AUSTIN, Texas - A profanity-laced phone call between an Austin City Council member and the chairman of the Travis County Republican Party is circulating online.
Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly (District 6) said she was threatened and bullied by chairman Matt Mackowiak and she thinks the party should consider changing leadership.
Kelly said her advisor suggested she record the call after a previous call between the two had turned threatening. The conversation was regarding a disagreement between Kelly and the group Save Austin Now about what lead to a homeless camp cleanup.
"You have one chance. Come downstairs, take us into your office and be an adult," Mackowiak can be heard saying on the call.
"One chance for what Matt? because that sounds like a threat to me," Kelly responds. "We are totally done with you," Mackowiak replies.
Later on in the audio Mackowiak can be heard saying, "You don’t forget who your friends are, Mackenzie. You don’t forget who put you where you are."
The call obtained by FOX 7 Austin led the vice chair of the Texas Republican Party to call the Travis County GOP chair’s words misogynistic and antagonistic.
Kelly says she felt threatened as profanity was hurled her way. "I believe that, as an elected official and a woman, I was completely treated with utter disrespect and, absolutely, I was being bullied. The phone call speaks for itself," Kelly said.
Mackowiak, also a co-founder of the group Save Austin Now, which helped collect petitions to get the Prop B camping ban on the ballot in May, has said this about the call:
"…We will keep private conversations private. We hope Councilmember Kelly will publicly support Prop A to ensure adequate police staffing."
Save Austin Now leaders helped promote Kelly’s campaign, as the self-proclaimed conservative council candidate said she supported Prop B and increased police staffing.
"I will always continue to support the efforts of Prop B and Save Austin Now, but that doesn’t mean that I have to support the way that their leaders attack and belittle people who disagree," said Kelly.
Kelly said she hopes to continue working with the Travis County GOP, but believes the party should make some changes if their leader is speaking that way to elected officials.
"If the leadership acts like this in anyway, then obviously it needs to be changed. That doesn’t stand for any values in the political system at all, whatsoever," said Kelly.
Kelly claims she released the audio only because she knew Save Austin Now leaders had already been circulating it to GOP officials. When it comes to Prop A, Kelly said she is still looking into the impact it could have on taxes.