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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 11/23/2010

Barry claims turkey giveaway delayed by Giant

By Nikita R Stewart

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), well known for his annual turkey giveaway in Southeast Washington, had no Butterballs available for residents Tuesday morning after he failed to pay Giant food stores $26,000 for their delivery.

In a news release, Barry said he had $17,000, falling short by $9,000, but promised Giant that the rest was coming. " ... Giant insisted that the full $26 thousand dollars be received by the store on Monday and that without full payment, the Company would not delivery the birds to Barry," a news release read.

He wanted the turkeys in advance.

Barry says a compromise was struck to thaw and deliver turkeys Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Union Temple Church.

Still, Barry isn't in holiday bliss. " ... Giant's intractability on this issue was heartless," Barry said.

But there have been signs that Barry was struggling this year to come up with the money needed to pay for the turkeys.

According to council sources, Barry recently sent United Medical Center a letter asking it to give him $5,000 for the turkey giveaway, even though the hospital's financial struggles have been well-documented.

Jamie Miller, a spokesman for Giant, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

By Nikita R Stewart  | November 23, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Marion Barry, Nikita Stewart  
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Who's a turkey now?!

Posted by: soccerhead | November 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Giant give Barry $17k worth of turkeys now, and the rest when they are paid for?

Posted by: LoveSnow | November 23, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Can't really blame Giant. What are the odds that Barry will find the extra money? Then actually send it? Pretty slim I have to say. Of course this is assuming Giant is involved in other seasonal charity efforts. Which I think is a safe bet.

Posted by: pppp1 | November 23, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It sounds more to me that Giant was delayed by a turkey, not the other way around.

Posted by: DrFish | November 23, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

What a stupid writing ... My God!

Posted by: EIEAR | November 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I see the klan mentality is still alive and kicking here in the WaPo comments section. you all will rip "black" folks on here and all the while scared to even look them in the face...typical for you COWARDS!

Posted by: nwtay | November 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

As long as Marion Barry is involved there will be at least one turkey.
Trust him? yeah, right

Posted by: overed | November 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Giant knew they would get the money and anyway they should have made a donation to
the District. Now, I will go to Wegman's to shop!

Posted by: maehenrie | November 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It reminds me of mobsters giving out turkeys in their base neighborhoods.

Posted by: kenk33 | November 23, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Giant knew they would get the money and anyway they should have made a donation to
the District. Now, I will go to Wegman's to shop!

Posted by: maehenrie


Enjoy it while you can, Wegman's will move after a year due to shoplifting.

Posted by: kenk33 | November 23, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

nwtay - I'm black and I wouldn't have given Barry a dime. He couldn't even get money to pay his own taxes. Now he wants to raise it to pay for some turkeys? He had plenty of time. If people loved him the way they SAY they do, they would have contributed. All blacks care about is that free turkey. They could give a damn if Barry was robbed after the event. That's just how way too many of us are. With his background I wouldn't have given him a dime either until all was paid in full. He's probably looking for a handout so that he can get a little crack to go with that turkey dinner.

Posted by: keedrow | November 23, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The biggest turkey was there. Giant isn't a food bank, it's a business. I wouldn't trust Barry to come up with the balance.

Posted by: jckdoors | November 23, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Again, Barry's ego and sense of entitlement is beyond belief. Everyone else would have quietly paid for what he can afford - which at 17k is still very generous. But Barry thinks he is entitled to more and expects people to pay his debt.

Posted by: cpwdc | November 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Typical entitlement and reverse racist attitudes shown in the comments by "NWTAY" and "MAEHENRIE" - Why does any business owe anyone a Turkey on Thanksgiving because some politician promised it? Really - answer that please. I don't expect them to buy my family's Thanksgiving dinner - why do you? More importantly - why should you? On top of that, given Marion Barry's history - if it were your business "NWTAY" or "MAEHENRIE" - would you trust that you would get the money from Barry? Come on people - this is America. Land of opportunity based on hard work. There are no free rides so stop looking for one.

Posted by: tmw-online | November 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Barry will smoke his Turkey this year. mmm crack flavor

Posted by: tsamm | November 23, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

" ... Giant's intractability on this issue was heartless," Barry said.

Perhaps Giant knows Barry a little too well. It's like any other business, you have to pay for services. If you don't like it call UNICEF.

Posted by: damnit79 | November 23, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I can't imagine why any business would decline to trust such a stellar figure as Marion Barry for $9,000.

Posted by: ajsmithva | November 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Yo Mayor For Life,

Try Jack Johnson and/or the Bra Lady. I hear they've got some spare dough laying around.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | November 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

If that was a white former crackhead mayor , he would have gotten the turkeys. hahahahaha

Posted by: DCFanatic | November 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope United Medical Center doesn't donate any money to Barry. That is taxpayer money- we are subsidizing that hospital which is fine but not so Barry can give away Turkeys.

Posted by: peterdc | November 23, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The infamous Marion Barry -- always an excuse. His sense of "irresponsibility" never ceases to amaze.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | November 23, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry is one jive turkey

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | November 23, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Race shouldn't be an issue

A deal should have been struck to provide whatever dollar amount was available.

After all, this is supposed to be about Charity and helping the less fortunate, nothing else.

Giant risked the PR hit because it was Barry. Had this been Gray or even Fenty, it would have never gotten this far.

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I am a teacher in PGCounty and lie all the time. I even got suspended fro teaching kids how to call eaach other names and I promised to pass them to the next grade and NO TURKEYS. I love speaking about peeps in the news and I love poking my nose in folk's business. I am pressed to find a spouse..wonder why?

Posted by: Tee1UglyDudley1 | November 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Gee, imagine that...Marion Barry paying for something with other people's money.

Good for Giant...if they gave Barry the turkeys they would have never seen the other $9,000. Barry probably did that once too often with them.

Posted by: ahashburn | November 23, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Marion Barry and Giant should have should have just delivered 17k in turkeys. If Giant were to give him the rest and payment was not given, that's a loss for Giant and then they pass that loss off to the rest of us by increasing prices.

I think it was tactless that his camp seems to have brought this out to the public as some sort of ploy to have Giant cave in. They are not a food bank, they are a private business. Everyone who doesn't like that can certainly shop elsewhere, just like they could certainly not keep voting for him.

If you want free turkeys in DC I suggest you tell the council that, I am sure they can slash some other service to accommodate you.

Posted by: europamo | November 23, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I used to work for a DC area bank and we ended up charging off as a loss a loan to Marion Barry...when he was the mayor!
Now, if you're the mayor of the nation's capitol and don't pay your bills why should Giant expect him to make good on $9,000?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | November 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed how some people here will defend Barry because of the color of his skin.

Trust me, if Barry were white, certain posters here would not be so quick to defend a bro.

Posted by: playahatah | November 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We are living in horrific financial times. Ward 8 DC Councilmember Marion Barry should not depend on the private sector to give him money for a turkey give away. The government shouldn't be obligated either. If Barry want to give turkeys away to the poor, then he should take it out of his personal bank account.

Yesterday I received my open season benefit package from my employer and my Kaiser Insurance Premiums went up by 14%. I am robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Posted by: RockCreekPark | November 23, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The bit$$ set him up...

Posted by: sterp22 | November 23, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

When will Barry show the holiday spirit and pay his taxes?

Posted by: blackforestcherry | November 23, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Giant could have done a partial shipment of $17K worth of turkeys.

Posted by: agarnett1000 | November 23, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

What has Marion Barry ever done that would cause Giant not to trust him?

Posted by: Rob_ | November 23, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It is a recession and all businesses are affected. Supermarkets realize a very small profit margin, usually under 5%. It is not unreasonable that they expect to be paid. Nine thousand dollars is more than a third short of the amount owed.

If Barry could not come up with the entire amount through donations or whatever sources, he should have taken delivery on $17,000 worth of turkeys. Giant is not the bad guy.

Posted by: Frustratededucator | November 23, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Bad PR for Giant. Not worth the fuss over that amount of money. Just give it to the self-important & self-impressed clown.

You can't afford to buy a turkey once a year? Dag, y'all.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | November 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

NOBODY in their right mind would take an IOU from Barry for $9K ... nobody. Now Giant could make a donation and cut Barry out all together. Barry's simply trying to piggy back on Giants recent bad PR with the bell ringers.

Posted by: mitlen | November 23, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I've never been able to walk into a Giant, pay only part of my grocery bill and walk out with everything I put in my cart on the basis of a promise that I would pay the rest later. Those of you who are going to take your business to Wegman's or some other store over this will find you can't do that there, either. By the way, if Giant DID give Barry a break the story would have been Giant gave Barry a special favor that no one else would get -- and a bunch of you would still threaten to shop at Wegman's -- which is by the way as much a business as Giant (and is perhaps in some respects even less altruistic -- which is why the Woodmore/Mitchellville area is as close as Wegman's will ever get to Barry's neck of the woods.

Posted by: DCProud | November 23, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Giant should have just delivered what was paid for then! Yes, MB has issues; but lets recognize a good deed when we see it.


Posted by: dmcclure05 | November 23, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

So why didn't Giant deliver $17,000 worth of turkeys??

Posted by: Kathy8 | November 23, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

No one is exempt from the economy including Barry. Giant should have given Barry the turkeys for the amount readily available and for go the rest as a goodwill gesture to families in need.

Posted by: dw4god | November 23, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Barry and his friends could have charged 9K worth of turkeys on their personal credit cards and then simply paid that off as soon as they received the extra money. I don't know why Giant has to be a bank; Barry is presumably a resourceful person.

Posted by: Wallenstein | November 23, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

He will mail the check at the same time he mails in his 2003 and 2004 Tax returns...

Posted by: 1of9000 | November 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Here I am thinking that Giant was actually DONATING turkeys to the poor. It turns out, that they were only selling them, like they do for everyone else. I think that Giant is is the biggest turkey here!!

Posted by: PepperDr | November 23, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

You suburban white people who have made all of the foregoing comments apparently don't care about the thousands of poor families in Southeast that depend on Barry's annual turkey give away for their Thanksgiving meal. Giant should donate the turkeys to the people who struggle yet patronize their store in SE. The $9000.00 is small in the grand scheme of Giant's profits. This fiasco only occurred because of the bad rap that Marion Barry still gets in the press no matter how much good he does for his constituents. In fact the fairly new Giant store in S.E.was placed there largely as the result of Barry's efforts. All of that is lost because it makes better copy for some of you hateful people to trash the former Mayor for things that occurred 20 years ago.



Posted by: ellislawoffice | November 23, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Most of the barry haters dont even know the guy. They just know he smoked crack. And they cant forgive him for that. Maybe if he was a former president with a coke habit we could forgive him.

Posted by: ged0386 | November 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Barry could sell some crack to pay for the turkeys.

Posted by: nuke41 | November 23, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Typical Marion Barry... Crack smoking obviously destroys brain cells. And when you don't have many to start with, you're already starting out in a sizable hole.

Posted by: mika_england | November 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Can you turn a turkey bone into a crack pipe? I'm see a business opportunity for Barry to raise money for next year.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | November 23, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

So "Mayor fo Life" Barry had all year to raise 26K for his Ward specific turkey giveaway and couldn't manage. Yet, he wants Giant to hand over the goods anyway, to "trust" him that he will pay.

Marion, as a District resident I've been waiting for you to pay your back taxes for 15 years, for you to give up crack and cocaine for 20.

Well done Giant, had you "donated" all the Turkeys, Barry would have still taken credit for it anyway, so it was a lose-lose for you.

Posted by: Nosh1 | November 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow N. Stewart you really out did yourself. Thanks for the holiday gift. The Barry haters are truly thankful for you giving them this blessing of bashing Barry.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Hope you don't choke on your TURKEY.

Posted by: guylady201001 | November 23, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Barry's used to be fronted in his ahhh deals......

Posted by: FLvet | November 23, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Giant set me up".

Posted by: jckdoors | November 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to seem heartless, but this whole Turkey giveaway concept is getting out-of-hand. Whis some are genuinely in need, I fear more and more receipients are be beginning to see this as just another entitlement.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | November 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

$17k in turkey comes to about 1133 turkeys to give out (@ $.99/lb for a modest 15lb bird). That would still be quite a PR opportunity for him. Does 600 more turkeys really matter? Does he really donate approx 1700 turkeys a year?

Posted by: dcdoug | November 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: nieci6719 | November 23, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

For once the comments were pretty funny and not all racist and hateful except for the few insisting and arguing against phantom comments that every one hates black people...

I wouldnt give poor old Barry any money either! Black, white, purple or green!

Posted by: racheljean | November 23, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

But they should have delivered what was paid for. It was a nice gesture...

Posted by: racheljean | November 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry is a jive Tom Turkey.

Or a jive-time turkey.

Posted by: bs2004 | November 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I will shop elsewhere from now on. I think all stores sell about the same stuff. I will send a letter to corporate and grab a few friends to see if we can all find new stores to shop in. Money Talks people, BS walks. Lets start showing some of these corporations that our dollars can spent elsewehere. Giant is way too high anyway

Posted by: nieci6719 | November 23, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

this guy has been a joke from day one. If I'm expected to pay in full for a turkey, whether I am cooking it myself or giving it away, he should be expected to pay in full also. Why do I constantly find myself reading stories about this idiot? oh wait...cause there is always another line he's crossed, whether its smoking crack, not paying taxes, or not paying for food.

Posted by: jonesym20 | November 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Barry know that he's my hero?

The wind beneath my wings. Go buy your own turkey, you lazy so-and-sos. Y'all acting like it costs $250 or something & you have to put it on layaway.

Work hard and The Lord will provide. Sit in front of the liquor store all day long whining & buying lottery tickets and you get NOTHING.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | November 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

considering Barry's track record in the city and his recent failure to pay his own taxes, only a fool would have given him anything without payment.

Posted by: ex-Navy | November 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Gee, a business wanted to be paid in full from a convicted felon who evades his taxes. What a concept?

Who doesn't believe that Barry has $9,000 stuffed in the bra of one of his girlfriends?

Posted by: bbface21 | November 23, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Giant = Scrooge

Posted by: OldSalt8 | November 23, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It's the middle of the worst recession ever, almost a depression, and Giant can't be flexible?

Stores like Giant get help when people receive Food Stamps. Macy's and Bloomingdales don't ever get any help like that.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 23, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm just wondering how many turkeys do you get for $26,000? That's alot of turkeys. I know the economy is bad and all but was he giving a free turkey to everybody in the city?

Posted by: CityKween | November 23, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, shame on Giant!

And while we're at it, shame on Safeway for not stepping up and filling in the turkey gap. Lord knows the city has done a ton for that business too.

And Whole Foods ... what family wouldn't love an organic turkey for Thanksgiving!

Hey, didn't Yes! Organic Market just open on Pennsylvania Avenue? Where were they today?!

Ooo, yeah! Harris Teeter is just across the Anacostia. They could have driven over a few dozen birds, couldn't they have?

I say we boycott all of these money-grubbing markets until they start giving food away. Who's with me?!

Posted by: RobertBise | November 23, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Turkeys and Thanksgiving food baskets are given away all over this country. Churches, schools and other organizations all contribute. White, Black and others donate as well are grateful to receive.

May you, have a Happy Thanksgiving, including those of you so full of hate and bigotry. Take a moment to reflect and pray that there but for the Grace of...and be very thankful.

Posted by: 2belinda | November 23, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

With the average cost of turkeys being around 17.66 each this year, that would be almost 1500 turkeys being bought. With the population of Ward 8 being almost 135,000 that would be roughly 93 people per turkey.

You can easily double the number of people eating a meal buying a whole chicken. If things are tough you learn to adapt.

I know not everyone in SE is not so broke they cannot afford a turkey.

Things are tough all over, not just SE

Posted by: europamo | November 23, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Not all black people demand a free turkey just because it's Thanksgiving, you know.

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | November 23, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The DC government does not let me slide on my taxes. Barry should know better.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 23, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for Obama to pay my mortgage, kitchen remodeling, and college tuition. That money is rightfully mine.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Hello All. Our Mayor for Life calls Giant pathetic? I say he's pathetic! I'm so sick of men like Barry in politics I could scream, and I'm a 56 yr old black woman who's lived in this great city for almost 35 yrs. He needs to go sit his ole, black ass down somewhere. Truth be told, all black folks in DC ain't a fan of his treachery! PEACE.

Posted by: hairstonpamela | November 24, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Hello All. Our Mayor for Life calls Giant pathetic? I say he's pathetic! I'm so sick of men like Barry in politics I could scream, and I'm a 56 yr old black woman who's lived in this great city for almost 35 yrs. He needs to go sit his ole, black ass down somewhere. Truth be told, all black folks in DC ain't a fan of his treachery and deceit! PEACE.

Posted by: hairstonpamela | November 24, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

I wonder was the 9 thousand dollars, barrys kickbacks or bribes----NAW

Posted by: davidtrottier2002 | November 25, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

another stupid comment by the once HNIC!

Posted by: observer9 | November 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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