Greater Greater Washington

Breaking: Kwame Brown stripping transportation committee from Tommy Wells as retribution for SUV scandal

DC Council chairman Kwame Brown plans to remove Tommy Wells from his chairmanship of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation today. This appears to be naked political payback from February, when Wells published a report on the Lincoln Navigator scandal.


Wells and Brown campaign together in 2010. Photo by hcwoodward on Flickr.

Email the Council or call Brown's office at (202) 724-8032 to express your disappointment that personal grudges are trumping good policy.

Wells supported Brown's campaign for chair, but since February, relations between Wells and Brown have been frosty. Brown blamed Wells for the report, which found that Brown violated the law.

Wells had a duty to investigate. This was a major news story, and it fell squarely in Wells' committee responsibility. Instead, Brown seems to have wanted Wells to simply bury the issue. It shows a serious failing in Brown's ethical compass when he expects this of colleagues, and those who take the honest route get punished so blatantly.

It's pretty blatant, too. Brown isn't rearranging all the committees. He's just singling out Wells for punishment.

Wells will get the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, generally considered the least desirable post one of the least desirable posts. Mary Cheh, who is still close to Brown and his number two as Chair Pro Tempore, will take over Public Works and Transportation as well as keeping the Department of the Environment. Muriel Bowser, who got Parks and Rec in January because of her support for Mayor Fenty, will get Government Operations.

Committees are rarely shifted mid-term, and only to take responsibilities away from a member facing scandal. This may be the first time in history a committee is taken away midway from a member for being honest.

Brown had the opportunity to alter committees because Harry Thomas, Jr. stepped down from the Committee on Econmic Development amid his own ethical problems. Brown moved economic development into the Committee of the Whole, under his direct control.

Vincent Orange (at-large) wanted Economic Development, but Brown didn't want to give it to him because of their rivalry in the race for chair (and, perhaps, because Orange has a poor track record on economic development).

Instead, Brown is proposing a new, smaller committee with only oversight of the Department of Small & Local Business Development and some other smaller agencies, and is keeping Economic Development in the Committee of the Whole.

Since Orange has no committee today, there's no need for any further reshuffling. But apparently Brown is still sore from the report.

Ironically, however, that report could have been the best thing for Brown. It got the issue fully into the spotlight, reducing the long drip of new scandal news. It put a fair amount of blame on the Department of Public Works as well as on Brown.

Had Brown embraced the report, apologized for his missteps, and pushed to fix policies around official vehicles for the future to stop such failures from recurring, he could have put the issue behind him.

Brown had many opportunities to start rebuilding the Council's reputation. Instead, he has continued to drag it into the gutter. He told colleagues that his own campaign finance scandals didn't go any deeper, and then they did.

The Council started the year with very high esteem among the populace, after a term of steady and effective leadership under Vincent Gray. Now, it's widely derided, and rightly so, with many of its members facing some ethical questions.

Now, he's even transferring the DC Council's voting seat on the WMATA Board. That's quite ironic. Last year, before becoming chair, Kwame Brown participated in a secretive committee to study WMATA governance, dominated by the Board of Trade. One of the better recommendations from that committee was to make board appointments based less on politics. Now, Brown is reassigning the post once again based solely on politics, and dirty personal ones at that.

By putting politics over progress, Brown is abandoning a commitment to make transportation better in DC. The people of Ward 7, where Brown himself lives, could suffer. Wells was making improving bus service east of the Anacostia a cornerstone of his chairmanship. He hosted listening sessions in wards 4, 5, 7, and 8, got WMATA to promise technological upgrades for Metrobuses east of the river, and pushed the east of the river Circulator even though it meant losing some service in Ward 6.

Cheh, on the other hand, complained in the budget that the Circulator is going east of the river but doesn't go to the Palisades. Was that just posturing for her ward, or will she really push for more transportation spending in Ward 3 over other parts of DC?

Cheh is one of the least bad alternatives to head transportation, but it'll break the forward momentum that's been built with Council working closely with DDOT. Wells' staff has a deep understanding of transportation issues, including some carried over from when Jim Graham ran the committee. That institutional memory will likely be lost.

Plus, as Brown's closest confidante on the Council, Cheh could have tried to talk him out of this move which clearly makes him look petty. Does she also think keeping Brown's scandals quiet is the top public policy goal for the Council? Or is she sore with Tommy Wells for stymieing her plan to pretend to support the bond tax in place of an income tax, but then try to get both out of the budget?

DDOT is at a crossroads. New Director Terry Bellamy, formerly Gabe Klein's deputy, could aggressively move to implement the ambitious Action Agenda that Klein put together, including pedestrian safety, bikeshare expansion, cycle tracks, bus priority lanes, real-time bus information, Circulator expansion, performance parking and more.

Or, Bellamy could let inertia win out, not making the tough calls and allowing projects to stagnate when the public isn't unified for or against them, as they usually aren't. Wells and his team were well situated to push DDOT to achieve its potential.

By taking Wells off the committee for transparently political reasons, Brown is showing that forward progress in the District isn't foremost in his mind. Instead, punishing those who don't cover up his own ethical failings is the priority. At least now, we know exactly what kind of man we have as Chairman.

The Council typically goes along with a chairman's committee choices, but they all have to vote on the recommendation this morning. Will this Council really stand by and let Brown do this? If they do, each member will be sending the message that it's appropriate to cover up a colleague's misdeeds.

What, then, should the public assume is behind each future decision the Council makes? Or the difficult decisions they do not make? Email Brown and the Council or call Brown's office at (202) 724-8032 to remind them that this unprecedented, vindictive move will further degrade the reputations of Brown, each member who votes aye, and that of the Council as a whole.

Update: Mary Cheh has sent me the following statement:

Kwame decided to reshuffle and make more coherent committee functions. And yesterday he told me of his plan to emphasize the environmental work in one committee, bringing back environment to public works and transportation (stormwater, recycling and waste management, transportation policy, pollution and vehicles, etc. brought together with environmental policy) and he offered the committee to me. I jumped at it and am very enthusiastic.
The argument about making committees more coherent makes little sense when he's also splitting up the traditional Economic Development functions into smaller committees to limit Vincent Orange. We all know why this one area is being singled out. I'm disappointed that Cheh is defending such an ethically suspect move.
David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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Over/under on the start date of the next Control Board?v I think Third World leaders come to the District to learn how to run their petty kleptocracies.

by DaveJ on Jul 12, 2011 7:36 am • linkreport

Mr Brown that childish and petty of you, you did wrong and got caught,

by Jerome on Jul 12, 2011 7:43 am • linkreport

These people are basically adult children, Kwame Brown is angry his shiny new toy got taken away and now he is punishing the guy who told on him. I see it in the playground all the time

by Mikem on Jul 12, 2011 7:49 am • linkreport

I had to look for the April 1 date on this post. WOW! This is an extremely short sighted and stupid decision politically.

He must really hate being called "fully loaded" all the time.

by Anon on Jul 12, 2011 7:53 am • linkreport

At Anon +1. Me too! I though this must be a joke. I sent emails to the Council and now I am planning to email everyone I can think of to get them to email their CMs as well.

by Urbanette on Jul 12, 2011 8:06 am • linkreport

This can't be good news for H Street, streetcars, cycling, name it. And just wondering. Anyone seen Kelvin Robinson lately?

by Anon2 on Jul 12, 2011 8:07 am • linkreport

Has anybody noticed how Mary Cheh continually enables the bad behavior of ethically challenged politicians in this city (including the Mayor and the Council chairman). And yet no one ever seems to challenge her on this. If the residents of Ward 3 are truly frustrated by the City's slide into the "bad old days", they really need to start paying more attention to their own Council Person's behavior and choice of political allies.

by Lilnemo on Jul 12, 2011 8:29 am • linkreport

Recall Brown!

by Redline SOS on Jul 12, 2011 8:44 am • linkreport

I think you want to move the close italics tag a paragraph up.

by Steve S. on Jul 12, 2011 8:45 am • linkreport

Barry would be proud.

by TGEoA on Jul 12, 2011 8:58 am • linkreport

Other possible explanation ... It's well known that Well's ideas in many areas, most especially in the area of transportation, are 'fringe ideas' not supported by the majority of Washingtonians. Well's proposal to tell the chair what kind of vehicle he's allowed to rent is 'the frosting on the cake' which pushes the chair to rein him in. A recurring theme of Well's has been the 'I know what's best for everyone ... and you better just listen' ... I know it irks me. I could imagine it irks his boss even more.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 8:58 am • linkreport

And in other news : "You get what you vote for".

Orange was no utopian urbanist, but atleast he isn't a bumbling idiot with the IQ of a brick, the ego and entitlement of a Roman Emperor of past, and the fiancial acumen of a broken blender.

Those of us who voted against him have known all this for since he first arrived on the scene in 2005.

by freely on Jul 12, 2011 8:59 am • linkreport

I hope Brown responds to this immediately. But if it's all truly about retaliation, shouldn't Evans lose his Finance Chair seat also for this comment?
http://t.co/t5oTKE0

In his e-mail, Evans challenges Brown to reimburse the city for all costs associated with the car.

“Whatever cost the city incurs must be paid by Kwame Brown and not the taxpayers,” Evans wrote. “If it means paying the city $17,000, so be it.”

by @CCCAPrez on Jul 12, 2011 9:00 am • linkreport

"Update: Mary Cheh has sent me the following statement:"

Stripping out the rhetorical BS: "I got what I wanted and I'm just simply delighted."

by Bob See on Jul 12, 2011 9:04 am • linkreport

9:00 : "Chairman Brown's office, can you hold?"

9:06 : still on hold...

by Ken Archer on Jul 12, 2011 9:07 am • linkreport

I think every comment from Lance should be auto-dated with April 1. Was that a serious comment? I guess I've read enough to know that it probably was. Tell us truthfully though, is it challenging to write some of these things without laughing?

by 80p on Jul 12, 2011 9:09 am • linkreport

Well there goes the Wells - Cheh alliance. I guess the radical left really does eat its young.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 9:09 am • linkreport

@Lance, since Tommy Wells enjoys great support from the voters of Ward 6, he clearly does not irk the only people who could be called his boss. The Council Chair is not his boss. That's not how representative government works.

by Kate W. on Jul 12, 2011 9:10 am • linkreport

Kwame Brown your days are numbered! Tommy Wellls you have the residents support! Don't know if Cheh knows much about transportation...but it is clear Bowser doesn't know anything about Government!

by pleasehelpus on Jul 12, 2011 9:11 am • linkreport

@80p:

I used to try to parody @Lance, but found it was virtually impossible.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 9:12 am • linkreport

@Ken Archer - r u still on hold or did they hang up, DC govt like to do that alot I have noticed

by Mikem on Jul 12, 2011 9:15 am • linkreport

I had high hopes for Kwame Brown considering some of the steps he took as an at-large council member to strengthen vocational education and the other policies he supported. So his actions as Chair have been quite disappointing. He's been much more politically-motivated than I would have expected.

by DCster on Jul 12, 2011 9:21 am • linkreport

@80p and oboe, There certainly can be reasons other than the single one presented to us by David for Well's removal from the Transportation Committee. For starters, look at the mess regarding the streetcars. We now have a 'track to nowhere' on H Street which won't be getting streetcars on it anytime soon nor will it be connecting to Union Station within our lifetimes. I seem to remember Wells being a big part of the reason this fiasco got built as it did ... Ditto the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles ... Lots of bad judgment has been shown on both these issues. Why would you allow the person showing the bad judgment to continue to have responsibility for it? You know, the only reason everyone's saying it's some kind of payback is because that's what David wrote on title ... But like someone mentioned above, others including Evans have similarly criticised Brown ... without retailiation. It's too easy to just say 'retaliation' when its a move that you're not happy with. It's harder to ask yourself 'could there be other reasons why?' Common GGWers think for yourselves for once. Don't just read the title that's up there and take it as God's word. It's not.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 9:22 am • linkreport

"Evans lose his Finance Chair seat also for this comment?"

Patience...

by Andrew in DC on Jul 12, 2011 9:26 am • linkreport

I know some folks have already started planning the Gray and Brown recall movements. Please share details about that with GGW, I suspect you will find MANY people willing to sign and collect signatures here. Count me in.

by Joe on Jul 12, 2011 9:27 am • linkreport

Is Tommy Wells the only one that isn't corrupt? I don't even like the guy, but c'mon. Recall Gray, Brown, Orange, Cheh, Barry, HTj, hell, the whole Council.

by pejt on Jul 12, 2011 9:28 am • linkreport

And DC wonders why it's not taken seriously when it comes to voting rights... Yes, I know in Louisiana and SC, it's just as bad, but still...

by Jasper on Jul 12, 2011 9:30 am • linkreport

@oboe: Is this an example of Poe's Law?

by Michael Perkins on Jul 12, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

Perhaps we should begin the recall effort for Kwame! Is anyone aware of the requirements for this? I know for the Mayors recall it's 46,000 signatures needed. Is ward 7 the only one who can lead a recall of this moron?

by Lori on Jul 12, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

Got through to voicemail and left a message.

by aaa on Jul 12, 2011 9:39 am • linkreport

Ditto the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles ...

Yes, it's all the bikes, not all the cars. Lance for Mayor!

by David C on Jul 12, 2011 9:45 am • linkreport

I wish Tommy would get out of that cesspool. He's too good for it, or maybe more accurately he's not bad enough for it.

Kwame sucks. That's old news. D.C. governance is a joke. Also old news.

by MJ on Jul 12, 2011 9:45 am • linkreport

Lance, Tommy Wells only became the chair of the PWT Cmte recently, well after the H Street streetscape project had been conceived and begun and well after many cyclists began commuting to work by something other than motorized transportation.

Are you saying that he has the ability to travel through time and exercise the authority of a committee chair without actually holding the position yet?

by The AMT on Jul 12, 2011 9:45 am • linkreport

@pejt: Sometimes it seems that way...

I'm quite proud to have not voted for that scumbag, and even more so that I voted for Wells.

by Ward 6er on Jul 12, 2011 9:46 am • linkreport

@Lance

I should know better then to do this, but really..

"Ditto the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles"

by Ryan on Jul 12, 2011 9:47 am • linkreport

Don't feed the trolls. Thanks!

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 12, 2011 9:49 am • linkreport

Recall the Chairman!...Indict him!!!....Take the SUV from him!!!

by DC John on Jul 12, 2011 9:50 am • linkreport

my calls (twice) went directly to voicemail. Now he can't even answer the phone. RECALL.

by whoa_now on Jul 12, 2011 9:51 am • linkreport

Wow. I knew when Brown was elected that it would be bad, but I didn't think it would be this kind of 3rd world kleptocracy bad though. Our city continually shoots itself in the foot with these buffoons we elect.

to quote Kent Brockman: "I've said it before and I'll say it again: Democracy simply doesn't work."

by Jim Ed on Jul 12, 2011 9:51 am • linkreport

I live in Ward 3, and I will certainly remember Mary Cheh's cowardice on this come election season.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 9:52 am • linkreport

Tommy Wells deserves to be chair of the Dog Parks Committee. He is a nasty, vindictive man and is getting some of his own medicine. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

by karl on Jul 12, 2011 9:54 am • linkreport

@Lance

Could you provide factual support for your mention of "the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles?" I'm not a regular rider, but I appreciate people who do ride regularly (assuming they obey the laws) and take congestion away from transit. And your characterization of issues involving the H Street Trolley is a bit hyperbolic.

by The Heights on Jul 12, 2011 9:56 am • linkreport

+1 for the Kent Brockman quote.

by spookiness on Jul 12, 2011 9:58 am • linkreport

The one good thing about putting Mary Cheh in charge of transportation is that it ensures that the Klingle Valley Trail will happen. Rebuilding Klingle Road for motor vehicles has appeared to be the political issue that will never quite die. Cheh has the chance to drive (pardon the pun) a stake through any notion of a re-opened vehicle road.

by Green CP on Jul 12, 2011 9:59 am • linkreport

Does DC have a recall process?

by Liz P on Jul 12, 2011 10:04 am • linkreport

@The Heights

Perhaps "assuming they obey the laws" says it all. Riders has a new sense of entitlement, thanks to DDOT and GGW. They think they are entitled to ride in the middle of a lane and go through stop signs and weave in and out of traffic. Then they complain when they get hit. Next we'll have pedestrians mimicking them. Cars and roads serve a purpose. Use them appropriately. Stop trying to squeeze in bike lanes that don't belong. People aren't going to give up their cars for bikes or walking. Tired of hearing from the whiners who can't afford cars!

by Karl on Jul 12, 2011 10:04 am • linkreport

Poor Tommy Wells. He seems to have had absolutely no clue as to how badly he's ticked off Kwame and a bunch of his colleagues. Will any Councilmember step up today to defend Tommy? Highly unlikely.

Tommy is learning the first lesson of politics: Don't mistake your fans' echo chambers for actual political power. He can now look forward to sulking on the meaningless Parks & Libraries committee for the next 3 years and learning that lesson.

Wells, right now, is a man without any Council friends.

by Fritz on Jul 12, 2011 10:04 am • linkreport

"The argument about making committees more coherent makes little sense when he's also splitting up the traditional Economic Development functions into smaller committees to limit Vincent Orange."

Vincent Orange is on the take. His authority should be limited and monitored very carefully. Really sad to see he is back on Coundil but there is an election coming up soon.

Mary Cheh is one of few Councilmembers with integrity.

by Karl on Jul 12, 2011 10:11 am • linkreport

My call went through. And I used no profane language. Hard.

by Lisa on Jul 12, 2011 10:12 am • linkreport

@Lance, @Karl,

You guys should have your own talk show.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 10:13 am • linkreport

@Karl

Wow. Time to leave the 1950's behind. I don't know where to start in breaking down your comment. "Cars and roads serve a purpose" - Roads do have a purpose. They allow bikes and cars to get around. "Stop trying to squeeze in bike lanes that don't belong" - Who says bike lanes don't belong? You? I for one haven't seen bike lanes "squeezed" into roads and creating traffic problems. And your witty riposte at the end - "Tired of hearing from the whiners who can't afford cars!" - Great point. Everyone who bikes is poor! Just like everyone who drives everywhere is fat, lazy, and hates the environment. Great reasoning. You've added a lot to the discussion.

by The Heights on Jul 12, 2011 10:14 am • linkreport

I have deleted a comment from @Tearinmybeer.

Let's keep this civil, please.

by Matt Johnson on Jul 12, 2011 10:15 am • linkreport

I agree with the writer. This is a huge mistake. Transportation and public works have enough issues by themselves to keep any Committee busy.

Chairman Brown is clearly aiming at dismantling accountability within the District government. I sincerely hope he is held accountable for his actions, both past and present.

by RH on Jul 12, 2011 10:16 am • linkreport

Tommy is learning the first lesson of politics: Don't mistake your fans' echo chambers for actual political power.

I would say the lesson is a DC City Council with Kwame Brown presiding doesn't reward integrity. (Agree or disagree, I think it's quite telling that his detractors on this thread can't come up with a cogent case against the man "He botched the streetcar process!" "He's a drunk!" "He's a vile and vindictive man!" "He made my milk go sour before the sell-by date!") In any case, as someone pointed out upthread, Wells seems to be pretty popular among those he represents Ward 6.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 10:17 am • linkreport

"This appears to be naked political payback from February, when Wells published a report on the Lincoln Navigator scandal."

It's clear I'm no Wells fan, but David this is so typical of your "stir the pot" style. Wells has encouraged this and finally someone said, "NO!"

by Karl on Jul 12, 2011 10:20 am • linkreport

Wow. Exacting this sort of retribution for snitching is the code of the street, not of a nation that believes in "equal justice under law."

by Payton on Jul 12, 2011 10:21 am • linkreport

@Tearinmybeer:
Final warning. If you don't have anything productive to contribute to the debate, I'm going to ask you to leave.

by Matt Johnson on Jul 12, 2011 10:22 am • linkreport

I just called Chairman Brown's office. The phone was answered by a very pleasant and professional woman. I stated that I was a DC resident and that I was extremely disappointed to hear that Chairman Brown was removing Tommy Wells from the Transportation Committee. I left my name and home telephone number. If I lived in Ward 3, I would call Mary Cheh as well. She should not accept the committee assignment. Since I'm not her constituent, though, I don't think my call to her office would be helpful.

by Liz P on Jul 12, 2011 10:25 am • linkreport

DC Recall Procedures:
http://www.dcboee.org/regulations/recall_process.asp

In 1979, District residents were granted the right to recall elected officials with the passage of the Initiative, Referendum, and Recall Procedures Act. Any elected officer of the District of Columbia government (except the Delegate to Congress for the District of Columbia) may be recalled by the registered electors from the election district from which he or she was elected, whenever a petition demanding his or her recall, signed by 10 percent of the registered voters is filed with the Board of Elections and Ethics.

THE ELECTION PHASE

1. Recall Election - By law, a special election is scheduled within 114 days after the Board certifies the sufficiency of the recall petition. The purpose of the election is to determine whether to remove the elected official from office. If the number of citizens voting "FOR" the removal of the elected official is greater than the number voting "AGAINST", then the official is removed from office, and the office is filled as provided by law until a subsequent special election may be held to fill the remainder of the official's term.

2. Special Election to Fill a Vacancy - A special election to fill the remainder of the recalled official's term is held the first Tuesday occurring 114 days after the Board certifies the results of the recall election. In the case of an ANC, the Board must declare the vacancy and follow the normal proceeding for filling ANC vacancies. The official recalled is not prohibited from being a candidate for the same office in the special election.

by David on Jul 12, 2011 10:26 am • linkreport

Yes this certainly has the appearance of a revenge move. And even though I can see the logic of putting Environment and Transportation together the timing is bad. In any case another solution to the connection between enviro and transpo is to just have better cross-committee/ cross-department communication rather than making one huge committee.

by Tina on Jul 12, 2011 10:27 am • linkreport

Wow- the trolls are really coming out for this one. I do want to feed just one though.

Karl- You really think a single commenter on THIS blog can't afford a car?

by Johnny on Jul 12, 2011 10:28 am • linkreport

WOW! Such an accusatory "certain" post. DAl, this one surprised me.

Do you have any factual knowledge that Brown did this in retaliation to Navi-gate? Any at all?

If not, then I think it is irresponsible of you to substitute fact for rumor and innuendo - something occuring to often in this world of "new media." I really do hope you have this knowledge because not having it is indeed shameful and disgusting.

Now, according to some, this could also be due to Wells blocking Brown's efforts on the municipal bonds. Whether it's personal or not, this IS what happens in politics. You make friends..You make enemies.

I know that Wells is GGW's best friend but I also believe that salacious articles like this is the reason why we have our current crop of fringe elements. People become less interested in the truth because of article like this.

And to start the article soliciting people to e-mail and express their dissatisfaction about personal grudges? And you likely typed it with a straight face at that?

WOW Dal. WOW WOW WOW!

The Clear and Present danger of the agenda-driven online community....

Oh and for the record, was Wells head of this committee during the Fenty years? If so, then why didn't he have enough "will" to investigate DPW's "vehicle" policy under the previous administration? The policy was clear then as it is now.

It's fine to criticize Brown for playing politics. But Wells can also be called to the hypocritical carpet because he seems to be driven by politics as well.

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 10:29 am • linkreport

DC Recall Procedures Part 2:

DC currently has 459,450 registered voters, so 10% is 45,945 valid signatures needed.

Per history, you will need to generate significantly greater than 45,000 signatures to get that many validated (ie: they won't all be valid).

Is that do-able? Maybe, if someone who wants to run (or a well-organized group) is willing to lay the groundwork.

by David on Jul 12, 2011 10:30 am • linkreport

@David,

If the number of citizens voting "FOR" the removal of the elected official is greater than the number voting "AGAINST", then the official is removed from office

Wow. A simple majority is required? That's amazing. How to get the ball rolling, I wonder? Given the fully loaded crap, and the public perception of Brown, getting a simple majority of voters to give a thumbs-down sounds doable.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 10:31 am • linkreport

@Karl, @Lance

You're totally right. Virginia has totally cracked the code on solving the traffic problem by focusing on building as many roads as possible and ignoring all the forms of transportation that poor people use. On,any given day, VA's roads are wide open expanses that allow drivers to cruise at top speed. In fact, there's so little traffic that some people just pop the car on cruise control and have sex in the backseat.

by Falls Church on Jul 12, 2011 10:33 am • linkreport

Recall Kwame

by Tom on Jul 12, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

@HogWash, Wells was not chair of the committee during the Fenty years; Graham was.

by cminus on Jul 12, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

@HogWash,

Do you have any factual knowledge that Brown did this in retaliation to Navi-gate?

Fortunately same standards of guilt that apply to criminal prosecutions don't apply to political campaigns--even recall campaigns. As you say, sometimes you make allies, sometimes you make enemies. That's politics.

It's possible that Brown has made a lot of enemies here. Remains to be seen how many, but it's doubtful that this is a smart political move.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

@Falls Church ; actually, they do exactly that on the beltway. But be careful -- sodomy is still illegal.

by charlie on Jul 12, 2011 10:37 am • linkreport

@falls church -well you could say drivers in VA routinely get f**ked by decades of short-sighted transportation policies.

by Tina on Jul 12, 2011 10:42 am • linkreport

FRom the post:

"GGW is already spinning the news in that direction, calling Brown’s decision bald political payback for Wells’s thorough investigation of how Brown ended up with his luxury SUVs. That may not be the real story, but at this point, it’s as good an explanation as any."

So, who is being spun here? Are is GGW supporting policies or people?

by charlie on Jul 12, 2011 10:42 am • linkreport

@Falls Church

+1

by cmc on Jul 12, 2011 10:43 am • linkreport

Lance's comment from 9:22am about how "the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city" are "because of bicycles" has got to be the most out-to-lunch thing I've read in a long while.

by Froggie on Jul 12, 2011 10:45 am • linkreport

@oboe -- for folks that are interested in recall elections, if the recall is scheduled on a lower turnout cycle/schedule (ie: not a presidential election), it seems hard to see how Kwame would survive. (He's practically doomed for regular re-election as it stands already).

The real game is getting the signatures! You have 180 days to gather them once you begin. Anyone game?

by David on Jul 12, 2011 10:46 am • linkreport

@Cminus..thanks..didn't know that and I'm glad I asked the question before deciding that I knew the answer.

@Oboe It's possible that Brown has made a lot of enemies here. Remains to be seen how many, but it's doubtful that this is a smart political move.

I doubt that Brown has made many enemies outside of Wells and his natural group of supporters. I don't think the rest of DC is going to spinning out of control as the people here..Wells' natural constituency.

Further, my point is that this article (unless there's more to come) substititutes facts for opinions and this group of otherwise intelligent people will not bother to impart of bit of objectivity here.

Myops unite!

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 10:49 am • linkreport

@Karl,

I'm probably the biggest roadgeek on GGW, but your comment that "bike lanes don't belong" is absolutely ludicrous.

by Froggie on Jul 12, 2011 10:50 am • linkreport

So Dave - have faith in our ideas - vote Gray (and Fully Loaded), eh? How's that working out for us so far?

by Rake on Jul 12, 2011 10:51 am • linkreport

Oh btw, recall Brown at your discretion. But please expect the fallout from a GGW-induced effort to reverberate around the city.

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 10:52 am • linkreport

@hogwash -- You clearly have picked a side -- but your argument doesn't make sense to me. It seems very unclear how things could possibly get WORSE than the status quo.

Also, I don't really care. Most of my neighbors seem to keep voting against my candidates anyway and don't agree with me on many issues. I'm tired of choosing between a bunch of losers for office anyway.

Your argument boils down to throwing in the towel and letting irrational politics continue to carry the day. A recall (even if not successful) would have to be noticed by the powers that be.

Trying a power-play like this (no matter what the motive), after all of these "scandals" suggests the Council is just tone-deaf and unwilling to be moved by anything.

by David on Jul 12, 2011 10:57 am • linkreport

Rake: I didn't endorse Kwame.

by David Alpert on Jul 12, 2011 10:58 am • linkreport

I'm disappointed that Cheh is defending such an ethically suspect move.

Disappointment is something you should really reserve for situations where you had higher expectations. You should know better than to expect anything other than naked self-interest from Madame Cheh.

by Dizzy on Jul 12, 2011 11:05 am • linkreport

Yes, Hogwash, if people try to recall Fully Loaded, a race war will surely erupt.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 11:06 am • linkreport

David, perhaps not, but you were aware that Vince and Fully Loaded are longtime friends and close legislative partners, surely? And how's Vince working out for us? Notice you didn't address that one.

by Rake on Jul 12, 2011 11:08 am • linkreport

The Council session is at 11am in Rm 412, right? I'm not getting any video from DC Council web site for any of the rooms.

by Ken Archer on Jul 12, 2011 11:09 am • linkreport

Recall Kwame.

by John Thompson on Jul 12, 2011 11:16 am • linkreport

I was able to call Brown's office and get straight through to a staffer, who politely took my message. I was rather hoping the lines would be jammed...

by East_H on Jul 12, 2011 11:16 am • linkreport

@David, if the "side" you refer to is seriously believing that the media shouldn't be in the business of presenting rumor and innuendo as fact then yes, I have no problem being on the other side. I'm not sure if that's the part of my argument that doesn't make sense to you. But if so, my point seems clear to me. The media shouldn't be so careless and irresponsible. I'm not sure how anyone could really disagree with that.

I don't believe I'm suggesting that anyone should throw in the towel. What I also don't believe is getting bent out of shape over standard political practice. IMO, that's not something to be recalled over.

Campaign finance issues, different story.

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 11:19 am • linkreport

I doubt that Brown has made many enemies outside of Wells...

Well, that remains to be seen, right? I've heard from at least one source that Brown is denying this story. Sounds a lot like Gray's streetcar shit-show.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 11:29 am • linkreport

immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles

Beyond self-parody.

But let me try to take it to the next level: "Brown's Lincoln Navigator is a sign of prosperity of Washington, DC, and Wells is trying to turn back the clock on progress to a less prosperous, poorer era in which our leaders don't drive around luxury SUVs."

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 11:30 am • linkreport

@HogWash:

I don't believe I'm suggesting that anyone should throw in the towel. What I also don't believe is getting bent out of shape over standard political practice. IMO, that's not something to be recalled over.

From what I can see of the quoted recall law, what is or is not "something to be recalled over" is whatever a majority of voters says it is (once the signatures are gathered).

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 11:32 am • linkreport

I can only hope that this generates enough of a sh*t storm that Kwame is left politically crippled by this.

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 11:36 am • linkreport

What I also don't believe is getting bent out of shape over standard political practice.

Much like how lots of people don't get bent out of shape over muggings and other small property crimes because they consider it "normal." You simply have a bit of Stockholm Syndrome where you consider corruption and petty, ineffective politicians "normal."

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 11:36 am • linkreport

And how's Vince working out for us?

Pardon me as keep count. This is #1 since David's post.

by David C on Jul 12, 2011 11:37 am • linkreport

"Perhaps "assuming they obey the laws" says it all. Riders has a new sense of entitlement, thanks to DDOT and GGW. They think they are entitled to ride in the middle of a lane and go through stop signs and weave in and out of traffic. Then they complain when they get hit. "

I've personally had car drivers yell obscenities at me when I stop at a red light in the bike lane because they want to use the bike lane as their car right turn lane. Not to mention the 3 or 4 cars I see parked in the bike lane DAILY on my approx 1 mile bike ride home. Not to mention the 90% of car drivers who drive faster than the speed limit. Not to mention the joggers who run (often the wrong way) up the bike lane, or who job thru intersections across red lights. Not to mention the car that drove into me as I walked in a crosswalk with the walk light lit. Why do you imagine breaking traffic laws is exclusive to bike riders?

by Brian White on Jul 12, 2011 11:45 am • linkreport

Karl: Cyclists ARE entitled to ride in the middle of the lane.

Brian White: Cars ARE supposed to use the bike lane as the right turn lane, but if there a cyclist in front of them, they're supposed to wait until it's clear before turning.

Drivers are not supposed to park in the bike lane, or speed.

by David Alpert on Jul 12, 2011 11:47 am • linkreport

They think they are entitled to ride in the middle of a lane

They are entitled to ride in the middle of a lane if they need to, and in many DC streets, like on Florida Avenue and Georgia Avenue, it's not like cars can go much faster than bikes, on average. In fact, it is because the roads are so slow and crowded and parking is expensive and hard to come by that it's a waste of time to drive in many parts of the city, and I'm frankly irritated by drivers taking up space on the roads in many parts of downtown, wasting everyone's time and taking up space.

I assure you, also, that my car is nicer than your car. It's just that I am not such an incredible loser that my ego is tied up in my car and the act of driving. People complaining about bike riders tend to be social losers stuck with a 20-year-old high-school mentality who thought that having a car made them the pinnacle of social success and are angry because bike riders, who they thought they were socially superior to, are getting listened to. Check your ego at the door and maybe do something useful for society and the city before whining about bike lanes.

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 11:52 am • linkreport

"they're supposed to wait until it's clear before turning."

Yes, that's what I meant.

by Brian White on Jul 12, 2011 11:56 am • linkreport

The hearing video is buffering for me nearly non-stop from my office connection and from a friend's FiOS connection, leading me to suspect that server overload is making this unwatchable. The Silverlight buffer is running out because their server stops sending data.

by Ken Archer on Jul 12, 2011 11:57 am • linkreport

Much like how lots of people don't get bent out of shape over muggings and other small property crimes because they consider it "normal

Yeah that's right. Let's compare criminal acts to political acts.

Muggings = violation of someone else's personal space and property..sometimes where bodily harm is involved.

Political acts = changing of committee assisgnments.

Way to think this political act is on par to criminal violent acts.

@Oboe From what I can see of the quoted recall law, what is or is not "something to be recalled over" is whatever a majority of voters says it is (once the signatures are gathered).

Uhmm, I think I prefaced my statement by stating IMO which most people would reasonably interpret as..well..stating MY opinion. Obviously I didn't attempt to speak for anyone else but myself.

Nice try but read next time. Or at least don't be so quick to find fault

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 11:57 am • linkreport

@HogWash,

Sure, I understand that. I was just pointing out that it's the aggregate opinion of the folks who vote in a recall that's relevant in this case.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 12:05 pm • linkreport

Thanks David, that explains what's wrong with DC and why congestion is the worst in the nation. I thought it was all those Hill staffers.

by Karl on Jul 12, 2011 12:07 pm • linkreport

congestion is the worst in the nation

Actually, I think it has something to do with all those cars. Westbound on the north part of the beltway was a parking lot this morning, and it wasn't because of bicycles.

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 12:09 pm • linkreport

@JustMe:

You give cyclists too much credit. The more cycling infrastructure we see on the streets of DC, the worse congestion has been getting in the greater metropolitan area.

Much as "global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s" the phenomena of urban bicycle mode-share and suburban congestion are tightly intertwined.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 12:17 pm • linkreport

Sorry, I forgot to include my references. (Coincidence? Some would have you think so!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster#Pirates_and_global_warming

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 12:18 pm • linkreport

One last thing: I'd like to add this interesting observation because, well, it's pretty damned insightful:

In 2008, Henderson interpreted the growing pirate activities at the Gulf of Aden as additional support, pointing out that Somalia has "the highest number of pirates and the lowest carbon emissions of any country."

Similarly, as we can see from this photographic evidence, Needles, CA--which I'm sure every objective interlocutor will agree is one of the least congested areas in the US--has almost no bike lanes:

QED.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 12:26 pm • linkreport

congestion is the worst in the nation

That's LA, not DC.

by David C on Jul 12, 2011 12:38 pm • linkreport

@oboe:
Correlation != Causation?

by anon on Jul 12, 2011 12:42 pm • linkreport

@ Oboe: Thanks for the laughs, because DC politics makes me want to cry...

by Fisch on Jul 12, 2011 12:53 pm • linkreport

@Oboe, Sure, I understand that. I was just pointing out that it's the aggregate opinion of the folks who vote in a recall that's relevant in this case.

Uhm..not when I'm stating MY opinion, which is what I clearly did. What other people think about it is irrelevant. I wrote my own opinion and didn't rely on what others think.

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 1:03 pm • linkreport

46,000 valid signatures to recall Fully Loaded seems like an achievable goal. How do we get started?

by Matt W on Jul 12, 2011 1:06 pm • linkreport

Also, 460,000 registered voters? Really? There are maybe 490,000 or so people of voting age in the District, according to the 2010 census, and a not-insignificant chunk of that group can't register to vote, for one reason or another.

by Matt W on Jul 12, 2011 1:10 pm • linkreport

It's an open secret that a fair number of DC registered voters actually reside in PG County but maintain voter registration in DC through a parent's address or other means.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 1:14 pm • linkreport

not when I'm stating MY opinion, which is what I clearly did. What other people think about it is irrelevant.

You seem to get pretty agitated when people don't validate your opinion or consider it worth bothering with. You weren't even bothering to state your opinion; you were whining that people might want to recall a dumb, corrupt politician because you've been so numbed to stupidity and outrageous behavior that you consider it normal-- which is one reason why your opinions aren't really worth that much. But leave it to HogWash to consider Kwame Brown just an acceptable sort of thing in DC. Just another sign of how so many people in DC accept mediocrity in their lives and in their city. That's why this blog is called GreaterGreaterWashington... and we're dealing with people like HogWash and Lance who are all about MediocreMediocreWashington.

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 1:21 pm • linkreport

@Froggie 'Lance's comment from 9:22am about how "the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city" are "because of bicycles" has got to be the most out-to-lunch thing I've read in a long while.'

Nice try with your revisionist out of context cutting and pasting ... what I said was 'Ditto the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles' i.e., I was talking about the immense problems being caused by bicycles which are evident to anyone trying to use the roads during rush hours. The roads have never been so-inefficient ... Slowing down 99% of the people traveling on them for the benefit of that priviledged 1% who have the time and the money to live near their downtown jobs isn't an efficient use of our resources.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 1:32 pm • linkreport

DAVID ... look at this comment from JustMe ... Is this allowable under your policies ... ? Note that our friend Hatchard similarly violated your policies further up the thread ....

That's why this blog is called GreaterGreaterWashington... and we're dealing with people like HogWash and Lance who are all about MediocreMediocreWashington.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 1:35 pm • linkreport

Kwame Brown is a small, small man. It blows my mind that he, as the Council Chair, can be so petty.

by Robert T. Boaz on Jul 12, 2011 1:35 pm • linkreport

@Phil 'It's an open secret that a fair number of DC registered voters actually reside in PG County but maintain voter registration in DC through a parent's address or other means.

It's an open secret that a fair number of the GGW folks calling for a recall on this blog live in Arlington ... and Silver Spring ... and who knows where else ...

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 1:37 pm • linkreport

Not surprising at all. Wells has a track record of rubbing other councilmembers the wrong way. He's forgetful and kind of clueless and will sometimes do things like take 100% credit for legislation he co-authored with another Member (Kwame Brown was the co-lead on that bag tax bill, but was no where to be seen when the press releases came out, for example).

I'd read about some questionable stuff Tommy did regarding H Street, so it's not like the dude is 100% scandal free.

If it's true that Tommy's got his eyes on the Mayor or the Chairman's office, that too was bad form.

by ep sato on Jul 12, 2011 1:38 pm • linkreport

@Lance:
Yes, it is. What do you think is objectionable? Is @JustMe mischaracterizing your argument? If so, please explain why or how they're doing so. However, mischaracterizing someone's argument is not against our comment policy.

I also don't see anything wrong with Geoff's earlier comment. I will remind you both, however, that you're supposed to take a break from arguing with each other.

by Matt Johnson on Jul 12, 2011 1:40 pm • linkreport

I have to laugh at Karl's assumption that people only ride bikes because they are poor. That is so 1950s.

You see that assumption in the developing world where driving was once only available to the wealthy, and so as soon as people got the $ they bought a car. Now, try to get around Beijing. Back in the Developed world, many of the wealthiest nations have high bike usage: just go to Copenhagen, which is both one of the most expensive cities in the world, and has a high bicycle usage.

Back to the USA: I would say that in this region, the majority of cyclists are relatively well off. Indeed, didnt Vince Gray sorta run on "bikes are for rich white people." For specific examples: Karl, you do realize that David Alpert was one of the original people at Google. I think its pretty safe to say that he can afford a very very nice car.

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 1:40 pm • linkreport

I actually live in DC, but anyway Lance your attempt to draw equivalence between the two is false. Expressing your opinions about a political situation is your right as a citizen, regardless of where you may live. Voting in a community in which you do not reside, on the other hand, is at best ethically dubious and may be a criminal offense depending on the particulars of the situation.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 1:42 pm • linkreport

Lance: I drove down Rock Creek Park today, and there were probably 5 bikes. My speed may have been slowed for about 15- 30 seconds each. Did they delay me? no. I still had to wait at several bottle necks, caused by all the cars on the road. All that would have happened was that I was spending more time in line.

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 1:45 pm • linkreport

"You see that assumption in the developing world where driving was once only available to the wealthy, and so as soon as people got the $ they bought a car. Now, try to get around Beijing. Back in the Developed world, many of the wealthiest nations have high bike usage: just go to Copenhagen, which is both one of the most expensive cities in the world, and has a high bicycle usage."

By the way, Beijing and Shanghai have great 15th St-style separated bikeways on major streets, though e-bikes, motor scooters, and the occasional car have a nasty habit of clogging them up. And both cities are building new transit at a furious pace.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 1:45 pm • linkreport

Phil: I did not realize that. Anyway, I don't know that I'd want to ride in Beijing: the air is terrible.

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 1:46 pm • linkreport

@Froggie wrote:
'Lance's comment from 9:22am about how "the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city" are "because of bicycles" has got to be the most out-to-lunch thing I've read in a long while.'

@Lance wrote:
Nice try with your revisionist out of context cutting and pasting ... what I said was 'Ditto the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles'

Seriously! Sheesh, way to take things out of context. You *claim* Lance was implying that the traffic problems we're having in the city are because of bicycles, whereas it was clear to anyone who can read English that Lance was decrying "the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles"!!!

It's like the vast yawning chasm in meaning between, "I would like a beer with lunch" and "A beer for lunch is something I would like." How anyone can think these two things are equivalent strains credulity.

I will now go drink several beers for lunch.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 1:49 pm • linkreport

...and Beijing and Shanghai both have congestion fees..

by Tina on Jul 12, 2011 1:49 pm • linkreport

Seems like Kwame Brown still isn't taking full responsibility for the SUV incident. He's an embarrassment to DC government, a throw-back to the 1980's. If those who expose curruption are punished, there's less and less incentive to expose curruption.

by Maggie on Jul 12, 2011 1:54 pm • linkreport

Someone from GGW who is experienced in planning needs to fly to China, go to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition, and write a story on it. While a lot of the content is pure propaganda there is a lot of interesting information on how the Chinese (or at least the Shanghai) government thinks about urban planning. TOD and "urban villages" are definitely part of their vocabulary.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 1:55 pm • linkreport

[Wells] will sometimes do things like take 100% credit for legislation he co-authored with another Member (Kwame Brown was the co-lead on that bag tax bill, but was no where to be seen when the press releases came out, for example).

It's too bad that Tommy Wells has complete control over all press releases so that Brown can't release his own. Brown may have co-authored it (though I can't find any proof of it) but it was Wells' baby and he did all the leg work. Which press release are talking about anyway?

I'd read about some questionable stuff Tommy did regarding H Street,

And I read about some awesome and truly heroic things he did. But I don't have time to mention what they are or where I heard about them.

by David C on Jul 12, 2011 1:55 pm • linkreport

@ep sato:

If it's true that Tommy's got his eyes on the Mayor or the Chairman's office, that too was bad form.

Poor form to make claims without substantiating them in any way. Just saying.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 1:59 pm • linkreport

@JustMeYou seem to get pretty agitated when people don't validate your opinion or consider it worth bothering with. You weren't even bothering to state your opinion;

I don't think, NO, I know that you won't find any post from me asking people to validate my opinion. What you will find is me stating my opinion and Oboe suggesting that my opinion on the recall mess is not as irrelevant as the majority of those who would support it. The facts are what they are.

Also, my opinion is that removing someone from a chairmanship (standard political practice) is not something to be recalled over. I would paste the actual comment from me suggesting this but it likely won't matter. If you didn't read it the first time, you likely won't here either. But such is the world of you and other likeminded folk who are all about the MyopicTwitsofWashington.

@Lance, please don't expect consistency with the censoring here.

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 1:59 pm • linkreport

@Matt Johnson ... @JustMe mischaracterizing your argument? If so, please explain why or how they're doing so.

Yes, most certainly ... My argument has simply been that 'retribution' is not necessarily the reason behind Wells being taken away the Transportation Committee given that there can be lots of other reasons behind this move by the chairman. I.e., My argument has absolutely nothing to do with whether someone wants a better DC or a mediocre DC ... It's simply about giving 'due process' such as looking at FACTS before jumping to conclusions. JustMe is doing an ad homenin attack on my motivations and YES, that IS against GGW policy ... as IS the ad homenin attack by Hatchard where he calls me a troll.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 2:00 pm • linkreport

"Slowing down 99% of the people traveling on them for the benefit of that priviledged 1% who have the time and the money to live near their downtown jobs isn't an efficient use of our resources."

Why do you think people who are biking live near their downtown jobs? For me it's the last mile home after I get off the train. My wife bikes to the Metro, to go out to Silver Spring. My neighbor bikes from NE to Crystal City. My coworker bikes from Bethesda to Alexandria. Do you really believe your commute would be less crowded if we were all in our cars?

by Brian White on Jul 12, 2011 2:22 pm • linkreport

Well well well, there goes Mr. Alpet again writing crap without knowing the facts about the issues. You need to go back to school & take journalism 101 Mr. Alpert, before coming & writing such a outragus report. Believe me I am no fan of any of these third world class politicians who run this city government baced on who did them a favoir rather than what is good for the public, for the city & God forbid for the country. And if I had the power I would strip them from the position that they are in & put most of them behind the bars. But you sir need to first educate your self about what the facts areA before reporting them.

by Alex on Jul 12, 2011 2:23 pm • linkreport

@Lance:
I want you to look up the definition of ad hominem and then copy and paste it here. Please cite your source.

What @JustMe did was to suggest based on your argument that you don't want a greater Washington. That may not be true. Personally, I believe that you do want a better Washington. Of course, we disagree on the specifics.

Now, what @JustMe did was address your argument. He may not have understood your meaning or he may have purposefully mischaracterized or oversimplified it, but that's not an ad hominem.

You clearly don't know what an ad hominem is if you think your motivations can be subject to one.

You also seem to think that David and I are supposed to act like parents and intervene in childish debates. Well, I'm sorry, it doesn't work like that. You don't get to goad people and then ask daddy to step in and put the other person in a corner, especially if the other person didn't take the bait.

If you want to be a part of the discussion here, you're going to have to learn to defend your own arguments. And if it looks like you're going to lose one, you're going to have to learn that sometimes you lose an argument.

Our prohibition on ad hominems is in place to ensure that Greater Greater Washington is a place for civil debate. Ad hominems don't have any place here because they are not a part of civil debate. In fact, in terms of debating, making an ad hominem generally means you can't refute an argument using logic, and that means you've lost the debate.

Crying to the moderator is also not a part of civil debate. If you want to win, use your inestimable talents to refute the other person's statements. If, on the other hand, all you want to do is inspire people to argue with you by making provocative statements meant to elicit an emotional response, go right ahead. But don't complain to me when you get an emotional response.

I'm not sure if you watch football or not, but sometimes one team tries to draw the other team offsides. That's what it seems to me you do a lot of the time. If someone breaks the rules, I'll throw the yellow flag. But I'm not going to reprimand someone simply because you tried (and failed) to draw them over the line of scrimmage before the snap.

The call on the field stands.

by Matt Johnson on Jul 12, 2011 2:24 pm • linkreport

@Lance
You are correct. Wells could end up with a much better committee. David and this group are notorious for getting things stirred up and few of them even live in DC. Remember the streetcar issue during Gray's campaign. Turns out DDOT hadn't done squat on getting the funding in place and just yesterday the Examiner had an article on "H Street revitalization costs businesses." "In the wake of construction [of the trolley] are the remains of dozens of boarded-up businesses that couldn't survive the firestorm of construction and increased property values caused by the revitalization and influx of trendy new establishments." Let's see how the new establishments survive once they start paying the tax assessment for the trolley.

DDOT needs new staff and leadership. It hasn't fulfilled its mission since Dan Tangherlini left. GGW should be happy to have Mary at the head of this committee -- she loves bicycles.

by karl on Jul 12, 2011 2:33 pm • linkreport

...Mary (Cheh)...loves bicycles. This is true.

by Tina on Jul 12, 2011 2:40 pm • linkreport

When will people understand that H Street was not ripped up for years just to put in streetcar tracks? The H Street rebuild was planned long ago, and DDOT decided to combine the track installation with it to minimize costs and further disruption down the road.

by Phil on Jul 12, 2011 2:48 pm • linkreport

@karl,

Just yesterday the Examiner had an article on "H Street revitalization costs businesses." "In the wake of construction [of the trolley] are the remains of dozens of boarded-up businesses that couldn't survive the firestorm of construction and increased property values caused by the revitalization and influx of trendy new establishments."

Two things: First, why your editorial addition "of the trolley"? With no track work whatsoever, the process was likely to take a significant amount of time. Is it your preference that the H Street streetscape and utilities simply be allowed to fester in disrepair in perpetuity?

What's the alternative to the "firestorm" of tending to our city's infrastructure?

Secondly, do you have any evidence that the increased property values have played any part in old business shuttering? As opposed to the failure to adapt to a new customer base, for example.

I'm honestly interested in your take on this.

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 2:48 pm • linkreport

"Oh btw, recall Brown at your discretion. But please expect the fallout from a GGW-induced effort to reverberate around the city. "

And what does this mean? What fallout are you suggesting? Is it because it's GGW and nto the Frst Baptist Church?

Is this that Longtimer threat again? (though how someone who has only been in town for less than a decade thinks they can speak for Longterm residents is quite a joke to me). Are you implying that if a group of people in DC work towards the goals they wish to achieve (a non corrupt council) that there that would be adverse affects amongst certain sections/segments of DC?

"Myops Unite!" Are you ever going to stop insulting a group you are a part of? Or do you have such self-hatred you know no other way?

by greent on Jul 12, 2011 3:00 pm • linkreport

Perhaps Lance is one of those guys who never learned how to ride a bicycle when he was younger, and is now jealous at everyone who can?

I'm trying to think of another sane, rational reason why anyone would place the blame for this city's traffic woes on bicyclists. Then again, perhaps "sane" and "reasonable" are the wrong places to be looking.

by Ron on Jul 12, 2011 3:25 pm • linkreport

@Ron I'm trying to think of another sane, rational reason why anyone would place the blame for this city's traffic woes on bicyclists.

Again, I didn't say that bicyclists single handlely cause all the traffic problems in DC. I said:

"I seem to remember Wells being a big part of the reason this fiasco got built as it did ... Ditto the current immense traffic problems we're having in the city because of bicycles."

i.e., Wells is a big part of the traffic problems caused by the increase in bicycle ridership for non-recreational purposes which he encouraged ... as did GGW.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 3:40 pm • linkreport

@ Lance -- yes, we understand that you think biking has caused some kind of traffic problems. However, you have provided no evidence that biking has cause traffic problems. You can keep repeating the same words over and over again, but it will not help your argument because no one else sees evidence of the so called problem you are citing. That's what people are reacting too. No evidence of bikes causing traffic problems on a regular basis.

by Kate W. on Jul 12, 2011 3:50 pm • linkreport

And yet Lance you never provide any proof that bicycles cause traffic problems.

Please do so.

Please. I'd love to see such metrics.

by greent on Jul 12, 2011 3:51 pm • linkreport

So some folks on 15th and on Pennsylvania have to wait a little longer to turn left. In my experience, through traffic, which is the vast bulk of traffic on both, is unaffected. None of the other bike improvements have taken out lanes as far as I know.

If you want people to use an alternative mode of transportation and reduce car usage, you need to build a network. The same principle applied to the Interstate system...there's no reason why it can't be done for bicycles in an urban environment, except that a few obstinate oldtimers in this town will complain and try to stop it otherwise.

by Froggie on Jul 12, 2011 4:02 pm • linkreport

Is anyone else really excited to see Lance's support? I cant even imagine what numbers, streets, or facts he is going to find or throw out there. Either way its going to be absolutely absurd at how many people are going to pick apart this next argument.

@Lance you better come strong or dont come at all my friend

by Ryan on Jul 12, 2011 4:08 pm • linkreport

@Kate W and greent ... And where I am going to get these metrics from ... DDOT? LOL

Just try driving in the city during either the morning or evening rush hour and you will find that it is much more difficult to navigate the streets now by car than it was as recently as 5 years ago because of the added element of unpredictability which bikes bring to the table. Adding biking to the mix of a commute in a small town or even small city may be fully acceptable, but adding bikes to the mix in a city that already has traffic problems is insane.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 4:12 pm • linkreport

the 3:58 post is NOT mine ...

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 4:13 pm • linkreport

@Lance - does it concern you that today we have another poor quality air warning -the 7th this month? (2 red, 5 orange)

For more information on ground-level ozone and fine
particles... visit www.Cleanairpartners.Net.

From the weather underground Special Weather Statement for July 12, 2011

by Tina on Jul 12, 2011 4:14 pm • linkreport

"Just try driving in the city during either the morning or evening rush hour"

Facts Lance. Not anecdotal stories. Numbers, metrics, proof.

Please.

by greent on Jul 12, 2011 4:16 pm • linkreport

Well, that was rather disappointing that Lance wasn't going to do research about how its so much harder and more difficult to drive around the city during rush hour.

@Lance is taking the metro really not an option for you?

by Ryan on Jul 12, 2011 4:20 pm • linkreport

I have deleted a comment impersonating Lance. Pretending to be another commenter is now allowed and such comments will be removed.

by David Alpert on Jul 12, 2011 4:21 pm • linkreport

Just try driving in the city during either the morning or evening rush hour

Yeah. I think it has something to do with all of those cars on the road, actually.

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 4:21 pm • linkreport

@Froggie 'If you want people to use an alternative mode of transportation and reduce car usage, you need to build a network. The same principle applied to the Interstate system...there's no reason why it can't be done for bicycles in an urban environment, '

I agree with you completely! Bikes need their own paths. And we have some of the best bike paths in the country within a 30 mile radius of the city!

And if you can figure out a way to build more paths in the city center without affecting traffic, I'm with you on that too. I'd even be for making a few north/south and a few east/west roads primarily for cyclists with speed limits at 15 mph for motorized traffic on these few select streets.

The trick in my opinion is separating the two types of traffic because when you try to mix them everyone loses. Cars lose their speed and efficiency and cyclists get put into danger. Just encouraging 'sharing the road' as Wells and GGW have done adds nothing to a solution. It just makes it worse for all invovled.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 4:22 pm • linkreport

@Tina, Today's cars are very clean burning. If there's a clean air warning it's more likely due to the coal burning plants to our west ... the ones that produce the electricty that will be used to power the streetcars ...

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 4:25 pm • linkreport

"It really does, after just six months of chairing a committee, hiring a staff, doing the research, it really represents a waste of time, a waste of government resources," said Wells, who took over transportation in January.- But who cares its just wasting taxpayers and Kwame "fully loaded" Brown doesnt really care about that when he has a grudge

by Mikem on Jul 12, 2011 4:26 pm • linkreport

@Lance -by "clean burning" do you mean "gas burning"? That would be the primary source of ground level ozone and fine particulates in DC.

by Tina on Jul 12, 2011 4:29 pm • linkreport

Lance: you are right that some pollution comes from coal-burning plants to the west (but also in the region). However, a lot of local pollution comes from cars. NOx is largely a product of internal combustion engines. Pollution is also caused by cars etc kicking up dirt etc into an aerosol, and from simple evaporation of gasoline, oil etc.

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 4:31 pm • linkreport

Cars lose their speed and efficiency and cyclists get put into danger.

I've driven all over the city in my car when bikes were not present. It turns out that cars are not very fast or very efficient in congested, stop-and-go traffic. And, in fact, not that much faster than bicycles, which in any case rarely if ever share the lane with cars.

"Sharing the road" is a solution to the fact that cars have long since given up a claim to be any type of efficient form of transportation over the congested roads whose traffic lights aren't even remotely synchronized. What are you whining about a car's "speed" being inhibited when all you're going to do is go 25 mph to the next red light, where you will sit idle for the next 60 seconds?

DC is a congested mess of traffic. That fact was not caused by bikes. That fact was caused by you and your car. If you would stop driving your car around the city, it would be less congested. If you found other ways of getting around the city without your car, you'd be stuck in congestion less often. I think you should be lashing out at the drivers clogging the streets rather than the bicyclists, who aren't a large community. You're just lashing out at some convenient target to blame for your own problems. Take some responsibility for yourself and your community of car drivers rather than trying to scapegoat someone else.

by JustMe on Jul 12, 2011 4:32 pm • linkreport

Does anyone know if "Fully Loaded" is facing any criminal investigations?

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 4:34 pm • linkreport

@ Lance -- if you can't find metrics than you need to accept that most of the rest of us don't find your assertion convincing. I think traffic has gotten worse because of all the cars, not what really amounts to a handful of bikers. Especially given that traffic would be worse if they were in cars.

by Kate W. on Jul 12, 2011 4:49 pm • linkreport

Lance, I encourage you to check out some of the literature over at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. According to their numbers, automobiles are responsible for a bit more NOX emissions than stationary sources (power plants, factories)... 149 tons/day vs. 113 tons/day.

But you are correct, cars are much cleaner today. As a result, most of the emissions reduction targets for the area rely on action by stationary sources.

by Mike B on Jul 12, 2011 4:55 pm • linkreport

I should amend that to say, the local air pollution plan relies heavily on stationary sources also because automobile emissions standards are up to US EPA (and also California, which sets its own rules that states can adopt). States have much more authority to address stationary sources as they wish.

by Mike B on Jul 12, 2011 4:59 pm • linkreport

Kwame you SUCK! Wells is a good guy and should not have been treated this way. Cheh has been brought and paid for and I am sure ward 3 won't stand for this. Vincent Orange Kwame is mad a t you to so you can't play either except for with Tommy Wells, and Bowser has not done one thing with Parks & Rec since she took over so Government Operations your ship just started to sink today as well.!

by pleasehelpus on Jul 12, 2011 5:10 pm • linkreport

@Greent quoting Hog"Oh btw, recall Brown at your discretion. But please expect the fallout from a GGW-induced effort to reverberate around the city."

@Green..And what does this mean? What fallout are you suggesting? Is it because it's GGW and nto the Frst Baptist Church?

It means exactly what it says it means. That there will be fallout from GGW inciting a Brown recall. I didn't think there was anything subliminal in that. And I have no idea what First Baptist Church has to do w/anything. Surely you're not suggesting that the fallout will be because GGW (is white) and a First Baptist Church (is black). Well, at least I hope you aren't.

Is this that Longtimer threat again? (though how someone who has only been in town for less than a decade thinks they can speak for Longterm residents is quite a joke to me).

Don't know what a "longtimer" threat is. Also assume that you're referring to someone else when you talk about someone who hasn't been in DC longer than a decade.

Are you implying that if a group of people in DC work towards the goals they wish to achieve (a non corrupt council) that there that would be adverse affects amongst certain sections/segments of DC?

Well yes. Isn't that what basically happened here? A group of people reacting to decisions they see as adverse to their interests? In this case, this group is pushing a recall agenda instigated in part by GGW.

by HogWash on Jul 12, 2011 5:30 pm • linkreport

HogWash: Isn't it entirely possible to be angy at Fully Loaded Kwame because he is being petty and vindictive? More importantly, what does this say about his opinion about the entire Navigator scandal? It doesnt look like he felt in any way chastened. Wells supported Kwame, then did the right thing and investigated an abuse of power by a man he supported. Kwame responded by further abusing his power to punish Wells. These are all reasons for questioning Kwame, irrespective of his position on bikes etc.

by SJE on Jul 12, 2011 6:18 pm • linkreport

Lance: "Just try driving in the city during either the morning or evening rush hour and you will find that it is much more difficult to navigate the streets now by car than it was as recently as 5 years ago "

In case you missed the news, the DC region has been growing by leaps and bounds. There are a lot of people here. A lot of people drive here. A lot of cars are on the city's streets. That's going to make driving difficult.

To say that your claim that bicyclists are the root of the city's traffic woes is spurious would be an insult to spurious claims everywhere. You've proffered nothing other than your own projections to support your statement that bicyclists are the root of the problem. And I don't think that you can.

by Ron on Jul 12, 2011 7:46 pm • linkreport

@Ron To say that your claim that bicyclists are the root of the city's traffic woes is spurious would be an insult to spurious claims everywhere.

For like the fifth time ... I didn't say that bicyclists are the root of the city's traffic woes. What I was talking about were the problems which adding bicyclists to the traffic mix causes. I'm not going to go into a long littany but suffice it to say it's a lot harder to drive through the city streets when you need to be doing things like looking in your blind spot for a cyclist that's in a lane to your right (a lane that wasn't there before and thus didn't require trying to look into your blind spot.), having to deal with cyclists taking advantage of a red light to 'cut to the front of the line' and essenntially making it impossible for you to progress normally through the intersection when YOUR green light gets literally stolen by someone who arrived LAST at the intersection ... Ditto for YOUR turn at the 4 way stop. And that's if they stop at all at the red light or the intersection. The list goes on and on.

And the bottom line is that encouraging additional use of bicycles without first building separate facilities for them to operate on is irresponsible.

by Lance on Jul 12, 2011 9:25 pm • linkreport

The other interesting peice to this is that now Bowser will be in charge of Gov Ops rather than Cheh. On one hand, Cheh is Gray's BFF- to the consternation of 90% of Ward 3. On the other, Ward 4 is a bastion of DC gov workers and lots of high ranking agency people live in Shepherd Park and Gold Coast, and Bowser faces challengers.

by Drez on Jul 12, 2011 9:27 pm • linkreport

DC is not a congested mess of traffic. That being said, significant congestion does exist on certain gateway streets such as New York Avenue.

But for the most part, the city doesn't have that much congestion--at least not if I can ride through red lights on major streets during rush hours using Idaho Stop rules (no oncoming traffic or significant gaps). Frankly, it proves that the walking/biking/transit city works.

The major congestion problems are in the suburbs. That is not "DC"'s problem. But whining about bikes won't make much difference to the traffic on the Beltway and other roads (Rte. 7, 14th St. bridge, etc.). It's a completely fallacious argument.

2. It's laughable to say that somehow bikes have created incredible congestion. Give me some proof. I ride on streets all over the city and that's not my experience.

3. Technically, while DDOT did make the decision to combine the streetscape rebuild with installation of streetcar tracks, that was at the initiative of then ANC6A Chair Joe Fengler, who figured out (1) it would be extremely disruptive to rip up the road twice and (2) that if they installed the tracks it would significantly increase the likelihood of the streetcar coming.

4. The problems with H St. businesses were predicted before the commencement of construction. Clearly the city didn't do the right things in order to mitigate the problems that were going to occur. OTOH, marketing wouldn't have helped most of the businesses, which had other problems.

HOWEVER, jacking up the assessments and therefore the property taxes during the construction period was not the right thing to do, but is typical in these kinds of situations (see the discussion of use of this and other similar methods in _Death and Life of Great American Cities_).

Because the city increased not reduced property taxes/assessments during the construction period, I would argue that they pushed these businesses/property owners to the brink, because their revenues were falling at the same time. The city ought to remove those properties from the tax lien sale and come up with a mitigation strategy.

5. WRT Transportation and Environment, in theory it makes sense to link them, but in a practical sense it isn't necessary. Transpo deserves its own committee as it is absolutely the #1 driver of economic development in a center city like Washington.

That being said, with regard to CM Wells' new assignment, Planning, Parks, Transportation, and School Planning decisions (not curriculum) should be covered by one Planning Commission, which should also have oversight over all planning activities of the city.

6. WRT speculation, which is opinion, which is what the original piece is (well, Opinion and Analysis) which is ok and so David Alpert doesn't need to go to Journalism school as was suggested by some defenders of the decision, it is likely both retribution and preemption of CM Wells taking a shot at other higher offices. If anything, it will strengthen CM Wells' position to do so, as many of the other Councilmembers are tainted, and this doesn't help the cause of the others who aren't facing indictment.

by Richard Layman on Jul 12, 2011 9:28 pm • linkreport

Lance-
Traffic will get worse in DC each and every year as more people and jobs move here. It's gonna happen.
Might as well make it as pleasant as possible a place to actually live, as opposed to as easy as possible a place to simply drive through. The former is doable, the latter is a lost cause.

by Drez on Jul 12, 2011 9:31 pm • linkreport

Between David's incredibly irresponsible blog post -- seriously, David, back up your claims of payback with some sort of evidence, just as everyone is demanding of Lance with his assertions -- and the childish bickering that followed it, it's no wonder most people think this blog is a fucking joke.

by Anon on Jul 12, 2011 9:40 pm • linkreport

For like the fifth time ... I didn't say that bicyclists are the root of the city's traffic woes. What I was talking about were the problems which adding bicyclists to the traffic mix causes. I'm not going to go into a long littany but suffice it to say it's a lot harder to drive through the city streets when you need to be doing things like looking in your blind spot for a cyclist that's in a lane to your right (a lane that wasn't there before and thus didn't require trying to look into your blind spot.), having to deal with cyclists taking advantage of a red light to 'cut to the front of the line' and essenntially making it impossible for you to progress normally through the intersection when YOUR green light gets literally stolen by someone who arrived LAST at the intersection ... Ditto for YOUR turn at the 4 way stop. And that's if they stop at all at the red light or the intersection. The list goes on and on.

There's some point to this. However, if you as a driver are concerned about not hitting a cyclist, I have a real good suggestion for you. Just ratchet down your speed even more. I'm sure you're not a speeder, but I have found that one of the better ways to feel a tiny bit secure when driving is to go as slowly as I can.

I am cycling a lot now. There are TONS of cyclists out there. This is a good thing, i think. Their presence makes me feel very good and secure. For the most part, everyone is pretty good, in my observations. Even the cars. At the four way stops, yes, cyclists will make sure they go first. For me what I've found is that at what point do cyclists let each other go through first?! That's the true DC test.

If it helps you to get on here and complain, go for it.

by Jazzy on Jul 12, 2011 9:49 pm • linkreport

I'll second some of the statements urging caution before contacting council members. It's ALWAYS a good idea to investigate on your own before reacting. Often, things are more complicated than they appear - I'm not saying I know what they are.

But look at the vote. 12-1. Doesn't the man have any friends?

by Jazzy on Jul 12, 2011 10:08 pm • linkreport

What Richard Layman said. Especially the point about the H street tracks. They put the cart before the horse (Laying track. Buying cars) on purpose. They had the foresight to know that in the years to come a throwback do-nothing administration could come to power and sideline the whole thing indefinitely. By starting the infrastructure and spending money while they had support they guaranteed DC would get it's streetcar system sooner rather than later. Pretty brilliant really. Especially when you consider their worst fears came true.

by Johnny on Jul 12, 2011 10:21 pm • linkreport

Cheh is a full time law professor and this council gig is part time for her and she is only interested in the power and not doing the job. She has no time for these committees and is only taking them to raise her own selfworth. Klingle Trail did not have one ANC supporting it at the final EA but there was an ANC that supported opening the land as a road. Nor did any bike group come forward and add written testimony on how much they needed a bike trail in the middle of a road used by cars. Klingle Trail has nothing to do with biking but a political payback that Mary Cheh owed. First Cheh put in for the Tregaron Park to be created tax free and 5 houses were to be built on Klingle Road. When the Tregaron legislation was final law Cheh put in for Klingle Road to be a hike/bike path taking away the usefulness of the 5 house lots and the tax money the city was promised. This conflicting legislation served Cheh not hikers and bikers nor the land owner at Tregaron nor the driving public or the city tax revenues.

by Sally on Jul 12, 2011 10:40 pm • linkreport

also- I grew up in DC and have been driving since 16. (Im now double that age). I honestly haven't noticed much of an uptick in congestion IN the city. Granted I never drive outside of DC unless I'm leaving town. I drive for groceries and to places the metro doesn't reach. Gtown, Palisades, Hstreet.
Given the growth DC has experienced since I started driving I'd have to credit the rather low congestion TO cycling and transit. Thank God not everyone drives. It's why I can still drive cross town in 10 minutes and get a haircut. Not sure what other city you can do that in.

by Johnny on Jul 12, 2011 10:42 pm • linkreport

Bikes need their own paths. And we have some of the best bike paths in the country within a 30 mile radius of the city.

Just in case you're wondering why folks might think you're fond of trolling, go back and reread the quote above. That you're trolling is the most flattering interpretation.

If I write, "there's no reason for cars to clutter up the urban streetscape! There are perfectly good 8 lane interstates out in the exurbs, reserved exclusively for motor vehicles!" then the casual observer is going to come to the conclusion that I'm either utterly deranged, an imbecile, or trolling.

Am I right, or is that unfair?

by oboe on Jul 12, 2011 11:11 pm • linkreport

1. I only read this blog to read Oboe's comments. Many of the rest of you, particularly Lance and Hogwash are pathetic and need to find gainful employment.

2. Kwame is a moron that is constantly surprised when he is caught doing something moronic.

3. Now we understand why our former Mayor couldn't stomach anyone On the Council but Wells and Evans?

4. Cheh is like Gray. Views herself as ethical, compassionate, and is delusional and power hungry. Snows everyone until it is too late.

5. Amazing that a compromised and possibly criminal Kwame can pull this. Only in Washington on the Vince and Kwame show.

I am sorry for speaking the actual truth. Go back to the banter.

by Pontiac Pilot on Jul 12, 2011 11:18 pm • linkreport

@Sally, not to digress this discussion into rehashing Klingle Road, but the developer had a proposal to have access to the houses you mention via a "bridal path". At no time was there ever a consideration to have access to those houses via curb cuts or driveways directly from Klingle Road. From what I understand, there are, or were 5 lots available on the Tregaron property, 2 or 3 on the "open" part of Klingle and the rest on Macomb Street. The Macomb lots even went before HPRB. To my knowledge, none of the parcels have been sold or developed.

by William on Jul 13, 2011 6:24 am • linkreport

William, the access to the 5 house lots were from Klingle Road as HPRB stated there would be no access across the historic property meaning the bridal path or any cut into the historic designation. Testimony before the City Council supporting the Tregaron tax free 13 acre park as proposed by Cheh would allow 8 house lots, 5 house lots on Klingle Road. At the time Klingle Road was to be rebuilt as a road for public use. After Cheh got the tax free park passed and was made final law Cheh proposed and badgered the Council to pass the Klingle Hike/bike plan never telling the Council members this was in direct conflict to the Tregaron legislation they had passed years earlier. Two million dollar houses will not be built, nor tax revenue generated on a hike/bike path. The District will be the looser and Cheh does not care about how useless and what a waste of money a 3 block hike/bike path is instead of a 100 year old open public road.

by Sally on Jul 13, 2011 7:39 am • linkreport

This is a strategy by Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown to sure up their base and shut down or distance themselves from priorities that they think are viewed in our community as gentrifying programs.

This includes streetcar east of the river and beyond, bike lanes, Circulator bus, some parks, and more.

It's also no secret that Mr. Wells despised Tom Downs, Mr. Gray's puppet on the Metro board, and this is an effort to silence Wells so that they can railroad through changes and then will try to blame them on the previous administration.

I have sat in on these meetings, and privately, I think it's very sad, but they are up against the wall politically and retrenching to their base.

Look for all of this to happen over the next 90 days, and more resignations from any talent left over from the previous administration, most of which are already gone.

by Insider on Jul 13, 2011 8:21 am • linkreport

I have removed another fake post by someone claiming to be Lance. Impersonating other commenters is not tolerated.

I have now set up the system so that any comments using the name "Lance," that aren't from Lance's email address, will go into the moderation queue before being posted for us to review.

by David Alpert on Jul 13, 2011 8:37 am • linkreport

I gotta say that reading Lance's fiction and the irate reactions he entices is some of the best entertainment I get on a daily basis. I love seeing that Lance even manages to get the moderators to argue with him. Well done Lance ;-) It's kinda like wipeout, but then on a daily basis and in blogform.

by Jasper on Jul 13, 2011 9:34 am • linkreport

http://www.ipetitions.com/start-petition

Free online tool to start a petition. Someone with more time please start.

by bob on Jul 13, 2011 9:58 am • linkreport

That there will be fallout from GGW inciting a Brown recall.

FALLOUT FROM WHOM?!?! What does this mean? What fallout are you implying, what do you see happening, can you explain this please?

I won't hold my breath, but one can hope. 2001 is not a longtimer.

by greent on Jul 13, 2011 1:51 pm • linkreport

What I most disturbing about this entire reorganization is the fact that each change was passed by a 12-1 vote with only Tommy objecting.

This certainly indicates that Kwame has absolute control.

I hope I'm not the only one deeply disturbed by the lack of backbone shown my the rest of the Council.

by Vernon on Jul 13, 2011 2:13 pm • linkreport

@Vernon, We're not disturbed. Actually, we're pleased. Everyone likes to see the holier than thou guy get his ... Including, obviously, the other Councilmembers.

by Lance on Jul 13, 2011 10:10 pm • linkreport

Kwame Brown, YOU sir, are "Politically Incorrect" ... TRANSPARENT, LAWLESS and completely OUT of ORDER!!!

by T.P. Woods on Jul 13, 2011 11:51 pm • linkreport

No loss about Wells (and it's the chair's prerogative). The big loss was Gabe Klein. But, thanks, GGW, for the hyperbole.

by melba on Jul 14, 2011 10:42 pm • linkreport

I think that Kwame Brown wanted to remove Cheh from the Govt Ops Committee as much as he wanted to retaliate against Wells.

I don't expect anything constructive from Bowser's chairmanship of the committee.

by DC Bus Rider on Jul 15, 2011 6:55 pm • linkreport

Tommy Wells was in way over his head with the public works committee,thats not even mentioning the metro board, He new absolutely nothing about public works and was totally relying on William Howland to give him direction, this would have been a total disaster to the citizens because Howland is being looked into now about some of his misgivings. Wells will probably thank Kwame later on for removing him from that situation and not revealing his naivte.

by Message2U on Jul 16, 2011 10:31 pm • linkreport

Brown's actions were outrageous indeed. Take action. Contact the City Council and every local blog you can. Send notes to every editor.

by Elisa P. on Jul 17, 2011 8:40 am • linkreport

Mary Cheh sent me an email at 3:44am this morning (Sunday) re: a school related traffic hazard/DDOT issue, with follow up from Dir. Bellamy at few hours later. The weekend response from these folks should is commendable.

I reckon we're in good hands folks. (None of the former leaders has died or anything.) Let's move fwd and focus on the real issues that affect our daily lives, it's kinda retarded not to.

by @CCCAPrez on Jul 17, 2011 7:18 pm • linkreport

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