Is Jim Graham Behind an ANC Coup?
Posted by Mike DeBonis on Jan. 20, 2010, at 3:32 pm
ANC1c06 speaks in italics to respond to Mike Debonis' statements in this article.
For three years, Bryan Weaver has been elected chair of the Adams Morgan advisory neighborhood commission.
Comment: Yes, Bryan Weaver ran unopposed and was elected chair of the Adams Morgan Advisory Commission. There was no contest for three years. It was a 'fait acomplit' before the election. This year, we finally got to choose.
That run came to an end on Jan. 6, when he lost his re-election bid by a 4-2 vote of his fellow commissioners.
Now LL doesn't delve too often into such parochial affairs, but this particular internecine feud carries greater significance: Weaver is currently exploring a run against his councilmember, Ward 1's Jim Graham. And replacing him as chair is Wilson Reynolds, whose day job happens to be as Graham's constituent affairs director.
So did Boss Graham execute a ruthless power move to force a key neighborhood critic to the margins?
Correction: Bryan Weaver will never be forced to the margins in Adams Morgan, just like Bill Duggan. When the press needs a good quote, them's who they go to, no matter how much power wield. They have name and face recognition.
If so, he covered his tracks well. Graham's spokesperson, Brian DeBose, says that "no one knew" about the move until the meeting. Reynolds says "absolutely not," and a fellow commissioner, Nancy Shia, says that Graham had "nothing to do" with the ANC vote.
To wit: I asked Wilson Reynolds before the vote if the Councilmember knew about it and Wilson said no. I trust Wilson Reynolds.
Not directly, anyway: "It hurt the commission for the chairman...to have such a contentious relationship with the councilmember. That happened long before he decided to run," Shia says. "I believe in the Rodney King way of looking at life: Why can't we all just get along?"
Add to that some communications issues, she says: "Why did they think it was OK to win an election without asking anyone to vote for them? ?"
Correction: I actually said, "Who runs for election without asking voters to vote for them? What were they thinking"
Weaver says he may not have actively solicited his colleagues’ votes, but he says none of the members mentioned any dissatisfaction with his continued tenure.
Elaboration: Apparently, mention of dissatisfaction was grounds for dismissing a commissioners pleas for improved working relations.
He admits he charged hard and "was not the easiest of chairs to get along with,” but stands on his record of stepping up the commission’s activism and cleaning up its books (no small feat in ANC-dom).
QUESTION: Isn't it the ANC leadership's responsibility to maintain clean books?.
Not enough for Reynolds, Shia, and two other commissioners (all listed as Graham supporters on his campaign literature), who plotted an ambush. Weaver and his vice chair, Mindy Moretti, found out about their plan to unseat them not more than five minutes before the meeting began.
FYI: Actually ANC1c06 asked the vice chair about 3 weeks before the election to run for chairman of ANC1c, and she declined.
Though Weaver realized he didn't have the votes, he went through with the roll call anyway. "I thought I would give them a certain amount of satisfaction in knocking me off and let them know that I'm not fazed by it," he explains.
Comment: Wow. That's kinda sad and creepy. I would have supported Bryan because I always liked his politics, but this kind of thinking is wrong-headed. It is political paranoia.
This weekend, on her blog, Shia wrote that Weaver and Moretti had un-friended their fellow commissioners from their Facebook accounts. (The post has since been removed.) (It is returned in this article.)
It was removed at the urging of the most leftist commissioner of 1c, and because i did not want to engender additional animosity. Fat chance.
To that, says Weaver, "I am friends with some of them and I am not friends with some of the others."
Friendship among commissioners may not be possible with everyone but it helps. If friendship is not possible, you'd at least expect camaraderie.
Adds Moretti, "Facebook is for my friends."
Implying that the Adams Morgan commissioners are not her friends, obviously.
Loose Lips asked if I'd vote for Weaver. I told him I'm Green, but if I could, I'd vote for Bryan out of respect and loyalty to our commission, besides Jim Graham will win anyway.