Tech guy Dan Graham is trying to raise $20,000 for a “Defense Against the Darks Arts Fund.” The dark artists, apparently, are Fred Lewis, Linda Curtis, the Austin Neighborhoods Council and the conservative groups that pushed for Prop K. Here’s his fundraising pitch:
Lawsuits and dark money campaigns have torn Austin asunder. Over the past year, Fred Lewis, Linda Curtis, and their scorched earth, conservative allies have waged an endless series of campaigns to harass and humiliate Austin’s progressive activists in a desperate effort to stall any progressive policy reforms.
In just the past year…
1. Fred (You Know Who) and his friends at the Austin Neighborhoods Council collaborated with conservative activist, turned Republican Attorney General under felony indictment for securities fraud, Ken Paxton, to sue the volunteer members of Austin’s Planning Commission for their work to reform our Reagan-era land development code
2. Fred worked with the dark money-funded, far right, anti-semitic organization IndyAustin to both fight Austin’s new soccer stadium. This misleadingly-named organization was most recently in the news for their use of the racist alt-right mascot Pepe the Frog in campaign attacks ads against Mayor Adler only a few days after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Yikes.
3. Koch-funded conservative shadow groups partnered with Fred and his conservative allies to advocate for Proposition K, a trojan horse audit of the City of Austin’s financials.
5. Community Not Commodity, the Austin Neighborhoods Council’s political attack dog, ran a massive campaign to prevent Austin from reforming any aspects of its 1984 land development code, including efforts to improve drainage and flooding mitigation requirements, and increase our woefully inadequate housing supply.
We are fundraising The DADA Fund to fight back against all of Fred and Friends’ current and future efforts to stall progressive reform and scare away passionate Austinites from doing great work for the city.
As of 2:45 p.m. on Monday, the campaign has raised just over $1,700 from 10 donors. The biggest donation comes from urbanist Planning Commissioner Greg Anderson, who contributed the odd sum of $338. It also looks like Jim Schissler, another Planning Commissioner, has chipped in $200. Schissler has ties to GOP politics but apparently wasn’t bothered too much by Graham casting Lewis and Curtis as right-wingers.
It’s not exactly clear what this money will be used for. Legal costs? PR? We’ll see how this goes.
Correction: This post originally incorrectly reported that Graham’s fundraising goal was $40,000. It is in fact $20,000.