City Council Elections: Election Day, Saturday, May 14th

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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 13th, 2011, 12:44 pm

Miggy wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:
Terry wrote:
There's simply no excuse for not voting. All it takes is 30 seconds of time at some point over a period of two weeks at locations convenient all around town. Do it.


Hear, Hear.


"I'm a convicted felon" apparently works. :P


Ok Jordan - you get a pass. So do all the under-aged kids on this list I guess.


oh no, that's my Dad's...mine is "i just moved back into town and apparently didn't register in time or something and have no idea where my permanent address is yet." ;)
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Postby Miggy » June 13th, 2011, 1:30 pm

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:
Miggy wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:
Terry wrote:
There's simply no excuse for not voting. All it takes is 30 seconds of time at some point over a period of two weeks at locations convenient all around town. Do it.


Hear, Hear.


"I'm a convicted felon" apparently works. :P


Ok Jordan - you get a pass. So do all the under-aged kids on this list I guess.


oh no, that's my Dad's...mine is "i just moved back into town and apparently didn't register in time or something and have no idea where my permanent address is yet." ;)


Nope. You're registered whether you want to be or not:
http://www.traviscountytax.org/showVoterInfo.do?vrc=254960

Precinct 420
PARKER LANE UNITED METHODIST
2105 PARKER LANE
AUSTIN, TX 78741-0000
Map Location: http://www.traviscountytax.org/displayMap.do?ppid=1616&vtype=d

Keep trying.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » June 13th, 2011, 1:40 pm

does the fact that i haven't lived at that address in over five years and was registered to vote in another state impact that at all?
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Postby Miggy » June 13th, 2011, 2:10 pm

Change Your Address Online
If you are a registered voter in Travis County, you may change your name and address online via the secure Texas Secretary of State web site. The Secretary will forward your changed information to our office the next business day.


https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager
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Postby Miggy » June 16th, 2011, 11:06 am

I guess this is my own little echo chamber here, but I'll still post an update for those that might be interested just because this is so strange and fascinating to watch play out. I find it difficult to call the election on Saturday, although Tovo who had 4,000 more votes in May is still heavily favored and Shade's campaign seems to be grasping somewhat for support wherever she can get it, which may yet work, but is sad to witness for someone who was set to coast to re-election.

So far, more people have voted (~25,000) in the usually-low-turnout run-off than they did in the general election (at least the early voting part). A full 9,306 people of those voted in the run-off and didn't vote in the general so no one knows what to make of them. 5,000 of those haven't voted in city elections at all in the last five years so they're really wildcards. Conventional wisdom says that they're more likely to be Shade voters because Tovo's base is in the neighborhood activist crowd that (to their great credit) gets out and votes in every election whether it be a school board run-off or President of the United States. Whether the voters are from newly energized bases for Tovo or as attacks and whisper campaigns would suggest, that these voters are Republicans, who are traditionally alienated from local elections but are suddenly being attracted to vote for Shade for one reason or another. Alternatively, she ran a lazy incumbent campaign in the general election and now she's really working it. We won't know until election day.

Thus far, the demographics on the votes are:
55 and older, 58%
35 to 54, 32%
18 to 34, 10% Where you at AIC?
Minorities significantly lagged behind white voters, with only about 15% of the vote.
Last edited by Miggy on June 18th, 2011, 11:50 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Terry » June 16th, 2011, 11:15 am

I guess this is my own little echo chamber here


I'm listening! (And this election has me pretty riveted.)

Thanks for the update, M!
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Postby Miggy » June 16th, 2011, 12:15 pm

Thanks Terry!

While I’m loathe to implicitly endorse negative campaigning by repeating it, I guess there is value in at least documenting it for others to see all sides of both candidates. So far there are a few things that have stood out as dubious:

“Tovo would leave us dry and dangerous” – not really related. Having a water treatment plant is defensible and Shade did get endorsed by the Fire Department, but it doesn’t make it rain.

Ethical violations – Tovo followed the letter of the law, if not necessarily the spirit of it in regards to public financing. Randi Shade did not break any rules by removing a “Shady the Clown” sign at a polling location on election day.

Push polling – It’s frequently a charge in nasty campaigns, but I don’t think this qualified. It also might have been poorly done since people thought it was the Shade campaign until financial disclosures came out and it turned out to be Tovo. You can read more here (http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/11212/turns-out-push-poll-was-paid-for-by-tovo-campaign)

Reported vandalism – this happens every year when you have signs up in public for 3+ months. No reputable campaign organizes this, but unfortunately supporters on both sides are at times childish.

“Shade is a Republican” – probably the biggest one going around right now. City elections are non-partisan for good reason because the distinctions that play out at a state/national level become largely meaningless when played out on most local level issues. Regardless, them’s fightin’ words in Austin…and it’s interesting in this case because it’s being applied to a Harvard educated lesbian, jewish, former aide to Ann Richards and founding leader of Americorps Texas. She also has a long history in the party and got most of the local democratic club support. You can read about it here (http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/11203/randi-shade-donor-history-vastly-more-democratic-than-kathie-tovo). What Shade has done is hired some campaign staff normally associated with Republicans…perhaps in a smart bid to reach those audiences for the run-off.

And here is the latest/last salvo from both campaigns for folks to at least see some of the claims above:

Shade arguing against Tovo about Water Treatment Plant 4 (and stretching the case by using images of the Oak Hill fires)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of1uO1K4FA8[/youtube]

And Tovo’s ad using the all development=bad meme. I'm not actually sure who the contractor is that they're referencing, but I know Shade's campaign director, Katherine, and her last gig was the coordinated campaign for the Travis County Democratic party in November. Lastly, and as previously noted, the case on F1 is a bit of a stretch. It’s still an evolving story and I haven’t heard much distinction in the two candidates real underlying positions.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHHhspKMr5M[/youtube]

Most every endorsement is already out there from the general election, but I thought this recent little sit down with the two candidates by AMP (Austin Music People) was enlightening for those that consider that one of their main issues (also, their founder, Paul Oveisi, owner of MoMo's is a Shade supporter):
http://austinmusicpeople.org/2011/06/amp-sits-down-with-kathie-tovo-and-randi-shade/
Image

I also found the recent post by Bicycle Austin to be interesting in how they distinguish the candidates, if biking is more your main focus:
http://bicycleaustin.info/council/2011-06-answers.html
Image

Lastly, Robin Cravey recently gave his endorsement. Robin is a respected old-school austinite, attorney, environmentalist, former council aide, former president of Zilker Neighborhood Association and Founder of the Friends of Barton Springs:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icf8SapLrzs[/youtube]

If you haven't voted yet - Election Day is Saturday. Polls are open 7am-7pm. If you don't know if you're registered or where to go, just type your name in here: http://www.traviscountytax.org/showVoterNameSearch.do
Last edited by Miggy on June 18th, 2011, 11:58 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby York99 » June 16th, 2011, 2:00 pm

I've been skimming. Vote Tovo. Got it.
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Postby Miggy » June 18th, 2011, 8:53 am

York99 wrote:I've been skimming. Vote Tovo. Got it.


Vote for whomever you like, but please vote. They're both strong candidates, but to me there are clear distinctions on policy that make me favor Shade.
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Postby Miggy » June 18th, 2011, 8:58 am

today's the day (subject line of this thread notwithstanding). Today is election day for the run off and polls are open until 7pm. If you don't know where to vote, you can type your name in here and it will give you your polling location:
http://www.traviscountytax.org/showVoterNameSearch.do

It takes about 30 seconds, just requires your driver's license, and you can get one of those sexy 'I voted' stickers.

Thanks,
Mike
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Postby Spots » June 18th, 2011, 9:51 am

Man, I can't get past the negative ads. That's one huge reason nobody cares about local politics. Too much drama, not enough results.

And they always fail to deliver any kind of positive message.


I've seen those Shady the Clown signs and thought they were disgusting. Thanks for offering up some background to the election.
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Postby Spots » June 18th, 2011, 10:01 am

Having looked into as much as I am willing, I will say that Shade has the strongest personality & actually appears to have a strong head on her shoulders. Wish I had more time to look into the issues.

Oh well. It's just my damned city after all. :P
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Postby Miggy » June 18th, 2011, 11:26 am

Silly me - here I am posting endorsements from Robin Cravey who, while respected, probably not that many people know... and I forgot to post Tim League's endorsement who people probably do know:

Hey guys,

I'm sorry to forward along a bulk email to everyone on the Alamo Employee email list, but I would really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the runoff election between Randi Shade and Kathie Tovo. If Kathie wins, I honestly think it will be a bad day for Austin. She's a neighborhood association advocate which will cause even more problems for live music, sound ordinances and a host of other issues.

If you are registered to vote in Austin, please do so. If not, please pass on the word to your friends!

Cheers,

Tim League

Founder

Alamo Drafthouse





Austin needs your help!

City Councilmember Randi Shade is in a runoff election against Kathie Tovo.

VERY few people in Austin will take the time to vote in a runoff election, and this race is expected to be won or lost by less than 400 votes.

EVERY SINGLE VOTE COUNTS
And I believe you should vote for Randi Shade


I am asking you to please get out and vote between now and election day, but not only that, please get your friends to vote as well. Email them, badger them on Facebook, tweet about it but most importantly, get them to the polls during early voting or on election day.

Why do I like Randi Shade?

Over the past three years, I've gotten to know Randi Shade quite well. Every time I have had a question about city policies or issues that would be decided by council, Randi has without fail answered me personally and/or agreed to discuss the issue with me on the phone or in her office.

She is fair, she is balanced and she is incredibly knowledgeable about all sides of the issues. I honestly believe that with every vote she casts, she is trying to make the best decision for the entire city of Austin. Randi balances neighborhood issues with development and growth strategies. She balances economic, social and environmental issues and has the vision to plan for the infrastructure needs and economic development of our growing city.

I believe her opponent Kathie Tovo lacks the vision, the experience and most importantly the BALANCE that Randi Shade delivers time and time again. Randi represents everyone in Austin. To me Kathie Tovo represents a very small slice of Austin, specifically the interests of a select few central Austin neighborhoods, and will not make the right decisions to keep Austin as a whole healthy and vibrant.

To quote Randi's own words, "On a broad range of issues critical to Austin's future, my opponent and I have fundamentally different views. The run-off election will be about those issues and differences, and with just two candidates in this race, voters will have a very clear choice to make…Some of my opponent's supporters have said that I should quit this race to avoid the cost of the election. But I believe that my opponent's positions on the issues would put millions of public dollars at risk. I cannot in good conscience quit this race when the stakes, and the potential costs, are so high."

Randi excels over Kathie in:
- Job creation strategies

- Her vision for the future

- Fostering a renewable energy economy

- Ensuring public safety

These are all vitally important to me and to the future of Austin in general.

Election Day is Saturday, June 18. Please get out and vote and encourage your friends to do so too. The future of Austin depends on it!

An ipad friendly version of this letter is stored online at Scribd if you want to link to it from your social media: http://www.scribd.com/doc/57353546/Randi-Shade-Letter-of-Support


Thanks,

Tim League

CEO/Founder

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

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Postby Miggy » June 20th, 2011, 3:56 pm

To those who voted (for either candidate) - thank you! Run-offs normally get half as many votes as the general election and this one saw fully 10,000 more people show up at the polls or roughly 10% of registered voters. As former mayor Gus Garcia noted Saturday, 'we have a long way to go before it's a democracy' but it's still headed in the right direction.

As for the direction of the city - I don't know. Time will tell how things will move forward. In the end, city council is a team sport. The make up of the team is different now and new alliances will form. Some think that this creates a 4-3 alliance but Sheryl Cole's support of Tovo in the election not withstanding, I don't see her very aligned with Spelman, Morrison and Tovo. Chris Riley will now be the swing vote / hot seat on issues because he's the least easily boxed in to one side or another. Chris isn't planning on seeking the mayorship so this is his last term meaning he'll be particularly free of political obligations in his decision making.

Now the jockeying will be over who runs for mayor next year. Lee Leffingwell, at 71 years of age, has indicated he'll run again but that opening stance may change. While he has won decisive victories in each of his three campaigns, he's been extremely fortunate in having some bumbling opponents. He has been true to his campaign promises that he would offer little in the way of pizzaz but instead be a steady hand at the helm during uncertain times. The economy has recovered somewhat from its darkest days and there may be more of a yearning amongst the electorate for someone with vision and charisma to be the head of state instead. Leffingwell, who has many fine qualities, doesn't necessarily count those traits amongst them. It's an open question if the other council members eyeing the mayor role do either - Martinez, Cole, Morrison and Spelman are all openly interested making next year a doozy of a campaign season between charter amendments (the constitution of the city of Ausitn), Mayoral race, Urban Rail bond election, Travis County Bond election, President of the United states and numerous Congressional offices. Oofa.

At least for a year, though...we rest.
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Postby York99 » June 20th, 2011, 6:38 pm

Miggy wrote:Now the jockeying will be over who runs for mayor next year.


I think I have one, multi-part question as basically my only test for a mayor:

Very specifically, what will you do to ease traffic in Austin; what is your timeline for each step; why can I trust that you have what it takes to get it done; and will you commit to a public apology and resignation upon the failure of accomplishing those goals?

Traffic and the tremendous number of homeless people have been basically my only issues with the city since moving to Austin. Although now I'm facing a lot more that have to do with small businesses, zoning, etc etc etc.

[unless, of course, there is a candidate who can do something about the heat]
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