Pass Pass What: Former KXAN-TV reporter Brian Collister acquired Sandra Bland's cell phone video of her 2015 traffic arrest in September via an open records request – but his news director passed on the story. Collister then released the video on a Dallas station, sparking national attention and renewed investigations.
Ethics Reprimand: The city's Ethics Commission issued a letter of reprimand on May 8 to the "No on Prop J" PAC for its failure to timely report a $10,000 contribution from the Real Estate Council of Austin.
Dancing for President: On May 9, Austinite Kyle Prall pleaded guilty to mail fraud for creating fake presidential PACs purporting to support Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. Prall, who raised over $500,000, spent more than $200,000 on personal travel and expenses, including "club dances performed by entertainers."
Sid's Ruffled Feathers: U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who continues to upset right-wing lawmakers – including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller – will attend two local events this weekend, including Saturday's Iftar Dinner with Mayor Steve Adler. Miller on Tuesday urged Adler to cancel and tell Omar to "stay home."
Selena for Judge: Attorney Selena Alvarenga has announced her run for the new 460th Judicial District Court of Travis County. Hoping to be the county's "first openly gay, Latina, immigrant judge," Alvarenga has been practicing law for 23 years and was president of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in 2017.
Neighbors Against Climate Change: The Windsor Park Neighborhood Association unanimously voted to adopt a climate change resolution on May 11, making it one of the first NAs to take such a stand.
Bell for Congress? Former 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, congressman, and Houston City Council member Chris Bell is contemplating a run against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in 2020.
ABIA's New Director: Jacqueline Yaft will be the next executive director of aviation at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. With two decades of experience at hub airports, including LAX and JFK, Yaft seems well-positioned to lead our airport.