Since Mayor Laura isn't running for re-election, last we checked, we wondered what exactly she can she do with the $96,146.54 sitting in her campaign war chest. (That's how much she has left, according to her campaign finance report filed today with the city's elections manager, Brooks Love, who I have made extremely busy today, and I do appreciate it.) Love and a spokesman for the Texas Ethics Commission say she has a few options available to her--none of which involve buying school supplies or cars or chocolate-chip cookie fixin's for the kids. But still. One thing, though: Even though Miller announced two weeks ago she wasn't running for mayor, she hasn't been taking any dough for her campaign for the last year. Indeed, she had $178,000 in her campaign account this time last year, and almost half of that's gone now.
Mayor Laura can use what remains to defray the cost of doing business during her remaining year in office, for instance. Should she wanna take some council members out for lunch (heh, yeah, sure, OK) or buy a fancy shalom-y'all briefcase or use it to have small children fan her during her trips to D.C. to talk Wright Amendment, it's all hers. Or she can use it to run for another office--at least a local or state office, since Federal Election Commission rules preclude her from using it for anything having to do with a national election. Or she can donate the money to other political candidates--even her husband, Steve Wolens, a former state representative who, ya never know, could run for office again. (Could? Fine--will.) In other words, as long as she doesn't take the scratch and deposit it in her checking account, she has six years to do whatever she wants with it. And if she keeps Marc Stanley on the books as her campaign treasurer, she can keep the dough in a lock box till, hell, whenever. She could even do what Alan Walne did in July 2003: He up and gave the $70,000 he had left in the bank to the Lake Highlands Women's League, which bought them a whole shitload of parasols. Send us your suggestions, and we'll post 'em. Oh, look: Here comes Darrell Jordan's campaign finance report over the fax machine right now. --Robert Wilonsky