Is Strayhorn Running Against Austin?

RECEIVED Mon., Sept. 18, 2006

Dear Editor,
    So ... after watching her latest TV ads, I am left with the impression that Carole Strayhorn is running against the city of Austin. As she exhorts voters to come together and rise above partisan politics, she announces that we should send a message to "Austin." Sounds to me like she is craftily resurrecting that old Republican canard that has functioned as a code for pro-environment, pro-tolerance, pro-choice "lib'rals." Sure, "crafty" can be a good thing, but when a politician cynically positions herself as the choice who is above divisive and manipulative politics and then (all within 30 seconds) pulls out the old "Austin is the problem" distraction, then folks, you're watching a master flimflam artist. Yes, we've got trouble! Right here in River City! That starts with "T," rhymes with "P," and that spells poppycock!
    Oh, and for all you newcomers, have you taken a gander at your electric bill lately? When Mayor Carole McClellan (now Strayhorn) led this city, we had three chances to sell our interest in the economically disastrous South Texas Nuclear Project, once immediately after the Three Mile Island debacle. The earnest mother of four appeared on TV to exhort Austinites to vote against the measure to bail out of the nuke, saying that it would make electricity "too cheap to meter" for generations. For decades, Austinites have paid exorbitant electricity rates to pay off the cost overruns and years of delay we suffered thanks to Mayor Grandma's leadership.
    Ah, memory!
    Chris Bell is the candidate with the clearest record of leading with his conscience even when he has been a voice in the wilderness. Who had the courage to file ethics charges against Tom DeLay in the U.S. House when most of the rest of the Democrats were running scared? Give me a leader without the glamour of a snake-oil salesman, thank you. Give me someone I can trust.
Tamara Sbelgio
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