Delving into lawsuit brought threats, interference
Listening to the blog talk radio broadcast, one immediately
apprehended that the man is angry, and for a good reason.
A candidate for State Senatorial District 22, he could
barely contain his outrage.
In response to a statement by blog radio interviewer Duke
Machado, President of GOP Is For Me.com, Darren Yancy
paused, then blurted out the crux of his problem.
"When I discovered that lawsuit..." he paused for a moment,
letting the emotional impact of the moment sink in.
Then he continued.
In a rush, he responded to Mr. Machado's statement when he
prompted him to go on by saying, "There are some people who
don't want this story in the media."
Mr. Machado is speaking of a controversial multi-million
dollar lawsuit between the Brazos River Authority and Brazos
Electrical Co-Op in which the electric company has alleged a
breach of contract complaint against the water management
authority - a half million dollar a year agreement that has
so far produced no electrical power, as contracted.
Said Yancy, "We've had some unusual activities at our house.
I've had some strange calls."
There are security issues, he has stated in the past,
problems regarding the safety of his family, his kids.
He said other media outlets - newspapers, broadcast stations
- were discouraged with political interference, physical
threats from unnamed parties who urged their editors and
publishers to drop the subject.
The entire dispute is about the truth, he stressed, the
public record of State of Texas bond audits and Federal
operation inspections, the review of contract agreements and
scrutiny of court documents relating to the lawsuit filed in
the 414th State District Court.
The records don't belong to the Brazos River Authority or
the Brazos Electrical Power Co-Op.
They belong to the People of the State of Texas, and no one
else. They are subject to the provisions of the Texas Open
Records Act and the Federal Open Information Act.
He spoke of these things, then he threw down the gauntlet.
"At this point, I'm not taking anybody's word for anything."
The Brazos River Authority has refused to allow a public
inspection of the hydroelectric power generating equipment
because of a security risk - a Homeland Security matter.
He received their refusal in writing, he said.
"We're not going to stop there. I've got calls going in to
the Governor's office...So there will be a lot of eyes
focusing on this issue."
If as many as 50,000 people flood Governor Rick Perry's
office on Monday morning demanding a public inspection of
the power house of the Morris Sheppard Dam at Possum
Kingdom, "The Governor needs to pick up the phone and call
Homeland Security...There's a good possibility it will be
done that day, if not the next.
Why is it Governor Perry's responsibility?
Texas Bond Review Board records indicate that bond money -
"as much as $40 million spread over three issues" - is
alleged to have been allocated to maintaining the sluice
gates, penstocks and hydroelectric turbines of the venerable
dam constructed between 1938 and 1941, a structure that
started generating electrical power in 1942 and has never
failed a Federal Electrical Regulatory Commission
inspection, according to public records.
"Because we're talking about money that goes back to 1991...
There are people who have been involved every step of the
way, state and Federal...This might well extend past the
borders of the State of Texas."
But in the year 2007, the executives of the Brazos River
Authority shut down the power house at Possum Kingdom. That
took 24 megawatts off the power grid.
They said that the facility was in bad repair.
Either it has been maintained at public expense in tip top
shape, as public records indicate, or it was allowed to
deteriorate to the point that it was not economically
feasible to repair it.
It can't be both, a little bit of both, or anything of the
"We need an immediate public inspection...If it catches fire
tomorrow night..." He let his voice trail away.
"They took 24 megawatts off the grid. It affects every
county...When you do that, rates are bound to go up."
"The taxpayers and consumers have a right to know."
Then he answered calls from citizens who are just as
interested as he.
Ms. Toby Marie Walker, an operative of the Waco TEA Party,
called in to ask Why is the Federal government involved in a
Mr. Yancy agreed to her protest. He said the state water
plan contained in enabling legislation for the Texas Water
Development Board, a massive, multi-billion dollar
reauthorization bill sponsored by incumbent State Senator
Kip Averitt does two things to Texans' water rights.
First, it reduces their riparian rights to the water under
the surface of their property.
Secondly, it exacts steep users' fees for drilling water
wells and maintaining them, fees collected on a yearly basis
for the privilege to use one's own water, a resource owned
by the deed holder.
GOP Is For Me.com Training and Development Director Janet
Jackson called from her Clifton home to ask if Senator
Averitt gave him his "blessing" when he bowed out of the
race due to "health concerns."
The answer to the question was a resounding no. In fact,
Brazos River Authority Presiding Officer Chris DeCluitt, a
Waco Attorney and member of the Republican Party of Texas
Executive Committee, has urged the voters to mount a "Keep
Kip" campaign at the polls because the veteran legislator is
still listed on the primary ballot.
Mr. DeCluitt, an appointee of Governor Rick Perry, is said
to have been recommended by Senator Averitt.
Mr. Yancy explained by saying, "I'm going to be the
Republican nominee. I have enough commitments from County
Republican Chairmen to get the nomination."
If he wins the primary election outright, he will be the
sole candidate on the General Election ballot. If there is
a need for a run-off or if he is defeated, the chairmen of
the county parties will have the opportunity to name a
candidate. That will leave the door open for a Democratic
If people vote for Kip Averitt when he has said he does not
want the nomination, "All they're doing is throwing their
vote away to the possibility of a Democratic candidate."
Joe Williams, a member of the Lake Granbury Waterfront
Property Owners Association, called to say that "Even before
the lawsuit, the BRA wouldn't give us the information about
the lake when we asked. Their answer is no comment, whether
it's about the dam or it's about the lake level or anything
Mr. Yancy said that the pending litigation is no reason to
avoid comment about public matters, matters of record or
policy that impact constituents of a very large state agency
"Either we need to see the repairs, or we need to see what
they did with the money," said Mr. Yancy.
"Either they show us the work they did, or they show us
where the money is."