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Camping ban boosters report raising over $437,000

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 by Jo Clifton

The Save Austin Now PAC, which is raising money to finance its campaign to pass Proposition B, which would reinstate the ordinance banning camping in most public places, reported raising nearly $438,000 from Feb. 3-March 22. Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak, who is leading the campaign, provided information about the group’s fundraising prowess in a press release indicating that the group had filed its campaign finance report on April 1. However, the report did not appear when a reporter searched the city clerk’s website on Monday morning. City Clerk Jannette Goodall told the Austin Monitor via email, “They haven’t filed it properly, they are having technical issues and we are trying to figure out the issues.” Apparently the issues were resolved, because the campaign finance report did appear on the website later. According to the report, a group associated with a business called Best Efforts contributed $20,000 and Danay Covert of Covert Auto contributed $10,000 to the campaign. There were several other large donations, but according to the press statement, the average contribution was $214.78, with “more than 82 percent of all contributions under $200.” Save Austin Now reported spending nearly $320,000 on its campaign over the six-week time period. The group paid WAB Holdings LLC of Strongsville, Ohio $240,000 for what is described as “voter identification efforts,” under the category of advertising expense. Mackowiak said in his press release, “No one has ever run as sophisticated a campaign as the one we are running. … This city is ready to finally and fully end the public camping disaster which has been bad for both the residents and the homeless.” The election is May 1, with early voting April 19-27.

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