Naked City

Off the Desk

By the time Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson decided not to fight for his right to run for City Council, his campaign fundraising letters had arrived in mailboxes around the country. Henderson said the letters were mailed before it became certain that a California felony conviction in the Eighties was deep-sixing his eligibility to hold an elected office in Texas. Henderson stopped by his attorney's office Monday morning to talk over options for fighting the roadblock, but he left feeling none too upbeat about his political prospects. "I do all kinds of good things for East Austin and nobody questions that," Henderson said. "But now I want to run for office and here comes Big Brother telling me I can't run."

The former Dallas Cowboy and lawyer Tim Herman had initially considered securing a "certificate of rehabilitation" to submit to the California governor for pardon consideration, but Henderson scratched that plan, along with his goal of unseating incumbent Willie Lewis on the council. In his fundraising letter, Henderson had called on prospective supporters to help him "forge a winning campaign" to enable him to "preside over East Austin's revitalization, our environment, housing for poor and median-income families, and fairness to developers and entrepreneurs." It's that last part, about fairness to developers (read: Gary Bradley), that had Lewis' supporters (read: enviros) running scared last week. Clearly, Henderson, his well-placed friends, and his record of doing good deeds for East Austin posed a big threat to Lewis' future on the council, with or without the green bloc. Expect Henderson to boost his sideline status with his next pet project. He says he'll create an East Austin Political Action Committee...

The traditional candidates' forum fest hosted by local Democratic clubs took place Tuesday night, where state and county political hopefuls sang to the choir and then waited in the wings while the clubs hashed out their endorsement list for the March 14 primary. District 48 candidate Ann Kitchen won the support of South Austin Democrats and the South Austin Tejano Dems, but the Tejano Democrats ended up with a "no endorsement" in that race. Seems they couldn't reach a required majority vote for either Kitchen or her Democratic opponent, Mandy Dealey. In the County Court-at-Law No. 5 contest, Gisela Triana won endorsements from all three groups; her opponent is lawyer Gus Garcia Jr. All three groups also endorsed 53rd District Court candidate Scott Jenkins over attorney Susan Haney, and Austin Rep. Dawnna Dukes over Stella Roland. Next up: Candidates court the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus at a forum next Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the AFL/CIO building, 11th and Lavaca...

Leave it to that rascally Linda Curtis to come up with an acronym like RAKET. That's pronounced "racket," Curtis is quick to point out. "It stands for Reformers Appalled by Kirk's Ethical Transgressions." Curtis and her fellow Reformers are trying to rally forth some opposition in the form of a candidate to run against Mayor Kirk Watson, who is seeking a second term. She admits she's hard-pressed to find anyone. "Who wants to take on Kirk?" she asks. "He's Mr. Popular and he's got more dollars than you can count." If nothing else, Curtis wants to reopen last year's backroom water-purchasing deal between the city and the Lower Colorado River Authority. "The fact that they didn't take it to voters is outrageous," she says. Curtis, incidentally, is on the Reform Party ballot as a District 48 candidate to succeed Democrat Sherri Greenberg.

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    Texas Department of Housing and CommunityAffairs board members have begun questioning TDHCA staff guidelines for administering the agency's low-income housing tax credits, which critics say are arbitrary and too subjective.
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    Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's, an Austin-based online pharmacy, has established close ties with a "scientific" organization widely viewed as a front for its corporate underwriters.

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thomas "hollywood" henderson, tim herman, willie lewis, ann kitchen, scott jenkins, sherri greenberg, dawnna dukes, gary bradley, mandy dealey, gisela triana, gus garcia, linda curtis, kirk watson

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