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Heated mayoral politics in Ward 8

Tim Craig

For those who can't get enough of the almost-daily drama surrounding Peaceoholics co-founder Ronald Moten and his support for incumbent Adrian M. Fenty in the mayor's race, enter Moten's father, Ronald Starks El.

At Saturday's Ward 8 Democratic Committee endorsement vote, Starks El was roaming around the room snapping pictures with his camera. Several supporters for Fenty's chief rival, D.C. Council member Vincent C. Gray (D), protested, accusing Starks El of taking unauthorized photos of them.

The controversy stems from concerns among some Gray supporters that Ronald Moten, a strategist for Fenty, is documenting who shows up at events to support Gray

When asked why he was taking so many pictures, Starks El told the Washington Post he was taking "pictures of the event."

"It's a public event and I'm just exercising my rights as a citizen," he said. "I'm taking pictures of the event, not people."

Starks El, a Fenty supporter, also showed up with his camera at a go-go concert sponsored by the Gray campaign 10 days ago in Oxon Run Park in Southeast. At that event, according to Starks El, several Gray supporters spat beer in his face when he refused to stop taking pictures.

Ronald Moten said his father has been a photographer for years.

"It ain't against the law to take pictures is it?" Ronald Moten said. "I got people following me all the time taking pictures. Why don't they talk about (Gray's) agenda, not all of this little small stuff."

In another controversy, Gray said Ronald Moten chased him and his supporters Friday afternoon as they were trying to canvass near Woodland Terrace in Southeast, which led to a heated confrontation, according to Gray.

Moten denies chasing Gray.

"He came to Woodland for the first time in six years and I told him and (D.C. Council member Marion Barry) don't come around here acting like you are helping people when you haven't been,'"Moten said. "Don't come here 25 days before an election."

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  August 23, 2010; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Marion Barry , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray , vincent gray  
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"Ronald Moten, a strategist for Fenty"'t name Ron Moten what's your answer to $97k of a 100k grant spent on salaries?

The Fenty administration says it provided performance measures to the police department for a $100,000 grant to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty ally Ron Moten's Peaceoholics, but the measures were not included in the grant's contract, according to documents received by the police union through a Freedom of Information Act request and obtained by The Washington Examiner.

Peaceoholics, a nonprofit group that works with at-risk youth, spent $97,500 of the $100,000 grant on salaries, the documents show. A large portion of the remaining cash was used to buy Wii and Xbox video game systems, games for each and DVDs.

Over the past several months, Moten has become one of the loudest voices for Fenty's re-election campaign. Moten has said he stepped down as the head of Peaceoholics last fall so he could campaign for the mayor.

Attempts to reach Moten were not successful.

Peaceoholics, documents show, won the grant in May 2008 as the fiduciary agent for a program run out of Brookland Manor in Northeast called Reaching Out to Provide Enlightenment. The program was set up to keep kids in the troubled neighborhood off the streets during summer of 2008.

An e-mail included in the 120 pages of documents the police union received shows that a program manager from Fenty's office provided performance measures to the police department for the Peaceoholics' grant.

Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said in a statement to The Examiner that the administration relies on its staff "to advise government agencies about proposed budgets. This includes proposing performance measures and reporting requirements to promote accountability."

But the contract the police department signed with Peaceoholics upon releasing the grant doesn't include any of the performance measures. The department did not respond to a request for comment.

Peaceoholics was also required to submit monthly reports "regarding the status of the fund expended and reports on progress made toward each objective," the contract said. Those objectives, however, are not listed in the contract.

While the documents the police union received through the FOIA request do show monthly reports describing the work ROPE performed, they do not include details that specify how the funds were spent as the contract required. Instead, there are lists of items of purchased, such as the video games, and illegible invoices from "contract" employees.

"There's no receipts, no information on how most of this money was actually spent," said police union chief Kris Baumann. "There's no evidence that anyone, anywhere, did anything."

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone in their right mind vote for Fenty? Ron Moten would be enough for me not to vote for him. As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for, you might just get it. You get what you ask for.

If you are planning on voting for Fenty, after reading so many posts on this site, ask yourself why.

Posted by: samvped205 | August 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Fool me once, Shame on you!!!

Fool me twice, Shame ON _________!!!!

Posted by: gordonbundy | August 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Freeman of the Washington Examiner is on the MONEY! He's exposing Fenty's and Moten’s web of deception!

Where is the accountability? Moten gets a 100K grant and spends 97,500 on salaries.

This gift from Fenty equates to a taxpayers sponsored 550 Series Mercedes for Moten, which he proudly rides around in when so-called "beef squashing."

Posted by: GoldCoast | August 23, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Goldcoast, your correct! I beleive another poster (either here or on in the citypaper) cited that his father was on the payroll as well as other family members.

Seems like papa realizing the days of eating good and ride high are about to end.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 23, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I guess Moten does not have to sell drugs anymore to have a drug dealers life style. He just have to keep getting grants from Fenty that he does not have to account for.
This along is enough for me not to vote for Fenty. I will not support an ex-felon, thug with my taxes.

Posted by: diahhna | August 23, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Blank stare...Fenty is actually allowing this guy to be affiliated with him? In an election year no less?

If someone asks that their picture not be taken, that should be respected. Makes me wish I still lived in DC so I could vote against him.

Posted by: Redial1 | August 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

this should say it all:

A vote for Marion Barry = Vince Gray.

and if that wasn't an era of nepotism, cronyism, and selling drugs...
then i guess all the newspapers, and tv reports were wrong.

And now, please don't tell me that Barry isn't an ex-felon

Posted by: pdv1 | August 23, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

What was daddy Moten doing when Ronnie junior was running around, in the most violent of times, peddling dope to the residents in the communities he now claims to "represent"?

Did daddy do some prison time too?

Since he put himself in the political fray, let the inquiry minds know. Who really does Adrian Fenty have out there representing him?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 23, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

For years, I have been familar with and have closely watched the work of all of the candidates. Unlike past election seasons, I have yet to attend a forum, due to schedule constraints. However, I can honestly say that I have been discouraged about attending any of these public events, as camps for both of the forerunners have turned me off with their behavior. I have been spammed with e-mails about everything that I can read in the paper, and as much as I'd like to actually attend a public debate, I am not going to deal with the hooliganism.

Posted by: logosdesigns | August 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

hello,lildiva4u. i agree with u alot.but on this issue i have 2 put some things in place. the city didnt get rob on this no bid contract. Ron was the fiduiary agent and he did take every penny that he could on this grant. but the majority of these funds minus Rons fee went 2 the workers on the ground in that community. at the time when this money was awarded,this community was going thru a very bad time with shooting and murders. Rope the gruop who recieve these funds put in some very good work. killings was happening once a week. Rope went right 2 work,can anyone of u tell us when the last time u heard any killing in that community.i understand how it looks concerning the salaries. but that is what was needed at that time,and that was a lot of hand holding. and hand holding means people. i am not taking up 4 Ron and anythung he do. yes between him and his partner,they have 11 people who are family on there payroll. like i siad , the city did not get rob on this grant. have a goog day..

Posted by: alleyes | August 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Ok Alleyes's

Here's how the whole contracting thing works. You receive a contract from the gov't. The gov't has a scope of work and benchmarks or "goals" that have to be reached.

You also have to show "HOW THE MONEY WAS SPENT". You can do this by submitting invoices or receipts.

Ok that's the basic stuff

So Ron spent $3k on salaries? Come on...really? So folks (meaning more than one person) received 3K and the beef was over.

Ok if folks were paid there should be some type of paper trail (i.e.canceled checks, copy of a payroll report, or in this case was there a contract agreement drawn up between the peacaholics, ROPE and the contract employees that stipulated what they were being contracted to do, when, how long and what the results should have been).

As a D.C. Citizen who pays taxes, I want to know how the money was spent. It's that plain and simple. Any other organization that funds a non-profit would at the very least request this level of information.

The sad thing is you would think that they would be smart to track this type of information b/c it adds creditability of ROPE/peacaholics, which in-turn would allow them to go after larger grants beyond D.C. gov't.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Moten chased Gray once before so it should be no surprise that he would chase him again. He is A THUG to the lowest level.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 23, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

lildiva. u are right,the paperwork should have been done just like all other grants and should have been monitored. in this case the mayor was under real pressure 2 stop the mayham that was happening at that time. i know Rope was the right group 2 receive that funding,2 help bring the mayham in that community 2 and end. we can argue about the paperwork now all we want. as the agent 4 this group it was Ron responsibilty 2 make sure the paperwork was done. i was only giving u a inside look at what happening 2 the city dollars. i am a tax paying DC resident,and i am very happy how my dollers was spent. all i wanted 4 all this killing 2 stop,and it did,so 2 me it was dollars well spent. and i only speek 4 me. have a good day.

Posted by: alleyes | August 23, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

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