Press Advisory: Travis County Taxpayers Union files TEC Complaint against Senator Kirk Watson’s “Keep Austin Healthy PAC” for failure to file campaign treasurer appointment, and improperly using UT resources to advocate passage of Central Health’s Prop 1 tax increase.
September 10th, 2012, 10:00 AM
Austin, TX — A Texas Ethics Commission complaint is being filed alleging violation of Texas Election Code Title 15, Sec 253.031, which prohibits raising or spending more than $500 without a campaign treasurer appointment (CTA) on file with the appropriate filing authority. Another alleged violation involves Sec. 255.003, “Unlawful Use of Public Funds for Political Advertising”, because “Keep Austin Healthy” advertised for paid campaign staffers, on a University of Texas URL (weblink), for the purpose of passing a ballot measure to increase property taxes.
“There is evidence that ‘Keep Austin Healthy PAC’ has been raising funds far in excess of $500, for around three weeks without the any appointment of a campaign treasurer, which is required by law”, said Don Zimmerman, treasurer of the Travis County Taxpayers Union SPAC, which opposes the tax increase. “Many grassroots campaigners are intimidated into inactivity by lengthy, obtuse campaign finance laws. But a highly experienced lawyer and powerful incumbent politician, Sen. Watson, who should know the law well, has no urgency to comply”, continued Zimmerman.
Jerri Lynn Ward, an advisor for Travis County Taxpayers Union, said, “One reason for laws like this is for transparency in fundraising. Taxpayers need to know what special interests are behind such a massive increase, should this measure prevail”.
“Travis County Central Health states, ‘Our negotiating position does not need to be revealed to voters, and the executive sessions will continue.’”, Jeffry Lane, Communications Director for Travis County Taxpayers Union, commented. “The voters and property owners of Travis County should be outraged that Sen. Kirk Watson and Central Health believe they can increase a tax rate by 63% while violating the Texas Elections Code and assuming they know best for the Travis County voters and property owners.”
For more information, contact:
Jeffry Lane, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.981.7519
Don Zimmerman, SPAC Treasurer, email@example.com, 512.577.8842
Jerri Lynn Ward, Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.585.0491
The Travis County Taxpayers Union SPAC, formed in 2012, advocates for fiscal responsibility in political policy, advocates for property owners who believe government taxes are too high, and commits to oppose tax increases, and support tax reductions and reforms, in Travis County.