The Daily Hustle: 10/19/10
Unbundling a bevy of anti-bondsters
By Wells Dunbar, 11:31AM, Tue. Oct. 19, 2010
It was bound to happen sooner than later.
As early voting starts, groups opposed to the city's $90 million transportation bond have been popping up quicker than potholes on Guadalupe. The Hustle has your crib sheet below the fold.
New specific purpose PACs filed at the city include Engineers Affirming Sustainable Transportation, with Don Zimmerman as campaign treasurer, as appointed by Jim Skaggs. Zimmerman was also treasurer of the Coalition on Sensible Transportation, which has been filed with the state since 2008, although their last report filed for dissolution of the PAC – out with old, in with the new, we suppose.
Making a splash Sunday was a one Sensible Transportation Solutions for Austin PAC, who ran the full page ad below in the Sunday Statesman. In Fact Daily reports that former Texas Monthly publisher and would-be political player Mike Levy is the financial muscle behind the PAC. IFD also writes that Ed Wendler and Dominic Chavez (listed as the groups' treasurer) are the PAC's media contacts.
But wait … there's more! Chavez is also involved with Austinites for Action, the 501c4 organization helmed by Carole Keeton Strayhorn and other sundry conservative types. (Guess who's on their advisory board: that's right, Skaggs and Zimmerman.) AFA has come out against the bond, enlisting/creating a couple like-minded groups in the process: Austinites for Downtown Mobility, nee Keep Austin Moving, patriots valiantly opposed to socialist plans to impose a bike boulevard Downtown, is now entwined with AFA; Strayhorn and AFA are listed as contacts on Austinites for Downtown Mobility's latest blog post. Similarly, the West Austin Downtown Alliance, an ostensible consortium of businesses (that lists no actual member businesses) has the same Strayhorn press release on their site. Hilariously, it lists the three sister groups – Austinites for Action, Austinites for Downtown Mobility, and West Austin Downtown Alliance – as separate “citizen organizations.”
If only it stopped there: We could keep going, but the Hustle has a day job to tend to. For more on the bond debate and the package in general, wait for this Thursday's super-sized column in print.
Sigh. It would've just been so much easier to link to this video made by Mike Blizzard. Sensible Transportation Solutions for Austin - Statesman Ad
What the hell else is happening?
On the city calendar: The Public Health and Human Services Committee meets in the Boards and Commissions room at City Hall, 301 W. Second, 3pm.
The Mexican American Cultural Center Advisory Board meets at the MACC, 600 River, 6pm.
The Zoning and Platting Commission meets in City Hall's Council Chambers, 6pm.
The Resource Management Commission meets in the B&C room at City Hall, 6:30pm.
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