Guest Blog by Richard Golladay, PEC Member
An old adage says, “Birds of a feather flock together”. Nowhere is this more true than in highly partisan Texas State government, from which PEC and its members should be protected.
Judge James Oakley, running for District 5 Director position, has listed his highly political endorsements, and these endorsements are telling, indeed.
So what kind of political birds have taken roost in James Oakley’s endorsement tree, and continue to flutter there to this day? Most notably, some genuine enemies of Pedernales Electric Cooperative. They are, in particular, Rep. Tony Dale, Rep. Paul Workman, and former Senator Troy Fraser.
Many readers of this Blog may not be familiar with an exercise in tyranny orchestrated by Tony Dale, Paul Workman, and other House Republicans in early 2015 in the form of House Bills 3451 and 3391. These bills, had they been passed, would have (1) nullified the existing Board of PEC by resetting all Director elections, (2) nullified our bylaws by forcing Single Member District representation, and (3) changed our plurality voting to majority voting with requirements for runoff elections. In short, these bills represented the tip of a political machine’s spear, using government intrusion, with the end in view of a makeover of PEC, without consent of our members!
PEC was fighting for its life, and the Board at that time passed a resolution (No. 3006) repudiating this blatant power grab. (It made the local papers.) But the fowl had already found nests on our Board. Take serious and thoughtful note, members of PEC: James Oakley and Emily Pataki were the only two dissenting votes! They were complicit with this subversive legislation! Their buddies in the Legislature were the architects of this tyranny, and they were not about to join the rest of PEC’s Board in fighting off this power grab.
And now, among Mr. Oakley’s endorsements are not only the two birds listed above (Dale, and Workman) but we have former Senator Troy Fraser, who was quoted as saying “he agreed with the legislation”. Indeed he would. No politician with the dubious distinction of being an ALEC “legislator of the year” would value a Co-op making its own independent energy choices, free of government intrusion.
With Judge Oakley now in the driver’s seat of the PEC Board, these people are on a roll, or so they think. Thoughtful Republican voters sent one of the sponsors of these bills packing during the recent Republican primary (Rep. Marsha Farney), for other reasons. With some luck maybe Republicans who think like I do (and I am a Republican) can help us save our Co-op.
The birds are still there, the machine they are part of is well oiled, and they will try again.