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Some of you may recall last month that I told you to “Save the Date” for July 15, 2018. That was the date that financial disclosures were due for Texas politicians (and those running for office). In Texas, this is required at the beginning of the year, and at the midpoint, which we are at now.
These disclosures must list all political contributions, as well as expenditures. This exercise in transparency is of course designed to let the voting public know who is contributing how much to their representatives, or those aspiring to be. These campaign finance documents are to be notarized and filed with the relevant governmental Texas agencies.
Technically they were due on July 15, but as the 15th is a Sunday, I’m assuming they aren’t actually due until the 16th. However, some members of the Council have already posted their financial returns. And I’ll be tracking them here. The things we are looking for are any contributions with those having financial/political interests in the August 9 vote, which could potentially pave the way for PSV to move from Columbus to Austin.
Since some have already filed their documents. I’ve created this handy graphic to determine if any of the now-sitting council members are getting any money from anyone interested in the potential move. I’d say it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Below is my summary of their positions, based on what I know (as well as watching that interminable council meeting).
Alison Alter: Fair to say she is very skeptical of the deal as proposed by PSV/MLS, and was a co-sponsor of Item 60, which opened up the process to outside bids. No relevant campaign contributions.
Ora Houston: Also fairly skeptical of the deal, but has held her true feelings close to the chest. No relevant campaign contributions.
Leslie Pool: A pretty “hard no” on the PSV deal, especially as currently constructed. Drafted item 60. No relevant campaign contributions.
I’ll keep updating as the information comes in.
Update: Some additional financial disclosures are coming in, though none by any council members. One interesting thing you find as you cover things like this is you get to know the stories behind the people running for office. Case in point: Lewis Conway Jr., who was convicted of killing a person 27 years ago, and finished his sentence and parole with no apparent issues. Can a person convicted of such a crime win an election? We’ll soon see.
Update: Still waiting for the disclosures from sitting members of the Council, but one of the candidates for Mayor, Laura Morrison has an interesting contribution. It comes from none other than Bill Aleshire, who has threatened litigation against the City Council, should they approve a deal with PSV/MLS.
Update: More coming in now.
Ellen Troxclair: She is retiring at the end of her term. As such, her contributions are pretty limited, relatively speaking. Edit: Don’t appear to be any relevant contributions.
Katheryn Tovo: Mayor Pro Tem. She has been pretty favorable to the prospect of MLS2ATX. Huge numbers of contributions; it’ll take some time to go through this.
Ann Kitchen: She’s also been fairly enthusiastic about MLS2ATX. Update: No relevant contributions.
Steve Adler: The Mayor checks in with an insane 360 pages of disclosures. Will take some time to run through this.
Jimmy Flannigan: If there is one person we can say isn’t receiving contributions from PSV/MLS it’s Mr. Flannigan. The only contribution he received, he returned.
Delia Garcia: Same as Mr. Flannigan, no contributions.
Greg Casar: Same as the other two. Edit: A secondary disclosure had some contributions, but none related to MLS2ATX.
Sabino “Pio” Renteria: The last one! Some interesting things here we’ll have to go through.
And that’s all of them! Now, to start reviewing the disclosures.
[…] look, you realize there is more than meets the eye. So it was while I was digging through the Austin Campaign Finance reports, looking for interesting contributions. Repeatedly, the same firm has members contributing to […]
[…] Contributions from PSV, or related associates: Yes, to the tune of over $10,000. […]
Follow the money. Look at contributions from Armbrust and Brown employees and their spouses to Council members — including those from 2016. https://data.austintexas.gov/City-Government/Campaign-Finance-Contributions-Dataset/3kfv-biw6
Appreciate you monitoring this. On another issue, 1-800 Contacts founder Jonathan Coon is trying to develop the Camelback property on Lake Austin. It is fairly contentious. He ‘gifted’ Gov Abbott some expensive trips in 2011/12, so there is no reason he wouldn’t try to do the same with Council members who he needs to approve the plan. I’d be very interested in who is getting what from whom. Coon has already ‘slipped’ a little and claims that the council is in the bag already for this project.