Austin voters reject ballot measure which would have placed minimum staffing on police department

Austin voters reject ballot measure which would have placed
minimum staffing on police department 1

The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the author. 

AUSTIN, TX- Well, they say everything is bigger in Texas and that apparently includes the number of brain-dead liberals.

Such is the case in the Lone Star State’s capital city, where Proposition A, which would have forced the city to hire hundreds of police officers went down in flames Tuesday.

If the proposal had passed, city officials said they would have had to make cuts in other parts of the city’s budget, the Austin American Statesman reported.

The measure was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 68% against the measure and 31% for. That wide margin came as a shock, with both sides of the debate expecting a much closer vote following months of campaigning on both sides.

The proposed measure came about after Save Austin Now—a group which advocated to reinstate a homeless camping ban in May—gathered enough signatures to place the proposition on Tuesday’s ballot.

The group’s co-founder, Matt Mackowiak said he would continue to change local politics after indicating last month he might consider leaving the city if the proposition went down to defeat. Mackowiak is chair of the Travis County Republican Party.

Mackowiak said in a tweet:

“Tonight was a setback. But we are not defeated. We will triple our commitment to making Austin a great place to live, work, and raise a family. We haven’t saved Austin yet. But we will.”

The group had raised $1.7 million toward the effort through Oct. 23, however the PAC drew opposition from a number of community groups, as well as unions representing Austin firefighters and EMS workers, with both groups expressing concerns the measure would cost jobs for their respective departments.

Ten of the 11 members of the Austin City Council opposed Proposition A, with the only exception being the one Republican on the council, Mackenzie Kelly.

The measure would have required the city to have an authorized strength of two officers per 1,000 residents, however, would have likely required more than that minimum due to another provision which requires 35% of police officers’ time be spent on activities outside of responding to calls. The current deployment in the city is 1.8 officers per 1,000 residents.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Proposition A would have forced the city to adopt an “antiquated police staffing model.”

“This election reaffirms our community’s belief that public safety for all requires a comprehensive system that includes properly staffing our police, but also our fire, EMS, and mental health responses as well,” Adler said in a tweet.

“At our core we are in an innovative, caring and creative community. We see that yet again in this election and that makes me proud to live in this magical place.”

The defeat comes as Austin, like most large Democratic-run cities has seen an explosion in violent crime, with the city also setting a record of 75 homicides , the highest homicide rate in twenty years, statistics from the Austin Police Department said.

The Austin Police Department issued a statement after the early unofficial voting results came about, thanking Save Austin Now and those who voted for the failed measure, and called on the City Council to hire 300 more officers.

Mackowiak said he hoped that opponents to the measure, who agreed the city should hire more officers and implement increased training will stay true to their word.

“This council now is going to have to move in favor of public safety,” Mackowiak said. “Are they going to go as far as we would have liked, as Prop A would have taken us? No, they’re not, at least not in the short term.”

Save Austin Now also had to contend with far left socialist billionaire George Soros’ deep wallet, where he spent $500,000 through his Open Policy Center in order to defeat the measure.

An opposition group, No Way on Prop A called the result a victory for city residents and democracy. They claim the safest cities have more resources, nor more police, campaign manager Laura Hernandez Holmes said in a press release.

That’s working well in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and other cities which are short of police officers. 

The Austin PD is authorized and budgeted for 1,809 sworn officers, however the council canceled three training classes, has had problems filling vacancies, and is down to about 1,600 officers.

In case you missed our previous report about Soros once again sticking his socialist nose into Austin, we invite you to read our previous report:


Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

The following article contains editorial content written by a former Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

AUSTIN, TX- George Soros is public enemy #1 in the United States, make no mistake about it. Soros and his deep socialist wallet has been primarily responsible for the influx of far-left, criminal-loving, police-hating district attorneys polluting our cities nationwide, from Philadelphia to San Francisco and most major cities in between.

His latest mission is to stick his rather large nose into defund the police efforts with his latest target being Austin, Texas, according to Legal Insurrection.  

Last year, Austin climbed on board the defund the police train, cutting its budget by nearly one-third. To the surprise of nobody except the dimwits on the Austin City Council, crime skyrocketed in Texas’s capital city, to the point where the chief of police recently announced that citizens should not call 911 unless they really need to. He also announced that police would no longer respond to a number of so-called “minor crimes.”

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Beginning this month, the Austin Police Department has asked the public not to call 911 for “non-emergency situations” if “there is no immediate threat to live or property,” “where crimes are no longer in progress,” and “when the suspect(s) are no longer on scene or in sight.” The directive applies to burglaries, thefts, prostitution, vandalism, and several other crimes. The police urged victims and witnesses to call 311 or file a report online instead.

The police department says this will reduce contact between police and the public amid a pandemic. But the new policy is also in large part “a result of recent staffing challenges that we have had, and as we are working through those, we are looking to see how we can deploy staff in the most appropriate manner” and respond “to those calls that need them the most,” said Chief of Police Joseph Chacon in a news conference in late September.

In fiscal 2020-2021, the Austin police budget was $292.9 million, down from $434.5 million the previous year. The City Council slashed $31.5 million directly from the police budget last year.

It also put $121.7 million in a reserve fund that was intended to “decouple or reimagine some public-safety functions” from the police department but which ended up funding police operations, says Alicia Dean, a spokesperson for the city. The City Council also canceled three cadet classes and cut 150 officers from the budget last year, says City Councilor Mackenzie Kelly, an outspoken supporter of the police.

Legal Insurrection reported that the city attempted to hire back at least one officer, offering a $5,000 “signing bonus” deal plus extra benefits, which angered the officer. According to Fox News:

A former Austin, Texas police officer who left the force amid the city’s move to defund the police sent a scathing letter to the department rejecting their offer to hire him back.

“I am personally offended by your offer,” the former officer wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News in response to the city’s offer of $5,000 plus extra benefits for returning to duty. “I did not leave APD for money. I suspect my peers did not either. No amount of money could make me return. The offer from the chief shows just how out of touch he is with his officers. What we crave is leadership. The one thing that has been consistently withheld.”

The former officer, who identified as a military veteran, went on to explain in the letter that failed leadership is the reason for the decision to leave the department.

“The working environment within APD is one of the most dangerous in the nation,” the former officer wrote. “Not because of the hazards each officer faces in the streets, but because of the senior leaders that have no professional development leader training, do not value each officer as a person, push all responsibility to the patrol officer level, and holds them to unrealistic expectations.”

Even as residents of the city deal with exploding crime and angry citizens, Soros emptied his deep pockets of over $1 million to prevent them from hiring additional police.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, citing filings with the Federal Election Commission, Soros donated the $1 million to the Color of Change PAC, a so-called “racial justice” organization. That amounted to the largest donation in the 2021 election cycle made by Soros.

“The killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many more at the hands of police violence have left us all outraged, but our movement is stronger than ever,” the organization said in a petition calling for targeting police departments.

“Now it’s up to us to hold them [the Minneapolis Police] accountable, push for further systemic changes, and not lose the momentum needed to change the institution of policing forever.”

As mentioned, Soros has been busy disrupting the criminal justice system in a number of cities across the country. For example, in Los Angeles, Soros donated $2 million to leftist socialist hack District Attorney George Gascon, who is now so “popular” that he is facing a recall effort after implementing far-left radical criminal reform changes.

Those changes included “an end to cash bail, a ban on prosecutors seeking enhanced criminal sentences, and showing leniency to many low-level offenders.”

In St. Louis, he funded useless hack district attorney Kim Gardner, whose claim to fame is releasing 34 of 36 rioters arrested last year during the George Floyd riots, while prosecuting the McCloskey’s, Mark and Patricia for protecting their property when violent Black Lives Matter extremists broke a gate at the entrance to their gated community and threatened to burn down their house.

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner is among the worst of the bunch, firing 31 prosecutors from his office and ordering police to lower prosecutions of so-called “low-level” crime while refusing to prosecute even some of the most violent felonies.

Meanwhile Kim Foxx in Chicago…enough said. Chicago continues to be a killing field, with scores of people shot on any given weekend and usually a dozen or so dead. She also ended felony prosecutions for a number of crimes.

Since 2015, Soros has spent over $17 million on local races of primarily local prosecutors and state legislators. As Legal Insurrection notes, virtually everyone backed by Soros and his Open Society Foundations (how this is still a 501(c)(3) is anyone’s guess) have supported a drastic reduction in or elimination of cash bail.

In Austin, the ballot initiative will be decided at the polls on Nov. 2. Estimates for the hiring of new officers ranges from $54 million to $120 million annually, according to the city’s chief financial officer.

The ironic thing about Austin is the city is largely comprised of tech and other companies that fled California and its draconian taxes and regulations. Then, these companies moved to Texas, in this case Austin and their employees vote the same way they did in California. What’s the definition of insanity again?

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For more on Soros and his pathological attempts to influence America’s political scene, we invite you to:


PHOENIX, AZ – Several Democratic senators, including politically vulnerable Catherine Cortez Masto, backed the George Soros-bankrolled left-wing leftist group whose members harassed their party colleague, Kyrsten Sinema, in a bathroom stall at Arizona State University.

In a now-viral video spread across social media, activists with Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) filmed Sinema while she was teaching at Arizona State University on Saturday after she refused to meet with the organization to discuss her opposition to a $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” spending bill.

As she proceeded to the bathroom, the activists followed her, criticizing her opposition to various aspects of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda and imploring her to protect illegal immigrants.

The video continued for over two minutes focused mainly on the bathroom stall Sinema entered, and then followed her again as she exited to wash her hands in the sink.

Outrage erupted from most after the video was posted on Sunday, with many decrying the harassment as crossing the lines of ethics and common decency. Democrats have mainly remained silent.

President Joe Biden did not condemn the act when initially asked about the incident on Monday:

“I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody. The only people it doesn’t happen to are people who have secret service standing around them. It’s a part of the process.”

Only later did White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki qualify his statement with more stern wording.

Psaki elaborated that it was “inappropriate and unacceptable” that Sinema’s classroom, students, “the safe and intellectually stimulating environment she’s worked to create during the years of teaching at [ASU] was breached.”

It turns out that LUCHA receives a significant portion of its funding from Soros’ Open Society Foundation. The group gave $1.5 million to LUCHA in 2019 and $250,000 in 2017, becoming LUCHA’s largest donor.

In addition to Soros-backed funding, the group has also received financial support from Bold PAC, the fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, connected to more than three dozen Democrats in the House and Senate, including Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Cortez Masto (D-NV), according to a report in The Washington Free Beacon.

Bold PAC is the fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Federal Election Commission records show the group donated $12,500 to LUCHA in August.

Menendez, Padilla, and Cortez Masto have not commented on the incident and have failed to condemn the video. Cortez Masto, who is facing a tough re-election next year, is facing Trump-backed GOP challenger Adam Laxalt.

Laxalt, a former Attorney General, is already striking her for not condemning the insulting actions and video. Laxalt tweeted Monday:

“For months the media has falsely labeled @CatherineforNV a ‘moderate.’ Now we find out she’s part of the PAC that funded an attack on her colleague by left-wing activists.

“She should disavow this organization immediately. I doubt she will.”

Richard Grenell, Laxalt’s campaign chairman and former acting Director of National Intelligence for former President Donald Trump, also took a swipe at Masto for not condemning the video:

“Will (Brian Duggan) tell his Progressive base that Sen. Cortez Masto  is attacking moderate Democrats? or nah?”

He continued in another tweet:

“Where is Ralston Reports? I bet a Progressive has paid his blog a handsome sum.”

Sinema condemned the harassment by the activists in a long and pointed statement released Monday in which she called the behavior “not legitimate protests” and “wholly inappropriate”:

“Yesterday, several individuals disrupted my class at Arizona State University. After deceptively entering a locked, secure building, these individuals filmed and publicly posted videos of my students without their permission — including footage taken of both my students and I using a restroom.

“The activist group that engaged in yesterday’s behavior is one that both my team and I have met with several times since I was elected to the Senate, and I will continue engaging with Arizonans with diverse viewpoints to help inform my work for Arizona. Yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest.

“It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.”

In addition to being labeled inappropriate, the actions of the activists were also illegal.

Under Arizona law, a person cannot be recorded in places where there is an expectation of privacy without their consent. The law specifically mentions bathrooms, locker rooms and bedrooms.

ASU police are investigating the situation and issued a statement:

“The ASU Police Department is working with Senator Sinema and conducting a full investigation of the incident that occurred Sunday at the University Center on the Downtown Phoenix campus. Due to the active status of the investigation, we are unable to provide more information at this time.”

A Nevada Independent poll released this month shows several Democrats, including Cortez Masto, struggling as the midterms approach.  

Cortez Masto carries less than half a percent lead outside the margin of error against Laxalt, 45.5 percent to 41.2 percent, respectively.

Pollster Mark Mellman said Nevada Democrats will have a fight on their hands:

“Each race has its own individual dynamics, individual candidates, individual faux paus people make. But what we see so far, as we said at the outset, are a set of what are likely to be very close, very competitive, very tough races.”

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LET Unity

Mother furious with Soros-backed prosecutor for offering son’s killer a sweetheart plea deal

July 23, 2021

ST LOUIS, MO – A mother who lost her son back in February of 2020 is furious with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner after she says prosecutors have struck a deal with her son’s alleged killer, not only without her knowledge, but the deal would see the man accused of killing her son going to prison for only eight years.

Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on February 15th, 2020, St. Louis Police arrested 27-year-old Jarmond Johnson for allegedly assaulting 35-year-old Dwight Washington at the Civic Center Metro Transit Center.

According to police, Johnson and Washington are familiar with each other and had gotten into some sort of verbal altercation outside the transit center that turned physical.

The fight resulted in Washington being taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Shirley Washington Cobb recently found out that prosecutors with Gardner’s office plan to ask Judge Rex Burlison on July 26th to accept a plea deal that would see Johnson go to prison for eight years in connection with Washington’s death.

Cobb does not support the deal at all, writing to the judge the following about the matter:

“Judge Burlison, I would get on bended knee if necessary, to beg that you review the leniency of the request proposed by this defendant’s attorneys. My son’s life was valuable to his family and many others.”

“As his mother, my heart is now irreparably broken as a result of the actions of Jarmond Johnson.”

The grieving mother says she was kept in the dark about the plea deal, having only found out about the arrangement when calling the prosecutor’s office ahead of her travelling from Texas to St. Louis in preparation for what she thought was going to be a trial:

“Had I not called on my own that day by chance, I would have never known this was happening.”

Cobb says that she doesn’t think Gardner cares at all for the impact violent crime has on the loved ones of victims:

“Kim Gardner, it appears to me, could care less. I wish, and it would be my hope, that she would be fired immediately and not covered by the people who think that she represents the community in a positive way.”

“Because if one thinks about this logically, about the black community, if you allow people to get off with an 8-year sentence, which might end up being 2 or 3 years, what is your motivation not to kill anyone who annoys you?”

The victim’s mother says that Gardner isn’t “worthy” to hold the title of a representative in St. Louis:

“I pray with all that is within me, I beseech the judge to give me more time to provide documentation, if that is necessary, and to prove Kim Gardner – and I will call them accomplices – are not worthy of being called representatives for the people of St. Louis please don’t vote for her at all.”

After Cobb had written the letter to Judge Burlison, Cobb said that Gardner, her Chief Warrant Officer Chris Hinckley and Gardner’s Director of Community Engagement Khatib Waheed called her directly and claimed the evidence wasn’t strong enough to go to trial:

“They basically threatened me and told me if I didn’t agree to this, then he could get nothing. And they tried to blame the police saying the video didn’t have sound and it was hard to tell if this was just a scuffle.”

Gardern’s staff had reportedly told Cobb that there were no witness statements connected to the death of her son, which Cobb claims homicide detectives told her otherwise during the investigation.

Cobb also said that the medical examiner’s report regarding her son’s death noted that his injuries appeared “purposeful”.

Cobb said that Gardner’s office took her objections and treated them as they were nothing meaningful:

“They brushed it off like it didn’t matter.”

The mother of the victim has since sent another letter to Judge Burlison, reiterating that she cannot stand idly by while this plea deal is offered to her son’s alleged killer.


Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

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