City Desk

Fenty: Few Answers on Nats Tickets

With no communications whatsoever coming from the mayor's office on the baseball ticket kerfuffle, several reporters showed up this morning to a Columbia Heights groundbreaking attended by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. And none of them wanted to talk about the new fountain on 14th Street NW.

Of course, Fenty didn't want to talk about baseball tickets, which led to six minutes of tense questioning, culminating in a snippy exchange with WUSA-TV's Armando Trull. "I'm gonna tell you how this press conference works," Fenty told him. "You're gonna ask a question..."

Read a transcript after the jump, or listen to the whole thing here (the good stuff's at 3:25):

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LL has paraphrased most of the questions, which appear in italics:

Armando Trull, WUSA-TV: What's up with the baseball tickets?

"You know, I think it will all be resolved. Yeah, so I guess that's your question, that's my answer."

Trull: Why does it have to be resolved in the first place?

"I don't know all the specifics, but it'll get resolved. It got resolved last year. So thanks for asking."

LL: Why not just accept last year's resolution?

"I don't really remember all the details. I don't know all the details, but would be glad to get back to you."

LL: Why aren't you aware of it? I reported this last week.

"I didn't read it."

LL: Only a few people were in the council box. Wasn't that a waste of tickets?

[crickets]

Mark Segraves, WTOP: Why weren't all the tickets distributed in a timely manner?

"Again, all these ticket things, I don't know all the details. But if you have specific things we need to answer, we'll get you the details."

Segraves: Your communications staff won't get back to us.

"Really?"

Segraves: Really.

"I'm sorry to hear that."

Segraves: Will that change?

"I think over, what, 28 months in office..."

Segraves: This is not the first time that this has happened on important issues...

"Well, I'll look into them. I'll look into them and get right back with you."

Segraves: Why did Muriel Bowser get tickets?

"I think it's great that Councilmember Bowser had tickets."

Segraves: Why didn't Vincent Gray get tickets?

"Like I said, I don't know all the details, but it was a great game. Too bad we didn't win, but I was glad to see so many people there, and I hope the Nats have a great season."

Mark Plotkin, WTOP: The stadium lease says the tickets are supposed go to the Sports and Entertainment Commission. Why not just let them handle it?

"I don't know all the details, but I really would be glad to look into it and get you all the information you need."

Plotkin: Will it be worked out before the next game?

"I'm sure it will be worked out. I'm sure it will be worked out."

Plotkin: By Wednesday?

"It will be worked out as soon as humanly possible. It got worked out last year; why wouldn't it be worked out this year?"

Plotkin: What needs to be worked out? Some have called this childish...

"All I can do is answer the question...To be honest, I think we have a fabulous council. I think they do an amazing job, and I think as a citizen of the District of Columbia, we are extremely fortunate to have not just one or two of them, but all 13 of them. I think they do an amazing job, and having served on the council, I'm glad that the council keeps getting better."

Trull: Don't you and the council have better things to do than fight over baseball tickets again?

"We just had a fantastic streetscape announcement; we're managing a $10 billion budget...."

Trull: "Could you please answer the question about the tickets..."

"I'm gonna tell you how this press conference works. You're gonna ask a question..."

Trull: "And you're gonna answer whatever you want."

"No, no, no. I'm gonna respond, but the one thing we won't do is interrupt each other, OK? I think that's only fair, that's only professional. So I was giving a response and you just interrupted me. So can we not do that again?"

Trull: "You weren't responding to the question I was asking."

"It doesn't..."

Trull: "It does matter."

"All right. Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot."

LL: What's the purpose of the boxes?

"You know what, I think that the purpose of the boxes is to use them in the best interests of the city as much as humanly possible."

LL: What do you think of Kwame Brown's idea to auction off the boxes?

"I haven't even heard it before."

LL: Any immediate reaction?

"None."

Plotkin: Mary Cheh says there should be legislation. Would you veto it?

"Listen, on on this issue, I think it will be worked out. But you know. all these hypotheticals, if they come to some type of fruition, our administration will respond. We've been in office 28 months, I think we always give a response to everything that comes across our desk. We'll do that in this case. Right now, I'll just deal with the facts as they exist right now."

Segraves: Is it the best use that the city administrator and his kids go or better to give away the tickets to charity?

"We've done that also."

Segraves: Will you provide a list of who received tickets?

"Forever?"

Segraves: For yesterday's game?

"We have provided lists in the past...I'm sure we will."

Plotkin: Do you talk to Vincent Gray?

"All the time."

Plotkin: Why did Gray feel he had to write a letter to Ted Lerner? Would you have taken his call on this issue?

"Yes."

Plotkin: How would you have responded?

"Well, I will deal with the councilmembers in a professional manner."

Plotkin: Why not call Gray right now to settle this?

"To be perfectly candid, I'm really focused on the budget, on making sure the city works. I'm not as focused on tickets as you all are."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • http://www.farmfreshmeat.com Jamie

    "no communications whatsoever coming from the mayor’s office"

    What? No! Shocker! Alert the press!

  • http://squidpants.blogspot.com Andrew

    This is bizarre. Is it just me, or is Fenty making less and less sense recently? Or maybe I just never noticed before.

  • JimBob

    This is incredibly embarrassing for Fenty (and for the city). Not just because the Mayor is intentionally interfering with law, obfuscating another mini-scandal, or because he is acting like a baby, but because he was so unprepared for these obvious questions. The man stammers around for an answer that a competent person would have at the ready. Frankly, his inablity to answer extemporaneously (and not just on this occasion) makes him look stupid.

    The real question is, why has he skated by for the last 28 months and what does that say about us, his constituents?

  • MichaelDC

    I'm sure all these reporters are having a ball talking about the ticket brouhaha but I'm actually more interested in what's going on with the 14th St. fountain and park.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    They're breaking ground on the plaza bordered by 14th, Kenyon, and Park. It's scheduled tobe done by September, but DDOT director Gabe Klein is optimistic that the project will be done by mid-summer.

  • Red Shirt

    Agreed, Fenty is really going downhill lately.

  • Sigmund Freud

    Doesn't he remind you of Bush 43 the way he can't give a straight answer to the most basic question -- mainly because he knows the answer but needs to lie about it.

  • Jack W

    Fenty just isn't good in situations like this -- those that require on-the-spot thinking and, more than anything else, basic management skills.

    He'll definitely keep my vote next year because of his guts with regard to school policy. But, I think we've all got to be honest, he's not what we'd hoped he'd be.

    Again, hooray for he and Rhee's tenacity on school reform, but it's becoming more and more apparent this job is too big for him. He certainly isn't Bloomberg, or Newsom or Villaraigosa or any of the other Big City mayors he aspires to be.

  • Shiba-Fussa

    Three sides to every story, their side, their side and the truth. Wait for the truth to come out.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Andrew, JimBob, et al. - you're absolutely right. Fenty is a moron. You may not have noticed before, & Fenty's incessant babbling of stock phrases & jargon is distracting, but if you ever look at his exact words, you'll find he rarely makes any sense whatsoever.

  • http://districtdiaries.blogspot.com/ The Diarist

    If voters had paid more attention to when he was on the City Council and when he was on the campaign trail, they wouldn't be surprised at what they're seeing now. Fenty has always been this way.

  • http://www.upsetthesetup.com UPSET THE SETUP

    "Fenty has always been this way."

    YEP YEP YEP

  • The Madness Shop

    Bowser got tickets but are we really surprised? During her re-election campaign Bowser also got Fenty's (city paid) advisor John Falcicchio as her campaign manager. Much of Falcicchio's "campaign managing" for Bowser occured while he was being paid w/ city funds to work as the mayor's advisor. And out of all the councilmembers, everyone is well aware that Bowser is the biggest Fenty sucker. I can't believe the folks in Ward 4 can't get better representation than Muriel Bowser!

    And regarding Fenty's overall responses, its not solely that Fenty is an idiot...the issue is that Fenty is a bad liar. His responses are like a stuttering child lying to their parents about who ate the last cookie.

    Either its that, or again maybe the boy has an undiagnosed speech impediment and or mild autisim.

    I wonder if Mo' or rhee-rhee got any tickets?

  • Brooklander5

    Why has it taken sooo long for folks to see this incompetence? Williams wasn't great, but he had a TRANSPARENT organization. Remember the WEEKLY press conferences. Responsiveness, etc.... wow. this is just sad.

  • fedupcitizen

    Has I said before and I'll say it again he's a jerk, arrogrant and egomaniac. He is just like George Bush the only thing is I'm not going to stand by and take 4 more years of this we need an adult not a baby that needs the crypt keeper to bottle feed him or get his ass out of trouble when he opens his dumb trap.

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  • Incredulous

    Please leave Fenty's nasal voice out of it. Mine isn't expressive either. But do read the transcript and appreciate the repetition of stock phrases, including what must be mock-praise of others that resembles the way he's been taught to address young children.
    These questions were not acerbic or openly hostile. A capable person could have composed a thoughtful several-sentence paragraph in response to the overall issue. A capable pol would discipline himself to voice lessons to roust the whining tone.

    In this racist society, Fenty can count on the majority of citizens to not notice the difference between Fenty and Booker (or Schmoke, or .... and the list goes on.) And many women are as much to blame for being in his base as men who fantasized about Sarah Palin. I'd like City Paper to find a writer or panel of them to take on Fenty's tri-athlete / mocha male-stripper self-presentation. The man of the right shade and shave, (as eg Vincent Orange was not and could not be.)

  • Danzig

    Fenty is a punk. A petty and petulant boy playing at major. I just hope someone of quality runs against him.

  • Danzig

    'mayor' not 'major'

  • Din

    Fenty's doing coke.

  • The Madness Shop

    Doing coke no, doing members of his staff yes.

  • I’m thinking you’ve cleaned the shelves already

    Name names, or be viewed as your own best customer, Madness Shop.

...