Following Policy

RECEIVED Thu., March 1, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Let me see if I can get this straight. GNI Strategies previously ran Brad Urrutia’s campaign. David Crain retained GNI Strategies to run his campaign. The Goldbergs knew Mark Walters and his criminal history, but asked him to get the story out, so they could remain anonymous. Although allegedly apolitically motivated, Mark Walters dropped his efforts after I lost the last election to Brad Urrutia. Mark Walters is “at least tangentially related to GNI Strategies” led by Katie Naranjo. Walters communicated with Rick Cofer who is Katie Naranjo’s longtime friend and ally. Rick Cofer contacted the complaining witness “who consented to” have Cofer represent him. Cofer unsealed the investigative report and gave it to the Statesman.
    Does anyone believe this smear is not politically motivated? The Chronicle article ["You Be the Judge," News, March 2] establishes that GNI Strategies attacked me in the last election. Those attacks proved successful, so David Crain hired GNI for the same purpose.
    The Chronicle admits the John Zamarippa story came from someone connected to Crain’s campaign, even though the allegations have been described as frivolous: one “complainant was not credible" and the second stated in writing that the incident was “definitely exaggerated,” and she doesn’t agree “to any allegations against [Zamarippa].” So, because the present allegations are frivolous and exaggerated, we are left with John’s 28-year-old case.
    At the request of the Chronicle and many others, Travis County and the City of Austin both adopted ban the box policies in 2008, and in 2016, the Austin City Council extended ban the box policy to private employers. Ban the box policies basically provide that a person can’t be denied employment based solely on their criminal history unless it would otherwise impact their ability to do the job. By hiring John, I did nothing more than follow the ban the box policy.
    Restorative justice represents our community’s values. Dirty politics do not. Only your vote can stop dirty politics and smear campaigns.
Chantal Eldridge
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