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The District’s mayoral candidates didn’t hold back at last night’s first mayoral debate, going after one another over their positions on electing an attorney general and hiking the minimum wage hike. For his closing remarks, though, Busboys & Poets owner Andy Shallal chose another target: LL.

“I would admonish the media to sort of tone it down a little bit when it comes to how they report about this stuff,” Shallal says. “Sensationalism sells papers, but it doesn’t make for a good democracy. This is to you, Will Sommer, I just want to tell you.”

After the debate, Shallal told a baffled LL that he was referring to a blog post LL wrote about the candidate with “dump” in the headline. If Washington City Paper is getting this slimy half a year before the primary, how much could uglier could this race get by April? “I don’t want to feel like a piece of shit,” Shallal says.

The restaurateur’s shout-out earned LL a few compliments after the debate, but it also left LL feeling a little like Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He was earning all his notoriety for someone else’s work!

That’s because LL hasn’t written any posts about Shallal with the word “dump” in the headline or anywhere else (take a look). Instead, Shallal appears to be referring to this edition of our District Line Daily newsletter by WCP staff writer Perry Stein, which is headlined “Mayoral Dump.” That’s as in “a dump of mayoral news” about hopefuls like Shallal and Vincent Orange, not a landfill (or worse?) of mayoral candidates.

Confusion aside, LL has to thank Shallal for providing everyone with a reminder to sign up for District Line Daily. You never know when it will come up, totally unprompted, at a mayoral debate.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery