10-1 Ticker... Run-Off Election Updates!

The end is near

Let's Talk About It: The two mayoral candidates continued to lob charges against each other in the final days of campaigning. Mike Martinez said Steve Adler has made financial promises he can't keep, and that his proposed 20% property tax homestead exemption would cost $36 million the city can't afford. Adler continues to blame Martinez for the "$2.3 billion mistake" of the East Texas wood-waste power purchase, and for persistently voting to raise property taxes. In a forum, Adler also said he would propose new open meeting rules to Travis County Attorney David Escamilla, who has enforced an interpretation such that City Council members generally cannot speak to each other except in public....

The Millionaire: Fundraising totals in the mayoral race broke all records this week, as Adler has reported a total of $1.6 million in contributions (to which he's added $306,000 in self-loans). Martinez has raised $415,000, and lent his campaign $100,000.

The Mystery Deepens: The source of the mysterious $20,000-plus that paid for the Nov. 30 Statesman attack ad on political consultant David Butts and certain candidates (see "Point Austin: Nuts to You!," Dec. 5) turned even murkier this week, as a campaign finance report filed by the previously unknown "Coalition of Austin Neigh­bor­hoods PAC" listed only a single donor, Ian Marcotte, also the CAN treasurer, who reports he is "self-employed" as a "political researcher"; Marcotte lives in a quite unassuming bungalow off Pleasant Valley Road in Southeast Austin. For the record, under Texas law, a "straw donation" using one person to donate campaign funds actually provided by another could potentially subject both persons to criminal and civil penalties. The Ticker is on the trail....

A Sign of Support: District 3 run-off candidate Pio Renteria has won over former D3 opponent and paramedic Mario Cantu (10% of the district vote), who spent last week putting up large signs for the Renteria campaign.... Pay Up PODER? In a heated exchange over the Austin Neighborhood Council (ANC) listserv, Renteria supporters Delwin Goss and Stefan Wray charged Almanza's PODER with failing to pay property taxes on a previously owned property on East Cesar Chavez Street. Almanza's right-hand man, Daniel Llanes of the River Bluff Neighborhood Association, slammed the charges as inaccurate and outdated. "[W]e don't have to explain ourselves to anyone, and certainly not to the likes of Delwin Goss and Stefan Wray. And if you believe everything you read in the paper and from these guys, I feel sorry for you," wrote Llanes.... Almanza turned up unexpectedly at the AISD board of trustees' meeting on Dec. 8, to complain about the district's relationship with Springdale Farm. She accused the East Austin business of violating alcohol regulations by allowing its event customers to park at the old Allen Elementary – even though the campus is no longer a school....

While some claimed D3's Almanza and Ren­teria were disqualified from their share of the Austin Fair Campaign Finance Funds for signing the contract too late, City Clerk Jannette Goodall said the candidates are in accordance with rules outlined by the clerk's office and followed the same process implemented in prior elections, using the date the candidates filed their ballot applications as the starting point. Goodall told the Chronicle the office is in talks with the city's legal department to further clarify the campaign finance rules. The funds have been disbursed equally between Renteria, Almanza, and D7's Leslie Pool....

In even more D3 news: an anti-Almanza website (www.susanaalmanza.com) recently popped up, calling into question the run-off candidate's leadership style and reputation with pull quotes from media outlets (including the Chronicle). The site, which encourages visitors to "Vote for Pio" says its creator is "not affiliated" with any candidate running in the Council race and is "just a concerned citizen and voter scared for the future of Austin"...

Before you accuse me: Last week D4 candidate Laura Pressley issued "comparisons" with D4 front-runner Greg Casar, including that he supposedly does not pay property taxes (i.e., is not a homeowner). Setting aside the fact that renters indeed pay property taxes through their rent, the Austin Monitor reports that Pressley herself does not own property in Travis County – in 2013, she and her husband sold a home in D7 and moved into a rent house in D4. Moreover, her claim to be a working entrepreneur, selling bottled water from Oregon under the Pure Rain Purified Rain Water label, is also wobbly: When the Monitor asked why her water is not stocked at the Austin stores the company claims on its website (and is currently advertising in at least one D4 neighborhood newsletter), Pressley said that for the duration of the campaign "we are focused on smaller, local customers"...

Austin.com's Stephen Webster posted brief interviews with the mayoral candidates Dec. 5, more personal than political, but the identical questions evoked a few distinctions. To Steve Adler, the meaning of "weird" (as in "Keep Austin ...") is "everybody's good enough and nobody's too good." To Mike Martinez, "It means crazy, funky, and cool." Dogs or cats? Adler confesses to being "more of a dog person"; in what just might be TMI, Martinez says, "We have five animals: three cats and two dogs. All five animals sleep in the bed with us every single night"...

Speaking of Dogs: One of the videos released by the Austin Firefighters Assoc­i­ation PAC supporting Mike Martinez features a former AFA colleague reporting that Mar­tin­ez once stopped his firetruck to rescue a dog stuck in a drainage ditch: "He's a compassionate person, and a courageous person." Can we get confirmation from the dog?

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READ MORE
More December 2014 Run-off
District 4 Results Confirmed
District 4 Results Confirmed
Pressley refuses to concede

Michael King, Jan. 9, 2015

D3: Sibling Rivalry Put to Rest
D3: Sibling Rivalry Put to Rest
Renteria claims a decisive victory over Almanza

Mary Tuma, Dec. 19, 2014

More Mayoral & City Council
D7: Pool Cruises
Pool Cruises to Victory
Boyt concedes as Pool celebrates with current and future CMs

Chase Hoffberger, Dec. 19, 2014

D6: Zimmerman's Zenith
D6: Do We Have Your Attention Now?
Zimmerman beats out Flannigan in the oft-overlooked district

Amy Kamp, Dec. 19, 2014

More by the News Staff
Austin Water Issues Boil Notice
Austin Water Issues Boil Notice
When will we get good water back? Good question.

Oct. 23, 2018

City Council: The Race Is On
City Council: The Race Is On
Previewing November's elections for Districts 1, 3, 8, and 9

June 22, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

December 2014 Run-off, Mayoral & City Council, Steve Adler, Mike Martinez, Susana Almanza, Pio Renteria, Laura Pressley, Greg Casar

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