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Generous politician gives away his furniture

More than 150 people showed up at Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman's former campaign office where staff members were giving away the furniture.
/ Source: The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — It was a chance to grab something Kinky before Christmas.

More than 150 people showed up Tuesday at independent candidate for governor Kinky Friedman's former campaign office where staff members were giving away the furniture.

His campaign had posted a notice about the furniture on the Web site Craigslist. ("None of it is TOO horribly ugly, some of it even matches, and all of it is FREE!") The first person arrived at 6:45 a.m., more than three hours before the giveaway started.

Campaigns generally liquidate their assets after an election to avoid paying taxes on them. For many, it may resemble a subdued garage sale.

In Friedman's case, it was more like a free-for-all as people snatched desks, cabinets, chairs, couches and computers.

"I'll take anything I can get my hands on," said L.B. "Sweed" Swanson, a 79-year-old who frequents garage sales.

Popular: Filing cabinets
Donna Hughes, who was searching for treasures for her flea market, put her hands on three filing cabinets while her son loaded one at a time into her U-Haul. When someone tried to a pull one of the cabinets away, "I took my cane, and I held it out like this and I said, 'Sorry, sir. These are mine.'"

She ended up with four filing cabinets, a desk and an aquarium.

Some came looking for a memento of Friedman's candidacy, be it a sign, a sticker, or anything. Several people took nothing at all.

"Nothing in there was worth getting," said John Payne. He was disappointed that much of the furniture had rips, stains and holes.

Some found just what they were looking for.

Kenneth Dublin snagged five computers that he'll use for a computer technician program he's starting for blind students.