Patterico's Pontifications


Texas Quote of the Day

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 6:34 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas law prevents building on public beaches but in the final hours of the recent legislative session, state Rep. Wayne Christian approved and voted for an amendment that exempted land for his Bolivar Peninsula vacation home that had been destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Christian defended his position:

“Christian said his vote for the amendment benefited other peninsula property owners and therefore was not a breach of ethics. ‘If I were to pass a law that affected only Wayne Christian, that would be a conflict,’ he said. At least 12 of his neighbors want to rebuild but can’t without the amendment, Christian said.”

But Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has asked Governor Rick Perry to veto the the bill with the amendment, and if that doesn’t happen:

“If the governor signs the bill, Patterson vowed that he would not enforce the amendment. “My option is just to say, ‘Screw you, Wayne Christian,’ because the Legislature didn’t pass this, one guy passed this,” he said.

Patterson said the Legislature would have to impeach him if lawmakers wanted the provision enforced.”


19 Responses to “Texas Quote of the Day”

  1. I actually hope they do try to impeach him, and watch the results to follow – given the economic times we live in and the often – fungible property laws in most of our states, there’d be a pitchfork party waiting for Mr. Christian (ironic, no?) in short order.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  2. I think Mr. Christian should be able to rebuild a house on the land what he owns and Jerry Patterson is acting like a little girl what wants attention in her new Easter dress. Building a house on the beach is not the problem I don’t think it’s a government that is gay to where it won’t let you rebuild your house after it gets hurricaned what’s the problem.

    happyfeet (2d133f)

  3. I don’t understand how one legislator passes a law?

    brobin (c07c20)

  4. What is the law in Texas about dueling, these days? Thems are fightin’ words.

    nk (157acd)

  5. Well, on the one hand what this legislator did was wrong, but on the other hand, there is a serious issue here. Texas law defines the public beach as anything seaward of the vegetation line.

    So the hurricane blows through and uproots a lot of vegetation and suddenly that line moves inland quite a bit, and poof, private property is now declared public lands. It’s not at all clear to me that this isn’t an unconstitutional taking without just compensation.

    Skip (ba6438)

  6. Jerry Patterson is the Real Deal when it comes to running his office:

    Jerry Patterson is a concealed-weapon-carrying, tobacco-dipping, canvas-death-trap-flying maverick whose management of the Christmas Mountains has ticked off everyone from Rick Perry to the Sierra Club. Not that he cares.

    Rather even-handed treatment from Texas Monthly, which caters to a center-Left (whatever than means in Texas) Austin-centric audience.

    furious (a74982)

  7. …Mr. Christian would be ill-advised to challenge Mr. Patterson to a duel.

    People who build on barrier islands in Hurricane Country ought to know and accept the risks. And they shouldn’t expect taxpayers or policyholders to bail them out when the next Katrina blows through.

    Further, construction on barrier islands damages their ability to act as, well, a protective barier to the marsh- and coast-lands (and native species, some, like the Whooping Crane, endangered) behind them.

    furious (a74982)

  8. Furious…I don’t think in this case the “people” want the state or the taxpayers or the policyholders to bail them out….

    I think this man owns the land, and owns the house, and simply wants to rebuild.

    I live in New Orleans, and I am torn about the idea that we should “completely rebuild” because I do know that the next one can do the same thing. At the same time, if the people of this country agree that we should rebuild, we should be given that option. It is in many cases your money that is rebuilding my city.

    However, I don’t see that here. And, I do believe that if “I” want to rebuild, and “I” have the money, then “I” should be able to, even if the property line has moved, even if it means that I know I could lose it again….

    reff (ee9f7a)

  9. Now, if Mr. Patterson had only said what furious and reff just did ….

    nk (157acd)

  10. First, the law shouldn’t prevent rebuilding a storm damaged or destroyed home. Since the structure was in place, and presumably in compliance when first built, it is manifestly wrong to apply after-the-fact prohibitions.

    Such restrictions constitute an abuse of regulatory authority and is clearly an unacceptable encroachment on the right to private property.

    I’ve seen this kind of thing in California where the Coastal Commission refused permission to repair a damaged seawall unless the home owner deeded the State an easement for public access along the boundry of his property, even though there was pubic parking and improved access less than 40 yards from his home. The CCC simply used the storm damage to blackmail the homeowner.

    Texas Land Commissioner Patterson’s pompus “Screw you” attitude is absolutely typical of the, totalitarian contempt our public servants too often show for the history and traditions of America’s most fundamental institution.

    However, it was also wrong of of Rep. Wayne Christian to use his position in the Texas Legislature to push through a last minute exemption for only Bolivar Peninsula property, the exemption should have extended to all storm damaged property, especially residental property.

    I fully understand and support his desire to rebuild his vacation home, but he went about it the wrong way.

    Ropelight (e36d4f)

  11. It is predicatble that hurricanes will sweep all structures away from coastal property, over time.

    Assuming that this is explained correctly, the Texas law, as it affects existing structures, seems to convert them from freeholds to leaseholds, where they revert to state property once a hurricane strikes. Sounds like a taking to me, but probably not to the Kelo court.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  12. There’s something called “alloidial” land ownership but God only knows what it means, these days, from state to state.

    nk (157acd)

  13. The guy I want to say is right isn’t and the guy I want to say is wrong isn’t.

    Christian should be able to rebuild because he should be grandfathered in from this law–he should not be allowed “new” construction, but he should be allowed to replace the old that was damaged by an act of god.

    But his definition of “confict of interest” is crazy. It’s not a conflict for him to introduce legislation that direct benefits him if it also benefits others? Really? I would have more respect for him if he said, “yes, it’s a conflict, but I also believe it’s the right thing and here’s why…”

    tim maguire (4a98f0)

  14. Buried deeper in the news article:

    “…He denied that it was improper to add the amendment to a bill so close to the end of the session. “This is not an unethical, deceptive method of doing anything,” Christian said. “This is the way it’s been ever since government was invented.”

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.

    allan (3a7c64)

  15. That’s why I side against Mr. Christian – he used his public position to change a law already on the books in order to directly benefit himself, period.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  16. Is it even possible to imagine Our Stupid President appointing a person with that kind of spine and independence to any position?

    Yes, yes it is possible. But only when he’s naming abrasive hyper-liberals to the Supreme Court. (Sonia Sotomayor to every American property owner in Didden: “Screw You.”)

    Other than that, everyone in his administration is a mediocre castrato who wouldn’t dare raise their voice against his corruption.

    Daryl Herbert (a32d30)

  17. It’s good to be King.

    Chuck Roast (6cbc23)

  18. The Texas Open Beaches Act prohibits private structures on the public beach. Since 1986 anyone who purchased coastal property signed disclosure forms that warned if the line of vegetation moved landward of your house it would be illegal would have to be removed. Wayne Christian signed that document and now he doesn’t like the outcome of his risky investment.

    The beach belongs to 24 million Texans. The OBA guarantees public access WITHOUT houses, septic tanks and other debris.

    OK, some of you want him to rebuild right on the beach. Then YOU pay for all the debris cleanup when houses that should never been built are scattered across two counties.

    Ellis (957d1a)

  19. Using the vegetation line is a pretty flimsy marker, which can fluctuate due to climatic conditions. Using the Mean High Water Line is a much more permanent reference point. Sounds to me that whoever wrote that legislation intended for the State to acquire a lot of Gulf-front property without having to go through the niceties of Eminent Domain – or having to pay for it.

    AD - RtR/OS! (15fd5c)

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