City Paper is not for tourists
On the Saturday before the mayoral election, the Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) announced it had “concluded its investigations of allegations of campaign finance improprieties,” and noted in its press release that candidate Marion Barry and the Washington Business Political Action Committee (WBPAC) had violated election law by discussing how to direct money to the campaign. OCF officials then pulled a disappearing act until after Nov. 8. When they emerged, the city was facing another four years of Barry, and not surprisingly for an agency controlled by the mayor, OCF backpedaled. Before it makes a (truly) final ruling, OCF now says that Barry and WBPAC would have a chance to defend themselves at a Nov. 30 public hearing, and that a strong defense could alter their “conclusions.” OCF has yet to complete an assessment of allegations surrounding the largess of boxing promoter Rock Newman. Newman has bragged to reporters that he spent as much as $50,000 to get his friend elected, although Barry’s campaign finance reports show no such donation. OCF says it is “reviewing” Newman’s participation, but has not investigated the use of “walk-around money” by any campaign. If OCF sticks by its WBPAC charges, the newly elected mayor will face a $500 fine. In 1989, Barry was fined $500 for failing to disclose his business relationship with developer Jeffrey Cohen.