Bunch Davidians Declare Arguments Against Props. 1 & 2 Inane Diatribes by Sellouts
RECEIVED Tue., May 9, 2006
Dear Editor, Mike Clark-Madison tells us that props 1 and 2 are not progressive, a term he takes to be a synonym of "well-meaning ninny" [“Austin@Large,” News, May 5]. Certainly this is how Clark-Madison comes off in his diatribe against these propositions. Then again, maybe not. Neither Clark-Madison nor the former City Council members who oppose Clean Austin have chosen to reveal how much they're being paid by EducatePAC.org, a name taken straight from the playbook of the Bush administration, since the primary goal of this PAC is to obfuscate, hoping to confuse voters into voting against their own best interests. Well, except for voters who also happen to be developers hoping to get special tax breaks for paving over the aquifer. Clark-Madison should be challenged on every inane point that he makes, however, the Chronicle affords Clean Austin proponents only 300 words to make their case, so one will have to suffice. Clark-Madison equates the validity of making information public with how many people will directly use this information. So, Mike, re-runs of Friends are more important than any book on science, engineering, the arts? Recently, transportation activist Roger Baker attempted to find out what percentage of the 2000 transportation bonds have been spent on bike/ped facilities. The city informed him that they would tell him nothing without a formal FOIA request. Baker obtained such a request and learned that for the first five years of the bond, every single penny has been spent on acquiring SH 130 row and nothing on promised intersection improvements, HOV lanes, and bike/ped facilities. Sixty-seven million clams would pay for an awful lot of library, Mike. Too bad nobody was minding the piggy bank and the money was spent on a boondoggle instead; a toll road, which by TxDOT's own analysis, will only relieve 8% of the traffic on I-35 by 2020.
[News Editor Michael King responds: For the record, I read Mike Clark-Madison's article on the Educate PAC Web site, considered it a solid analysis of the politics underlying the props controversy, and asked him, as a former columnist and city editor, if he would permit a Chronicle reprint of the piece, as a guest “Austin@Large." He agreed. (No payment was discussed, but as is customary we intend to pay him a freelance fee.) Had I realized the hysterical and venomous personal attacks the reprint would subject him to (as reflected in the above letters), I might have warned him more strongly against it. In no way does he deserve this personal abuse or the flame-war attacks on his integrity, for the apparent offense of having a different opinion than that of our correspondents.
Mike Clark-Madison responds: I was not paid anything, by EducatePAC or anyone else, to write the piece that appeared on their Web site and in the Chronicle last week. Period. I did it for free because I care. Being a whore doesn't pay as well as the Bunch Davidians think. In fact, it pays a lot less than being the trust-fund baby of an oil and sprawl fortune like SOS moneybags Kirk Mitchell, who's dumped far more money into this race than any developer or "insider." By the Bunch Davidians' own standards, their own side should be deemed untrustworthy and corrupt, because it's funded with dirty money (and, as an added bonus, has violated numerous campaign-finance laws). In sum, Dear Leader Kim Jong Bill and his sugar daddy are trying to buy an election to rewrite Austin's laws for Bunch's personal benefit. Explain that away, kids, before you start calling me a whore. I do thank Patrick Goetz for having the remarkable courage to actually engage in the substance of what I wrote instead of simply libeling me. However, his point is likewise inane. Why yes, I do think the validity of spending millions of dollars of taxpayers' money to publish information (which is different from simply "making it public") is dependent on how many of those taxpayers are going to use it. I've never watched Friends, but I've never paid for it either.]