Former San Marcos mayoral candidate Daniel McCarthy campaigns during early voting in the November 2008 election. File photo.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Former San Marcos mayoral candidate Daniel McCarthy, the Texas State student who was arrested in Austin Monday just before President Barack Obama’s scheduled appearance at the University of Texas (UT), now says he’s uncertain if he’ll seek the city’s mayoral office in November.
McCarthy, who has announced a run for mayor, but has not filed, said there’s a “50-50 chance” he’ll run for mayor, but he now also has his eye on a potential run for the other council seats up for grabs.
McCarthy called Councilmember John Thomaides and former councilmember Daniel Guerrero, who both have filed for the mayor’s race, “two heavy hitting candidates.” McCarthy said Thursday that he made his announcement to run for mayor before Guerrero announced his candidacy, which now would pit him against two formidable candidates, as opposed to just Thomaides.
For now, McCarthy said he’s keeping close eye on how the filings for elected office develop and will ultimately decide which office, if any, he’ll decide to seek before the Aug. 24 deadline.
Among the complications entering McCarthy’s decision is his residency status. McCarthy presently does not have a residence in San Marcos. He said his lease was up this summer and is currently “couch surfing” in Austin and San Marcos. More often than not, McCarthy said he’s sleeping in his brother’s couch in Austin as he’s been doing work in the Capital City.
The San Marcos city charter says a city council candidate must establish a physical address in the city to run for office. According to the charter:
(A city council candidate) shall have had his or her principal physical residence for at least one year preceding the election within the corporate limits of San Marcos and shall maintain his or her principal physical residence within the corporate limits of San Marcos throughout his or her term of office; for purposes of this subsection, a person must meet all of the following to meet the requirement for a “principal physical residence” in the city:
(A) The person must use the residence address for voter registration and driver’s license purposes;
(B) The person must use the residence address as the person’s home address on documents such as employment records, resumes, business cards, government forms and loan applications;
(C) The person must not claim a homestead exemption on any property other than the residence.
McCarthy was arrested and charged Monday with criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanor, after being asked several times by the University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) to vacate a sidewalk near the UT’s Gregory Gymnasium and head over to the free-speech zone.
Obama was scheduled to present a speech on education, ending the wars, and the economic crisis to UT students, faculty, and invited guests at Gregory Gym at 2 p.m.
McCarthy was arrested about an hour before Obama’s scheduled speech. In a Youtube video showcasing McCarthy’s arrest, McCarthy was calm and peaceful when the UT police approached him asking him to step back into the free-speech zone. McCarthy was holding what appeared to be a 6-foot tall, tombstone shaped, anti-war sign.
“I’m really upset about the gross violation of my basic human right for speech,”McCarthy said in his reaction to his arrest.
The police officer dealing with McCarthy can be heard on the Youtube video saying that the Obama’s secret service requested all protesters be confined to a free-speech zone.
McCarthy said he was not protesting at the time of his arrest, and, in fact, was walking on the sidewalk in an effort to look for anti-war protesters and join their movement. He said there were only protesters arguing immigration in the location UT police referred him to. So, McCarthy said, he was walking towards the other side of the Gregory Gym to look for anti-war protesters who may have been located in other areas.
In the Youtube video, it was clear that people were walking up and down the sidewalk with no intervention from police, but McCarthy, who was holding an anti-war sign, was being redirected.
McCarthy said he didn’t see a specific marker marking the end of the event’s free-speech zone. But the video shows the police officer pointing towards a specific location where protesters were to be located.
McCarthy said he’s outraged that his First Amendment rights were infringed upon on a public sidewalk, in a public street, located in a public university.
McCarthy was released on a personal recognizance bond and has been scheduled a court date. He said he’s going to “fight back,” alongside Texans for Accountable Government (TAG), in looking into the legal implications of free speech areas on college campuses and the possible violations of First Amendment rights.
TAG is a non-partisan political action committee geared towards the protection of individual liberties. TAG Director John Bush also was arrested Monday on the UT campus just after Obama’s speech. Bush is a Texas State graduate who majored in political science.
“TAG was formed with the ambition of reigning in the intrusive and expanding reach of government which threatens to invade every facet of our lives,” states the TAG website. “Our ambition is to put the reins of government back into the hands of individual American citizens; allowing us to once again run our own lives … We are dedicated to safe guarding individual liberty, protecting personal privacy and property rights, election integrity, safe water, and electing representatives, not bureaucrats, to office!”
Four city council seats are up for grabs this November, including the mayor’s chair, and the seats presently held by Councilmembers Thomaides, Kim Porterfield and Gaylord Bose.
McCarthy ran for mayor in 2008, finishing third in a three-way race with 19.8 percent, trailing election winner Susan Narvaiz and challenger David Newman.Email | Print