Loose Lips

Wine Bar Owner Leads in At-Large Race Cash

Logan Circle wine bar owner Khalid Pitts may not be a big fan of voting in the District, but he knows how to stockpile some campaign cash. Pitts has more money than any of his rivals in the sizable field of at-large D.C. Council candidates, according to the June-August campaign finance disclosures released this week.

Courtney R. Snowden (Independent)

Raised: $87,123.00. Spent: $6,000. Cash on hand: $81,123.00.

After ditching her D.C. Democratic State Committee post to drop her Democratic affiliation and run for the D.C. Council seat set aside for minority parties, Snowden is raking in contributions. Department of Youth Rehabiliation Services boss Neil Stanley contributed $100, and Snowden loaned her campaign $11,000.

Eric Jones (Independent) 

Raised: $44,753.30. Spent: $18,385.81. Cash on hand: $32,264.51.

Jones works at a building industry trade group, and he hasn't forgotten that while he runs for Council. $38,100 of Jones' $44,753.30 in contributions came from people employed by real estate or contructions firms, or from the companies themselves.

Jones also received money from former D.C. Chamber of Commerce boss Barbara Lang ($150) and Wilson Building megalawyer A. Scott Bolden ($500). Both of those donations won't cover Jones' sizable tuba budget, though. Jones, who was accompanied by a variety of instruments in the July 4 Palisades, paid $950 this period to a brass band.

Khalid Pitts (Independent)
Raised: $32,016.00. Spent: $17,335.90. Cash on hand: $98,052.10.

Logan Circle wine bar owner Pitts' fundraising has cooled off since June, but look at those cash reserves. The wine bar business must be treating Pitts well—he put $15,000 into his campaign.

Elissa Silverman (Independent)

Raised: $29,721.01. Spent: $30,232.77. Cash on hand: $20,221.29.

Silverman's not taking corporate contributions, something to consider when looking at her fourth-place fundraising. To make sure that you do consider it, Silverman has written a blog post explaining how her contributions make her the Billy "Moneyball" Beane of the at-large race.

Robert White (Independent)

Raised: $20,450.00. Spent: $7,021.45. Cash on hand: $46,366.55.

After landing an endorsement from Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie in July, White received some more high-profile help in his campaign reports with a $1,000 contribution from Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)'s PAC. White's also a hit with some Wilson Building regulars, receiving $1,000 from lawyer David Wilmot's law firm and a combined $2,000 from major city contractor Fort Myer Construction and one of its executives.

Brian Hart (Independent)

Raised: $18,854.42. Spent: $25,524.74. Cash on hand: $10,284.34.

The Ward 1 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner put another $9,000 in loans into his campaign, bringing the total he's lent his effort to $29,000.

Kishan Putta (Independent) 
Raised: $17,741.34. Spent: $9,180.67. Cash on hand: $16,509.11.

Graylan Hagler (Independent)
Raised: $7,336.00. Spent: $22,940.64. Cash on hand: $9,572.36.

Fiery leftwing pastor Graylan Hagler failed in his quest last year to raise wages at District Walmarts, but he gets an all right win here with his fundraising totals, albeit with a worrisomely high cash burn. UNITE Here Local 23, a union for food and parking workers, kicked in $1,000.

Eugene Puryear (Statehood Green)

Raised: $5,736.48. Spent: $2,492.48. Cash on hand: $3,244.00.

Michael D. Brown (Independent)

Raised: $5,491.83. Spent: $1,368.38. Cash on hand: $4,123.00.

Shadow senator Brown, who endures countless indignities as one of the District's unpaid statehood lobbyists, suffers one more in this lackluster campaign report. Brown's fundraising comes entirely from a $5,000 loan he made his campaign, along with in-kinds contributions from his family.

Marc Morgan (Republican) 

Raised: $5,450.00. Spent: $726.06. Cash on hand: $15,951.35.

Anita Bonds (Democrat) 
Raised: $3,230.00. Spent: $6,503.71. Cash on hand: $28,167.33. 

Democratic nominee Bonds is all but guaranteed to win one of the two at-large seats, and her sleepy fundraising this period reflects it.

Bonds is so unconcerned, apparently, that she's paying one of her ostensible rivals to help her campaign. Her report includes a $2,897 payment to Brown, the shadow senator and at-large candidate who also runs a printing business. Also on Bonds' expenses: a $1,590 payment to original LL Ken Cummins, who now works as a private eye.

Photo courtesy Khalid Pitts

  • Miriam

    Thanks for the run down. Before saying Bonds is a total shoo-in, might be helpful for registered Dems to know that they break party ranks and vote for two Independents..

    Also, how about some coverage on other ward races and campaign contributions? Nadeau is the de facto new Ward 1 Councilmember, but she's still raking in cash, including from Donatelli. As a Ward 1 resident, I'd say that's worth noting as she's campaigning on strong ethics.

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  • Ward 7 Sister

    OK Will, why do you seem to have a slant to your reporting or lack there of? It appears that you only love liberal folks or at least you make it seem that way. First you give tons of ink to Silverman who hasn't done anything and doesn't provide any real answers to any issues facing our city. Her best response is a bunch of stuff on her website about education which falls under the direction of the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Office of the State Super and the Chancellor not the Mayor.

    Further, she speaks of job creation and workforce development and her entire plan is to look at the Workforce Development Strategy. Again something that comes from the Mayor. Dude get real and just admit that either (a) you have a crush on her or (b) your handlers are telling to you kiss her as because you all have already decided to endorse her.

    I mean first off you do nothing but take shots at Mr. Jones. First in your introduction to his campaign, in your coverage of the parades and then again in this article. You seem to have a bug up your ass for him. What did he steel your girlfriend back in the day or something? You called him the moderate in the race and since then you go at him.

    On top of that poor Mr. Morgan can't get more than a sentence from you? I mean damn first you used moderate in a way that seemed to cast a negative light on Mr. Jones and then you just ignore the Republican who is a known commodity and a current ANC.

    How about you do some real research and report that Pitts counted $10k or more that came in on July 11th which means it wasn't supposed to count? Or you report that Pitts and Snowden's reports didn't go up for nearly a day and a half after the deadline. Or how about you report that your girlfriend's little spreadsheet had errors on it and was a lame attempt at trying to garner some press because she is nothing more than empty signs that she post up throughout the city.

    I mean look closely, she talks about how business is bad but she is paying David Goldblatt for legal services who is the super lobbyist for the Chamber, Board of Trade and Developers. He actually defeated the legislation that she fought for that she mentions on her website. Isn't that backwards or at least a conflict of interest or is it a good old Jewish thing that we don't know about?

  • Shocked…not

    Amen. Ward 7 sister. Some of us are moderates and independents and I would like to hear more about those candidates representing that school of thought. I thought being liberal meant inclusivity, not taking pot shots because someone views differ from yours. Is this a democracy that promote and encourage freedom of thought? I have been very disappointed thus far in the politics here. Instead of encouraging civic participation, you literally eat your young. It is a wonder why our leadership is so disappointing. You scare truly genuine people off from wanting to make a real difference and truly participate in their community. Maybe we should learn to practice civility more and respectfully disagree with those we don't agree with. Those with opposing thoughts are needed to encourage creativity and innovation, so you can be at your best.

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