While the Chronicle
's election endorsements are intended to be anonymous, longtime Chronicle
readers immediately recognize the eloquent but vapid prose of Michael King's endorsement of Lee Leffingwell vs. the commonsense wisdom of Nick Barbaro in rebuttal ["May 12 Municipal Election: The 'Chronicle' Endorsements
," News, April 27].
endorsements miss an important consideration in the mayor's race, namely Leffingwell's sycophantic and profoundly unhealthy relationship with the Austin Police Department. We saw the first full-page ad in the Chronicle
endorsing Leffingwell for mayor months ago – an ad purchased by Austin police officers, most of whom live outside of city limits. As payment in kind, Leffingwell makes sure that these particular city employees enjoy enormous, contractually stipulated raises, the cost of which will soon overwhelm the city budget. This while other city employees haven't seen as much as a cost-of-living increase in several years. To get a feeling for how low Leffingwell will sink to protect his private army, review the council meeting video at which fellow City Council member and nationally recognized law enforcement scholar Bill Spelman tries to discuss the subject of reigning in APD costs using nationally validated methodologies. Leffingwell stops just short of screaming invective at Spelman; certainly, his expression was apoplectic.
A friend who plans to vote for Leffingwell told me that he doesn't believe in firing someone who has done an adequate job. He's missing the point: Being an elected official isn't a job, it's a service provided for a fixed period of time. If someone else comes along at the end of that time period who appears to be able to do a better job, you go with the newcomer. In any case, local power groupie Michael King's fawning support of Lee Leffingwell should be the only barometer savvy Austinites need to decide whom to vote for in this election.