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Political Action Committees: An organization that raises money privately to influence elections and/or legislation.
Linda Curtis, the Bastrop-based activist best known for gathering signatures for various citizen initiatives in Austin, has disbanded a political action committee linked to her advocacy group, IndyAustin.
The group will continue to engage in advocacy, Curtis said in an interview with the Austin Monitor.
“We are not ceasing operations,” she said. “We’re just putting the PAC to bed. There’s no election that we’re engaged in. The PAC is necessary for reporting expenditures for a campaign … we have no interest in engaging in elections.”
IndyAustin was involved in a petition drive aimed at overturning City Council’s decision to give city-owned land at McKalla Place to Precourt Sports Ventures for the construction of a professional soccer stadium. The petition effort was largely bankrolled by Bobby Epstein, chairman of the Circuit of the Americas racetrack and a majority investor in Austin Bold, another professional soccer team that is scheduled to begin playing at COTA later this year.
Epstein, however, renounced his support for IndyAustin and said he would not provide any more money to the organization after the group released an online ad featuring Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has become a popular icon of the alt-right. Epstein funded a separate group, Fair Play Austin, which began gathering signatures on its own. Earlier this month activists submitted roughly 30,000 signatures to the city clerk. The initiative will likely end up on the ballot at some point this year, although it’s not clear when, or whether it could actually undo the McKalla deal.
Curtis said that she does not plan to be involved in any soccer-related electioneering.
“There is a new group that is doing that and we’re stepping aside to let them do that,” she said.
Photo of Linda Curtis by Kate Groetzinger.
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