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People who have looked into Jack Evans’ support of the proposed Shaw convention center site must be amazed as to why he would take such a bizarre position. The proposal would drive poor residents from Evans’ ward out of their homes. The only time someone in charge of conferences and conventions would book anything at the Shaw site for a convention would be if there was absolutely no viable alternative, given the huge and unresolvable traffic problems in that incredibly congested part of town. There also are serious doubts, even among some supporters of that site, as to whether the site could be financially viable. The resulting increases in parking fees in the vicinity would hurt local businesses as well. If anything, the nightmare of a Shaw convention center would hurt the local economy rather than help, by driving downtown businesses to Maryland and Virginia.

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Making Evans’ position even more absurd is that there is a much more viable site in the vicinity of Union Station, which would be able to accommodate the traffic and would be located near one of the major train hubs for the East Coast. The pleasant atmosphere and convenient shopping at Union Station would add to the experience of people attending conferences and conventions at that location.

However, the 12/12 Loose Lips provides a much-needed explanation for Evans’ behavior. Evans’ massive efforts to get big-money mayoral campaign contributions from real estate and other interests must be the reason why he is betraying his constituents, harming the environment, and acting recklessly with the taxpayers’ money. The only good thing you can say about Evans’ actions is that he is providing an excellent argument for campaign finance reform in the District.

Also disturbing is the possibility that Evans might actually get elected mayor. This is the same councilmember who stubbornly refuses to conduct oversight hearings on rampant misconduct caused by the Metropolitan Police Department’s zero-tolerance policy. If Evans is unwilling to accept his responsibilities as a part-time member of the council, how can we hope that he would be willing to accept his job responsibilities as mayor?

So far, Jack Evans has had one significant accomplishment in office, and it’s rather amazing: He has proved that there actually are politicians even worse than Marion Barry.

Dupont Circle