Man, how did LL miss this story in Roll Call in which Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells gives his most candid take yet on his almost certain mayoral run? More importantly, how did LL miss this particular quote from the Roll Call story:
“I know every corner of this city, go to places where police won’t go without backup,” Wells said. “There is no place in the city where I’m not comfortable, and where people don’t know and support me. … I have a social agenda of social justice that speaks for itself.”
Hmm, that seems a little over the top. Where is D.C. so dangerous that only backed-up police and Tommy Wells will dare go? LL has a call in to Wells for some details; meanwhile police union boss and Wells critic Kris Baumann has a theory: “The fantasy land that Tommy Wells lives in.” Ouch.
Wells also talks a little campaign strategy, explaining that he didn’t join three of his colleagues in calling for Gray to resign because he did not want to seem like an scummy opportunist: “This is a tragedy for all of us and I do not want to be viewed as someone who is opportunistic, and that is why I have not called for [Gray] to resign. Clearly a special election benefits me more so than anybody else.”
Why would a special election benefit Wells? Because independents and Republicans could vote and Wells “claims” independents as his part of his constituency, the article says. There are about 80,000 registered D.C. voters who don’t belong to a party.
UPDATE: Wells calls to say he has some issues with how Roll Call characterized his remarks. He tells LL the police backup quote was in reference to his time as a front-line social worker from 1985 to 1991, when the District was in the throes of the crack epidemic, not the work he does today.
Wells says he would regularly have to investigate allegations of child abuse at some pretty sketchy locations, places he says that police officers would tell him that they wouldn’t go without backup.
“Frankly, I had to go into crack houses,” says Wells. Other rough patches Wells says he visited include public housing complexes Benning Terrace and Potomac Gardens, a location which Wells noted was where Geraldo Rivera did a segment on urban violence.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery