It only takes a few wealthy West Austin residents to make a difference. For instance, the six people who are funding the “People’s PAC” to unseat Pio Renteria.
Here are the mailers that they sent out to residents of the East Austin district. Again, thanks to Phil Jankowski of the Statesman for posting these on Twitter.
The treasurer of the People’s PAC, Elisa Montoya, is a lifelong resident of the area. But as is the case with most political action committees, the treasurer is a pro forma position that does not run the group. In all likelihood this is yet another tentacle of Fred Lewis’ ever-expanding operation.
The group reported raised $7,693.33 and spending $4,167, all of it on this mailer. The two main donors were:
Kirk Mitchell, oil & gas heir and founder of Save Our Springs: $3,333.33 (I wonder if he thinks that number is good luck or something)
Mike Lavigne, a local political consultant and Crestview neighborhood activist with a penchant for hyperbolic attacks on advocates for land use reform: $3,000.
And then a few of the usual West Austin neighborhood association suspects chipped in a few hundo: Barbara McArthur, Mike Hebert, Austin Neighborhood Council President Jeff Jack, and, of course, Lewis himself.
If you scroll down, you’ll see of course that Renteria has taken the gloves off himself in the race against his sister.
Correction/Update: I previously incorrectly capitalized the V in Mike Lavigne’s name. Lavigne also says he’s not a lobbyist. Although those who call themselves “government relations consultants” tend to functionally operate as lobbyists, I’ll sustain his objection.