Greater Greater Washington

Free sports tickets show DC politicians' sense of entitlement

DC Councilmember Jack Evans wants to enshrine into DC law modify DC's law to further codify the current practice that politicians get free sports tickets. This sends exactly the wrong message to DC residents frustrated with corruption and rampant cronyism in government. It tells voters that Jack, and anyone else who votes for this idea, share the sense of entitlement of far too many DC officials, some of whom are going to jail.


Photo by Mr. T in DC on Flickr.

Former councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. (D-Ward 5) stole money directly from the public. Free sports tickets aren't the same, but share many similarities. Thomas stole because he felt that he deserved more personal benefit from his position. Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) seems to feel that he deserves some freebies as well.

Please send Jack and the other councilmembers a message that their job is not to enrich themselves but to serve the people, and ask them to drop any law entitling them to free sports tickets.

The people of Ward 2 didn't elect Jack to go to sports games. They elected him to represent their interests. He already gets one of the highest salaries of a city councilmember in the nation, and then makes even more money lobbying on behalf of companies without even disclosing their identities.

But Jack seems to feel that his job entitles him to get free stuff, including stuff that he gets because of public money he spent, like $693 million on the baseball stadium. People are still debating whether that was a good deal or a horrible waste of taxpayer money. How can we trust that leaders voted with the best interests of DC at heart, or just for their personal benefit?

What about for potential stadium deals in the future? Is Jack more excited about a football practice facility than a soccer stadium just because he wants football tickets worse than soccer ones?

This attitude is sadly rampant on the council and in parts of the executive branch. Many people feel they've worked their way up to a position of power and now deserve something for it. This was the attitude behind Kwame Brown's 2 overpriced "fully loaded" Lincoln Navigators, behind Thomas' embezzling, behind Hariette Walters at the Office of Tax and Revenue, and many more. It's got to stop.

The only difference between Thomas taking money from youth baseball to pay a Hooters bill and Jack trying to get the budget to require free tickets for himself is that one broke the law to get free goodies and the other would make free goodies the law would adjust the law to cement the free goodies. But neither is right.

Here's a better idea for a budget amendment: require that any free tickets given to politicians instead be sold, and the proceeds go toward one of many legitimate needs, from library books to just shoring up the rainy-day fund.

Tell DC Councilmembers that any vote to mandate keep mandating sports tickets for themselves shows that they are putting their personal interests ahead of the people.

Update: To clarify, DC already gets tickets under an agreement when the stadiums were constructed, and it's been common practice thus far to distribute them among elected officials. This is wrong in and of itself, but any move to cement in law that certain people get them makes the quid pro quo even more explicit.

Further update/correction: Evans has followed up to point out that the law already requires half of the tickets to go to the council, and his budget amendment would just assign the tickets to various members. I have corrected this detail of the post.

However, I continue to feel that any step taken by the council to divvy up something that is inappropriate in the first place only reflects a belief that this giveaway is not wrong. The Council should not be tweaking its formula for giving away tickets; it should be abolishing the practice, and not doing so shows a serious ethical tone-deafness.

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This petition is now closed. Thank you for participating!

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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I'm really glad a sense of entitlement is NOT the same thing as a criminal offense. Heaven knows who would be arrested then.

Perhaps GGW should look at actual corruption - and not the appearance of corruption.

by charlie on Jun 5, 2012 10:17 am • linkreport

Tell 'em why you're mad!

+1 for using all ticket sale proceeds for library books!

by John Muller on Jun 5, 2012 10:21 am • linkreport

@charlie

Mandating free sports tickets is actual corruption. These tickets do have a dollar value, is basically the same thing as mandating to give politicians money.

Yes we can make the argument that we do that with their salary, but adding to their pay is much more transparent as it’s a budget line item. If we start giving politicians free stuff it becomes hard to track.

by Matt R on Jun 5, 2012 10:23 am • linkreport

This is why I THINK it could be helpful to elect one or two Republicans to the DC City Council. This sort of petty corruption is endemic to politics, regardless of party. However, it seems like it's only people on the opposite side who tend to call things out.

DC Republicans running for council have generally seemed moderate, smart growthy sorts. I'm not talking about electing Tea Party folks.

Or we could elect someone from the Green Party, but they need more sensible policy positions imo. Just electing a Green council member is not going to get us anywhere near statehood.

by Weiwen on Jun 5, 2012 10:24 am • linkreport

It's legal corruption vs. illegal corruption. The former just means you convinced a majority of legislators to make your corrupt behavior legal. Would it have been okay if Thomas had instead gotten a law passed saying that he gets money for Hooters and cable and a car?

by David Alpert on Jun 5, 2012 10:25 am • linkreport

David:

If you are going to be fair, please call out Tommy Wells and his staff as well. He and his staff use these tickets on a regular basis. What's the difference other than you like Tommy and dislike Jack?

Will you have the courage to stand up to Wells or just continue your attacks on Evans?

by leftie42 on Jun 5, 2012 10:27 am • linkreport

Mandating free sports tickets is actual corruption

Well, since the stadium was itself something built with public money, there is a case to be made that some of the tickets should be public property, in this case to be dispersed under the supervision and direction of the city council members. Quite honestly, I wouldn't mind a few more explicit reminders here to the Lerner family regarding who, exactly, they are supposed to be working for and why they were even brought here to DC in the first place.

by Tyro on Jun 5, 2012 10:28 am • linkreport

Put all the tickets into a lottery that any resident of the district can enter and give them away OR, like you suggest, have people pay for them and give the proceeds to deserving programs.

*also, there was no Captcha for the post, I had to do the preview to get one.

by thump on Jun 5, 2012 10:30 am • linkreport

+1 to Matt R. How about a law banning free tickets for all councilmembers instead?

As for Tyro's point - free tickets to some simply raise the cost to all others. Having paying attendees subsidize a few free tickets is just redistribution, and I have a hard time justifying that any more than having everyone pay extra taxes and then having a lottery to give some people a tax rebate.

by ah on Jun 5, 2012 10:37 am • linkreport

DC Councilmember Jack Evans wants to make it DC law that politicians get free sports tickets.

This is a bit misleading. What Evans wants is that the tickets that are given anyway get divided in a special way.

There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that he thinks he should get some of them.

I support the lottery idea. Just let Washingtonians set up an internet account, and distribute the tickets randomly.

Also, why is the city getting these tickets at all?

by Jasper on Jun 5, 2012 10:47 am • linkreport

Maybe while we're at it we can get rid of the numbered license plates that city politicos get to hand out to their preferred cronies.

by Phil on Jun 5, 2012 10:53 am • linkreport

The DC Government gets 63 tickets per game? 63? That the council/ Mayor use either for their own personal benefit, or to reward contributors or ingratiate themselves with voters? That's outrageous. I wholeheartedly support the notion that ALL "free" tickets be sold and the proceeds be directed to a specific purpose (library books, playgrounds, senior centers, whatever).

If you assume $60 each (which, given that the seats are box and lower bowl, is probably low), the seats are worth at least $3780 per game. For 81 games, that's over $300,000 each year. And that's not even counting the 36 box seats for each Verizon Center - basketball, hockey, concerts, etc. We're easily looking at over $500,000 each year that could go to some very worthy programs, rather than providing an unnecessary benefit to elected officials (at best), adding to incumbents' already considerable re-election advantages (worse), or providing them with an explicit means paying off favors (actual corruption).

by dcd on Jun 5, 2012 10:57 am • linkreport

To be fair to Evans, his proposal as I understand it wouldn't actually change the number of tickets currently handed out, just the regular unseemly scrabbling for them. And I can sort of see the case for government tickets generally; the Mayor and Council must sometimes entertain would-be developers or investors, and the record suggests these guests are capable of making their business decisions based upon the quality of the entertainment provided rather than the underlying financial case.

But in practice, these tickets are first and foremost political capital and/or perks of office. Most are handed out to constituents as a form of political advertising, and most of the rest are used by the Mayor and Council and their staffs. As such, they do nothing to bring new business to DC. If it were possible to create and enforce a "business case" requirement to use the tickets, it might be worth keeping them, but given the unlikelihood of accomplishing that I think we're better off abolishing the practice than codifying it.

(FYI: Another case of needing to preview to see the Captcha here.)

by cminus on Jun 5, 2012 10:58 am • linkreport

David:

Your silence is deafening. Do you condone the use of these tickets on a regular basis by Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells?

I just don't understand how you can continue your attack on Evans when Wells is one of the biggest users of these tickets.

What say ye?

by leftie42 on Jun 5, 2012 11:06 am • linkreport

Here's a copy of my letter comment:

I believe that DC has a right to obtain return on its investments, but these returns should be on the developments paying back city loans, paying their due share of taxes, the growth in the surrounding tax base, and the improvements in quality of life experienced by the taxpayers; not in giving free goods to a select few. I do not support this non-traditional measure of what, to me, feels like excessive intrusion into private industry.

If we, the taxpayers, feel that we really do deserve more: it should be the taxpayers whom directly receive the tickets through a random means of dispersion; not through an arbitrary intermediary with no obligation to share them with the public. But by extension it'd seem we should all be privy to free gizmos from the shops and free meals from the restaurants in Columbia Heights and along H Street, considering all the recent investments we, the people, have contributed toward them. But certainly such a proposal would make us much the same laughingstock as NYC is currently bathing in with regards to their recently proposed prohibition on large sodas.

Thank you for your time.

by Bossi on Jun 5, 2012 11:09 am • linkreport

Are we getting a little petition/letter happy over here or are we all just enjoying a new feature? This seems like a non-issue. It's an attempt to remove the politicizing, pettiness and bickering over tickets that have been featured here in the past. I don't see a need to equate this with corruption or entitlement. This reads unnecessarily alarmist.

by selxic on Jun 5, 2012 11:11 am • linkreport

Obviously I don't have a problem w/CM's receiving nor expecting free tickets. But I always thought they were gifted rather than the city procurring them. I would expect the mayor or council of a city to have box seats of some sort though..or at least access to them. That is a perk of being a city official..or it should be.

WRT to the "sell them" suggestion. How would that work? Are we selling off box seats @ market rate prices? If so, then what's the benefit of selling them?

If the sports teams offer gift these to the council and Evans wants to clarify (as law) the distrubution. I don't have an issue w/that as it keeps the next mayor from making such ridiculous political hay over this.

If the city already procures them for the entire council and Evans want to clarify the distribution, I don't have a problem w/that either.

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 11:13 am • linkreport

@ cminus:the Mayor and Council must sometimes entertain would-be developers or investors,

Ehm, why? Is that not corruption the other way?

the record suggests these guests are capable of making their business decisions based upon the quality of the entertainment provided

Hmmm. Are you really suggesting that guests put their business in DC because the mayor took them to a game? Those are bad business decisions.

If it were possible to create and enforce a "business case" requirement to use the tickets,

They could be purchased, just like normal people do?

by Jasper on Jun 5, 2012 11:15 am • linkreport

I'm really trying hard to understand the issue here.

Does anyone know whether Tommy Wells has accepted and used any of alloted tickets?

Better yet, is there a list of those who have and haven't used them?

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 11:16 am • linkreport

"Hmmm. Are you really suggesting that guests put their business in DC because the mayor took them to a game? Those are bad business decisions."

Of course offering sports tickets helps to secure business. That's why companies pay for all of those expensive corporate boxes. In my opinion, offering free sports seats creates the appearance of impropriety which is why I don't accept such offers if they are coming from people my organization does business with. Many are less scrupulous, though.

by Phil on Jun 5, 2012 11:28 am • linkreport

Of course Tommy Wells uses his free tickets. But, he also likes bike lanes so its ok!

We either need to set up a lottery for DC school kids where DCPS could use them as a reward for kids, or we sell them off for fair market value and profit to the tune of ~half a million a year(if not more) and use the money for something.

by Tommy on Jun 5, 2012 11:32 am • linkreport

I believe all councilmembers use them in some way (either for themselves or giving them away to constituents), which is why the action goes to all 13 of them. Jack is the only one to propose enshrining it into law, but this post or letter doesn't single out any other one person for praise or criticism.

by David Alpert on Jun 5, 2012 11:34 am • linkreport

@leftie42 & @HogWash: The pieces (both WaPo and David's) directly address Evans because he's the one who introduced the amendment. No mention is made of the other council members who didn't introduce the amendment (Wells, Cheh, Graham, etc.). I imagine every single council member uses the tickets in some fashion. The only other council members referred to are those who have either been convicted of corruption or displayed the an entitled attitude similar to Evans's. I'm having a hard time seeing how you can view this as a preferring Wells.

by dcd on Jun 5, 2012 11:37 am • linkreport

Oh, and lets stop with the stadium was a waste of taxpayer money canard, because GGW knows full well that there is no actual city money in the project and that the special tax on large corporate DC businesses was set up for the project has actually been paying for the stadium, AND creating a juicy surplus every year. DC has collected more than 135 million in surplus tax payments from the stadium tax, that they've been using to pay for other things near and dear to the urbanist's heart (bike lanes, cabi, streetcar etc)

by Tommy on Jun 5, 2012 11:39 am • linkreport

http://twitter.com/TommyWells/status/209838245905838081

Quoth Tommy Wells...

"Making it law for Councilmembers to get free tickets to Nats and Verizon Center is ridiculous. Not to mention an embarrassment to the city."

by H Man on Jun 5, 2012 11:39 am • linkreport

I don't think very many of you actually read the article linked in the first paragraph.

The Washington Post article doesn't say anything about making a law that they have to get these tickets. It creates a standard distribution system for the tickets they do get. Regardless of whether or not you think they should get the tickets in the first place, the fact is that they do. Creating a system that avoids the squabbles we've seen in the past just makes sense.

Furthermore, although I agree that these tickets are probably not getting used for these purposes all the time, I think it's ridiculous to suggest that there can't sometimes be a legitimate benefit to the city for the officials to have access to these tickets. I don't have a great idea for fixing the system, but saying they should get no tickets doesn't make a lot of sense.

by Zach on Jun 5, 2012 11:42 am • linkreport

Maybe Jack Evans and his staff should try spending their time putting together some legislation that actually does something for this city. But I guess when your Council position is a side job/reason to get a fancy license plate and you only need to rally 2500 people to vote you into office every 4 years this is what you get.

So many of the councilmembers just seem like entitled twits, complaining that the color of their Navigator is wrong or the status of their free box seats to the Nats/Caps/etc. The fact that Jack Evans has the cojones to propose enshrining this in the law shows how out of touch he is.

by MLD on Jun 5, 2012 11:49 am • linkreport

I don't see how it has any bearing on the issue whether Tommy Wells has used the tickets before. Maybe he shouldn't but don't act like its in the same league as embezzeling from charities or the other major issues. And its Jack Evans who introduced the bill.

I don't see why David has to answer every time Tommy Wells sneezes.

by drumz on Jun 5, 2012 11:50 am • linkreport

Also, I just talk to Tommy's chief of staff, Charles Allen, who said:
Tommy hasn't used council tix for one game this year. We've been sending them to Eastern High School for students and teachers to use as performance incentives and awards.
To commenter "Tommy," the stadium did use city money. There was a tax that went along with it, but that tax applied to businesses beyond just the stadium. That means that DC could have put that tax on and not paid for the stadium as well.

I'm not trying to argue whether the stadium was a good deal; I honestly don't know. But I'd rather see officials voting for it knowing they won't personally benefit at all, and then at least we know they think its' a good deal for us rather than just for them.

by David Alpert on Jun 5, 2012 11:51 am • linkreport

@Jasper, Hmmm. Are you really suggesting that guests put their business in DC because the mayor took them to a game? Those are bad business decisions.

Yes, that is what I am suggesting. Yes, that is indeed a very bad way to make business decisions.

That doesn't mean businesses never do so.

by cminus on Jun 5, 2012 11:54 am • linkreport

So the updated story is that city is gifted the tickets.

In other words, Jack Evans is enshrining into law HOW not WHETHER tickets should be distributed.

I believe it's quite disingenous for Saint Wells nor any other to claim that this law somehow shows how the CM's feel "entitled"

Well according to this update, they actually ARE entitled. But the criticism is that they shouldn't be? Hunh?

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 12:04 pm • linkreport

David:

Tommy said he had not been to any GAMES. Did you ask him about other events? Charles Allen has been to several games and events himself.

Funny you would call Charles for a comment, but not Jack.

T-y-p-i-c-a-l.

by leftie42 on Jun 5, 2012 12:06 pm • linkreport

Although he hasn't personally attended any games, he is still using the tickets, David Alpert.

Other than the sensationalist headline, it seems this proposal is to do something about the corruption and rampant cronyism in government. It may be sad that it has to be a law, but we've seen what has happened in the past.

by selxic on Jun 5, 2012 12:07 pm • linkreport

I don't see why David has to answer every time Tommy Wells sneezes.

Me thinks you protested too swiftly. David just answered for Tommy Wells.

So this now means that the Saint is fine "expecting" to get the tickets...not fine w/mandating how they should be distributed...but will just gift them to constituents.

I don't get any. So maybe I should be upset that they're being gifted to students in DCPS..since I don't have kids.

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 12:10 pm • linkreport

Give me a break, HogWash. A bunch of people were whining about what Tommy Wells was doing and criticizing me over it. Charles Allen send me an email with the info, so I put it up on the comments. This stuff is getting tiring.

by David Alpert on Jun 5, 2012 12:12 pm • linkreport

David:

What is getting tiring is your misleading information and overt favoritism. It weakens every argument you make, many of which are tenuous at best to begin with.

by leftie42 on Jun 5, 2012 12:19 pm • linkreport

Surely its too late to consider that people consider it innapropriate that all of the councilmembers get tickets? No matter whether we would vote for them again anyway? And that this is something that can be taken care of without voting out the entire council but simply stopping the practice?

Basically, if you've read this article and thought "but David didn't spell out every CM's name! He's a shill!" then maybe the problem is with you.

by drumz on Jun 5, 2012 12:20 pm • linkreport

@DAl, you're the moderator and obviously have full inboxes. that's why I assume the "bunch of people" you refer to have been blowing up your inbox with complaints. They certainly haven't posted here..which I found odd.

In fact, there is only one person (leftie), well two if you include me, who had something to say about Wells. I don't see how that qualifies as a "bunch" of people doing what you characterize as "whining."

Speaking of whining, it seems that you "whiiiiiine" each time someone draws a straight line between you and Wells. In this case, two people criticized Wells and KABOOM, Wells responded almost w/in the same hour. And you're tired of being considered Wells' waterboy? I'm not sure why. It's really nothing to be so sensitive about.

Can you follow up w/Charles and ask him whether anyone in Wells' office has used the tickets for other events?

Alsok I think it would have been better had you clarified that you received an unsolicited e-mail from his office rather than you, "just talked to."

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 12:36 pm • linkreport

HogWash, I'm going to stop bothering to engage with you. Because each time, it seems that you want to reach the same conclusion but say that you'd only not attack me for that same thing if I just phrased something a tiny bit differently.

Ultimately, you're going to believe what you believe and see things through that lens. I can't change that and am not going to try to adjust 2 words in order to say it the way you think I had to say it when you're ultimately going to reach the conclusions that fit your beliefs.

Anyway, this kind of sniping is not allowed by our policy, but I've been being lenient.

by David Alpert on Jun 5, 2012 12:41 pm • linkreport

Do Council members pay their speed camera fines?

by ceefer66 on Jun 5, 2012 12:50 pm • linkreport

Have you been to a Nationals game? Guess what, the city couldn't sell those tickets any more than the Nationals can.

According to ESPN.com, for this season the Nats average home attendance is 68.2% of capacity (which is 14th out of 30 teams). So in other words, there are almost always seats to be had.

So if the choice is between empty seats or a few fat cats who might buy some concessions, I will take the latter and focus on real corruption.

by dcdriver on Jun 5, 2012 12:59 pm • linkreport

This whole piece also begs one more question:

Why would GGW not contact Evans for a statement and / or clarification? As much as is written about him here, I don't recall any author ever reaching out to him, making pieces like this incredibly one-sided and likely very damaging to the GGW / Evans relationship (if there is one).

In short, you might need him to get things done (pretty powerful guy, most will concur) and you seem to pretty much burn and bomb every bridge in sight with articles like this.

Just an observation.

by leftie42 on Jun 5, 2012 1:12 pm • linkreport

It was pretty empty when overlapping with Caps, but attendance has increased as the weather has warmed up. As kids get out of school and the team continues to win, the attendance will increase. The ballpark was nearly sold out this weekend, dcdriver. It's more important which seats are empty than that there are empty seats. Also, the average is already up significantly from last season.

by selxic on Jun 5, 2012 1:20 pm • linkreport

Why not do what the City of Philadelphia does with its tickets to the "Mayor's Box" at different sporting venues? "Mayor Nutter's VIPs" is a program that rewards students who live in the city (regardless of type of school) who are deemed by their teachers to be "most involved in their community". No developers, no potential business clients... just deserving young city residents get free "political" tickets to sporting events.

by Kyle G. on Jun 5, 2012 1:22 pm • linkreport

Well that's very unfortunate, especially since you're the moderator.

Is my "believing whatever I want to believe" any different than my belief that you will do the same? No. That is, you will believe anytime I (or anyone else) says something questioning your approach/sharing of information, that you're under attack and speaks to how unable we are to communicate w/each other.

You, not anyone else. But YOU. YOU claimed that there was a mysterious "bunch" of people who were "whining." Now in what dictionary/debate has characterizing your opposition as whining EVER been defined as "a phrase used to encourage dialogue?" You actually think that's NOT "sniping"..attacking the opinion of others?

WOW WOW WOW!

I have no thoughts on you being lenient wrt to this policy. This isn't the appropriate forum to discuss that. You have my email. heehee :)

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 1:23 pm • linkreport

Tommy Wells is a hypocrite! He uses his free tickets all the time! He's just as bad as Evans!!! Shame on him!

Tommy hasn't used council tix for one game this year. We've been sending them to Eastern High School for students and teachers to use as performance incentives and awards.

Shame on Saint Wells for being such a sanctimonious bastard! Speaking out against legislation mandating free tickets to councilmembers, while at the same time, giving the tickets his office is allotted to DCPS students! I don't even have kids!

He thinks he's so much better than the other Councilmembers just because he behaves so much better than the other Councilmembers! Hilarious...

by oboe on Jun 5, 2012 2:30 pm • linkreport

For 81 games, that's over $300,000 each year.

Sounds like a lot of money, except when the city hires 2 people to administer the ticket distribution, the profit to the city approaches zero.

I think they should keep it the way it is now, because it is so entertaining. The stories about council squabbles and perks also sell a lot of newspapers and prompt lots of web clicks, so it may be thought of as a subsidy to the news media.

by goldfish on Jun 5, 2012 2:52 pm • linkreport

All -

Thank you for reaching out to my office on this issue. I believe you are writing in response to a Greater Greater Washington blog posting that was written by David Alpert on the basis of a tweet by my colleague, Councilmember Wells. Both the tweet and the post contain false statements, and I appreciate the opportunity to present you with the underlying facts.

First, Councilmember Wells’ tweet provided, “Making it law for Councilmembers to get free tickets to Nats and Verizon Center is ridiculous. Not to mention an embarrassment to the city.” This statement incorrectly implies that Councilmembers are not already guaranteed sports tickets by law. From Mr. Wells’ statement, you would not realize that the allocation of tickets to the Mayor and Council was already written into the law in 2009, in a bill Councilmember Wells voted in favor of. The 2010 Budget Support Act of 2009 is available at http://goo.gl/Fk8dN and the provision relating to tickets is 202c(a)(3)(B), available at p. 46 of the document (p. 51 of the pdf). The section provides that the tickets in question, which were already allocated to the government, should be allocated 50/50 between the Mayor and the Council. Voting records for this bill are available at http://goo.gl/eVrK9 and show Councilmember Wells as voting in favor. Under the current law, which Councilmember Wells voted to support, the Chairman is given a large block of tickets that he can distribute to other Councilmembers in ways that favor those who support him politically. My amendment would have taken patronage out of the existing law, and I cannot understand why Mr. Wells does not support this.

Ignoring the existence of the current law and the ways my proposed amendment would be a move toward good government, David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington chose to write what was at best an uninformed blog post, available at http://goo.gl/xQDeK. Mr. Alpert appears not to have taken the time to perform any research, or to even reach out to my office as a normal news outlet would before running a story. We would have informed him of the history before his inaccurate story ran, and my memorandum introducing the amendment yesterday made very clear that it was to amend an existing law rather than introduce a new one – that memorandum is available at http://goo.gl/SBLh3. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Alpert would not have read even that memo, which accompanied my draft amendment, before writing his blog. His post leads with the sensational headline that “DC Councilmember Jack Evans wants to enshrine into DC law the current practice that politicians get free sports tickets,” and then further compares my completely legal amendment to the allegations of illegal conduct of other elected officials under investigation by federal authorities. These statements are factually incorrect and intellectually dishonest. Mr. Alpert’s statement would lead the reader to believe that I am seeking to “enshrine” into law a “practice” that by implication is not law. I am not attempting to institute a new law giving members of the Council tickets, but simply seeking to amend a three year old law to clarify the distribution in a way that is more equitable.

Later, in an “update,” Mr. Alpert provides “To clarify, DC already gets tickets under an agreement when the stadiums were constructed, and it's been common practice thus far to distribute them among elected officials. This is wrong in and of itself, but any move to cement in law that certain people get them makes the quid pro quo even more explicit.” Unfortunately, this “clarification” still does not reveal the facts, which are that the ticket distribution is already governed by a bad law that I am seeking to improve, rather than a new law I am seeking to “enshrine.” I recognize the fact that Greater Greater Washington is a blog rather than a traditional news outlet, but Mr. Alpert has a responsibility to nonetheless take the time to check his facts before making this type of statement in the public domain.

I support the allocation of these tickets to the Mayor and Council, which are routinely given to District residents, schools and area nonprofit organizations for use in fundraising auctions. It is unfortunate that Mr. Wells would make such a dishonest attack on the practice, considering the fact that both he and his staff have made personal use of the tickets in question. Shame on you, Mr. Wells, for criticizing others for seeking to alter a law that you have taken advantage of personally. And shame on you, Mr. Alpert, for giving Mr. Wells a bigger microphone without first checking the facts.

Jack

by Jack Evans on Jun 5, 2012 4:26 pm • linkreport

@charlie Perhaps GGW should look at actual corruption - and not the appearance of corruption.

Well, alternatively, the Council could sell the tickets and vote themselves all a raise that let's them buy the tickets (or not). So what's really going on here is they're voting themselves a raise at a time when they're cutting budgets. It's not corruption, but it does seem unwise. As Matt R said, at least voting themselves a raise is more transparant.

And there is the conflict of interest aspect. What if a restaurant wanted special treatment, and oh btw, they're goint to give the DC council free meals? That it is all public would still make it a conflict of interest.

please call out Tommy Wells and his staff as well.

Tommy Wells uses the tickets and gives them away. That's true. But the complaint here is about passing this law - which he opposses - that codifies it. It is not hypocritical to oppose a law, while taking advantage of it. I oppose the mortgage interest deduction, but God knows I take it every year.

The Mayor gives Tommy Wells tickets. He doesn't demand them. And he doesn't get in a snit if he doesn't get any. And he's not asking for a law to make them mandatory. So, there's the dividing line between he and Evans.

when Wells is one of the biggest users of these tickets.

Is he?

the Mayor and Council must sometimes entertain would-be developers or investors

Really. Is that what these tickets are being used for? Don't we have money budgeted for this kind of activity?

I don't see a need to equate this with corruption or entitlement.

It may not be corruption, but it is entitlement.

That is a perk of being a city official..or it should be.

Why is that? Aren't they paid enough to buy baseball tickets when they need them?

Oh, and lets stop with the stadium was a waste of taxpayer money canard,

Not a canard. As you point out it's paid for with a special tax on large corportate DC businesses. Those business are paying taxes, which makes them taxpauers.

DC has collected more than 135 million in surplus tax payments from the stadium tax

Yes, but we'd have even more money without the baseball stadium. Or businesses would have more money without the tax.

except when the city hires 2 people to administer the ticket distribution, the profit to the city approaches zero.

Why two people? All you need is stubhub.

@Hogwash,

Your count is off. It was you, leftie and Tommy. And leftie made two comments which made it seem like more.

by David C on Jun 5, 2012 4:26 pm • linkreport

If I recall the last renovation of the Verizon Center was paid only after Council persons jawboned an agreement for even more luxury box seats for themselves into the bill.

Pay-to-Play indeed.

by Tom Coumaris on Jun 5, 2012 4:36 pm • linkreport

Wait! Hold up a second here! Am I reading this correctly? Jack Evans responded and essentially called this blog posting and Wells' tweet HOGWASH?

Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

So Wells voted for enshrining into the law the allocation of tickets and later turned around and criticized Evans for introducing legislation that would hopefully put an end to the "depends on how I feel" practice governing ticket allocation?

And now we have two people who allege that Wells' staff have made use of the tickets?

@DavidC, Your count is off. It was you, leftie and Tommy. And leftie made two comments which made it seem like more.

Tommy was whining? Really? I didn't see that in his post either. But that still doesn't add up to a "bunch of people" whining. It doesn't mean that those who don't sing the Saint's high praise are whining either.

Also, you see that both you and Jack posted at the same time. Too bad though because I have no doubts you wouldn't have posted the same. BTW, CM Evans alleges that Wells' staff have used the tickets. You say they haven't. What is your knowledge of such based on?

WOWSERS! On a day when I was told that I'm too mean to have further debates with, it seems as if I was right all along.

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 5:12 pm • linkreport

"So Wells voted for enshrining into the law the allocation of tickets and later turned around and criticized Evans for introducing legislation that would hopefully put an end to the "depends on how I feel" practice governing ticket allocation?"

If you click on the link that CM Evans provided, you see that the bill that CM Wells voted for was a 150 page bill, with multiple provisions on many subjects. Whether voting for an "omnibus" bill with a provision accepting tickets is equivalent to introducing a provision on tickets, I leave to others to judge. What you judge will impact not only your view of CM Wells, but also of CM Evans, who has implied above that CM Wells vote for the BILL makes him responsible for each and every provision.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 5, 2012 5:22 pm • linkreport

However, I continue to feel that any step taken by the council to divvy up something that is inappropriate in the first place only reflects a belief that this giveaway is not wrong.

The Saint apparently disagreed since he voted for the law allocating the tickets.

Honestly, it's really ok to just admit that you messed this one up..big time and not continue to make it seem as if this hasn't been fully supported by the Council...Wells included.

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 5:25 pm • linkreport

Hog see my post

that was not a law passed to allocate tickets, it was an omnibus bill on many topics. He did not decide that provision- 202 c 3 a, as CM Evans informs us - was important enough to vote against the entire bill.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 5, 2012 5:29 pm • linkreport

the allocation of tickets to the Mayor and Council was already written into the law in 2009

Well, then: the obvious thing for Mr Evans (or any Council member with an ounce of integrity) to do now would be to seize the moment and change the bad law so that the ticket racket no longer distracts and impugns the Council and embarrasses the District. How hard is that?

by Sydney on Jun 5, 2012 6:14 pm • linkreport

that was not a law passed to allocate tickets, it was an omnibus bill on many topics.

For all intents and purps, it's a distinction w/o a difference. The Saint voted "against" ethics legislation because it didn't have an anti-bundling provision. So saying that the bill was so huge that he couldn't justify voting "specifically" against it kind of falls on deaf ears. He still voted for the amendment.

Moreover, I believe Evans made clear why Wells' tweet was so off base. He was being disingenuous and (as I always have accused) grandstanding.

Hopefully you don't get offended and refuse to engage me any longer. But can you not see how people could have reasonably think that there are a lot of Wells' water carriers?

He tweets criticizing his colleague for attempting to enshrine in law, something that's already law...of which he voted for. And abracadabra(sp), there's a blog post AND an unsolicited e-mail from his office re: the same!!!! I take issue w/the disbelief..not the person.

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 7:10 pm • linkreport

BTW, I hope our elected officials are able to read bills not much longer in pages than a GQ magazine.

My man Rose is on last month's issue. :)

by HogWash on Jun 5, 2012 7:12 pm • linkreport

Yeah, it is stupid to give out tickets to elected officials. But, who's ever going to stop them? DC politicians are all inherently shady people who, nonetheless, continually get into office.

by Neutrino on Jun 5, 2012 9:01 pm • linkreport

Tommy was whining? Really?

He was criticizing David for not mentioning Wells. Whining is a subjective call, but it's not unreasonable. Are you really arguing about what is and is not "whining"? Talk about nitpicking.

You say they haven't.

Actually I said the opposite.

it seems as if I was right all along.

Not really.

The Saint ...

Name calling? That's mature.

For all intents and purps, it's a distinction w/o a difference.

Really? You don't see a difference between (1) voting for a large package which contains many items, some you don't like, but others you do and (2) voting for one very specific line item? Even I think you're smarter than that.

by David C on Jun 5, 2012 9:13 pm • linkreport

"But can you not see how people could have reasonably think that there are a lot of Wells' water carriers?"

I do not live in the district, and don't consider myself a Wells water carrier. I do however recognize when someone says something silly, and what CM Evans said - that CM Wells had supported the tickets because he voted for an omnibus budget bill - was silly.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 5, 2012 11:27 pm • linkreport

David/AWalker, I'll offer this.

I, like David, believe that no matter what I say, you are already settled in your position. So anything I say will likely be disregarded because you are going to believe what you want and see things through that lens.

When the Saint voted against ethics legislation, part of an ethics reform idea fully supported by the overwhelming (likely upwards of 70%) majority of voters, he was gived kudos. Then, it was argued that his "protest vote" was a matter of principle (I said political) and his supporters..well..gave it their full-throated support.

Now, we have a situation where it is a fact that he voted for the amendment bill he's now criticizing his colleague for attempting to clarify. And what do his supporters do? They once again (looking through the same lens) excuse his clearly politically motivated stunt by suggesting that because the bill was so large, he couldn't have possibly voted against it over a single line item.

I'm rather certain that none of those who share this view think that their encouragagment of this sort of political servitude is even remotely clouded by their own bias...seen through a cloudy lens. No! It's people like me! Those who think these "bad" things about the Saint and his supporters excusing everything about him are the ones w/the cloudy views. We're the reason why the city is so divisive.

And the wheels on the truck go round and round.

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 9:46 am • linkreport

what CM Evans said - that CM Wells had supported the tickets because he voted for an omnibus budget bill - was silly.

Not really "silly" as much as an intentional effort to mislead. It's actually quite common charge that politicians make, because it's guaranteed to score points with a certain...erm...let's say "unsophisticated" part of the electorate.

Obviously I'm not talking about HogWash, who I'm sure has other substantial reasons for buying Evans' argument.

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 9:57 am • linkreport

@Oboe, It's actually quite common charge that politicians make, because it's guaranteed to score points with a certain...erm...let's say "unsophisticated" part of the electorate.

How priceless. Here we have an article written in part based on the Saint's common practice of misleading the "unsophisticated" part of the electorate who had wrongly assumed that Evans was enshrining current law into law.

So here's to us being in rare agreement!!!! The Saint, like other pols, misled the public because he knew it was guranteed to score points with a certain unsophisticated part of the electorate.

Geez man! Talking bout offering me an open door.

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 11:01 am • linkreport

Hogwash,

Your position would hold if you thought that Wells, with the ethics vote, was saying "I will only vote for bills I 100% agree with." But that is not a reasonable conclusion. We have two votes here.

1. Ethics vote - voted against a bill with many things he agreed with, but at least one that he didn't
2. 2010 budget - voted for a bill with many things he agreed with, but at least one that he didn't

Now that would seem like he's behaving erratically, but only if you quantify all of these things to have the same value. It makes much more sense if presented like this:

1. Ethics vote - voted against a bill with many things he agreed with of limited value, but at least one that he didn't agree with that he thought would be so bad that it would negate the value on the front end
2. 2010 budget - voted for a bill with many critical things he agreed with, but at least one somewhat trivial item that he didn't

An anlogy.

1. I will buy this car even though it is the wrong color
2. I will not buy this car because it often catches on fire.

Same exact thing. There is one thing you don't like about the car in each scenario, it's just that they aren't of the same value, so you get different results

See. You don't have to ascribe craven political motives to him or assume that he's working under cognitive dissonance. So I wonder why your first instinct is to do so.

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 11:40 am • linkreport

@David C,

It's stunning to me that anyone living in DC could be unaware of how legislative bodies work. We really do need to bring back Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century.

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 12:15 pm • linkreport

So I wonder why your first instinct is to do so.

Because I, like you, came to the discussion believing what I chose and saw things through that lens. I say that because I imagine your first instinct was to assume that there was something more noble about Wells' decision and that it wasn't simply political hackery. That was your lens. It's no different than those whose first instinct was to assume that Kwame Brown making a statement about go-go music was akin to stoking racial fears. That was their lens.

WRT to your distinctions, I'm not willing to give Wells a pass based on the idea that the bundling provision was so eggregious and far more important than the other provisions. In fact, I wouldn't give any CM a pass for voting against an entire bill based on the bundling provision. You do and that's ok. That's simply the lens through which you view. IMO, that's not a good way for elected officials to govern because any CM could do that re: just about nething.

So yes, Wells criticizing his colleague for attempting to enshrine into law...current law, did make me instinctively question his motives..because I generally do. The fact that we now know that his tweet was misleading (as well as the subsequent unsolicited e-mail from his staff) was enough evidence for me to continue and question his motives.

1)I will buy this great car even though I don't like the color.
---I will later criticize my colleage for buying the same car that my staff uses and attempting to mandate a uniform color.

2)I will not buy this car because the color is so unappealing and the importance of that completely supersedes how economical it is for me and my family.

Do you take any issue w/my analogy?

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 1:02 pm • linkreport

I say that because I imagine your first instinct was to assume that there was something more noble about Wells' decision and that it wasn't simply political hackery. That was your lens. It's no different than those whose first instinct was to assume that Kwame Brown making a statement about go-go music was akin to stoking racial fears.

Actually the two are different. In one case, you're assuming that giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and in the other you're ascribing to them ignoble motives without real evidence. And the later behavior is general considered to be rude or even unfair. One of the few values that all Americans share is that you're innocent until proven guilty. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is actually encoded into our law. That's the opposite of what you're doing to Wells (and what these unnamed people you refer to are doing to Brown).

Do you take any issue w/my analogy?

Yes, because you didn't follow mine. The car here is the omnibus bill. Wells is not criticizing Evans for supporting the budget bill and his staff did not "use" the budget bill.

And it falls apart when you try to add a colleague to it, since no one should car what color of car others drive.

Here's what you should have written.

1)I will buy this car even though I don't like the color.--But I will oppose any attempt by my spouse to add another coat of paint in the same color.

I'm not willing to give Wells a pass

We're not talking about you "giving him a pass". We're talking about you understanding the difference between these two actions. You do see the difference right?

Wells criticizing his colleague for attempting to enshrine into law...current law

Incorrect. Evans is trying to change current law. Currently CMs are not entitled to tickets. Under the new law they would be. If it's already the law, why is Evans trying to pass a new one?

his tweet was misleading

There is nothing misleading in his tweet. Have you read it?

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 1:31 pm • linkreport

Just FYI, Kwame's now in the process of being charged:

http://dcist.com/2012/06/kwame_to_be_charged_with_fraud.php

Of course, the real villain in all of this is Tommy "Saint" Wells who has ostentatiously flaunted his *not* being indicted for fraud and abuse of the public trust. If there's anything worse than a public servant who's a criminal, it's a public servant who's *not* a criminal and scurrilously makes everyone else look bad.

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 1:38 pm • linkreport

The City Paper is reporting he'll resign.

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 1:46 pm • linkreport

Good lord, he is resigning because he lied on the value of his house when applying for his credit card.

Nice to see the feds take over the city again. Thanks, Public Intergrity. You can't convict Edwards....

by charlie on Jun 6, 2012 1:54 pm • linkreport

*Sigh* I'm going to save us the trouble of parsing analogies.

One of the few values that all Americans share is that you're innocent until proven guilty. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is actually encoded into our law.

I agree but this matter isn't an "innocent" vs. "guilty" situation. Tommy Wells tweeted Evans was attempting to make it law for CM's get free tickets. Evans clarified that under the current law, CM's get free tickets. You don't believe that he's telling the truth. Why does he not get the benefit of the doubt and Wells does? This is why I shrug at your "everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt" comment.

That's the opposite of what these unnamed people you refer to are doing to Brown.

Check the weekend post accusing brown of stoking divisiveness. The names/handles are there.

We're talking about you understanding the difference between these two actions. You do see the difference right?

Yes, which I why I already stated that it's a distinction w/o a difference. You believe Wells stood on principle. I believe he stood on politics.

Currently CMs are not entitled to tickets. Under the new law they would be. If it's already the law, why is Evans trying to pass a new one?

Again, Evans said they are. What reasons do you have to consider him not factual?

There is nothing misleading in his tweet. Have you read it?

Sure I did. He tweeted, Making it law for Councilmembers to get free tickets to Nats and Verizon Center is ridiculous. Not to mention an embarrassment to the city

Unless Evans is not being truthful, they already do. I can understand how (seeing it through that lens again) you don't agree w/Evans but agree w/Wells.

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 2:04 pm • linkreport

Good lord, he is resigning because he lied on the value of his house when applying for his credit card.

At least, that's what he pled down to. Hopefully now we can have a pointless chat in which all the KBrown supporters pretend not to know how a plea bargain agreement works.

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 2:11 pm • linkreport

@HogWash, read what Evans wrote. Under the current legislation the Council is entitled to tickets and the Council chair has discretion to distribute them. The individual councilmembers are not entitled to tickets. THIS IS THE CHANGE.

by MLD on Jun 6, 2012 2:32 pm • linkreport

@MLD, Under the current legislation the Council is entitled to tickets and the Council chair has discretion to distribute them. The individual councilmembers are not entitled to tickets. THIS IS THE CHANGE.

Thanks! So the tickets are given to the "Council" but the Chair of the Council is able to distribute them as they see fit.

Now I'm wondering what the brouhaha was all about during the Fenty years when the council was complaining about the Mayor not distributing the tickets. Apparently the mayor never was supposed to get them in the first place.

Ok, this is getting crazier.

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 2:52 pm • linkreport

Tommy Wells tweeted Evans was attempting to make it law for CM's get free tickets.

No he didn't. He didn't even mention Evans in the tweet.

Evans clarified that under the current law, CM's get free tickets.

No he didn't. See MLD's comment above.

You don't believe that he's telling the truth. Why does he not get the benefit of the doubt and Wells does?

I haven't accused him of lying, as far as I know.

You do see the difference right?

Yes, which I why I already stated that it's a distinction w/o a difference.

So...you do see the difference, but it's a distinction without a difference? So it's a difference without a difference? That makes sense.

And finally the tweet:

Wells states an opinion. "Making it law for Councilmembers to get free tickets to Nats and Verizon Center is ridiculous. Not to mention an embarrassment to the city"

Nowhere does he say anything at all about Evans or what is and is not the law now. How is stating his opinion misleading?

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 3:34 pm • linkreport

charlie,

No, he's resigning because he lied about his income.

"The three-page charging document says that Brown provided Industrial Bank of Washington “falsified documents” that overstated his income by “tens of thousands of dollars” to allow him to obtain a home equity loan and to purchase a boat. Prosecutors wrote that the two-year scam started in August 2005."

Or is bank fraud not a crime in charlieville?

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 3:38 pm • linkreport

To be fair, Brown made a plea deal. Which means he agreed to lesser charges, and would resign from office. We don't really know what leverage was used to get that deal, but unless Brown had very poor representation, he pled to the lesser crime to escape prosecution for a greater crime.

Bank fraud being the lesser crime.

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 3:42 pm • linkreport

Nowhere does he say anything at all about Evans or what is and is not the law now. How is stating his opinion misleading?

As I said several x's already, you're going to look at it through you own lens, which is essentially justifying, at all costs, whatever Wells does. It explains why his supporters are likely the only ones who didn't think he was being misleading. Again, that's ok. It is what it is.

I would imagine that stunts like this tweet is likely why he doesn't have many friends on the dias..nor outside of this small community. But I hear you man. Nothing was misleading. He wasn't really talking about Evans..but about the bill he introduced. He acted on principle blah blah blah.

Brown is charged w/lying on a credit application? That's it?

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 3:51 pm • linkreport

@David C,

...he pled to the lesser crime to escape prosecution for a greater crime...

Oh, and of course it allows people who support corrupt politicians to maintain the polite fiction that the entire prosecution was, like, totally, totally unfair. See above.

Shame on you for justifying, at all costs, the things that honest public servant does, while unfairly and almost gleefully impugning the character of a fine, upstanding, corrupt pol like Mr Brown. Shame I say!

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 4:09 pm • linkreport

Wow. Public intergrity and the best they can get is bank fraud -- and no showing or connection to actual corruption of public office.

If Brown had unlimited access to lawyers he could have fought this off.

Hey, I'm glad Citibank and everyone else can rip us off to the tune of $600 billion (not to mention their various robo signing frauds) but we can really get one guy for lying on his home equity loan. Justice!

Another black man taken out! Victory will be ours!

by charlie on Jun 6, 2012 4:16 pm • linkreport

1. Katie
2. Humberto and David

As I said several x's already, you're going to look at it through you own lens,

This isn't about a lens. It is about what he did and did not say. Those are facts. It is not a lens that makes him not mention Evans. He did not, in fact, mention Evans. Unless by lens you mean that I will look at what he actually tweeted, and you will read into it some things that were not there.

It's really ok to just admit that you messed this one up..big time

He wasn't really talking about Evans..but about the bill he introduced.

Again, he didn't mention Evans or the bill. So he couldn't have been misleading about it. Let me flip it on you, what specifically did he write that was "misleading"? How were you misled?

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 4:34 pm • linkreport

Another black man taken out! Victory will be ours!

Yes, the government only goes after black politicians except for Ted Stevens, Dan Rostankowski, Scooter Libby, every Illinois governor ever, etc...

What does race have to do with this charlie? Or is this like speeding, it's not REALLY against the law?

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 4:37 pm • linkreport

I think this might be an appropriate moment for all the newcomers to DC to go to your local library and check out a copy of "Dream City".

by oboe on Jun 6, 2012 4:42 pm • linkreport

The government goes after politicians. Period. Doesn't matter what race or party they are in because taking out a politician is a career-maker for a prosecutor or attorney general.

Frankly, I think its a good thing that politicians get extra scrutiny.

by Falls Church on Jun 6, 2012 4:51 pm • linkreport

Unless by lens you mean that I will look at what he actually tweeted, and you will read into it some things that were not there.

You're on your p's and q's today! Yes, that is what I meant. You will look at the tweet and see nothing misleading about it. OTOH, I will look at it and see something that is misleading. We will never agree othwerise even though we'll continue to have people on both sides claim their interpretation is the accurate one.

It's really ok to just admit that you messed this one up..big time

Depends on what you mean by "messed up." Did I mess up and incorrectly claim that Wells wrote a misleading tweet about enshrining into law the receipt of tickets? No. I didn't. Did I mess up and say that Wells specifically mentioned Evans' name? Sure, I'll take that.

Let me flip it on you, what specifically did he write that was "misleading"? How were you misled?

Wells tweet gave the impression that the Council was not already slated to receive sports tickets and that an unnamed person was attempting to make receiving the tickets a matter of law. I don't think it's necessary to split hairs over whether the CM were the intended recipients vs. them just being given to the COUNCIL chair to dole out as he sees fit.

Evans agreed that it was misleading. So do I. But you don't and that's ok. Lens vs. Lens.

by HogWash on Jun 6, 2012 4:57 pm • linkreport

Hey, I'm glad Citibank and everyone else can rip us off to the tune of $600 billion (not to mention their various robo signing frauds) but we can really get one guy for lying on his home equity loan.

I don't see anyone from Citibank running for office anytime soon. Brown doesn't deserve to go to jail but he does deserve to be booted from political office. When it comes to bank fraud, DUIs, smoking crack or whatever, the bar should be higher for politicians than ordinary individuals. Is it too much to ask that our politicians have not committed a felony even if "everyone else was doing it"?

by Falls Church on Jun 6, 2012 5:04 pm • linkreport

Did I mess up and incorrectly claim that Wells wrote a misleading tweet about enshrining into law the receipt of tickets?

Yes, you did.

Wells tweet gave the impression that the Council was not already slated to receive sports tickets and that an unnamed person was attempting to make receiving the tickets a matter of law.

He never said anything about what the current law is, or that anyone was trying to change it. Can you explain how you see this in his tweet, using his words.

You can't just go adding words to what he said and then criticizing him for those added words. If you have a reading comprehension problem, that's not his fault.

by David C on Jun 6, 2012 11:13 pm • linkreport

David, what's left to discuss? From my first post I've said that we are unlikely to agree about this. Each subsequent posts proves that we're unlikely to agree. You ask me what I thought was "misleading." I answered. Then you continue you by saying, "no, you're wrong, it's not misleading." Which brings us all the way back to my original point...that we're not going to agree. And here we are...not agreeing!

If you think it's unreasonable for people NOT to think that Wells (by immaculate happenstance) woke up and tweeted about a blind bill/law introduced by an unknown human, then fine. Again, we just won't agree. I believe he was intentionally misleading. Let me guess, you don't? Who would've thunked!

by HogWash on Jun 7, 2012 9:41 am • linkreport

I guess the point is that you just have an unfounded bias against Wells, and so you will read into all of his actions some sort of evil motive. As you put it:

"Wells criticizing his colleague ... did make me instinctively question his motives..because I generally do."

How does that make you any different than the people who questioned Kwame Brown's motives on his go-go comment?

If by "lens" you mean you're blinded by your Tommy Wells hatecrush than I guess yes, I agree, you are incapable of being reasonable.

BTW, if the worst you can say of Wells is that he grandstands then, on this council, that does make him a Saint.

by David C on Jun 7, 2012 12:25 pm • linkreport

I guess the point is that you just have an unfounded bias against Wells, and so you will read into all of his actions some sort of evil motive.

Me have a bias against the Saint? Even though I, off the top, acknowledged that I view anything he does through the same "lens" that prompts you and others to defend any and everything he does. I said this already. It wasn't written in a foreign language. Unfortunately, it seems difficult for you to read/comprehend. You characterize my bias as unfounded. I know otherwise. BTW, I've often said that none of the issues I have with the Saint makes him an evil bad person. Not surprising, you don't recall that.

How does that make you any different than the people who questioned Kwame Brown's motives on his go-go comment?

When have you heard Kwame Brown complain about the fact that white people don't like go-go? In fact, when have you heard any pol suggest such? Adrian Fenty campaigned as the King of go-go, and white people still voted for him. I have reasons to question the Saint's penchant for ringing the dog whistle. There was no basis to conclude that someone making a statement about go-go were "really" stoking racial fears. Obviously, you'll disagree.

If by "lens" you mean you're blinded by your Tommy Wells hatecrush than I guess yes, I agree, you are incapable of being reasonable.

Well sure, that doesn't bother me. It's no different than the apparent mancrush you have which forces you to salivate w/delight over any and everything he does.

BTW, if the worst you can say of Wells is that he grandstands then, on this council, that does make him a Saint.

The worst I would say is that save for scandal, he's white DC's Marion Barry.

by HogWash on Jun 7, 2012 12:53 pm • linkreport

I, off the top, acknowledged that I view anything he does through the same "lens" that prompts you and others to defend any and everything he does.

Actually, that would be a different lens right? Yours sees only negative motives and ours (according to you) sees positive ones. The difference is that this means you aren't giving him the benefit of the doubt, which is unfair.

You characterize my bias as unfounded. I know otherwise.

You KNOW otherwise? What exactly do you know? Enlighten me.

I have reasons to question the Saint's penchant for ringing the dog whistle.

When did Tommy ring the dog whistle (and how does one ring a whistle while we're at it?)

There was no basis to conclude that someone making a statement about go-go were "really" stoking racial fears. Obviously, you'll disagree.

No. I agree. That's my point. You're the same as the people who made that accusation. So, I guess it's not so obvious.

save for scandal, he's white DC's Marion Barry.

What does that mean? Does that mean he's a scandal-free, smart, savvy fighter for civil rights?

by David C on Jun 7, 2012 1:43 pm • linkreport

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