SAN ANTONIO — The president of the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association was silent as members of the media peppered him with questions about a secret recording leaked by his political nemesis.
"At its core, this has always been a shell game," Christian Archer said.
Archer is the campaign manager for City of San Antonio backed political action committee, GoVoteNo.
"It's important to know that's his words," Archer said.
According to Archer, a firefighter recorded firefighter union president Chris Steele talking strategy to take on and take over city hall all the way up the mayor's office. Archer said there are a total of four recordings.
The first is a 49-second audio clip which is mostly about strengthening the union's power at the table with San Antonio.
"This is really a campaign but it also a lobbying tactic to get City Council to back up three things," Steele said in the recording.
Steele's next statement then brings in former public safety consultant and current city councilman Greg Brockhouse.
"The third thing is to set up where (in) May 2019 we can put our own guy in the mayor's office which would be Greg Brockhouse in the mayor's office."
Brockhouse said this is GoVoteNo's attempt to deflect the fact of Vote Yes to personal attacks on the union president.
"This is about giving the public a right to vote," Brockhouse said. "What we're seeing from Ron Nirenberg and the GoVoteNo campaign are personal attacks, right? We're seeing Washing style politics play itself out in San Antonio."
Archer who will release the three other recordings said this is a union power grab. He played an unreleased recording where Steele can be heard naming off five council members who support the union.
"He is lining out exactly what he wants behind this campaign," Archer said. "And it has nothing to do with the real people or the future of the city. It's a self-interested campaign."
Steele sent out a media advisory just after 9 am Thursday. The advisory said he'd make an important announcement. Instead of breaking news, Steele reviewed the talking points of Vote Yes and its propositions: A, B, and C.
He was flanked by supporters who took shots at GoVoteNo, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and City Manager Sheryl Sculley's salary. Steele stood silently as media members asked him about the recording and Brockhouse.
To conclude the news conference Steele broke his silence.
"This is about elections. This is about Nov 6. We're going to stay focused on that," Steele said. "We're going to stay focused on educating the people. The firefighters will continue to take the high road."