Tensions High Between Taylor and Van de Putte at TPR Debate

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From left: Mayor Ivy Taylor, former Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, and TPR Managing Editor and Senior Reporter Shelley Kofler during the mayoral debate. Screen shot of NOWCastSA's live stream. http://nowcastsa.com/blogs/webcast-texas-public-radio-mayoral-candidate-debate

From left: Mayor Ivy Taylor, former Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, and TPR Managing Editor and Senior Reporter Shelley Kofler during the mayoral debate. Screen shot of NOWCastSA's live stream. http://nowcastsa.com/blogs/webcast-texas-public-radio-mayoral-candidate-debate

Radio listeners heard one debate between Mayor Ivy Taylor and challenger Leticia Van de Putte on Texas Public Radio Monday afternoon. Viewers of the live streamed version supplied by NOWCastSA experienced something a bit more dramatic.

For those watching on the Internet, it’s obvious that tensions are running high in what is seen as a tight, increasingly polarized race for mayor.

(UPDATE: Click here for a recap of mayoral candidates’ interactions at the final mayoral debate at WOAI News Radio.)

The on-air program had ended, but the NowCastSA cameras were still rolling afterwards as Taylor declined to shake hands with Van de Putte after the debate. Taylor then leaned over to Van de Putte, whispered something inaudible into her ear and again refused to shake hands. Van de Putte seemed surprised and caught off guard, and responded by saying, or at least mouthing, a single word: “Wow.”

Express-News Columnist Gilbert Garcia (left) and TPR journalist David Martin Davies look on as Mayor Ivy Taylor gives Leticia Van de Putte stern words after the forum. Screen shot of NOWCastSA's live stream.

Express-News Columnist Gilbert Garcia (left) and TPR journalist David Martin Davies look on as Mayor Ivy Taylor gives Leticia Van de Putte seemingly stern words after the debate. Screen shot of NOWCastSA’s live stream.

After the debate, Taylor’s campaign staff relayed what the mayor told Van de Putte:

“I think your attacks on my family are crossing the line.”

Later, she told the Rivard Report and tweeted, “Here in Texas, if a person attacks the family for political gain and then smiles and extends their hand, you don’t shake their hand.”

The attacks on Taylor and her husband, Rodney, stem from a November 2014 shooting that took place outside Rodney’s bail bond business and his subsequent refusal to file a complaint against the alleged shooter with the San Antonio Police Department. There are different versions of the shooting, which wounded two individuals. Whether those individuals were the target of the shooting, or passers-by and the bail bond business was the target, is not clear.

The issue is further complicated by anti-Taylor statements made by Mike Helle, the president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, which has suspended collective bargaining talks with the City and had endorsed Van de Putte in the mayor’s race.

“I would not try to cast aspersions on the character of (Van de Putte’s) family or her husband,” Taylor said. “(This) was a random drive-by shooting, my understanding is, involving gang members and it just happened to occur in front of (my husband’s) business.”

She went on to say that she thought there was plenty of cause for the police to pursue the shooter without her or Rodney’s statement on the shooting.

“The Taylors refuse to just sign a complaint that their car was shot up and their business was shot up,” Van de Putte said. “We want San Antonians to be good neighbors, to help each other. What does it say when the mayor and her family … refuse to help put violent criminals (in jail) and get them off the streets?”

Taylor dismissed the topic as a tactic to “take focus off the issues at hand.”

“I’m committed to the safety of our citizens and have always acted in a manner reflective of that,” she added.

Each candidate was asked a series of questions by David Martin Davies, host of Texas Public Radio’s “The Source”, TPR News Director Shelley Kofler, and Express-News Columnist Gilbert Garcia. The trio covered affordable housing, 2017 bond priorities, and whether San Antonio is ready for another major-league sports team. Candidates were asked about their involvement in various controversies, which sparked heated remarks from each side.

Campaign strategies have become increasingly negative in the lead up to early voting, which started today and ends June 9. Click here for voting information. The final vote  will be held Saturday, June 13.

Taylor continued to criticize Van de Putte’s police union endorsement that stalled collective bargaining negotiations.

“Do you believe they are expecting anything in return?” she asked. “And given our campaign finance limits, do you think it’s appropriate for them to be spending (so much) on your campaign?”

It’s a question Van de Putte has answered often this year. The police and fire fighter union contract is, arguably, one of the most important fiscal issues facing the future of San Antonio. (Read more here.)

“They know that I’m an effective leader, they also know that when I put my foot down, I put my foot down,” she said. “I don’t make empty promises … What I did say is that our first responders would be treated with respect – that we would get back to the table, that we would hit the reset button.”

She said she would work with the unions to get public safety costs back down to, or below, 66% of the general budget.

Catch the whole debate at NOWCastSA.com:

The Clean Air, Clean Water, Healthy City forum at Trinity University’s Chapman Center Auditorium Monday evening will host back-to-back Q&A sessions with each candidate and host Peter Bella, executive director of Texans for Responsible Energy Development and former Natural Resources Director of the Alamo Area Council of Governments. Van de Putte is on at 6 p.m., Taylor at 7 p.m. RSVP here.

On Wednesday, June 3, the candidates will meet at WOAI News Radio (1200 AM) for a forum at 9 a.m. that will broadcast live with host Jim Forsyth.

 

This post was originally published on Monday, June 1.

*Featured/top image: From left: Mayor Ivy Taylor, former Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, and TPR Managing Editor and Senior Reporter Shelley Kofler during the mayoral debate. Screenshot of NOWCastSA’s live stream.

Related Stories:

Blayne Tucker: Why I’m Still Voting for LVP

Tom Cuthbert: What Surprised Me About Ivy Taylor

Taylor and Van de Putte Tangle at UTSA Forum

Eastside’s Leadership Endorses LVP for Mayor

Mike Beldon: Why I Now Support Ivy Taylor

Mike’s Voters Look for a Way Forward

31 thoughts on “Tensions High Between Taylor and Van de Putte at TPR Debate

  1. Too bad the race for Mayor has turned into a crappy little Washington style spat…thought both were better than that. Supporters on both sides not much better….This needs to be about SA moving forward and what’s best for SA!

  2. Taylor could not care less about public safety. Her husbands way of being a business owner and “contributing to the East side” was to have a business which helped criminals get out of jail quicker. Basically, he ran a predatory loan business where he put up money to help criminals and profitted off of people who got arrested. He was smart putting his business on a crime ridden part of town his wife was responsible for. If they think that is a reputable business, they are sadly mistaken. If they want to help their community, start an organization which tries to reduce the number of their neighbors who go to jail in the first place. Taylor lied about her intentions to run for Mayor, as far as I am concerned she cannot be trusted to do anything she says. She will hold a grudge, use the race card, and give uninformed opinions about matters which escape her. LVDP all the way.

  3. San Antonio needs someone to help us become all we can be. We don’t need a politician to lead this city. We need a visionary leader who will listen, lead and get things done. I look forward to supporting Mayor Taylor in the runoff election and working with her to make this city truly great.

  4. “Here in Texas” please. Ivy is a New Yorker
    LVP is the Texan.
    You don’t like the heat- get out of the kitchen! Ivy’s family should have reported that and she also should have listed it on her financial report with the city. Something stinks.

  5. My thanks to TPR and SA Nowcast for the debate. As for the candidates I wish they stick to the issues. To LVP the mayor and most city council members short of paying Uber and Lyft to stay in San Antonio did more then they should of for these renegate illegal operators. These operators refuse to follow basic public safety regulations and refused to correct their insurance gaps that will harm our citizens and visitors. They hire criminal that have raped, assaulted, their customers in other cities. Why does our city need irresponsible operators like these? I hope LVP is not caving in to the big money of these illegal operators.

  6. Who will put the interest of the people of San Antonio before her own? Who is coming into office with her own agenda? Who will use the office of Mayor as a stepping stone for another office? Who is trusted by her own community? More specifically, who is not trusted by her own community? Why? The answers will lead you to the next Mayor!

  7. My prayer is that ALL voters will educate themselves and vote for the candidate whose views and vision for our city is based on Godly and Christian values. We need a leader that upholds these values in the office of the Mayor and not they not waver. This should not be a popularity race, but a race truly about serving the citizens of San Antonio being guided by our Father in heaven. I read a non-partisan flyer with all of the mayoral candidates and where they stand on various issues. The flyer was distributed at the National Day of Prayer event at city hall. I encourage ALL voters to get a copy of that and just read. I’m not telling you who to vote for, but please read it and then vote. Blessing to you, your families and our San Antonio!

    • Concerned Citizen, what part of “separation of church and state” don’t you understand?
      Nice of you to extend blessings to everyone — even gay people and their families? Blessings are nice, but civil rights even nicer.
      PS: According to Natl. Day of Prayer-SA website http://www.ndpsanantonio.org/, all the listed participants represent Christian organizations and Christian schools. Were non-Christians invited/consulted? What would you have done if some Muslims showed up, face East, and started to pray to their God?
      PPS: With open carry in TX inevitable, will guns be allowed at next year’s NDP? Shudder!

      • OMG!? Oh yea..which God???? Thanks for the website. I had no idea this was going on? I plead ignorance only because I THOUGHT I was living in the United States. Thank you for setting me straight.

  8. Susan,

    Both of them were technically born outside of Texas-LVP was born in Washington State.

    Anonymous- I’ve listened to LVP try to use the “Taylor lied to become Mayor” number the last two debates. It shows a complete lack of self-awareness. If we want to split hairs, the Mayor said she “wasn’t inclined to run”….not technically the same thing as promising not to run. LVP on the other said ” I will under no circumstances run”-that seems much more definitive.

    I don’t honestly care about either husband’s business.

    For what it’s worth, Dixe Flags (offensive name) sells Confederate flags (offensive flags) . LVP said the sell all sorts of historical flags (fair enough). If that’s the case, why don’t they sell flags from other offensive time periods (Germany?) Once again, total lack of awareness. Also, her husband’s business is on the East Side and doesn’t employ a single African American so I don’t really see how they are contributing to poverty and crime reduction either.

    On the other end being a bail-bondsman isn’t the cleanest job in the world but I’d ask whether you want individuals who go to jail and cannot afford bail to rot in prison or not.

    Once again, I don’t care about either husband or either business. Let’s just move on.

  9. Taylor let’s get one thing perfectly clear; When you begin a statement with “Here in Texas…” since when do you speak for the ways of Texans? You are from New York! And if knuckleheads are firing guns at my family’s bail bonds business, I am not going to dismiss it as “it was just a driveby…!” so, no need for my husband and I to file a complaint. You’re ok with bullets attacking your husband, but LVP “attacking” you is a personal affront to your family?

  10. Taylor’s biggest vulnerability among Villarreal’s supporters is her stance on the NDO. Strategically, Van de Putte avoids mentioning the issue now that she’s in the run-off. Why? She needs the suburb votes. Instead, LVP turns to the salacious business of the gang shoot out near Taylor’s husband’s bail bonds business. This approach could “back fire” however.

    Taylor will keep pounding LVP’s alleged favoritism toward the police and fire unions.

    You would think that Villarreal would automatically eliminate a supposed bigot, Taylor, from consideration as mayor. He didn’t do that, however, leaving Taylor a small window to win. The Adkisson endorsement helps Taylor marginally, as his support is mostly among older voters, those who actually vote.

    LVP needs to straddle a fine line, suppressing the Northside vote at the same time energizing her base on the West side. On paper, she has an obvious advantage here. How many older Hispanics will turn out for her? That’s what the election comes down to.

  11. In Texas. We are RESPECTFUL no matter what your thought is about the other person. This debate showed disrespect in both directions. Very disappointing seeing both of our local women leaders reduce themselves to this level. It is also disrespectful to the office they each wish to hold. Someone better step up and be the person San Antonio deserves. An apology is in order from both.

  12. Van de Putte is typical political window washing, stating pro Police/Fire Departments without reflecting on the bigger picture. The budget, the cost, the price is going to be coming from where? Cheap shooting shackle like comments, even personal is a desperate move to cast a shadow of a doubt among the voters. Her promises are inferred not committed. Mayor Ivory Taylor on the other hand took an oath on the role that Julian Castro abandoned for His shot to a Washington Post as the HUD Director, on the consensus that she would not run for mayor. Now a twisted turn of events while in that office and she decides to make her own rules now. Contradictions reveling with attacks on personal non important issues and ‘Promises’ are really not concerning the citizens of San Antonio, it remains all Egotistic, public exposure and gift wrapping promises for whom?

  13. Van de putte is a mess. She supports the worst things for San Antonio. She supports all the wrong projects and people within the projects to keep voters, that is all she is about rather than supporting “our” San Antonio. Instead of supporting the Daughters of the Alamo, she went against them with all of their hard work and money that they had put into the Alamo Downtown for years and voted for the state to come in and take over. I am not sure if anyone is aware but because she chose this, many individuals were interviewed by the state and majority lost their jobs after being strong employees for many years. They terminated great employees and brought in their own employees. They were not given any compensation for their time on the job but rather told they just had to leave. Today the state once again has stated that prime positions are not needed and they have come to another road block that Van de putte is in full support of. People are being forced to leave their jobs and security without allowing them to complete their jobs and retire. Possibly Taylor can fight her on this with the support of many of the employees that were terminated and pushed out of job security because Van de putte supported this transaction. Van de putte has been a joke for many years and no one supports her other than the same people she supports (same circle) It will get old when you see what kind of person she is rather than what she is doing for “our” San Antonio.

  14. I think this debate covered some issues that can help the voters decide on which candidate will be the elected Mayor of San Antonio. The mud slinging wasn’t necessary, but is expected in such a tight race. Party affiliation has nothing to do with this particular race. May the best Women win. I am unable to vote because I currently don’t reside in the City Limits even though I am a Bexar County resident and a Past Election Judge and a current Elected Precint Chair. Can’t wait to see the outcome June 13 2015.

  15. A telling exchange between the candidates! I found the information that Mayor Taylor’s husband is a bail bondsman, as well as the decision made with regarding to the shooting, to be important and relevant insights that will affect my choice as a voter. If Mayor Taylor felt this strongly, then why did she choose to have this exchange “off audio?” As a voter, I interpret this gesture as an indication of a lack of transparency (and perhaps the presence of naiveté?). After all, one can expect scrutiny if one chooses to run for office. I expect candidates to address scrutiny rather than respond with sentimentality.

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