Is Austin’s progressive media keeping Austin dazed and confused?
Austin progressives have known for a long time how the Austin Chronicle has operated as a liberal cover for the the real estate “growth machine.” (See our last message how they have opposed every citizen petition since 1997.)
But when the “progressive” Austin Chronicle turned up its nose to a highly qualified progressive woman running for Mayor — Laura Morrison — over a fake like Steve Adler, what else can we tell you but this:
Here’s what else you can do to help to stop “progressive” media keeping Austin dazed and confused.
Ask your favorite local media outlet to cover the huge conflicts of interest of Steve Adler’s Land Empire. We released this last Friday. We also provided copious documentation of our claims that the Adlers have financial ties to at least 71 properties currently assessed at $319 million.
Also, ask media to give Austin voters fair warning that the Soccer (Sucker) Stadium subsidies are — right now — in negotiation behind closed doors at City Hall. Austin voters won’t see the deal until after this election.
Moreover, Adler and his Council majority gave the City Manager the power to negotiate and execute the deal without so much as a review and vote of the Council. This deal involves $100s of millions in property tax exemptions on publicly owned land. That land — called McKalla — was designated prime property for affordable housing. The deal stinks so bad the Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to reserve the right to challenge the giveaways of THEIR tax dollars by the City of Austin.
That’s why IndyAustin is at the polls getting petitions signed and
handing out our Boot Adler fliers!
We need your help!
To volunteer, send us a message here: firstname.lastname@example.org or text 512.657.2089
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Adler Whines, Real Estate Cronies Dine & Sucker Stadium Subsidies in $100s of Millions are Just Fine!
Mayor Steve Adler has yet to respond to the press release issued by IndyAustin last Friday, “Steve Adler’s Land Empire, aka S.A.L.E.” The release paints another picture of Mayor Steve Adler by showing the Adlers have:
“…financial interests tied to at least 71 properties in Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties. Those properties are currently assessed at $319 million (see this map). These extensive property interests pose ethical challenges to conducting such city business as deciding where to increase zoning densities or where to spend transportation bonds, to name just a few issues.”
Instead, the Adler campaign counter-attacked IndyAustin on Saturday in an email with the subject line: “Under Attack from Outside Austin.”
Linda Curtis, a co-founder of IndyAustin and longtime independent political activist said,
“Steve Adler and his cronies at City Hall are a bunch of whiners for the Growth Machine and try to divert voters’ attention while he is throwing $100s of millions in property tax exemptions to a California millionaire by the name of Anthony Precourt for a sucker stadium. This is what he sounds like to us.”
David King, a neighborhood leader from the Zilker neighborhood said,
“The Statesman editorial board is supporting a YES on Prop J, to reserve voters’ right to vote on CodeNEXT or its next iteration. Meanwhile the Mayor and his team try to defeat the measure and using the so-called ‘progressive’ media to do their dirty work for the Austin growth machine. The growth machine wants one thing. They want to build the megalopolis between Williamson and Bexar counties, come hell or high water – pun totally intended.”
The so-called ‘progressive” Austin Chronicle
didn’t just start fighting petitioners in this election.
They fought petitioners in 1997, urging Austin voters to vote no on campaign finance reform put forth by “Austinites for A Little Less Corruption.” Petitioners won at 72%. In 2008, the Chronicle fought petitioners attempts to stop The Domain luxury shopping mall subsidies – petitioners lost at 48%. In 2012, the Chronicle fought petitioners again when Austin passed 10-1 and the first and only independent citizens redistricting commission in Texas. Petitioners for 10-1 won at 60%.
On Saturday, IndyAustin released their scorecard urging Austin voters to vote for Laura Morrison for Mayor, and to vote for a candidate (Valadez or Almanza) to replace District 3, Pio Renteria, to oppose Danielle Skidmore in District 9 with Linda O’Neal or Kathie Tovo, and to support Mitra Avini, a rising star in District 1.
For more information call 512.535.0989 or email us at contact@IndyAustin.org.
Watch IndyAustin short-video, “Hot Air Adler” for a list of reasons IndyAustin urges voters to Boot Adler and his Sucker Stadium.
IndyAustin is circulating this scorecard of Morrison v. Adler out on Facebook.
Volunteers can join petitioners at the early polls to gather signatures for the right to vote on the Stadium deal. Volunteers are also passing out IndyAustin scorecards. Call or text us at 512.657.2089.
IndyAustin issued this news release this morning about Adler’s Special Interest Flood, days before early voting begins. Be careful of the floods, and the flood of real estate lobby influence that swamps City Hall.
Question: What was Adler’s biggest broken promise? It’s in the release linked above.
Was Dale Watson right? Adler and his majority are trying all they can to make it so.
►Watch our new Yes Vote YES on Prop J and remember what Dale said, “Austin Sold Itself.”
►Join us tomorrow, Saturday, October 20, 4-6 pm at The Local Post! Come get materials to help mobilize voters to get Austin back! Details here.
Can’t make it?
Like our Facebook page and share our videos and ads from there.
PS We will — VERY SOON — share with you our candidate scorecards.
Steve Adler’s Land Empire is staggering, and so is Austin’s affordability crisis. Meanwhile, the mayor who promised one term wants you to be oblivious of his deep developer dealings.
Construction Adler kept Austin up for SALE.
IndyAustin issued this release* days before early voting begins. Be careful of the floods, and the flood of influence into this election.
–Please join us for our “Take Back Your City, Austin” Party this Saturday, October 20, 4 to 6 pm. Details here.–
*download to access links to resources
For Immediate Release October 19, 2018
Contact: IndyAustin, 512 535 0989
S.A.L.E.: Steve Adler’s Land Empire
Mayor’s Extensive Property Interests
Pose Ethical Challenges to Conducting City Business
Austin, Texas IndyAustin SPAC released information today about how Austin’s First Family made its fortune from Mayor Adler’s real-estate law firm (to which he retains major financial ties) and his wife’s commercial property-management firm: DT Land Group, Inc. Mayor Adler’s personal financial disclosures covering 2017 and early 2018 reveal that he and his wife, Diane Land, had financial interests tied to at least 71 properties in Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties. Those properties are currently assessed at $319 million (see this map). These extensive property interests pose ethical challenges to conducting such city business as deciding where to increase zoning densities or where to spend transportation bonds, to name just a few issues.
“I am very disappointed that Austin City Hall has met the very definition of insanity as defined by Einstein – they keep doing the same thing expecting a different result,” said Jim Duncan, a nationally known urban planner who became frustrated with the City’s attempted rewrite known as CodeNEXT (his analysis of it here).
Mayor Adler’s family owns three local properties worth $7 million, led by their $4 million dual-condo homestead in the W Austin Hotel (personal properties mapped in green). The family has business interests in companies that own 12 local properties assessed at $151 million (shown in blue). Finally, the mayor reported his wife’s top property clients, who own 56 local properties assessed at $161 million (shown in red). Having a mayoral spouse did not hurt DT Land Group’s business. As a mayoral candidate, Adler disclosed 16 of his wife’s clients in 2013. In his latest year-end disclosure covering 2017, that list expanded to 27 clients–an increase of 69 percent over four years. In his latest disclosure, covering the first half of this election year, Adler reported that his wife dropped eight clients.
“As the entire region hunkers down for expected floods, Austin voters should consider the real estate industry’s flood of influence at City Hall,” said IndyAustin co-founder Linda Curtis, who was displaced downriver from Austin to Bastrop. “Many have argued that Austin should not be just one big real estate play. But it’s up to the voters to hold Adler to his forgotten 2014 promise – to be a one-term mayor.”
The map of local Adler-related properties, allows users to zoom in and out of a neighborhood and click on a property to find such details as its address, owner and value. Take the map for a test drive and let us know if you find anything interesting!
The map is based on three main types of public information:
- Mayor Adler’s personal financial disclosures covering 2017 and the first half of 2018 (there are links to download these PDF documents on this website);
- Central appraisal district data from Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties; and
- Texas Secretary of State business filings disclosing who controls which business entities (much of which can be viewed via com).
Big real estate companies often create separate subsidiaries to control each major property. The vast majority of the business-owned properties on this map have clear ties to the business entities in which the First Family reported an interest. In a murkier exception, Adler reports ongoing interests over the years in Riverside Resources Holdings I, LP and Riverside Resources Holdings II, LP. Those entities clearly are tied to local developer Riverside Resources Corp. Yet it’s difficult to tell which Riverside projects on the map directly involved mayoral money.
To grasp the sometimes complex ties between Adler’s interests and city business, consider the former chip plants converted into an office complex at 5202 and 5204 E. Ben White. That property is owned by Riverside’s 5204 Ben White 2017, LP. Over the past year, Austin’s City Council voted four times to approve a string of seven-year city leases for that property worth up to $37 million. Mayor Adler publicly recused himself from the first of those votes, citing “an interest in the property.” But he supported three subsequent council votes to lease much more of that property.
|Max. 7-Year Lease Value
||Energy; Dev. Srvcs.
||Code; EcoDev; Human Res.
||Corridor Program Ofc
Public records suggest that Adler-backed Riverside Resources Holdings II, LP loaned $10 million to current city landlord Ben White 2017, LP shortly before the first lease vote. The borrower repaid that Adler-backed entity in January 2018. That timing may explain why Adler recused himself from the first lease vote–but not the three subsequent ones.
The four Riverside lease votes prompted little discussion. Council Members Jimmy Flannigan and Allison Alter voted ‘No’ on the June 14 vote, without explaining their opposition. In a work session two days before the August 30 vote, Member Kathie Tovo suggested that it might be smarter to buy office space than pay a seven-year lease. Before that vote Flannigan questioned if the city’s need for that additional space was as “unanticipated” as represented. Yet the council passed that lease unanimously.
There was a time when a mayoral recusal tied to $37 million in city lease contracts might have prompted at least one local media investigation. Not in today’s Austin. Clearly, Adler can face ethical challenges juggling city business with his extensive property interests. Yet citizens, council members and local media largely ignored Adler’s property interests throughout his first term. As Adler seeks reelection, it’s time to belatedly put these property interests on the map.
 He reported receiving $400,000 of interest and capital gains income from Barron & Adler in 2017 (six times Austin’s median family income).
 Adler’s financial disclosure covering 2017 reports that he and his wife had business interests in Riverside Resources I, LP and Riverside Resources II, LP (their interest in the first entity dates back to Adler’s first disclosure covering 2013). Adler also reported that Riverside Resources Holdings I paid him partnership income of up to $10,000 in 2017. His updated disclosure covering the first half of 2018 cites no changes in his Riverside holdings.
 See 11:40 into the consent agenda of this meeting video.
Watch and share this short video — Hot Air Adler.
It was all over media last Friday that Precourt’s soccer team (The Crew) has been sold. And they’re staying in Columbus!
Now, were you surprised Adler and his sucker stadium pals sold Austin out using copious amounts of HOT AIR ADLERisms?
We couldn’t have said it any better than Adler competitor for Mayor, Laura Morrison.
Morrison released this message on Friday moments after we all heard the news.
“The Adler-led corporate subsidy was a terrible deal for Austin taxpayers and for our community. With the news – now is time for the City to hit the brakes and put an end to this deal.
Now is the time to end the negotiations with Precourt, who has no asset – no team – to bring to the table. Inking a deal when only one party (the City) has something to offer, who does that???”
And, this morning, IndyAustin’s Linda Curtis and local developer whistle-blower, Brian Rodgers, were having some fun on KLBJ-AM’s Todd and Don Show answering the same question — “who does that?”, for folks during drive-time — enjoy! ===>
“Take Back Your City, Austin” Party this Saturday!
IndyAustin party goers played the game “Pin the Butthead on the Adler” at our last party. We’ll play it again, Sam and take some video. 🙂
October 20, 4 to 6 pm, The Local Post, 7113 Burnet, Austin 78757
Come get stuff — petitions, fliers and more surprises!
Sign up to volunteer here or just call us at 512.535.0989!
You know when people play dirty tricks on you, you must be doing something right, right?
As soon as our “Sucker Soccer” Stadium petition hit the news (and it did — BIG! — last Thursday), someone stole our logo and set up an account to mimic us on Twitter. (This is really us on Twitter.) Their “fun and games” are downright asinine, but so is this stadium for that matter.
We have complained to Twitter and suspect the site will be taken down soon. So, why are we telling you this?
While their games can harm Austin, we at IndyAustin plan to have some fun playing political games to benefit Austin this Friday night!
AND! Whoever brings in the most signatures gets $100!
The Adler majority — 7 out of 11 council members — voted to send the largest tax subsidy (or “exemption of property taxes”) in Austin’s history for a soccer stadium on public land behind closed doors for negotiation AND execution. In other words, the final deal will never be voted on by the City Council, much less Austin voters!
At the last party Peter won “best slogan” for the Adler Currency (not worth the paper it’s written on): “Good Luck in Your New Job, Steve!” Unfortunately, Peter just got a cheap slap on the back because that’s all we could afford given Austin rents and property taxes.
Good luck in your new job, Steve!
Seriously, we hope to see you and your friends for a few drinks, laughs and game planning of our own to take back Austin.