Money, it's a gas

The winers and diners

Julián Castro: $24.58, Little Caesar's, meeting
Patti Radle: $41.45, El Chilaquil, staff breakfast
Roger Flores: $160.09, Grady's, task force meeting
Joel Williams: $897, Pappadeaux, fund-raiser
Mayor Ed Garza: $1,882, various swank eateries, business lunches

The jetsetters

Art Hall: trip to Monterrey for soccer shindig, $645
Carroll Schubert: to court PGA in Chicago, $617
Mayor Ed Garza: $13,208 to various destinations

The weird and the wonderful

Garza, the budding florist: $4,258 to Suchy's
Flores, the super patriot: $513 to Dixie Flag
Hall, the caring boss: $100 to a mariachi band to celebrate Secretary's Day
Radle, the eternal altruist: $100 to the Federation of Guadalupeñas for kids' shoes

The phone addict

Garza: $5,575 to Cingular Wireless and SBC

The senior moments

Richard Perez: $220 flowers for seniors
Radle: $827 for flowers and gifts for seniors celebrating Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day
Ron Segovia: $68.77 in tamales to St. Leo's Senior Center

Money, it's a gas

By Lisa Sorg

Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

The taxi lobby, a restauranteur, the police union, and usual suspects from the development community paid their way into the hearts of City Councilmembers during the first six months of the year.

According to campaign contribution and expense reports for the January 1 -June 30, 2004 filing period, Landry's Restaurants, who in March won the bid for the Tower of the Americas restaurant, waited until June to show their gratitude to Mayor Ed Garza and District 10 Councilman Chip Haass, with $1,000 and $500 contributions, respectively.

Mayor Garza, he's a traveling man, made a lotta stops all over the world, and racked up frequent flier miles en route to Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Phoenix, Houston, Kansas City, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C. - where he spent $690 staying at the Mayflower Marriott.

Garza's refined and varied palate also takes him from the politicos' hangout, the Plaza Club in the Frost Bank Tower (total tab: $642.44), to the commoners' eatery, BBQ Patio ($160) on Old Pearsall Road.

Many of his largest contributors hail from out of town: $1,000 from Houston law firm Allen, Boone and Humphries, which serves on the advisory board to the Association of Water Board Directors; $500 from Houston planning commission member/civil engineer Orlando Teran; and at least $5,000 from various people in the Rio Grande Valley.

Several Councilmembers - Joel Williams, Enrique Barrera, Roger Flores, and Ron Segovia - invoked Section 552.17 of the Public Information Act, which allows them to keep secret their addresses and phone numbers - and that of their campaign treasurers'. Although it would be troubling to wake up one morning to find Council rabblerouser and former county jail inmate Jack Finger dancing on your lawn, withholding this information makes it difficult, if not impossible to verify through contribution records if the officeholders or candidates live in their respective districts.

The recent actions of one Councilmember have landed his address in the newspaper, and speaking of District 3's Ron Segovia, the former cop accepted $500 from the San Antonio Police union, which could put him in a difficult position concerning the investigation into the cops' alleged mishandling of the alleged domestic violence against KSAT police reporter Gina Galavez.

Although the City's ethics committee has recommended a $500 limit on individual campaign contributions, District 9's Carroll Schubert has blasted that amount out of the water, accepting five grand from oil magnate Gary "Texas Tea" Blackie (OK, his nickname isn't Texas Tea) and another $2,000 from HPI Consultants in Austin, which markets software tools and books used by crude oil traders, petroleum product traders, and refinery planners.

District 5's Patti Radle observed the $500 limit, and garnered droplets of money from environmentalists, peace activists, and civil libertarians, including $25 from Joleen Garcia, $50 from Tom Keene, and $100 from Jane and Woody Tuck.

But the burning question of the last six months remains: Why did Mike Barnard and Roman Martinez, taxi cab operators from Houston, spread around at least $5,500 among Councilmembers? For their tips? •

By Lisa Sorg

Keep your hands off Council's stack

D1 Roger Flores
Totals (contributions/expenses) $2,600/$1,781
Largest contributors:
Mike Barnard of Yellow Checker Taxi in Houston, $500
Biggest expenses:
Dixie Flag, $513
Average contribution amount: $433

D2 Joel Williams
Largest contributors: Developer Mark Granados, financier David Starr; $1,000
Biggest expenses: Pappadeaux, $897; Trinity University, $500
Average contribution amount: $406

D3 Ron Segovia
Largest contributors:
Mike Barnard, San Antonio Police Department Association, $500
Biggest expenses:
Carlos Uresti for Kerry veterans fundraiser, $462
Average contribution amount: $205

D4 Richard Perez
Largest contributors:
Mike Barnard, Waste Management PAC, $500
Biggest expenses: Hobby Lobby, $436, for campaign supplies
Average contribution amount: $300

D5 Patti Radle
Largest contributors:
Mike Barnard, USAA PAC, $500
Biggest expenses: Mi Tierra, $737, for a February event
Average contribution amount: $103

D6 Enrique Barrera
Largest contributors:
Taxi driver Mike Barnard, law firms Linebarger, et. al and Loeffler, et. al. $500 each.
Biggest expenses:
$550 Lock N Key storage
Average contribution amount: $150

D7 Julián Castro
Largest contributors:
Joaquin Castro, $1,972; Roman Martinez of Texas Taxi, $1,000
Biggest expenses:
Blue Clover, $4,286, for website and literature
Average contribution amount: $475

D8 Art Hall
Largest contributors:
Taxi driver Mike Barnard, $500; USAA PAC $750
Biggest expenses:
New Reach Media, $2,040
Average contribution amount: $206

D9 Carroll Schubert
Largest contributors:
developer Mark Granados, $2,000; oil and gas explorer Gary Blackie, $5,000
Biggest expenses: Election Support Services, $4,300
Average contribution amount: $755

D10 Chip Haass
Largest contributors: Landry's Restaurants, GSABA PAC, $500
Biggest expenses: Blue Clover, $590
Average contribution amount: $285

Mayor Ed Garza
Largest contributors:
Landry's, Mike Barnard, Vinson & Elkins law firm, $1,000
Biggest expenses:
Alamo Travel, $6,805
Average contribution amount: $472

Source: Candidates' campaign contribution/expense filings, January 1-June 30, 2004. Contributor's list is partial.

For full filings, go to

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