How It’s Done

Something We Have Seen Before

It’s finally settled. Ron Nirenberg is the new mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and I’m not  surprised. I voted for him in the earlier elections, and I voted for him again last week in the runoff against sitting Mayor Ivy Taylor. In the meantime I received this. See the above.

Two mailings came to me in the days leading up to the day of the runoff election. Each consisted of a well-crafted, oversize card, printed front and back,  and  bearing my name and address. Barbara Jean received identical mailings. And here is what made these interesting. They were aimed at swaying my vote, but they were not overtly for anything. They were against Ron Nirenberg. That’s the new mayor’s face photo shopped above. Somebody did not want Ron Nirenberg to become the next mayor. And that somebody appears to be the San Antonio Police Officers PAC. In case elaboration is needed, PAC stands for Political Action Committee.

The San Antonio Police Officers PAC seems to be against Ron Nirenberg, and this caused me to become interested in just what or who is the SAPOA PAC. It was worth a Google search:

The San Antonio Police Officers Association Political Action Committee (SAPOA PAC) represents the concerns of police officers and their families to elected officials at all levels of government. The PAC carries the voice of the membership and advocates for legislation, benefits, and working conditions for our city’s police officers.

That’s interesting. If I interpret this correctly, the SAPOA PAC did not want Nirenberg elected, and they were willing to  spend a significant amount for the design and production of two professionally-prepared mailings. There was additional cost in sending these out, apparently to registered voters in the mayoral election district, including  two mailings of each of two to  my house. All of  which turned out to be money invested without return. Google also pulls up details of the SAPO PAC:

San Antonio Police Officers Assn. PAC Grajeda, Robert T.

Continued search shows the SAPOA PAC to be an LLC which includes Mr. Grajeda as one of several managers. Grajeda’s direct connection to  the SAPD is not revealed. He could be a current or former member of the force. I will be generous and conclude the SAPOA actually incorporates members of the force and represents members’ interests: career, social, and  political. Regarding the PAC’s opposition to Nirenberg, a salient sticking point appears to be Nirenberg’s opposition to a recent SAPD labor contract:

Rey Saldana isn’t the only council member who opposes the labor agreement between the city and the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Councilman Ron Nirenberg says he plans to vote against the contract.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the mayor took a position that any deal is a good deal and I think she’s wrong,” Nirenberg stated on the Trey Ware Morning Show.

He says it’s a money thing.

“We’re breaking the bank that council set by year four of this contract and I’m wondering why it took two years to accomplish so little.”

Nirenberg also expressed concerns about the health care benefits.

“While there is some health care participation, I think that the ball was moved only a little bit for a sustainable contract,” he said.

Saldana is calling for more transparency in disciplinary procedures for officers accused of misconduct.

Association president Mike Helle says the timing of the opposition to the contract, which is supported by Mayor Ivy Taylor, is suspicious.

Full disclosure: Prior to resigning his position on the city council, Ron Nirenberg was my representative in District 8. The foregoing was from last year, and already Nirenberg was butting heads with Mayor Taylor.

The PAC mailings brought up additional concerns. Note the puppet reference above. The flip side elaborates (redacted to remove my address).

Most interesting. Apparently I should not vote for Nirenberg because of his association with Congressman Joaquín Castro.

Oops! That message was poorly aimed. I live in  Castro’s district (Texas 20), and I voted for him last November. Prior to that I attended his town hall meeting held at a local library and cheered his call for inclusiveness. This was in response to movement by conservative politicians to pass laws that, in effect, place sanctions on members of the LGBT community. If the SAPOA PAC thinks I’m going to vote against Nirenberg because of his liberal leaning, they sorely need to refine their research.

Here’s the flip side of the other mailing:

You may not be able to read the message from this shrunken image, but here is one pertinent quote: “Voted against neighborhood opposition to zoning changes for a Planned Parenthood facility.” I have met a few of the officers from the local police substation, and never in any of these encounters did I get the idea political conservatism predominates. The SAPOA PAC appears to be pushing conservative issues in the name of the officers it proposes to represent.

Despite my initial observation, at the conclusion of one of the cards is an imperative to vote for Mayor Ivy. Sorry, SAPOA PAC, Mayor Ivy poisoned that well weeks ago:

Mayor Taylor Says Poverty is a Symptom of Godlessness

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

At an April 3 mayoral candidate forum, Mayor Ivy Taylor shared her surprising views on systemic poverty in San Antonio. To her, the “broken people” facing poverty just have a bad relationship with God.

Yes, politicians, if you want my vote you are going to have to come forward into the 21st century, or at least into the 20th. Public policy needs to be based on pragmatism and fact, not on ancient mythology. Say goodnight, Mayor Ivy.

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