Mr. Spires expressed disappointment that I had endorsed his opponent, so I proceeded to explain why. I pointed out that we are known by the company we keep and that some of Spires' endorsements are quite troubling. His campaign mailer includes as his most prominent supporters two very liberal Democrats: Vic Villarreal, and Alan Kaplan. Villarreal and Kaplan were elected to the Austin Community College Board by the heavily liberal voters of Austin. Villarreal is supported by the South Austin Democrats, Tejano Democrats, Capital City Young Democrats, Progressive Citizens for ACC, and the Austin Central Labor Council. Kaplan typically only supports very, very liberal Democrats.
Secondly, despite Leander ISD's budgetary woes and $1.2 billion in debt, Spires has stated publicly that if elected he would "not change a thing" about the way LISD has operated. In my humble opinion, this is a shocking stance when the district has constructed a $117 million dollar high school, and has two brand-spanking new schools that will stand empty due to a lack of financial foresight on the part of the Board and administration. When I pointed out these problems to Mr. Spires, he defended the actions saying there was no other alternative. He also said that the last tax increase was "only the cost of a cup of Starbucks a month."
Blogger, (while trying to keep head from exploding): "You did not just say that."I endorsed Aaron Johnson last month due to Johnson's qualifications and commitment to fiscal conservatism. I also saw that with four children in the LISD schools, he would balance fiscal realities with real educational needs.
James Spires: "Yes, I did just say that."
James Spires told me he was a Republican, and he may well be, but apparently he is also a proponent of 'Happy Meal Economics,' an approach our country cannot afford to continue. I do want to say that Mr. Spires was a very nice man and I can see why folks like him, but we must examine the important policy differences that these candidates will represent if elected.
My endorsement of Aaron Johnson stands confirmed.