Saturday, October 28, 2017

Is Austin ISD engaging in taxpayer funded pro-Bond Electioneering?!?

"and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
2 Thessalonians 2:10

We attempted to attend this press conference yesterday, but arrived after it had concluded; kudos to this morning's Statesman for the write up:
The Travis County Taxpayers Union on Friday asked for a criminal investigation of Austin school district employees, alleging they have violated the Election Code by using public resources to lobby voters to support a $1.1 billion bond package.

The group is asking County Attorney David Escamilla to investigate communications the district sent to parents of students. Early voting is underway; Election Day is Nov. 7.

Members of the taxpayer group, including its attorney, Roger Borgelt, held a press conference on Friday morning, then filed a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The group says flyers, stickers, letters and emails sent to parents did not contain a disclaimer required by Texas election law, and that the materials amount to illegal lobbying by the district. Borgelt also alleged that the district has used public funds and resources to advocate for the bond.

Click here to view the documents at issue

“We believe it’s criminally unethical, and we believe the law supports us on this,” Borgelt said, standing outside the Texas Ethics Commission’s offices in Austin. “To use teachers and students to basically disperse pro-bond materials and electioneering in favor of the bond … employees of the Austin Independent School District are not supposed to be doing this. We have at least four different instances of where we believe there has been violation of the election code related to the lack of disclosure, related to the use of public funds and resources, including the AISD internal email system to distribute pro-bond materials.”


One of the flyers in question was sent home with Davis Elementary students last month. The flyer included a sentence that inaccurately stated the bond would lead to “no additional taxes.” It had been prepared by a couple of parents and did not go through the approval process, as it should have, before it was sent home with students, according to a school email.
Read the whole thing here.

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