Watch the Fox7 story, posted Tuesday, October 30th.
The following letter was sent to and posted on Tuesday, October 30th:
Dear Mayor Adler,
I want apologize to you directly for IndyAustin’s error in using the Pepe the Frog image on an ad opposing your election. I do understand how this can be interpreted and ask you to accept that this was not at all intended to malign you or any group of people. We do not condone hate speech in any form.
You may have read that we found the clip on the internet that seemed to fit our “shell game” ad opposing your Soccer Stadium proposal, and did not realize the offense that would be taken to that image. The Anti-Defamation League also states that not all uses of “Pepe the Frog” are racist, but we do understand your concern, especially at this moment, which is why we pulled the ad.
We rightfully oppose your re-election, but there is nothing in the hearts and minds of the people of IndyAustin that promotes, condones, or believes in bigotry in any form. We hate it as much as you do.
Again, please accept our apologies.
This fair-minded KXAN Report was just after we issued our apology.
The following was posted on Monday, October 29th:
It was just brought to our attention this morning that an image in our recent 1-minute video “Steve Adler’s Shell Game”, Pepe the Frog, was expropriated by the Alt-Right.
Unfortunately, Pepe, originated in a comic by Matt Furie called “Boys Club,” had no say in the matter and this was our error.
Here is additional information from Wikipedia about Pepe and its listing by the Anti-Defamation League and Pepe’s creator:
The Anti-Defamation League added certain incarnations of Pepe the Frog to their database of hate symbols in 2016, adding that not all Pepe memes are racist. Since then, Pepe’s creator has publicly expressed his dismay at Pepe being used as a hate symbol.
We at IndyAustin have no use for hate speech.
We honestly thought it was a cartoon of a pea smoking a cigar — taken from an video online — not ours.
We have changed the video without this image.
Watch Mayor Steve Adler’s city hall hide $100s of millions in property tax exemptions for a rushed soccer “sucker” stadium.
Again, our apologies!
Our main number is 512.535.0989 or email us at email@example.com.
Independently yours, Austin!
We have just issued a Cease and Desist Warning to the Mayor, City Council, City Attorney and City Manager for interfering with the rights of citizens to petition on public property last Saturday – the Austin Public Library. The letter is signed by our attorney, Bill Aleshire, and two additional highly qualified attorneys, Fred Lewis and Bill Bunch.
We strongly feel that the city is now in violation of your constitutional right to voter initiative that is in the city charter itself! This initiative is for the right to vote on CodeNEXT.
On Saturday, petitioners collecting signatures for your right to vote on CodeNEXT were forced to leave library property or be cited for trespassing.
The library staffers are not to blame. The directive came from higher ups in the Austin Library System.
What does the content of the petition have to do with this, if petitioning itself is a barred activity?
But don’t get mad, Austin – get even. The only productive way to do that is to help us complete this petition drive.
If everyone receiving this message gets just a few signatures, we will swamp the city with petitions when we file in mid to late March.
Early Voting Polls: Tues. Feb 20 thru Friday, March 2
But try to reach us first at 512-657-2089 or send a message to contact@IndyAustin.org
(Please Note: You must remain outside the 100 foot markers at the polls, be polite and, in no way, interfere with voters. Therefore, we want you to ask them to sign on the way out of the voting poll.)
We can do this, Austin. That’s how we did 10-1 in 2014 and we’ll do it again with CodeNEXT in 2018!
Bring The Papoose Petition Wagon to your neighborhood! We’ll even bring ice-cream for the kiddos.
This event is being held on election night, November 7, for statewide constitutional amendments. Why? So, we can hopefully give you the motivation to give us a very nice BIG turn in of the thousands of pages of CodeNEXT petitions being circulated by IndyAustin and the Let Us Vote Austin (LUVA) political action committees. These are the SAME petition, folks, so carry either one but make sure people are signing only one of them. These should not be confused with the online petition either. For ballot access, only Austin voters can sign and they must sign a petition on paper — so we have an original signature!
The deadline to turn in petitions for CodeNEXT is early January — an exact date will be released closer to January. Therefore, we’d like to wrap this thing up before the holidays. Which one? Thanksgiving would be nice, but that depends on YOU!
Remember, we will need more than 20,000 valid signatures to file by then.
Speakers will provide updates on CodeNEXT — there’s a lot happening, don’t ya know!
Plenty of free parking in the back!
PS Do you know of larger outdoor events we should bring The Papoose Petition Wagon to? Call Linda at 512-657-2089 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org