austerity is for little people

Hot Houston City Councilwoman In The Running For America’s Next Top Grifter

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Well, hellooooo Houston City Councilwoman Helena Brown! How have you and those big brown eyes come to Your Wonkette’s attention today? Oh, you are busy asking local Houston Korean businessmen to give you money for an $11,000 flight to Korea, even though it was already paid for on the public dime? That is kind of weird! Why are you doing that? Do you have to pay off an evil meth dealer? Do you have an unfortunate stripper habit?* What is the deal, Sweet Councilwoman Brown?

From the Houston Press:

In a recent e-mail, which the Houston Press obtained, Brown said: “The trip to Korea is a costly trip. … Please make checks out to Helena Brown who will personally be offsetting the costs.”

But that wasn’t true. Brown paid for airline tickets to South Korea with public money — $11,000 — according to her expense report. Enrique Reyes, her director of communication, said last week hotel costs hadn’t been charged yet, but declined all questions. Brown’s office said the council member returned to Houston today.

Asking for direct contributions under such circumstances appears to break both city law and Harris county policy. Brown not only solicited money during a period when it wasn’t allowed, but in her e-mail she also asked all contributors to pay her at a June 28 gathering held at a Harris County building in Spring Branch, a violation of County policy. Meeting organizers are informed before forums that fundraising isn’t allowed. “If solicitation for money was happening, that’s not right,” said Ricardo Guinea, director of the Sosa Community Center, which housed the gathering.

So what’s that about soliciting money “during a period when it wasn’t allowed”? Houston has “black-out periods” when you can’t fundraise; we’re sure the Supreme Court will be rectifying that soon.

But there is more fun stuff coming out of Brown’s office — namely, that aside from probably totally breaking the law, she is also an asshole! Little Ms. “Just Make the Check Out to ‘Cash'” is very much about austerity, you see. At least when it only affects the help.

Last April, Brown tried to force out one staff member because she was pregnant, says a letter that employee wrote to the Mayor Pro Tem’s office. She also deleted hours her staff had worked, according to employee time cards, so it would show they worked fewer than 40 hours per week. All of Brown’s staff except one, have been part-time and without benefits, exhibiting Brown’s austerity politics.

“Who wouldn’t want to receive benefits?” asked Brown staff member, Marni Rainey. “But it’s a big issue of hers.”

None of the employees received overtime, required under the federal Fair Standards Act, though several of them worked more than 40 hours per week. It’s also a violation of city policy, which prohibits managers from tampering with time cards unless there are errors.

Sponsored Intermission

Helena Brown, you are going places! Probably the Governor’s Mansion, 2015!

*Fun fact! Sarah Tressler was your Editrix’s intern at the late alt-weekly LA CityBeat! She was very flirty.

[HoustonPress, via iburl at Wonkville]

About the author

Rebecca is the editor and publisher of Wonkette. She is the author of Commie Girl in the O.C., a collection of her OC Weekly columns, and the former editor of LA CityBeat. Go visit her Commie Girl Collective, and follow her on the Twitter!

View all articles by Rebecca Schoenkopf

Comments

Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • ChernobylSoup

    She's not hot.

    • Estproph

      It's impossible to tell without an infrared photograph.

    • noodlesalad

      We certainly know she didn't spend $11k on that blazer. Did she just win a golf tournament or something?

      • ChernobylSoup

        ♪♫ Come See the Softer Side of Sears ♪♫

    • bobbert

      Sarah Tressler, on the other hand…

      • ElPinche

        ooooh yeah…my right hand and 10 min break.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      I dunno, she kind of reminds me of Sean Young in Bladerunner. Right down to being a replicant.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Yes, I was going to say, she's kinda hot for 1982.

      • OzoneTom

        She looks even more like P.J. Grethe.

    • Spawn Paul

      Oh, I don't know… with a little coaching she could probably mine that 'slutty librarian' vein that the wingnuts seem to go coo coo puffs for.

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212
        • Spawn Paul

          Exactly. Wear glasses, put your hair up, and say something bitchy. It's just that easy!

          • MOG2410

            Not again. Please.

    • http://www.vinoverve.com Maman

      It's Houston. Of course she is hot.

  • Barb

    She's just Christine O'Donnell with a southern drawl. Bless her heart.

    • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

      Top of the morning to you Barb

      You say Xtine is Pole-ish? Who knew????

      ♪♫ On Dancer, On Prancer, on Grifter and Vixen… ♫♪

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

        On Donner and Blitzkrieg…

        • http://wonkette.com/ FlownOver

          And Agnew and Nixon!

  • nounverb911

    She's the latest sensation in the world of Korean porn.

    • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

      She's probably a 화이트 플레이트, "white plate", which although part of the newer women's shaving style, traditionally is bad luck in Korea and used as a pejorative.

  • nounverb911

    Did she go to Korea to outsource jobs?

  • SorosBot

    What can Brown do for you?

    • Steverino247

      Swallow.

  • Jus_Wonderin

    "Sweet Councilwoman Brown"

    Though I don't remember the release date, I did like the funk version of that song. It didn't quite have the same impact when it was sampled in MC Gansta Dude's classic "Bitch Be Takin' It".

  • noodlesalad

    Shitty, awful, embezzling bosses are people too, my friend.

    • eggsacklywright

      Laws are for commoners.

  • Texan_Bulldog

    Sniff…Snowbilly must be so proud.

  • Tundra Grifter

    "America's Next Top Grifter" – I'll be the judge of that.

    • Generation[redacted]

      It's the only contest you can win by having the judges bribe you.

      • MOG2410

        Houston Barbie? Don't Mess with Texas Barbie? Hot and Humid Barbie? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • http://www.notfrisco.com/colmatales/norton/proclaim.html#declaration Joshua Norton

    Have you ever noticed how, when you read something stupid about wingnutz, you see a hot flash of red, the veins in your neck tighten, and you wake up hours later, covered in entrails, in a location you've never been to before.

    Or is it just me?

    • Generation[redacted]

      Sometimes I wake up with someone's torn off face in my mouth and I think, "Who is this?"

      • MOG2410

        At that point it probably doesn't matter. I usually just sponge off, throw on my raincoat, turn the hotel TV up a few decibels, sneak down the fire stairs to the rental car and leave the state. But that's just me.

    • Fairtackle

      "Or is it just me?"

      Huh? That is not normal?

  • mrpuma2u

    Woot you go, Downtown Helena Brown! Keep those staffers from gettin' uppity, while you get your dead preznints stacking up!!

  • Tommy1733

    I'll bet councilwoman Brown is not flirty.

  • SorosBot

    She's a job creator!

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      Blow. Hand. Screw.

    • MOG2410

      Yeah, but in Korea.

  • JoeHoya

    There's no such thing as an "unfortunate" stripper habit. We're fortunate to have as many strippers as we do.

  • Estproph

    So is Demi Moore going to play her in the movie adaptation?

    • FakaktaSouth

      Demi Moore 25 years ago maybe. And speaking of, I saw some pics of Demi Moore naked from way back and I reeeeeallllly think she is more suited for Christine O'Donnell's life story. That shit was untenable and I cannot get it out of my head. Every time I see a dead mammal on the side of the road now, I flash back to visions of Demi's ginormous nether-parts.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        Now I'll know what to say if someone asks me: In what way does your wife most remind you Demi Moore?

        • FakaktaSouth

          To each his own incredibly incredibly hairy snatch, my brother, to each his very own.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            Actually, if it was my wife asking, I'd say it was her piercing, blue brown hazel lovely eyes.

  • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

    Sarah Tressler was your Editrix’s intern at the late alt-weekly LA CityBeat! She was very flirty.

    Oh man, this is so easy to masterbate to…

    • James Michael Curley

      You'll lower your IQ!

      • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

        It's OK, I already need glasses.

        • James Michael Curley

          Well, there you go! Ladies don’t make passes at men who wear glasses. Scrap the Nerd Windshield and you’ll soon be giving up that onerous onanism.

    • FraAnima

      Just keep the sound on mute. On the Kathleen Turner to Sarah Palin scale, Sarah Tressler's voice rates an 8.

  • Tundra Grifter

    "Houston works best when its leadership reflects the values, needs, and aspirations of its citizens." – from Helena Brown's website.

    Sadly, that statement may well be true.

    • Generation[redacted]

      Tom Delay agrees.

  • http://www.notfrisco.com/colmatales/norton/proclaim.html#declaration Joshua Norton

    austerity politics

    Which is repig-speak for "I got mine, sukka!"

  • YasserArraFeck

    Definitely a 'Tard to watch. I see great things in Ms Brown's future (like Medium Security).

  • elviouslyqueer

    After surveying airfare costs to South Korea, it's apparent, however, that spending $11,000 for a ticket ain't a great deal. Most economy fares hover around $1,600, while first-class tickets usually run more than $8,000.

    I've heard of stupid ridiculous "convenience charges," but damn.

  • http://www.notfrisco.com/colmatales/norton/proclaim.html#declaration Joshua Norton

    From the "Tea Party Politics for Dummies" handbook:

    Aus·ter·i·ty (ô-st r -t ). n. pl. aus·ter·i·ties. – Mooch as much expensive, free stuff for yourself as possible and steal the rest. Screw everyone else.

  • http://wonkette.com ManchuCandidate

    Seems like she's a Dick Park for a Dick, um, Richard Park.

    • jodyleek

      Apparently she and her "senior adviser" are rather chummy. What brand of kink do you get in Korea that you can't get in the States? I might not want to know the answer to that.

  • FakaktaSouth

    Helena Brown, you are going places! Probably the Governor’s Mansion, 2015!

    Make the checks out to "new fucking floors, get that pine shit outta here, I want travertine tile Building fund"

  • http://dismalpseudoscientist.wordpress.com ASHLEIGH_Joe

    Your move, umm.

    ..Which state are we up to at this point?

    • elviouslyqueer

      All of th…

      Oh, never mind.

  • Biff

    Where do I sign up for my very own hot, flirty intern?

  • GeorgiaBurning

    $11,000 for a flight to Korea? Nice of the taxpayers to buy her a row of seats. Oh, and the extra 11k should be good for shopping at the duty-free

  • Allmighty_Manos

    Hot. circa 1992.

    • Dildeaux

      Me thinks I see shoulder pads hiding descreetly underneath that blouse.

      • GeorgiaBurning

        "Designing Women" had a yard sale

    • CindynEncinitas

      But her hair makes her look super earnest.

  • flamingpdog

    Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!

  • chascates

    11 Grand? Is she taking a Learjet?
    Also, flirty with men, with women, or with both?

  • PubOption

    Will Sarah Tressler be a special correspondent for Wonkette, and report from the political conventions?

  • pdiddycornchips

    Texas was just voted the best state in the country to do business in (according to CNBC).
    Our overlords love Texas. Low taxes, horrible schools, virtually no rights for working stiffs and cheap whore houses just across to border,

  • Dildeaux

    $11,000 to fly to Korea? Is she taking the Houston Rocket bball team with her?

    Austerity? Thats for the proles.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      Foist class!

  • glasspusher

    She was just trying to lead by example in forcing out her pregnant staffer, knowing that that woman would soon have to force one out also

  • rocktonsam

    I'm not seeing a ring on that claw guys.

    I'm drunk in Walker's Wisconsin too so I;m not seeing much anyway..

    • http://inappropriatejobpostings.blogspot.com/ fuflans

      you have to be drunk in Walker's Wisconsin.

  • http://twitter.com/iburl iburl

    Wonkette is obviously a UN plot.

  • Nostrildamus

    But can she play cross-eyed flute?

  • Guppy

    Usually you have to look to Congress to see a legislative staff abused like that.

  • MiniMencken

    She should have asked the Moonies to pay for her ticket.

  • hagajim

    How do I apply for a job – she sounds like a joy to work for.

  • Not_So_Much

    Was her manager training at Wal*Mart or is she just naturally gifted?

  • Fox n Fiends

    Conservatives are AWESOME PEOPLE!!!

  • thefrontpage

    I swear, I saw Helena Brown dancing naked with Jennifer Carroll at a Houston strip club just last week! I think Helena Brown and Jennifer Carroll are dating! And according to U.S. Rep. Harrington Dracon, Montana Democrat, he was recently on an official congressional delegation trip to South Korea, earlier this year, and he attended a strip club in Seoul–and who did he run into there?! Helena Brown and Jennifer Carroll! And, according to the National Enquirer, Helena Brown and Jennifer Carroll had something to do with the recent divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes! It's all related, I'm telling you!

  • Dildeaux

    Lifetime movie stars Sean Young.

  • http://gratuity.wordpress.com/ Gratuitous World

    where ya been, Donna Hayward?

  • lulzmonger

    X-Ray that photo plz?

    AFAF.

  • OneYieldRegular

    She sure has come a long way since founding Cosmopolitan magazine back in the '60's..

    Oh wait – never mind.

  • DahBoner

    She has that hit on the back of the head with a frying pan look, so popular in the 80's…

    Helena Brown, when's yo corrupt dumbass goin' down?

    COULD IT BE A FADED HOSE FROM DAYS GONE BYE???

    • MOG2410

      Delta Dawn libel!

  • http://wonkette.com/ FlownOver

    I seem to remember Helena "Girly" Brown looking a lot older back when she was editing Cosmo. Musta had some major work done.

  • rickmaci

    Lose the TeaTard, keep the stripper.

  • Troglodeity

    I applaud Helena Brown for her creative thinking! If all employers did like her and altered their employees' timesheets to turn them into part-time employees, think how many more employees they could hire! Unemployment: solved.

  • http://howtosavetheworld.ca/ BZ1

    Another zany republican lady?!

  • ttommyunger

    KAL? Flight 007 I hope.

  • HolyCow!!

    She looks like Sean Young

  • larrykat

    My gosh she is a pro! Wonder what she'd do for one of these dollar bills that are burning a hole in my pocket?