Cover Story: Michael Berry, Former City Hall Boy Wonder

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KTRH
Oh, NOW he stands with Arizona.
Nine years ago, embattled right-wing radio host Michael Berry was a 32-year-old mayoral candidate. Tim Fleck wrote a feature on the fresh-faced city councilman and quixotic candidate (polling below 10 percent, Berry pulled out of the race less than a month after the story hit the street) and his Indian-born, high-achieving wife Nandita "Nandy" Venkateswaran in these pages, and some of it makes for odd reading today.

First, for someone who has spent plenty of time bashing illegal immigrants on his radio show, Berry appears to have had no qualms accepting their money and building a business on their backs.

After he quit less than a year into his late 1990s legal career, Berry went into real estate. Sources told Fleck that Berry loved to flip run-down Montrose apartment complexes wherein many if not most of the occupants were undocumented immigrants.

"Michael had these people over a barrel," the source told the Press. "He was basically a slumlord and charged them to live in squalid conditions and they couldn't complain about it."

Berry denied that his buildings were squalid, while admitting that they were certainly "not River Oaks properties." He admitted that while he did not check the immigration status of his tenants, he felt "certain the residents were not illegal aliens."

He could just kinda tell, you see...

Berry was also portrayed as a less-than-discerning landlord.

Morgan Mull lived in a 30-unit deep-Montrose Brandt Street complex Berry purchased in early 2000.

He told Fleck that soon after Berry bought the place, the complex started filling up with suspected prostitutes and drug dealers. According to HPD records cited in the article, drug-dealing, prostitution and burglary calls to the complex soared in the final months of Berry's ownership. He sold the complex, and for the first few months of the new owner's ownership, cops were coming out pretty much every day. Calls averaged 28 per month, according to the story, but after many months with the new owner, had declined to less than one call per month during the first six months of 2003.

Mull accused Berry of accepting criminals in order to fill the complex to full occupancy, thus making it more attractive to potential buyers.

The situation got so bad the neighbors formed an ad hoc committee to clean the place up. When they confronted Berry, he blamed the apartment manager. The manager said the opposite, that Berry had produced all the renters. He also claimed that the residents he found were not committing the crimes -- he cited "walk-up traffic" and random street thugs.

And there's a whole lot more in the feature, including Berry throwing his wife under the bus, rumors of a mysterious trip to Cuba under an assumed name while his wife was on holiday in Paris, Quanel X's revocation of Berry's ghetto pass, a snippet of country-rocker John Evans's Berry-for-Mayor election jingle, the tell-tale sign that gives away Michael Berry's lies, Berry's failed attempt to emulate some of LBJ's less-savory interpersonal styles, and mayoral Sylvester Turner's rumored threat to "destroy" Berry.

Read it here....


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31 comments
Mberry
Mberry

I think since we never see A Parker and Berry at the same place at the same time and the fact that Michael wanted to be mayor explains that he truly is the mayor in drag.

STR8butnotNARROW
STR8butnotNARROW

WOW - His wife is incredibly beautiful and successful - how does a piece of trash land, let alone keep something like that?

Well, he obvi isnt doing a very good job.

Connelly Mark
Connelly Mark

I'll never understand the need to bash someone you don't even have to listen to! Just turnit off! That's why I only listen to KPFT on Sunday mornings before Church. I learned a long time ago you can change the station!

H_e_x
H_e_x

Do people really not see the connection between a homophobe going to a gay bar? Is exposing hypocrites somehow not journalism?

Dagny
Dagny

Why people have to be so hateful? It is so easy to twist the truth and hurt people. In reality, nobody knows the private life of others and people are so narrow minded that cannot see further and keep repeating the same stupid opinion of others without analizing or knowing the facts.

Michael Berry
Michael Berry

The Houston Press really seems to have a hard on for me, but the truth (and myself) will come out soon enough.

#totallynotgay

RPaul
RPaul

Great Libertarian that he is, Michael Berry can make the case that he was simply allowing the free market to work in the case of his slummy apartments occupied by criminals and undocumented immigrants. There was a demand for run-down, higher priced living units and Michael was simply filling it. Ditto with prostitutes and drugs: these are really victimless crimes and ones of consent, so no harm there either.

Dawn Moody
Dawn Moody

Thank you Lomax. THIS is the kind of journalism Houston needs to shove in the faces of the Berry Sheeple who are defending this piece of racist trash to the death. 

As far as slinging mud...it takes mud slinging to bring down a mud slinger. 

Feaco11
Feaco11

I assume Berry is going to blame this on Obama. What a jerk

Gay Michael Berry
Gay Michael Berry

LOL....so funny to see the clowns try to defend this scum Michael Berry.

suggsgested
suggsgested

HP journalism at its best. You pulled out a half way decent Tim Fleck piece from NINE YEARS AGO and added NOTHING to it just to show how much you hate Berry. John, you sling mud worse than those republicans running in the primaries.

MadMac
MadMac

But "bashing," a newspaper you DON'T have to read (in the morning on Sundays before church) is okey-dokey? Just asking.

Robert Paulson
Robert Paulson

Homophobe? He's afraid of gay people? -face palm-  You silly leftists and your little made up buzzwords. SIGH

H_e_x
H_e_x

Exactly. He was trying to flesh out his homophobic comments by trying it out himself.

Strucklucky
Strucklucky

#Totallytwofaced  Your time is short, Berry.  You can only be a two-faced asshole for so long before the world turns on you.  What's that I hear?  Sounds like chickens coming home to roost...  So spin away.  I'm sure you're litte boyfriends, Eddie Martiny and Brianna Erickson, are working feverishly to protect the "reputation" of KTRH.  But we all know who you are, especially those of us who've felt the sting of the knife in our backs directly from your hand.  So eat it up, Mikey.  Eat it up along with "them apples!"

OrangeLuck
OrangeLuck

For the record, THIS is not journalism.  If you think it is, you're a prime example of what's wrong with this country.  I'm not defending Berry, just pointing out your inability to understand the definition of "journalism."

H_e_x
H_e_x

Commie Nazis do that to people. He can't help but to cruise gay bars now that Obama is in office.

MadMac
MadMac

There doesn't seem to be a statute of limitations on scum-bag behavior, but you advocate a statue of limitations on reporting it? I think it might be a mud-slinging--as bad as the Repubcogs, pulling blatant exclusion, really?--if Berry wasn't in the news for his own bad behavior.

Dawn Moody
Dawn Moody

do you listen to Berry at all? If not, I suggest you don't comment.  Lomax can drudge up pieces from 10 years ago to shed more light on the cockroach that is Michael Berry. He's reminding us of Berry's wrongs, just as Berry annoys Houston with his idiotic sound bytes, SJL-isms and the sputter spittle of pee wee yelling Berry litters our ears with.

Hate Berry? Who cares. This is the Houston Press....where the writers actually HAVE opinions and express them. Not read off a teleprompter of what will sound pleasant to the ears of listeners.  Idiot. 

H_e_x
H_e_x

Darn me and my accepted definitions. I guess we can't all blow up Starbucks like yourself. Might want to work on the bitch tits while your'e at it.

Robert Paulson
Robert Paulson

You've never even listened to his show, have you? Admit it. You ASSume he bashes gays. Admit it, fool.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

This blog post is journalism, barely. The Fleck piece itself is pretty damn top-shelf journalism.

Stephmays
Stephmays

houson press: writers who have opinions....well you said it yourself, an opinion piece on MB.  Who cares what the houston press thinks of mb, they are suppose to give factual information to the public.  Instead, they quote someone else's entire article.  Such quality news reporting.  Just goes to prove that there is a vendetta to smear MB.  If you did listen to him you would know that he does not hate gays or minorities as he has an adopted black son. 

Robert Paulson
Robert Paulson

Mouth Moody calling someone else an idiot. They epitome of hypocrisy right there.

H_e_x
H_e_x

So, you are assuming that I am assuming what he says. *mind explodes*Ok, now that I'm back, I have listened to his show and seen his tweets. Maybe you haven't or your definition of homophobia is vastly different from the accepted definition.

Robert Paulson
Robert Paulson

So you settle for mediocre? Well at least you admit it.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

It's just a link / tease to a very well-done feature. I have no delusions that this blog post is anything other than functional.

MadMac
MadMac

"Instead, they quote someone else's entire article." The article "quoted" is an HP article, genius. As for the rest of your comment, well, maybe we listened to different Michael Berry shows. Or are those gay "jokes," terms of his endearment? Is blatant attacks on latinos and African Americans (he once pandered to for votes) a sign of his esteem? If he loved his "black" son, he would attack the culture the child came from.

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