We’re going to step on a few toes. We’re endorsing Sarah Eckhardt for Travis County Judge and we’re going to do a little truth telling on her opponent Andy Brown, a story which we’ve been sitting on since 2008.
This is the hottest race in Travis County and everyone knows this critical position will be decided in the Democratic primary. Moreover, we think Brown will bow to the same powerful interests donating to his campaign that seek tax subsidies, tax breaks, and special favors.Let us explain and please pardon the length of this message.
Sarah Eckhardt served 6 years on the Commissioner’s court with integrity, honesty and in the spirit of cross-partisanship. We may not agree with every vote Sarah’s ever taken – but she is not bought and paid for and she has stood firm while the rest wilted.
Watch the debate between Sarah and Andy. It’s very clear that Brown is not up to the job. He has no experience, unless you think that being a chair of a political party counts as the “experience” needed to be the chief executive of a county with an annual budget of $850 million. No matter how many times Brown says, “I’ve had 20 years experience bringing people together for progressive causes to get things done,” we remain unconvinced. (Again, watch the video on our home page, you’ll see for yourself.)
Here’s what we haven’t talked publicly about:
Brown played a particular role in defeating Proposition 2 in 2008, the effort to stop the Domain shopping mall subsidies supported by 26,000 signatures and 500 local businesses and all 4 political parties. Despite the overwhelming endorsement of the Travis County Democratic Party Executive Committee (by a 58 to 7 vote of the precinct chairs), Brown found various ways to sabotage the endorsement and prevent it from reaching the party’s enormous list of supporters. The precinct chairs had specifically asked Brown for an immediate press release of the endorsement, which he assured them would happen.
Instead, Brown stonewalled the promised press release for a month until early voting was almost over. He refused to allow Prop 2 literature at events and wouldn’t even allow a sign up with all the other endorsements at the headquarters building. Brown either participated in, or stood by and watched others create such confusion about the party’s endorsement, that many of the hundreds of volunteers that year who hit the streets and doors for Obama thought the party’s position was to defeat it. Many of these good people were at the early polls asking people to vote against Prop 2. It was defeated by just 2%.
Friends, we hope you will agree that Travis County Judge is not an entry-level position or suitable for political operatives. Next email we’re going to tell you more about where Andy’s money is coming from, so hold on to your hats.
ChangeAustin.org has our own campaign we’re running for Sarah. We’re going to run some inexpensive ads on the internet and, if we raise enough money, some sassy radio ads. If you can give, please do so!
We also encourage you volunteer directly with Sarah’s campaign — contact Sarah here. They need your help distributing literature and making phone calls — as usual!