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Party planned to retire Leffingwell campaign debt

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Friends and supporters of newly retired Mayor Lee Leffingwell will have an opportunity to help him recoup $90,000 he loaned his 2009 and 2012 campaigns. Leffingwell borrowed the money from his retirement fund but could not raise any money after winning the mayor’s race in 2012, under city campaign finance regulations. Attorney Jim Cousar, an expert on Austin campaign finance regulations, said,” Your reward for winning is you can’t pay your campaign debt for two or four years.” Attorney Tim Taylor and public affairs consultant Trey Salinas are throwing a party for Leffingwell at the Headliners Club at 5:30 p.m. on February 23. Taylor, who said Monday that he was collecting checks and making a list of sponsors for the event, said invitations would be going out soon. ” He was a great mayor,” Taylor said. “Lee sacrificed a lot to be Mayor and I don’t think his retirement fund should be part of that sacrifice,” he added. Taylor was among those hosting a party for Mayor pro tem Betty Dunkerley when she retired from the Council in 2008. Dunkerley also used her retirement money to finance her first campaign for elective office in 2002. Taylor said fundraisers would abide by the city’s campaign finance regulations by limiting donations to $350 per person or $700 per couple.

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