• So are we broke or not? In his emergency items request to legislators on Feb. 3, Gov. Rick Perry asked for extra cash and legislation for hurricane reconstruction and insurance reform, state schools, and screening equipment for prisons.
• Closer to home, City Council candidate Rick Cofer exited the Place 1 race last week, leaving Chris Riley and Perla Cavazos to duke it out. "City Hall Hustle," p.16, has the details.
• The mayoral race continues apace, and this Saturday brings two campaign office openings: Lee Leffingwell's shindig runs from 2 to 4pm, at 700 N. Lamar, while Brewster McCracken's office party starts at 4pm in the Village Shopping Center (2700 W. Anderson #901).
• The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is suing the Texas Department of Public Safety for new regulations that make it harder for foreign workers with a valid visa to get a driver's license.
• A Minneapolis federal jury announced it was deadlocked in the trial of Austinite David McKay, accused of making and possessing Molotov cocktails with the intent of disrupting the 2008 Republican National Convention. McKay's free on bond; the feds will retry the case. See "Mistrial, Retrial for McKay."
• After published worries that it wouldn't make good, Thomas Properties Group coughed up $18 million in property taxes this week. The group owns the Frost Bank building, 300 W. Sixth, and several other posh offices; the payment was in question due to TPG's involvement with bankrupt Lehman Brothers.
• Quick reminder to take immediate action if you smell natural gas: A house blew up in Hyde Park on Feb. 2 following a gas leak. The family escaped just before the blast, and there were no serious injuries.
Quote of the Week
"Any of us would be better than Dunbar."
– Former congressional candidate Lorenzo Sadun, discussing potential Democratic opponents to District 10 State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar, who recently warned of President Barack Obama's plans to impose martial law