City Desk

Wells: I Expected More from My Colleagues

Despite the fact that Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells recalls Ron Moten calling him "a liar and a double-crosser" at a recent hearing regarding the Peaceaholics, the two men currently find themselves agreeing about something: The D.C. Council has gone too far with its anti-vote-buying legislation.

At a press conference held outside City Paper's office earlier today, Moten read some statements Wells made about the council's effort to make it a crime to give constituents anything of value in exchange for voting or registering to vote. For Moten, the legislation is problematic because it might keep him from throwing go-go concerts to promote Fenty. For Wells, it's simpler than that.

"I don't think that the people who are standing for election should be changing the election laws," he says. Wells says he isn't taking that stance on behalf of anyone's campaign. "I have not come out for anyone for mayor, " he says. Even so, "right before the election is not the time to start mucking around with election law."

Wells also fears the legislation, which council approved Tuesday night, might get in the way of a city tradition: D.C. has a long history of providing boxed lunches to seniors when they're bused to the polls, he says.

"I expected more  from my colleagues," Wells says.

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  • Trulee Pist

    I agree with Mr. Moten.

    Councilmember Wells opposes legislation to ban vote-buying in DC, just like Moten.

    Councilmember Wells voted against legislation to require Council review before the District disposes of real estate property.

    If you can't reward friends, the way Fenty rewarded Moten with a million or more in city grants, what's the point of politics?

    Count me in, I am complete agreement with the Moten-Wells approach to good government. So make it good--where's mine??!

  • Rick Mangus

    Hey!, Tommy if the shoe fits

  • taye

    Wells is an idiot too....

  • downtown rez

    Buying votes is of course bad, but does this legislation prevent non-cash inducements to register to vote (concerts) or actually go to vote (rides/meals)?
    How are these practices different than Rock the Vote concerts, which are headlined by major acts that otherwise would be very expensive to see?
    I'm honestly curious.

  • Throw the rascals out!

    Tommy is a pathetic opportunist! He truly doesn't give a sincere thought about the elderly or the youth of Ward 6 as he clearly panders to a certain demographic there. He needs to go too!

  • noodlez

    MR WELLS AS LONG AS THE LUNCHES ARE NOT SPONSERED BY ANY ONE PARTICULAR CANDIDATE THEN WHY SHOULD THE LONG STANDING PRACTICE BECOME ILLEGAL?

    MTV SPONSORS VOTER REGISTRATION NOT PARTICULAR CANDIDATES.

    FENTY WANT FOLKS TO REGISTER TO VOTE AND TO VOTE FOR HIM. THERE IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST INVOLVED ESPECIALLY WHEN FOLK ARE NOT ALLOWED INTO VENUE UNLESS THEY AGREE TO DO SOMETHING IN EXCHANGE FOR SUPPORT.

  • downtown rez

    @noodlez-
    MTV SPONSORS VOTER REGISTRATION NOT PARTICULAR CANDIDATES.
    Yeah, I forgot about all those rock the vote concerts targeting the fine youth of Walisa AK.
    ...WHEN FOLK ARE NOT ALLOWED INTO VENUE UNLESS THEY AGREE TO DO SOMETHING...
    Something like register to vote?

  • F. Douglass

    "tommy" wells is a eunuch...

  • Trulee Pist

    Hell's Bells, Noodlez. Tommy Wells agrees with you. He is disappointed that his colleagues voted to ban the practice of paying people to vote. He "expected more" from the Council. Don't yell at Mr. Wells.

    The people with real estate they are expecting to get from DC government and who want to get it without a lot of Council nosing around are the people who expect more and more and more from Mr. Wells, and they are probably yelling at him all the time.

  • Trulee Pist

    @ DRez, this article makes me think both Moten and the bill's sponsor, Councilmember Cheh, have reasons for their positions.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2010/07/moten_urges_fenty_to_veto_vote.html

    She says the language (except possibly for a new provision making it a crime to try to register under an alias) matches the Federal code, and that makes the world safe for Moten-Fenty Go-Go Nites. Unfortunately, her proof is, "Obama held rallies, whaddaya talking about?" and she does not cite the language that protects Go-Go rallies. She also tosses in a few unfounded, rumor-based innuendos that do not make her case stronger.

    Moten says a local prosecutor could interpret the DC copy of the Fed law differently and fine his butt. That's why he wants Fenty to veto it.

  • nunyabiz

    "I expected more from my colleagues," Wells says.

    --------------------------------------------------
    And the voters in this city expected more from that menagerie assembled in the Wilson Building.

  • downtown rez

    Well, Trulee, obviously it would be foolish to veto legislation that criminalizes vote buying. I mean, who's for vote buying, right? Similarly, it would be foolish to attempt to construe legislation that nominally intends no such thing as to be in fact truly intended to quash get out the vote efforts.
    So I guess we're all good, and we're all on the same page, and there will be no unfortunate confusion going forward.
    Group hug, right?

  • Brahmin

    Is there someone running against Tommy Wells. I may have to review this further.

  • Trulee Pist

    Of course, Councilmember Wells did not vote against the bill to ban vote buying. He and Councilmember Graham recused themselves. My mistake, I apologize.

    OK, go ahead, keep hugging.

  • Trulee Pist
  • DCDem

    Ohh, Jesus (or should I say Ohhh, Fenty), Tommy Wells.

    I am certainly NOT voting for you this go round, you are a one man cluster f*ck.

    The legislation was introduced in the FIRST place because of a change to election law, by this council, in 09 that had gaps that opened the door for this type of voting fraud. This is the first election that this legislation would impact.

    Election year or not, it was the council's responsibility to fill in that gap at the moment that it was identified or soon thereafter. We are talking about the integrity of a democratic practice that under-girds our republic. I couldn't give a damn about "motive". There is never a wrong time to right a wrong.

    At the end of the day no candidate for Council or Mayor will benefit one way or the other from this emergency measure. Unless, of course, they were dependent upon voter fraud in order to get elected. In that instance, so be it. Be mad.

    As far as giving voters incentives to register and vote, and the long standing tradition in the District of feeding folks in order to get them to vote, I say this, GET OVER IT. Voting is a privilege that shouldn't be baited by trinkets and gifts. People are not entitled to chicken wings and biscuits in exchange for casting a ballot. How utterly ridiculous.

    Wells is right about one thing, ONLY IN THE DISTRICT...

  • Ward 6 Voter

    Tommy Wells expected more from the City Council. I have news for him. The residents of Ward 6 expected more from him as their representative.

    If you want to raise chickens in your backyard, he is there for you; if you want to pay more for parking at meters, he is there for you; if you think an 800 bed homeless shelter in your neighborhood is inappropriate, he will quietly create one and blame it on Fenty; if you want to spend 1.5 billion for a trolley system without a power source, he will gladly do it; if you have a crime problem in your neighborhood, he will have a potluck dinner to discuss the issue while street crime continues to increase year after year; etc. etc.

    Hopefully the voters of Ward 6 will send Wells and his inane staff packing this September.

  • Rick Mangus

    Wells expecting more from his fellow council members is like expecting a prostitute to show love!

  • gonzo

    "Voting is a privilege..."

    Heh.

  • candycane1

    Can Moten vote?

  • Truth Hurts

    So would Gray's poll workers and union volunteers be precluded from delivering box lunches to folks canvassing around polling places and providing snacks to voters his rented vans transport to the polls? Gray's folk were passing out some good grub in '06.

  • tired

    Hey truth hurts get a life

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