Keep on Rockin’ Me Baby

Steven Miller on SA: How Texas Pacific Land’s Proxy Fight Made Me A Dissident

Steven has been an active voice on the topic of TPL on the Seeking Alpha website in recent years.

Judging by the comment thread, can the vote even be close?  Sentiment appears to be with the White card.

There are nevertheless similarities between the current governance system of the Trust and a totalitarian system of government. The current trustees essentially have lifetime appointments. The Trust has had only four public meetings in the last 30 years. Information about wells drilled, the water business, and the recent land swap has been sparse or nonexistent, much to the frustration of shareholders. This has caused a continued sense that the trustees are hiding something.

For me, this misgiving started when a report came out that water was being piped from the Trusts land into New Mexico, a report that was never answered, as far as I have been able to determine. The trustees furthermore chose to nominate a general rather than the candidate that a significant block of investors have nominated. The trustees continue to demonize the opposing candidate, who has chosen not to strike back in kind.

Mr. Oliver is not a perfect candidate, and I still have questions both about his background and a statement or two he has made, but he has raised significant issues and has proposed solutions to them. He wants more transparency. He wants a change in governance. General Cook has announced support for term limits, but this came long after Mr. Oliver pressed the issue. The General has been fighting a defensive battle from the outset.

The trustees’ social media blitz irritates me, as does their insistence on taking credit for passive income. The Trust may call me a dissident for supporting Mr. Oliver, and they may be right to do so, but not for reasons they think.