Wes Benedict Campaign Responds

RECEIVED Mon., April 25, 2005

Dear Editor,
    We would like to offer some feedback to a few of your mentions of Place 4 council candidate Wes Benedict [“The Council We Deserve,” News, April 22] as well as to the “Naked City” [News, April 22] item this past week regarding his ethics complaints filed against Betty Dunkerley: In 2002, her total reported contributions were $62,000 more than the total reported expenditures. Where did that $62,000 go? What is she not telling us, and why does she claim it's "not substantive"? She also failed to submit corrections this week, as promised.
    Wes did indeed run for council in 2003 against Danny Thomas, garnering 35% of the vote, but not as a Libertarian. City of Austin rules don't allow partisan-defined campaigns. In response to your assessment of his seemingly pro-environment rhetoric, Wes is an independent thinker – able to consider a myriad of solutions, regardless of who brings them to the table.
    In addition to the single Austin Toll Party endorsement you mention, Benedict has also been endorsed by AustinVoter.com, the Travis County Libertarian Party, and yes, the Travis County Green Party. It should be noted too that Dunkerley did not pick up the significant Austin Neighborhoods Council endorsement – a telling miss. Also, Dunkerley indeed has something to do with “the toll roads” issue – she hasn't opposed shifting existing highways to toll roads, and she is very much indebted to the toll road lobbyists who are funding her campaign.
    As for the nostrums Wes is speaking to, he is making connections entrenched incumbents refuse to address: corporate subsidies = gentrification/burdens on lower-income inner-city residents = traffic congestion, along with criticizing failed policies and the horrific quick fixes to Band-Aid them (i.e., nostrums!).
Debbie Russell
Campaign manager
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