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Musicians boost McCracken candidacy

Thursday, April 2, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Local musicians backing the mayoral candidacy of Council Member Brewster McCracken held a press conference Wednesday morning to talk about why they’ve hitched their political hopes to his campaign.


McCracken revealed a list of 40 performers, club owners and music promoters supporting him. About a dozen shared the stage at ME Television to give testimonials for McCracken.


“Music is the cultural lifeblood of Austin,” McCracken said.  “But it’s more than a cultural asset. It’s an economic asset. The City of Austin must be an active partner in Austin’s music scene, and I am proud to have earned the support of the music professionals and enthusiasts that have joined my campaign.”


Singer/songwriter Sara Hickman told In Fact Daily, “To me, more than ever I think it is important to have people in office who are going to have integrity.” Hickman has been involved in numerous issues, including housing for the homeless and abolition of the death penalty. However, she said this is the first time she has gotten out front in a mayoral campaign.


Other speakers included Momo’s owner Paul Oveisi, who would like to see a Music Department at the City of Austin. Oveisi said that Austin music is a billion dollar industry that is underperforming. He believes McCracken’s support for connecting music industry professionals to city government can make a big difference.


Despite the fact that Wednesday was April 1, nobody at the McCracken campaign was fooling. The same cannot be said for chief rival Council Member Lee Leffingwell, who sent out a press release announcing suspension of his campaign “to rejoin legendary jam band Phish” as a flutist.


“It’s been cool being on the City Council, and it would have been totally awesome to serve as Austin mayor,” said Leffingwell, “but I think everybody knows I have funk running through my veins.  I’ve really got no choice but to go back to the stage.”

(OK, that was fun. Now, back to beating each other over the head.)

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