Recommendations for the June 2015 San Antonio City Runoff Elections

by Phil Sevilla, Texas Leadership Institute for Public Advocacy

Mayoral Election

We FAVOR Ivy Taylor for Mayor of San Antonio

Van de Putte PPOur mission is to assist voters residing in Bexar County in making informed decisions during political elections. Our volunteer staff scrutinizes elected officials, vetting political candidates who will promote and defend authentic Catholic moral principles in local, state, and federal offices.

This runoff election on June 13th in Bexar County comprises two municipal offices – the office of Mayor of San Antonio and the Councilman seat for District 7.

The two candidates in this runoff election are Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte and the current interim Mayor for San Antonio, Ivy Taylor. Neither candidate is the ideal political leader we can enthusiastically endorse for the office of Mayor. Leticia Van de Putte judging by her long voting record in the state senate must not be supported by Christian voters. Her consistent voting record stands unequivocally against the sanctity of life and the institution of marriage and there is no evidence in her public service that gives us any confidence that she will not continue to promote what Pope John Paul II called the advancement of the culture of death. Please review her voting record in our (TLIPA) archives.

In 2013 the national abortion rights activist organization NARAL gave her a 100% rating, in effect giving her an A+ rating as an extremist pro-abortion legislator. In her failed 2014 candidacy as Lt. Governor, Planned Parenthood’s Texas political action committee lauded Van de Putte as a champion of abortion rights (choice). She has been positioning herself in San Antonio as a moderate grandmotherly figure when the truth is she is a radical extremist who supports and promotes intrinsic evils her Catholic faith has universally condemned.

Van de Putte misrepresents her membership in a local Catholic parish. On the online website she is presented as a practicing Catholic who attends St. Joseph’s Church in downtown San Antonio. I talked with the pastor, Fr. Mario Marzocchi, who assured me Leticia has not been attending his parish nor is she an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist or a “reader”.

The uproar has grown within the Christian community over the expansion of abortion in San Antonio with two major abortion centers opening soon in the Medical Center area. Planned Parenthood and Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services will soon be committing high volume assembly line abortions within a mile of each other, competing for the business of abortion-bound women from all over the South Texas region. Alamo Women’s charges as much as $1,100 for a 17 week abortion, payment subsidized by you the taxpayer.

The Mayor and City Council, particularly Councilman Ron Nirenberg, who identifies himself as a Catholic, in whose district (8th) the abortion mega-centers are being opened, have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the complaints, protests, and lamentations of Christians from all over the city over the fast tracking and zoning violations committed by the City department charged with overseeing the licensing and permitting of these medical facilities and other commercial enterprises. In effect the City is violating its own zoning laws, disregarding the justified complaints of the neighborhood and residents and pro-life community.

Leticia Van de Putte is a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights. Speaking at a Planned Parenthood rally at the state capitol in 2013, she told the PP supporters, “Thank you for standing up for Planned Parenthood! We’re with you everyday fighting for Planned Parenthood!” (Watch the video.) She has received contributions from the abortion industry in her role as state senator and candidate for Lt. Governor. Mayor Taylor’s record does not show she has ties to Planned Parenthood. However the public record shows she has received along with most of the other city council members some donations from individuals who have ties to Planned Parenthood.

In Mayor Ivy Taylor’s case, we believe that she does not favor the expansion of abortion in San Antonio nor homosexual rights. Mayor Taylor admirably stood courageously against the homosexual special rights ordinance vote on September 2013. She listened to the Christian leaders in her community and accepted their wise counsel. We believe as an outsider as city councilwoman and interim Mayor, if she is to continue to solidify her power and be an effective political leader,  she has to strengthen her political base within the confines of a city hall that has been run by Julian Castro and his party machine.  She led the way to stop the runaway multi-million dollar streetcar project from gaining traction. She confidently stated at the candidate forum in Cornerstone Church that she would support the right of citizens to voice their concern, to put to a vote the rescission of the unpopular homosexual special rights ordinance. She has opened her door to an advisory group made up of Christian pastors to pray with her regularly, a forum to discuss moral implications of public policy which would inform her decisions as Mayor. She has every right as a public official to bring together Christian leaders to help formulate her thinking on public policy through prayer and advocacy.

We believe Mayor Taylor possesses the tremendous potential to grow in office especially because she is open to listening and does not exclude the Christian perspective. As elected Mayor she will have more confidence in exerting her influence over the city council members and operational departments.

Leticia will further the liberal and secular extremism of Julian Castro’s party machine. Leticia has no experience as an executive of a municipal corporation. Ivy Taylor has had years of experience after an excellent education at an Ivy league school and after earning a Master’s degree, she worked in various city departments and was elected as councilwoman for District 2. Appointed as interim Mayor, she has gained experience as a chief executive and she has also been lecturing at UTSA on public administration.

While Ivy Taylor is not an ideal candidate for the Catholic voter, comparatively speaking, her values are closer to our Catholic moral principles. Surely she needs to be better informed by Christian leaders in the community (including concerned Catholics ) and we are confident she will be open to our voices. According to Pope John Paul II’s magnum opus on life, Evangelium Vitae, politicians who share our moral values can and should vote for policies that limit evil and lessen the negative consequences on public morality and we Catholic voters should vote for candidates who will limit evil and lessen the negative consequences of immoral public policies.

While Ivy Taylor’s record is not blemish free, we believe we have a voice with her but not with Leticia Van de Putte. We cast our lot with Ivy Taylor, primarily because the alternative of Mayor Van de Putte will result in the continuation of the liberal secular extremism of Julian Castro. We also believe that the Christian voter who sits on the sidelines and withholds his vote would contribute to the election of Leticia Van de Putte.

City Council, Place No. 7

We FAVOR Cris Medina for City Councilman for District 7

We believe we have a flawed candidate with Cris Medina who voted for the special homosexual right ordinance and other harmful policies. We perceive his vote was due to political pressure from Mayor Castro and the other city councilmen. However Cris is a practicing Catholic. He needs to be informed and befriended by well-informed parishioners who will pray for him and provide counsel. His pastor has a serious role to play in instructing Councilman Medina about the grave consequences of receiving Communion while formally cooperating with evil made manifest in his public vote for immoral public programs. Cris has recently committed to a fellow parishioner who is a member of our non-profit board that his door will be open to our team to listen to our issues before he votes on controversial matters with serious moral consequences. We will not have this same opportunity to influence his opponent, Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez, who is a partisan candidate who lines up with extremist liberal secularists like Leticia Van de Putte.

We can and should vote for candidates during this runoff election who, while not ideal Christian candidates, will limit evil as public officials, and who are open to the Christian moral viewpoint. Once informed about the moral implications of their decisions and public policy votes, we believe they will choose what is beneficial and decide to promote what is morally good. Positive law (man’s law) is moral when it is in accord with Divine law. We believe we will have an opportunity to influence Ivy Taylor for Mayor and Cris Medina for District 7 Councilman. Please consider voting for them.