This week offered the amusing spectacle of longtime local liberal activists praising Ken Paxton for joining them in their crusade against the city Planning Commission while he’s out on bail for securities fraud.
A few pro-CodeNEXT groups offered tepid remarks about the importance of local control, an argument that in theory should appeal to Republicans but in fact only encourages them.
Urbanist group AURA’s approach made much more sense: appeal directly to Austin progressives by shaming those who are now allied with Paxton. Jo quoted the group’s statement at length today in the Monitor:
“Paxton is intent on dismantling local regulations that seek to uphold environmental protections and community health. Paxton’s suit against the Planning Commission is but the latest example among the litany of state-level attempts to erode local control. He has fought to overpower Austin for years, on issues such as paid sick leave, tree ordinances, and plastic bag bans. Austin’s anti-housing groups would make our city vulnerable to Paxton’s right-wing vendetta in order to stymie hundreds of hours of volunteer work to increase affordability and address displacement.”
They also said that “Lewis and Austin’s anti-housing groups will work with seemingly anyone to put shelter further out of reach for hardworking Austinites. His Faustian bargain with Tea-Party demagogue Ken Paxton is a new low. It comes on the heels of an anti-CodeNEXT petition campaign spearheaded by these same groups and financed by corporate billboard lobbyists intent on dismantling Austin regulations, aimed at subverting the political representation granted to working-class Austinites by the new 10-1 City Council system.”