Not longer after LL called at-large council candidate A.J. Cooper a hypocrite this morning for changing party affiliation to better his chances at getting elected weeks after criticizing his opponents for doing the same same, Cooper called to plead his case.

“My intentions are pure,” he says.

Cooper tied for fifth in this month’s at-large election and plans on running in this spring’s at-large election. He announced this week that after several years of being an independent, he’s joining the Democratic Party.  On the campaign trail he attacked Councilmember Michael Brown and Councilmember-elect David Grosso for quitting the Democratic Party to become independents and better their chances of winning one of the D.C. Council’s at-large seats reserved for non-Democrats.

“It shows a deficiency in their character because they are gaming the system,” Cooper told the Post.

But Cooper says his situation is completely different. He’s joining the Democratic Party, he says, to bring change to the city, not as a shortcut to joining the council. The way Cooper says he sees it: Democrat controls city politics; he wants to change city politics; therefore, he needs to be a Democrat in order to change city politics.

“I just couldn’t see how I could change it from the outside,” says Cooper. “We need to relegitimize the party.”

He says the difference between his party conversion and those of Brown and Grosso is the same difference between a Pigskins fan who becomes a Cowboys fan and a person who was never a fan deciding to become Pigskins fan. As a Cowboys fan, LL thinks that first person sounds reasonable while the second person sounds insane.

Photo courtesy of Elect A.J. Cooper