Colored drawing by Anthony Jensen

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Significance of Laura Pressley's Ron Paul Support: Next to None

Re: Austin City Council Election, May 12, 2012: PLACE 2 RACE

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 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 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:  and Democrats and more...

Pressley's website:
PS: I'm also endorsing Brigid Shea for Mayor: GO VOTE SATURDAY!


  1. I agree with you on one point. I think this is a distraction from Pressley's positions, which I strongly disagree with.
    I don't agree with her on a single bullet point on her website. Mike has been a great force for progress in this city. He's a strong supporter of public transit, workers, and the environment. So my choice is easy.

  2. I agree with Tim. And a person's politics Does inform how they will govern, whether at the city, state or federal level. It was particularly telling at an OCEAN meeting that Ms Pressley is so anti-subsidy that age disapproves of local developers building locally a project that can so nothing but good for the neighborhoods surrounding the project - high crime neighborhoods. Regardless of city help, these people are taking real risks. But Ms. Pressley doesn't't think we should give $$ to developers who want to make money. Really? Vote Martinez

  3. So you guys would agree with this decision of Mike's?

    NOKOA The Observer (5/10 issue): Mike Martinez "OPPOSED THE $750,000 SANDERS SETTLEMENT FOR THE FAMILY OF AN 18-YEAR OLD AFRICAN AMERICAN KID WHO WAS SHOT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD BY A POLICE OFFICER WHILE ASLEEP IN A CAR." #NOKOA Endorses Dr. Laura @PressleyRoxATX for #ATXCouncil Place 2 and lists their reasons why.

  4. A dissenting vote was a vote for it to go to trial where the suspect and police officer would get due process under the law. Worth remembering:

    "When you make a settlement, you are not admitting guilt. You are not making an indictment against the officers, you are simply saying, I don’t know and I don’t want to risk it," said [Council Member] Cole.

    I'm in favor of due process. What we got here was basically shut up and go away money, which I find abhorrent in a Democracy.

  5. BTW, @Tim, the "transit, workers" did not endorse Mike, they endorsed Dr. Laura Pressley. On the environment, I am reminded of Mike's vote for Wastewater Treatment Plant 4, which is anti-environment, expensive at $500 million, will drive up water rates, and there might not even be enough water to supply it. Also the dirty wood-burning power plant that Mike voted for will cost $2.6 billion dollars and is relatively expensive electricity; people living around that wood burning plant WILL have negative breathing effects, and it is not even truly "carbon neutral."

    To @David, Mike's "politics does inform how he governs." Like the Holly Plant Fund that he treated as a slush fund to spend outside of it's intended purpose, suppose to be for recovery of the Holly neighborhood. Or Mike's votes in favor of the subsidies you mention almost exclusively to large companies and corporations, mind you that have the lobbyists and bundlers to get the special treatment. Pressley has said repeatedly at many forums that she is not against all subsidies, it is just that her threshold bar would be much higher including a better evaluation of need and actual measurable benefit isolated to within the City of Austin by location. As far as "politics informs how he governs" it should be clear that Mike's votes sway more on money, lobbyists, and developers rather than on principle or a party, the party of which by City Charter is intentionally not even suppose to be declared for the office.

  6. Yes @Mauibrad. I don't agree with a single thing you wrote above. Which is why I'm voting Martinez.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. @Tim I merely restated the facts. You don't agree with the facts? Or just unaware of the facts? I find that all too common among young Austin political hacks.

    Now if you will excuse me, I have to go finish my 15th precinct to canvass for this election.

  9. I don't agree with your opinons or conclusions. I'm not debating the facts. For instance:

    "which is anti-environment, expensive at $500 million, will drive up water rates, and there might not even be enough water to supply it."

    The plant is expected to cost $500 million I agree with. That's a fact. Aside from that, none of those statements are facts. Some of those may become facts. But currently they're not facts. They're speculation and opinions that I disagree with.

    Although I'll admit I hadn't heard of the biomass plant in Nacogdoches. That's interesting. Providing energy does have trade-offs. No clue what that has to do with Pressley though.

  10. There's no opinions there, all facts. Water rates will go up to cover the costs of that plant. All the facts about the biomass plant are true too.

  11. Well I could probably debate with you the definition of the word "fact", but I'm pretty sure I won't change your mind. So carry on.

  12. Strong agreement on considering the merits of positions, and not partisan affiliation, or much worse, endorsements from those with partisan affiliation.

    On the balance, I support Mike Martinez on the issues, though I am disappointed in this report that he is making a talking point of Pressley's purported Republican affiliation. I looked through his site and his twitter feed and couldn't find him using that talking point. I do not doubt you, but is there a link or reference you could provide?

    And Pressley isn't the only one subject to this. Dom Chavez is also being falsely painted, with even less merit, as a straight up republican by the incumbent despite his demonstrably independent credentials .

    Though I lean another way, I have found Pressley to be impressively sharp, clear, honest and consistent.

    Also, hats off to Tim for impressive troll-evasion.

    1. URL to Politifact backing up my observation:

  13. @Tim, you rebutt with no "facts" of your own. I think you don't know or have any facts about the candidate and their voting record. Just another one of these Austin political hacks who support the personality, usually just whoever the incumbent is because that is the safest and easiest, without knowing their voting record or the details of issues that they have voted on. Got any details, Tim, or you just like Mike 'cause he's a "Democrat" and how he looks?

  14. BTW, @Tim, I noticed you ignored the point raised by NOKOA The Observer (in their 5/10 issue) about the black kid Sanders who was shot in the back of the head by APD while he was asleep in a car, and Mike Martinez voted against a reasonable settlement between the City and the kid's family. Shame on Mike and those who chose to ignore these excessive use of force injustices.

    1. That website is down. My response to the situation is above.