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Graham protests anonymous Ward 1 robocalls

Numerous Ward 1 residents today received a nasty, anonymous robocall attacking Ward 1 council member Jim Graham, currently running in the Democratic primary for a fourth term.

The calls involved personal allegations regarding his former chief of staff, Ted Loza, who was arrested last year in a federal bribery sting. Graham has not been implicated in the scheme.

Graham campaign strategist Chuck Thies said Saturday evening that the calls may have broken federal law -- the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 -- which requires that prerecorded telephone messages "shall at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individuals, or other entity that is initiating the call."

He said Saturday evening that he'd contacted local and federal authorities.

"I was happily building a Lego city with my son, now I'm on the phone with FBI dealing with fallout from a vile, illegal political hit job," Thies tweeted.

Both of Graham's opponents, Jeff Smith and Bryan Weaver, disclaimed any involvement in the calls. Weaver called the calls "complete and utter bush-league politics."

"We find this as disgusting as anybody else," he said.

By Mike DeBonis  |  September 4, 2010; 7:37 PM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010 , The District  
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Comments

I received these calls yesterday and they only made me doubt Graham's challengers. The number the call originated from was clearly visible on caller ID; no one could be reached there, but the police should be able to uncover this amateur effort quickly.

Posted by: bambiz | September 5, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

A commenter posted an audio of Rhee and I can’t believe Rhee admitted to abusing children when she was a teacher in Baltimore! To silence 2nd graders-- African American babies-- she placed MASKING TAPE on their mouths.

Rhee tells this story to her new Teach America hirees and they find it hilarious. She then elaborates on how she told them to pull off the MASKING TAPE and their mouths were bleeding and they were yelling and crying.

Rhee and her new employees found this sadistic, abusive act towards African American children to be quite funny. If this happened to one of her daughters, I know Rhee would have had the teacher terminated.

The gall of Rhee to make false child abuse claims against DC teachers, when in fact, she’s the one with the questionable past. I can’t believe Baltimore School System didn’t fire her!

Rhee would have never placed MASKING TAPE on the mouths of children from Wards 2 & 3. She would have placed them in the “naughty corner.”

PLEASE, PLEASE LISTEN TO THE AUDIO; YOU WILL BE IN DISBELIEF !!

Also, please repost this so others can hear what Rhee is capable of and what she finds amusing.

HERE’S THE LINK:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2010/08/13/VI2010081305444.html

Posted by: GoldCoast | September 5, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I received the calls yesterday as well - there were two different ones. They really descended lower than any political mud-slinging I've ever seen. In fact in some ways they seemed more like a personal vendetta than politcal. But if any of his opponents were behind the calls all I can say is that as a gay progressive Democrat the last thing you would want to do is having a homophobic robo-call going out. Councilman Graham lives in my neighborhood and I've met him a couple of times. The last words I would use to describe him is nasty and evil.

Posted by: dre7861 | September 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

... Graham lives in my neighborhood and I've met him a couple of times. The last words I would use to describe him is nasty and evil.

Posted by: dre7861 | September 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse
___________________________________________

Haven't been around long, 'eh?

Posted by: SoCali | September 5, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Being in the presence of Jim Graham makes one want to shower. It is time for this guy to find another job. I hope the residents of his Ward help him do that.

Posted by: clarkesq | September 5, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I received this robocall twice yesterday and it strikes me as thinly veiled gay-bashing. Our answering machine cut off the first part, but my husband got one "live" later and said the first part of the message had innuendo about a homosexual relationship between Jim Graham and Ted Loza.

The "National Organization for Marriage" (NOM) has been going after our council members who voted for same-sex marriage and I have to wonder if their slimy fingerprints are on it, especially after the dishonest and homophobic flier they put out for Delano Hunter in Ward 5.

BTW by not identifying who is making or paying for these calls they are illegal, no?

Posted by: MrDarwin | September 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I got two calls yesterday and they are horrific. They are anti-woman and anti-gay - not really appealing to the demographic of Ward 1.

Interesting the people who are posting negative items about Graham here. Do you live in Ward 1? Funny how you say he isn't a great guy but you can't tell us specifically what.

Same thing with the robocalls - nasty things about Graham were all personal nothing about what he's done for this neighborhood or how he's been serving the community for over 20 years.

What was said bothers me. But if it is found out this is an anti-gay group from Maryland I will be infuriated.

Posted by: baisasa | September 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

And clarkesq - you are a mormon and anti-gay. I'm guessing you don't live in Ward 1. Did you fund these attacks?

Posted by: baisasa | September 5, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I received two calls yesterday and they didn't change my mind. I wasn't going to vote for Graham because he's another Muriel Bowser--a Fenty kiss A$$.

Weaver has my vote.

Posted by: GoldCoast | September 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

This has all the earmarks of a bit of Chuck Thies amateur hour agitprop. If the truth comes out, which it probably never will, somewhere Chuck Thies' hand will be in it. Its a holiday weekend, Chuck knows it will be a slow news cycle. Voila!

baisasa, a.k.a. Chuck Thies - Graham's career does not represent any true community service, it represents a 25 year on going criminal enterprise. The paper bags filled with cash being delivered to his office is only the tip of the iceberg.

Mike - I can't believe you still can't recognize Chuck's tricks, you must be really thick. He plays you like a ukelele.

Posted by: JackStar | September 5, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I do live in Ward 1 and I do not approve of Jim Graham's record and service.

His chairmanship of the Metro board was a widely-acknowledged disaster. He gave a DC Council internship to a teen who fired a gun into a crowd at the convention center. He employed a chief of staff who accepted an FBI sting bribe for pending legislation in front of the taxicab commission (chaired by Graham) and pushed his pregnant baby mama from a moving taxicab before threating her and pressuring her to have an abortion. Oh, and Graham paid for the strong-arm abortion.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/09/30/jim-grahams-ties-to-ted-loza-included-abortion/

Further, Graham is tied to at least financial chicanery at the important and revered Whitman-Walker clinic, and has been repeatedly accused of stealing antique furniture and an art collection purchased with WW clinic funds when he left.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/16792/grahams-undisclosed-contract

I am a Ward 1 resident who is embarassed to be represented by Graham. His record of service is far from noble or clean. His innocent act has fooled too many for too long.

Posted by: LouisTheRogue | September 5, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If Jeff Smith cared a whit about Ward 1 or DC in general he would drop out and swing his support to Bryan Weaver. Smith is probably a Graham straw man since he has no chance of ever winning an election in Ward 1 again.

Otherwie, wait for the special election after the Loza plea deal, which should be a doozy!

Posted by: JackStar | September 5, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I got one of those robocalls. I had pretty much decided to vote against Graham. Now I am going to have to hold my nose and vote for him.

Posted by: jackharllee | September 5, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has been activily working for Jeff Smith I was concerned that folks would attribute these calls to us. I have researched the owner of the phone, and the number. It is a VOIP number and could be coming from anywhere. Some legitimate campaigns have used this number for robocalls but there is no commonality in cross referencing their campaign finance reports, except that they may be coming out of California. As someone who used to work for Graham, Jeff has been very clear that he does not want any negative campaigning. However, the press, including you Mike have been reluctant to report on documented sign thefts by the graham campaign, a stone thrown through one of our canvassers windows and the most ludicris of all Graham calling the police to say we were harrassing him when the police were called near columbia heights day because jeffs car had been broken into. chutzpah. We have also sent a photo to Mr. Theiss of the person seen stealing our signs, per a request of Mr. Graham (tell me who is stealing signs) however the campaign has been less than cooperative with the police on these issues.

So Please, don't assume it is Jeff Smith or any member of his campaign behind these calls. I got two myself, different from the one on TBD and different from one with a male voice that some folks have reported.

Seriously, if the FBI has really been brought in they could have traced the origin of the calls by now.

Posted by: DeniseW | September 6, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has been activily working for Jeff Smith I was concerned that folks would attribute these calls to us. I have researched the owner of the phone, and the number. It is a VOIP number and could be coming from anywhere. Some legitimate campaigns have used this number for robocalls but there is no commonality in cross referencing their campaign finance reports, except that they may be coming out of California. As someone who used to work for Graham, Jeff has been very clear that he does not want any negative campaigning. However, the press, including you Mike have been reluctant to report on documented sign thefts by the graham campaign, a stone thrown through one of our canvassers windows and the most ludicris of all Graham calling the police to say we were harrassing him when the police were called near columbia heights day because jeffs car had been broken into. chutzpah. We have also sent a photo to Mr. Theiss of the person seen stealing our signs, per a request of Mr. Graham (tell me who is stealing signs) however the campaign has been less than cooperative with the police on these issues.

So Please, don't assume it is Jeff Smith or any member of his campaign behind these calls. I got two myself, different from the one on TBD and different from one with a male voice that some folks have reported.

Seriously, if the FBI has really been brought in they could have traced the origin of the calls by now.

Posted by: DeniseW | September 6, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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