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Fenty donors put their mouths where their money is

On Friday, Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) is debuting TV commercials touting his commitment to affordable housing, small business and neighborhood development. Fenty himself appears in none of the ads, leaving unidentified District residents to talk up Fenty's record.

But these aren't exactly man-on-the-street testimonials: Two of the three ads feature folks with close ties to Hizzoner -- including city contracts and fat campaign checks.

One spot touts Fenty's commitment to small business. It features Bryan "Scottie" Irving, president of Blue Skye Construction and a close ally of Fenty's.

"I'm a local small-business owner," Irving says in the ads, "and I know for a fact that Mayor Adrian Fenty is making sure that local small businesses have the opportunity of rebuilding Washington, D.C."

And how: Since Fenty took office in 2007, the company has done more than $8.5 million in business with the city, according to city spending records, mostly for school construction. And Irving has also entered the development sphere -- partnering with Donatelli Development on an ambitious mixed-use project at Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road NW in Ward 7, and embarking on wholesale renovations of affordable housing, including the Tewksbury in Brightwood, featured in the Irving ad and in another Fenty spot.

Fenty has mentioned Irving's name on the campaign trail as an example of a businessman committed to hiring District residents. "D.C. spends close to $1 billion a year on construction and other goods and services, and we return that tax dollar to the people in D.C.," Irving told the Washington Business Journal in 2008.

Blue Skye has also been a major donor to the Fenty camp, giving the maximum $2,000 to his reelection campaign. Irving and his wife also donated $2,000 each, as did business partners George Mavrikes and Scott Whittier and their wives.

Sean Madigan, a Fenty spokesman, says that including Irving among the campaign's first ads was an obvious move. "You can't find a better local contractor than Scottie Irving, who not only brings his projects in on time and under budget, but goes above and beyond to train and hire his workers who live in the neighborhoods where the projects are based," he said.

Another ad highlights Fenty's work in communities east of the Anacostia River.

"He's rebuilding old Congress Heights School that's been vacant for nearly 25 years," Monica Ray says, standing on the construction site. "That's delivering."

Ray is vice president of Capital Services Management Inc., a Ward 8-based firm specializing in job training that is also among the development partners on the Congress Heights project, which will end up housing a charter school. Ray is also executive director of the Congress Heights Community Training & Development Corp., which will use the building after completion, the Informer has reported.

CSMI has given $2,000 to Fenty's reelection bid. Ray and CSMI President Phinis Jones also both gave $2,000. Jones also hosted a fundraiser for Fenty last year

"These are real folks putting in real work to improve their communities," Madigan says.

By Mike DeBonis  |  July 9, 2010; 2:53 PM ET
Categories:  Adrian Fenty , DCision 2010 , The District  
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I can't wait to vote against Adrian Fenty. No amount of commercials will change my mind on that decicion.

Posted by: DCResident22 | July 9, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Just what I like--everyday citizens praising Fenty record. LOL

Posted by: bnew100 | July 9, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

What about the taxicab drivers? They're small business owners too.

Posted by: starclimber9 | July 9, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

You don't get any more small business than the businesses along the H Street Corridor who all have Gray for Mayor signs in their windows becausse Mayor Fenty is killing their small business. Also, the DC has been voted on of the worst place to do business for a small business we were ranked number 40 this year after being listed as number 42 the previous year out of 51 states.

So all of this paid rallying by the Fenty campaign does not tell the real story.

Read it for yourself.

Posted by: lacairaine | July 9, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

To:lacairaine, 51 State's? Where?

Posted by: onesugar | July 9, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Scottie Irving of Blue Skye had/has to pay Sinclair Skinner $10,000 per month to do business in DC. Obviously it works.. Donatelli pays as well. Do you believe Donatelli needs a startup company to do business in the city? Whats done in the dark will come to light...

Posted by: BILLJA | July 9, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: drfields | July 9, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Keep the truth coming, Mike! The public needs to hear this. Thank you.

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 9, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

The reality is, if you don't know Adrian Fenty, you are dependent upon fair bidding and competitive bidding on public contracts. Unfortunately, that sense of fairness does not exist in this Administration in the way it did in the Williams Administration.

The of Small and Local Business Development has been regressive in transparency vs. progressive. Where, in the Williams Administration, they published who won contract awards in the Fenty Administration this information remains in the dark. There is no way to discern whether or not the process was truly competitive. Judging from the DCHA contracting fiasco involving Banneker Ventures it is VERY doubtful that there is a fair contracting scenario.

So, no Adrian fenty, say for those of his friends and cronies who were hand selected for contracts, irrespective of the cost, those who appear in his adds, is not "good" or small business. In fact, he was the worse thing that could happen to them.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 10, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

All of the above comments are so true. When this is said and done in November 2010, this current mayor will have to answer to God. This city is has been held in bondage for four sad long years. I have never in my life felt so sad for DC. I have lived here since 1965, and I have seen segregation in its' worst forms. But these four years have been a flashback to the past. I am so full of sorrow for our children, seniors, mentally- ill, and middle class families. We deserve a better future and a new mayor. God please save us!

Posted by: fivetogo | July 10, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Will Skinner, Karim and Abdullah be making any commercials? Liberty Designs is a perfect example of a small business with un-licensed owners that made out very well.

Posted by: candycane1 | July 10, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if Fenty uses Skinner in an ad people will remember the story in the Washington City Paper back in 2006.

Posted by: peterdc | July 12, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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