How much ethics messaging can one mayoral campaign stand? Tommy Wells‘ campaign aims to find out, portraying Wells as some sort of High Noon sheriff in an ad last week in the Current.
In the ad, available at the bottom of the post, Wells watches as his colleagues grub for contributions from alleged Vince Gray shadow campaign financier Jeff Thompson.
Called the “Governor of DC” because of his unrivaled political power, Jeffrey Thompson allegedly funded an illegal “shadow campaign” for Vince Gray in 2010. His power ruled the halls of DC government—except for one man. Tommy Wells recognized Thompson for his corruption and refused to take campaign money from him.
That last part jumped out at LL. Wells has also claimed that, a year after his last re-election bid in 2010, he didn’t know about Thompson’s power-player reputation. Wells blames that ignorance for why he says he voted for increased payment rates to a company owned by Thompson in 2011, even as At-Large Councilmember David Catania warned him about Thompson’s connections.
When LL asked Wells how he could have turned down Thompson money and then have been—-his words—-“duped” into voting on behalf of Thompson, Wells concedes that the ad was written confusingly.
Still, there’s an upside. “It’s nice of my campaign to believe that and write that on my behalf,” Wells says.