Loose Lips

Kwame Brown’s Mystery Money

Kwame Brown's Campaign Finances: Why So Complicated?

Here’s a question no one seems to have asked yet: Since D.C. Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown paid his family to work on his first two campaigns, does that mean he paid them during last year’s race, as well?

Several politically connected friends of Brown think there’s a good chance he did. But you won’t find any record of payments in Brown’s campaign finance reports to Marshall Brown, Kwame’s father, who makes a living running field operations for campaigns and has been in the news lately for racially insensitive comments that cost him his job working for Sekou Biddle; or Che Brown, the chairman’s brother and self-identified “sales expert” (“I help you make more sales with less effort,” says Che’s Twitter account), whose firm, a recent Office of Campaign Finance audit revealed, was paid about $240,000 by one of Kwame’s campaign contractors in 2008.

The chairman’s office declined to respond to requests for comment, and his father and brother did not return multiple calls. But LL didn’t have to look too hard to find plenty of circumstantial evidence that at the very least suggests some of the $735,000 Brown raised in his successful bid for the chairman’s seat last year may have found its way to his family members’ pockets.

Consider this pattern: When Brown was first elected as an at-large councilmember in 2004, his father and brother worked on the campaign and were paid about $25,000 for their efforts. He took some flak from his opponents for paying his family, according to an old Washington Post story. The campaign payments stopped in May 2004, several months before Brown went on to pummel incumbent Harold Brazil. But Kwame’s campaign money found its way to Che and Marshall through a third party: a consulting company run by Kwame’s college friend, which was paid more than $64,000 after Brown won the decisive primary. In turn, the Post reported that firm, Capitol Solutions Group, paid Che and Marshall $7,500.

Brown said back then that he wasn’t trying to hide the payments to his family, and there’s nothing wrong with compensating family members for their hard work.

“You rarely see African American families working together in this city,” Brown told Washington City Paper in 2004. “I have no problem paying my family, who’s been there, been knocking on doors.”

When Brown ran for re-election in 2008, City Paper wrote about Kwame and his father Marshall starting the campaign 16 months before the primary election.

Brown got an early start because he was trying to keep other politicos from entering the race. “I’m going to find the best people,” Kwame said in 2007 of his plans. “And I’m pretty sure my dad is going to help me.” Marshall, meanwhile was trying to pump up the perception that his son was unbeatable: “I tell people, if you’re not running now, you can’t beat Kwame.” It must have worked; he ran unopposed in the primary and cruised to an easy re-election in the general election.

There’s no record that Marshall was ever paid for his hard work. Before last week, you’d have no way of knowing that any of Kwame’s money went to family members. That’s because it took the OCF’s damning report to reveal that Brown’s campaign had paid Che’s sales coaching company, Partners in Learning, $240,000 through a third-party field operations company. (The OCF found a whole host of other problems with Brown’s campaign, including failing to initially report $103,000 in donations and $169,000 in expenses.)

“You name it, with my father, it’s the guts of what Kwame does on the campaign,” Che told the Post about how he spent the campaign’s money doing aggressive get-out-the-vote and other field operations.

Brown’s response to the findings? Again, he says he wasn’t trying to circumvent campaign finance disclosure laws. Instead, the company he hired to do the field work, Banner Consulting, needed assistance, so it subcontracted with Che’s sales consulting firm.

That excuse is hard to swallow, especially since the OCF report noted that several payments Brown made to Banner went almost directly to Partners in Learning, sometimes on the same day.

The report also notes that the contract between Banner and the Brown campaign was dated June 1, 2007—the exact same day that Banner and Partners in Learning signed a contract.

Is it worth noting that around this time Brown was getting into deep personal debt, which he said came about in part due to helping family members through financial rough patches? Yes, it is. “You step up and provide,” he told the Post.

OCF has referred its report to its general counsel, and the Post editorial page is calling for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate. And there are still more entities that the Brown family might need to be concerned about. The first is the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which has no record that Partners in Learning, which has an office downtown, is licensed to do business in the District. That’s a possible $2,000 fine!

The second, much scarier organization is the Internal Revenue Service. The report noted that Che Brown couldn’t come up with adequate bank records to show how his company spent the $240,000. The document he did come up with was something called a “profit and loss statement” that says Partners in Learning spent $169,164 on “day labor.”

That’s an awful lot of money to spend on field operatives, many of whom could have quite possibly made more than $600—the magic number that requires workers and campaigns to document payments on 1099 forms for the IRS. (Operatives from other campaigns tell LL they would easily be able to provide those tax forms to an auditor.)

Which brings us to the most recent campaign, where Brown easily dispatched Vincent Orange in his quest for the chairman’s seat. Just like the last two times out, Che and Marshall were a frequent presence on Kwame’s campaign. Che was the ultimate utility man, doing “whatever he was asked to do,” according to a source close to the campaign.

“When you say tireless and all that, I mean he was unbelievable,” the source says of Che, who would pick up checks from donors, help organize fundraisers, and even stuffed goodie bags for volunteers the night before the election for the get-out-the-vote effort. “He would even do the real grunt work around the office.”

Marshall was also close to the campaign, and was seen frequently riding around with field organizer and friend Harold Gist. As in previous campaigns, Kwame contracted his field operation to a consulting company, in this case Gist’s firm, called the Lancer Group.

Campaign finance records show the Brown campaign paid the Lancer Group more than $190,000 last year. The campaign paid Lancer a total of 53 times, sometimes making multiple payments in one day.

LL spoke briefly with Gist, who says Lancer did not pay Che’s Partners in Learning during the 2010 campaign. Gist adds that he doesn’t discuss who Lancer pays, for a variety of reasons, and then begs off the call, saying he was in a meeting. (Gist also says he isn’t working for Orange’s bid for the at-large D.C. Council seat Brown left vacant, but a senior Orange aide tells LL Gist is being paid by the campaign.) Gist did not return several subsequent calls.

Brown’s 2010 campaign also paid another firm called WPW4 $23,005 for supplies and consulting. Google turns up nothing to suggest what WPW4 is or who owns it. In campaign finance records, the company has a P.O. box in D.C., but there are no records with DCRA of it being licensed to do business in town.

Has any of this caught the eye of OCF? Wesley Williams, a spokesman for OCF, says while there’s no official investigation into Brown’s 2010 campaign, his office would be taking a “keener” eye on his recent filings after its audit of the 2008 campaign.

There’s also the matter of Brown’s transition funds, which don’t have to be disclosed to the OCF. After the OCF report came out, LL went looking for the spreadsheet Brown put up on the council website listing contributions and expenses for his transition to chairman, which were privately funded (like Mayor Vince Gray’s transition). The spreadsheets have been taken down, and Brown’s staff so far hasn’t responded to reporters’ requests for a new copy.

All this secrecy looks bad for Brown, whose political reputation landed in the dumps after the fiasco over his picky tastes in luxury SUV interiors. It’s also unnecessary. Everyone in town knows that politics is a family affair for the council chairman, and there’s nothing inherently wrong in paying family members for their work. Just be up front about it.

VINCE GRAY, RETURNED CITIZEN
You know the old saying: There’s nothing like getting arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police to make you feel better. No? Well, that oughta be a saying.

For proof, look no further than Mayor Vince Gray, who has a new pep in his step since being arrested Monday while protesting a budget compromise between national Republicans and Democrats that averted a government shutdown but trampled the District’s ability to spend its own money.

Gray, who’s been blown and battered during his first few months in office over various hiring decisions, seems determined to ride this feeling to its end, and has been on a media blitz since his arrest, making stops at CNN and Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, as well as being the star attraction in an editorial in The New York Times.

For the first time since his inauguration, Gray’s in the driver’s seat instead of reacting to a steady drip of bad news. It’s a welcome change, and there’s no denying that Gray feels passionately and earnestly about the District’s rights, or lack thereof.

But LL, cynic that he is, can’t help but wonder what kind of political calculations were behind Gray’s decision to get arrested. After all, there aren’t too many better ways to change the narrative than getting a picture of yourself being arrested on the front page of the local paper; live video of Gray being loaded into a Capitol Police van on the 11 o’clock news Monday night couldn’t have hurt, either.

LL doesn’t mean to suggest that there’s anything wrong with getting arrested for reasons, in part, related to politics. The budget compromise presented Gray with an opportunity, and good politicians seize opportunities.

But Gray doesn’t see it that way. When LL asked the mayor what he would say to cynics who wonder about his political motivation, Gray affixed LL with a look of death.

“That’s very cynical, that’s a very cynical thing to say,” Gray said. “There’s a legitimate issue involved here, and I would invite them to address the legitimate issues."

Got a tip for LL? Send suggestions to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. Or call (202) 650-6951.

  • drez

    “That’s very cynical, that’s a very cynical thing to say,” Gray said.
    It's an even more cynical to do than it is to say.
    Just sayin'.

  • Frederick Douglass

    I Love Mayor Gray and His Superior Intellectual Capacity! Mayor Gray is My Hero! Power to the People, Right On!

  • John

    drez: That's a very cynical thing to say. ;)

  • drez

    So, when Kwame falls, it'll be Gray's hand picked choice Cheh, the new pro tem, that will replace him?
    Just curious.

  • Jeff

    Regarding WPW4, it shares its P.O. Box with Capitol Hill Cleaning Svc. LLC, which is owned by Yolanda Wallace. However, there is someone with the title of manager there identified as "W Wallace". My guess is that WPW are the initials of "W. Wallace". Maybe he is also "the Fourth".

  • http://twitter.com/kcivey Keith Ivey

    Drez, no, the pro tem only takes over if the chair is incapacitated, like when Charlene Drew Jarvis took over during the three months Dave Clarke was in the hospital before he died. If Kwame actually resigned for some reason, the seat would be vacant, and the council members would choose one of the at-large members (Catania, Mendelson, Michael Brown, or Biddle or whoever wins on April 26) to be the acting chair until a special election was held. That's how Cropp became chair: She was chosen to be acting chair and then won the special election.

  • peteygreene

    The real question is how much $ came back to Kwame In kickbacks from his family to pay his debts for cars and boats and mistresses. Need to pull the bank records.

  • Mary

    Keep checking, let's get all of Kwame's dirty laundry out at once.

  • Rake

    Indeed, Mary. I think LL is correct, Kwame ultimately has more to fear from the IRS than the OCF, but the OCF taking a look in Kwame's 2010 coffers would be a start.

  • Education2way

    Can't say im not surprised about anything that has come out about Kwame, its evident that he swindled his way to the chairman position and his family put together a master plan to keep everybody eating and winning.

    It must be tough living in Ward 7 and knowing that you supported someone that pretty much pulled a fast one on everybody time & time again, and used the "Responsibility" slogan he uses everytime he is called out to get over.

  • SEis4ME

    Alan, you're funny dud. You end by saying, everyone knows that politics is a family affair, Brown should just be upfront about it.

    This is laughable. You're nonstop reporting is really not a witch hunt, you just want Brown to be honest. That's all. Nothing else.

    HA!

    And your Gray attack? Really Alan? Did you really need to ask whether a politician got himself arrested over political reasons? Have you EVER heard of one not being arrested for political reasons? MLK was arrested for political reasons.

    Alan, this is a hand you did not need to show. I can think of many things to call you, but a skeptic is not it.

  • drez

    @SEis4ME
    Did you really just compare Gray with MLK? I mean, really?
    Puh-lease.

  • TheAngryVoter

    Damn.....I take a brief hiatus to enjoy some down time, and look who is back in the news ahahahah. I bet everyone who donated to his campaigns feel like dummies, I would not even trust Kwame with Monopoly play money. He is the definition of a washingtonian crook and its a shame that people even give this dude the time or day.

    Biddle....he must have fooled you something serious because for that guy to be one of your friends is pure comedy.

    OH......and PS, I attended Coolidge so you know its all hell to pay for you to even think about merging the two schools

    -TheRelaxedAfterVacationVOTER

  • noodlez

    YO SEWERMAN SINCE APRIL IS GREEN AWARENESS MONTH I APPLAUDE YOUR EFFORTS TO TRY TO START A RECYCLING AND REUSE PROGRAM OF YOUR “TRASH TOSSING” GRAY STORIES WITH YOUR CYNICISM THAT HIS EFFORTS WASN’T GENIUNE. SLIM, YOU ARE FORGETTIN THE OTHER “R”. REDUCE! WHY DON’T YOU REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF TRASH YOU WRITE ABOUT MY MAYOR AND THE USUAL SUSPECTS?

    EVEN YOUR KWAME OBSESSION IS GETTING A BIT MUCH. THERE ARE OTHERS ON THE COUNCIL WHO COULD USE SOME SPRING CLEANING SINCE THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE INTO. WHY DON’T YOU CHOOSE ONE COUNCILMEMBER PER MONTH TO FOCUS ON? DIG INTO THEIR SHIT, KEEP A RUNNING TALLY AND ONCE YOU ARE DONE THEN DETERMINE WHO YOU SHOULD BE CYNICAL ABOUT.

    WHAT YOUR STORIES ARE BOILING DOWN TO IS THAT BOTH OF THESE GUYS ARE TRYING TO HELP THE FOLKS AROUND THEM THAT ARE CLOSE TO THEM. WHO AMONG WOULDN’T TRY TO DO THE SAME THING? MAYOR GRAY PUT TRUST IN FOLKS THAT HE THOUGHT WOULD MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS. SOME DID. SOME DIDN’T. KWAME TRYING TO GET HIS FAMILY PAID AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPEND HIS MONEY. THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO SEE HERE. MOVE ON PLAYA!

    SHIT. EVEN THE PREVIOUS LL’S WAITED FOR BARRY TO FUCK UP AGAIN BEFORE THEY DUMPED ANOTHER STORY INTO OUR LAPS THAT MOST OF US KNEW ABOUT ALREADY.
    “But LL, cynic that he is, . . .” I WOULDN’T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS FROM A COWBOY FAN WHO EXPECTS HIS TEAM TO PLAY FOOTBALL GOOD ENUF TO WIN. COWBOYS FANS AND YANKEE FANS ARE ABOUT AS CYNICAL AS THEY COME AND THE LESS GENUINE FOLK OUT HERE. ONE THING ABOUT NATIVE WASHINGTONIANS IS THAT OUR EFFORTS WHETHER RIGHT OR WRONG (INSERT ALL PREVIOUS MAYOR SHIT HERE) ARE GENUINE. WE EXPECT THE SKINS TO HAVE A FOOTBALL TEAM GOOD ENUF TO WIN. EVEN WHEN THEY DON’T OUR LOVE FOR THEM IS STILL GENUINE.
    “There’s a legitimate issue involved here, and I would invite them to address the legitimate issues." HEY SEWERMAN WHY DON’T YA? OR WILL YOU BE TAKING HAND-DANCING LESSIONS SO YOU CAN TRY TO BLEND-IN THIS SUMMER TO SEE WHO MAYOR GRAY IS DANCING WITH?
    THREE STARS, TWO STRIPES, ONE CITY!

    OH YEAH FUCK THE REPUBLICANS! STAY OUT OF OUR BIZNASS. ESPECIALLY THOSE MASQUERADING AS INDEPENDENTS!

  • SEis4ME

    Drez, obviously, YOU should be the last person to guide ME on a discussion about MLK.

    Last I checked, MLK made a political statement by sitting in B'ham's jail.

    If I'm not mistakened, Gray and the others just did the same.

    Call it what you like.

  • Concernedaboutdc

    Here, Here SEis4ME

    Just sayin'

  • Wared 7 born and raised

    You all crack me up. First there is this noodlez fool talking about their mayor. Well your mayor ran on ethics and honesty and honestly the only thing that has come up is that Fenty didn't do anything wrong and your mayor won't admit they fucked up and lied. Second he pulled some bullshit time after time and is now just throwing everyone under the bus to save his high yellow ass. What type of stand up black dude from NE goes to GW and pledges a white jewish frat and runs from the black ones? That man is crooked and it is finally catching up with him.

    As for Kwame, shit he may be a little funny with his money but what was the alternative Vincent "Amos & Andy" Orange who is full of shit for real. That dude will lie, cheat, steal and eat your watermelon without saying thank you. Only person he cares about is him self. How come no one wants to talk about the fact that his Mayoral campaign was making payments on the Cadillac truck he was driving during the chair race. Just check the records....

  • drez

    Oh, get over yourselves.
    A negotiated arrest that leads to 4 hours in a modern clean jail overseen by the man you appoint as Atty Gen and will likely lead to a no-paper is not Birminham.
    Gray put nothing on the line here. MLK risked and lost his life.
    You guys are idiots to even try to make the comparison.

  • SEis4ME

    @WarEd7born complaining that a black guy went to a "white school" and joined its "white" fraternity. Yep, WarEd7 you are.

    ABM, at least they are consistent although I am a tad bit surprised that Alan displayed his open disdain for Gray. I mean really, when aren't arrests like this political?

    DREZ, uhm..MLK risked his life, died, and STILL made a political statement. Time in has absolutely no relevance to whether a political statement is made.

    Don't get mad because you made an idiotic statement.

  • DC Dude

    "pick up checks from donors, help organize fundraisers, and even stuffed goodie bags for volunteers the night before the election for the get-out-the-vote effort"

    Back in the days od honest Dave Clarke there were special folks to do these kinds of things, they were called "volunteers" and the ladies almost always provided a homemade repast. It was almost always a racial mix too. If the Brown clan wasn't so low rent and nasty they would attract some "volunteers" instead they subcontract to grifters.

  • drez

    SEis4ME
    You just made my point for me. MLK truly laid everything he had on the line for a righteous cause, and in doing so inspired and changed the world.
    VG, on the other hand, engaged in a hollow bit of scripted theater that will change nothing.
    Civil disobedience obviously isn't what it used to be.
    The only thing that makes me feel like an idiot is I can't figure out whether Gray is a) standing on MLK's shoulders and/or b) riding MLK's coat tails and how he could possibly be doing both while at the same time c) still be so deeply eclipsed by MLK's shadow.

  • Education2Way

    ahahah "Wared 7" before you make a comment on LL rookie, you could atleast hit spell check smh.

    Kwame is a crook all across the board, and even people from "WARD 7" are pissed off that he represents that side of town. You want to know why Ward 7 & 8 aren't doing so well? It clearly reflects on the leadership east of the river that you all elect into office. Every election you all show your loyalty to people who represent yall in making no progress then complain that yall aren't getting any attention.

    You clearly make no sense when talking about Orange because for the news to come about KWAME'S bad debt problems, it would be stupid on his side to raise issues on another man's financial problems if his are in question as well smh.

    Don't be in your feelings because your hometown hero destroyed his reputation and the voice of Ward 7 by partaking in foolish actions.

    If DC acted on the "lesser of two evils" they clearly didn't get the memo because I can't see Orange doing all the retarded stuff Brown has done.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Drez- do MLK's actions weren't calculated to advance his cause? Your deification of MLK seems to have you blinded to the fact that everything he did and that he was willing to do, was part of a larger plan. Gray's battle isn't nearly as important as MLK's, but utilizing this TACTIC nor comparing it to, is sacrilegious. But what the hell does a privileged middle class white guy like you really know about sacrifice. You know nothing of MLK's struggle. You can sit back and dissect Gray's actions all you want, but the fact remains that you're full of shit and nothing but a hypocrite.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    I meant- do you think that MLK's...

  • drez

    You really don't know anything about me, ABM.
    How's that buyer's remorse working for you? Still in denial about it?

  • SEis4ME

    @Education2way, "you want to know why Ward 7 & 8 aren't doing so well? It clearly reflects on the leadership east of the river that you all elect into office. Every election you all show your loyalty to people who represent yall in making no progress then complain that yall aren't getting any attention.

    As a Ward 8 resident, you're almost full of shit. Using your logic, the reason black people commit crimes and are unemployed in disproportion to others is because Barack Obama is president.

    Or rather, because we keep reelecting democrats and republicans as president - our national "leaders."

    DREZ, that's right, create your own circular argument. And to think, I thought you had insight. But reading such foolishness about you trying to determine if Gray is holding onto King's coattails, answers that question in full. You're a nut. Plain and simple. A Complete, utter nutjob.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Drez- sadly, I know you all too well my idiot friend. What part of you being a non-experienced middle class white person did I miss? What are some of your life's struggles. Growing up in a racist society? How about poor? Come on pal, what part was I wrong about?

  • Respected Citizens

    Mary and Petey Greene you both are correct, the Chairman Wards 2,3,4 and 1 did not vote for needs to go.

    However, in meeting this objective his bank accounts need to be investigated by the FBI.

    Now, Mayor Gray will NEVER be afforded any comparison with the Late and Great Dr. Martin Luther King. First, this man had integrity and was not fearful of any man, white, jewish, asian, catholic or christian.

    King made it clear, he only fear was the work of GOD. However, when Gray looks into the mirror, the first fear he confronts is his ugly face.

    Today, he seeks forgiveness by going to jail knowing he has no record and would be released.

    So, instead of asking DC residents for forgiveness and quality control on all future recruitments, as he provided salaries to staff beyond the required caps w/o authorization from City Council, youth of his Executive and Transitional team hired with and w/o experience (as one w/o funds in Department), and as Wharton-Boyd (staff needs to be reduced by Council immediately), Banks (removed from DC governmetn and Convention City), Chief Ellerbe and others show inconsistencies w/ their testimonies reflects him as the worst Mayor next to Sharon Pratt Kelly.

  • noodlez

    @Wared 7 born and raised-FOOL? SLIM DID YOU READ THAT SHIT YOU TYPED OUT? AND YOU CALLIN’ ME A FOOL?

    YOU REFERENCED FAGGIE FENTY AS IF HE WAS SOME SORT OF VICTIM. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IS AN EPIC FAIL WHEN YOU COME AT ME. HOWEVER YOU SEEMED QUITE SERIOUS. THIS MEANS YOU ARE PROBABLY TAKING MEDICATION AND/OR GETTING SOME SORT OF TREAMENT FOR YOUR CONDITION. SO MY CONSCIENCE WONT LET ME STRAIGHTEN YOUR ASS OUT BECAUSE OF YOUR DEFICIENCY.

    BY THE WAY I DON’T THINK THERE WERE ANY BLACK FRATS AT G.W.U. WHEN HE WAS STUDENT THERE. EVEN IF THERE WERE ANY THE MERE FACT THAT HE WAS PRESIDENT OF AN ALL WHITE ONE WHETHER HE WAS HIGH YELLOW OR DARK BLACK WAS IN AND OF ITSELF AN ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR A BLACK DUDE FROM N.E.

    GET THE HELP YOU NEED!

  • LewisJones

    @SEis4ME can you tell us what progress has been made East of the River other than a couple sit down restaurants and the development next to the minnesota ave station? Outside of that nothing has really been done.

    Gray,Kwame,Barry, and Alexander have been on the council for a long time and truly have not provided the residents east of the river a better quality of life as much as other parts of the city.

    Face the facts, things should have progressed way more than what they have on that side of town, and it truly reflects the leadership that you all continually elect. It's not a shot against the residents, because you all deserve more, its unfortunate that your councilmembers have not done all they could to enhance that side of town.

    Out of a 13 member body, you all have 4 members who reside East of the River. Instead of putting in major legwork to bring more to the residents, there have been setbacks.

    Call it what you want but thats just the reality...

  • Manor Park Man

    At the end of the day we have elected a bunch of bums. Throw them out! From Adrian, to Kwame, to Barry, to Gray and even Tony Williams. They all suck. They are not human beings they are crooks. Send them packing on G.P.

    I was happy that the lot of them were arrested this week and was upset that they were not kept on G.P.

    Next time lock the bastards up and throw away the key.

  • Really

    @SEis4ME comment #11.... Yup. In other words looka here boy u need to run everything past massa first. You here that boy!

    @noodlez comment #14...My point exactly. I said over their where Jason writes that Marshall isn't the color of Joe Kennedy and Che isn't Bobby so they are disqualified.

    @LewisJones take ride over my Anacostia Subway station and take a look across the street and tell me what you see. We have Yes market over there off Penn Ave. The new Giant and Ihop. Then drive up suitland parkway and look to right and let me know what you see.

    Al I see you still haven't read Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media yet?

    This lastest post was 95% cut and paste job from Debonis.

  • drez

    @ Really.
    Thank Fenty and Williams for those amenities.
    Not whatever grafting mess was your ward councilmember.
    Even so, compare those gains with those in Wards 1 and 4 and your gains turn up thin.
    It's amazing to me. 7 and 8 have some of the most beautiful land and best housing stock in the city, and yet they still lag behind.
    This from someone who's lived here 20 years- in 2, 1, and 4.

  • Really?

    Well Drez been here for 35 years and counting and the way the game is played is that you still have to get by-in from the councilmembers that the development resides in.

    I'll check that point to Williams whom was willing to work with folks not like Fenty.

    Second did you know it was Barry who first purchased the land that the new Giant in SE resides. Did you know he tried to lure developers without success? When A. Williams took office he was able to move the Giant process to the next level.

    Did you know that it was Barry who pushed to have DHCD moved to MLK? There were a couple of reasons I had a side-eye, but looks like he's doing the same thing he did with 14th street Reeves Center. It's an anchor. You bring in Gov't workers and they are going to have to eat and they will have to walk the streets which starts to bring an area to life. Now they also have another Bank added to the building. Let's also add the Ihop and have you been over to Arc? Yeah the Arc have you seen it. Have you seen the homes over there?

    So as a resident in Ward 1 I take it you thank Barry as Mayor for cleaning up 14th street and putting up the Reeves building.

    As a resident in Ward 2 I take it you thank Barry as Mayor for bringing in the Shops and cleaning up those strip joints.

    One of the hardest part of bringing developers to Wards 7 and 8 has been the population. Ummmm look a here....We raise the projects, put a stadium accross the bridge and it seems like that gets developers interested. And the Federal gov't too. Will your next home be across from the Arc Drez? There new, nice and lots of yard.

    I guess gains are thin when your glasses are smeared with bias.

  • itsjustamess

    @Really - You are really swinging your belt today. How many of us won't be able to sit down comfortably by the time you're done? I don't mind 'cause I know it hurts you more than it hurts me. lol...Seriously, you've made some very salient points today. What did you have for breakfast?

  • Drez

    @really
    I guess you do try to make some fair points, even if you do also miss the big picture and so unfairly weight Barry's hand (reeves sucks and contributes very little economic weight to 14th/U, and associated silly nonsense).
    In essence Barry failed in so many things because he's Barry. He doesn't inspire people with money to invest.
    But, yeah, it's a long slog, for sure.

  • noodlez

    @Drez-"(reeves sucks and contributes very little economic weight to 14th/U, and associated silly nonsense)." THIS IS PURE BULLSHIT!!! IM SURE ALL THE EATERIES AND FOOD JOINTS THAT COUNT ON VOLUME SALES WOULD DISAGREE WITH YOU.

    JUST BECAUSE THE REEVES CENTER AND MARC BARNES IS IN EVERYONES REAR VIEW NOW SHOULD NOT NEGATE THE FACT THAT IF IT WASNT FOR THOSE TWO 14TH AND U WOULD BE AT LEAST A DECADE BEHIND WHERE IT IS TODAY!

    THE REEVES CENTER OPENED UP THE 14TH AND U ST CORIDOR. ONCE DC GOVT LANDED THERE THAT AREA STARTED SEE TO A GRADUAL DECREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF HEROIN USERS AND DEALERS IN THAT IMMEDIATE AREA AND VICINITY TO WHAT YOU HAVE TODAY. IT’S BECAUSE OF THE REEVES CENTER THAT ALLOWS YOU WHITE FOLKS TO BIKE UP AND DOWN 14TH WITHOUT GETTING YOUR BLOCK KNOCKED OFF AND YOUR FIXIE OR BEACH CRUISER BEING TRADED FOR A VIAL OF DOPE!

    IT ALSO GAVE WAY TO THE METRO STOP WHICH OPENED UP THE NIGHT LIFE THAT ALLOWS FOR YOUR DRUNKEN STUPORS THAT LAST WELL INTO THE MORN. ALL OF WHICH BEGAT THE DEVELOPMENT OF ALL THOSE HIGH PRICE PAPER THIN CONDOS.

    SO DON’T ACT LIKE BARRY AINT DO SHIT IN BETWEEN HIM FUCKIN HIS HOS AND GETTING HIGH. SOMETIMES YOUR WHITEYVILLE ROOTS DON’T SHOW SO WELL EVEN THOUGH IT’S BECAUSE OF HIM THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO COME EAST OF 16TH NOWADAYS.

  • Drez

    noodles
    Give me a fucking break with the BS already
    Those eateries appeared with the new condos and renovated row homes. Reeves can't even support a crappy municipal deli or shoe repair shop.
    Reeves is a massive failure as a municipal building. It's a net economic suck on the neighborhood in that the land is hugely valuable and could be contributing greatly to the tax roles.
    14th/U came back because of bigger and broader trends- nightlife, increased residential interest, and the general resurgence of DC's downtown- not because of some piss-in-the-wind municipal building

  • Lynette S Frome

    "Reeves is a massive failure as a municipal building." and "14th/U came back because of bigger and broader trends- nightlife, increased residential interest, and the general resurgence of DC's downtown- not because of some piss-in-the-wind municipal building." I was here when Barry and Frank Smith built that ugly monster...what Drez says is true.

  • noodlez

    rez-WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? YOUR BARRY BLINDERS GOT YOU FOOLED. IM SORRY BUT NO THEY DID NOT! WITH EXCEPTION OF MAYBE ONE CONDO ON 11TH ST MOST OF THOSE SHITTY ASS CONDOS WERE JUST BUILT WITHIN THE PAST 5 YRS.

    TWO TENANTS STRUGGLING IN THE REEVES CENTER DOES NOT A NEIGHBORHOOD MAKE!

    WHY DO YOU THINK RESIDENTIAL TRENDS INCREASED? TRUST ME IT’S NOT BECAUSE OF THE NEW FOUND NIGHT LIFE BECAUSE MOST OF THOSE FOLKS WERE ALREADY KICKING IT IN ADAMS MORGAN. BESIDES YOUR ARGUMENT IS SILLY THAT FOLK PURCHASED LOW GRADE HIGH PRICE SHIT JUST TO WALK OUT OF THEIR LOBBY TO BUY A BEER. DOWNTOWN RESURGENCE??? SLIM DOWNTOWN HASNT RESURGED.

    THE AREA WE SPEAK OF IS AFFECTIONLY KNOWN AS MIDTOWN AND ANYTHING SOUTH OF U ST DIDN’T HAVE SHIT TO DO WITH IT’S COME UP.

    **********************************************************
    @Lynette S Frome- WELL I WAS HERE WHEN YOU COULDN’T WALK NORTH UP 14TH FROM U ST. TO CLIFTON ST. IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE! I WAS HERE WHEN DOTTIES (A BLACK ESTABLISHMENT) WAS THE ONLY PLACE TO GET A SANDWICH. I WAS HERE WHEN MIDTOWN GYM WAS A THRIVING AND SAFE PLACE FOR THE YOUTH.ONCE THE CITY ESTABLISHED THEMSELVES AT 14TH AND U THEN AND ONLY THEN DID THAT AREA STARTED TO MAKE A TURN FOR THE BETTER. WHETHER YOU LIKE THE ARCHITECHTURE OR NOT THE REEVES CENTER BROUGHT WITH IT THE START OF SOMETHING NEW.

  • Lynette S Frome

    I went to friggen Dotties and got the egg sandwich, so there ! And I be scared walking up 14th BEFORE that sIHthole strip mall Sharon Pratt built for Ward 1 economic development. Yes, i was here before the U St metro boarding the streets mess.

  • Really’s Counsin

    Thank you Noodlez! Change or rewrite history to fit your view. You forgot to add all those Sex joints that were on 14th street.. While the Reeves Center isn't the posh place that they want it was the seed that got that place moving.

    It was a great tool. Use Gov't workers who have no choice if they want a job to populate the area. Make them spend their gov't salaries to eat and shop. Gov't workers can now force more police to respond issues because….there gov’t workers. Drez you have no idea how bad that area was and how that neighborhood fought the drug dealers and tricks.

    Guess who used this same strategy. Dougie Fresh Jamal. When the old People’s building open up, Dougie Fresh Jamal populated the place with DC Gov’t workers from DOES, DHS and I think Department of Health. Folks hated it over there. Wasn’t too much to eat besides Micky-D’s and Wendy’s. Oh and it gov’t works had to deal with the methadone clinic.

    AND there wasn’t a New York Avenue subway. That’s why I laughed so hard when the former Director of DOES said he used the subway to go work. I guess his ass would if the area looked the way that it does now. Bet his ass would have used a drive too if he had to walk pass that methadone clinic and four blocks to Union Station.

    At the Same time the other half of DOES went to the building on 6th and H street N.E. another anchor. One business that wasn’t receiving neighborhood support, the Taste of Jamaica, but plenty of business from the workers was able to survive.

    @Drez. You can feel they way you want about Barry but to marginalize his impact on moving the development in this city is disingenuous. Let me give you some other developer highlights that begin under Barry where he did spur developers to invest. Mazza Gallery (my eye spy Cheesecake factory), Georgetown Park, the Post Office and Verizon Center.

    Folks who remember when China town first got off the ground it wasn’t much but some pigs in the window and wig shops.

  • Really

    Thank you Noodlez! Change or rewrite history to fit your view. You forgot to add all those Sex joints that were on 14th street.. While the Reeves Center isn't the posh place that they want it was the seed that got that place moving.

    It was a great tool. Use Gov't workers who have no choice if they want a job to populate the area. Make them spend their gov't salaries to eat and shop. Gov't workers can now force more police to respond issues because….there gov’t workers. Drez you have no idea how bad that area was and how that neighborhood fought the drug dealers and tricks.

    Guess who used this same strategy. Dougie Fresh Jamal. When the old People’s building open up, Dougie Fresh Jamal populated the place with DC Gov’t workers from DOES, DHS and I think Department of Health. Folks hated it over there. Wasn’t too much to eat besides Micky-D’s and Wendy’s. Oh and it gov’t works had to deal with the methadone clinic.

    AND there wasn’t a New York Avenue subway. That’s why I laughed so hard when the former Director of DOES said he used the subway to go work. I guess his ass would if the area looked the way that it does now. Bet his ass would have used a drive too if he had to walk pass that methadone clinic and four blocks to Union Station.

    At the Same time the other half of DOES went to the building on 6th and H street N.E. another anchor. One business that wasn’t receiving neighborhood support, the Taste of Jamaica, but plenty of business from the workers was able to survive.

    @Drez. You can feel they way you want about Barry but to marginalize his impact on moving the development in this city is disingenuous. Let me give you some other developer highlights that begin under Barry where he did spur developers to invest. Mazza Gallery (my eye spy Cheesecake factory), Georgetown Park, the Post Office and Verizon Center.

    Folks who remember when China town first got off the ground it wasn’t much but some pigs in the window and wig shops.

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