Press Release: 2022 Midterm Election Statement

9AM CST – Austin, TX USA

South Austin Republican Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


South Austin voters’ voices were loud and clear on Election Night. Even though the South Austin Republican Club doesn’t align with the results, we want to thank all the candidates that ran, their campaign staff, volunteers, and warriors that worked tirelessly to get out the vote for who we supported.

These next months and years will be critical to saving Austin from the progressive left and making progress for our principles in Travis County. This is going to require everyone to provide effort and resources to dominate the field and turn out everyone we can for the candidates and causes we support.

The hardest challenges will yield the most satisfying victories in times of great adversity. George Washington faced seemingly insurmountable odds when crossing the Delaware River in the dead of winter in 1776. But, with perseverance, focus, and unwavering determination to protect and maintain the principles he found important, we prevailed in one of the most significant ways in American history.

We too have this same chance in Travis County in 2024. The odds may seem stacked against just. The data may not add up. But if we fold now we do a disservice to everything we believe.

Therefore, we can’t back down. We must cross our Delaware River. We must protect what we hold to be true and important.

The fight is not over. We can and will do more in 2024. And, most importantly – We Can Win Austin!

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Press Release: 2022 Midterm Election Statement

South Austin News | SARC

“Roughly a dozen families living at a mobile home park in South Austin who received 60-day notices to leave will be able to stay for the time being after a Travis County judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.” KUT 5 Fun Things in South Austin – DO512 “A 25-year-old man has been arrested for…

Are We Rewarding Failure? | SARC

Austin City Council voted to increase their pay by 40% last week by an overwhelming margin. Out of the eleven members, only three opposed this egregious hike in pay; Paige Ellis (D8), Vanessa Fuentes (D2), and the redoubtable Mackenzie Kelly (D6).

South Austin News | SARC

“Roughly a dozen families living at a mobile home park in South Austin who received 60-day notices to leave will be able to stay for the time being after a Travis County judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.” KUT

5 Fun Things in South Austin – DO512

“A 25-year-old man has been arrested for shooting a panhandler in South Austin. Police say Elijah Perez left the scene, then later returned to tell police what he did.” FOX7

“A new bar taking its cues from Mexico City and South Austin will open this fall. Lulu’s will be found on 10402 Menchaca Road, Suite 3 starting sometime in mid-September or early October in the far south Austin area.” EATER AUSTIN

“Police said a man was taken to the hospital after being shot in both legs Friday night. It happened in the 6400 block of South Congress Ave. around 8:15 p.m. That’s near William Cannon Drive. When officers arrived, they found a man who had been shot in both legs.” KXAN

South Austin News | SARC

Murders in the Park | SARC

In 2020, the city council removed $150 million from the Austin Police budget. While this author has given special attention in the past to the obscenity of losing our sex crimes unit, there is another element that was eliminated causing all too tragic consequences. 

Are We Rewarding Failure? | SARC

 It is not unusual for legislators to pass pay raises for themselves. It’s understandable to ensure that our public servants are well fairly compensated. You don’t want the level of pay so low that you only attract mediocrities or create an environment in which accepting bribes is the only way for a legislator to make ends meet. It’s sensible to try to make sure that those in public employment have pay that keeps pace with out-of-control inflation. Sure, we don’t all just get to say “today, I make 10% more,” but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

But a 40% pay raise…is a bitter pill to swallow.  

Austin City Council voted to increase their pay by 40% last week by an overwhelming margin. Out of the eleven members, only three opposed this egregious hike in pay; Paige Ellis (D8), Vanessa Fuentes (D2), and the redoubtable Mackenzie Kelly (D6).  

This raise is more unseemly than most for reasons beyond its staggering scale—can you imagine what you would do with 40% more in your paycheck? No, the timing of this massive spike is particularly galling in a few ways.  

First, there’s the obvious; the economy is slowing down. Inflation is essentially giving all of us a major pay cut, and the cost of living in Austin is growing rapidly, forcing many people who have spent much of their lives in the city to look elsewhere. As businesses struggle to find workers, workers struggle to find jobs that cover their needs, and goods still seem oddly short on the shelves, the image of Council Members giving themselves tens of thousands more dollars is irritating. It’s bad policy and it’s political malpractice. Bill Clinton once famously said, “I feel your pain.” The current council seems more interested in cementing its own gain.  

Second, anyone with an eye on local issues and a memory that stretches back to last year may recall Save Austin Now’s fight for Proposition A, which would have refunded APD, and required certain levels of staffing. Those individuals who recall this ballot measure may also recall what we were told about the city budget. Simply put, we were led to believe that any increases in APD’s funding would need to be taken from other vital services. Now, the cost of the pay raise for the council—about $340,000/year—pales in comparison to what Prop A would have cost. But the argument that there simply wasn’t any more money in the budget was made so often, that I heard it in my dreams. Then we find out that the city had a surplus of $20 million (from its large sales tax on local businesses), and the first thing the Council does is give itself a raise. Perhaps the reader will understand why this particular vote got under the skin of many in Austin.

Third and finally, pay raises usually follow good, if not excellent, performance. Very few of us have the option of just choosing to make more money. Most have to prove to an employer that the work they have done is deserving of increased compensation. And any honest review of the Council’s performance lately would certainly be “mixed” at best. Let’s start with the good.  

Life has returned mostly to its pre-pandemic normal in the city, with large events taking place and schools opening as they should. Our city is still a boom town with thousands of new people flocking in every week. That, of course, is primarily due to the excellent business environment provided by the state government, from which every major city benefits.

Now, let’s get to the bad:

  • Failure of basic services. We have had three water shutdowns in four years. One of them was caused by rain. How was the city not ready for rain? Another was just a misunderstanding. Nothing went wrong—someone just thought it had and told everyone the water was unsafe. Our electrical grid is suspect. The whole state’s grid is probably inadequate for our needs and deserves a major investment, but the city has become undeniably worse in recent years. Lately anytime we get more than a sprinkle I hear from across the city of power outages.  
  • A gutted police force. APD is nowhere near fully staffed. As a result, APD is pulling detectives from desk work and sending them on patrol, has scrapped the DUI department, makes next-to-no traffic stops (meaning there are more reckless drivers, and yes; more traffic deaths), and has retired the sex crimes unit. Let me reiterate; there is no sex crimes unit in the city of Austin. This most basic service that every city should provide the victims of unspeakable crimes—overwhelmingly poor women of color, for the record—was cut because of the Council’s rash decision to remove about one-third of the police budget.  
  • Rising crime, especially murders. Given that in 2020, APD’s funding was slashed, it is sadly unsurprising that we have had more murders in the past couple of years than our city has ever experienced.  While we are not on track to set another new record for the number of homicides in the city, in 2020 and 2021, we hit all-time highs, and have established a new normal. While our murder rate is lower than that of poorer major cities, such as Houston, we are no longer the surprisingly safe, pristine city we once were.  
  • Homelessness. In 2019, the council removed a ban on homeless camping, leading to a massive surge in shanty towns under our bridges and homeless on our street corners. These sprawling camps were dangerous places of open drug use and casual violence. The homeless, for whom we should all feel deep compassion, were left to their own devices, preyed upon by human traffickers and drug dealers, and left to freeze and die in large numbers during winter storms. Too many of these men and women are drug-addicted or mentally ill—or both. They are not capable of making rational, long-term decisions. They should be cared for, as Community First! Village does. Instead, the Council’s response was to buy a hotel, house an infinitesimal percentage of the homeless, and pretend that the open camping wasn’t a major threat to the city’s wellbeing. The vast number of fires that broke out in these camps should dispel the idea that these were safe spaces. With no action being taken by elected officials, the voters of Austin mobilized to pass Proposition B. right before its passage, Kitchen and Kelly spearheaded the admirable H.E.A.L. Initiative which banned camping in a few key areas but left most of the city open to the blight of massive homeless camps. Even after the passage of Prop B, the council dragged its feet to enforce the law, taking many months before finally going about the sad business of clearing out the dangerous camps that had become all too common in our city.  
  • The rising cost of living. Despite this loss of safety, people continue to move to the city. Not to the dangerous parts, mind you; to the nice areas. But the ever-growing population has not been met with a commensurate investment in housing. There have been a number of luxury condos built, but for those who do not make mid-six-figure incomes, finding a home has become an increasingly difficult process. And forget about buying a home. The cost of a house in Austin has skyrocketed, leaving many longtime residents with no choice but to leave. The Council doesn’t set home values, and they don’t decide on rent in the city. But they have made building new homes so expensive that most investors don’t see the possibility of making a return on their investments in building new affordable units. Similarly, the Council’s fixation on increasing non-car traffic by adding bike lanes and increasing walkability has left our major roadways clogged and everyone outside of the dense urban core—most Austinites—underserved.  

In conclusion, this council’s record is one of failure. Our budget is bloated. Our taxes are too high. And, our services are too low.  

The Council is in the thrall of a small population of wealthy downtown dwellers who don’t have to see the effects of terrible policies elsewhere in the city.  

The Council Members didn’t deserve a raise. Most deserve to be fired.  

But most importantly, the city deserves better.  

Are We Rewarding Failure? | SARC

America the Violent | SARC

In the wake of mass shootings, Americans are regularly told that these atrocities do not happen in other developed countries. This, we are to believe, is the damnable result of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Austin’s Doomed Experiment | SARC

Austin has decided to launch an experiment with Universal Basic Income (UBI) in partnership with the nonprofit UpTogether. The program, when implemented, will send $1000 per month to 85 low-income individuals in the city.

Murders in the Park | SARC

The incident happened inside Zilker Park. (CBS Austin)

 Image: The incident happened inside Zilker Park. (CBS Austin)

In 2020, the city council removed $150 million from the Austin Police budget. While this author has given special attention in the past to the obscenity of losing our sex crimes unit, there is another element that was eliminated causing all too tragic consequences. 

APD was forced to cut patrols specifically designated for our once-pristine parks.  

We have had two reported murders in Austin’s parks in two days. This can hardly come as a surprise. Where the police go, criminals flee; where they don’t, criminals gather. Adding police officers to a city has a measurable impact on the murder rate.  

No doubt the leaders of our city will splutter and attempt to explain away these actions as part of a national trend—ignoring the fact that Austin followed the national trend of tearing police budgets to ribbons.  

But those of us who understand how criminals operate, whether through research or purely common sense, know that the city is witnessing what could be normal in murder rates because the Council chose to ignore all warnings. There was history to be made. There were ideologies that needed backing. There were activists to be appeased. 

And now there are bodies to be buried. There are losses to mourn.  

Sources say that APD is sending patrols back into the parks, but with fewer and fewer officers, this means crime will simply move to another underserved area of the city.  

Murders in the Park | SARC

Winter Weather Preparedness

Severe winter weather can be deadly and we want you to be as prepared as possible for the next major storm that will hit the Austin metro area. Below, you will find ways to be prepared. Please take every suggestion seriously. The intention of this article: To ensure you have the soft/hard skills and options…

Austin’s Doomed Experiment | SARC

by Dallas Emerson, Communications Director & Data Analyst

dallas@southaustinrc.org


Austin has decided to launch an experiment with Universal Basic Income (UBI) in partnership with the nonprofit UpTogether. The program, when implemented, will send $1000 per month to 85 low-income individuals in the city.  

This is part of a series of experiments with Universal Basic Income occurring throughout the country.  

And they’re all pointless.  

Let’s set aside the principle and even the theory underlying UBI.  Those are arguments to be taken up when the discussion is whether to implement such a program.  

No, I want to talk about this “experiment,” and its guaranteed unhelpfulness.  

The idea behind running the pilot program is, at first glance, understandable. Rather than unrolling a multi-billion dollar program, we will study a small group of people, and how their lives and behavior is changed by receiving additional income.  

But the results will be easily misunderstood or misinterpreted; indeed, I would go so far as to say that the results will be meaningless

Let’s look at the pilot program again: 85 low-income people receiving $1000/month. That’s not chump change. I would certainly not turn my nose up to that kind of money. And certainly, we can expect that their spending habits would change. Their work habits will likely change.  

And that means nothing when only 85 people are receiving this money.  

However, if every single Austinite, all 950,000 of them, were to receive $1000/month—or about $12 billion dollars a year—we can only guess at the rapid, unprecedented rise in inflation as we poured an additional one billion dollars every month into our economy. Keep in mind, that nothing else will have changed—there will not be more goods being produced or more workers contributing. There will not be higher quality goods.  

We can guess what kind of wild effect this will have on the prices of low-income housing, food, fuel, and childcare in the city.  

They will go up. 

As we have seen on a national scale, subsidizing demand, by sending cash out to consumers, leads to price increases. This is not an argued point. The only question is how much of the inflation can be attributed to government disbursement of funds.  

If the Council agrees to this experiment, they will be putting Austin on a path to receiving information that we know will be misleading. We know that the relatively small disbursement will help these few, chosen families. We also know that these families will be the most likely to suffer from inflation—low-income families are always hit hardest by price increases.  

The Council must exercise prudence and take any result of this futile experiment with skeptical eyes. 

Austin’s Doomed Experiment | SARC

Press Release: Keep Voting | SARC

6:07PM – Austin, TX USA South Austin Republican Club Dallas Emerson, Communications Director & Data Analyst dallas@southaustinrc.org Keep Voting Former President Donald Trump released the following statement yesterday, October 13th, 2021:   This message has been received as a threat to the Republican Party; somehow to address the alleged fraud of the 2020 election.   There are…

South Austin News | SARC

“People who live in South Austin and use Stassney Lane will soon have safer and more convenient ways to cross the street or get to a public transit stop.” @KVUE

November 2021 Propositions | SARC

On November 2nd, 2021 Texans will have the chance to vote on 8 statewide propositions. Austinites will have the chance to vote on 2 city propositions. You can learn about them here and we encourage you to vote!

Campaign Soft Launch – This Saturday | SARC

In 2023 we have a chance to change the composition of the Austin City Council. What the really means is that we have a chance in 2022 since candidates can start officially running one year prior to the election in November of 2023.

In South Austin we will have two seats up for the taking in 2023; District 8 and District 5. Both of which will be in striking distance for Republicans.

District 8 is already showing prominence with the recent news of lawyer and retired judge Richard Smith throwing his hat in the ring for the District 8 spot.

On Saturday, September 18th, Mr. Smith will host a soft launch for his campaign in order to introduce himself to the South Austin community. He will be present to answer questions, present his platform and meet community neighbors.

We highly encourage you to attend!

*Note: This is not a formal endorsement of Mr. Smith’s run for District 8 City Council.

South Austin News | SARC

“A colorful, 140-foot mural was installed by the Southern Oaks neighborhood of Austin to greet travelers on Buffalo Pass in south Austin.” @KXAN_News

South Austin News | SARC

“Legend says in the ’20s, it was a hangout spot for train robbers the Newton Gang, Carvalho said. Roughly 50 years later, the likes of Willie Nelson and Janis Joplin performed at the venue.” COMMUNITY IMPACT

Gov. Abbott Response to Austin Police Defunding | SARC

Austin city council has voted to defund the Austin Police Department and move funds to “social programs.” Does that make you feel safe? Does this make you want to move to Austin with your family? Check out the details in this article to come to your own conclusion. But, we are confident that you won’t be optimistic about the leadership in Austin by the end…

Gov. Greg Abbott and top Texas leaders announced Tuesday that they will push for legislation next year that would freeze property tax revenues for cities that cut police budgets, just days after the Austin City Council approved a budget that will cut police funding by up to one-third by moving areas like forensics outside of the management of the police department to become separate municipal offices and by reinvesting money in social services.

BY JUAN PABLO GARNHAM AND JOLIE MCCULLOUGH

These are some of the police department units that were cut or reduced during the budget approval:

  1. 911 Call Center – $17.7 million
  2. Forensic Sciences – $12.7 million
  3. Support Services – $14.1 million 
  4. Community Partnerships – $2.5 million 
  5. Victims Services – $3.1 million 
  6. Internal Affairs – $4.5 million 
  7. Special Investigations – $1.8 million 
  8. Special Events – $4.4 million 
  9. Mounted Patrol – $2.1 million 
  10. Traffic Enforcement – $18.4 million 
  11. Austin Regional Intelligence Center – $2 million 
  12. Park Police – $5.8 million 
  13. Lake Patrol – $1.4 million 
  14. Organized Crime/K-9 – $1.2 million 
  15. Nuisance Abatement – $312,000
  16. Canceling 3 Cadet Classes – $2.2 million this year
  17. Officer Overtime – $2.8 million 
  18. License Plate Readers – $133,000

Would you consider this to be “transformative?” No. Let’s explore some scenarios where these defundings directly impact you.

Scenario 1: You are in a wreck on I-35. Which will impact you? #’s 1, 3, 10, 16 and 17.

Scenario 2: You are driving with your families or friends and a drunk driver speeds through a stop sign. Which will impact you? #’s 1, 3, 10, 15, 16, 18 and 17.

Scenario 3: An intruder is trying to, or has, entered your home. Which will impact you? #’s 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16, and 17.

Is this okay? Is this the standard we hold for the great city of Austin?…

“Any city in the state of Texas that defunds law enforcement will have their property tax revenue frozen as of that time,” Abbott said in Fort Worth, where the press conference was held. “This will be an effective tool that effectively will prevent cities from being able to reduce funding support for law enforcement agencies. Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” said Gov. Abbott. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness. Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty. The legislature will take this issue up next session, but in the meantime, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect our capital city.”

Gov. Greg Abbott

The choice is yours. Make your voices heard and contact Austin City Council and Gov. Greg Abbott’s office bellow.

City of Austin
Name of Intended Department
ATT: Name of Intended Recipient
2006 East 4th Street
Austin, Texas 78702

Austin City Hall

Address: 301 W. Second St., Austin, Texas 78701

Mayor Stephen Adler512-978-2100
District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison512-978-2101
District 2 Council Member Delia Garza512-978-2102
District 3 Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria512-978-2103
District 4 Council Member Gregorio “Greg” Casar512-978-2104
District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen512-978-2105
District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan512-978-2106
District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool512-978-2107
District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis512-978-2108
District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo512-978-2109
District 10 Council Member Alison Alter512-978-2110

Mailing Address:
Texans for Greg Abbott
PO Box 308
Austin, TX 78767

Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Email Address: Info@GregAbbott.com

Scheduling Requests: Scheduling@GregAbbott.com

Press Inquiries: Press@GregAbbott.com

Telephone

(800) 843-5789 – Information and Referral Hotline (for Texas callers)

(512) 463-1782 – Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline
(for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers)

(512) 463-2000 – Office of the Governor Main Switchboard
(office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST)

Call 711 for Relay Texas – Citizen’s Assistance Telecommunications Device, if you are using a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD)

Austin Republicans call on party leaders to stand firm against violence, vandalism

by Andy Hogue

While still strongly supporting First Amendment freedoms, Republicans nationwide are calling on elected officials to condemn the violent crime that has regrettably become associated with recent racial justice protests.

The Travis County Republican Party approved a resolution at its 2020-21 organizational meeting joining a growing number of Republican organizations calling for GOP activists, party officials, and government officials to 1) condemn terrorist-like actions, 2) support the immediate arrest and prosecution of violent protesters, and 3) demand law enforcement be adequately funded despite calls by radical leftists to defund the police.

“Visitors to Austin should not have to fear for their lives just blocks away from their state capitol, and Austinites should not have to look behind their backs every time they go downtown,” said Matt Mackowiak, Travis County Republican Party Chairman. “We as Republicans continue to commend our local, county, and state law enforcement for their tremendous effort keeping weekend protests safe and urge that the Austin City Council maintain full funding for the Austin Police Department. We believe a majority of voters support us in this call and urge Republican leaders at all levels to take a stand for law and order.”

The text of the resolution as unanimously approved is below.

WHEREAS our principles, our culture and our country are under attack by a group or groups of individuals who, behind a screen of perhaps well-meaning people purportedly seeking racial justice and equality and desiring to exercise their right of free speech, have vandalized and sometimes destroyed public and private property across the state of Texas and this country, impeded trade and commerce by interrupting the transportation of goods and persons, destroyed the lives and livelihood of law-abiding individuals and harassed, threatened and even injured, some fatally, the law enforcement officers whose sworn duty it is to protect the public from such conduct,

[THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED] We urge all Republicans, especially all Republicans holding any public or party office, to immediately do the following:

  1. Condemn all criminal conduct by such people as domestic terrorism; and
  2. Advocate and urge that each and every criminal act by such persons be dealt with by immediate arrest, imprisonment and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law; and
  3. Demand that law enforcement agencies of all kinds be adequately funded and supported to enable each to have enough properly trained personnel, and the necessary equipment, to enable them to safely and effectively perform their duty of protecting the lives and property of the people they serve.


The Travis County Republican Party supports the conservative principles of the GOP and works to elect candidates up and down the ballot in the greater Austin metro area. For more information visit www.TravisGOP.com.

Poll: Majority supports full funding for Austin PD; indicates unrest with City Council | SARC

by Andy Hogue

A poll commissioned by the Greater Austin Crime Commission helps confirm that there is growing dissatisfaction with the direction the Austin City Council and the Travis County Commissioners Court has taken the city.
Some takeaways from the poll:

  • 53% responded they oppose slashing funding for the Austin Police Department
  • 40% responded they support reducing funding for APD
  • 47% responded city is on “wrong track”
  • 34% responded city is going in “right direction”
  • 84% responded they are dissatisfied with the city’s homelessness policy
  • 74% responded they are dissatisfied with how traffic is being addressed
  • 92% responded they feel safe at home and in their neighborhoods
  • 56% responded they feel safe downtown
  • 80+% responded they are satisfied with Austin Fire and county EMS

“Most Austin voters oppose reducing police positions,” said Corby Jastrow, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, in a press release. “There is strong community support for police reform but not cutting cops when violent crime is increasing and response times are slower.”
The survey was conducted from July 14 to 17 of likely Austin voters.  
“The Austin City Council should invest in public safety reform and reject budget cuts that put the community at risk,” said retired Adm. Bobby R. Inman, former president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, in the release. “Austin voters strongly back Chief Brian Manley and the Austin Police Department.”
Resistance is beginning to grow. 


The Travis County Republican Party was among a handful of entities that opposed de-funding the Austin Police Department, though public support is strong for keeping funding. 


In the media…

The Austin City Council unanimously voted to cut its police department budget by $150 million, after officers and the city’s top cop faced months of criticism over the killing of an unarmed Black and Hispanic man, the use of force against anti-police brutality protesters and the investigation of a demonstrator’s fatal shooting by another citizen.

 MEENA VENKATARAMANAN, Texas Tribune

Of the cuts, $21.5 million is shifted in the form of “reinvestments” to programs such as $100,000 for abortion access and $6.5 million a year for the homeless under the “Housing First” policy of sheltering and feeding the homeless, with no expectation for them to seek treatment—essentially allowing them to live off taxpayer support until they die.

Chuck DeVore, Forbes

Beginning in October, about $21 million will fund social services, community resources including response to the coronavirus, mental health aid programs, violence prevention, victim services and food, housing and abortion access. Another $80 million will be redistributed to similar city services throughout the year, and $49 million will be spent on city’s Reimagine Safety Fund, which aims to provide alternative forms of public safety and community support besides policing.

ACACIA CORONADO, AP

“Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” said Governor Abbott. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness. Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty. The legislature will take this issue up next session, but in the meantime, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect our capital city.”

Governor Greg Abbott