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Moten urges Fenty to veto vote-buying bill

Washington Post Editors

A key ally of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) is calling on the mayor to veto a D.C. Council bill approved Tuesday that would make it a local crime to pay someone to vote.

Ronald Moten, co-founder of Peaceoholics and an informal adviser to Fenty's reelection campaign, said he worries that the legislation will outlaw the go-go concerts he has been organizing to rally support for the mayor.

The council overwhelmingly approved the "Corrupt Elections Practices Act" as emergency legislation, meaning it will immediately become law if signed by the mayor.

The bill, sponsored by council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), enshrines in the local code the federal prohibitions against paying someone to vote or register to vote, or accepting payment to vote or register to vote. It also makes it a local crime to use a false name to register to vote. Violators could be fined as much as $10,000 and face five years in prison.

"Now the District is going to have a parallel law to the federal law," Cheh said. "We do this in a lot of areas because it provides a backstop."

But Moten reached out to the D.C. Wire today to say he wants Fenty to veto the legislation. Moten worries that the council, led by Fenty rival Vincent C. Gray (D), is trying to quash the mayor's go-go concerts, which are designed to get low-income African American residents registered to vote.

At the concerts, the Fenty campaign encourages participants to register to vote in exchange for entrance, free food and T-shirts featuring the mayor pictured with go-go artists.

"They are trying to keep people who want in the process out of the process," said Moten, who has been organizing the concerts. "They are trying to use their power to try to influence this race. ... Are they scared?"

In an interview, Cheh said Moten clearly does not understand federal election law if he thinks her bill will outlaw get-out-the-vote concerts. She noted that President Obama used concerts extensively to rally support during the 2008 presidential campaign.

"If he is not capable of understanding, then that is really unfortunate," Cheh said. "If he is trying to create issues where none exists, that is troublemaking and that is also unfortunate, but that seems to be his stock and trade."

Moten counters that local prosecutors might construe a concert ticket as being "something of value" that could put participants at risk of being fined or jailed.

"Why are you challenging a process in which people are doing something to practice citizenship," asked Moten, who made national news this week when he compared the mayor to Jesus at a Fenty go-go concert Sunday.

Cheh said the legislation is designed to guard against fraud as the city implements her proposal to allow for same-day voter registration and 10 days of early voting in this year's elections. Although Cheh said she is confident that the process will go smoothly, she said some community leaders expressed concern after allegations that Moten paid several teenagers and young adults to vote for Fenty in a Ward 8 mayoral straw poll in May.

Moten strongly denies the allegation.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  July 14, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray  
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Comments

Ron Moton is an illiterate. If he is able to read this blog, follow along with me:

If a practice violates federal law, a local statute cannot be enforced to make it legal. AND, if a local law allows for that which federal law prohibits, the local law is trumped by federal law.

It would take a criminal to think that it is OK to pay people to vote in an election. It takes a court jester (a clown, for the illiterate Mr. Moton) to suggest that a concert ticket can be construed to be currency for the purpose of a law prohibiting paying for votes.

That would be just like saying by having a block party to get people out to vote would be a violation because that chicken wing could be construed as "payment".

I love this guy.

I hope Fenty vetoes the bill so that we can see his entire deck of cards.

The bill passed with a Council majority. Would that not include Fenty's hand picked Ward 4 Councilwoman Bowser?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 14, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Sure, it wouldn't effect the go-go concerts. Laws often have unforeseen consequesces.

Also, Ms Cheh, what is with attacking private citizens for being involved?

I don't think it is too far fecthed to wonder why you are attempting to pass an emergency election law in the middle of an election.

What is the emergency?

Posted by: politicalrealist | July 14, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

concernedaboutdc, I agree with your comment 500%. Ron Moten will be the downfall of King Fenty. Ron Moten has gotten national attention by comparing King Fenty to Jesus. I don't think King Fenty attends a church. It's my understanding, King Fenty is an Atheist.

Politicalrealist, please shut up and stop defending you friend, relative, or candidate Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. King Fenty will be a one term mayor and his association with ghetto thug ex felon Ron Moten will make this happen.

Posted by: Ward4DC | July 14, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Ron Moten is the gift that keeps on giving...

Posted by: shepDC | July 14, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

But Moten reached out to the D.C. Wire today to say he wants Fenty to veto the legislation. Moten worries that the council, led by Fenty rival Vincent C. Gray (D), is trying to quash the mayor's go-go concerts, which are designed to get low-income African American residents registered to vote.

If Ron can reach out to the DC Wire and the Post print this article, we are in big trouble. Who gives a flying f--k what Ron wants.

But, let us not be too hard on Ron. He is just trying to protect his CASH COW and protect the rights of all DC citizens. LOL

If he can use Fenty's name in the same sentence with Jesus--he just might pay someone to vote.

Posted by: bnew100 | July 14, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It's high time someone took politicalrealist to a cool aid detox center.

Posted by: starclimber9 | July 14, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I think that a coalition of concerned citizens from across the city needs to contact the Justice Department with respect to this election process. We have thugs who are paying youth for their vote and intimidating citizens our of their right to exercise their votes. We also have rumors of developers hauling in people from other jurisdictions and filling up their properties with them in order to sway the vote. We need oversight and as many federal eyes on this election as humanly possible.

This is a travesty to have someone like Mr. Moten as the voice of DC politics and so close to a seated Mayor. Mr. Moten is like a rabid dog who has bitten our Mayor and our Mayor has not taken his tetanus shot and is now infected. Lay down with dogs you are sure to get flees.

Posted by: lacairaine | July 14, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Ohh, Political Realist, must you make it so simple? Follow along:

In June of 2009 Council member Mary Cheh INTRODUCED the legislation that would place no restrictions on early and absentee voting and grant voting rights to 17-year-olds. It was designed to make the District a leader in efforts to try to increase voter participation.

However, because this is the first election that this new system is to be used, and because the legislator who introduced the measure (Cheh) is rightly worried, along with the D.C. Board of Elections, that the new process could lead to vote-buying and fraud, due diligence to thwart that possibility was her OBLIGATION, irrespective of the timing. But particularly BECAUSE of the timing (i.e. an important upcoming election).

The new measure benefits no one candidate over the other. It is designed to keep them ALL honest and protect the integrity of the electoral process. Who can argue with that? The buying of votes in political elections is illegal in every state and in federal elections. That Cheh, and the Council MAJORITY would take measures to protect one of the principal foundations of our democracy, should be applauded.

I could care less about motive.

A veto from the Mayor, would cast a bright light on the activities of his campaign. He should have nothing to loose. He is the incumbent, he is well known, he has the cash in the bank. It is not usually an incumbent that involves themselves in vote buying. As such, it should be irrelevant, to them, if local laws are crafted to underscore the federal restriction.

Unless, of course.....

Just saying.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 14, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"They are trying to keep people who want in the process out of the process," said Moten, who has been organizing the concerts. "They are trying to use their power to try to influence this race. ... Are they scared?"
=========================
Sounds like Moten and Fenty are the ones who are scared since they are basically bribing people with free concerts, food and t-shirts in order to motivate them to register and vote for Fenty.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | July 14, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"If he is not capable of understanding, then that is really unfortunate," Cheh said.

LOL!! That says it all.

Posted by: bktownes@aol.com | July 14, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Ron is like Al Sharpton - someone you wish would just go somewhere, sit down and SHUT UP!

Posted by: missboo | July 15, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Let Ron Moten keep talking. He represents the ultimate reason not to vote for Fenty. If this is what Fenty thinks is a great strategy, he'll lose by a landslide and that is soooooo
Ok with me. LOL!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | July 15, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"They are trying to keep people who want in the process out of the process," said Moten, who has been organizing the concerts. "They are trying to use their power to try to influence this race. ... Are they scared?"

That's about the dumbest thing said.

People who "want in the process", only need to register and go vote. It's that simple and it's a FREE right. If a person doesn't exercise that right, they are personally responsible for denying themselves that process.

Posted by: logosdesigns | July 15, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Why would Adrian associate with someone with such a thug mentality? I wasn't going to vote for Vincent Gray, but I will be casting my vote for him on September 14th, 2010. I have dealth with King Fenty's arrogance and his being disrespectful towards myself and other D.C. voters, but the Ron Moten situation is too much. I've had King Fenty's cell telephone number for a number of years. I deleted Fenty's cell and home telephone numbers today from my cell. I never want to have anything to do with Adrian Fenty while he's in office and once he leaves office.

Native Washingtonian
Ward 4 D.C.

Posted by: Ward4DC | July 15, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

CAN RON MOTEN VOTE?

Posted by: candycane1 | July 17, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Fenty needs Moten to tell him what to veto--how sad. Who's running who here? Razzle-Dazzle Ron looks like a dressed up thug in his PINK Pimp-daddy suit. I guess the mayor can't residt such a smooth talker. You know the old saying, "laying down with dogs" well, Fenty, you got FLEAS! I won't vote for you but will send you a flea collar and a muzzle for Ron.

Posted by: impat1210 | July 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The Council overwhelmingly endorsed something that shouldn't even be around in the Nations Capitol in 2010. The Washington Post and any straw to grasp at, to counter the areas lack of desire for the Mayor, gives Ronald Moten a platform.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | July 18, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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