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2022 Austin Elections - Mayoral and otherwise


Biff Tannen
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Figured we should probably have a thread for local elections.  

I don't know shit about anyone, other than I recognize Kirk Watson from when I grew up here.  @Bozo_Casanova @YGIFS and others with local insights, please illuminate.

 

KUT article:

https://www.kut.org/austin/2022-10-12/meet-the-six-candidate-vying-to-be-austins-next-mayor

 

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I like Kirk Watson but to each their own.  That panel format thing they had today was weird as fuck.  I was there for some permitting assistance upstairs.  They had a nice snack spread in the lobby for the mayoral deal.  I stole a deviled egg. Don’t vote for the housing bond but vote for your council district if this is their year.  Also, we’re about to get downgraded again by the agencies.  Bat signal or no bat signal, this city is turbo fucked.  Y’all be good!

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9 minutes ago, YGIFS said:

I like Kirk Watson but to each their own.  That panel format thing they had today was weird as fuck.  I was there for some permitting assistance upstairs.  They had a nice snack spread in the lobby for the mayoral deal.  I stole a deviled egg. Don’t vote for the housing bond but vote for your council district if this is their year.  Also, we’re about to get downgraded again by the agencies.  Bat signal or no bat signal, this city is turbo fucked.  Y’all be good!

The city and county have been/are getting a fuckload of money from rising property values. How the fuck can the munis be downgraded? 

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Anyone have any info on the school board candidates?
 

Obviously Toolin (for At Large) is a nut job, but what about Clint Small in District 4? He seems to have a ton of support in the neighborhood, and I like his position on the bond measure, but otherwise his website is extremely sparse/vague as to his positions. His credentials seem to be limited to the fact that his father and grandfather are much beloved and did a lot for AISD, but I’m not seeing much about anything that he has personally done in this area? I’m getting fox in the hen house vibes (which may be completely unwarranted), but would love to know if someone had more first-hand info.

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That's been my vibe on Clint Small as well - a lot of signs and zero substance. Also, some not so nice stories about his antics at Anderson football games. FWIW, Texas Democrats supports Kathryn Whitley Chu in that race.

 

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I'm between Watson and Virden. Likely to be seen by many as a weird choice.

I think the affordable housing stuff is pie in the sky. Name one popular city that has affordable housing. You get cheap housing through sprawl or low demand. Sure, you can do things that help at the edges, but the focus on affordability seems like a waste of breath to me.

I just notice a lot more that the day-to-day livability of the city continues to decline. Tons of city areas that aren't mowed. Potholes on major streets. Trash everywhere. Still no progress on homelessness after hundreds of millions and years talking about it. People constantly running red lights. Can't park your car at Mt. Bonnell without it getting broken into. Can't park at the airport without your catalytic converter being stolen.

That's the kind of stuff that I think the city can and should address to drastically improve our daily lives. 

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1 minute ago, FirstTimeCaller said:

Any word on AISD and ACC bonds? I think I heard that the AISD bonds are to avoid recapture and raise the tax rate by a penny. Don't know nothing about ACC's ask.

Please consider voting in favor of the AISD bond package.  There are a lot of aging shitty facilities in the district, and McCallum, which my daughter attends and my son will in three years, is awful and long overdue for repairs and renovations.  The kids are in classes with missing ceiling tiles, mold, and poorly functioning/nonfunctioning HVAC units.  My daughter has been to Bowie High for guitar competitions and basketball games, and every time she goes there she and her friends say, "Ooooo, this place is so nice!"

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6 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Please consider voting in favor of the AISD bond package.  There are a lot of aging shitty facilities in the district, and McCallum, which my daughter attends and my son will in three years, is awful and long overdue for repairs and renovations.  The kids are in classes with missing ceiling tiles, mold, and poorly functioning/nonfunctioning HVAC units.  My daughter has been to Bowie High for guitar competitions and basketball games, and every time she goes there she and her friends say, "Ooooo, this place is so nice!"

I figured I would. The other bonds on the ballot? Don't know much about them but likely not. I just know that AISD is getting royally screwed by recapture. 

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6 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Please consider voting in favor of the AISD bond package.  There are a lot of aging shitty facilities in the district, and McCallum, which my daughter attends and my son will in three years, is awful and long overdue for repairs and renovations.  The kids are in classes with missing ceiling tiles, mold, and poorly functioning/nonfunctioning HVAC units.  My daughter has been to Bowie High for guitar competitions and basketball games, and every time she goes there she and her friends say, "Ooooo, this place is so nice!"

On a related note, AISD would have ample money to fix infrastructure if we didn't give away over 50% other ISDs. We are supporting the BFE MAGA school districts by giving them welfare. 

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6 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

On a related note, AISD would have ample money to fix infrastructure if we didn't give away over 50% other ISDs. We are supporting the BFE MAGA school districts by giving them welfare. 

The schools out in the rural areas are fucking insane.  Liberty Hill, Bastrop, etc.  Fucking Bayside High out there.

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School funding is a fucking mess in this state. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done now or in the future to fix it except to continually raise taxes at a district level.

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I was thinking about starting a general school board thread since those can be tough if you aren't super involved, but this is as good a place as any. 

Leander ISD isn't Austin, but there are several LISD schools in the Austin city limits, and several more just outside. 

LISD Place 1 - There is no Democrat endorsed candidate running in place 1, but Mike Sanders is a well financed nutter. Vote Trish Bode

LISD Place 2 - WilCo Dems endorse Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia

LISD Place 5 - WilCo Dems endorse Sade Fashokun

LISD Place 6 - WilCo Dems endorse Francesca Romans

LISD Place 7 - WilCo Dems endorse Joseph Gorordo

All LISD Positions are At-Large, so vote for all

Vote FOR LISD Prop A&B

I can do WilCo Dems endorsements for RRISD as well, unless someone in RR wants to do them? 

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52 minutes ago, royiv said:

School funding is a fucking mess in this state. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done now or in the future to fix it except to continually raise taxes at a district level.

The issue isn't so much the taxes. It's that AISD is the biggest contributor, by a wide fucking margin, to the recapture system/Robin Hood plan. In 2022, AISD paid fucking $846,000,000 to the Robin Hood plan. AISD schools and teachers are impacted because so much fucking money is leaving AISD. We could have the best schools and teachers. Instead we have to pass a special bond for support infrastructure upkeep. Beyond fucking stupid.

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2022-07-01/aisd-balances-its-books-with-what-robin-hood-left-behind/

https://www.austinisd.org/announcements/2022/04/06/recapture-from-austin-isd-reach-nearly-800-million-2022-23-en-espanol

 

Below is the 2021 pay out.

aisd-recapture-study-02-11-22.png

 

The MAGA GOP representatives of the receiving ISDs have no problem with this welfare. In addition, I don't believe there's an oversight on who or what gets paid by the Robin Hood money. The GOP leaders of the state would like to keep it this way. Accountability and traceability are socialist ideals.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/robin-hood-tax-where-does-the-money-go/287-586662456

"Where did that money go? Into the state's general fund - run by the Texas Education Agency.

The general fund is the state's primary, education bank account. So, the $1.725 billion Robin Hood dollars, get blended in with the different sources of money in the account.

The state says, once the money is mixed, it can no longer track Robin Hood dollars. So, the state knows where the money is coming from but can't say -- exactly -- where it's going to.

In other words, while poorer districts are getting the amounts that are owed to them, based on funding formulas, the state cannot specifically say how much of that is coming from Robin Hood."

 

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Yeah, my point was that, due to recapture, the only way to fund capex is through bond sales, which in turn raise taxes to pay them off. It's a totally screwy system that will only continue to get worse as AISD loses students to suburban districts. You did a really good job of laying out the details on my bitch about how we fund schools in this state.

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5 minutes ago, royiv said:

Yeah, my point was that, due to recapture, the only way to fund capex is through bond sales, which in turn raise taxes to pay them off. It's a totally screwy system that will only continue to get worse as AISD loses students to suburban districts. You did a really good job of laying out the details on my bitch about how we fund schools in this state.

Gotcha. You're right, we are getting taxed twice, so to speak. I support a well educated populace. But yea, paying twice does suck.

Wouldn't be so bad if our state leaders weren't such a fucking idiot brand of hypocrite whores.

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I'll vote for Watson, but I'm not particularly enthusiastic about it.

I think I might vote against Page Ellis for my council district.  I mean, her opponent is a right-wing loon.  But Page is useless.

Definitely vote against the City's Prop A.  That's just a bullshit subsidy for developers to maintain Central Austin's preferred zoning, while not actually doing anything for affordability.  But it will cost us $300M (going back to our bond rating).

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52 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

The issue isn't so much the taxes. It's that AISD is the biggest contributor, by a wide fucking margin, to the recapture system/Robin Hood plan. In 2022, AISD paid fucking $846,000,000 to the Robin Hood plan. AISD schools and teachers are impacted because so much fucking money is leaving AISD. We could have the best schools and teachers. Instead we have to pass a special bond for support infrastructure upkeep. Beyond fucking stupid.

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2022-07-01/aisd-balances-its-books-with-what-robin-hood-left-behind/

https://www.austinisd.org/announcements/2022/04/06/recapture-from-austin-isd-reach-nearly-800-million-2022-23-en-espanol

 

Below is the 2021 pay out.

aisd-recapture-study-02-11-22.png

 

The MAGA GOP representatives of the receiving ISDs have no problem with this welfare. In addition, I don't believe there's an oversight on who or what gets paid by the Robin Hood money. The GOP leaders of the state would like to keep it this way. Accountability and traceability are socialist ideals.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/robin-hood-tax-where-does-the-money-go/287-586662456

"Where did that money go? Into the state's general fund - run by the Texas Education Agency.

The general fund is the state's primary, education bank account. So, the $1.725 billion Robin Hood dollars, get blended in with the different sources of money in the account.

The state says, once the money is mixed, it can no longer track Robin Hood dollars. So, the state knows where the money is coming from but can't say -- exactly -- where it's going to.

In other words, while poorer districts are getting the amounts that are owed to them, based on funding formulas, the state cannot specifically say how much of that is coming from Robin Hood."

 

What in the mother fuck with those amounts?  How?  

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20 minutes ago, Biff Tannen said:

What in the mother fuck with those amounts?  How?  

As we know, we have sky-high property taxes in Austin, but the State's per-student funding allotment is way too fucking low. The State is abdicating its (state) constitutional duty to educate the kids here, and passing it off entirely to counties. Then once that low per-student funding rate is met with property tax money, the state drags the leftover funds around and eventually to its own coffers with zero accountability. It's a fucking scam and should be illegal. AISD seems to have capitulated to the idea that the legislature will never do anything that helps Austin specifically (probably right), and we are by far the biggest funder of education across the state. So the push is to get the lege to increase the per-student funding so we can at least keep some more of our own desperately needed money to help our shambolic district.

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1 hour ago, crash_davis said:

The issue isn't so much the taxes. It's that AISD is the biggest contributor, by a wide fucking margin, to the recapture system/Robin Hood plan. In 2022, AISD paid fucking $846,000,000 to the Robin Hood plan. AISD schools and teachers are impacted because so much fucking money is leaving AISD. We could have the best schools and teachers. Instead we have to pass a special bond for support infrastructure upkeep. Beyond fucking stupid.

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2022-07-01/aisd-balances-its-books-with-what-robin-hood-left-behind/

https://www.austinisd.org/announcements/2022/04/06/recapture-from-austin-isd-reach-nearly-800-million-2022-23-en-espanol

 

Below is the 2021 pay out.

aisd-recapture-study-02-11-22.png

 

The MAGA GOP representatives of the receiving ISDs have no problem with this welfare. In addition, I don't believe there's an oversight on who or what gets paid by the Robin Hood money. The GOP leaders of the state would like to keep it this way. Accountability and traceability are socialist ideals.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/robin-hood-tax-where-does-the-money-go/287-586662456

"Where did that money go? Into the state's general fund - run by the Texas Education Agency.

The general fund is the state's primary, education bank account. So, the $1.725 billion Robin Hood dollars, get blended in with the different sources of money in the account.

The state says, once the money is mixed, it can no longer track Robin Hood dollars. So, the state knows where the money is coming from but can't say -- exactly -- where it's going to.

In other words, while poorer districts are getting the amounts that are owed to them, based on funding formulas, the state cannot specifically say how much of that is coming from Robin Hood."

 

There is such an easy answer here that our legislature will never allow for Austin. Cap it.  Cap it at $400m if you want.  It gives Austin plenty to work with while still being the biggest contributor.   Don’t know that Goeb would ever agree though. But not sure any statewide person would.  Still. It’s ridiculous the disparity and the cost to Austin. 

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29 minutes ago, A-Tex Devil said:

There is such an easy answer here that our legislature will never allow for Austin. Cap it.  Cap it at $400m if you want.  It gives Austin plenty to work with while still being the biggest contributor.   Don’t know that Goeb would ever agree though. But not sure any statewide person would.  Still. It’s ridiculous the disparity and the cost to Austin. 

"Welfare for me, but not for thee." I'm sure the MAGA state reps will say that quote is in the Bible.

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I had no idea the disparity between us and the other big cities was so big.  That's absurd and complete horseshit.  I don't even have kids, but I'm happy to help pitch in to educate others, to a reasonable extent.  That is not reasonable.

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ACC wants $770 million for two new campuses? Dafuq? Don't they have enough campuses?

https://www.kut.org/education/2022-10-19/austin-community-college-has-a-770-million-bond-on-the-ballot-this-election-heres-whats-in-it

Reading through the ballot language, it also seems like a blank check. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_sKQBNfNXG95HNfADGtRDb78qF0AOduiuwuPcfwvU1Y/edit

"WHICH BONDS MAY BE ISSUED IN VARIOUS SERIES OR ISSUES, MAY BE SOLD AT ANY PRICE OR PRICES, SHALL MATURE SERIALLY OR OTHERWISE NOT MORE THAN FORTY (40) YEARS FROM THEIR DATE OR DATES AND BEAR INTEREST AT SUCH RATE OR RATES (FIXED, VARIABLE, FLOATING, ADJUSTABLE OR OTHERWISE) AS SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD WITHIN ITS DISCRETION AT THE TIME OF ISSUANCE, BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE MAXIMUM RATE NOW OR HEREAFTER AUTHORIZED BY LAW;"

"PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT SAID BOND TAX SHALL NEVER EXCEED FIFTY CENTS ($0.50) ON EACH ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100) OF ASSESSED VALUATION OF TAXABLE PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT"

50 cents? On a $600,000 valuation, that's $3K a year. That's the max, but it doesn't say what it will actually be. 


I've never heard of a place like Austin that has no qualms about constantly asking voters for more, more more. How is that Project Connect budget looking these days? 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, FirstTimeCaller said:

"PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT SAID BOND TAX SHALL NEVER EXCEED FIFTY CENTS ($0.50) ON EACH ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100) OF ASSESSED VALUATION OF TAXABLE PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT"

50 cents? On a $600,000 valuation, that's $3K a year. That's the max, but it doesn't say what it will actually be. 

Yeah, that seems bad.

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variable rate bonds in a rising interest rate market with a credit downgrade coming to buy unidentified lands in a rising property cost environment for in-person instruction in a time where community colleges are adapting faster to hybrid/online learning models, all during self-admitted "uncertain construction cost projections"?  With ACC full-time, in-person instruction students and faculty on the decline in terms of real numbers?  

WHAT THE FUCK COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?  The irony of course being one of the new courses offered at this new facility will cover the 2008 real estate bubble?

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5 hours ago, dieucla98 said:

That's been my vibe on Clint Small as well - a lot of signs and zero substance. Also, some not so nice stories about his antics at Anderson football games. FWIW, Texas Democrats supports Kathryn Whitley Chu in that race.

 

Yep, some real RED flags with him. One of his big supporters/defenders has Trump boat parade stuff all over her page. He proposes a new system of review for library books, not explaining what is wrong with the procedure now where librarians are in charge. Ragey stuff directed towards kids at the football games. No demonstrated familiarity with district issues outside his kids' west Austin vertical team. My conclusion: stealth MAGA candidate. 

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Does anyone know a good place to look for info on the RRISD board elections? I’ve done some googling and I think I’ve identified who not to vote for, but there’s 3-4 candidates for most seats. The gqp candidates to vote against are Keagy, Salinas, Farris, Slape, and Zimmerman in case anyone else is wondering 

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21 hours ago, ChuckNorrisActionJeans said:

Yep, some real RED flags with him. One of his big supporters/defenders has Trump boat parade stuff all over her page. He proposes a new system of review for library books, not explaining what is wrong with the procedure now where librarians are in charge. Ragey stuff directed towards kids at the football games. No demonstrated familiarity with district issues outside his kids' west Austin vertical team. My conclusion: stealth MAGA candidate. 

Gracias. That’s what I’ve been thinking

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On 10/19/2022 at 1:36 PM, FirstTimeCaller said:

Thing is, I think RH is a good idea in general. But the amounts being siphoned off are obscene.

Definitely true. And the formula is jacked up as well. Pflugerville ISD is considered a rich district that has to pay money back to the state, but two out of its four high schools are Title 1 (large percentage of kids on free/reduced lunch). Makes no sense.

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Just watched the LWV mayor forum at city hall. Yeah, it's Watson for me.

I actually think that Virden's focus on a number issues that have a real impact on day-to-day living in the city is nice, but seems obvious that she's out of her league trying to be mayor.

Also, Project Connect still makes me ragey. How much have we already spent without a shovel hitting the ground? And the projections have just soared? Boon. Doggle.

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5 hours ago, YGIFS said:

I certainly hope they at least baked you a pie when they brought over that lovely letter.

Is that yours IRL or just a cut 'n paste from social media?  

found on Austin subreddit. I'd hunt down that asshole or Karen who left that in the mailbox.

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19 hours ago, Hammerin Hank said:

Does anyone know a good place to look for info on the RRISD board elections? I’ve done some googling and I think I’ve identified who not to vote for, but there’s 3-4 candidates for most seats. The gqp candidates to vote against are Keagy, Salinas, Farris, Slape, and Zimmerman in case anyone else is wondering 

WilCo Dems endorse the following:

Place 1: Chuy Zarate

Place 4: Alicia Markum

Place 6: Tiffanie Harrison

At-Large Positions, vote for all. 

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15 hours ago, FirstTimeCaller said:

Just watched the LWV mayor forum at city hall. Yeah, it's Watson for me.

I actually think that Virden's focus on a number issues that have a real impact on day-to-day living in the city is nice, but seems obvious that she's out of her league trying to be mayor.

Also, Project Connect still makes me ragey. How much have we already spent without a shovel hitting the ground? And the projections have just soared? Boon. Doggle.

And the Project Connect bullshit was so completely predictable, too.  I appreciate that people in Austin want to do something about mobility.  But I wouldn't put Capital Metro in charge of a three-book library in Wynona.

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1 minute ago, Ghost of LL said:

And the Project Connect bullshit was so completely predictable, too.  I appreciate that people in Austin want to do something about mobility.  But I wouldn't put Capital Metro in charge of a three-book library in Wynona.

Yep. 

God I can't wait to see Adler leaving office. I only wish that some of the CC nutcases would go with him. 

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On 10/19/2022 at 12:56 PM, Ghost of LL said:

I think I might vote against Page Ellis for my council district.  I mean, her opponent is a right-wing loon.  But Page is useless.

Yeah, there is no better description for Ellis. But she will win and it likely won't be close. 

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16 hours ago, FirstTimeCaller said:

Also, Project Connect still makes me ragey. How much have we already spent without a shovel hitting the ground? And the projections have just soared? Boon. Doggle.

It looks like they've done some bullshit little projects around my neighbor hood off Shoal Creek and Hancock and Koenig and Burnet (currently in progress).  But it looks like Mickey Mouse crap that isn't making any difference in traffic, and I'm not even sure if it's part of Project Connect.

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that link ain't working.  Let's see if this one does:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressClubFiles/334869/documents/VotersGuide-English_1941450139.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIA6MYUE6DNNNCCDT4J&Expires=1666789883&response-content-disposition=inline%3B filename%3DVotersGuide-English.pdf&Signature=Th8kg7vgUl1fiTx51oWXV2pTXwE%3D

Also, where the cuss did Travis County hide the sample ballot specific to your street address?  It was the easiest tool to use so you didn't have to scroll past 50 races that had nothing to do with your area.  Wouldn't be surprised if the Sec. of State made counties do away with those for "more uniformity" or some bullshit.  I was trying to find one Monday and again this morning for my wife and it's gone.  You can get the generic sample ballot for Travis Co. but it's literally 64 pages long.

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