Jim Graham's Lady Gaga dream remains alive
After being mocked by some voters and media outlets, D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) donated two tickets to tonight's Lady Gaga concert to charity, but said he's "unexpectedly" received two additional tickets to tonight's show so he may still attend the event.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported Graham planned to go to the concert as part of a story about how council members continue to bicker over free tickets to the Verizon Center sporting and cultural events that they are given as perks.
After D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D) gave Graham two tickets, Graham said he planned to go to the concert alone and give one ticket away. The image of Graham going gaga over Gaga quickly swept through the local media, which helped convince him to stay away from the event. He donated the two tickets to the D.C. Center on U Street.
"I was going to give one away, then I realized no-one wanted to go, except me, with one ticket , and it was pointed out to me that it is not an attractive thing to give away," just one ticket, Graham said in explaining his decision to donate both tickets. "People don't like to go to things by themselves."
But there is a still chance that Graham could be dancing the night away in the council's luxury suite at the Verizon Center. Around midday Wednesday, he said, someone from Brown's office gave him two additional tickets.
"I did not request them," Graham said. "My staff brought them in and I'm considering what to do with them."
If he's going to go, Graham's first priority will be finding a date. He said Wednesday night he is contemplating asking a Washington City Paper reporter who has been one of his most frequent and visible critics to see if they can make for peace, at least for the night.
Graham's dilemma got D.C. Wire thinking about what other council members plan to take advantage of the 18-member suite for tonight's sold-out concert.
According to Brown spokeswoman Traci Hughes, four council members including Graham have been given tickets so they can either attend the concert or donate them to charity. But Hughes said she was unable to name which members. D.C. Wire has confirmed that Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) is expected to attend.
"Of all the events at the Verizon Center, he goes to perhaps one a year and this will probably be it," Ben Young, Catania's chief of staff, said.
Hughes was unable to provide an accounting of whether Brown had given tickets to anyone else besides a council member.
In 2007, the late Abe Pollin gave the city government access to one box as a goodwill gesture after the council approved $50 million to renovate the Verizon Center. Pollin supplied the council a second luxury suite later that year after former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and the council got into a tiff over who could use the suite.
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