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Mayoral rap skills on display at Hustle forum

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 by Jacob Cottingham

Perhaps what mayoral forums need is more Hustle. What could have been a record crowd for this campaign season packed into the Mohawk bar to watch a forum like no other last night. This forum did not feature any fringe candidates and allowed frontrunners Lee Leffingwell and Brewster McCracken to show off a little personality for a younger demographic that clearly understood the economic value of $1 beers. Host/moderator/MC Wells Dunbar of the Austin Chronicle managed to walk a fine line between humor and intelligence and upstaged more serious moderators by throwing in a few unexpected twists.


According to the “vote with your liver” beer sales – pitting Leffingwell Lonestars against McCracken Millers – the elder statesman came out ahead with 248 16- oz. cans besting 151 stadium-style plastic Miller Lite bottles. History will have to be the judge in what must have been the first ever candidate rhyme-off.


Space constraints preclude repeating the entire rap battle but here are some snippets. From Leffingwell, “I run five miles every day before dawn / I better not catch you over-watering your lawn.” Brewster, as relayed on his blog, has been listening to more Miley Cyrus than 2Pac and his rhyming showed. “We’re different in Austin, we’ve seen this before / in the 80s we reinvented ourselves, we can do it once more / it won’t happen by accident it takes vision and will / and no, I don’t have an older brother named Phil.” Leffingwell responded, “My campaign is lean, it’s mean and it’s green / that’s why they call it a political machine!”


McCracken then arguably made rap history by apologizing before he beginning his “dis” rap. “Hunker down, hunker down it’s no walk in the clover / in fact, according to Lee it means to bend over.”


Leffingwell, to growing shouts of “LL! LL!” from the crowd, threw down the gauntlet to the missing Carole Keeton Strayhorn. “She’s all hat and no cattle / she ain’t got no game / she goes by Carole cause she can’t keep up with her last name.  Afterwards, Leffingwell conceded that he did get “a little help” with his rap skills.


Both candidates seemed pleasantly bewildered by the end. “It was the most fun I’ve had at any forum yet,” McCracken told In Fact Daily.


Another mayoral candidate Josiah Ingalls was allotted two minutes to speak. “I’m also a candidate for mayor, but I wasn’t invited — so I decided to crash the party,” he said to a round of drunken cheers. Another uninvited guest had pamphlets and papers distributed reading “Don’t be Hustled by the Austin Chronicle” further detailing how the Chronicle didn’t want the assembled to hear candidate David Buttross’ message.


Dunbar had a few yes-or-no questions for the candidates including “Do each of you pledge to endorse the other if, God forbid, Carole Keeton Strayhorn makes it to the runoff. McCracken responded, “Yes, and I’ll leave town.” Leffingwell offered up, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”


To see the rap for yourself goto

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