Loose Lips

Listen to the LL At-Large Debate

The three Democrats hoping to oust Anita Bonds from her D.C. Council at-large seat came to the Black Cat last night for the LL at-large debate.

Below, listen to Nate Bennett-Fleming declare Bonds the worst at-large councilmember in Home Rule history, John Settles speculate about where that Malaysian airplane went, and Pedro Rubio talk about how about he'd improve skateboarding safety.

If you still can't get enough Washington City Paper debates or you're a Ward 6 resident, come to our Ward 6 debate between Darrel Thompson and Charles Allen Tuesday, March 25, at Rock & Roll Hotel. The festivities start at 8 p.m.

  • Tight Lips

    Anita is terrible, thats nothing new. Nate Bennett Flemming will win. He needs to decide if he is going to get down with the old regime (Gray Barry & Alexander) or stand on his own two feet.

    Once you elect someone from EOTR its very hard to give them the boot (unless they commit a crime).

  • FakeNate

    Nate is a Wells supporter. Same crowd that supports Wells (the do good types)supports him. He nearly said so this morning on News Channel 8 when asked who he supported he mentioned Wells, Bowser and Shallal as good candidates. Fleming does not support VG.

  • Tight Lips

    Nothing more than Nate playing the politics to be Anita Bonds.

    Wells has the upside although he will lose the Mayor's race because once Thompson squealed, all the endorsements went to Wells.

    Nate will come to his senses and support Gray once he wins or become the McDuffie/Grosso of the EOTR political establishment.

  • tony

    I am wondering why Nate or any other black young candidate in this city must distance themselves from Gray or Barry. Both of these black politicians are well respected by tens and tens of thousands of voters in this city and have been for decades. They both have been very effective leaders.

    Oh I get it. Some white folks don't like them so they must be bad. Or, some black folks don't like them so they must be bad. Bullshit!

    Nate has a responsibility to address the needs of the folks EOTR as well as others. And he will do so.

    If he ever thinks that he will enjoy the support of the black community EOTR by supporting a Tommy Wells or Bowser than he is sadly mistaken. If Nate supports either one of these candidates then he will have some stiff competition in the general election.

    Nate's success is due in part to an old, poor, black woman from SE who made it possible for him to go to college. His political success is due in part to those voters in SE who believed and supported him when no one else did. His council run was supported by EOTR folks and voters before others joined on. He must keep this in mind.

    He may never abandon black leaders like Marion Barry or Vincent Gray just to get the support of others. And, if he does, he will play a heavy political price.

    Words to the wise are sufficient!

  • DC Guy

    Interestingly, the Current Newspapers gave Settles a very glowing endorsement. I wonder how this will play in the areas that newspaper serves: Logan, Dupont, Crestwood, Georgetown and upper NW/Ward 3?

  • Tight Lips

    @tony ahahaha, Nate doesnt have to do a DAMN THING for EOTR, he isnt running for ward councilmember, he is running for At-LARGE which consists of more voters than SE.

    If you want someone to take care of EOTR, why not seek to replace Marion Barry or Yvette Alexander and stay out of the At-Large race...

    Now Tony......are you implying that Nate Bennett Flemming will be the next candidate EOTR that people are backing for Mayor?

    Sounds like the tone you are trying to set.

    Little do you now that the powers EOTR are slowly but surely dwindling.

    Barry will retire soon and no one will be able to save Ward 8 for what the city has in store (destroy, rebuild and kick all of yall out).

    And lastly Tony,

    Nate is better off helping get his name out in the other wards. EOTR has NO CHOICE but to vote for him, or its back to Anita Bonds.

    EOTR has no bragging rights except for putting people in office that keep the citizens in EOTR but the conditions crappy enough for them to stay.

    The Heavy Political price was paid when Kwame went to jail, Sulaimon ratted on Gray, Thompson saying that Gray knew about the shadow campaign, and Gray choosing Wal-Mart's Happiness vs Paying workers a respectable amount....

    Haahaha Jokes on you EOTR!

  • Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr

    @ Tony

    Nate is the new Black lackey politician that believes that in order to get white votes he has to distance himself from strong black leadership - this infectiousness social disease evolved out of slavery and was practiced by the House Negro's of yesterday and today. Nate like Anita Bonds suffers from self hatred and won't help anyone.

  • tony

    @Tight Lips,

    -Now Tony......are you implying that Nate Bennett Flemming will be the next candidate EOTR that people are backing for Mayor? Sounds like the tone you are trying to set.

    He certainly has what it takes to become Mayor someday.

    -Little do you now that the powers EOTR are slowly but surely dwindling. Barry will retire soon and no one will be able to save Ward 8 for what the city has in store (destroy, rebuild and kick all of yall out).

    Just look at that attitude! You dare to suggest that you care about the affairs of EOTR or this city and you gloat about kicking people out of their communities. Oh, I forgot, you support Vincent Orange. SMH!

    -Nate is better off helping get his name out in the other wards. EOTR has NO CHOICE but to vote for him, or its back to Anita Bonds.

    There are tons of well-educated blacks EOTR who could effectively serve on the council. EOTR has a lot of choices.

    -EOTR has no bragging rights except for putting people in office that keep the citizens in EOTR but the conditions crappy enough for them to stay.

    Remember your candidate Vincent Orange owe all his elections to EOTR. Now, you said what about EOTR voters? I can't hear you.

    -The Heavy Political price was paid when Kwame went to jail, Sulaimon ratted on Gray, Thompson saying that Gray knew about the shadow campaign, and Gray choosing Wal-Mart's Happiness vs Paying workers a respectable amount....

    Naw, the heavy political price will be paid when black politicians kiss white folks azz and abandoned black folks interests.

    The joke is on you because Mayor Gray will be re-elected. And, EOTR will enjoy the same economic development as other parts of the city without licking someone boots.

    Moreover, I don't live EOTR; however, I will always consider it home and will fight for it's development and success, always!

  • tony

    @Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr,

    I hear you brother. I was told this many times about Nate by others. But, I am willing to give him a chance. His humble beginnings, I believe, will help dictate his politics.

    He just can't forget where he came from regardless of what others say. He has great promise. Lets roll the dice with this brother. Give him a chance.

  • DCTech

    DCGuy, speaking of Current endorsement:

    "Candidate John Settles may be the best informed non-candidate we have ever interviewed in preparing our regular voters guides, a process that generally includes two to three hour interviews with the major candidates"

    "While we don't agree with all of his opinions, we found them to be well researched and logical, based on a strong knowledge base about the many issues facing the city"

    Real world experience + Public service = Results

  • tony

    John Settles is the other black guy. He's similar to Nate in terms of being a black progressive. He’s a little older and maybe a little more "seasoned". He too is a viable candidate in the race.

    I just wonder who will speak to the issues of black folks. It's ok being a black progressive. That's not a bad thing at all.

    I wonder whether Nate Flemings or John Settles will speak to the interests of black voters. Which one of them will get the black vote?

    It's still time in this race...

  • DC Guy


    As a white resident of the District, I am interested to better understand the term "issues to black folks". I really am asking honestly what that means?

    I personally am interested in the best candidate. At-Large to me needs to represent all interests in the city, while the Ward reps need to represent their wards. We are all interested in jobs, education, public safety, ethics and providing a safety net for those in need. We want our neighborhoods to be real communities and to ensure people aren't being "left out".

  • http://natefordc.com/issues Nate Fleming

    I speak to the interests of all votes, but I think my program will definitely benefit the African American community. Please check it out at natefordc.com/issues. My program is designed to ensure that the city is economically inclusive, and that opportunity is provided to youth, seniors, ex-offenders, those that may have gotten off track. Finally, I live in Ward 8, the problems are in my backyard, I have plenty of support on MLK AVE, because they see me everyday on my way to the Metro, and because I grew up with them. I will be just as responsive to their needs as to the needs of the Sierra Club, or any other org that has supported me. I truly believe that this city can work for everyone, and that its diversity, black, white, latino, Asian, Ethiopian, etc....is it's strength and can be leveraged to create an inclusive, vibrant, compassionate city. (Please forgive typos, but I want to make sure it is clear that I got into politics to fight for those without a voice.)

  • DC Guy

    But isn't that pandering? I mean, shouldn't a program benefit all voters and all residents of the city and community?

  • tony

    I like to hear John Settles plans to address the needs of the African American community.

    Diversity is good. But, I am sorry, the affairs of the Chinese, Latino or Ethiopian communities means nothing to people EOTR.

    John Settles and Nate Flemings will have a chance to win the black vote within the next two weeks.

  • Nate Fleming

    No, it isn't pandering. We shouldn't be afraid to talk about race, as long as we are not divisive. As stated, I speak to interests of all voters and have advocated for policies that will benefit everyone, across racial, income, and educational lines.

  • tony

    @DC GUY,

    I really appreciate the tone in which you made your comment and posed your question.

    I agree that all reasonable residents and voters do in fact share some of the same “general” concerns as it relates to issues such jobs, education, public safety, affordable housing and economic development, etc. However, every one of those important issues is impacted by public policies.

    What’s clear is that citizens and voters have different views on what constitutes good public policies. For example, voters in general may believe that the education system needs to be improved. However, some of those voters may believe that more charter schools are the answer to education reform while others may believe that improving traditional schools is the answer. The same is true with expanding affordable housing. Some would argue that affordable housing should be expanded at the discretion of developers while others would argue that mandated mix income housing is the best way to realize this goal. Again, with economic development, some would argue that public policy should be enacted to focus on stimulating small business growth while others would argue that public policy should focus on providing more financial incentive to big business for job creation.

    Unfortunately, in this city, the public policies which deal with these important issues have not been in the best interest of black folks. Let’s focus on the economic development piece for a minute. Every black community in this city that was economically developed led to the displacement of black folks across the socio-economic board. I mean everyone. Whether it was Columbia Heights, U Street, 14th Street, H. Street, etc.

    Again, the public policies that made such development possible went against the interest of a certain group of people. The same can be said about the education reform efforts which centers on replacing one group of people or ideas with someone else or something else. And, how about the public safety measures which focus on punitive plans opposed to corrective and rehabilitative measures. The list goes on and on.

    The bottom line is that black folks, in general, have suffered from the public policies that impact these life quality issues.

    So, let me be clear, the black community must have black politicians who will support public policies that will protect and enhanced the quality of life for its people.

    I do not believe that we live in a color blind society where everyone is treated the same. Every other ethnic group or people have political organizations or advocates fighting for their share of the pie. Corporations spends billions a year to hire lobbyists to fight for their interests. The Gays hire lobbyists and activists to fight for their interests. Different minority groups forms PACS and other organizations to fight for their interests. None of these people or groups leaves their future or interests to the simple idea that we are one.

    And, nor should we.

  • Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr

    @ tony

    Tony you are a strong brother like me and know's he doe's not have to be validated by other's to be valued - however, Nate doe's not know this and has insulted the Black people that sacrificed for him to be able to vote and run for office. I have no use for these type of mis-educated Negro's and will not roll a dice to vote for him because as a Sunni Muslim I do not gamble.

  • DC Guy


    Thank you for that excellent answer. I think that race may not be the sole determining factor, but rather "the little guy" as opposed to bigger corporations, large-scale developers etc. I would be interested in more about this perspective. If there are any publications or articles you can share, that would be really helpful.

  • ellerbe is gray is ellerbe

    uh, where was anita bonds?

    al hajj mahdi is an appointed position, or acquired through merit?

  • Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr.m

    @ellerbe is gray is ellerbe

    Al Hajj is a title when a Muslim completes the fifth pillar in Islam if he/she can afford it called Hajj. You can Google it and ascertain a a large ratio of data on the internet. Mahdi is the Muslim name I took when I took Shahadah to become Muslim and you can Google that as well. Thank you for your interest and may Allah (One-God) guide and bless you.

  • HUAlum71

    DC Guy is a real STAND UP GUY, he is the future we hope we will see: White men who are concerned young men who are respectful, and who are really interested in understanding exactly what it is that creates problems for Black people and others who are 'left out.'

    He reminds me of the many White men I have met over the years and who(m) I consider friends. This is the guy who is interested in the well being of all mankind. This is the kind of guy who will raise his children to respect the rights of all. This is the kind of guy who will help re-elect Vince Gray because he (DC GUY)sought out the truth about black folks' 'issues'.

    This is not to assume DC Guy will or will not vote for Vince Gray; however, this is to say that he has an open mind and is willing to ask about that which he does not understand.

    Hopefully he will come to see exactly what is going on in DC politics now. He will see that by any means necessary it was determined that regardless of the positive aspects of a Vince Gray administration, he would fail as Mayor. The trumped up charges are so ridiculous a child can understand what is happening.

    It is not necessary to recount all of what has happened starting with the Kwame Brown 'fix.' The fact that Machen stood in a press conference after kissing Thompson's rusty ass and pretending that it didn't stink (never uttering the term 'alleged' regarding what JT said) is indicative of prosecutorial misconduct.

    What is so baffling is the fact Machen believes he can win in court against Mr. Bennett. But as my Grandchild told me: "They don't care whether or not Mr. Gray is found guilty; they just want a White man in office. Look at all that was done to set the man up."

    This is a child who's best friend is a white kid who just moved to Washington DC from the deep South. Neither of them seems concerned about the other's racial label. They are just happy young teens who are observant and non judgmental in the way only the very young can be.

    Thank you for posting DC Guy. I salute you and your parents. They done good.

  • Yes in 2014

    Not only is Nate the best candidate running, I like his support for DC statehood and the willingness to work in an unpaid elected position; DC (Shadow) Representative.
    Settles weak explanation of his not bothering to vote in several DC elections is that he was “out of town” was disqualifying. Clearly, he has not heard of an absentee ballot or early voting.
    Bonds insists that she is no longer working as a lobbyist for Ft. Meyers Construction, but if you check LinkedIn, she now has 2 profiles, one that still lists her working for the company. Having this conflict of interest, working for one of the city’s largest contractors, should give voters enough reason to vote for Nate.

  • DC Guy

    Thank you for the kind words.

    As it so happens, I do support the Mayor and am withholding judgement on the Thompson mess for the time being.

    I do think there is an opportunity to better explore this issue, because we are at a point and time where our society can finally break through, but it is through constructive dialogue and understanding that we will ALL get there.

  • stick2yourguns

    Well Nate's statement is NOT true...Muriel Bowser is the worst council member in HISTORY

  • DC Guy

    @yes in DC

    I am wondering if you ever had a job where you were called out of town for meetings or obligations at the last minute? Seems like a very plausible explanation for someone to miss elections.

  • DCCommish

    Well I support Anita Bonds...why because she has a long track record of public service and civic duty.
    Nate's record has a lot of items all negative: His 2 DWI's, his debt, his resume in which he states so much stuff that it's impoosible for anyone to have done those things especially all at the same time. Nate's not ready for prime time at all. He's done very little for this city! I will say that he is trying but that doesn't get results we need in DC! ANITA WE NEED HER!

  • DCCommish

    @ yesin2014...shut the hell up she isn't working for FT Meyers or getting paid by them...you silly little pea brain!

  • LTR

    Anita Bonds isn't working for Fort Myers or getting paid by them? Funny how they're allowed to break all kinds of codes and laws, and yet still get DC money, over and over. Fort Myers is her only constituent.

    Bonds is worse than useless. At best.

  • Sandlynn

    For the uninitiated, it would've been helpful if you would've identified who was speaking. I had no idea which candidate was responding. Major, amateur mistake to make for a city with such a transient electorate. I'm so angry that I have no idea who was saying what. Thanks for nothing.

  • Realist

    All of nates accomplishments are his. Dccommish is incredibly uninformed.@Mahdi don't be so self righteous. You seem to have a very crabbish mentality.