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Kim, Shade continue argument over promises to union
Thursday, May 8, 2008 by Austin Monitor
The argument over whether Place 3 candidate Randi Shade had made any specific promise to boost public safety spending continued Wednesday, as Council Member Jennifer Kim’s campaign consultant, Elliott McFadden, unveiled what he called more evidence to support the claims made in a robo-call from the Kim campaign.
McFadden cited a news release on Shade’s own web site as proof that Shade had committed to boost public safety spending without regard for its consequences on the city’s overall budget. In that news release, the union groups endorsing Shade say that she “has called for an increase in resources devoted to fire protection in downtown
For McFadden, that constitutes a binding promise to the unions. “I think a reasonable person would expect that if a candidate says they’re going to do something, that’s a promise they’re going to do something,” he said.
But union leaders said on Wednesday there is a significant difference between an indication of support and a promise. “All the candidates were asked the same questions. We did not ask for any promises, nor were we offered any,” said
McFadden also cited an editorial in the
Since the unions had not requested a correction to that editorial, McFadden concluded, they must have agreed with it. However, Truesdell said that was definitely not the case. “An editorial is someone’s opinion,” he said. “But if you run a news story that has incorrect facts, I will certainly dispute it. But someone’s opinion…they’re entitled to it. I’ve disagreed with the Statesman’s editorial board many times, but I don’t necessarily respond every time.”
The union leaders indicated on Wednesday they were concerned that the dispute over the claims in the robo-call message had harmed their reputation and their relationship with Council Member Kim. “The community trusts police officers, firefighters, and paramedics to be there in an emergency, and they have to trust us absolutely,” said Truesdell. “And if our integrity is being called into question on these types of issues… how is it going to reflect on us when we’re out there trying do our job?” As for whether the unions will be able to mend fences with
Also on Wednesday,
Under the Commission’s regulations, an attorney would not officially make a determination of violation or compliance during a phone consultation. Under the “complaints and enforcement” section of the Public Utility Regulatory Act, it states that “the commission shall….investigate complaints relating to the use of an automated dial announcing device…and enforce this subchapter”. Union leaders said Wednesday they do plan to file a complaint with the PUC.
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