For the Record--Compare District 4 Candidates
* References and Details provided below:
2. Permanent Austin Residency: As documented in their Application for a Place on the City of Austin General Election Ballot, Laura Pressley has lived in Austin 26 years and Greg Casar has lived in Austin 3 1/2 years and he moved into the District a few weeks before the residency deadline for running for City Council.
3. Years as a Property Tax Payer: As documented in Travis Central Appraisal District and Personal Financial Statements, Laura Pressley has owned property in Austin and Wyoming, and paid property taxes from 1994 - 2014, Greg Casar has no documented history owning property or paying property taxes.
6. Faith: Laura Pressley has a strong faith in God. Greg Casar wrote a college paper in 2011, that discusses he is an atheist (p. 3 and p. 8). Direct quotes from Casar are, "Embarrassed by my godlessness...," and "I don't believe that there is a heaven or hell beyond this earth...," and "...the God I no longer believed in."
7. Jobs After College: As documented by LinkedIn, Laura Pressley has had more than 7 professional jobs since graduating from college from University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and from the University of Texas at Austin with a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. Greg Casar has had one job since college as a Registered Lobbyist for the Worker's Defense Project (WDP).
8. Current Employment: As documented by LinkedIn, Laura Pressley's current role is Ph.D. Chemist and Principal of Pure Rain, LLC. As documented by the Austin American Statesman, Greg Casar is not employed and many report his former role at WDP.
9. Political Primary Voting: As documented by historic Travis County voting records and the Austin Bulldog, Laura Pressley has been an independent voter from 1990 - 2014. As documented by Houston, Virginia, and Austin voting records, Greg Casar's first time to vote in Austin elections, was in November 2012 at the age of 23, and he has only been a Dem voter since this year's March 2014 Primary.
10. Accepted Lobbyist Contributions: As documented in Campaign Finance Reports, Laura Pressley has not accepted lobbyist contributions. Greg Casar has accepted thousands of dollars of Lobbyist contributions as documented in his two reports dated 10/6 and 7/15:
Richard Lavine $200 on 6/1/14, Lobbyist Reg. as of 12/20/13
Linda Bridges $200 on 9/7/14, Lobbyist Reg. as of 1/8/14
Russell Bridges $100 on 9/25/14, Lobbyist Reg. as of 1/2/14
Law Office of Paul Quinzi $350 on 8/28/14, Spouse Lobbyist Reg. as of 1/8/14
Rick Levy $100 on 9/25/14, Lobbyist Reg. as of 12/18/13
Kurt Meachum $350 on 9/9/14, Lobbyist Reg. as of 1/7/14
Patty Quinzi $350 on 8/13/14, Lobbyist Reg. as of 1/8/14
Paul Quinzi $350 on 8/13/14, Spouse of Lobbyist Reg. as of 1/8/14
11. Lies on Campaign Materials: Laura has zero falsehoods or lies on her campaign materials. Greg Casar has sent out many falsehoods and lies on his campaign materials:
Falsehood 1—Casar's October mailer claims that our campaign received contributions from registered lobbyists. For the record, on the date of contribution, we have received zero contributions from lobbyists. When attorney and former Travis County Judge Bill Aleshire questioned Greg Casar directly about the falsehoods, Casar admitted that he had "no evidence that Laura received any contributions from lobbyists." After talking directly with Casar about the false claims, Aleshire reported, "If he'll so blatantly lie about his opponent Laura Pressley in this campaign, he'll lie to the people from the Council dais."
Falsehood 2—Casar's October mailer claims he received less than 1% of his contributions from lobbyists. In actuality, he has received $2,000 from lobbyists and their spouses. That is more than twice the amount his mailer claims (see above #10).
Falsehood 3—Casar’s flyer to Windsor Hills, Heritage Hills and St. John’s Neighborhoods claims Laura Morrison and Gary Mauro are “neighbors.”This is false.
Falsehood 4—Casar’s flyer states, “My major opponents in this race are proposing tax cuts for homeowners, without offering equitable assistance for renters.” This is false. Laura Pressley has proposed utility rate and fee reductions for years and have documented these on our campaign website, door hangers and mailers since May.
Falsehood 5—Casar’s flyer to the North Austin Civic Association Neighborhood Association states, “Greg is the only candidate in this race that is talking about tax relief and targeted utility bill relief…” This is false. Laura Pressley has proposed utility rate and fee reductions for years and have documented these on our website, door hangers and mailers since May.
Falsehood 6--in our LoveNorthAustin forum, Casar denied (29:00 - 33:23) he supported the corporate handouts to Apple for $8.6 million worth of subsidies. Given there is video of Casar support of it, and stating, "This is a great opportunity and we really supporting this deal..." Again we held him accountable. For reference, here is the link to his past testimony to Council: Item 89, Part 2, 6:15.
Falsehood 7--In his December mailer, Casar claims Pressley made statements that the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were related to a controlled demolition. We never made those statements and the Austin American Statesman published proof of this in their Politifact article. The topic has been used to mislead voters.
Falsehood 8--In his December mailer, Casar made claims about our comments regarding military style weapons and they are false. Here is our testimony regarding common hand guns: Item 35 (4:08 - 4:17).
Falsehood 9--In his December mailer, Casar claims Laura is fearful of cell towers and that is false. Laura worked with Austin Energy to develop the first Smart Meter Opt Out Program in Texas. The Texas Public Utility Commission had worked on this for nearly 3 years and Laura and Austin Energy got it done for Austin in November 2013 after 11 months. It is a benchmark customer choice program with the lowest fees in the state. Pedernales Electric Coop and Center Point Electric have fees three times higher than Austin Energy's program.
Falsehood 10--In his December mailer, Casar claims Laura took undue credit for the $1.5M fee waiver savings as reported by the Statesman. On 12/1 at the North Austin forum, Greg mentioned this topic and he was corrected. Here is the link to the forum discussion (37:45 - 40:19). More importantly, since he was informed about the error on 12/1, and with his campaign mailer getting to voters on 12/5, Casar was aware of the discrepancies before the piece was released for printing and/or mailing. In addition, Casar was provided details via a personal email. Alberta Phillips, Editor of the Austin American Statesman, wrote on Nov. 17th: "Glad we're correcting the fee waiver information. The edit board was deeply concerned about those waivers and I covered that meeting and it happened as Pressley stated. ap"
12. Supported Corporate Handouts: Laura Pressley has not lobbied for or supported corporate fee waivers, subsidies or handouts. She has fought against them for years. Greg Casar has lobbied and supported corporate subsides and handouts such as $8.5 million dollars to Apple (Item 89, Part 2, Gregorio Casar).
13. Beholden to Lobbyists: Laura has repeatedly documented and stated that she will not take lobbyists contributions and that District 4 is not for sale. Greg Casar has received thousands of dollars from lobbyists and over $30,000 from either out of Texas or Austin. How can an unemployed 25 year old, former lobbyist, 8 month old Democrat, who has lived in Austin barely 3 years garner so much money and club endorsements? Who is he beholden to? You decide.
14. 20% Homestead Exemption: Laura has committed to leading and implementing a full 20% Homestead Exemption. These commitments are documented in many locations on her website, testimony to City Council, and forums. Per Greg Casar's website, and in forums, he disagrees with implementing the full 20%, state allowed, City of Austin Homestead Exemption for Austin homeowners. Again, Greg Casar does not support a City of Austin Homestead Exemption.
15. Stopping Corporate Handouts: Laura has committed to stopping corporate subsidies/handouts/fee waivers as documented on her website, testimony to City Council, and forums. Greg Casar has said he wants to continue corporate subsidies. At the Love NorthAustin forum (9:30), he stated, "...our subsidy program...we should incentivize things we want..." Again, Greg Casar supports corporate incentives, subsidies, handouts, tax breaks, fee waivers....as long as they are for "things we want." Who wants?
16. Plan to Reduce Utility Fees: Laura has committed to reducing utility fees and rates by several means, on her campaign materials, her website, and in public forums. First, Laura has proposed and successfully reduced utility fee waivers ($1.5 Million) and corporate subsidies. In addition, Laura has spoken extensively about implementing Lean Business practices to improve efficiencies and reduce waste in the utility departments. Greg Casar has not defined a plan of how he will reduce utility fees on his website or in forums. Again, Greg Casar does not have a plan to reduce utility fees and Casar is making promises and he does not have a strategy of how to keep those promises.