Loose Lips

Barry: Only “Liberal White Folks” Care Who Pays for My Turkey Giveaway

Tis the season for D.C.'s elected officials to gin up some goodwill by attaching their names to Thanksgiving turkey giveaways.

LL counts at least five councilmembers hosting turkey giveaways this year, including Mayor-For-Life-turned-Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, whose annual giveaways almost always generate news.

As in years past, Barry is declining to say who paid for the turkeys he'll be giving away or whether those donors also have contracts with the city.

"Suppose they are," says Barry, who says city contractors shouldn't be barred from being charitable. He says he's keeping his donors secret to protect them from the media.

"You all beat up on good people for doing good things," Barry says. "I'm not ever telling." He adds that several would-be donors to his most recently campaign shied away from giving because they did not want their names printed in his campaign finance reports.

By contrast, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander (whose turkey giveaway is currently underway at the Deanwood recreation center) says Safeway, Walmart, and United Healthcare donated the turkeys.

Not that Alexander had to tell LL who paid for the birds, as the District's campaign finance law appears to have a turkey giveaway loophole. Politicians have to report similar acts of generosity like paying someone's rent, covering an electric bill, or sending flowers to a funeral, on their constituent services fund disclosure forms. But disclosure of anything turkey-related appears optional.

Barry 's constituent service fund reports offer no clues who is paying for turkeys and how that money is spent. Last year Barry told LL that his donors gave to a nonprofit of his choosing, which then bought the turkeys. In 2009, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham reported giving to Bread for the City for his turkey giveaway but didn't report any spending related to the gift cards he handed out with the turkeys. A transcript from a recorded conversation with Graham's former chief of staff indicates that an undercover FBI agent may have secretly funded the cards.

If you're stressing over a city contractor potentially donating tens of thousands (Barry says his giveaway cost about $40,000 last year) in secret to events that—besides providing the needy with free turkeys—are great P.R. events for certain politicians, then you probably fit a type, says Barry.

Barry says it's only "liberal white folks" who are interested in disclosure rules for turkey giveaways. He added that it's the same types who are interested in other good-government initiatives, like the city's open meetings laws. "Look who led that," Barry says, referring to the Washington Post editorial page.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Linda

    What does it matter that a few poor people got a free turkey. There is more wheeling and dealing on that council then a few turkeys. People in this city pay for influence on most of the projects and I am tired of people acting like this doesn't happen every where in this country.Whites and Black politican do the very same thing give it a rest.

  • Angelina

    Loose Lips, stop whining and go pick one up before they're all gone!!!

  • ward4rez

    According to the hyperlink at the end of the article, there are more than 100 comments, yet only 8 of them actually show up. Why is that?

  • Angelina

    Stop whining and pick one up a few before they are all gone!!!!

  • Laura

    Imagine if someone said "Liberal black folk"?

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  • Dave78

    The "southern Dem masters" became Repubs in case you forgot. And yes they do like to work in the soup kitchens so they can meet the people they are disenfranchising with "don't get out the vote" laws and voter ID. That's how they get rid of their white guilt. They wash it all away with the soup. Yeah they sure want "us against them" Have you tried teaching a man to fish instead of just giving one fish? It seems you may be the very people that do want to keep them in chains.


    Yes, Barry is an old fool. He proves it whenever he opens his mouth. If someone made mention about "black folk," he would be the first to scream racism! He is a joke. Only in DC do people think this man is special. In the rest of the country, he's an old buffoon, drug-addicted, loud mouth, cursing publicly, hypocrite and defiant racist.

  • Dave78

    Yes White liberals do care about politicians giving out free stuff. It's called election ethics. I'm sure we all want a country where the politician with the best giveaways wins. And of course the "white cons" (conservatives) accuse democrats of using social programs for the less fortunate to bribe their votes. Did it ever occur to you that the Repubs tax giveaways and corporate welfare are bribes for votes? We dont need an EPA to keep this country clean! Its too expensive for our corporate sponsors. But those are all in good conscience, right? Its part of God's plan right? Nothing shady about that!

  • BigTight33

    Well Barry does have a point !

  • Mike Madden


    We had to cache the article yesterday due to heavy traffic, but all the comments will display once the cache catches up.

  • Kevin

    Ben wrote: "What a typical 'democrat', aka utter buffoon"

    Oh yeah, Ben, because the list of R's in office isn't as long as my arm? And judging from the election results I'd say the American people clearly prefer our "buffoons" to yours.

  • Kevin

    This turkey giveaway MIGHT be fine (certainly there are people for whom this type of charity is needed) but the problem, as always, is the lack of disclosure. If his funders are giving him $40K worth of turkeys to help him stay in the good graces of Ward 8 voters we should, at a minimum, have the right to know who they are!

    Fix campaign finance laws in DC.

  • Dave78

    Anyone not familiar with DC politics should know that Marion Barry is a joke even in this city. He represents the poorest ward in the city and wins by pitting himself against the affluent whites of the city. It doesn't matter that this city is full of liberals that really aren't against the kind of social programs he supports. It's all a matter of politics. It's what gets him elected. He's the black version of the Tea Party. Blowing racist dog whistles to rally his supporters.

  • drez

    what a shit show.

  • Alf

    Marion Barry has a new title/epithet:

    DC's Turkey for Life.

  • nowaitadaminit

    My! My!! My!!!

    Look at all that vituperative venting going on regarding one very chastened, but still standing Black Manchild of a share cropping Mississippi woman.

    Look how far he rose from that humble beginning on a crossroad just outside of Itta Bena, Mississippi. Yeah, ya'll got the bitch to set him up. Took quite a few $millions to do it but she did. Yeah, he was tried and convicted: Of a misdemeanor weed charge and did 6 months.

    Bet MB's mama would have been very happy to get one of those turkeys. Bet more White families than Black or other minority families in America would be glad to get one too.

    Could it be that the Obama Spanking is the catalyst for all of this less than insightful badgering of a Black Icon? Just reading the majority of the comments is more hilarious than threatening; and those comments reveal the shallowness of the gripers. Is that all ya'll got????

  • Mike C.

    DC will never achieve statehood with an albatross like Barry hangin around its neck.

    Nor should it.

  • SEis4ME

    @ward4..yeah go figure.

    My posts have been held in moderation for weeks now. For some reason, I'm now a spambot. Maybe a handheld device will workthis time

  • SEis4ME

    Barry is definitely a smart man. He knew his comments would make the waves among the same group he's sorta criticizing here...liberal white folk...the same ones who are always first in line to criticize him all the time.

    I don't think there are scores of black folk (nor white for that matter) who care who donates the turkeys. The fact that none of the complainers here asked who donated to the OTHER 5 cm's essentially proves this point.

    You only care because its Barry and provides an opportunity to talk about things EOTR

  • Alf

    Aside from the secret contractors' turkey giveaway, is there anything that one can point to where Barry has meaningfully improved the quality of life for his constituents "EOTR"?

  • http://n/a JayZ

    Cant ever believe a word that comes out of a crack heads mouth!

  • SEis4ME

    @Alf, can you to a specific policy Barry has supported which has meaningfully diminished the quality of life for us in W8.

    I'm not sure if you know...but Barry is CM for W8 which is EOTR. He's not the "EOTR" CM.

  • tony

    I see much has not changed since I left. The klan rally is going strong. Maybe, it's time for my return. Clearly, some of these worthless crackers don't understand anything else.

  • DesertRat77

    I'm sure there wasn't more than a few thousand bucks in palm-greasing with the turkey giveaway. So in this case I don't care where the money came from - you see, I'm a conservative white guy, not a liberal white guy - so Marion is right again. "THE PLAN" IS COMING, Marion called that one twenty years ago!

  • nowaitadaminit

    Hey Tony!!!!
    And Welcome back!!!!
    Now give em Hell!!!!!

    @DesertRat77: Climb back into that desert hole you crawled out of. Yo PLAN elected Barack Obama as President of the United States for the second time while you were scavenging for whatever desert rats scavenge for. Maybe if you come back out in another twenty years those Planners will have found a way to convince you that things have definitely changed, though they are still oxymorically the same in some sad respects.

  • TheHermit

    If Barry would just say who was so generous there wouldn't be an issue. Now that he refuses to do so...it IS.

    And what does being a liberal white person have to do with anything? I'm a lifelong liberal and I'm not white, but I want to know just like anyone else. This is DC. Everybody wants to know everything. That's not new, and Barry knows it. He's stoking hostility...unnecessarily...AGAIN.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Hey Hermit

    Thought you guys stayed hidden.
    Kinda agoraphobic or sumpin'?
    Anyway, the man has now offered the information you and so many other requested.

    And exactly who is 'stoking hostility' on this blog?
    Marion S. Barry is an ICON. Like it or Hate it. That is a fact. Just be glad somebody is concerned about those of us not fortunate enough to get our own turkeys. The MAN has done more for his constituency than ANY DC polician elected so far. Don't you see that is the real problem with his haters.

    Anybody who pretends he/she is not tainted by alcohol, drugs (legal or illegal) needs to check again. Those little cocktails, that beer, those valium/librium/zanax, etc are all DRUGS. Some people can function while abusing and some cannot. All need help; not disparging remarks on a blog. Mr. Barry and all of the other substance abusers will be fighting their problems for the rest of their lives. We need to encourage them to stay clean and sober, not constantly remind them of thier shortcomings.
    Especially during the coming holiday season.

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  • http://holdenweb.blogspot.com/ Steve

    C'mon, guys. A back politician tries to make sure that poor families get a decent Thanksgiving dinner and you complain? That's what's wrong with politics nowadays: too many people looking out for themselves.

    Barry may be a suspect character, but he knows how to identify with the poor. This is not a totally bad thing.

  • Ralph

    // Howdy Alan. Look here at what I saw on the web. //


    ( I experienced all this while trapped in a large American city.)

    The suburbs are booming, but not fast enough. Yessir, you ghetto folks
    in inner cities have started a good thing, but there are still lots of acres
    outside the cities without any houses on them. So you've gotta move into
    "untouched" city blocks and do the following:
    Throw trash everywhere. You'll insure that your friends who pick up trash
    and distribute free rat poison packets will keep their jobs. And folks can
    predict the weather by the direction the trash is blowing!
    Walk down the street. Better yet, rhythm down it. And when I say street
    I don't mean sidewalk. Save sidewalks for your friends on cycles. Besides,
    it's hard to fit many cursing, screaming, drinking, pot-smoking kids on a
    sidewalk, and it's also hard to spot keys and other things left in cars when
    you're walking on a sidewalk!
    When walking down a street, turn your head when you hear a car coming
    and stare at the driver. For all you know, it might be one of your enemies
    out to get you. On the other hand, it might be only your neighbor and all
    that hateful staring might make him want to move out.
    Be sure to beget lots of unloved, unsupervised, unwashed two-legged
    "Obama welfare meal tickets" - either through wedlock or (preferably) out of
    wedlock. And let them often ring doorbells, begging for money.
    Turn quiet streets into noisy jungles. Have a blast - a
    long blast with your car horn under your neighbor's window at
    3:00 a.m. Let folks know who the real honkies are! Blow your horn when (1)
    you see the police coming (2) you want to buy some dope (3) you want to sell
    some dope (4) for any other reason. Play your stereo so loudly that folks can't
    hear sirens going to the latest holdup or arson. Be noisy, man, noisy!
    Be cruel to animals, especially "man's best friend." Tie your dog on a
    short chain under a blazing sun with no water or food or love or license or
    dog shots. Make him as mean as you are. Better yet, let your dog run loose.
    Neighbors love to find freshly killed cats (after hearing their screams) and
    other goodies on their lawns. Pit one dog against another in bloody "canine
    cockfights" while friends lounge on car hoods and cheer and make bets! And
    what madness is it where folks move out and abandon pets in the house,
    leaving them nothing to eat but their own droppings? This happens often in the
    ghetto, and almost no one will help the animals.
    Keep a good supply of Saturday Night Specials - also Sunday, Monday,
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Night Specials. Your criminal
    presence will improve your neighbor's light bill; when he isn't watching you
    at night (with his lights off), he will be able to read books at night by
    the light of the police helicopter searchlights!
    Here's more insanity: Uncle Sam spends millions of our tax money to
    move you into our neighborhoods where we lose much when we sell our homes.
    So you have your nerve when you glare and swear at us when we don't move
    out quickly; but you're the reason we can't find good buyers! I really wonder
    what you and Uncle Sam will do when lots of folks move to the wilderness and
    live off the land and consequently don't have to pay taxes to support such
    Finally, spread the rumor that all of your troubles are associated with
    skin, even though you and I know that your problem isn't skin. It's sin!!!
    What makes a ghetto? It's not the paint on a house (or lack of it) but all
    of you two-legged pains in the neck!

    (anyone is free to copy and air this paper)

  • ralph alfred

    Too much hatred people. God so loves the world he gave his only begotten son. Who cares about Barry. President Obama isn't hurting YOU. Let it go. Look inside your heart - it starts with the man in the mirror. If you're ok, that where it starts and ends.

  • http://yahoo.com Ray J

    Mr Barry if you folks can not stop all that crazy stuff no one will care about your turkies or any thig else about D C.I am black I want come into D C At night.

  • Patriot1775

    The people of Ward 8 like getting free stuff, paid for by hard working folks of all colors. Liberals will always vote for the Barry's of the world.

  • NE John

    Barry: Fowl Owl on the Prowl

  • tony

    I found a good read for some of you white folks. Maybe this will help. Personally, I believe that most of you people are a lost cause. In any event, Dr. Welsing may be able to help you with your sickness.

    Frances Cress Welsing is an African American psychiatrist practicing in Washington, D.C.. She is noted for her "Cress Theory of Color Confrontation", which explores the practice of white supremacy. She is the author of The Isis Papers; The Keys to the Colors (1991).

    Cress Welsing states that a system is practiced by the global white minority, on both conscious and unconscious levels, to ensure their genetic survival by any means necessary. According to Cress Welsing, this system attacks people of color, particularly people of African descent, in the nine major areas of people's activity: economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war. Cress Welsing believes that it is imperative that people of color, especially people of African descent, understand how the system of white supremacy works in order to dismantle it and bring true justice to planet Earth.

    In The Isis Papers she postulates the melanin theory, a hypothesis that has been called pseudoscientific and black supremacist, that white people are the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants. She posits that because of this defective mutation, they may have been forcibly expelled from Africa, among other possibilities. Welsing proposes that, because it is so easy for pure whiteness to be genetically lost during interracial breeding, light-skinned peoples developed an aggressive colonial urge and their societies dominated others militarily in order to preserve this light-skinned purity. Welsing ascribes certain inherent and behavioral differences between black and white people to a "melanin deficiency" in white people. Welsing proposes what she calls a "functional definition of racism".

  • NE John

    You are in clear violation of your promise never to post here again.

  • tony

    @NE John, I grant you an exception from my comment. You are a hard head but you are a reasonable person. Well, at times.

  • NE John

    Why thank you tony!

  • ToTheContrary

    Mission Accomplished! Barry baits his haters and the haters bite.

  • Robert Brocksmith

    Why can't people leave this man alone. He has done more for this City than any other City Official. People dont like Him because He is not affraid to standup to them, and do what He thinks is good for us. It is only the brain washed idiots who critize Him and probably those that are paid to doit.

  • Panya Washington

    Barry had a hands on mayor,s office.If you called the mayors office during his term you received help. Sometime he him self would call you back. I know from experience, when I call , 272 1000. Now days you call all you get is other numbers. Then when you call the other numbers you get more numberes There will never ever be another Marion. Barry. I live now in ward seven, and I have never seen my Counsil member in my area. Barry Would. Randomly knock on his people,s doors just to talk to his people.
    Barry is our mayor for life and Dealth. he will be remember for life. We all will pray for his family.

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