Houston City Council is currently in an uproar over Mayor Annise Parker's tentative proposal to allow Southwest to have international flights out of Hobby Airport.
Councilmembers have said the proposal is rushed and would harm United Airlines, which, of course, merged with Continental and flies internationally out of Bush Intercontinental.
An innocent outsider might argue that the more the merrier, and Southwest has surely shown it knows how to offer low fares. But the councilmembers say customs officials will be taxed to the limit and beyond serving two airports, and Southwest's proposal would cost jobs (somehow).
Anyway, the debate is currently raging, and -- especially after a committee meeting earlier this week -- council seems to be leaning heavily in favor of United.
Just for grins, we had our Blake Whitaker look up campaign contributions for current councilmembers.
Going back to 2009, there's no record of Southwest giving anything. Nor United. But Continental, which has become one with United? Oh yeah.
There are two Continental-related PACs that have donated to council campaigns: the Continental Airlines Employee Fund For A Better America, and the totally different Continental Airlines Employee Fund For A Better Government.
Only four of the current 16 councilmembers received nothing from either PAC: Helena Brown, Andrew Burks, Jack Christie and Jerry Davis.
Al Hoang got $3,000.
Those who have received $2,000 total over that time period: Wanda Adams C.O. Bradford Stephen Costello Ed Gonzalez Oliver Pennington Mike Sullivan James Rodriguez
And $1,000: Ellen Cohen Larry Green Melissa Noriega Michael Laster
Mayor Parker, by the way, got the maximum PAC donation of $10,000 from Continental in both 2009 and 2011.
These aren't huge numbers in terms of overall campaign budgets, of course, but when it comes to council, four digits is four digits.
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