City Hall Hustle: High Times at the Hunker A-Go-Go

Campaign antics are a good way to kill time in the mayor's race

Lee Leffingwell (l) and Brewster McCracken
Lee Leffingwell (l) and Brewster McCracken (Photo by Jana Birchum)

With apologies to Matt Groening, here are this election campaign's forbidden words: "Tough Times." "Renewable." "The Crow's Nest." "In It for You." And of course, "Hunker Down."

While it certainly ain't the Rumble in the Jungle, this week's theme was the Hunker in the Bunker. (Or as commenters at Burnt Orange Report rang the changes, to alternately "funker down," "dunker down," or "crunker down.")

The bickering began (calling it a "kerfuffle" suggests too much gravitas) when the Brewster McCracken camp threw up a YouTube clip called "Hunker Down," a greatest-hits compilation of Lee Leffingwell's public appearances advocating that very course during the downturn. For background music, BMc spokesman Colin Rowan used the song "Hunker Down" by Florida artist Captain Josh (found in a quick perusal of iTunes). The video was up briefly before the Leffingwell camp discovered it, contacted Josh Ramsteck (Captain Josh), and made a stink out of it. Rowan owned up to the mistake, and the campaign pulled the video, saying it was planning to do so anyway, as the joke had run its course. But the Leffingwell crew will host Captain Josh for a Lee rally, as CJ had previously scheduled Central Texas dates before Hunkergate erupted.

Advantage: no one. Don't you people have better things to do?

The intellectual property altercation, however minor, does mark an inauspicious start for McCracken's new bout of messaging, as he marshaled several Austin musicians (such as Jon Dee Graham and Sara Hickman) and club owners (Momo's Paul Oveisi and Mohawk's James Moody) Wednesday to endorse him in a presser at the ME Television studios. McCracken further burnishes his hipster credentials with a "guest bartender" spot at Mohawk, ratcheting up his plans to make up for his lack of established group endorsements with ad hoc coalitions of players in exciting fields like music, film, and tech.

Speaking of which, Mohawk is hosting this joint's first-ever mayoral forum. The Austin Chronicle presents the Hustle for Mayor, at Mohawk on Tuesday, April 21, at 7pm. Mark your calendars!

Upcoming Forums

AUSTIN HOTEL & LODGING FORUM

Friday, April 3, 2pm. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos.

URBAN IS CORE AUSTIN SUPER FORUM (Austin Parks Foundation, Downtown Austin Alliance, Austinist.com, and others)

Saturday, April 4, 10am. St. David's Episcopal Church, 304 E. Seventh.

REPUBLICAN PARTY CANDIDATE FORUM

Tuesday, April 7, 11:30am. Green Pastures, 811 W. Live Oak.

LULAC CANDIDATE FORUM

Tuesday, April 7, 6:30pm. Metz Elementary, 84 Robert T. Martinez Jr. St.

AUSTIN WOMEN'S POLITICAL CAUCUS

Wednesday, April 8, 5:30pm. Commissioners Courtroom, Travis Co. Administration Building, 314 W. 11th.

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS CANDIDATE FORUM

Wednesday, April 8, 6pm. Austin Center for Architecture, 801 W. 12th.

AUSTIN AREA HUMAN SERVICES ASSOCIATION

Thursday, April 9, 11:30am. Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St.

COMBINED ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM

Thursday, April 9, 5:30pm. Council Chambers, City Hall, 301 W. Second.

YOUNG EXECUTIVES OF AUSTIN

Thursday, April 9, 7pm. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

election, City Council, Brewster McCracken, Lee Leffingwell

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