.

To be exact, the amount of outstanding tolls is $3.12 million. But KXAN discovered TXDOT is charging some violators more than 4000 percent in those "administrative fees". And those fees are what push the total amount of money owed to $56.1 million.

TXDOT said they're now going to take those violators to court.

"Once the court date is scheduled, we step out of the process, it's in the hands of the court," said Mark E. Tomlinson, TXDOT's director of the Turnpike Authority.

But that's where their troubles begin; those cases are going to cause a major traffic jam in already strained courts, and county officials say they foresee them stalling out.

By law, the toll cases must be heard in a Justice of the Peace court with toll road jurisdiction. And most of those courtrooms hear roughly 9000 cases a year. Imagine the confusion when TXDOT tells the courts in Williamson and Travis counties they’re sending them 150,000 cases.

Local attorney Bill Gammon said right now, TXDOT cannot send any toll violation cases to court. He added the counties have been left in the dark when it comes to how the process will be handled.

"Once people realize this, they're going to have even less respect for the law and less respect for TXDOT and anybody else who tells them they're going to take them to court," he said.

"They're going to laugh."

KXAN spoke with the elected officials in Williamson and Travis counties, and they agree with Gammon.

Travis County Treasurer Delores Ortega Carter said TXDOT needs to get their ducks in a row before they file any toll violation cases.

"They can file all the cases they want, how long they’ll be there we don't know," she said.

Carter's colleague in Williamson County, Treasurer Vivian Wood concurs. "I just can’t see our judge and commissioners agreeing to anything even though the statute is there."

County officials said it all boils down to what is called an Interlocal Agreement: A set of rules and guidelines to outline procedures dealing with court costs, collection of tolls and fees, where the money collected goes, payment methods, timeliness and line items.

They said there has got to be an Interlocal Agreement before any cases can be heard in county courtrooms. Ortega-Carter and Wood told KXAN they've been trying to get an agreement with TXDOT since 2006, but have not heard anything from the state agency.

"I don't have anything from the state that tells me…and we don't just send money down to the Comptroller without the state's requirements for identification of those funds," Wood said.

Ortega-Carter added: "We need to have a paper trail so that, for auditing purposes, we can see where it’s going. We don't care how the state spends the money, that's their problem. We do care how the county receives that money."

TXDOT is now sending "last chance" letter to toll violators, threatening to take them to court if they do not pay their tolls and "administrative fees."

Tomlinson says one case has already been filed in Williamson County. And Tomlinson admits, they may not get far until they get together with county officials.

"We don’t want any mistakes on our part" he said. "We want to make sure the cases are good and the court processes are respected."

In the meantime, Gammon says 150,000 cases would simply overwhelm the court system, and he adds there’s no way TXDOT can burden the Justice of the Peace Courts with such a heavy case load.

He says if TXDOT does get Interlocal Agreements with Williamson and Travis Counties, and if they insist on charging violators 4000 percent in "administrative fees," violators who do end-up in court should simply request a jury trial.

"I think most jurors would be offended at the way this is being handled," said Gammon.

TXDOT’s Wisconsin-based collection agency is now calling violators at home and sending letters to try and get them to pay their tolls and fees.

But if you ignore the collection agency, there is little they can do. They cannot contact your credit report, they cannot prevent you from renewing your driver's license and they cannot stop you from registering your vehicle with the state.

Taking violators to court could be TXDOT's only option to collect the money. But until an Interlocal Agreement is reached, county officials said those cases will not be heard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Jeff Davis Show - Your City Water is Poisoned

Why do local governments across the country knowingly inject a toxic waste byproduct into our water supply? The award-winning Jeff Davis Show interviews representatives from Fluoride Free Austin to find out why.

The Jeff Davis Show - Stop Federal Fusion Centers!

On the long-running Jeff Davis Show, representatives from Texans for Accountable Government tell us about their fight to keep these Orwellian spy centers out of Texas

The Jeff Davis Show - Illegal Aliens: Threat or Scapegoat?

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Jeff Davis Show 5/2/2010: Police are Terrorists

The award-winning Jeff Davis Show presents its very own Terror Watch List!

Austin Fusion Center Rammed Down Our Throats Despite Privacy Complaints

News Coverage of the May 3rd Public Safety Commission in Austin, Texas

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Jeff Davis Show 4/25/10 - The Drug War: No Excuses

On the long-running Jeff Davis Show co-host Sasan Sadat exposes the real effects of the drug war and dissects the excuses that have been used to keep this war going for more than three decades.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Texas LiberTEA Party - April 15th, 2010 at the Texas State Capitol Building

John Bush

Jack Blood

Texas Stadium Controlled Demolition on 4/11 at 7:07


The Jeff Davis Show 4/18/2010 - Interview with Waco Siege Survivor

What really happened in Waco, TX in 1993? The long-running "Jeff Davis Show" blows the cover off the official story with an eye-witness account from Clive Doyle, who was inside the Branch Davidian building for the entire duration of the siege.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Alice In Wonderland at the Austin Scottish Rite Theater

I made it over to the local Freemasonic Theater to watch an Alice in Wonderland play on Sunday March 28, 2010.

Here is the 2010 schedule for the theater. It's interesting that one of the plays begins on September 11.

Freemasonic buildings don't seem to ever have many windows.

I managed to capture some video of the play. The theater had twin pillars on the sides of the stage with a double-headed eagle centered above.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

KopBusting Ex-Narc Plans To Sue Police for Millions

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Cannabis Culture
March 11, 2010

CANNABIS CULTURE - Ex-narcotics officer Barry Cooper is fuming over a police raid on his home and plans to sue the officers and officials involved for $30 million, calling their conduct "obvious retaliation" for a sting operation he pulled on Texas police for his show KopBusters.

"We are going to sue every Williamson County officer involved in the raid, the judges who signed my warrants, the sheriffs department, and the jail for false imprisonment," Cooper told Cannabis Culture. "According to my lawyers, it will be about $30 million."

Cooper, who served almost a decade as a drug enforcement officer before renouncing his past and becoming a marijuana activist, was arrested last week by Williamson County officers who claimed he filed a false police report during the setup for an episode of his Internet show that targets corrupt cops.

After arresting Cooper for the misdemeanor, 10 or more officers raided his home with guns pointed at his wife and seven-year-old son, and eventually found less than a gram of marijuana in the form of a few roaches.

Cooper, who is running for Texas Attorney General, has successfully busted police with a sting he calls "Finders Keepers" where a bag containing $45, some unused glass pipes, a fake drug-debt list, and a hidden GPS locator is placed in a public place and reported to police as suspicious. In a successful sting on a Liberty Hill police office he recorded for KopBusters, the officer took the money and ditched the bag.

When the KopBusters team attempted the sting again in Florence Texas, police didn't take the bait and retrieved the "suspicious package" in the legal manner. Later, police reviewed a recording of the phone call reporting the package by a caller identifying himself as "Ted Smith". Officers claim they could hear Cooper talking in the background, and filed for the arrest warrant.

Sergeant Gary Haston writes in the affidavit for Cooper's arrest warrant, "Upon review of the recorded telephone call made to the communication center at the Williamson County Sheriff's Office for this event, [Haston] was immediately able to discern the second, unidentified voice on the call as belonging to...Barry Neal Cooper. [Haston] is familiar with Cooper's voice from having heard him speak on numerous occasions in videos posted by Cooper on the internet website "YouTube," as well as Cooper's own website "Nevergetbusted.com."

"Our lawyers are laughing at that affidavit," Cooper said. "First of all, it wasn't a false report. According to the affidavit for the warrant, the caller said there was a suspicious bag at the school. Well, there was a suspicious bag at the school, so that's not a false report. But even is there was a valid case of a false report, it would be for the person who made the call, not someone talking in the background."

Cooper says police raids for misdemeanors are unheard of, and points to the presence of narcotics officers who kept asking "what do you have in your garage?" during his arrest as proof that a lot more was going on behind the scenes.

"In my entire law enforcement career and since I've been out I've never heard of a raid being conducted on a home for a misdemeanor," Cooper said." They knew that the arrest warrant affidavit would not pass the smell test with a real judge, so they took it to a Justice of the Peace."

He says police probably expected to find a large marijuana growing operation at his house, which would have overshadow their shady methods. When they didn't find any pot plants, police scoured the house and came up with only a few roaches - not much, but enough for a pair of arrest warrants for Cooper and his wife Candi. Though they have both been charged with possession, Cooper says after pleading guilty, the courts would probably knock the charges down to a Class C misdemeanor and a fine.

He says his family has been turned upside down in the raid - a terrifying four-hour experience where shouting police came through the front door with guns drawn, and eventually seized computers, electronic equipment and even his wife's iPod.

The Williamson County Sheriff's office did not return phone calls to Cannabis Culture.

The lawsuit will be filed in the next couple weeks he says, and he will continue fighting corrupt cops for those who can't.

"This is proof that if you do fight back against corruption, you will get raided and go to jail," Cooper said. "It is not a fair system and it is intimidating for people out there who want to change things. That's why we will keep fighting."

UPDATE: Big props to one of my favorite reporters, Stephen C. Webster from True/Slant (pictured standing behind Barry in the photo above) for his diligent reporting on the KopBusters (and for mentioning Cannabis Culture in his latest piece).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Acevedo Finalist to Lead Dallas Police

Acevedo says he sought opportunity after it was presented

Tony Plohetski
Austin American-Statesman
March 8, 2010

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, within hours of applying for the job, was named one of six finalists Monday to become the next leader of the Dallas police force.

Panels of Dallas residents, city officials and police union representatives will interview Acevedo later this month, but it was unclear Monday when the city would name its new chief .

Acevedo, who has been in Austin since July 2007, said he applied after the position "was presented to me." He had privately informed several top city officials in recent days that he was considering applying for the job but had not told them he'd formally entered the process.

"I want to assure the men and women of the Austin Police Department that I very much enjoy my work with this great department," Acevedo said in a statement. "The decision to respond to this opportunity is not an indication of my dissatisfaction, in any way, with this outstanding police department."

The announcement comes at a time when Acevedo's prominence in Austin — and the law enforcement community nationally — continues to grow.

Some City Hall insiders Monday night questioned whether Acevedo might attempt to use the possibility of becoming Dallas' chief to bolster his Austin salary, which was about $180,000 last year, or to obtain other perks such as an employment contract with the city.

In his statement, Acevedo mentioned that the average tenure of a major city chief is three to five years and that he has no contract with the City of Austin — only City Manager Marc Ott does.

Ott said he thinks any discussion about a counteroffer is premature.

"I don't want to presuppose what is going to happen in that regard," he said.

However, Acevedo, who oversees about 1,600 officers, said he would probably accept an offer in Dallas if he and the city agree on the salary and other terms. Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle , who plans to leave in April, earned about $177,000 last year.

The Dallas opening comes during a time of mounting strain between Acevedo and some city leaders, who have raised concerns, in particular, about his decisions to bypass some officers for promotions.

Acevedo has lost two recent appeals by officers who were bypassed, and hearings for a third began this week.

Some City Council members earlier this year expressed frustration at having to create a high-ranking position for an officer who won his appeal. Acevedo had not left a slot vacant while the matter was being resolved.

Acevedo also has increasingly garnered the spotlight at community events, including a recent anti-hate rally downtown, during which he received thunderous applause and cheers while City Council members looked on.

City officials offered mixed reactions Monday night to Acevedo's possible departure. Several talked as if Acevedo would probably be hired.

"He will be hard to replace," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. "In a way, I hope he doesn't get it, but I wish him well. He has a career to think about, and his career is ahead of him."

Acevedo, 45, moved to Austin after spending more than two decades with the California Highway Patrol. He found a department that was under U.S. Department of Justice scrutiny for how it uses force against minorities and has worked in recent years to improve police and community relations.

Council Member Laura Morrison said, "I wish him well and good luck if he's looking to a new future."

However, Council Member Mike Martinez said he has no indication that Acevedo would leave. "I think it is premature to sound any alarms right now," Martinez said.

But Martinez said he isn't surprised that Dallas encouraged Acevedo to apply.

According to a City of Dallas memo, other contenders for the job include the San Jose, Calif., and Louisville, Ky., police chiefs. The city's job posting said the next chief would oversee about 3,600 officers and a $410 million budget.

"The next Chief will be expected to continue growing the sworn component of the department while confronted with budget challenges," the posting said.

Among the rank-and-file, Austin officers said Monday night that they were surprised by the announcement, said Sgt. Wayne Vincent, the police union president.

Relations between the union and Acevedo also have grown increasingly frayed, culminating last month with the chief's decision to take to court an arbitrator's opinion to reinstate a fired officer.

"I wish him luck if (Dallas) is what he wants to pursue," Vincent said.