In Fact Daily is running a story about the effort to green the F1 track coming to Austin mixed in with the city election on Saturday. The bullshit kicked off when Mayoral Candidate Brigid Shea accused Mayor Leffingwell of failing to properly disclose bundled money from people involved in the effort to bring the F1 track to Austin. Unnamed sources responded by releasing a memo created by Shea that discussed proposals to really green the track, rather than greenwash it as had been proposed by Councilmember Skeletor.
Further accusations were made that Shea actively solicited a consulting contract with the F1 group. This accusation comes with no proof, aside from the word of Richard Suttle and Steve Sexton, that a proposal for consulting services does or did exist. For myself, I seriously doubt the veracity of that account especially since Shea was originally brought into this by Ian Davis (husband of Leffingwell staffer Amy Everhart) during the summer of 2011 to help him with ideas and proposals for greening the track as part of his effort to secure employment as part of the track’s environmental sustainability team, either directly or as part of a consulting arrangement (that part isn’t clear).
This story has all the coherence of the failed WTP4 smear in which several people claimed, erroneously, that Shea had bid in 2010 for a contract on the plant. The reality was that she’d been involved in a bid on another plant in 2002 and did, in fact, oppose WTP4. This effort represents a clear desire on the part of some to lie and distort the truth with regard to Shea’s work.
That’s about all for the ‘I can’t believe how ugly a political campaign can become’. Honestly, this doesn’t make a tinker’s damn bit of difference. It also does little to address the highly questionable and costly subsidies which the City gives to developers building new subdivisions and, oh I don’t know, racetracks. While the City may not be directly contributing to the cost of the F1 facility, they’re bending over backwards (at taxpayer expense no less) to extend water service to the track. No where, in any of this bullshit, is that mentioned.
At the end of the day, I’m going with Shea. Lee reminds me of Shade. Good person but absolutely appalling when it comes to negotiating subsidies and tax abatements. Austin is a fast growing, vibrant community with a massive talent pool that is attracting good employers and developers who actually have a positive aggregate impact on the City. So, why the hell do we bend over backwards to help out every schmuck with a business plan and promises?
Running the City isn’t like a goddamn baseball game. You don’t have to swing at every pitch and sometimes, it’s OK to say no. On Saturday, we have the chance to elect someone who might not be a such a pushover. That person is Brigid Shea.