For Jim Graham, 'Gagagate' ends
In an effort to, as he said, "put Gagagate to an end," D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) has donated his final two tickets to tonight's Lady Gaga concert at the Verizon Center to the Sitar Arts Center in Columbia Heights.
In recent days, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D) had given Graham a total of four tickets to the council luxury suite at the Verizon Center. The free tickets, compliments of the owners of the Verizon Center, had come to symbolize the perks associated with being a D.C. Council member.
On Wednesday, when news of Graham's efforts to go to the concert first surfaced, he said he donated the first batch of two tickets to the D.C. Center. He said the center put them up for sale on E-Bay as a fundraiser.
But later in the day, Brown's office gave Graham another two tickets for the event. After considering whether to use them, Graham said he decided they would be more beneficial to the Sitar Arts Center, which teaches and mentors neighborhood youths.
"It is astounding the number of people who wanted to go and get these tickets," Graham said. "My phone was ringing until 11 p.m., I had to turn the phone off."
Graham said his decision to end the drama by donating the tickets "fits with the approach" he often uses when he receives free tickets to the Verizon Center.
"This is typically what I do," he said.
| February 24, 2011; 11:31 AM ET
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