One Sneaky Grandma

The story behind Carole Keeton Strayhorn's election eve phone call

Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Carole Keeton Strayhorn

What's in a name, or name ID? When running for mayor, quite a bit.

On election eve, a wide swath of Austin voters received a get-out-the-vote campaign robocall from Carole Keeton Rylander ... whatever ... Strayhorn. In the prerecorded call, Strayhorn cleverly repeated her name five times, in its various incarnations. Observ­ant voters will recall that Strayhorn is considering a run for Austin mayor next May. She used the robocall message to drive home her name identity – all before it's legal to announce a mayoral candidacy or start spending campaign funds.

The full text of the robocall:

"This is Carole Keeton Strayhorn, talking about tomorrow's election. As Austin's mayor, I was Carole Keeton McClellan. As Texas railroad commissioner, Carole Keeton Rylander. As your Texas comptroller, Carole Keeton Strayhorn. My last name has changed a few times. But my commitment to voting and ensuring your freedom has never changed. If you have questions about how to vote, call me at 477-VOTE. That's 4-7-7-V-O-T-E. This is one tough grandma, Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Please make sure you vote tomorrow. Thank ya so much!"

De nada, CKRMS. As for those campaign funds, that's yet another question. As Wells Dunbar reported in "City Hall Hustle," Sept. 26, Strayhorn's "political action committee, Friends of Carole Keeton Strayhorn, has more than $100,000 in contributions, a formidable war chest for a local race." But that same week, City Council enacted a new campaign finance ordinance, prohibiting the "reuse of funds raised elsewhere for a city election." Council Member Mike Martinez acknowledged that Strayhorn's potential plans did come up in the council discussion, but the primary purpose was "to make sure we tightened up every loophole we could."

Looks like Grandma found another one – you can spend at least some of that money not running for mayor and just doing your civic duty. By name.

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More Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Carole's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
Carole's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
'Now, That's What I Call Opportunism!'

Wells Dunbar, April 24, 2009

City Hall Hustle: The Return of <strike>Jason</strike> Carole
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Grandma the budget slasher

Wells Dunbar, Jan. 16, 2009

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election, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Mike Martinez

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