About the Author
Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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District 3 keeps up the mudslinging
The bickering continued in District 3 on Thursday, when candidate Shaun Ireland called out opponent Jose Valera for not voting in Austin. Ireland said the lack of voting is “disappointing.” In a news release, Ireland said that Valera has only voted twice as an adult, and not in any of Austin’s local municipal or bond elections. He noted that Valera’s voter registration was currently suspended due to inactivity. “Austinites expect candidates and public officials to vote on a regular basis. Valera’s voting history denotes a dereliction of civic duty,” wrote Ireland. Valera pointed out that he has served his country since the age of 18, first at West Point Academy, then as a combat arms officer in Iraq. He said his voting record has no bearing on how he would serve the district as a Council member. The accusation of “dereliction of civic duty” against Valera comes from what some might consider an odd source — Ireland’s record shows that he first voted in Austin fairly recently, in 2011. However, campaign staff explained that Ireland had voted consistently since turning 18, but only registered in Austin when he moved here three years ago. Prior to that, Ireland voted in Nacogdoches.
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