City Desk

If Earmarks Were Prohibited, How Did Harry Thomas Jr. Get Them?

Last summer, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray was faced with a crisis.

For one thing, he and city legislators were faced with a last-minute budget crunch to the tune of $660 million. They were given two weeks to find a solution. Meanwhile, the antics of Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry had exposed the sordid practice of earmarking, whereby councilmembers directed taxpayer funds to favorite nonprofits—in Barry's case, nonprofits that he had created and controlled.

Gray came up with a tidy way to address both problems: End all earmarks, cold turkey.

"I don't want to pick and choose because, inevitably, we will be accused of some bias in the process," Gray told the Washington Post at the time. "People are using them as a lifeline." Organizations from across the District showed up at city hall, calling on the council to preserve their lifelines in a marathon hearing, but Gray held his ground—no earmarks survived in the final budget.

Or did they?

The earmark ban, it turns out, was not absolute. At least one councilmember found a way to get money to key nonprofits in his ward through the fiscal 2010 budget. That would be Ward 5's Harry Thomas Jr.

The key legislative language can be found in the budget of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., a quasi-independent nonprofit charged with making grants to qualified service providers, then overseeing those grants. This is what it says: "The budget provides $1,320,000 of designated grants, which includes $1,000,000 for competitive grants to support community-based targeted gang street intervention and outreach and $320,000 for...Ward 5 anti-crime youth violence initiative."

They key word is "competitive." A Ward 6 initiative, for instance, was competitively bid, with $280,000 grant going to the well-regarded Sasha Bruce Youthwork program. Same goes for an even larger chunk of money granted pursuant to the "Blueprint for Action to Counter D.C. Gang and Youth Violence."

The Ward 5 money was doled out through a different method.

At a performance oversight hearing last week, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells asked Interim CYITC CEO Ellen London about the Ward 5 money and whether it, like the Ward 6 money, had been subject to competition.

Said London: "They were not competitively bid. We met with the Ward 5 councilmember and talked about what he felt would be the best way to serve the community. We talked about a number of organizations that he suggested we look at that he knows have a track record of good services."

Allow LL to translate: Thomas had a key role in choosing which groups got city money. He earmarked funds.

Thomas protests that characterization: "I have no earmarks," says the councilmember. "We made recommendations for groups we know that have done these types of services, and they have to apply like everybody else to that process."

The process for CYTIC grantees is not without rigor: Nonprofits have to be federally registered nonprofit organizations, preferably with a recent financial audit, must be in good standing with the District government, and must submit a work plan and budget narrative to be considered for funding.

Who are these groups and what do they do? According to a list provided by the CYITC, 21 different groups have been identified to receive funds; checks have already been cut to nine of them.

Some of the groups are fairly well-established, and several of them, in fact, have been funded in the past by the CYITC. And many of the groups tapped for the anti-gang money have a sporting focus—keeping with Thomas' well-known jockish tendencies.

The Woodridge Warriors and Washington Chiefs sports teams each got $20,000. And a group called the Falconsedge Male Task Force has received $40,000 in city funds. David Jones, who heads the organization, said the funds went toward the D.C. Falcons, a football team for older youth—kids who had either graduated from high school or had dropped out.

"It gives them something to do," he says. "I didn't realize how much influence we had over their lives. They've still got a mentor."

The money, Jones says, went to fund jerseys and equipment for his players, and well as bus rental fees for games, which can be as far away as Baltimore and Southern Maryland. The team practices in Ward 5, at McKinley Technology High School, though Jones personally doesn't live in the ward. Jones says he's recruited as many as 70 players for the program, with a core group of 30 or so participating "on a consistent basis." Jones estimated about 60 percent are from Ward 5.

Jones says he heard about the funding opportunity through the CYTIC. "I pay attention to the council hearings. I did see that the councilmember was able to get something from the mayor for the ward, but I didn't know [any details]."

Thomas, he says, is "a big supporter of sports in the community....If you have any problems with anything he can possibly help you with, he'll reach out for you. He'll do everything he can." In appreciation, Jones has posted Thomas' logo on his Web site, with his slogan: "Building Bridges, Finding Solutions, People First"

Of the nine groups funded thus far, by far the largest chuck of money, $125,000, went to the Friends of Carter Barron Foundation, which has long run arts programs for at-risk youth from across the city.

The CYITC grant, says FOCB President Gloria Hightower, went toward a youth holiday musical, held in December at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium. The event featured 25 kids enrolled in the FOCB's year-round arts program, plus about 15 "interns" working on the production. Hightower estimates "at least 20, 30 percent were from Ward 5." (Thomas disagrees, saying, "I would think it was 50 percent of those kids." He added that Ward 5 seniors and parents attended the show free of charge.)

The six-figure check, Hightower says, went to cover a variety of expenses connected with the show—the venue rental fee, union musicians, professional sound and lights, training staff wages, youth stipends, and an honorarium for guest artist Yolanda Adams, a Grammy-winning gospel singer.

"You have to pay people to get quality work," says Hightower.

Like Jones, Hightower said she learned about the funding availability through CYITC, not through Thomas—though Hightower, too, vouched for Thomas' commitment to the community and to her program.

In defending his role in directing the funding, Thomas emphasizes that he made no final decisions; he instead tried to direct funds to groups that he knew to be worthy of investment. "Why as Ward 5 councilmember, when I have the highest amount of murders, would I not make a recommendation for any gang program? Why would I not make a recommendation when I'm on the street every day?" he says, adding he credits the nonprofits with reducing crime in his ward.

But LL's earmarking concerns alight on the sacredness of the competitive process. Thomas may know well worthy groups doing work in the ward; then again, there may be worthier groups that he might not know about or, for one reason or another, he might not support. That's why issuing a public request for bids and subjecting it to a rigorous independent review is the best way to spend city money.

Thomas says his role was little more that sending a letter of recommendation on behalf of certain groups. "I sent the money to the CYITC," he says. "I was grateful that they would listen."

Listen they did.

In an interview, London said that the CYTIC did not open the Ward 5 money to bids, as it did for most other pools of city funds. And Thomas was influential in the funding process: All of the groups that Thomas suggested, she says, are under consideration for funding; she emphasized that, by and large, the groups he recommended are worthy recipients of the funds. "We had not or have not been asked to do something that we're not comfortable with," she says.

LL was unable to locate D.C. incorporation documents or federal tax records for four grant designees, including the Ivey 23 Terps, a youth basketball team, and a group listed as All-Star Homework Assistance. None of those four have been given money yet; London said last week that CYITC continues to work with the groups to complete their paperwork.

Gray—who has led an earmark crackdown, vowing again to excise earmarks from the 2011 city budget—doesn't share LL's opinion that Thomas's designation deserves the E-word. Thomas, says Gray spokesperson Doxie McCoy, "doesn't have the power to direct this money, it is the Children's Trust."

"Councilmembers know their wards, so it is appropriate that they make suggestions," she says, "but they don't have the power to direct the decisions of the [CYITC]."

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  • http://notionscapital.com Mike Licht

    Requiring grantees to have 501(c)(3) status and corporate good standing is hardly "rigor," it is the legal minimum. The real question is panel review process. If panelists are from inside CYITC, employees may fear political consequences and act accordingly.

    The gold standard of ethical and effective grantmaking is peer review by experts from outside the agency. While federal grantmaking bodies and large foundations require this, external peer panel review standards are not included in the revised DC Government grantmaking guidelines.

  • downtown rez

    A way for certain favored councilmembers to circumvent supposed council rules?
    I'm shocked. Really.

  • Truth Hurts

    LL, thanks for investigating and reporting on this scam. I suspect Thomas isn't the only slick CM steering city funds to ward friends/supporters via similar schemes. Please continue to follow the money.

  • Skipper

    This is Vince Gray's legislative accomplishment. He prides himself on banning earmarks. And then simply calls earmarks by another name, and voila!

    What a disappointment he's been. Truly lacking in leadership.

    Is it too late to vote for Kathy Patterson?

  • hymesb

    Harry the hypocrite strikes again!

  • Truth Hurts

    LL, looks like Colby King has also sunk his teeth into this one. See his column today in WAPO. Colby makes a compelling case about how the $48 million in fiscal 2009 city council no-bid earmarks could've been, but weren't, spent to improve underfunded city services. You guys are on to an important issue here.

  • Mr. Bigglesworth

    This is disgusting. Harry Thomas, Jr. has behaved shamefully in recent months -- remember the Ximena Hartsock hearings that he commandeered as chair of the parks and rec committee? -- and the worst part is that this is clearly a patronage scheme in which he throws people money in return for their votes.

    Especially interesting is the fact that Falcons are featuring HTJ's logo on their website: it is ILLEGAL for a legally-registered nonprofit to take officially support a political candidate. Nonprofits receive tax-exempt status, and for this are legally similar to public trusts. Therefore they are barred from taking official political positions as an organization, and doing so is one of the fastest ways to lose one's nonprofit legal status.

    Of course, this is no surprise. HTJ is Marion Barry's "boy" on the council, the same Marion Barry who was awarding himself (and "girlfriends") earmarked public funds. Like mentor, like mentee.

  • DCnative

    Thomas says his role was little more that sending a letter of recommendation on behalf of certain groups. "I sent the money to the CYITC," he says. "I was grateful that they would listen."

    It appears that he's use to CYITC "listening". Former CYITC CEO, Millicent Williams, played both sides of the political field while at Serve DC and CYITC. Being on the Mayor's side landed her a cozy job at HSEMA. Being on the council's side allowed her to be fully approved at her confirmation hearing on February 24. What is concerning is that she doesn't have experience in Emergency Management and also does not hold a Security Clearance that would allow her to receive information about suspicious activity and attend meetings of a Joint Terrorism Task Force. She testified at her confirmation hearing Friday, February 24 that she is in the process of obtaining the clearance and is pursuing a master's degree in Homeland Defense and Security. That is like telling a cancer patient that his doctor is going to Medical School to treat him. Yet, nobody in the council made a big deal about that and she left her hearing fully approved. If we have a 911 attack today Fenty would have to get someone with clearance involved to get access to secured information...but the Council found her qualified.

    Not only CP reports that Thomas has been working with CYITC to get some of his favors worked out during election year but also Colby King reports the following today(WAPO):
    "Council chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) has curtailed the use of fiscal agents. And earmarks? Not anymore, the council triumphantly declared last year. Oh really?

    In the fiscal 2010 budget, the council allocated $1 million for gang intervention and outreach efforts to a project championed by Ward 1 member Jim Graham (D). It also directed $1 million for anti-crime youth violence in Ward 5 and $280,000 to Ward 6 to be evenly distributed between two neighborhood groups. Wards 5 and 6 are represented by council members Harry Thomas Jr. (D) and Tommy Wells (D), respectively.

    Cynical ol' me: Graham, Wells, and Thomas are running for reelection this year.

    Barry has done this city wrong for too long and I wouldn't be surprised that CYITC was involved in his deals. Would be interesting to run a match between Barry's protegees and CYITC grantees during the past 10 years. This council is a shame.

  • Truth Hurts

    comments 7 and 8 are right. Mr. B, good catch on the "nonprofit" featuring Thomas' logo on their website. It is cause for revoking their nonprofit status, and Thomas does (or should) know it's illegal. Regarding Barry, he went door to door for (and with) Thomas in '06. I watched them. While they were walking together and knocking on doors, Barry was also putting in a good word for Gray (though Gray asked Barry not to officially endorse him because it would hurt Gray with white voters).

    DCnative, Colby's column (and his column last week) are spot on. It's plain he regrets his role in WAPO's tepid '06 endorsement of Gray over Patterson for council chair. King always admired Patterson, often praising her work on the council, yet was seduced by Gray's "one city" campaign and helped put him over the top with WAPO's surprise Gray nod. I'm betting we'll be hearing lots more from Colby about how bad the council has become under Gray.

  • Incredible

    Truth Hurts, you seem to be well informed, can you confirm comment 8 about new head of Homeland Security?
    If that is correct, a serious investigation needs to happen. How can Council confirm a Director of Homeland Security without Security Clearance? Is it possible that her good relationship with council members (and confirmation) has something to do with funds she managed at CYITC previously?

    This is incredible.

  • Truth Hurts

    Incredible, I don't know the answer to your question about Millicent Williams. Maybe DCnative or another reader can help on this one. Assuming it's true and there's not a good explanation, it would seem both Fenty and the Council share responsibility. Again, though, I don't know the details.

  • Wendy Glenn

    Please, all of you need to get over yourselves. Harry Thomas is ELECTED by his residents in HIS WARD who HE SERVES and he got money for non-profits that best served the residents of his Ward, if you are not a Ward 5 resident, who cares what you think of how he gets what is needed for his constituents. PLEASE dismiss me with all of your hysterionics. Mind your own business or move to Ward 5 and vote him out, otherwise shut the hell up and something that is not your business.

    You need to concerned and outraged at a $600,000.00 dog park and $400 million dollar leased building that no one can determine if we own it or not.

  • So Shady

    It's tough to turn a blind eye to this when Thomas is the main one grilling the Mayor for the parks and rec contracts that were given with what he considers to be a non-competitive process.

    Regardless of how much money it is, it drives me insane that this guy is such a hypocrite. Can't wait till someone knocks him off his seat when election time comes. He lost my vote many moons ago.

  • ABF2010

    These earmarks have been a thorn in tihs city's side for well over a year now. The premise of providing a financial springboard to non-profits is a great idea but many of these non-profits seem to be key to adding money to the pockets of DC politicos, Councilmembers favorites and influential friends of the Mayor. We keep pointing fingers at the Council, well there are enough fingers on each hand for all. The Mayor has his pet project--Mr. Ronald Moten (Peaceoholics), they receive upwards in the millions of dollars in earmarks to put criminals in our schools and around our children. Then we have Mr. Calvin Woodland, Chief of Staff for Jim Graham and friend to Mayor Fenty, he received thousands of dollards for his earmark (Woodland Foundation). Mr. Woodland's group particpants are receiving city jobs when there is a hiring freeze and employees being laid-off. Please, someone, tell me who has the better deal. Take a good look, we have residents losing jobs and yet Mr. Woodland has over 100 ex-offenders entering DC government as we speak and being "handed" green jobs and other jobs when law-abiding DC residents cannot seem to catch a break. Where is the story on how Mr. Woodland and Mr. Moten are circumventing the system.

    Unless we are looking at "all" earmarks and making the rules clearer then we need not keep trying to pick on those that we do not like or want to see unseated from office. Either we look at them "all" or we stop looking at any of them.

    The attitude of the Mayor reflects the leadership of the Council. He funnels money to his friends through contracts and sweetheart development deals, promises of employment for select groups; and the Council funnels money to their non-profits to help the residents of their community; which is worse, it all seems equally bad?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • Truth Hurts

    Thomas' logo/slogan is displayed at least FIVE times in different places on the Falconsedge website. In short, Thomas is unlawfully receiving what amounts to free campaign advertising from a "nonprofit" (in violation of legal constraints on tax exempt nonprofits). And, in a remarkable coincidence, Thomas has arranged for Falconsedge to receive no-bid earmarked city tax dollars.

    Nothing wrong with this picture, is there, Honorable Harry Thomas, Jr? Hey, one city's got your back anyway.

  • Skipper

    @Wendy: If the $600k dog park isn't in Ward 5, then, by your own logic, you've got nothing to say about it and should mind your own business, right?

    A non-profit that's engaged in political activity will lose its IRS non-profit status, as well as it's DC charitable business license. The Falcons need to be reported to both the IRS and DCRA for an investigation.

  • tired

    alright here we go, people want the mayor to continue his antics with Ron Moten we all knew that it wasn't over that Fenty would slither him into another contract. So after Thomas wanted an investigation on Fenty guess what happens it it now in reverse, People keep saying what other council members are doing but Fenty is still getting away with stealing us blind. I am truly tired of this crap. We need to bond together a get rid of the snake first and work on the other after.

  • hymesb

    Tired,

    When Council members jump up and down calling Fenty a thief and liar...it makes great press. It drags down his approval rating and gets the Barry contingent (aka Anybody but Fenty crowd) geeked up.

    Here is the problem. Once you let that horse out the barn it won't come back in. Now, council members have raised the ethics bar so high that they can't get over it.

    In my opinion, all of this is BS. Fenty is just trying to do his job. He isn't a thief. He isn't immoral or unethical. But he is a politician. So...he is going to do political things. Like taking care of supporters.

    Same thing in the case of these quasi ear-marks and Thomas. But, all that bullshit Thomas spreads about Fenty has drawn the spotlight on him. It shows him to be a hypocrite.

    Thomas and Gray need to learn he following. If you point a finger at someone, there are always three other pointing back you.

    I don't begrudge Fenty or the council for directing funds to organizations or people for legitimate work. I don't believe in this BS utopian world of complete transparency and moral perfection. Not because I like crooks. But because I am a realist.

    People do business with people they know and like. Short of cash for cash exchanges or Ghost payrollers (worked on that yet OCTO?). I say live and let live.

    I tell you. The City Council will get hoisted on their own sword if they don't get over their investigate-itis.

    Earmarks are important for the poorer communities. And if Councilmembers can't get them...someone else will get elected that will find a way.

    Just listen to the wise Wendy Glen. She don't give a damn about ethics when it comes to Ward 5. It ain't nobody's business but the people of ward 5. She only cares when someone else is breaking the rules.

    She ain't alone.

    Politicians are not elected to be the ethics police. They are elected to get shit done.

    Fenty understands that.Hence, no finger pointing but a push to accomplish tangible results. Barry understands that as well. The "One City" crew better wake up and smell the coffee. They are walking into a buss-saw.

  • noodlez

    I SICK OF COMMENTERS Truth Hurts AND downtown rez WHO CONSTANTLY HAVE MANAGE-A-TRIOS' WITH FENTY THEN WANT TO NOOSE GRAY OR ANYONE THAT POINTED OUT THAT JOKERS NON-EXISTANCE AS MAYOR OF THIS CITY.

    THEY ARE CONSTANTLY DIGGING INTO ALL COUNCILMEMBERS TRANSACTIONS WHO POSE A THREAT TO FAGGIE FENTY. THE SAD PART OF ALL THIS IS THAT THEY HAVE TO GO DIGGING TO FIND OUT SHIT THAT MAYBE IS AT WORST IMPROPER.

    FENTY BROKE THE LAW FOLKS. PERIOD! IT'S THERE FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE. HE DIRECTED HIS MINIONS TO CIRCUMVENT MONEY (PROJECTS OVER A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY) THROUGH AN QUASI-AGENCY THAT HAVE OR HAD NO BEARING ON THE PROJECTS TO AVOID THE COUNCIL. CONTRARY TO BELIEF HE HAS DONE NOTHING FOR THIS CITY SINCE HE WAS ELECTED.

    THOMAS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL, TO A WARD OF THIS CITY PROVIDED FUNDS TO NEEDS, ORGANIZATIONS AND TO THE HEART OF HIS WARD. HE IS DOING HIS J-O-B. CORRECT ME IF IM WRONG BUT WHAT HE DID IS NOT AGAINST THE LAW.

    SEE THE PROBLEM IS FENTY DIDNT REALIZE OR RECONIZE THAT HE WASNT ON THE COUNCIL ANY LONGER. HE BECAME MAYOR AND WITH THAT COMES A DIFFERENT SET OF RULES, PROCEDURES AND PROTOCOLS. THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT IS HELD TO A DIFFERENT AND SOME WOULD SAY HIGHER STANDARD THAN THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. THAT IS WHY HE NEEDS TO GO. HIS FOLK AND BITCHES CAN SPIN THAT SHIT TO SAY HE IS GETTING SHIT DONE ALL THEY WANT. WHICH HE DID BUT HE BROKE THE LAW TO DO IT.

    TRUST AND BELIEVE HE WAS DOING THE SAME SHIT WHEN HE WAS A WARD 4 COUNCILMEMBER. PROBLEM IS HE GOT HIS POODLE ELECTED TO HIS SLOT SO SHE BASICALLY COVERED HIS ASS WHEN SHE TOOK OFFICE.

    SO LL YOUR TRANSLATION ABOUT MR THOMAS DONT MOUNT TO SHIT! THAT BROTHER IS DOING SOME GOOD WORK IN ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT WARDS IN THE CITY. IF HE HAVE TO CAPTURE YOUTH'S MINDS THROUGH SPORTS THAN SO BE IT. IF HE HAS TO RECOMMEND WHERE TO SEND THE FUNDS THEN SO BE IT. IT'S BETTER THAN DOLING OUT FUNDS TO A FUNERAL HOME FOR A MOTHER WHO CANT AFFORD TO BURY HER SON OR DAUGHTER.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK MR. THOMAS! YOUR DAD WOULD BE PROUD!

    HELL IT BEATS THE SHIT BOWSER IS DOING IN WARD 4. WELL IN ALL HONESTY IT DOESNT TAKE MUCH BECAUSE JUST LIKE HER MASTA SHE HASNT DONE SHIT SINCE SHE TOOK OFFICE EITHER.

  • downtown rez

    Noodlez-
    Thanks for the compliment.
    Thomas is a 2 bit hack. And he won't get no streets named after him- not even ones as barren and useless as HTJ Blvd.
    Especially if he keeps allowing others to dish out what he can't take.
    Poor hypocrit baby didn't even feel so strongly that those parks projects were wrong as to stop them. And here he sits "oversite" on parks and recs.
    What a joke.
    On the bright side, his illegal-earmark folks will get quality recs and field out of it. And at the end of the day that's a good thing.

  • Mr. Bigglesworth

    The truth is that the whole lot of them are crooks. Just because we think Thomas is a hypocrite doesn't mean we embrace the mayor, either. I honestly point the finger at the other 50 states for putting DC in this position. Our lack of statehood and our reliance on the federal government has ensured that D.C. operates more like St. Elizabeth's than a functional municipality. The city's eunuch status means no person of both intelligence and integrity would want these jobs. So instead we get showmen who possess few scruples, and for the most part, little intelligence. Anyone in Ward 5 who looks past this crap is either a personal ally of Thomas or a fool. He is a bully, and he uses his ability to sling funding around (and keep it from others) in order maintain his stranglehold on that community ... just like The Great Marion Barry has been doing for decades.

    Oh, and by the way, Wendy, how's Anacostia doing? How well have all those Marion Barry-placed city officials been doing their jobs over the years? How well has Anacostia come out of the funk into which it fell decades ago? If you want a sense of Ward 5's future under this kind of leadership, just examine the last 30 years across the river.

    Whether it's a nonprofit seeking funding or a job applicant being considered for an opening, our city officials owe it to our city to make decisions on merits, not on political connections. Too many great organizations and individuals have been turned away from supporting our city's functions, while too many fools, crooks and bums have been rewarded.

  • hymesb

    Noodlez,

    Are you serious? Harry Thomas, Vincent Gray et al., started all this finger pointing and acusing.

    Fenty has not yet called for any investigation of the council. And, he hasn't commented on any investigations.

    It is the council that started all of this. And this ear-mark issue is a direct result of their aggression and second guessing.

    The look into Gray's home repairs and Comcast pimping is, I believe, a result of Gray attacking and castigating a private citizen from the dais just because he is a Fenty supporter. That citizen turned around and dropped dime. Again, Gray caused his own misfortune.

    Even the parks contracts going to Fenty supporters is a result of Council micro-management. They wanted Lew to do it. Thomas and Gray called it a stupid idea. In the end, the work was handled by Lew at the request of Gray and Thomas. If they weren't trying to fight anything Fenty does, the problem would have never arisen.

    I am telling you Noodlez. You may hate Fenty...but he ain't stupid. He is sitting back on a pile of money waiting for his critics to do themselves in with their own negativity. And Gray, Thomas, and Barry are obliging him. And, funny thing, even if they recognized what was happening, their egos wouldn't let them back down. They will continue to cut their own face thinking it will hurt Fenty.

    No ear-marks for local non-profits. Good luck with that one. Stupid!

  • noodlez

    MR. THOMAS COULD BE A 3 BIT HACK FOR ALL I CARE. BY PROVIDING A YOUTH SPORT ORGANIZATION FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO HELP YOUNG FOLK STAY OFF THE STREET OR GIVE MONEY TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT ALLLOW YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN TO STILL REALIZE THEIR DREAMS IN A POSITIVE WAY THEN FUNNEL THE MONEY TO THEM. I WOULD RATHER THE MONEY GO TO THEM THAN TO SOME FAKE ASS PROJECT MANAGEMENT COMPANY.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    @hymesb WTF ARE YOU TALKIN ABOUT? IF ANY THING GRAY AND THOMAS WERE MAN ENOUGH TO ALLOW LEW TO DO IT AFTER FENTY BITCH ASS DID IT ILLEGALLY. FENTY SHOULD TELL THEM THANK YOU BECAUSE TRUST AND BELIEVE THEY SAVED HIS ASS FROM THE FEDS AND CERTAIN POLITICAL SUICIDE IN A BIG WAY. THEY ALSO SAVED THE CITY AND THE BITCH BOY MAYOR FROM CERTAIN EMBARRASSMENT.

    LET ME SEE IF I GOT THIS RIGHT---FENTY HAD A NON-US CITIZEN, WHO HAVE NO EXPERIENCE, NO SECURITY CLEARENCE AND WAS NOT EVEN APPROVED BY THE COUNCIL TO RUN THE DEPARTMENT, SUBMIT CONTRACTS TO AN AGENCY OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT SO THAT FENTY COULD BYPASS THE DC COUNCIL BECAUSE THE CONTRACT WAS OVER A MILLI AND GIVE THE WORK TO FART BROS, CRONIES AND OTHERS WHO POSE A DEFINITE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

    YOU WANT TO COMPARE THAT TO MR GRAY GETTING A HOOK-UP ON SOME FENCE WORK? OR MR THOMAS PROVIDING A POSITIVE INFLUENCE IN HIS WARD? CHILD PLEEZE!

    SLIM YOU MIGHT WANT TO DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO downtown rez AND Truth Hurts SO THEY CAN ASSIST YOU IN JOINING FAGGIE FENTY'S ASS PARADE.

  • downtown rez

    So...
    Circumventing council rules to provide funds for favored sports groups is okay, but circumventing the council to ensure those sports groups have quality places to play isn't. I get it. It's all so clear now.
    Or not.
    But hey, at least we can all</ be glad that Fenty's first-choice Lew is back in the mix and we know things will be done right. It's a win-win that some on the council had to be dragged kicking and screaming into.

  • downtown rez

    d*mn html

  • Manor

    Noodlez, your caps lock is on. ;)

  • noodlez

    QUALITY PLACES TO PLAY!? CHAMP ALL THE REC CENTERS AND HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELDS WERE REMODELED UNDER WILLIAMS.

    DID I MISS SOMETHING? WHAT QUALITY PLACES TO PLAY? THEM SUMMA BITCHES WAS AWARDED A MAJOR CONTRACT TO PROVIDE OVERSIGHT ON A PROJECT THAT THEY HAD NO BUSINESS BIDDING ON.

    I ONLY KNOW OF TWO SPOTS THAT WERE RENOVATED UNDER FENTY'S WATCH. ONE WAS NAMED AFTER HIM AND THE OTHER SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE WHEN LINCOLN/BELL WAS COMPLETED.

    BOTH ARE IN COLUMBIA HEIGHTS AND ARE DESIGNATED FOR SOCCER. SOCCER IS WAY DOWN ON THE URBANITE LIST OF INNER CITY SPORTS. SHIT YOU EVEN HAVE LATINOS AND AFRICANS NOW MAKING B-BALL AND FOOTBALL THEIR NUMBER 1 SPORT TO GET THEM OUT OF THE HOOD.

    YOUR LAST STATEMENT IS SO OFF TARGET. WOULD LOVE TO ADDRESS BUT MY BRACKET IS CALLING ME.

    Lets go Hoyas!

  • downtown rez

    CHAMP ALL THE REC CENTERS AND HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELDS WERE REMODELED UNDER WILLIAMS.

    DID I MISS SOMETHING?
    Uhhh... Yes. Not "all" (or even nearly all) were remodeled under Williams. Seriously, what have you been smoking?
    There are a whole bunch underway now, and more to come. Among them: Rosedale, Fort Stanton, Bald Eagle, Barry Farms, and more.

  • downtown rez

    See:
    According to data furnished by the D.C. Council, they are 12 projects to renovate 12 parks or recreation facilities. One, to build a $1.3 million ballpark at Emery Rec Center, was awarded in January. The rest---concerning 7th and N park ($800,000), Bald Eagle Rec Center ($5.3M), Barry Farm Rec Center ($15M), Chevy Chase Playground ($1.3M), Fort Stanton Rec Center ($12M), Guy Mason Rec Center ($3M), Justice Park ($12M), Kenilworth Rec Center ($12M), Park View ballfield ($1.2M), Rosedale Rec Center ($16M), and a new park in LeDroit Park ($1.7M)
    washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/10/23/fentys-dcha-contracts-some-questions/

  • Mr. Bigglesworth

    I nominate "noodlez" for the Most Narrow-minded and Offensive D.C. Neighbor of the Year Award.

    Your pathetic and disturbing comments are useless, excepting their service as evidence that bigots and morons are alive and well in D.C.

    I find it funny that you capitalize and shout your homophobic and racist epithets, but only use traditional capitalization for "go Hoyas!" How odd that you support Georgetown; no one at Georgetown supports bigots like you.

  • noodlez

    @downtown rez DUDE ARE YOU SERIOUS?

    FOUR OF THOSE LISTED WOULD HAVE A REAL IMPACT ON THE CHILDREN AND COMMUNITY THEY SERVE. BARRY FARMS, KEINILWORTH, ROSEDALE AND FORT STANTON.

    BUT DO YOU HONESTLY THINK BY REDOING PARK AT 7TH AND N
    (KNOWN DRUG SPOT) IS GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT WHEN
    THERE IS KENNEDY REC (TRUE SANCTUARY) A BLOCK AWAY? THEY CAN HAVE DPW DEMOLISH AND PLANT SOME GRASS FOR CHEAP. ALSO, $1.3 MIL SO WHITE FOLKS CAN HAVE A BETTER TENNIS COURT IN CHEVY CHASE? DAMN downtown rez, I KNEW YOU WERE ON FENTY'S DICK BUT I DIDNT KNOW HE WAS THAT DEEP IN YOU.

    BRO I'LL GIVE +1 ON THE GOTCHA MOMENT-"CHAMP ALL THE REC CENTERS AND HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELDS WERE REMODELED UNDER WILLIAMS." "DID I MISS SOMETHING?"

    BUT THAT SHIT YOU PUT TOGETHER IS LIGHT ON THE BACK END. I CAN GO ON AND ON ABOUT THIS BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER REMAINS. FENTY IS LINING HIS BOYS POCKETS FOR HIS FUTURE WHILE THOMAS IS HELPING TO PROVIDE A FUTURE.
    PERFECT EXAMPLE IS THE WATKINS POP WARNER FOOTBALL TEAM. THEY WON NATL CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE OF DEDICATED FOLKS THAT WAS PROVIDED SOME FINANCIAL HELP IN THEIR TIME OF NEED. THAT IS HOW YOU KEEP THE CRIME NUMBERS DOWN. THAT IS HOW YOU PROVIDE HOPE TO FOLKS.

    DREAMS ARE MADE POSSIBLE BY AND THROUGH FOLKS WHO CARE ABOUT YOUR FUTURE NOT THROUGH A FACILITY THAT WAS PROPPED UP BY OVERPRICED CONTRACTORS.

  • noodlez

    @Mr. Bigglesworth I WOULD RATHER BE NOMINATED FOR THE MOST NARROW MINDED THAN THE MOST OPEN ASS. SINCE YOU ARE SO OVERWHELMED BY MY COMMENTS LET ME LEAVE YOU WITH THIS TO SEE HOW IT RATE ON YOUR COMMENT METER.

    WHAT I FIND TRULY DISTURBING IS THAT YOU MOTHER MUST HAVE BEEN PULLING AN ALL WEEK-ER TO GET ENOUGH MAN JUICE IN HER CORRUPT SNATCH TO CONCEIVE YOUR INADEQUATE ASS. THEN TO TAKE YOU TO TERM WHILE WORKING THE STROLL. UN-FUCKING BELEIVABLE! SEE ITS THANGS LIKE YOU THAT WILL CAUSE THIS NATION TO CRUMBLE UNDER ITS OWN WEIGHT.

    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS GET OFF YOU MOTHER'S TITTY. SUCKING THAT RANCID ASS MILK LACED WITH METH RUNOFF DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR YOUR MENTAL DEVELOPMENT. BECAUSE IF YOU FIND IT FUNNY THAT MY COMMENTS ARE CAP LOCKED AND ODD THAT I SUPPORT THE G'TOWN HOYAS B-BALL TEAM YOU NEED MORE HELP THAN THE WCP BLOG SITE CAN PROVIDE FOR YOU.

  • downtown rez

    BUT DO YOU HONESTLY THINK BY REDOING PARK AT 7TH AND N
    (KNOWN DRUG SPOT) IS GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT WHEN
    THERE IS KENNEDY REC (TRUE SANCTUARY) A BLOCK AWAY?

    If Kennedy rec is such a sanctuary, why are parents bringing their kids from 7th street all the way 10 blocks West to Stead Rec? (which BTW was partially redone under Fenty, thank you very much Mr Mayor).
    And especially why when Kennedy is a much larger and better appointed rec than Stead is?
    I'll tell you why- if you ask them, they'll say because they have conflicts with the folks at Kennedy and don't feel safe there.

    By the way- It's mostly UHoP that's pushing for the 8th and N park to get redone. They're rightly tired of it being an abandoned craps den and shooting gallery.

  • tired

    Hmyseb, while I understand what you are saying I don't care about him being a politician he is an asshole who has circumvented the law and if Gray and Thomas are guilty then they deserve the same. But what I do have a problem with and I don't care who it is not being transparent and TREATING EVERYONE THE SAME. This is the same man when challenged acts like he doesn't owe anyone an explaination. Well damn it he is wrong and we pay his salary. I tell you this if he doesn't want to comply then private industry is awaiting him.

  • tired

    by the way Fenty's money is from Corporate entities not citizens but these are the same people who want poor and middle class out of DC. Think about it.

  • IQof 40

    ---FENTY HAD A NON-US CITIZEN, WHO HAVE NO EXPERIENCE, NO SECURITY CLEARENCE AND WAS NOT EVEN APPROVED BY THE COUNCIL TO RUN THE DEPARTMENT, SUBMIT CONTRACTS TO AN AGENCY OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT SO THAT FENTY COULD BYPASS THE DC COUNCIL BECAUSE THE CONTRACT WAS OVER A MILLI AND GIVE THE WORK TO FART BROS, CRONIES AND OTHERS WHO POSE A DEFINITE CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

    noodlez, Clark Ray is a citizen and the position of Director of Parks and Rec.does not need clearance. HSEMA needs clearance. Clark Ray and Neil Albert cooked the deal because Council prohibited Allen Lew from working on anything but schools. If you are trying to convince anyone with an IQ over 40 you have to have your facts straight.

    Nobody is defending Fenty here. If you really want to help Thomas out have a decent discussion. Mr. Bigglesworth got the award right for you...

  • Manor1

    Noodlez is referring to Hartsock. She didnt't do the contracts, was Clark Ray.

    Noodlez is working on getting his Caps off...

  • whatgoesaround

    Hymesb, you are so right. Harry Thomas needs to change the pointing-finger tactic and work on getting stuff done. I have an idea: build us a middle school Mr. Thomas so Ward 5 parents don't have to beg Jack Evans to let us in next year at Hardy MS.

  • B

    Noodlez is so wrong on the basic facts of every story they comment in I wonder if they aren't astroturf

  • Truth Hurts

    Tired, if you have a problem with Fenty's donors, then I take it you're not supporting one city Gray for mayor. The overwhelming majority of his contributions during the council chair campaign in 2006 came from Republicans, business entities, and DC nonresidents. It'll be no different this time around.

  • noodlez

    @downtown rez THAT NEWS TO ME. IT MUST BE THE WHITE FOLKS NEW TO THAT AREA THAT DONT WANT TO GIVE THEIR CHILDREN A TRUE INNER CITY UPBRINGING.

    WHY WOULDNT STEAD BE REDONE? FENTY HAS DONE EVERYTHING ELSE FOR THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY (PRONTO) TO STAY IN THEIR GOOD GRACES.

    sidebar-DO THEY STILL HAVE NIGHTLY BBALL RUNS DOWN THERE?

  • noodlez

    @IQof 40 THE MERE FACT THAT YOU HAVE TO CORRECT ME ON WHO IS ZOOMIN WHO JUST PROVES MY CASE FOR ME.

    IF THE BITCH BOY WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED THE LAW AND ACT LIKE A MAYOR THIS WOULD BE A NON-DISCUSSION!

    I APPRECIATE THE FACT CHECKING BUT WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THE COMMENTERS ON HERE HAVE AN IQ OVER 40?

  • downtown rez

    . IT MUST BE THE WHITE FOLKS NEW TO THAT AREA THAT DONT WANT TO GIVE THEIR CHILDREN A TRUE INNER CITY UPBRINGING.
    Not only. Also nice young black families.

    Yes, Stead still has the full basketball court. Now don't go spreading no rumors about naked same-sex volley ball.

  • noodlez

    LET ME FIND OUT YOU TRYIN TO BRUSH UP ON YOUR noodlezisms.

  • downtown rez

    I'll bet you'll find out.
    Admit it, your noodle is all al dente, at the thought, isn't it.

  • delanohunter@gmail.com,jcgrayton220@gmail.com,williamshelton@gmail.com,williamshelton@gmail.com

    D-

    I believe this is one of the articles you were talking about, I will include this in your response.

    Carla

  • Respected Citizens

    Let gets the facts correct, when one speaks of the Friends of Carter Barron Foundaton of the Performing Arts , they are known to have an excellent youth training year-round program unlike any other.

    More than 90% of the enrolled population no only graduate from their respective high schools but attends a post-secondary or advanced vocational setting, and that includes their Special Needs enrollees.

    Remains DC's only Workforce specialized Performing Arts contractor with a high performance based outcome that offers real improvements in literacy, work readiness and career development training in the specialized areas of youth interest.

    Also, can evidence their youth project's spending, and validate that Yolanda Adams participated with the city wide youth engaged for the Broadway like project, whereby youth from Ward 5 were enrolled, and parents along with seniors attended the program.

    For the record, the project was twice the cost, and guess what still not as much as it requires to be at Kennedy Center, National Theater nor the Warner.

    In other words, DC inner-city youth obtain improvements in their literacy, counseling and career working experiences via the non-profib because of competent staff, mostly Professors who teach them beyond their class room settings.

    In addition, DC youth earn a life time experience, as they earn the opportunity to work with highly noted recording Artists who give back to our youth, who've selected the Performing Arts as their career interest, offering them at least one workshop on the requirements of this career, along with technical rehearsals and four to five live performance dates.

    They should support any Legislator for preserving a quality, structured and comprehensive program that is rated with high regards in Washington, DC.

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