10-1 Ticker... Election Updates!
Crimes and misdemeanors
Campaigns were scampering this week to trumpet whatever advantage they saw in the latest campaign finance reports, posted by the City Clerk's office Oct. 6; for the big numbers, see below... The Mike Martinez campaign has released the first two of a promised "series" of web videos contrasting the guayabera'd Martinez with a gray-suited actor portraying Steve Adler; the first takes a shot at Adler's inexperience, wealth, and "tax break for the very wealthy" (the 20% homestead exemption) the second at his contribution of "only $10,000" (actually $8,200) to Republican candidates: "That's a lot of money to most people," says Martinez. "It is? I shouldn't have done that?" replies the Adler avatar... Adler's campaign, promising "A Fresh Start for Austin," has continued to release policy papers describing the candidate's positions on education, affordability, "environment and water" (criticizing the biomass deal and Water Treatment Plant 4), and governance, traffic, and neighborhoods still to come... D1's George Hindman has reportedly been robo-calling voters to inform them he's the only Republican in that race (not quite accurate, there's also Michael Cargill); good luck in that heavily Dem Northeast district... The fallout from the D3 brouhaha two weeks ago at the League of Women Voters forum continues, as Shaun Ireland apologized for calling opponent Susana Almanza (not quite by name) a "ruthless charlatan and grifter" for promising a $15/hour minimum wage, and Almanza was Facebooking Ireland's meltdown as "misogynist and racist." Not sure who wins the battle for Tickerbait... In other D3 news: Responding to a complaint from Ireland, the city's Ethics Review Commission reprimanded Fred McGhee for producing and distributing political ads that did not include a required disclaimer. The Commission concluded the violation was "minor or unintentional" and declined to prosecute McGhee... After D4's Laura Pressley issued a press release announcing her support from "Leading Environmentalists," including four associated with the Sierra Club (which had endorsed Greg Casar), SC vice chair Roy Waley complained that she hadn't gotten permission either to use the Club's name or even approval of those listed (SC rules forbid members to use its name in competing endorsements). Waley wanted a "retraction and correction"; Pressley issued only a virtually identical "updated" release that removed the SC references. At Saturday's D4 forum, Pressley declared she would "talk to anybody at any time," but brushed off Waley who complained, "She won't return my phone calls." Currently making the rounds on YouTube is Pressley's lengthy August interview on Alex Jones' Infowars, recounting the conspiratorial evils of "smart meters."... D5's Jason Denny denounced City Council for not legalizing transportation network companies Uber and Lyft in time for the ACL Festival, charging that the Council is deferring to "special interests" (the cab companies and their drivers). Asked what the city should do in response to the companies' defiance of city ordinances, Denny said police should continue to enforce the law (i.e., ticket drivers and impound their cars) until the law is changed, and said Uber and Lyft are not "special interests" but "good corporate citizens."... Mary Rudig, editor of the North Austin Community Newsletter, filed an ethics complaint against D8 candidate Becky Bray for illegally accepting a $20,000 campaign contribution from her father, and for failing to report a loan of $30,000 from personal funds in a timely manner. The Bray campaign admitted the mistake, attributing it in part to an inexperienced campaign finance staffer. The loan has been repaid in full and Bray will appear at a commission meeting on the 28th to apologize.