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Things get heated between Fenty and Gray supporters

Washington Post Editors

With the Sept. 14 Democratic primary three weeks away, things are getting a bit heated on the streets as supporters for Vincent C. Gray and incumbent Adrian M. Fenty (D) clash outside forums, debates and straw polls.

The rough-and-tumble politics were on display over the weekend when, Gray said, Peaceoholics co-founder Ronald Moten chased him and some of his volunteers as they tried to canvass in the Woodland Terrace neighborhood of Southeast -- which Moten denies.

Moten's sometimes-aggressive tactics, however, have been well documented by D.C. Wire and other media outlets. But Monday night, at the Ward 5 Democratic Committee straw poll, one of Moten's friends said Gray supporters were the aggressors in what he described as a heated dispute outside Michigan Park Christian Church.

Anwaar Smith EL, 31, called D.C. Wire last night to report he was physically threatened by Gray's son, Carlos, while trying to distribute a magazine Moten created that attack's Gray's record and defends Fenty.

Smith El alleges that Carlos Gray, 33, approached him outside the church and began shouting "vulgar" slurs and insults at him.

"My response to that, was 'homes, I am from the streets, you really don't want to approach me like that,'" Smith said.

A few minutes later, according to Smith El, Carlos Gray returned with five other men and surrounded him.

"I told them, I am doing a favor for a friend (Moten), and I am putting out here the truth," Smith El said. "But these guys were surrounding me like they are going to do something. I pushed one guy out of the way, so I could walk on."

A heated confrontation ensued, Smith El said, but a passerby broke things up. Carlos Gray then demanded that Smith El, who says he "felt threatened," leave the event.

Carlos Gray was unavailable to comment today. But Traci Hughes, a Gray spokeswoman, tells a different story.

"This guy was cursing and yelling at Carlos," Hughes said. "Carlos walked away."

Moten, a Fenty strategist, has been complaining in recent weeks that Carlos Gray is responsible for several recent heated exchanges between Fenty and Gray supporters. On Monday, the Fenty campaign released a video in which Carlos Gray is seen getting out of a car, retrieving a Gray sign from his trunk, and then waving it repeatedly near the faces of some Fenty canvassers.

The back-and-forth between the two campaigns underscores the increasing passion on both sides as Election Day draws closer.

In an interview, Moten said he feared the disputes could grow violent.

"Carlos may think his heart is full of blood and not Kool-Aid but he is jumping out there with people who will beat" him, Moten said. "Under normal circumstances, when you violate people the way he has, they respond, but people have been disciplined and haven't responded. Normally, I would respond, but I haven't done anything to him."

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  August 24, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election  
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Nope. Ron Moten is lying. I have witnessed the madness of the Green Team personally. They are aggressive and disrespectful even as they stand at your door. Ron is a con man dope dealer who is attempting to deflect his own violent incitement of Fenty's paid campaign crews onto Gray's people. The source of all of this potentially violent behavior is the thug with a megaphone.

Moten is right, someone is going to get seriously hurt; perhaps even killed, but it will be as a result of his reckless incitement of these young people.

The saddest part of all of this display is that Moten has been endorsed, by Fenty, as the mouthpiece of his campaign. Yet, Fenty does absolutely nothing to reign in the threatening behavior of the green team.

I had to literally slam the door in the face of one of his young canvassers as they attempted to use their hands to keep my door open after I told them my mind was made up and that my decision was not up for discussion. It is really that bad.

My suggestion to the young people, take his money, but do the right thing on September 14. It is a job and not worth them risking their personal safety at the order of one Ron Moten or Sinclair Skinner. It is not worth ending up in the hospital or in the prison that Moten once called home.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 24, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

People are just ready to vote. Sept. 14th can't come soon enough to vote against Fenty

Posted by: samvped205 | August 24, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

You print this bull from Moten but barely cover the well documented actions of his band of thugs.

Gee, Post, this paper has really gone to the thugs.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 24, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

And i have witnesses that i was spit on by one of the Gray workers outside the Ward 2 straw poll.....

Posted by: pdv1 | August 24, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Craig,
I am summarily disappointed in the way that you have reported on this one-sided event and then posted it as if it were fact and/or you have asked this young man if the statement made were true.
First, let me say, I was present at last night’s event and here is what truly happened. There was a gentleman, and I use the term loosely, passing out the Ronald Moten magazine and when I approached him to state that his candidate was absent and that him passing out a magazine that was wrought with inaccuracies of fact, misspelled words, grammatical syntax errors he became upset. His words to me were that he would “knock my b!tch-ass out” (please excuse the vulgar words but that is what he said). Now mind you, I am a female, mother of two. I told him point blank, “what a way for a Peaceoholic to act,” my reply was then what a way for a man to act.
Some of the gentlemen from the Vince Gray for Mayor camp saw the exchange, came to my aide and asked that he proceed down the street and cease his vulgar rants. Apparently, at some point after his encounter with me, he encountered Mr. Gray’s son, who merely rejected his attempts to give him a copy of a magazine that maligns/attacks his father, this same gentleman then stated to Carlos Gray that he would again; “knock his b!tch ass out” (again, please excuse the vulgar language).
The fact that Mr. Moten is appearing to threaten this young man now, in print, is very telling about this so-called peace organization. Mr. Moten may not be the one perpetrating these violent outbursts by his followers, but he is fueling the fires by his actions and statements. A man of peace would not state, "Carlos may think his heart is full of blood and not Kool-Aid but he is jumping out there with people who will beat" him, Moten said.
Mr. Moten is letting his true thug-like behavior and those of his followers out into the daylight for all to see.
The Washington Post should be further ashamed that they are adding fuel to a very dangerous fire; this paper seems to be pumping up low-level thugs to act of violence.
This is a campaign not a boxing match and to have them act as if the Peaceoholics are Mike Tyson is only escalating a very dangerous situation.
Please return to reporting on the facts of this Mayor’s race and not this garbage in/garbage out. This story is truly a story of fiction.

Posted by: lacairaine | August 24, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Why can't Fenty be the victim for a change. C'mon, bring us some good news.

Posted by: starclimber9 | August 24, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse


You are a serious liar. If someone had spit on you, your Ward 2 behind would have been all over the press with your story.

Your lies, the lies of the Fenty thugs and the Post will not work.

These are the lies of very worried folks--there man is LOSING.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 24, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Tim Craig would post such a FALSE and one-sided piece of garbage! I was at the Ward 5 straw poll when Moten's friend walked up to a female Gray supporter and aggressively tried to force her to take a copy of the Thugoholics... oops I mean Peaceoholics "magazine". However, after she explained that she didn't want to read unfactual, lie-riddled propaganda, he started spewing off explicatives in her direction and was shouting angrily in her face. A few of her friends came to get her away from him in an effort to protect her, but at no point were Gray supporters the aggressors... and Carlos Gray was not even involved!!! How are you going to post something that attempts to assail and denigrate the character of an individual when you have no factual evidence that the incident has any truth?? I know now that when reading your articles and blog posts, I should always take it with a HUGE grain of salt! This post is such a joke and completely ludicrous. It was simply a desperate attempt from Moten and his team to try to deflect their negative actions and behavior from the pact events onto the other side. They clearly sent someone over to the straw poll to disrupt the peace and instigate a situation and now they are spinning it! PATHETIC!!!

Posted by: sdc8407 | August 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I am an early Gray supporter and have had a Gray sign in my yard for months. I have had a least 4 visits from the Fenty Campaign. I told Ms. Browser that my home (with its 4 votes) was a lost cause. I told two people who came later(and I had to literally shut the door in the last ones face) that I was voting for Gray. After that, one Fenty campaigner came up to my house and my adult son answered the door. My son said to the Fenty campaigner, didn't you see the Gray sign? And the guy said, "I thought that was just decoration". This is a flip, unprofessional and disrespectful response. If you want to try once or twice, that is fine. But after a while you need to cross us off the list. We are not changing our minds!

Posted by: tacard1 | August 24, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I would caution all Gray supporters to pay attention to the words Ron Moten is saying.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he is telling the truth (at least you get fair warning). This is his mindset and the mindset of all of his followers (thugs). Do not try to aggitate them. Campaign for your candidate but do not get into debating, arguing, shouting matches with them.

You already KNOW they are making up stories to spread. Carlos, you KNOW they are trying to get you to do something stupid so they can video it. We all KNOW that sooner or later, Ron Moten will end up back behind bars for one thing or another. Don't let it be because he did something to you. I want us all to make it to January 2011 so we can celebrate together. Let's stay focused and keep our eyes on the prize.

Usually, I am an advocate of telling people to express themselves with WORDS, not fighting, sucking their teeth or acting bratty. In this case, I say express yourself with your ballot. I would also caution Carlos and Mr. Gray to consider getting a stay away order against Moten but that may be hard to do in this climate. However, there is nothing wrong with walking away from a gun fight (you live to see another day) and that's most likely what it will end up being if it is involving Moten and his crew/set/gang. Just look at his track record with youth who have been in his care. How many of them have killed or been killed as a result of his "intervention". I guess Grand theft auto and call of duty weren't exactly the right types of video games to purchase with that government money huh Ron?

Posted by: tformation1 | August 24, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh heavenly father I pray for the day September 14th to get here to vote King Fenty out of his kingdom (Wilson Building). Hopefully the ghetto trash that has leeched onto King Fenty will disappear under a rock or drown in an ocean or the Potomac river.

Posted by: Ward4DC | August 24, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, can the Washington Post cover the attempt by the Fenty Administration to change the electioneering rules for the 14th?

This is a serious matter than seems to be completely ignored at the moment.

Just last week, the Fenty Administration vetoed a bill that would have brought DC Law into parity with Federal law in terms of the "Pay to Play" voting rules.

The Fenty Administration claimed that it wasn't appropriate to change the rules in the middle of an election cycle.

Then this week, the Fenty Administration threatens to change Democratic primary rules by potentially allowing non-registered democrats to partake in the September 14th primary.

This is a serious matter that requires serious coverage by this newspaper.

Posted by: LukasWP | August 24, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

What needs to be investigated is why has moton been able to violate campaingn finance laws. It aint no secret that the high gloss, may I add expensive rag mag and the website are to support fenty. Why is this important? Well b/c anyone who campaigns for someone running for office has to file a campaingn finance report. Why is this important? Because we will see who is funding this bull? Why is this inportant? Because Monton isn't a paid volunteer. So how is funding the go-go cds, high gloss rag mag and website? Are we to believe that he save some cash from his $97k contract? Why hasn't this been looked into? I think it's because nobody wants to file a complaint because you have to give your real name.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 24, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Yvette Alexander, Councilmember from Ward 7, sent out a press release yesterday calling for Deborah Nickols, DC Auditor, to do a full investigation into the financials of Ron Moten, the Peaceoholics and the Fenty campaining. Finally!! Where has the 10 MILLION gone? Hard to believe the whole city is not outraged by this. You cannot be a non profit and campaign for political and financial gain.

Posted by: | August 25, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

False account reported here...I was present at the Ward 5 straw poll and the guy passing out the Moten magazine was very aggressive to all who passed him...I simply chose to ignore his ignorant rants.

Posted by: winston61 | August 25, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

I know nothing about the event discussed here. I just know I was rudely approached while walking down a residential street where the green team had assembled, ready to knock on doors.

One young man approached me and asked if I were a registered democrat. I said "yes, but I'm not voting for your man" and walked on. Then he literally got in my face and started yelling at me about all the great things Fenty had done. He looked mean and threatening, as did his team mates looking on. I yelled and looked mean and threatening back. He looked surprised and backed off. I guess they mistook me for an easy mark.

Or maybe that's how they approach everyone.

Posted by: efavorite | August 25, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I was there and witnessed all of this...

This is a bold face lie. What happened was this guy from Peaceaholics walks down the street passing out the magazine that has Gray drawn as a vampire and a ton of grammar probs (that's beside the point). He was taunting Gray supporters and was using some colorful language. A few Gray supporters did approach him, but Carlos Gray was not one of them. The man kept getting in the face of one male supporter and then plowed through a group including women and men. He then taunted them and continued to pass out the peaceaholics magazine.

This could have gotten more heated, but it did not b/c wiser minds prevailed and, althought clearly frustrated, the Gray supporters walked away. This lasted maybe 5 minutes.

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | August 25, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

The WP has assigned reporter tim craig to write hatchet type articles regarding Chairman Gray for the past two months. All of his articles show a slight or outright
falsehood regarding his mayoral campaign.
For yor information, I attended the ward 5 straw poll and heard this fatman spew venom at Gray supporters and he nearly knocked down a woman with his 200 plus pounds in a 5ft 6in body frame. So, do a better job tim of getting the truth next time, hatchet man.

Posted by: bill121 | August 25, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Tim Craig, I believe folks have discovered your horns and tail. Your professional credibility is sinking as the days go by. Word to the wise, balance yourself or be forever cast into the lake of Jonetta Rose Barras.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 25, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

How soon we forget. Just last Friday, Tim Craig wrote such a Gray-friendly article,
that RoscoeDC commented, "The editorial board must be on vacation."

And I responded: “I suspect that many Post subscribers are also on vacation right now, as the circulation desk would know. Thus fewer DC voters are reading the Post. That's why such an article is on the front page. Wait until September for the mud to fly - at Gray that is - and to see a love fest for Fenty on the Front page. I hate to be so cynical and hope the Washington Post will prove me wrong.”

I still hope to be proven wrong.

Posted by: efavorite | August 25, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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