Mike Martinez's main talking points on why he should stay in office is that: while the gentleman's agreement is racist, we should still keep this Hispanic in 'his place' AND that his contender shouldn't be trusted because of who supports her (the local Republican party*) and whom she supports as a presidential candidate - as if that has anything to do with the local issues...which she's obviously winning on...or he'd not have to resort to this.
After Martinez' letter about Ms. Pressley being an evil Republican b/c of her Ron Paul support was forwarded to the Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) listserve, I followed with this response:
Truly sad. The incumbent can't run on his own merits - all he has is partisan politics? Which are NOT supposed to play into council elections...but no one seems to remember our Charter.
Republicans in this town have also supported the 10-1 plan (as has ANC...as has Martinez!); does that make the 10-1 plan automatically suspect? "Bad"?
ANC endorsed Pressley - does that make her a member of ANC? No. Does that make ANC Republican because TCRP also supports her*? No. Hispanic groups are endorsing Pressley - does that make her Hispanic, or ANC Hispanic? No. Neither does Republicans supporting her make her "Republican." She's voted in Democratic primaries and until this past year, only given money to Democratic candidates.
She's supporting a Republican candidate for president because he's right on foreign policy, because he's the only one else in the primary race to deride the wars/occupations - no DEMOCRATS have been doing that (now, however, are 2 candidates running outside of the major parties doing that: Rocky Anderson and Gary Johnson). No candidate during the primaries besides Paul has been talking about the drug war...at all. Some people believe these to be their major priority issues, and are willing to look past differences on other issues. Does that make them a member of the party that candidate belongs to? Nope. Giving your money to the party and/or voting in that primary consistently does (or it does in Texas, anyway).
Has anyone heard of being an "independent"? I'm one. Ms. Pressley's one. In fact, a third of this country considers themselves independent-and frankly, I'm much more trusting of independents in office than partisans. Independents don't buy into a football mentality in politics. "Us" v. "them." If anything, it's "us" - the people...v. "them" - those in power screwing the people. Party matters little when policies are crafted to keep us poor and hungry.
Parties matters little when their respective platforms are constantly being upended. They've made themselves irrelevant. Just as irrelevant as the argument Martinez poses about his opponent.
Some people in this town want better government...that's why they are endorsing Pressley. Some people are tired of giant corporate giveaways (which have become a staple as much, if not more so, by Democrats: take Pressley's opponent, for example). Some people are sick of not only the anti-neighborhood/anti-community votes by the incumbent, but of his tactics as well - name-calling....bullying, etc. Some people want a responsive councilmember in that place. That's why all walks of life, from the most progressive east Austin Democrats-of-color to the moderate Libertarians to even the (gasp!) northwest, semi-conservative Republicans support Pressley.
Unless Pressley has indicated she wishes to stem the flow of undocumented workers, get rid of environmental protections or infringe on our right to choice (NOT!), there is no basis for alluding her support of Paul will 'infect' her policy decisions on Council. We know where she stands on the issues that affect us on a day to day basis (which local politics do) and we know she's a more responsive, courageous person that isn't afraid to tackle the status quo.
So come to think about it, although I don't support Ron Paul, Pressley's support of him is actually significant. It shows she isn't beholden to party politics, that she takes courage from her convictions and isn't afraid of the heat she knew she'd take on this matter in her campaign.
That's why she's my gal :-)
*as are many progressive groups: http://www.betteraustintoday.org/ and Democrats and more...
Pressley's website: http://www.pressleyforaustin.com/home
PS: I'm also endorsing Brigid Shea for Mayor: GO VOTE SATURDAY!