A Couple of 2020 Election Notes

Roger Williams lies and Louis Herrin shades the truth

A couple of important notes on the upcoming elections that I haven’t seen elsewhere need to be made during this highly irregular electoral season:

1.

Republican U.S. Representative Roger Williams spent six figures (maybe the money he took from the Paycheck Protection Act?) to lie to voters in this ad airing on Austin TV:

View the ad here.

Roger Williams, like Chip Roy and other Republicans, has voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act without any plan to replace it or repair it or even continue those aspects of it that people like — including requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions. If at any point his votes had won the day, all of us with pre-existing conditions would be screwed. He’s a liar and should be removed from office.

2.

Louis Herrin sent letters to everyone in our city council district noting his run against our incumbent, Greg Casar. Herrin, much like Williams, spent a considerable amount of money mailing everyone only to shade the truth.

He writes:

We must act now in this election as Austin is headed down a dangerous path where violence and destruction of our beautiful city is on the rise. Your vote makes all the difference in the world as take on the status quo of the current city council members. Our city leaders are failing us and putting the future of our great city ina downward spiral of despair. We need all Austinites to unite as we push for a cleaner and safer city for everyone. I am your nonpartisan Pro-Austin advocate. This is not a Democratic or Republican bid for office, am your pro-Austin, pro-safety and pro-common sense candidate for you and your family.

City politics is already nonpartisan in Austin. No one runs as on a party ticket. Claiming to be more nonpartisan than the next nonpartisan city councilperson is just a cover for neoliberal progressivism at best. We see this to be true as we read on:

Your Safety is my Top Priority

Since my opponent Greg Casar has been in office we have seen a drastic change in the City of Austin for the worse. Crime is at an all-time high and the city has become less safe with displaced people forced to camp out in the open public with no place to go.

The increase in the visibility of homelessness in our city isn’t because displaced people are suddenly being forced to camp in public places. It’s because, the Supreme Court has since ruled, it’s illegal to arrest people for sleeping — a necessary biological activity — in public places just because they offend your aesthetic preferences. If there’s no place for them to go (that is, if they can’t afford a home), they have to sleep somewhere. Louis Herrin and friends would just prefer they be forced to go sleep in forests and along inner-city creeks again, where they are far more likely to be victimized and unable to request help. Furthermore, as soon as you push them out of sight again, Louis and friends can forget about them again instead of maybe one day becoming offended by the fact that we allow billionaires to exist alongside the homeless.

And now Greg Casar has recently led the way to defund Austin Police at the worst possible time when we need better police training and more protection. This is not in the best interest of Austin. Even Democratic cities like Houston and Dallas have chosen to increase police protection and opt for better training rather than defund their police department. We need common sense back in our leaders in Austin that have our livelihood and our future in their hands. I will fight to keep you and your family safe.

Herrin’s reliance on the same old tactics that got us where we are — increase funding for punitive agencies — shows there’s no common sense behind his proposals. In fact, it is the ever-increasing investment in police departments that requires we underfund other public safety, health and welfare programs, like low-income housing. It is exactly that fundamental problem that the Austin City Council is attempting to rectify by shifting funding from Austin Police Department to other community services in what is mistakenly called “defunding.”

Traffic and Homeless

In addition to the safety issues, since Greg Casar has been in office we are still at a crossroads on how to improve the mounting traffic issues and how to help the homeless that are overtaking our streets and underpasses. It has not gotten better, only worse. Austin is growing at such a fast pace we need leaders that understand how city planning really works. My experience as an engineer will come into play as promise to jump right in and lead the council to designa city for every Austinite and to devise a compassionate plan to get the homeless off our streets and into shelters. And real traffic solutions that benefit all Austinites must be put in place we stay ahead of the ever growing population of our city.

Given how tied up engineering is with Cold War politics and rational-choice, prisoners’ dilemma thinking, I’m not looking to its practitioners for innovative political ideas. His claiming the mantle of engineering (the only thing worse could be economics) as a justification for election is a negative against him, if you ask me.

Audit of City Projects

Austin is facing big budget issues and now city council is threatening to raise taxes again. We need an audit of the city council budget so council stops wasting tax payer money that does not benefit the majority of citizens like you and me. If am elected the first action will take is to request a complete audit of all projects. You deserve transparency as to where the city of Austin is allocating funds. There are too many pet projects resulting in bad results anda waste of tax payer money. It's time we open up the books for everyone to see where all of the money is going.

Beyond wasting his own money on this letter, he wants to waste Austin taxpayers’ money on an already-defeated audit of city finances by privately paid outside consultants when we already have a city auditor. No, thanks. No need to replicate. If you want transparency, read the documents and get involved in the process. You aren’t going to be spoon-fed.


Sources:

Letter from Austin City Council candidate Louis Herrin received September 25, 2020, page 1/2.

Letter from Austin City Council candidate Louis Herrin received September 25, 2020, page 2/2.

Note that the letter’s language appears to be posted on his website through a Google search, but I can’t access the site because it’s improperly set up, which further negates his engineering experience argument: