Loose Lips

Evans Constituent Service Fund Spends Another $26K on Sports Tickets

The latest round of constituent service fund disclosures came out earlier this month, and they show—LL can't believe it—lots of actual constituent service.

Vince Gray's fund covered some rent bills; D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson's fund spent $290 on food for people mourning Medric Mills, the 77-year-old man who died after not receiving help outside a District fire station. Mayoral hopeful and Ward 4 councilmember Muriel Bowser's fund paid $1,100 to campaign strategist Tom Lindenfeld's firm in exchange for robocalls to her constituents.

In the first three months of 2014, meanwhile, Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans' fund continued with its usual policy of spending constituent service money on sports tickets, spending $26,266 on three Washington teams. Evans defends the purchases, telling LL that the tickets go to constituents who might not otherwise be able to afford a game.

Lucky Evans constituents could see the Wizards ($8,075 spent), the Nationals ($12,935 spent), or the Capitals ($5,256 spent). And maybe they'll be joined by Evans, who concedes that he "sometimes" uses the tickets himself.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • erik

    "Muriel Bowser's fund paid $1,100 to campaign strategist Tom Lindenfeld's firm in exchange for robocalls to her constituents."

    How is this legal? Especially after her sweeping ethics reform bill. smh

  • Warlock

    Why is this even news? Evans makes no secret of it and LL, guess what, most of the tickets go to constituents. The Wizards and Capitals are Ward 2 businesses conducted in a huge Ward 2 tax generator. When Evans says "sometimes", considering how hard this dude works, you better believe he means rarely.

    You might also dig a little deeper (although that would require w-o-r-k) and report how much these three enterprises and their stakeholders contribute.
    This is an old Chuck Thies rant, move on.

    The Bowser tidbit seems more iffy.

  • drez

    Over $2K per week on sports tickets is a lot of sports tickets.
    How much do box seats cost, anyway?

  • justsayin

    http://law.justia.com/codes/district-of-columbia/2012/division-i/title-1/chapter-11a/subchapter-iii/part-f/section-1-1163-38.html

    "...(3) Disallowable expenditures include:
    (A) Promoting or opposing, as a primary purpose, a political party, committee, candidate, or issue;"

    If use of constituent service funds for political activities (and mass mailing within ninety days of an election) is disallowed, as specified in the DC Code, how can Bowser justify this campaign expenditure?

  • Anonymous,Too

    Oh Jack, Jack, Jack!!!

    Sad to say, you can't teach an old dawg new tricks. Even if all these tickets were purchased before the primary, Evans remains as arrogant and out of touch as ever.

    And, Muriel, time to dust off your "mea culpas" on this one--before you get relegated to the same dustbin as Jack & Co.

  • drez

    Re: robocalls
    It obviously depends on the content of the calls. If, for example, they just alerted people to the election without mention of candidate or political party, than they don't run afoul of the above regs.

  • Anonymous,Too

    Oh! And, LL, love the new cropping on the Jack pix!

  • Northwesterneer

    Actually, knowing this situation pretty well, Evans donates tons of those tickets to DCPS elementary schools for their annual auctions- so those tickets are equivalent to donations to the various HSAs and PTAs in DC.

    Anonymous Too, I challenge to explain how it's arrogant or out of touch to donate tickets to school auctions. I think you have no idea what you're talking about or what happens with those tickets so you made something up in your mind, which is fine, but this time it's false.

  • Grizzly Bare

    Not to mention any use the Ward 2 Councilman and Finance Committee Chair might be able to make of said tickets in making Wall St. types and potential investors feel warm and funny about DC. Even if Evans went to every game it would not be corrupt.

    With all the flailing about corruption, I think much of it is way overblown. Muriel Bowser is as dumb as mud but I don't think she is corrupt personally. My issue is the cadre of the truly corrupt around her -Jair Lynch, Jawonabone, Albert etc.

    It would seem that the system has worked just fine in ridding Ward 1 of the singly most corrupt individual (ever) in DC public life.

  • Grizzly Bare

    Make that fuzzy

  • Northwesterneer

    Grizzly, in case you missed the city paper that week, the corrupt woman with the phony loan WON the election in Ward 1

  • Grizzly Bare

    @Nwesterneer

    She doesn't hold a candle to Graham. Graham is now batting a career 1000, run out of Whitman Walker under a veil of scandal and corruption and now the Council as well.

    I hear she's drinking again. That can't be pretty!

  • Beth Ann

    Back in August 2013, I was interviewed for a Communications/Field Organizer position with the Jack Evans campaign. After working with local and presidential campaigns for over 8 years, I thought I would be a great fit... I was offered the position, but was told that "compensation" would be $100... A MONTH.

    What a joke.

  • SaveWard7

    Ok, so now mudd will most likely be the next mayor of dc. Opps, sorry, "dumb mudd"!

  • Anonymous,Too

    @BethAnn

    The rewards from Jack have never come up front. You have to pass the undying loyalty test first, but, once you do, you have a job-for-life, should you want it.

    Jack's ex-staffers and diehard loyalists are strategically planted all over town, e.g. Linda Greenan/Georgetown U, John Ralls/GWU, Andrew Huff/American U and various non-profits, DC agencies and commissions.

    @Northwesterneer

    As stated perfectly by La esquina back in November 2011 when these constituent service slush funds were discussed by LL:

    "As for water coolers, office pizza, tickets, etc, I don't buy into that BS that these are 'freebies' for constituents. All of the major DC venues give the Council (and Mayor) dozens of free tickets to events, including tickets to the Council and Mayors boxes at Nats stadium and the Verizon Center. THESE are the tickets that are given away to constituents...and they're free to the Council (and Mayor). Constituent Service fund tickets are used for high end lobbyists and donors, NOT for kids in need."

  • Son of Washington

    Anonymous Too,

    You are an idiot. First off lobbyist don't need tickets from Jack or the ones in the Council boxes which don't come with food or drink. They have their own tickets. They are the ones who put money into the funds that Jack is using to pay for the tickets idiot.

    As for the actual tickets the city has, they are crappy and in boxes which don't have a great view. The boxes are empty and the members have to fight and beg to get seats. They aren't just there for them to say I need 2 or 4 seats for Saturday.

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