Lawmakers slather on some good will for wildfire victims at BBQ fundraiser

Nothing beats chowing down on barbecue for a good cause.

Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, along with GOP Rep. Michael McCaul, got their “yee-haw” on at downtown D.C.’s Hill Country Barbecue on Tuesday to raise money for the victims of last year’s wildfires. The blazes, part of the worst season in history, killed 10 people and wreaked havoc across the Lone Star State.

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With the smell of the restaurant’s smoky specialties, such as ribs and pork chops, wafting through the air, Hutchison joked to the crowd of about 150 people, “It’s great to be in a place where the smoke doesn’t come from politicians — it comes from barbecue.”

Cornyn said Hill Country’s fare passed the native Texan taste test. When asked which kind of barbecue he prefers, the junior senator said, “I’m told that different parts of the country are partial to their own barbecue, but the Shiner Bock beer and the beef brisket here make it like a home away from home.”

The night wasn’t all beef and brisket, however. McCaul became the proud owner of a new decorative item for his office. The congressman won a giant “Luckenbach, Texas” sign during the evening’s charity auction. The town was immortalized in a 1977 Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson song called “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).”

The shindig raised $4,000 for the United Way Capital Area of Texas and a Texas city council.

Joshua Fatzick contributed to this story.