Loose Lips

Tommy Wells Has No Friends

D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells Has No Friends It’s not every day that something as inside baseball as committee assignments leads the news cycle. But such was the case last week, when the reality show known as the D.C. Council voted Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells off the island, stripping him of his leadership of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation.

Few actual voters may care what committee Wells—or any councilmember—sits on, but everyone loves a good revenge story.

And that’s exactly how Wells spun his demotion: Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown was punishing Wells because he’s had the audacity to investigate why Brown put the city on the hook for two luxury Lincoln Navigators.

Despite (or because of) Brown’s meek and unbelievable protestations that the Navigator investigation had nothing to do with the reshuffling, the media went nuts. TV outlets got to dust off b-roll footage of Brown’s old Navigator, columnists and editorial pages got to rake Brown over the coals, and Wells was turned into a good government martyr almost overnight.

There’s certainly some truth to Wells’ narrative. Brown’s assertions that he’s not punishing Wells over Navigatorgate are about as believable as his lame assertions that he had nothing to do with specifically requesting Navigators in the first place.

But it’s not the whole story, and Brown did not act alone. Every councilmember voted to give Wells the boot, save for Wells, in one of the more awkward council votes in recent memory.

“Further discussion? Further discussion?” Brown asked after Wells had spoken up to defend himself. There was none.

“I thought the most uncomfortable and kind of sad thing about it was that nobody else spoke up,” says Sharon Ambrose, who was Ward 6’s councilmember prior to Wells. “That was pretty tough.”

Sure, the vote probably indicates the other councilmembers–as all politicians would do—were trying to keep Brown’s ire focused on Wells, and not on themselves. But it also says a lot about Wells’ standing among some of his peers. Ask around the dais in the council chamber, and you’ll hear that Wells had it coming. “No, he earned it,” corrects one of Wells’ fellow members, who spoke on background to avoid publicly shit-talking a colleague. (Even the D.C. Council hasn’t reached a Jersey Shore level of internal strife yet.)

Wells, who straddled the line between former Mayor Adrian Fenty’s council supporters and opponents during the last legislative session, hasn’t built any strong alliances with any other councilmembers in this current session. Couple that with some colleagues who say they’ve been betrayed by Wells on a vote or two in the past (and just might be tired of the positive attention he gets from the city’s smart growth crowd), and it becomes clear why Wells was left on his own.

“He does not command a lot of respect from councilmembers,” says another councilmember, who adds that Wells’ reputation “has been in a slow, downward spiral ever since he got here.”

Or, put another way by a different Wells colleague: “He’s full of shit sometimes,” said the councilmember, who says Wells is “kind of flaky,” “goofy” and thinks too highly of his own political skills. “He wants to be a player but a) he doesn’t know how to and b) he’s not reliable.”

Those harsh assessments, echoed by other councilmembers and council staff in somewhat nicer terms, come as no surprise to Wells, who says his colleagues bad-mouth each other all the time, but that he’s proud of his legislative record.

“I’ve been one of the most effective councilmembers,” says Wells. “But that doesn’t mean that I have to be everybody’s friend.”

Wells continues: “My loyalty is definitely to the citizens of the whole city, not to someone who is wanting to trade votes with me. I mean, that’s what makes people cynical about their government.”

One more? “The most important thing, again, is to be able to sleep at night and to feel like what you’re doing is right.”

One example of Wells’ style cited by some of his colleagues is his on-the-dais maneuver in May to make a new tax on municipal bonds from outside the District permanent, against Brown’s wishes.

Brown had proposed the tax as a way to avoid Mayor Vince Gray’s proposal to increase taxes on those making more than $200,000 a year. Brown won support of more fiscally conservative councilmembers for the move, with the understanding that the new bond tax would disappear after a revised revenue projection.

But Wells mucked it up when he passed an amendment to make the new tax permanent, a move he could only accomplish by horse trading votes with Councilmember Vincent Orange in full view.

“I guess he thought that was real clever,” says one of the anonymous councilmembers.

A third anonymous councilmember says that Wells’ move on the municipal bond taxes had much more to do with Brown’s decision to punish Wells than Navigatorgate did.

But Wells says that’s not true. Wells says he went to the chairman’s office and told Brown of his plans before putting forward the amendment. Brown didn’t object, Wells says. “He didn’t use any authority of the chair to try and dial it back.”

Brown’s spokeswoman declined to enter the fray over the municipal bond tax.

The recent battle over redrawing ward boundary lines, which Wells described as “brutal,” also contributed to some council ill-will being directed at Wells. But Wells, who did pretty well for himself in the final redistricting plan, makes no apologies.

“[Councilmembers] want to know why I didn’t deal with them and bargain away parts of my ward and come to some sort of agreement. I played hard ball with redistricting because I was not going to bargain away part of my ward,” says Wells. “The feelings of the councilmembers are far less important to me than the feelings of the residents of Ward 6.”

OK, sounds good, but like it or not, the feelings of councilmembers matter.

Since his demotion, Wells and his allies have been talking about what a “lost opportunity” it is to lose a chairman of the transportation committee whose whole shtick is to make the city more “liveable” and “walkable.” And while the lion’s share of that blame for that lost opportunity deserves to be placed at the feet of Brown, and perhaps chalked up to the legislative jealousies of other councilmembers, Wells isn’t without blame. He poked Brown too many times and had no one covering his flank.

One of the lessons of Fenty’s defeat is that building and nurturing political relationships—whether through favors, friendship or fear—matters. Wells didn’t learn that lesson, became expendable in Brown’s (and some of his colleagues’) view, and paid the price.

* * *

DISORDERED MONEY ORDERS

The Washington Post continued to make life unpleasant for Mayor Vince Gray this week, with a front-page story about how Hizzoner’s campaign last year apparently took cash donations above the legal limit of $25 and reported them as money orders. Many of those donations came from cab drivers, the Post reported.

Gray says he doesn’t know nothing about nothing, but if anyone on his campaign willfully broke the law, they ought to be punished.

Turns out Gray might not be the only pol who received cash donations above $25 that were reported as money orders.

Campaign records show Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser took in $1,500 in campaign contributions from three cab companies owned by Yitbarek Syume. There were three donations of $500 each, the maximum amount for a ward race, and each donation was listed as a money order. Syume’s companies are Jet Cab Company, Mutual Cab Company, and Olympic Cab Company, which was misspelled as “Ocyipic Cabs” in Bowser’s campaign filings.

But Syume, who was arrested in fall of 2009 as part of the FBI’s cab corruption investigation—known as “cash cab”—that recently led to the conviction of Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham’s former chief of staff, told the FBI he gave Bowser’s campaign cash, not money orders.

In notes taken by an FBI agent during several debriefings of Syume early last year, Syume says he helped organize a fundraiser for Bowser because he wanted her to support efforts to bring a taxi medallion system to the District. Syume said he coordinated with Bowser’s campaign manager to set up the fundraiser at Abol Ethiopian Cuisine on Georgia Avenue NW. As part of the debriefing, the FBI played conversations it had recorded between Syume and his associates in which the fundraiser was mentioned.

“Syume gave the campaign manager cash, but he is unsure if Bowser observed Syume doing so,” the FBI notes say. Later on, the FBI notes say that “Syume does recall giving cash to Bowser’s campaign manager.”

In the hundreds of other donations Bowser’s 2008 campaign received, there are only a handful of others listed as money order donations. Two other cab companies are listed as giving $500 in money orders at the same time as Syume’s companies. One of the companies is Pan Am Cab Company, which is listed in city records as owned by Tewelde Measho. The FBI notes indicate that the feds recorded one conversation between Syume and Pan Am’s owner “Tewolde,” in which campaign contributions were discussed. Meashe could not be reached for comment.

Of course the usual caveat applies to Syume’s statements to the FBI: He’d been busted trying to bribe his way into control of the D.C. taxi industry, and it was in his best interest to dish to the feds any dirt he could about elected officials. His lawyer says Syume’s been totally honest since he was arrested, and could be called to testify as a government witness in upcoming cases related to the cash cab investigation.

Bowser’s got a sterling ethical reputation on the council, and has never been charged with any wrongdoing related to the cash cab investigation. She says she doesn’t remember attending the fundraiser Syume mentions. She adds that her campaign didn’t have formal titles like “campaign manager,” and she doesn’t know to which aide Syume is referring.

“We conducted a third party audit to close out our campaign—a step above normal practice,” Bowser emails LL. “Our audit was clean and in compliance with OCF guidelines.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Got a tip for LL? Send suggestions to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Comments

  1. #1

    @ Alan, Thanks, finally some balanced and objective reporting on Wells.

    I guess we can still "keep hope alive" that you may write about Wells funneling taxpayers' dough to a fake ass non-profit incorporated by one of Wells' top campaign contributors and, how he benefited from campaign bundling in 2010, which he deemed to be illegal.

  2. #2

    Says more about the other CM's than it does about Wells.

  3. #3

    WOW.....spin it anyway you like, hell take to some fluorescent crayons and color away TH if you like, but WELLS is what we always knew he was.....IMPERFECT!

    The problem with you Fentyites is that you make excuses for your interests while hemmin and hawwin at every FACT found....never falls!

  4. #4

    I like how Wells is going to introduce legislation to repeal video gambling.
    Let the council get on the record with a vote on that!

  5. #5

    Wells does not serve his constituents well if he cannot gather the 6 other votes he needs to get things done. His attitude ends up costing Ward 6 and its people in the end. He operates in a vacuum of "Greater Greater Wells" supporters much to his own demise.

  6. #6

    nice kwame sticker, tommy! man - you be a chump!

  7. #7

    How disappointing that the worst things said about Wells seem to be that he was punishing for refusing to play political gamesmanship to appease the (largely crooked) members of the D.C. Council. Brown should be in jail, not determining anything of importance with regards to how our city is run.

  8. #8

    If Kwame was really just seeking revenge he would have relieved Ward 2 CM Evans of his committee for all of Evans criticism of the status quo. ... Oh, I guess he sort of did that in advance by replacing him with Mary Cheh in the Pro Tempore seat. I guess so he wouldnt havta watch his back... We all know Jack is only loyal to himself.

  9. #9

    I'd add that Wells wasn't very effective or even well informed when he had oversight over the Human Services Committee.

    Under his watch, the D.C. emergency shelter system imploded, the city's juvenile justice agency hit new lows, and the city's child-welfare agency continued to be hammered in federal court over its performance before and after Banita Jacks.

    Painting up new bike lanes is easy. How about true and progressive reforms for city services that support our most vulnerable?

  10. #10

    What are you talking about, Cherkis? Between 2007 and 2011, the city adopted one of the most progressive housing programs for homeless individuals and families in the country - the Permanent Supportive Housing program, which now serves close to 2,000 individuals] recidivism rates for juveniles committed to the city's juvenile justice agency declined (while the number of young people committed to the agency nearly doubled), and, over two transitions at CFSA (Bobo, Gerald), the wait-time for a response from Child Protective Services went from days, to no wait at all. Scrutiny of Disability Services also increased dramatically, while that agency, DDS, also underwent radical transformation. The Human Services Cluster is by no means perfect, but there were measurable improvements under Wells' watch - that's just a fact.

  11. Billy Ray Edwards
    #11

    The fat lady sang in the dc independent hack/taxicab system with the removal of DC Council Member, Tommy Wells when the re-writing of title 31 the laws that govern the taxi industry becomes law while the dc city council is out of session. This is an issue that should be addressed,if folks are open for the opposing point of view on the struggle for change in the dc taxicab law that would give african american youth the right to own and drive a dc taxicab after cleared of the criminal justice system in order to provide food and roof as was done before slavery to 1988, in Washington DC.
    Thats always been my first order of business, with Council Memeber Wells Committee that was taken away something Stinks.>>Billy Ray

  12. #12

    CuriousGeorge- what are you talking about? DYRS has not published reliable recidivism rate at any point and has not been pushed to do so until CM Graham became the Oversight Chair.

    CM TW provided zero oversight to DYRS and the public continues to suffer -and the young people - because of it!!

  13. #13

    DYRS performed its first ever recidivism analysis under Schiraldi - it showed recidivism rates comparable to surrounding jurisdictions, and a sharp decline from pre-reform days. That analysis was criticized for using the following standard: conviction of another offense within one year of release, but it was, at least, an apples to apples comparison. Wells held numerous hearings on abscondence rates at DYRS - every witness who testified acknowledged that abscondences were down dramatically at DYRS under Schiraldi. These are just facts. I am not saying Wells or DYRS or anyone is perfect, but to say zero oversight is to misstate the facts. Y'all got some kind of personal issues with the man.

  14. #14

    This article is really offensive since the poor kids at Greater Greater Wells (previously known as Greater Gabe Washington) are still in mourning over the loss of their liveable, walkable Messiah.

  15. #15

    Wells,is racist, sneaky and selfish.

  16. #16

    @Dude,

    If that were true, you'd give an example. You can't, so you're just a trolling scumbag.

  17. What the flocka?
    #17

    Why do you need friends, when you really want is a cult-following. There's a difference between a friend and drinking partner. The most accurate statement in the story above is that they described him as "not being reliable."

  18. #18

    How disappointing that the worst things said about Wells seem to be that he was punishing for refusing to play political gamesmanship to appease the (largely crooked) members of the D.C. Council. Brown should be in jail, not determining anything of importance with regards to how our city is run.

    Yup. That's the bottom line: Wells won't play ball with the organized criminal syndicate that is the DC council. Shame on him.

    Of course, if we could somehow manage to convince the residents of other wards to elect councilmembers who aren't immoral jackasses, we might be able to fix some of DC's problems.

  19. #19

    With regard to Wells (and ONLY in relation to the other council members), it would seem that Jonathan Swift said it best: "When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him".

    TH: Agreed - the anon. comments say far more about the other dunces than Wells.

    seDcdullard: Believe me, nobody in this council is perfect. Surely we can agree on that. But you're saying that jsut the "Fentyites", and not the "One City Crew" doesn't equally make excuses for their interests? Hmmm.

    Curiousgeorge: thanks for setting some fools straight.

    Dude: Explain please? You'll of course understand my skepticism.

  20. h street landlord
    #20

    Wow, how many of those comments come from cms who are under investigation. What a bunch of jokers.

    And the permanent supportive housing program is a huge success.

  21. #21

    More of this gutless back staffing by CMs and staff and why be anon Wells is in no position to hurt any of them . We voters on the other hand can hurt the at large CMs when they come up for reelection . Since when is fiscally conservative defined by being averse to raising taxes to meet budget shortfalls. And how is protecting a tax exemption for investors who invest in the bonds of other municipalities than DC considered fiscally responsible?

  22. #22

    Could someone please explain why the use of money orders is problematic? I understand that we don't want donors to circumvent limits or reporting reuirements, but why is a money order worse than a check? Thanks.

  23. #23

    Ward 6 residents and DC residents, PLEASE remember and never forget...IT IS HUMAN to stand with the crowd; it is divine to stand alone. It is man-like to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is God-like to follow a principle, to stem the tide. It is natural to compromise conscience and follow the social and religious fashion for the sake of gain or pleasure; it is divine to sacrifice both on the altar of truth and duty.

    My disappointment with the City Council is that my Councilmember, Mr. Tommy Wells, was treated in such a non-democratic manner. He works very hard for the resident of Ward 6 and has for many years in various pulic servant capacities.

    Councilmember Wells was doing great and progressive work as the Chair of the Transportation Committee and serving on the Metro Board. I truly live in a livable, walkable, virtually safe community and that is much to the credit of Councilmember Wells. That type of progress should not warrant being demoted and chastised by your colleagues for not playing along with legislation that he and his constituents disagree with.

    I want good, progressive government. I did not decide to live in this city to be governed by a popularity contest...this City Council reminds me of the movie Mean Girls.

    Congratulations Councilmember Wells, you are a "Man Apart" and you are in great standing to lead the pack in 2014.

  24. #24

    @ DJ Ren & Obeo,

    Here's an example of Wells' discriminatory and racist practices:

    I read that between 2008 - 2010, Wells earmarked almost 500K for the white businesses on H St, NE to ensure that they stayed viable during the streetcar and street improvement construction on H St, while he repeatedly denied minority businesses any type of relief.

    Recently, I heard that Mayor had to intervene and address Wells' discriminatory policies on H St NE and Wells is now trying to take credit for it.

    Wells is a self-serving, fraud of a councilman and his colleagues just exposed him & progressive DC residents need to be mindful of Alabama Well.

  25. #25

    Jason: Thanks for the great series you did in February and March 2010 in the City Paper on the Tommy Wells 851 person Family Shelter at DC General. The articles plus other articles on DYRS and lack of oversight by the ineffective Wells Committee on Human Services exposes Wells for what he is--a lot of talk, little action, and I'll meet you at the Tune Inn for drinks while I tweet. Some of us in Ward 6 caught on to Wells a long time ago.

    Too bad he was dumped from Transportation and Public Works. He would have had a larger theater to show his ineffectiveness and his negative impact would have been seen and felt by the new arrivals and smart growth. residents.

  26. #26

    @Bryant Turnage - I completely agree.

    @P.A.N - All the CMs are only loyal to themselves.

    @curiousgeorge - Thanks for putting in line Jason Cherkis as this dude is really uninformed on the things he spoke about; and providing clarification for Ayana.

    @DJ Ren - That Jonathan Swift is target!

    Well I for one don't know or have heard of a perfect politician or one who doesn't have an ego, but Wells certainly appears angelic against all other CMs to include Muriel Bowser who is just a pure flip flop in her decision-making. Bowser went with the herd in taking down Wells for two reasons 1) to appease the ill will of the CMs and 2) to replace Wells on the Transpo Committee where she will provide ineffective leadership as this is clearly not her area. With Bowser as the new head, transpo services in the District will decline and quickly, among other things.

    As for Kwame his day came quickly and will end in the same manner.

  27. #27

    There exists racists CM's at the District Building so named after a dude that put a noose around his neck and you'll are surprised at the corruption?

  28. #28

    @LaCairaine, are you seeking employment with CM Wells? Hopefully, Biddle will give you a decent employment reference. Girrrrrrrrl, do you. Seek a cooling shelter immediately, you're suffering from a heat related illness.

  29. #29

    @LaCaiRaineWard6 - I am glad you have spoken as a satisfied and proud member of Ward 6 and regarding the good Tommy has done there. People often, more often than not, will point out a bad, and even when bad is not present they will fantasize that things are happening that are actually not. This is what the other members of the Council did to Wells.

    DC get a backbone and instead of stampeding with the herd in all wrongness, stand up for what's right, even if you are standing alone.

  30. #30

    @What the flocka - What a mean thing to say to LaCaiRaineWard6!

    Even if this woman was seeking employment in her city govt, where she is qualified to work for the DC govt by way of skill set and residency preference, who are you to try to put a damper on that?

    But more, there is such stupidity and ignorance in believing someone is seeking employment because one has decent things to say about her representative. I bet your representative is the inept Yvette Alexander. This has to be true in order for you to utter such foolishness and ridiculousness.

  31. #31

    @stinkinthinkin - you have taken us back to the root: The self-hanging of John Wilson. What a handsome and exquisite man he was. Could this be the curse of DC politics? If you believe that sort of thing, then hey. It never came to light the mental suffering that led him to disposing of himself in that manner.

  32. #32

    @Torpedo & LaCaiRaineWard 6,

    Of course you good, self-proclaimed "progressive" people of Ward 6--who tried to ban FRIED CHICKEN on H St, NE, will find no fault with Councilman Wells because you guys are of the same cloth.

    FYI, for those who aren't aware of the racial divide in Ward 6, which has been exacerbated by Wells, here's an example of Ward 6 ANC's attempt to ban fried chicken on H St., N.E.:

    http://www.tbd.com/blogs/tbd-neighborhoods/2010/09/who-s-really-responsible-for-chicken-bones-on-the-ground--1991.html

  33. #33

    @What the flocka? Since you seem to know who I am you must also knwo that I won't say it unless I believe it. I also will stand up for it and stand by it if I believe in it. I work tirelessly in my community so I know what is working and who is working to ensure that we stay a viable community and that is CM Wells.

    As for your question...I am seeking good government and the continuing growth of my neighborhood and my community. Oh, and by the by, I never turn down good job opportunities, and I don't know anyine in this economy who does, but looking for one not necessarily, my rep speaks for itself.

    When I moved to my neighborhood years ago, my first summer was filled with that of a 9-year old little girl having her shoulder shot off with semi-automatic weaponry and drug dealing at the back and front of my home. One call to action from CM Wells and you would not even know that it is the same neighborhood now. I don't have to be bothered with the drugs or the crime and my community is solidified to keep up that good neighbor policy.

    So yes would be my answer, I am looking to help CM Wells in any political campaign that he endeavors in 2014. I believe he is one of the best and I don't give that dystinction lightly. He is not perfect but he has done well by my Ward and my community.

  34. #34

    DcNative,

    How does one go about earmarking money for "white businesses"?

  35. #35

    LaCairaine or Wendy Washington, I have no chicken-wing fight with you sweetie. Do you as I said, honey. Love you with all the mumbo-sauce in the world.

  36. #36

    WHILE I APPLAUDE SEWERMAN’S WASTE MANAGEMENT EFFORT THIS NEGATIVELY CREATED PUFF PIECE IS EQUIVALENT TO THE BAG TAX THE DRUNKARD CREATED TO CLEAN UP OF THE ANACOSTIA RIVER. IT’S INEFFECTIVE, DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD AND IT LACKS IN TRUE SUBCUTEANEOUS FODDER FOR THOSE THAT ARE SEEKING A SOMEWHAT LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN THE COVERAGE OF THOSE COUNCILMEMBERS WITHOUT MELANIN IN THEIR SKIN.

    “Tommy Wells Has No Friends” YO SEWERMAN I THOUGHT THIS PIECE WAS ABOUT THE AFOREMENTIONED. CLOSING YOUR PIECE WITH GRAY AND BOWSER RECEIVING FUNDS FROM THE DISORGANIZATION OF TAXICABS IMPLIES THAT IT’S MORE THAN JUST CASUAL USAGE. SLIM YOU NEED AN INTERVENTION. GET HELP!!!

    __________________________________________________________

    I WONDER HOW HIS WIFE FEELS TO SEE OTHER FOLK (DJ Ren, curiousgeorge & oboe) OTHER THAN HERSELF ON HIS DICK! THOSE LIL’ QUOTES AND QUIPS DON’T MEAN SHIT. ALSO, THOSE THAT ARE RESPONSIBLE TO MAINTAIN BALANCE BY OBJECTIVE REPORTING (GGW) ARE NOT HOLDING THEIR END OF BARGAIN BY TAKING THE MURDOCH POSITION.

    THE FACT OF THE MATTER REMAINS IS THIS CHUMP HAS DISENFRANCHISED THOSE THAT ARE INDIGENOUS TO HIS WARD WITHOUT REGARD. WHILE AT THE SAME TIME IN THE NAME OF ‘GENTRIFYING’, ENERGIZING AND REVITALIZING AN AREA THAT SOME (WHITE FOLK & LIL’ TWITS) FELT WAS AN EYESORE OR LACKED AN ATTRACTION. A FEW PEOPLE IN HIS INNER CIRCLE WAS REWARDED BY SOMETHING THAT WAS MEANT FOR MANY.

    WHAT IS EVEN MORE INSULTING IS THOSE FEW THAT WERE REWARDED IS FROM THE HARD WORK OF THOSE THAT HAVE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME IN THAT AREA AND WHO ALSO BY THE WAY PROVIDED THOSE VERY FUNDS. THE PEOPLE WHO GOT THE DOUGH DIDN’T PROVIDE ANY REVENUE TO THE CITY BUT REAPED THE BENEFITS? WOW! WHERE THEY DO THAT AT?

    CAN’T WAIT FOR ALL YALL SNUGGLING ON WELLS PIZZLE TO EXPLAIN THAT AWAY!
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    YO Truth Hurts I SEE YOU WASN’T QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT THE DRUNK ON THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW SUPPORTED ‘FULLY LOADED’ IN THE ABOVE POSTED PIC. SO I GUESS WELLS IS COMPLICIT IN BROWN'S CAMPAIGN LIKE GRAY IS WITH THOMAS?

    WELLS IS A TYPICAL WHITEY. THEY ARE DOWN WIT YA WHEN IT BENEFITS THEM BUT WHEN SHIT HITS THE FAN THEY ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE SHOVELING MANURE INTO THE BLADES. HUH Truth?

    I RECKON ONE CAN DEDUCE FROM HIS SO CALLED ‘CALLING OUT KWAME’ AND THE DISTANCE THE REST OF THE COUNCIL HAS TAKEN IS IN LINE WITH OTIS’S SOLITARY SELF IMPOSED IMPRISONMENT.

    YO oboe & DJ Ren WHERE I COME FROM WHEN SOMEBODY STANDS ALONE MEANS THEY HAVE THE COOTIES. SON 12 TO 1!?? THAT IS SOME OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY OF COOTIEVILLE TYPE SHIT! KEEP ON TWISTING IT TO SEEM LIKE YA BOY IS SPECIAL 'CAUSE HE REALLY IS!

  37. #37

    I am NOT Wendy Washington, right first name wrong last name and the moniker of Wendy Washingtonon on these comment sections is NOT me either.

    When I believe in something I go hard for it, that is how I have always lived my life and how I will probably die; fighting for what I believe in. Although I don't know how much fight I will have at 110 years-old, that is the age that I think I will take my last bow, but not a momemt before. Me and Ms. Jane Pitman (one in the same)lol.

  38. #38

    The City Councilmembers have used the Budget Support Act over the years to earmark funds to various groups by name. So, if Councilmember Wells earmarked funds, it would be easy to determine the owner of the business/entity by checking records at DCRA. However, you might have to see them to determine their race. I know that minority businesses have been displaced due to the construction on the H Street, NE corridor and the depression/recession that is impacting minority/small businesses to a greater extent than large businesses.

  39. #39

    @ Mustourdmam, Great question and I'm glad you ask for more info. I wasn't aware of Wells discriminatory policies on H St, until my employer received a press release regarding Wells' unethical practices on H St NE.

    Although I live in the area, I found it odd that the minority businesses that have been on H St since I can remember were complaining and failing during the construction, while the mostly white owned, newcomers on H St were exceeding against all odds--a chaotic and disruptive environment due to the construction.

    I didn't want to paste the entire press release, so I've summarized it below. Also note, there have been several articles and radio talk shows about the Wells' discrimniatory practices on H St N.E.

    OK, here's a summary of the press release:

    During the 3+ years of construction on H St for the streetcar & street improvements, Tommy Wells gave Joe Englert almost 500K to help his businesses and a few of other White business wners on H St. It's been reported in City Paper, that Englert owns about 7 or 8 bars, restaurants and clubs just on H St.

    Englert received the taxpayers' subsidies (in 2008, 09 & 10) via his fake non-profit-- H St Cooperative-- which he and two Atlas Theater employees founded just 3 months prior to receiving Wells' earmarks. The press release also report that one of the founders was a member of Wells' 2010 re-election committee and their so-called non-profit, H St Coop, was not in good standing with the District.

    The press release further illustrates how the new, gentrifying White businesses on H were benefiting from hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars to sustain their businesses, while Tommy Wells left the long-established, minority businesses to be ravished by the construction on H St.

    And, mustourdman this is how "white businesses" received preferential treatment under the leadership of then Chairman of Transportation Committee--Councilman Tommy Wells.

  40. #40

    @ DCGOVCORRUPTION, The race of the businesses that Wells earmarked help for are White and it has already been established!

    In 2009, the Washington Post did a piece on Wells discriminatory practices for political gain and here's an excerpt:

    "It's also a compelling example of how District politicians cater to narrow interests even when the spending contributes, albeit unintentionally, to this city's racial and class divide."

    The article also states, "Wells, in turn, tapped the D.C. treasury. I know because D.C. Transportation Department spokesman John Lisle told me so last week. Lisle said in an e-mail that the H Street shuttle 'was initiated via a council earmark.' Its purpose, he said, was to mitigate the impact of construction along H Street NE and 'to support the growing business and entertainment community in the corridor.'

    Wells confirmed this in an e-mail. He said that he "requested an earmark on the FY09. "

    Here's the link to the Washington Post article (Colbert King was hip to Tommy Boy's antics back in 2009):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/18/AR2009121803504.html?sid=ST2009121803526

  41. #41

    @DcNative 1) Even though I am black and ironically do not happen to be a fan of fried chicken, I had nothing to do with obliterating that menu item of the hood from H Street. Heck, I don't even reside in your ward.

    2) I don't have to reside in Ward to know the good things Wells did for all of DC when it comes to transpo issues. I am part of the collective aspect and so are you, in case you didn't know while operating in your little silo over in Ward 6.

  42. #42

    This might make Wells an interesting mayoral candidate. He's the most visible anti-insider out there right now, and based on the actions of this council and its mayor, Wells may find an attractive base of support.

  43. #43

    Objective post....ummmm it's a baby step Allen and the get fresh crew. But atleast ya'll trying. You lost 2 points when you tagged on the extra story about Muriel Bowser

    Look Tommy "nobody puts baby in the corner" Wells isn't as clean as clean as the media tried to make him seem when he lost his chairmanship 12-1.

    So I thought I would tagged some info that Joe Elglert doing the samething.

    Joe Englert
    (individual)
    500.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    Argonaut
    Joe Englert and Scott Magnuson
    250.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    Rock and Roll Hotel
    Joe Englert
    250.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    Politiki
    Joe Englert
    100.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    The Red & Black
    Joe Englert
    200.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    Palace of Wonder
    Joe Englert
    200.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    H St Country Club
    Joe Englert
    500.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

    Beehive
    Joe Englert
    250.00
    2010 Re-election Campaign

  44. #44

    @ Torpedo

    As Councilman Cheh said, because Tommy Wells says he is the great, progressive hope for Transportation doesn't make it so! She has introduced and passed more transportation oriented legislation than Tommy Boy.

    Torpedo, please, please name some of Wells' great moves and remember, you ain't singing to the choir at Greater Greater Washington or DCist, so you bettah come correct!

  45. #45

    Sorry, I meant to write "Councilwoman" Cheh.

  46. #46

    I've known Wells for years, even before he was a CM, back when he was just an ordinary social workers. He has become arrogant and self-rightous in recent years. I think the problem with Wells is the same problem Fenty had, he believed what was written about him in the Washington Post!

  47. #47

    @Torpedo - "I don't have to reside in Ward to know the good things Wells did for all of DC when it comes to transpo issues. I am part of the collective aspect and so are you, in case you didn't know while operating in your little silo over in Ward 6."

    NAME ONE GOOD TRANSPO ISSUE THAT THE CITY BENEFITS FROM THAT WELLS SPEARHEADED?

    PLEASE DONT MENTION FOLKS ON BICYCLES AND BIKE LANES. WE WERE RIDING BIKES WITHOUT ALL THE INJURIES AND DEATHS WELL BEFORE THIS CLOWN GOT INTO OFFICE!

  48. #48

    It is always shady when someone says, "I don't recall..."
    If she was straight she would have said..."I did not attend...I did not receive... etc...etc..etc"

  49. What the flocka?
    #49

    Okay it's settled LaCairaine, you will fight for TW and Ward 6. I too live in Ward 6 and I will not fight for him because the last time I fought for him, I was the one who got beat-up.

    I am pretty sure that every resident within Ward 6 has a love and hate story regarding TW. As the story says he has no friends but in actuality he has no enemies, he just has haters.

    So I will leave you with this, don't hate the player, just hate the game. Lawd, have mercy TW is the furthest thing from being a "playa" but you feel me, don't cha Wendy.

    Sashay, Chantay!!!

  50. #50

    @noodlez....Holla! David Clark!!!!!!!

  51. #51

    @ noodlez: For a moment, I thought you didn't love me anymore. But I read on ... and there it was, your message to me. You still care, I knew it!!

    Not sure what you meant (my noodlez' fake ghetto vocab translating is gettin rusty), but thanks for showing the love.

  52. #52

    Yikes, so many angry boys screaming about a Councilmember they do not know and let us give thanks that they do not live in Ward 6. Hopefully, they will take their "energy" and do some good work for their own Ward...oh, they don't live in DC? Maybe it is the weather...

  53. #53

    @Truth-YOU DIDNT WATCH THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW BACK IN THE DAY. I GUESS YOU IDENTIFIED MORE WITH ARCHIE BUNKER.

    FYI- DIAMOND BORDERS IS ANOTHER NAME FOR WASHINGTON D.C. LOOK AT A MAP WHY DONT YA!!!!

    ONE CITY!

  54. #54

    I'd rather stand with Tommy Wells then the rest of the corrupt council like Kwame, Marion, Mendel and even Cheh. What a joke

  55. #55

    Also the night before the news of Kwame being $80,000 in debt I saw he and his wife eating at dinner at the Palm so that's not a guy I trust when it comes to money.

  56. #56

    J

    I think it safe to say that you have absolutely NO issue with how G Bush raped this country, yet you possess a healthy disdain for Obamma when in fact they are both 1 in the same.......

    Correct?

  57. #57

    I know Kwame didn't think this through or mean to hand Tommy official membership in the tribe and (more) black street cred -- throwing him out of the BigHouse out to struggle with the field hands with the least choice committee assignment.

    C'est la vie

  58. #58

    LOL - Kwame is a field hand but he doesn't believe so. All public servants are field hands! From the top to the bottom and vice versa.

  59. #59

    @seDCdude - Bush and Obama are "1 in the same" then how much more is that true for Fenty and Gray?

    But I can tell that you don't know too much about the big boy politics (Fed level). If you did, I think you would disavow that reference to Bush and Obama as identical. Just stick to this local circus that you know so well then.

  60. #60

    Finally it has come out that he doesn't know his a$$ from a hole in the ground. His staff must take extra city time to post positive things in the comment sections. This would have never happened if Sharon Ambrose was still the councilmember. He's like the set in an old western movie, all facade and no depth.

  61. #61

    CooCooNuts

    Wiseman said "hand a FOOL enuff rope and he/she (whatever the hell you is) and it'll surely hang itself"

    How's the view up there?

    That sophomoric rebuttal has relegated you SHEEPLE!

  62. Wendy Washington
    #62

    This is Wendy Washington -- now how did my name even get into the mix on this one? I live in Ward 5 and have my hands full as I try to get rid of Harry Thomas' thieving ass. As far as Tommy Wells and Ward 6 -- got no dog in this fight, besides, all my comments seem to be stuck in "Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation" limbo.

  63. #63

    Wells must feel like an idiot back stabbing Weaver and endorsing Sekou. Fuggin idiot.

  64. #64

    @curiousgeorge
    DYRS performed its first ever recidivism analysis under Schiraldi - it showed recidivism rates comparable to surrounding jurisdictions, and a sharp decline from pre-reform days.
    Dude, WTF are you saying, the man was slung out of office because of escapes and murders as a result. Tommy Wells is a slimey self fulfilling cracker that would have taken that committee down the tube listening to complacent comfortable little drunks like William Howland and his crew who have been around way too long (3 Administrations) if you ask me. Wells hasn"t an independent or innovative bone in his entire body, he has one mission only and that is to some day be Mayor, but he has yet to learn how to politic.

  65. #65

    @Jason Cherkis

    I am so glad that you remembered what happened concerning the shelter system and its victims, Banita Jacks and her kids and the kids of DC. I never forgot yet there are many in DC who wish the homeless and the poor such death!

    Thanks for the rememberance!!!

  66. #66

    @Dude

    You are correct! He had Families Foward person(Buford) mistreat the shit out of the clients and promote abuse and rape. The stories I remember are too many and too awful.

    Supportive housing and the workers was a hot mess with workers harassing people and alot of the housing was so damn small one could not breath. The materials they used to build much of the housing had started to fall apart soon after it was built and something with the paint or air ducts makes the skin itch.

  67. #67

    Dammit. Didn't catch this article.

    Good reporting Alan..something I'm sure won't make it to pages of GGW

  68. #68

    wait a minute...the other council members are upset that he wouldn't play ball. That he was an ass during the redistricting phase. That he has an ego...Breaking news-every council member has a ego-two SUVs because one didn't match your specs? 300K for kids, only to be spent on golf trips? He did exactly what he was supposed to do during redistricting. He kept most of Ward 6 together. He should be re-elected on that alone. That's a successful concil person. Add the bag tax-success. Cabi-success. Circulators-Success. The tax thing that pissed off Kwame-that was simply good policy-success. God forbid good policy enter our council. Sure he has warts-but his warts are much much much smaller than every other council member. This article if anything proves that you have to be a little corrupt to be on city council and have friends.

  69. #69

    @ Whoa_now,

    Have you read most of the comments? 90% of the comments say your homey Wells is also amongst the corrupt and inept politicians.

    Whoa_now, know this, you aren't speaking to folk who are clueless and sheepishly believe what GGW, DCist, and others churn out about Wells!

    In ref. to the bag tax, the money was divert to balance the budget; the Cabbie issues has not been resolved; and Graham, not Wells, is responsible for the Circulator, which was under his purview prior to Wells short lived--6 months--stint as chair of the transpo committtee.

  70. #70

    Geez there's a lot of Tosspot's staffers on here using pseudonyms.

  71. #71

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