WHY GARY BRADLEY IS A MENACE TO BARTON SPRINGS AND THE EDWARDS AQUIFER
Science demonstrates that pollution of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer that feeds it is an inevitable result of development over the Aquifer. Since the early 1980’s Bradley has been relentlessly seeking to develop over the Aquifer and to fight any attempts by the City of Austin or others to control development over the Aquifer. Corporations he controls appear to still own undeveloped land in the Barton Springs Recharge Zone. His Circle C development in the Barton Springs Recharge Zone was the recipient of the loans which Bradley now seeks to avoid through bankruptcy.
Bradley has survived years of questionable business dealings with charm, shamelessness, sheer audacity, and a willingness to share his ill-gotten gains with the politically powerful. What sets him apart from your average, run-of-the-mill, everyday watershed developer is his work ethic and tenacity. He has been spectacularly successful with divide-and-conquer strategies. Through his personal control of Circle C Homeowners' Association officers, Bradley has consistently pitted neighborhood representatives against environmentalists. He even managed to convince a majority of Circle C voters to oppose preserve acquisition funds to buy green-space adjacent to and within Circle C – greenspace which would directly enhance the property values and quality of life within Circle C.
After citizens by referendum forced the City of Austin to adopt the SOS Ordinance to protect Barton Springs by controlling development, Gary Bradley got his friends in the Texas Legislature to enact laws nullifying the SOS Ordinance. His threats of going to the Legislature or filing suit against the City of Austin have enabled him to cut special deals with the City of Austin in the year 2000, giving him the right to develop a golf-course resort over the Aquifer.
Why would a guy like Bradley be able to wield such malevolent influence over state government and be able to claim current Republican Governor Rick Perry and former Democratic Governor Ann Richards as friends? During the period when the Legislature was enacting Bradley’s legislation to prevent Austin from regulating development over the Aquifer, Bradley made it possible for Rick Perry to acquire 60 acres of property over the Aquifer at a price that enabled Perry to make an 80% profit by reselling it three years later. Immediately before filing bankruptcy, Bradley gave $10,000 in political donations to Perry and to the next Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbot. He also gave to a Democratic Party PAC. (Bradley’s accountant fared better, receiving more than $57,000 in pre-bankruptcy gifts, including an engagement ring.)
If the damage done by Bradley were all in the past, there would be no need for this website. Unfortunately Bradley continues to wreak untold damage on the Austin community, the State of Texas, and the nation. Bradley’s Austin-bashing bills have so successfully cowed the Austin City Council that they now often refuse to take decisive action to protect the Aquifer for fear of what Bradley and his allies will do at the next legislative session. A consummate hustler, Bradley’s forte is gaining the confidence of those who can most enrich his “business partners.” His recent push to fast-track the construction of a highway link between the southern end of MoPac and Interstate 35 would, if built, instantly convert MoPac from a local commuter highway into a regional bypass. MoPac commuters and neighborhoods all along the MoPac Corridor would suffer greatly. The connector road—known as SH 45 South—would also create intense development pressure in the recharge and contributing watersheds of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer. The Aquifer and Barton Springs are already polluted in part due to Bradley’s past development activities, including most notably the extension of South MoPac and the Circle C development.