This is Evans pulling back. I’m in his office for an interview and he’s trying to deny things I plan to report, things he thinks make him look bad. Balance his checkbook on the dais? “Never.” Call Kwame Brown an idiot? Not true.
“You’re weird. Go away, “ Evans says.
These are things I’ve confirmed with multiple sources. I’ve even heard Evans call Brown an idiot myself, and checked with others close to him who have heard Evans say it also. “More than once,” says Plotkin. “I think he has a great disdain and contempt for a lot of these councilmembers.”
But Evans doesn’t relent. He says his criticism of his colleagues on the current council is limited to their dealings on city financial matters only. “I never refer to any of my colleagues except in the most glowing terms. That’s my comment and I’m sticking to it,” he says, before offering an awkward laugh.
Twenty years in office mean that Evans knows that players don’t get far ragging on their colleagues. He may not like some of them, but he’s still got to work with them. There are big deals to be made, like maybe getting the Redskins to come back to town. Evans wants to be at the table. And if that means putting up with people he can’t stand and reinventing himself as a good-government crusader at the eleventh hour, it’s a tradeoff Evans is willing to grin and bear. At least some of the time.
“What I’ve learned over the years is that you can outlast everyone,” he says.