Normally congenial first-time candidate Randall Stephens, running for mayor, may have lost his focus: "Roll up a #Statesman and put it close to your ear," he Facebooked this week. "You might hear people who wear armbands goose-stepping through Austin's political back rooms." According to Stephens, various proposals in the works for urban rail, to eventually close the Decker Power Plant, and to develop a city golf course near Decker Lake remind him of Mussolini on Fascism: "The State and the Corporation are ONE!" Stephens claims these are all "back room" plots to favor someone's (unnamed) campaign supporters, and says if elected he will move to "ban campaign loans." Sounds like something Mussolini would do... Since last week, a few more candidates have signed the Citizens for Tax Relief NOW! pledge against any future city tax increases; the count is reportedly at 17, including mayoral also-runners Todd Phelps, Randall Stephens, and David Orshalick. Although CTRN insists it is nonpartisan, nearly all the signers are predominately GOP voters... Shoot the Messenger: D6 candidate Don Zimmerman has reportedly filed suit against online political newsletter the Austin Bulldog for "defamation," after the site reported (from court records) on Zimmerman's 2005 divorce and contentious child custody dispute, which formally ended earlier this year. Zimmerman reportedly also threatened the Austin Monitor with legal action after that site reported on the custody battle... "Democrat" Parties: Like the rooster applauding himself for the sunrise, D4 candidate Laura Pressley is taking credit for "saving" Austinites $4 million, because she testified against some fee waivers and subsidies at Council (council members actually have a vote)... Pressley's latest release pictures her with supporters identified as "Democrat Women," an adjectival insult usually emanating from Republican sources, who disdain the Democratic Party's actual name... High Tea in D4? The Greg Casar campaign distributed a flyer noting that opponent Laura Pressley is "supported" by the Austin Tea Party – the Partiers (who have described Pressley as a "future leader") are trying to stay off the blue district radar, and countered that they had in fact "endorsed" Casar, who rejected same, writing "the Tea Party is the last group on earth from whom I would seek an endorsement."... Venerable Chorus: D10 candidate Sheri Gallo has summoned heavy political artillery, featuring former mayors Ron Mullen, Lee Cooke, and Bruce Todd in her TV ad and web page.
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