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McCracken campaign’s oversight noticed

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 by Austin Monitor

While Council Member Lee Leffingwell has courted, and won, the labor and Democratic clubs that make up a large part of activist voters in city elections, his chief rival in this year’s Mayor’s race, Council Member Brewster McCracken, has spent his time energizing groups not traditionally involved in city politics—techies, film buffs, green energy entrepreneurs.


But just as McCracken was getting ready to roll out a list of musicians in support of his campaign this week, the Leffingwell campaign accused McCracken of undermining his message by his own actions. Late last week, the McCracken campaign posted a video on featuring comments made by the two candidates relating to the economy, with original music from rocker Captain Josh of Orlando, FL.


But the McCracken team failed to secure permission from Captain Josh, whose real name is Josh Ramstek, to use his song “Hunker Down” as background for the video. (The point the McCracken team was trying to make was that Leffingwell wants the city to “hunker down” while McCracken offers bold leadership to take the city higher in its quest for economic growth.)


Leffingwell consultant Mark Nathan sent out a press release Monday about McCracken’s oversight, with angry comments by Ramstek. In fact, after Nathan contacted the musician, he agreed to play a concert at the Leffingwell campaign headquarters on Monday, May 4. He added the date to his tour of southern Louisiana and Texas.


But when In Fact Daily called Ramstek, he said he was not really angry. “If you know the parties involved, you know more than I do,” he said. “It’s just a business matter.” Ramstek said he had approved the comments attributed to him, but that his attorney was talking to the McCracken campaign to work out some payment for the short-term use of his song.


McCracken’s consultant Colin Rowan told In Fact Daily it was his fault. “We should have asked permission. (Ramstek) assured me he’s not angry and we regret the error,” he said.


Later in the day, Rowan sent out a link to a new director’s cut of the video, which comes without “the awesome soundtrack by Captain Josh. But folks have been asking to see the video and when I called Captain Josh this morning and found out that he WASN’T mad and DIDN’T know he’d be in Lee’s press release, I told him we wouldn’t repost. So we cut this down to the bare minimum. Just Brewster and Lee, in their own words.”

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