IndyAustin began collecting signatures in September with the goal of putting a ballot measure before voters next spring that would have required voter approval before any deal to use city land could be made official. That drive was a response to the agreed-upon-but-not-yet-finalized deal between the city and Precourt Sports Ventures to use the city’s McKalla Place property in North Austin as the site for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium.
On Thursday, IndyAustin organizer Linda Curtis confirmed reports the group is suspending its use of paid petition gatherers.
“The paid drive is no longer being run by Indy Austin. We will continue to gather volunteer signatures,” she said by text to Austin Monitor.
If you’ll recall, Curtis sent similar signals early this year about the CodeNEXT petition. Her announcement that the group would not be able to get enough signatures in time to get the issue on the May ballot had urbanists chortling that she had essentially declared failure. But despite the delay, Curtis got enough signatures to put Prop J on the fall ballot. It’s not hard to imagine Curtis (or perhaps one of her more politically-oriented allies, such as Shadow Mayor Fred Lewis), deciding it would be better to put the issue on the fall ballot, thus making it a big campaign issue in the mayor’s race. But on the other hand, if you want to get some neighborhood preservationist measure passed, it’s much better to aim for a spring election, where nobody under 50 votes.
But back to the soccer petition…Bobby Epstein and other Circuit of the America investors may have found another, less controversial vehicle to advance the anti-MLS petition. They’re funding a PAC called, Megaphone GPAC. So far it’s just spending against Adler, but maybe they’ll also hire some signature gatherers and try to get an initiative on the ballot themselves.
But Linda Curtis, I assure you, is going nowhere. She may not have the heavy hitters funding her, but she’ll keep pwning punks as long as she lives.