June 03, 2008

In which we endorse...

Much like everyone else in Austin, we're endorsing Laura Morrison for City Council, Place Four.


We can't say the same about her opponent, Cid Galindo. This little bit makes it very clear. You'll also notice this at the end...

Morrison said residents have been getting push-poll phone calls — in which callers ask a question and then push a particular point of view — that are critical of her. Galindo said his campaign placed calls asking residents only whom they plan to vote for.

Carl Tepper, president of the Small Business Group of Austin, said his group has placed calls asking voters if they're aware of Morrison's stance on the energy upgrades.

Carl Tepper, it just so happens, is a Republican. Which is interesting since he's using his time and resources campaigning in a non-partisan race against a Democrat. It's also interesting since Galindo has made a big deal about being independent. Which, of course, naturally makes us wonder why a Republican would expend time and resources supporting Galindo. After watching our former Republican electeds screw things up, not to mention the ones currently in office, this an absolute deal killer for us.

No, we're not at that point where we can afford to let even one Republican in. Right now, the only thing they are good at is mucking things up.

The Statesman basically said Galindo was a single issue candidate. That issue is density which, as you know, we support. However, there have to be limits for it work and having a council member focused narrowly on high cost housing in the central city ignores the very real needs of the city as a whole (which does, for those who don't realize it, extend beyond SoCo/SoLa and Midtown). We love his plan to build town centers to the north and east, but that's already happening without him.

While we'd absolutely adore having mass transit everywhere, it's not reality and won't be for a decade or more. That means we need roads and a rational traffic plan to alleviate our current choke points. Morrison, at least, has some solid ideas on things to do NOW with an eye on what needs to happen in the future. Galindo is focused on changing where people live which will take a lot of time and depends on infrastructure that does not yet exist. Needless to say, we're going with better ideas.

And the better candidate. We urge you to support Laura Morrison in this race.

Posted by mcblogger at June 3, 2008 01:37 PM

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I trust Laura Morrison to continue the same sort of balkanized neighborhood association-based politics that have been the bane of planning and progress in Austin for decades. That's why I'm voting for El Cid.

Posted by: Mayor McSleaze [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2008 07:51 AM

My wife fielded a push-poll from Morrison's campaign before the first round. Stuff like "did you KNOW Cid Galindo voted in the Republican primary in (2000 or 2004, I forget which)??"

Morrison is against mass transit - like most of the ANC, once you scratch them a little bit, you discover Jim Skaggs. They'll say they want to improve the bus system before spending money on rail, ignoring the fact that the buses actually run about as well as they can without their own lanes, and then without skipping a beat will tell you that Cap Metro should give some of their money back for more highways.

At this point, anybody who wants to build more freeway capacity has a very poor case. While I'm no Roger Baker doom-and-gloomer, projecting further growth in the suburban commuter market is a pretty big gamble (even if Laura wins and forces more housing units out there than are already going that way). Those same people you keep telling us are unable to afford loans (or tolls) are going to have trouble paying the gas bill pretty soon.

Posted by: mdahmus [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2008 10:16 AM

That goes for more tollways too, BTW. The run-up from $3 to $4 has made the case very poor for a couple of phase II roads as either free OR tollways IMO.

Posted by: mdahmus [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2008 10:18 AM

MD- You know, sometimes you sound like a 70's dystopia movie.

I've had this conversation with Laura and she realizes that rail is the only longer term solution. However, she also knows that we have to make some improvements to infrastructure.

I know you're afraid that if roads are improved, it'll take away the drive for rail. However, I don't think the two are all that connected. There are a number of other factors involved.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2008 10:28 AM

No, I'm not afraid of that at all - I'm afraid the drive to improve roads will take away the _money_ we need to build rail that would actually work (light rail, like every other decent mid-sized city has already done or is now doing).

Posted by: mdahmus [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2008 11:16 AM

MD - For one thing, there's a massive trans bill coming down the pipe from the feds that should alleviate some of that worry.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2008 11:45 AM

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