Election Ticker: Endorse-a-Rama

You gotta support somebody

Martin Luecke

For the city elections, public forums are multiplying and candidates are proclaiming organizational endorsements. Thus far, incumbent Mayor Steve Adler's list includes labor groups AFSCME Local 1624 (city and Travis County employees), the Central Labor Council, the Firefighters and EMS PACs, Education Austin, and the Workers Defense Action Fund. Democratic groups include the Austin Young Democrats, Liberal Austin Democrats, Central Austin Dems, Capital Area Progressive Dems, NxNW Dems, Stone­wall Dems, and the University Democrats. He's also got the Austin Board of Realtors – challenger Laura Morrison's supporters might scorn that one, but the Environmental Dems are on his list as well, as is the local chapter of the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. [Note: Initially omitted in error, another Adler endorsement: AURA.] A few of those are joint endorsements. Morrison's campaign reports support from three organizations: NxNW Democrats, Environmental Democrats, and Stonewall Democrats...

City Council Member Ora Houston brought some shape to the race to succeed her in District 1, announcing on Monday that she'll endorse former Travis County Democratic Chair Vincent Harding...

Top of the Props: Also working their way through endorsement hoops are the municipal propositions, including the bond Props A-G and the policy Props J (requiring a referendum for comprehensive land-use-code revision) and K (independent efficiency audit). Travis County Democratic Party Chair Dyana Limon-Mercado says that in August the TCDP Executive Com­mittee (composed of the roughly 160 precinct chairs) voted unanimously to endorse all the bond props (beginning with Prop A, for affordable housing programs), and in September voted unanimously to oppose Prop K. (No vote thus far on Prop J, pro or con.) Limon-Mercado said Mayor Adler and Council Member Greg Casar made successful arguments against Prop K – noting its origins as a GOP-created and financed initiative, but also pointing out that some city initiatives, like living wages for civilian employees or health insurance coverage for janitorial workers, might not be deemed "efficient" – i.e., the financially cheapest public policy – but are nevertheless "the right things to do."...

The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which purportedly has little or nothing do with Prop K, is sponsoring a panel discussion ("Auditing Austin: The Start of Something Big?") next week ... on "third-party audits of local government," rapidly becoming a national initiative of conservative policy orgs. That's Wed., Oct. 3, 6-7:30pm, at the TPPF offices (901 Congress). The panel includes Prop K supporter Fred Lewis, D8 City Council candidate Bobby Levinski, (invited) Art Martinez (de Vara), and is chaired by Chuck DeVore, TPPF's Vice President of National Initiatives. (For background, see "Strange Bedfellows, Stranger Politics," Aug. 10.) For more info, or to register to attend, visit www.texaspolicy.com/events...

Other organizations weighing in: Supporting bond Props A-G, Austin Young Democrats and Liberal Austin Democrats; opposing Prop K, Central Labor Council and Capital Area Progressive Democrats...

Candidates for the AISD Board of Trustees met Tuesday (with the exception of District 1 incumbent Ted Gordon, who could not attend) at a forum sponsored by various chambers of commerce throughout the city. They each answered four questions, which were sent in advance. Gordon's opponent LaTisha Anderson cited her experience feeling ignored as an AISD parent as one issue she'd correct. D4 upstart Zachary Price talked up the importance of helping students with mental health issues, while his opponent Kristin Ashy said "low-hanging fruit" in the budget had already been targeted, so it was time to take a look at deeper cuts. In D9, Carmen Tilton highlighted her experience in the Legislature, and Arati Singh noted the segregation in many AISD schools as a challenge that needs tackling...

Swing That Congress: Add MJ Hegar's name to the list of Democratic congressional candidates receiving organizational support from national grassroots organization Swing Left. SL recently added six districts to its focus list for volunteering and fundraising efforts: FL-16, IL-14, NY-01, OH-12, PA-16, and TX-31 (where Hegar is challenging GOP incumbent John Car­ter). In a press release that had a brief video of comedian Andy Richter supporting the effort, Swing Left said it's targeting 84 districts in all nationwide, with $7 million in contributions and nearly a half-million volunteers...

Hegar this week also saw the pollsters at Cook Political swing her race from "likely R" to "lean R," good news if you're a D...

Martin Luecke, who was trying to mount an independent write-in candidacy for Congressional District 25, learned this week that he has been disqualified because of invalid signatures on his petitions submitted to the Texas Secretary of State – inaccurate addresses or signers who had already voted in a primary brought his total below the required 500. Luecke was running to amplify the importance of climate change/global warming as an imminent crisis. He says he will run again in 2020, when "climate change will be the issue. I am afraid terrible climate things will have happened by then and it will be obvious that Congress must take action."...

The city's hosting a series of bond-centric district-by-district open houses this month to ask and answer questions about the package; D6's was Monday, and the next one is in D9 today, Thursday, Sept. 27, 6-8pm at Austin City Hall, 201 W. Second, followed by D10 next Wednesday, Oct. 3, 4:30-6:30pm at the Old Quarry Library, 7051 Village Center. Check this space next week for dates, times, and locations for the other seven, which begin Oct. 8...

There's some unexpected commotion in the race for Place 6 on the state's 3rd Court of Appeals. See "Point Austin," Sept. 28...

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election ticker, November 2018 election, Steve Adler, Vincent Harding, Laura Morrison, MJ Hegar, Dyana Limon-Mercado, Bobby Levinski, Ted Gordon

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