November 01, 2008

Donna Keel accuses Austin Interfaith of conspiracy

Austin Interfaith, a non-partisan organization that for years has helped the poor, but more recently has also found itself with advocating for the middle-class, was accused by Donna Keel, Republican candidate for Texas State Representative District 47 for conspiring with the Democratic Party and her Democratic opponent Valinda Bolton.

The multi-religious group who sponsored a local candidate accountability session last week at St. Thomas More Catholic Church had invited Keel to participate. In fairness to the invited candidates, Austin Interfaith sits down with the candidates well before the session to go over the issues and format to give them a chance to formulate their answers. The organization, after extensive research and asking constituents of the districts, stated that the most important issues were those that involved education, healthcare, job creation, and law enforcement. These were the issues that AI would ask questions to the candidates at the session.

Keel, who did attend the pre-forum sitdown but not the public session, accused the group of slanting these issues towards her opponent. Disregarding constituent’s main concerns, Keel wanted abortion to be the overriding issue.

But showing disrespect for an organization that has never endorsed a party and a candidate, and has a reputation for addressing public issues that affect families and neighborhoods was not enough of a slap from Keel. She proceeded to rifle off letters of condemnation to the four congregation leaders who helped AI sponsor the event, and to the Austin Catholic Diocese. There were reports that she attempted to convince the republican candidates for county commissioner and Texas State House District 48 and 50 not to attend.

The Catholic Diocese responded by saying they fully supported Austin Interfaith and that there are groups within the church that already address the abortion issue.

Interesting that Keel would attack a group who takes a faith-based approach to community problems and whose hostile and personal attacks against her opponent is counter to Christian beliefs.

Her actions seem to imply a disregard for the well-being of families in the district, and a lack of knowledge of the issues that the constituents desire to be addressed.

Posted by Captain Kroc at November 1, 2008 10:44 PM

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