Loose Lips

In Ward 1, Ex-Democrat Bryan Weaver Says D.C. Has a “Warlord Problem”

Bryan Weaver dropped out of the Ward 1 Democratic primary on Wednesday, but he made a surprise visit at Thursday night's Kalorama Citizens Association’s debate anyway. While everyone waited for incumbent Jim Graham to arrive, Weaver, who will run in the general election instead of the primary, took the time to offer some strong words to describe D.C.'s political status quo.*

"We have a warlord problem," said Weaver. “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Warlord.’ You’re thinking Joseph Kony, you’re thinking the Taliban, you’re thinking right-wing death squads. But there are three elements to any warlord: being close-minded, a hoarder of power, and change-averse.”

Graham declined to respond to Weaver's remarks on the grounds that he's not a candidate in the primary.

Unlike Weaver, challenger Brianne Nadeau was actually a participant in the debate, but her criticisms were nowhere near as aggressive.

Soon after he arrived, Graham emphasized that despite his past troubles with the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability and his own Council colleagues, he had never committed a crime. (He's never been charged with any, either.)

"It’s never a good thing when we’re saying, ‘I was never found guilty of anything,’ when that’s our standard," Nadeau responded. "I think that I and many of the voters I’ve talked to would like to hold our government to a higher ethical standard."

Graham moved past the ethics discussion and instead continued talking about his decades-long experience in Adams Morgan, as well as his personal contributions to the “eccentricity” of the area. Meanwhile, Nadeau repeatedly described herself as the new energy the Council needs to move forward.

Both Graham and Nadeau expressed concern about a proposed plan to swap 14th Street’s Reeves Center for land to build a new D.C. United stadium.

“The notion of giving [the Reeves Center] uncompetitively to a single developer in exchange from some scrappy little parcel at Buzzard Point just doesn’t ring true for me," said Graham.

Another point of contention: the constituent service fund. Nadeau said she would get rid of what she called a slush fund. Graham accused Nadeau of not understanding the money’s benefits for constituents in need and said that he was proud of the way he spends the fund.

* Correction: Due to an editing error, this post and its headline originally stated Weaver had called Graham a warlord. In fact, Weaver said the District, not Ward 1 specifically, had a warlord problem.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Typical DC BS

    What Miss Graham neglects to add is "the developer they chose to deal with that owns Buzzard Point is NOT the one who funds ME, so piss on them". Also, just because they couldn't convict Graham of a crime doesn't mean he's not a scumbag. He left his signature "achievement", Whitman-Walker, on the verge of financial collapse when he got elected to the DC Council.

  • Tight Lips

    I understand everyone is tired of Jim Graham, but I can't take this guy Bryan Weaver serious at all. He is just a flunkie for the political agenda. He always joins a race and then drops out? For What?

    When your former opponent wins, what do you expect a pat on the back? A handshake? For them to get on the podium and praise you for sacrificing your campaign to unseat Jim Graham?

    Try staying in a race first before you offer your opinion about candidate.


    LOL.... Im not a Graham backer but Weaver is just unbelievable.... he drops out of the race and now he shows up to attack the incumbent??

    Wtf?..... Weaver is a LOSER on all levels!!

    SMH.....Why was "Weasel" even aloud to speak? The debate is for the Dem Primary not "open" for the independent progressives?

    First rule of politics, don't be an asshole or act like one and run for office....not a good look!!

    For REAL!

  • tony


    I agree.

    Moreover, Graham will win given his solid hold on the black vote east of 16th street particularly along that Georgia Ave corridor. His relationship with the ex-offenders community and those on the grass roots level will be the deciding factor in this race. And he knows it.
    That’s why he speaks at great lengths about his record concerning the poor and disenfranchised in his ward.

    His ground game will be a tough act to follow and he still can command at least 30 to 40 percent of the vote west of 16th street given his ties to the Latino and gay community.

    For these reasons, he is one of the toughest Councilmembers to unseat. The man understands politics to its fullest.

    He understands that politics is all about taking care of the people who got you there. And, on Election Day, those people in great numbers will show their appreciation for his advocacy and service.

  • Tight Lips

    I think Graham will win as well. He has major support and although he has done some idiotic stuff in the pass, he hasn't hurt his loyal fanbase. He might have ruffled feathers with the "political scene" people but the residents he has not turned his back on.

    Grosso's days on the council are numbered. He definitely took a major L by backing the challenger.

  • Ward One Resident

    Weaver was at the event and spoke because the organizer of the event allowed him to do so. He's still a candidate for the office, just not in the April primary.



    Is he really a candidate for the office? Seriously, I know he has announced he was running and then punts, again.

    But wait, now he says will run as a independent in the general election. Weaver, stop wasting peoples time and your donors money. Weaver will get his ASS kicked in the general by who ever wins in April, probably Graham.

    Weaver appears wishy-washy on what he wants to do. No conviction equals no WIN!!

    Weaver can take all the cheap shots at Graham he wants, end of the day, Weaver QUIT!!

    Now lets be an ASSHOLE and QUITTER, not good Mr. Weaver. Keep your day job.

    Only idiots would donate to this guy's campaign!

    Ward 1 needs a new council member but Weaver is probably not the one!

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  • Really now

    Look's like Graham's campaign staff has been busy writing. Graham doesn't answer criticisms, he instead touts his 15 year record of non-achievement in Adams Morgan.

    Graham dismisses Weaver because he is not in the primary, instead of answering that there is no substance to his claims. Then we see all these anti-Weaver posts designed to deflect the conversation from Graham and create apathy about the election.

    Then thrown in the middle are BS comments about Graham's strengths and numbers he can carry.

    Graham was censored by his colleagues on the Council, a low point in his career, stripped of leadership positions, and would have been in trouble with the Metro Board, except he had already been replaced there.

    The waste of city taxpayer dollars and Metro money spent investigating Graham should be enough of an issue to want to get him out of office now, then his questionable judgement in not reporting an attempted bribe...hmmm.

    I think the writers are greatly underestimating the anti-Graham vote.

  • Son of Washington

    A Ward 4 Resident who watches what happens can tell you this.

    (1) Graham isn't the best Councilman but lets be honest the best they can get him on is the Metro issue. Yeah, he was a dumb ass and he should have been hit much harder when his former Chief of Staff brought him the Gray Package a.k.a. the envelope full of cash.

    (2) Now on to Brian and his tired ass attempt to run yet again. Him and his secret partner in slime Silverman both need to go back to where ever the hell the came from and leave our city. If I have to hear his ass talk about going to Howard one more time or how he knows what is going on, I'm going to puke. He is full of shit.

    (3) As for the challenger, she is a some what cute blond but she has blond issues. She should know that in Wards such as 1,4,5,6,7,8 especially the Constituent Service Funds actually do things like pay bills for folks who can't and actually pay for things like funerals and stuff like that. It just goes to show that she is out of touch with a large part of the ward.

    (4) As for Grosso and his time on the Council. He will be on the Council for a while because he is the type of White Yuppie that is taking over the city and our black folks can't get their shit together.

  • Really Now

    Son of Washington,

    Your writing style and complaints are so very similar to other posts above.

    1. Minimize the reality of how little Graham has to show after 15 years, except deep blemishes on his record that have cost the city $100's of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money investigating his shenanigans. He was censored by the city council, his peers, that doesn't happen that often.

    2. Rail on Bryan Weaver with no real substance except for having the gall to run for office and raise the issue of how corporate money is influencing elections and politicians like Graham.

    3. Improperly describe and characterize Brianne Nadeau "as cute blond" while defending Graham's practice of making companies donate into his constituent services fund so he can then take credit for providing services. With billions of dollars of development in the Ward, where is the ongoing management and services that should have been leveraged?

    4) And now go after Grosso because he has supported Nadeau and wants to see Graham gone.

    Ex-staffers of Jim Graham are known as and often refer to themselves as SOJ's (Survivors of Jim) for a good reason. The same reason that staffers from other council members are willing to volunteer time to defeat an incumbent they have to work with regularly. That tells you a whole lot about the man.