December 12, 2007

Just what we need... a nutter on the City Council

Yesterday, Cid Galindo announced his candidacy
for Austin City Council, Place 4, the seat held by retiring Council member Red Tag Betty. His announcement statement includes such tired cliches as "we can grow the economy and protect the environment" and "we need to come together to find common ground." He also released a business community heavy supporter list which include individuals who've brought us gems like toll roads and million dollar condos no one I know can afford to live in. Well, that's not exactly true... I know some people who could afford them. It's just that none of them are dumb enough to buy one of them.

What Cid's site does not mention are his ties to radical right wing ideologues. Part of Cid's resume includes his listing as President of the Galindo Group. A quick visit to their site reveals a prominent listing of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The same group that thinks tolls are great AND that creationism should be taught in school. As a scientific theory. They think it's positively wonderful that a foreign corporation will be siphoning money out of the pockets of Texans and sending it overseas. The same group whose answer to everything is 'PRIVATIZE IT' despite the widely available evidence that it's not a good idea for taxpayers. Because it increases net costs to taxpayers and provides little or no service improvement relative to the cost increase.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is funded by the voucher obsessed, Republican mega-donor Jim Leininger, That may help explain their 'Let's Ignore Reality and Concentrate on what we hope will happen' ideology. Until recently, failed Republican and former Chairman of Appropriations Talmadge Heflin was an analyist of this
nutter think tank before moving over to become the Executive Director of the Texas Republican Party. TPPF's other greatest hits include cutting funding to Medicaid, CHIP, and other necessary social services. Great folks, these people.

Galindo's strong connections to the far right wing of the Republican Party doesn't end there. A quick look at the Federal Elections Commission and Texas Ethics Commission finds the Galindo family has given over $32,000 to
Republicans including $10,000 to 39%. Who do you think will return the favor to buy the election for Galindo?

Austin is a great town with some challenges ahead. Challenges we can meet but not by blindly following the failed Republican agenda. It's done the country and the state absolutely no good and it won't be good for Austin. Galindo may be a stellar guy, but he's obviously a ridiculous choice for the Austin City Council. Unless you want cuts in police, fire and other public services and believe all roads should be sold to the lowest bidder (provided that the bidder gives a lot to his campaign and those of his repulsive friends).

Posted by mcblogger at December 12, 2007 08:28 AM

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I received TPPF's newsletter in the mail today. Here's a gem:

"This coming July 2008, Netroots -- the online nerve center of the vast Left-wing conspiracy -- will be holding its Annual Convention just blocks away from the Texas Public Policy Foundation offices in Austin! This will be one of the most important gatherings of Left-wing enthusiasts in America next year. They will strategize, compare ideas, vet candidates and develop action plans that counter everything you and I hold dear."

Posted by: Triangulation of Death [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 12:49 PM

I've seen no evidence that Galindo is an ideologue - although the TPPF link gives me the shivers too.

As for the condos - GMAFB. If it hadn't been for the obstruction of the ANC for so long, we might have finally built enough condos in places other than the most expensive land in the city for people to be able to afford them. Real cities can't hold on to single-family-over-everything forever; you have to stop blindly opposing every multi-family development in the universe.

In other words, a policy of only allowing density downtown isn't going to give you a lot of cheap condos. It's still better than those same people living in the suburbs - we get more taxes from them and we pay less for their roads and other costs, of course.

Posted by: mdahmus [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 13, 2007 11:06 AM

M- Who the hell said anything about density? My problem is that none of the density is, at this time, affordable.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 13, 2007 11:34 PM

Tri - Oh, hell. They've discovered mail? I guess they can stop using those pigeons.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 13, 2007 11:36 PM

McB, the implication in your comment was that the density is bad because it's unaffordable, and it's the fault of guys like Galindo. Both are untrue - even unaffordable density is better than more sprawl, and it's the fault of the ANC - because they're successfully fought density everywhere but downtown (where it will obviously be the most expensive due to land costs).

Posted by: mdahmus [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 14, 2007 11:47 AM

M- Actually, once again you're wrong. It's the fault of Galindo and those like him that the concentration has been on high end 'luxury' condos which are unaffordable by most who live in Central Austin. What's the investor concentration in those projects up to? 50%? No one cared, they just wanted the units sold. It's not until I have to decline one of these loans because the damn project is non-warrantable that anyone is concerned about it.

As for ANC, there are some owners in neighborhoods that don't want a 10 story building right next to their SFR. This is shocking? Even in Manhattan, there are some areas that are SFR and likely to remain that way. Granted, they are wall to wall, but still zero lot line SFR.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 17, 2007 09:16 AM

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