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Gray seeks FBI probe of vote-buying allegations against Fenty camp

Christopher Dean Hopkins

Vincent C. Gray's campaign is requesting that the FBI investigate allegations that Mayor Adrian Fenty's campaign offered jobs to young adults in exchange for votes.

The Gray campaign is following up to a story aired Wednesday night on ABC7 and posted on its companion Web site TBD on Thursday morning. In the TBD piece, four young D.C. residents said they were offered jobs if they agreed to vote for Fenty.

As 19-year-old Rudolph Williams tells it, he received a pretty sweet offer last Thursday. He and his friends were hanging out in front of apartment building around North Capitol and M streets NW. Up pulled a van from the Fenty campaign.

The driver was a man who was looking to make a deal: He told Williams and others that they could make $100 per day between Sept. 4 and Sept. 14. First, though, they'd have to go downtown and vote for the man whose campaign would soon employ them: Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Williams took the man up on his offer. Soon he was heading toward 441 4th St. NW, one of the District's early polling stations.

...

Monique Folk, 21, corroborates Williams' account, saying she accepted the offer and voted for Fenty as well, though she used an electronic machine. Two others told ABC 7 that they were offered the same deal.

...

Sean Madigan, a spokesperson for the Fenty campaign, challenges the accounts of the individuals interviewed by ABC 7, claiming that there is no record of Williams having cast a vote. "We would never engage in that type of campaign activity," says Madigan, who suggested that "there was a misconception or misunderstanding" between Williams and "whomever [he] spoke to."

It's not the first time such accusations have been made against the Green Team; Post reporters Mike DeBonis and Nikita Stewart reported on another such incident over the weekend.

A Gray campaign poll watcher working at the Turkey Thicket recreation center said she questioned a young Fenty supporter who told her he was paid $100 to vote.

The man's name and his picture were given to election officials, who said they would refer the matter to federal prosecutors if an initial investigation indicated it was warranted. The Fenty campaign had no comment on the allegation.

In response, Fenty downplayed the reports of vote-buying, saying that there were "no specific allegations."

"We do extensive training for all our people to let them know there is no vote-buying," Fenty said. "Until you give me a name, my hands are tied."

Fenty charged Gray with trying to steer the debate away from the issues in the final days of the campaign.

"What I'm challenging him to do for the next five days is to talk about his record," Fenty said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins, Tim Craig and Ann E. Marimow  |  September 9, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election  | Tags: adrian fenty, democracy, vincent gray, vote-buying  
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Next: Campaign finance officials investigate Brown's fundraising reports

Comments

Fenty vetoed the bill that would have aligned local election laws with those of federal elections. Perhaps, because of his intent to use such tactics to get votes. Unfortunately for him, because there is a federal initiative on the ballot, all candidates are subject to federal law.

What needs to happen is a sting operation to catch the campaign red handed so as to hand to the U.S. Attorneys office evidence that is prosecutable.

Fenty is at a brand new low.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 9, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh, what a mighty web we weave . . .

Posted by: The_Whole_Truth | September 9, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post this is not D.C. Wire fodder, this warrants front page home page material!!!!

This is an egregious act by an incumbent campaign and even more egregious journalism that ignores truth.

Posted by: simplewords999 | September 9, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

To piggyback off what simplewords999 said - i'm actually surprised the Post acknowledged this at all...

Posted by: missboo | September 9, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

He's going to need more than 4 votes to keep his lying, stealing @_$_$ in office. If Fenty manages to win somehow, have mercy on this city. That's all I can say.

Posted by: forgetthis | September 9, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Fenty say's "there's no specific allegations". What, on earth, do you think this is. The kid is on tape making "specific allegations". the Fenty campaign knows who was assigned to this area. They were driving Fenty campaign vans. He is playing stupid. Or maybe not 'playing'.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This is absolutely outrageous. How many more incidents do we have to hear about Fenty buying votes before charges are brought against him?

I knew Fenty was desperate but to be so flagarant by promising to pay people and then kicking the teens to the curb is really shocking.

How can anyone defend this? Like paying Moten millions of dollars to service 22 kids a month was not enough!

Posted by: letsbereal2 | September 9, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If you listen to the response of the woman on the other end of the phone at Fenty's campaign headquarters, she never said we don't do this. She implied we had to turn peopel away because there were too many people calling. She didn't sound surprised at all.

I wouldn't be suprised right now if on primary day we don't have the results. Fenty will do anything to win and breaking the law is not new to him.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 9, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Yet another Democrat with ethics issues...how many more can we squeeze in before the November elections? Talk about a party shooting themselves in the foot.

Posted by: mbahde | September 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Funny,

All you easily entertained folks missed the most critical sentence of the entire article.

"there is no record of Williams having cast a vote"

So some kid says he was paid to vote and did, yet the DC Board of elections has no record of his vote being cast.

Golly gee...

Unless Gray can actually serve up some proof, then this is nothing more than politiking at its worst. Carpet bomb the opposition, move on and when they address that falshood, carpetbomb again with another.

Sort of like that McCain campaign worker in Pittsburgh last year who claimed some Obama supporter carved words into her face...only to find out later she did it to herself.

It is easy to make allegations like this which Gray has been doing, especially when you don't have to prove it.

Posted by: Nosh1 | September 9, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it was reported during last night's coverage of the story that upon further research, BOEE did in fact produce a record of Rudolf Williams' vote, complete with the date and time stamp.

Posted by: logosdesigns | September 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it was reported during last night's coverage of the story that upon further research, BOEE did in fact produce a record of Rudolf Williams' vote, complete with the date and time stamp.

Posted by: logosdesigns | September 9, 2010 1:31 PM
-----------------------------------------
Additionally, that information was provided came at the end of last night's footage,and has been edited out of the video above.

Posted by: logosdesigns | September 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hello,i was at 441 when that person was there. they were bought there by Ron Moeten,and his crew. i had 2 intervine in 2 disputes with the people who were getting out of the vans with the FENTY sign on them. right now them same vans who are being rented by the FENTY people are being move around the city by moten and his crew. just wanted 2 add my 2 cents in this. have a nice day...

Posted by: alleyes | September 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Not only did the BOEE confirm that the young man voted, they confirmed the date and time that he voted.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually I read in today's paper that the Office on Elections did in fact find Mr. William's vote.

Posted by: samvped205 | September 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

also i want 2 say was when the people that MOTEN pick up off the street in the vans,he drop them right at the entrance of the election door,FENTY was right there shaking hands when they got off. i was there,one older lady said on the van waiting 2 go after she voted she was overheard saying that she really voted 4 MR GRAY,they curse her out and kick her off they van.i was standing in the streets right were the vans drop u off and pick u back up after u voted.they had the vans numberd,they would call u when your van was back 2 drop u off.thats why he had a lot of FENTY T shirts wearing people all day.

Posted by: alleyes | September 9, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

WaPo seriously? There is proof that the guy voted, there is also proof that he corresponded with the Fenty Campaign that day. Why isn't this article more prominent? This is an extremely serious issue that the public needs to know about.

Posted by: Redial1 | September 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

If a formal investigation confirms these allegations, Almighty and powerful Fenty's undoing could come as result of a disclosure from someone considered "least likely", in the same way the security guard pulled the thread that unraveled the break-in at Watergate.

Posted by: logosdesigns | September 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

no specific allegations? Even in my little mind, I saw charge and conviction of the Fenty campaign.

People dismiss this as little campaign shenanigans. no this is the root of political and electoral corruption. People this is about standards. You set low standards you get low results. We've let him and his folks off with too much already. they had no fear in doing this.

Why did folks fear Moten's tactics of go-go's and whatnot in the 1st place? Even I feared he was targeting eligible voters to entice and coerce them to vote for something they had no self directed knowledge or wisdom. anyway you slice it, this is bad government.

Posted by: oknow1 | September 9, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This should be the nail in Fenty's political coffin. There's video and audio tape of a woman (Stodamyer) from Fenty's office acknowledging--and seemingly sympathizing with the young man--that she had received so many calls for the jobs that the offer, in essence, was now off the table. That should be enough to indict "his royal lowness." The feds will hopefully begin a swift investigation and prosecute this fool. Case closed. Done deal. Congrats, Mr. Gray.

p.s. Good luck in the unemployment line, Ms. Stodamyer.

Posted by: shame_the_devil | September 9, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The kid voted, BOEE confirmed it, he was picked up from his residential building by a Fenty van, taken to BOEE HQ to vote, instructed on how to register, voted, and taken Fenty van back to his residential building with a telephone number, in hand, on where to call to claim his new job.

Folks, there is a strategy to campaigning, there is a logistic manifest of who is assigned to what part of the city and at what time to carry out the function of transporting people to the polls.

These are Fenty campaign people. They are breaking the law.

All I ask is that the FBI make good use of their informants, position them at/near public housing buildings and record everything that these folks are doing. A cell phone recording with pictures would be perfect. Heck, if you are a stand up citizen and you see this happening, empower yourself, document it and turn it over to the FBI, NOT BOEE.

There is a federal initiative on the ballot, therefore, despite the Fenty veto on the council measure that would have made this behavior illegal locally, federal law applies. These folks are breaking federal laws. They represent the campaign and the campaign should be held accountable. They think this is some sort of game. Particularly Ron Moten. He is as criminal today as he was when peddling dope in his community.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 9, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Amazing (or maybe not) that the WaPo edited this story from when it was originally posted this morning, deleting other important, unflattering info about Fenty. For instance, it was reported that the young man showed text messages to and from his mom to the Sam Ford (reporter). He reportedly texted his mom that he voted for fenty in exchange for a $100 a day job, to which his mother replied, "sale out."

Posted by: shame_the_devil | September 9, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

If Gray and Kwama Brown win (and it looks like they will) the first thing they need to do is bring a new bill before the Council making it illegal to buy votes and they should make sure this time is passes.

At least Barry was entertaining in all his illegalities. Fenty is downright scary in his tactics and sickening.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | September 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@urbandweller: I think the council should have been called back, out of recess, to override the veto. This election has far too many "new" voting processes in play to have allowed this to to be overridden by a pocket veto. I hope they don't live to regret it. That Fenty would even veto a measure designed to protect the electoral integrity of voting in the District is despicable.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 9, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't the Washington Post reporting the whole story? There are several people stating that they were promised money in exchange for a vote for Fenty. Is the Post worried because you endorsed Fenty? Responsible journalist report the all of the facts.

Posted by: saj1219 | September 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Vote buying is already a federal crime. The law that Fenty vetoed was modeled after the federal law. If the D.C. law had gone into effect, it would just have allowed D.C. to enforce the law, rather than us having to rely on the feds.

Posted by: tacard1 | September 9, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what's worse, the man in Florida that is on the verge of starting a Holy war or this mayor who is about to start a civil war within this city.

They both need to seek Devine Counsel and stop playing with the lives of others for the sake of their own self-gratification and attention seeking egos.

We are becoming a nation of disturbed people. Our desperado needs a van ride out of town for sure. The one in Florida, well maybe the people will hide the matches.

Posted by: shank2sb | September 10, 2010 4:36 AM | Report abuse

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