May 9, 2014 Leave a comment
Some of the best experiences I have had in learning grassroots politics came as a result of being a friend of Independent Texans.
Now I’m running for Mayor of Austin largely on a Campaign Finance Reform and Transportation platform. If we can get the citizens to agree to build infrastructure with using general obligation bonds and the government to match funds, we can circumvent the toll financing and P3 models being promoted by so many “bought and paid for” politicians.
I don’t “need” the job. I WANT the job because the job needs to be done by someone with my skill sets and tenacity. And I will NOT compromise myself by taking contributions from PACs, Lobbyists, or people outside the constituency; IE, I will only accept donations from voters who are “natural persons” living within the zip codes of Austin, Texas. Corporations are not “natural”. I own one. There is a difference.
The reason train plans go to real estate developments owned by high-rollers and toll lanes are foisted on the citizens without a vote is clear to me, and needs to be made clear to all. I am working for you, not for them.
Improving throughput on our area freeways can be done in several ways. Replacing traffic signals with low-rise bridges would do more than adding a lane in many cases. Improving turn lanes by lengthening off-ramps and in some cases doubling off-ramps to span intersections and “flow” traffic directly to streets and frontage roads. I would like to ask Texas corporations to partner with the City of Austin to offer design competitions for Texas universities to bring the vision and talent of today’s youth and our educational institutions into the process. Leaning on TXDOT to keep faith with voters on SW45 so that it is a bond highway rather than tolled infrastructure. SH130 will soon have to be bailed out by taxpayers. We don’t need to see a repeat performance. And using bonds to build MOPAC lanes then adding tolls is a double-tax we could avoid. Let’s offer a bond – refinancing to the taxpayers as a ballot option and see if we can take the planned tolls away from grabby politicians. You see, these toll roads are being foisted on us because Texans are letting “bought-and-paid-for” politicians make all the decisions, and without representing the voters true wishes. Texans are leaders, and can lead the way in showing the United State of America how to fix the sacred ballot box. Now we have the era of instant information online, and there is no excuse not to be an informed voter or give that information to those who can’t get online. As CEO of adbirds, I even offer politicians free advertising in a community/politics category, and will tweet even the ads of other candidates seeking the office of Mayor.
On voting: If you know ANYONE who can’t get to the polls or lacks the funds to get a Texas ID card so they can vote, TELL THEM to call me and I will help them, regardless of their affiliations, gender, race, national origin, or creed. They just have to be breathing when I pick them up to get that ID card. Texas DPS will handle details. We can find a way to pay for the service. Sorry partisans, but we can get this done without your help because we are Austin, and helping is the Texan way. My cell phone number is 512.796.5339. It is on my website too. www.StephensForAustinMayor.org
Issues: I believe in equal protection under the law and will engage anyone who is against the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, I will not seek to strip anyone of their rights under the U.S. or Texas Constitutions, which are living documents. Nor will I use the city’s time to fight national issues and possibly get Austin into litigation as bought and paid-for politicians may.
Our right to vote is sacred! It’s time for American voters to throw money changers out of the temple of American politics forever. For that reason, I ask your support in sharing my message and campaign. I will speak to any group, and will serve all of Austin without any obligation to lobbyists or PACs. Don’t look for a lot of TV commercials from me. Those are done by the “bought and paid for” lapdogs of special interest groups. I’m not a big “party man” either. I don’t trust political parties generally. They have also undermined service to the electorate in my opinion.
We can build what we need without tolls, and can build now for the future. Austin has incredible talent and it’s citizens love their home beyond comparison. “We can build it” when we are of a mind to build. We can at least seek design-build proposals and offer a bond option first. If necessary I will be happy to
very briefly close city streets around TXDOT offices and park surplus city vehicles there to get the point across. Texans should not have to pay a toll to visit their capitol. The City of Austin carries an extra load for the State, and should be given that consideration with regards to funding the freeways connecting our city streets to the state’s highway grid.
Lastly, I respect every candidate who has mustered the intestinal fortitude to take the beating of politics to serve our community, the State of Texas and our United States of America. If voters will reign them in, we will all be the better for it. Most importantly I respect the voter, worker, taxpayer… you. Thank you!
Candidate for Mayor of Austin, Texas
Husband, Austin homeowner, USAF Veteran, Business Owner, Aircraft Maintenance Technician, CHL holder, marksman and and Independent Blue Dog Democrat