You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Herman: Council candidate Laura Pressley feels the vibrations

I don’t know much about Austin City Council candidate Greg Casar. But I know enough to know he’s probably a better man than I. That’s because he’s not doing something I probably couldn’t resist doing.

He’s not saying much about some curious things his foe Laura Pressley has said.

Casar ran first and Pressley second in the District 4 race, advancing to the Dec. 16 runoff.

“I have worked as hard as I can to keep talking about the issues that my district cares about,” Casar told me when I asked about some Pressley comments.

So nothing about her beliefs about explosives inside the World Trade Center and how wireless devices make her twitch?

“I’ve heard from voters that they have their concerns about it,” Casar said. “Many of her views are outside of the mainstream.”

Pressley has been an effective leader in the anti-smart-meter movement of folks who believe interactive electric meters used by Austin Energy and other utilities emit dangerous signals. She’s also concerned about other wireless devices.

I’ll present this as even-handedly as possible, starting with her November 2013 appearance on Alex Jones’ “InfoWars” show. (Kudos to the Austin Chronicle and Austin Monitor for bringing this to their readers’ attention in October. And it was not my newspaper’s finest moment when its initial endorsement of Pressley was rescinded in the wake of other news outlets’ reporting about her comments.)

To some, Jones is the only person telling the truth about government gone wild. To others, he’s a supercaffeinated paranoid nutball. Our planet is large enough for both schools of thought. I’m more aligned with the one that thinks he ought to occasionally consider the decaf option.

“Good to see you again,” Jones told Pressley before she told of how her and her husband’s legs “would twitch, just kind of kick and twitch” as they tried to fall asleep. They determined the twitching came at 25-second intervals. They joked about it, “but it got so bad I could feel my face kind of vibrate every 25 seconds.”

The twitching stopped when the smart meter’s pulsing, which occurred at 25-second intervals, was deactivated, an outcome that led to her successful mission to get Austin Energy to allow customers to opt out of smart meters.

Jones, referring to another Pressley cause, said, “Isn’t this just like fluoride? They knew the Soviets and Nazis used it to control people. … And now they’re doing this to us. This is population reduction.”

Agreeing to appear on Jones’ show tells you something about a candidate.

Smart meters and other wireless devices contribute to a variety of health woes, Pressley said.

I’ll yield to her claimed expertise on this. She’s got a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics. I graduated (with honors) from a community college and my only advanced degree is the B.A. I added to my A.A. She sent me a long list of studies supporting her beliefs. I’ll email it to anyone who wants it.

Jones wrapped up the show by congratulating Pressley for her work against smart meters. “This is a major victory against the globalists, and we’re going to continue,” he said. “We’re on the march. The globalists, the eugenicists, the anti-human new world order, they are in deep trouble. They’re on the run. Doc, thank you so much for coming on with us.”

Pressley has repeated her story in other forums, including a Texas Senate committee last year and Sheila Zilinsky’s “The Weekend Vigilante Show” this year. On that show she voiced concerns about radiation from cell towers, smartphones and cordless phones.

She recalled a stay at a bed and breakfast at which she asked the owner, “Could you please turn off your cordless phone because I’m very sensitive to this type of radiation and stuff?”

“And she thought I was a little crazy, of course. But she agreed to do it. So when I was getting ready for bed I just went to check to see if she had done it, and she had forgotten,” Pressley said. “So I went ahead and unplugged them myself. And so about 6 o’clock in the morning I could feel — my body could feel — that she turned them back on. … So I went down to breakfast at the bed and breakfast and I asked her, I said, ‘Well, thank you for letting me turn them off.’ And I said, ‘I woke up this morning and it felt like you turned them back on about 6 in the morning.’ And she said, ‘I turned them on at 6:05.’ ”

“Wow,” Zilinski said.

“No kidding,” Pressley said, laughing. “For some reason I have this gift — I don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse — that I can feel these things. And I can be near someone with an iPad and I can start to feel my body starts to vibrate. And I will ask them to turn it off because it’s just a lot of radiation.”

In an email referring to her beliefs about smart meters, Pressley told me she’s “not sure why this is a topic of interest right now, given we sent out press releases to the Statesman a year ago on the subject.”

“With all due respect, these topics are old news and not related to our current campaign,” she wrote, listing corporate subsidies, property taxes, utility rates, crime and traffic as the issues of importance.

She is correct about the issues, and Casar also seems intent on sticking to them.

But, for better or worse, a candidacy is about more than issues. Sometimes it’s about the vibrations voters get from candidates.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

THE FINAL FIVE: San Marcos city manager finalists are named
THE FINAL FIVE: San Marcos city manager finalists are named

The national search for San Marcos’ next city manager has produced five finalists — four of them relatively close to home. Strategic Government Resources, a firm hired to help the city with a nationwide search, received 55 applications from candidates in 21 states to succeed Jared Miller, who stepped down in January to become city...
EXCLUSIVE: Contract reveals final terms for Plaza Saltillo deal
EXCLUSIVE: Contract reveals final terms for Plaza Saltillo deal

Capital Metro would receive almost $19 million in rent over the first decade of what will be a century-long lease of the Plaza Saltillo tract in East Austin, according to a 400-page agreement the agency released to the American-Statesman this week under an open records request. The transit agency, which has owned the former rail yard just east of Interstate...
Man gets 40 years for Cedar Park break-in, assault attempt
Man gets 40 years for Cedar Park break-in, assault attempt

A man accused of trying to sexually assault a Cedar Park woman in a shower after breaking into her home in 2015 received two 40-year sentences Wednesday. Clarence Alexander Richardson, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit sexual assault, according to a plea agreement. District Judge Donna King sentenced...
Suitcase found in storage unit could lead to 99 years in prison
Suitcase found in storage unit could lead to 99 years in prison

A man who lost his storage unit in Round Rock after not paying rent on it left behind notebooks that could lead to him spending up to 99 years in prison, according to an arrest affidavit. Ryan Dene Kyle, 32, of Pflugerville, was charged Wednesday with fraudulent possession of identifying information, a first-degree felony. The notebooks were filled...
BREAKING: Austin police make third arrest in rape case involving group of women
BREAKING: Austin police make third arrest in rape case involving group of women

Austin police have arrested a third man accused of robbing and raping a group of women who sought to buy marijuana from them, Austin police officials confirmed Thursday.  Emmanuel Grear, 20, is now in custody. A fourth suspect is still at large, officials said.  Grear was arrested in Corpus Christi, acording to a report from KVUE-TV...
More Stories