The Democratic Primary for Travis County Judge: Why I’m Voting For Sarah Eckhardt

Sarah Eckhardt

UPDATE: This is the most specific endorsement of Brown I’ve seen and the most substantial critique of Eckhardt. I disagree with McGhee about the Austin Environmental Democrats debate between the candidates, which I was also at. I’ll reiterate that without being able to talk to Brown, I am still very suspicious about why he has chosen to run for this office now as his first political office and about where his money is coming from. But McGhee has certainly made the best case for him that I’ve read.

UPDATE: there have been questions about what Huber meant in the letter to the editor that she wrote when she referred to Brown receiving Republican money for his campaign. I don’t have the time or the means to do a lot of research on this but I want to back up all the claims in my post with some evidence, at the least. So, here goes.

First, you can access Brown’s latest finance report here (.pdf link).

Gary Farmer has donated $2500 to Brown’s campaign. On the day of Davis’ filibuster this summer, Farmer donated $10,000 to Greg Abbott. He is also a big donor to Barry “I Sued Obama’s EPA Seven Times” Smitherman (Smitherman’s site). You can find a list of his donations at Open Secret (I believe you’ll have to scroll down, enter the code, and hit enter to see the results). Gary S. Farmer is president of Heritage Title Company of Austin, Inc. and Heritage Exchange Corporation of Texas (not sure what latter is).

Ross Cummings has donated $1000 to Brown’s campaign. Cummings gave $10,000 to Smitherman in 2011. He has also donated to Abbott and Perry in the recent past. Cummings owns a commercial real estate acquisition firm.

Paul Bury donated $5000 to Brown. And he’s ALSO a big Smitherman contributor, dropping $10,000 in his pocket back in June. He’s also donated to Perry, Abbott, Susan Combs, and Joe Strauss in the last two years. Bury owns a civil engineering and surveying firm that also has complimentary services including landscape architecture, construction management, and transportation engineering to mechanical, electrical and structural engineering.

Clint Hackney, a professional lobbyist, donated $1000 to Brown on November 25, 2013. He donated $10,000 to Greg Abbott the next day. On his about page, Hackney highlights his role in leading “the way for construction and management of prisons by private enterprise.”

Bryan Hardeman, owner of the very large Continental Auto Group, donated $1000 to Andy Brown. He also has mainly donated to Republicans over the years, most recently to the Travis County Republican Party and David Dewhurst.

William Reagan II, owner of the famous Reagan Outdoor advertising (billboards), donated $1000 to Brown. He also donated to Abbott on the day of Davis’ filibuster in the amount of $15,000.

Again, this is preliminary and only based on the minimal resources I have. And also, I understand that campaign donations are an art form when it comes to how businesses decide who to donate to and why. But I also won’t lie and say that big-time donors to people like Abbott, Dewhurst, and Smitherman don’t make me nervous, especially the Abbott ones, especially on the day of the filibuster.


This post has three parts:

  1. Why I am voting for Sarah Eckhardt for Travis County judge in the March 4 primary
  2. What’s troubling about the democratic primary races for Travis County offices when it comes to gender.
  3. Conclusion


First, the race for Travis County Judge.

I am new to local politics. I care *deeply* about voting local (EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT EVERY CHANCE THEY GET) but have never really been in the middle of a contentious campaign where I know a whole bunch of people on both sides. I mean, you run into these people all the time in your real life. They are not just names on a yard sign. Still, I feel that it’s important to make an endorsement in the Travis County Judge race even if that means I will face some uncomfortable real-life moments.

What does the Travis County Judge do? “The County Judge is the presiding officer of the Commissioners Court. [The] office is responsible for preparing the court’s agenda each week.” The agenda often covers such issues as transportation, health and human services, and the environment (such as water use and distribution). Travis County has a population of roughly 1.1 million people and covers 1,000 square miles. The Judge manages about 5,000 county employees and oversees an $800 million budget. The position is for four years and pays $118,373 a year.

This race is drawing a fair amount of attention in Travis County because of the Democratic primary between Andy Brown and Sarah Eckhardt. Both are well-known in the Austin community, Brown as a top campaigner with the Travis County Democratic party and Eckhardt for her time serving on the Travis County Commissioner’s Court.

In preparing to write this post, I had hoped to speak with both Brown and Eckhardt to ask them a series of questions, identical in nature and then to publish those answers here in this space. I contacted Brown and was told by someone in his campaign that because I was on Sarah Eckhardt’s website as supporting her, that I could not talk to Brown since he does not do interviews with someone who publicly supports his opponent. I then saw him a few days later, he said he would be happy to get coffee with me and talk, so I emailed him a week ago and have not heard anything back. I decided that I would not interview Eckhardt since I could not interview Brown.

So, this is the part where I explain why I am voting for Sarah Eckhardt. The hardest part for me is that I will have to explain, in some fashion, why I am not voting for Brown, a man I know and see on regular basis and, as far as I can tell, is a swell guy. Both are native Texans and native Austinites. Both are lawyers with a love for this place.

When it comes down to it, Eckhardt is more qualified for this particular position.

Brown’s main experience is in campaigning. He volunteered as the Travis County Democratic Party Chair and, as his website says, “we raised more money and generated more straight-ticket votes by knocking on more doors and talking to more neighbors face-to-face than ever before.” Eckhardt, on the other hand, served on the Commissioner’s Court from 2006 to 2013 (she resigned because you cannot be on the court and run for County Judge). Before that, Eckhardt was an assistant county attorney.

Here is Brown’s site where he lists his experience. Here is his pages under the label of “issues,” he has one that outlines his priorities and his values.

Here is Eckhardt’s site where she lists her experience. On her pages under the label of “issues,” you can see her ideas for and experience with County efficiency, environmental protections, quality health care, economic justice, and transportation challenges.

In November 2013, Farzad Mashhood at the Austin-American Statesman wrote a story about the race that both candidates posted on their site. For me, the following paragraphs explain why I’m voting for Eckhardt:

Eckhardt, who served as county commissioner for six years and an assistant county attorney before that, touts herself as the “only candidate with actual county experience.” She mentioned that she’d be Travis County’s first female county judge and, with a long voting record to review, cited her record of opposing tax breaks for corporations moving to Austin, such as Apple Inc.

Brown, a longtime party operative, relied on his endorsements from U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and state Sen. Kirk Watson. “That’s gold. Democratic primary voters have a lot of loyalty to Congressman Doggett and Senator Watson,” Brown said. He often speaks about growing up in Austin, attending Lee Elementary School and seeing the area’s growth over the decades.

“Andy has a really good opportunity in that he’s been the party chair and that he knows all the party activists, all the party clubs, all the party chairs, and each of those people have good constituencies,” said Peck Young, a longtime Austin political consultant who isn’t involved in the judge race and isn’t taking sides. “Sarah is a good Democrat and has activist support, but she’s at a different kind of disadvantage … running against somebody who knows every political member of the Travis County Democratic Party.”

Why would I vote for a party operative instead of the person who has the experience in County government? And because he is a party operative, he has the public backing of a whole lot of big political names in Travis County (despite the fact that the 2010 elections did not go so well for Travis County under Brown’s leadership – see below for more on Valinda Bolton loss and Donna Howards’ near loss in the Texas House, as well as the loss of Karen Huber’s position on the County Commissioner’s Court).

[UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that 2010 was an all-around difficult year for Democrats (again, my knowledge of local politics is limited and I’m happy for corrections). From the Burnt Orange Report in 2009, after Brown announced that he would be seeking re-election for the position of TCDP chair: “Brown has made major progress for the county party. In 2008, he raised a record-breaking $560,000 for the TCDP’s coordinated campaign that helped deliver the greatest Democratic margins Travis County had ever seen.”]

Endorsements are not experience and we should not confuse the two.

Additionally, in this year when the entire Texas Democratic Party is running under the historic banner of Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte, after a summer that saw thousands rally week after week for reproductive rights, and at a time when politics in Texas feels like it is shifting, there is a big part of me that is grateful that in voting for the most experienced candidate, I also get to vote for a person who, if elected, would be the first woman to serve as Travis County Judge. Ever.

As Ellen Sweets wrote to the Austin Chronicle recently,

I like both Andy Brown and Sarah Eckhardt, but if you want to talk preparation for the job of Travis County judge, it’s hard to debate who has the deeper and more valuable experience in broad-spectrum management with positive outcomes. If we want diversity in public office, we can’t limit it to a discussion of race and ethnicity: An eminently qualified Eckhardt stands to break open a white-male-dominated field, and that’s diversity, too.

If you are on the fence, I beg you to please watch the debate between the candidates held in December:

If I could have interviewed Brown, I would have asked him three pertinent questions:

1) First, why does he want THIS position? Why Travis County Judge? Eckhardt’s progression from a lawyer at the County to Commissioner’s Court to County Judge makes sense. How did Brown decide this was position he most wanted (he tried to run for what is now Donna Howard’s seat in the Texas House back in 2005)? I need to hear that it wasn’t a choice based on what was available and most powerful.

2) My second question would be about his experience. Brown talks often about his 20 years of “bringing people together” but it’s not very clear on his timeline what exactly adds up to those 20 years. Beyond that, what will make him good at being County Judge? I’m not convinced that he will actually be able to “bring people together” to do what is necessary to run the county. And that’s not to say that he doesn’t have a history of “bringing people together,” just that I’m not sure how that history translates into specific knowledge that will help him in this position.

And question 3 is related to what Karen Huber, a former County Commissioner, wrote the Austin Chronicle in January:

Andy Brown and many of those supporting and endorsing him have two things to consider: 1) Is it possible you don’t know “what you don’t know” about the office of county judge? 2) Is there a serious movement afoot to put someone in that office who can be “managed” by more powerful “others”? And on the last question, speaking as one who knows, I note that Andy Brown’s most recent campaign finance report looks a lot like Gerald Daugherty’s – heavy in real estate and engineering dollars and, equally concerning for the Democrats, heavy in Republican leadership dollars. Is there a long-term strategy in this notable support by the “other” party leaders? Would a weak and poorly performing Democratic county judge give opportunity for the Republicans to 1) allow the partisan interests better chance to “manage” that inexperience, and/or 2) set the foundation for a successful Republican bid for judge in the future?

The Democratic machine had better be careful of that for which it wishes. The county judge’s powers are complex and seriously misunderstood by most voters, yet this is probably one of the most important locally elected positions because of its potential to influence/impact – positively or negatively – local taxes, social services, public safety, and infrastructure. Voters should be analytical about this race and pay serious attention to the candidates’ relative qualifications, not the superficial hype and endorsements.

When Huber mentions her concerns with Brown’s campaign finance report (.pdf link), I share her concern. The Austin Chronicle reports that the largest contributor to Brown’s campaign is $15,400 from the Travis County Sheriffs’ Law Enforcement Association PAC. I worry about this because in 2012:

The union representing sheriff’s deputies made the case for a pay raise based on a survey the organization commissioned. Gómez, Davis and Huber voted for big pay raises despite repeated cautions from county human resources staff about the survey’s skewed methodology.

Travis County law enforcement and corrections officers are the highest-paid county officers in Texas. And commissioners chose pay raises for them over more pressing public safety priorities, such as the need to greatly expand the county’s firefighting capabilities, given the region’s increased risk of wildfires.

Eckhardt voted against the sheriffs’ pay raise.

My question, for Brown, is will he stand up to groups like the Travis County Sheriffs if/when they push for more money and, in turn, take away from other parts of the county that need that money more? He can say “yes” to this question all he wants – if he chooses to answer it – but the truth is that we don’t know this to be true because he has no record for us to measure him by.

Eckhardt has stood up to Apple, to Formula 1, and, as I just noted, to the Travis County Sheriffs.

[UPDATE: On February 6, the Statesman published an article comparing the two candidates and their positions. On where they stand with pay raises for County peace officers, here is what it says:

Commissioners’ 2012 vote providing 10.5 percent raise for county peace officers

Brown: Refused to say whether he would have approved the raises, which cost taxpayers $10.1 million, saying only he will not approve another raise for “several years” and will look at whether they’re needed annually.

Eckhardt: Voted against the raises, proposing a 6 percent hike instead; recently said she would want to evaluate officer pay annually.]

Again, all I can go off of to make my decision is who has the experience necessary for this job. I saw Brown and Eckhardt debate on January 10 on environmental issues. In her closing statement, Eckhardt said that it’s not so much a difference in what we believe, but rather in what we know.

I agree. I’m voting for Eckhardt in the March 4th primary. Early voting begins February 18.


Second, on women getting elected in county-level races in Travis.

As I said above, if Eckhardt is elected, she’ll be the first-ever woman to hold the position of Travis County Judge. A woman has never been Travis County Judge.

The city of Austin has had a single female mayor, from 1977 – 1983.

Jan Soifer became the chair of the Travis County Democrats after Brown resigned. “[Soifer] is the first woman to be elected TCDP Chair in more than three decades.”

The US House of Representative districts that cover Travis County (which have been re-drawn repeatedly in gerrymandering attempts over the last few years) have always been held by men: TX10, TX21, TX25, TX31TX35.

Texas state senate district 14, which covers the vast majority of Austin, has never been held by a woman.

Texas house districts that represent Austin:

  • D45: a woman has not held this office since at least 1992.
  • D46: Dawnna Dukes has held the position for 10 years and was second woman to do so.
  • D47: Valinda Bolton, the second woman to be elected to this office, held it for 4 years until 2010 election when – despite a big fundraising lead – lost to Paul Workman.
  • D48: Donna Howard was first elected to the position in 2006 but had a famously close race in 2010, winning re-election by 4 votes. Like Bolton, she had a huge fundraising advantage. This district has mainly be held by women.
  • D49: has only been held by Elliott Naishtat since at least 1992.
  • D50: Cecilia Israel just won this seat in a special election. It has been held by two women previously, including Dawnna Dukes.
  • D51: a woman has never held this office. In fact, Lena Guerrero held this office from 1986 – 1990 (it has been 23 years then).
  • D52: Diana Maldonado was the only woman to hold this office, which she did for four years. She lost in a re-election bid in 2010, despite seemingly in a better financial position going into the election.

[UPDATE: the Austin City Council is currently equally split between men and women. And House District 52 is in Williamson County, but does cover the part of Williamson County that contains the City of Austin.]

Finally, this political campaign season in Travis County.

Here are the primaries that contain women but are not only women running:

  • Travis County Judge: Brown vs. Eckhardt
  • County Commissioner, Precinct 2: Garry Brown vs. Brigid Shea vs. Richard Jung
  • Travis County Treasurer: Dolores Ortega Carter vs. Ramey Ko

Last week, the Travis County Democratic Party hosted a  Multi-Club Candidate Forum with 6 Democratic clubs. Of the three women listed above, only Ortega Carter received an endorsement and only 1.

As a woman in Travis County, I look at all of this put together and I wonder why any woman would want to run for office here, even in this supposed lefty paradise.

And I want to say publicly that piece like this one at The Texas Monitor are unfair and not-so-subtly sexist. Sarah Eckhardt pointing to her opponent’s weaknesses (which Brown tries to do on the regular during debates), noting that Brown is a party operative (which he cops to by posting an Austin-American Statesmen piece on his site that calls him that), and his lack of experience (which is true) is labeled by a site that is run mainly of young Travis County male democrats as “bullying,” “strange,” “sad,” “mudslinging,” “mean,” “offensive,” and “negative.” Eckhardt is running a political campaign. That you don’t like it doesn’t make it “bullying” or “offensive” or “mean.” The scrutiny of women’s political campaigns are always seen as out-of-line even if a woman is just doing what male politicians do because, in a sexist society, women are not even supposed to be participating at all in politics; all moves they make look wrong. Resist the urge to prop up that silly idea, please.


Conclusion:

I’m voting for Eckhardt because she’s the most capable candidate.

I’m voting for Eckhardt because I believe that experience should win out over endorsements and being a political insider.

I’m voting for Eckhardt because in this year of awesome women running for office in the great state of Texas, I’m excited to vote for one locally.

And I would ask that if you live in Travis County, you seriously consider WHY you are voting for the candidate that you are.

[NOTE: I’m happy to have a debate in the comments about these two candidates but ad hominem and/or sexist attacks will be deleted or never posted.]

22 Responses

  1. Blake Mitchell says:

    “[NOTE: I’m happy to have a debate in the comments about these two candidates but ad hominem and/or sexist attacks will be deleted or never posted.]”

    From my experience thus far, Brown’s supporters have not shown any inclination to discuss the substantive issues in this race, like the relative qualifications of each candidate; instead, they seem to prefer launching catty, vaguely sexist attacks toward Ms. Eckhardt.

    Great post, by the way!

  2. Cindy Noland says:

    Thank you for this, Jessica. While Andy is a nice guy, he was selected by the powers to be to run against Sarah because, like Judge Biscoe, she wouldn’t back down on issues surrounding the Central Health/Seton/UT medical school hospital. I trust her to keep asking those important questions. I wish her the best of luck, and she has the FAWN endorsement as well.

  3. Jess Weldon says:

    Excellent, thorough post, and my sentiments exactly. Knowing someone and being on good terms with them is not a good enough reason to elect them to public office. Candidates should earn votes based on what they’ve done, not who they know. Sarah Eckhardt is just more qualified, so she has my vote!

  4. Pingback: Why I’m voting for Sarah Eckhardt, too. (Original post by Jessica W. Luther) – Turning Texas

  5. Jane says:

    It’s disturbing that so much political weight is behind Brown. His inexperience for this job is staggering. Thanks for this post.

  6. Laura Cox says:

    I hope people watch this video of the debate before they cast their vote. While he is sweet and is from Austin, Andy is not qualified for the job. I hate to say it but I think he knows it too. Best of luck Sarah, this is a clear choice for any prepared voter.

  7. Heidi Gibbons says:

    Well said by all! This is not a high school election for student council where the “most popular” kid gets elected. I am so tired of hearing from normally rational smart people that they like Andy because their kids went to school with him or they’ve known his family for years; this is a serious race where the winner MUST have the wisdom and experience to lead this county in issues that will affect all of us for years to come: water, transportation, the environment, healthcare, housing, services for those in need. This election should not be a political game or a “reward” for leading a campaign. Therefore, I urge you to get out and walk, knock, phone, raise funds, put up signs, host a neighborhood coffee and talk to everyone you see at the grocery store, gas station, doctor’s office, school, etc. and say vote for the future well-being of Travis County – vote for Sarah for County Judge!! Let’s get her elected!!

  8. Eric verret says:

    Great post. I will be voting for Sarah. Could you elaborate more on Andy Brown being “heavy in republican leadership dollars”. I looked at AB finance report and it was unclear as to which contributions you are referring. Taking republican money makes my hair stand on end. Money today equals favors later.

  9. Jessica Luther says:

    Eric, I put an update at the top of the post to answer this exact question. You weren’t the only one with it.

  10. Eric verret says:

    Thanks for the clarification on Andy Brown’s donors. It is frighting to see that he is taking money from the very people he is running to protect the county against.. Just out of curiosity did you find any republican / F1 money among Sarah’s donors?

  11. Jessica Luther says:

    Eric, I used the Texas Tribune database to look up anyone who donated $1000 or more to Eckhardt’s campaign.

    There is a PAC – HNTB Holdings – that donated $1000 to Eckhardt which donates to a wide range of campaigns. It also donates around the country and, according to Open Secrets, tends to support Republican candidates more often than Democrats. According to their website, HNTB is “an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and construction contractors.”

    The LAN-PAC (Lockwood, Andrews, and Newman), which gave Eckhardt $1000, gives substantially to Republicans in Texas, including Rep. Jim Murphy, George P. Bush, and David Dewhurst. Like HNTB, they also donate to Democrats, though not as heavily. According to their site, LAN is “a national engineering firm offering planning, engineering, and program management services.”

    Keith Stone, whose job I cannot locate, donated $1000 to Eckhardt. He principally donates to Republicans in Texas. See the Texas Tribune and Open Secrets.

    I did not find any who donated to Abbott.

    But I totally admit that my research is surface-level and I am happy to be corrected.

  12. Blake Mitchell says:

    In light of your updates, I think it’s important to point out that Sarah Eckhardt has a long history of standing up to moneyed interests whenever they are at odds with what’s best for Travis County and its taxpayers. Andy Brown, on the other hand, has a history of accepting donations from moneyed interests on behalf of his campaign, and other Democratic candidates as well. People may think that “any money” donated to a Democratic candidate is “good money,” but it doesn’t always work that way. Sarah’s record is clear proof of how she will perform as County Judge. With Andy Brown, we are left to hope for the best. That’s not good enough for me, and it shouldn’t be for anyone else.

  13. Hugh Winkler says:

    Raising money and electing Democrats in 2008 wasn’t a big accomplishment. A certain Barack H. Obama trailed some mighty coattails that year. A better measure is, how’d we do in 2010-12? Not so well out here in western Travis. We lost state rep and commissioners court seats. So, what’s so exceptional about Brown’s abilities as an organizer?

  14. Jett Hanna says:

    Well, here is Sarah Eckhardt asking Paul Bury for his support. What a hypocrite!

    [Edited: Link removed because it has someone’s personal phone number in it]

    The reality is that politicians take donations from people they don’t necessarily agree with on everything, and donations are made with the hope of getting a fair shake, not favoritism, when issues come before the politicians. Seldom, however, do you catch politicians in so blatantly being hypocritical about this. Part of why I support Andy Brown-this is a pattern for Sarah.

  15. Jett Hanna says:

    BTW, on Gary Farmer, Heritage Exchange is most likely a company used to facilitate what is called a like kind exchange. It is a seam (loophole?) in tax law that allows real estate investors to sell property and then reinvest in another property within a certain amount of time without paying capital gains. The capital gain would be paid later when the new property is sold, but at least the cash is available to be invested. Gary is indeed sympathetic to Repubs on the state level, but like lots of folks wants to participate in local elections and thus contributes to Dems in them. And, clearly, Sarah knows this and that’s why she asked Paul Bury for support. 🙂

  16. Jessica Luther says:

    Look. You understand that Paul Bury is ACTUALLY supporting Andy Brown, right? And that’s really sweet that you think donations are about a fair shake. I mean, why *exactly* would Paul Bury be concerned that he wouldn’t get a fair shake from Brown otherwise? That should be a given, I would hope. You can justify away the donations that Brown has taken from people who are donating to campaigns that will directly hurt the statewide campaigns of Democrats all you want. And you can vote for Brown. But showing up here on my personal blog to proudly post a link to a sound clip that has a woman’s personal cell phone number in it in order to smear a person who has spent years and years of her life working in multiple different capacities to make Travis County a better place is pretty shitty. And that’s why I am removing the link you posted and will continue to remove it if you try to post it again.

    This county judge race is a mess and it’s an embarrassment, really. As a woman and someone who is not a political insider, it has been very enlightening to see how male political insiders operate in Travis County. I won’t forget it.

  17. Laura Carbonneau says:

    Did you listen to the message? Sara is asking Paul Bury for his support! Maybe she didn’t actually *get* any money, but don’t make it sound like she’s better than Andy Brown on this one thing.

    Here is the transcript so we don’t ahve to post the link: Here’s a transcript of her message:

    “Hi Paul its Sarah Eckhardt I left a message on your cell phone too so I hope this one is not redundant which just hit delete. But calling to follow up to get a meeting on Shoal Creek in the spring but I think it was right around your knee surgery so um wanted to get together with you and talk to you about the Travis County Judge race and to hear your thoughts because you of all people you know quite a bit about what is going on regards to water, transportation, and the physical infrastructure of the county. I would love to hear your thoughts and would love to get your support in this race. So give me a call back when you get a chance… and I hope you are having a great 2014.”

    I’m not saying I’m decided yet one way or the other, but please don’t make either side out better than the other in this regard. And Jett’s point about contributions is that MANY MANY people give money to both Dems and Reps. The whole system should be publicly financed to get rid of these debates over donors.

  18. Jessica Luther says:

    Don’t ask me condescending questions as if I don’t understand how things are or haven’t done due diligence.

    I didn’t make it sounds like she’s better; that’s what you read into it. Jett is the one who showed up here on my blog trying to prove that Sarah is somehow worse. But I will note that asking for support is not equivalent to taking a campaign contribution.

    And the people that are listed here on my post that have given money to Brown and statewide GOP campaigns had not, at the point when I added that update, given to statewide Democrats. I checked.

  19. Jett Hanna says:

    I really resent your trying to make this into something sexist. You have no clue how much I have supported women candidates in this county. I know that Sarah ran a dirt campaign against another woman-I saw it up close when it happened.

    I do understand removing the link because of a personal phone number, if it is. The link was actually forwarded to me by a woman, and the campaign did not object to it being posted.

    It got worse today, Jessica. Did you see this from Sarah’s campaign manager?

    “We see no harm in giving people a chance to do the right thing. Today, if Mr. Bury declared that he would look past his special interest to the greater good, and surrender any expectation for special favors from the county, we’d be glad to set up a meeting and even accept his support.”

    http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2014-03-03/following-the-money/

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