Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser

Thanks to Misschatter, who's live-blogging the hearing (which still hasn't gotten to the baseball part). What to make of this?
A furious Mayor Anthony Williams is blasting the D.C. Council over the baseball consultant they hired.

Louis Cohen is a lawyer who was paid an undisclosed fee to advise Council members on the lease for the proposed new ballpark.

But back when the battle was being fought to win the Montreal Expos, Cohen worked for the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority.

They wanted the team in Northern Virginia - or, as Williams puts it, quote, "a cow pasture in Virginia."

The mayor is seething over the Council hiring Cohen, calling it a "shocking conflict of interest," and questioning how D.C. can possibly trust his advice. Williams believes Cohen is urging the Council to act in a way that could send the Nationals packing.

  • Here's the Mayor's actual press release.

  • I wouldn't think anything of it were it not for the hopefully coincidental WTOP Report (Thanks to Eric for the link!):
    But if the District cannot pass the lease, WTOP has learned that Virginia is ready to make a move.

    A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine tells WTOP he would be interested in pursuing the Nationals for Northern Virginia if D.C. is unable to approve the lease.


    • From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/07/AR2006020700862.html

      posted at 1:42

      By packaging the council's cost cap with the lease, Cropp said the council will take just one vote on the stadium deal today and it will require nine votes among the 13-member body for approval. After a two-hour breakfast meeting behind closed doors, council members emerged to say that they expected the vote to be close.

      By Blogger WFY, at 2/07/2006 2:16 PM  

    • What to make of it all at this point? Crazy. I'm still working under the assumption that by keeping it on the table taht they've got their 9 votes.

      We'll find out in a few hours, though.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/07/2006 2:20 PM  

    • I actually found the WTOP story quite encouraging on two points. First, Fenty is represented as saying that Cropp has the 9 votes for the cap. More importantly, near the end, DuPuy is quoted as through a spokesman saying the cap legislation does not "change anything." Put those two pieces together, and it sounds like we have a deal. Why the heck they don't move to that item before the ones they are discussing now is beyond me, unless there is moe stuff going on behind the scenes right now.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/07/2006 4:07 PM  

    • They are finally talking about the Stadium lease. Evans is basically saying that if they do not close this deal now, there will be a bidding war with Virginia, and in fact, he just said if this does not go through, the chance to keep the team in DC "will be gone."

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/07/2006 4:25 PM  

    • Cropp just moved to table the Stadium lease agenda item, 6 voted yes, 6 voted no, and Barry voted present. He asked if a no vote would mean that it would be considered now, and Cropp said yes, but that she would keep the debate open for "12 hours". That suggests to me that she does not have the votes she needs yet, even for the emergency cap. Now, Catania is saying that if he could make remarks, he might change his vote to a vote to table. He is saying that Virginia is not a threat, that they need to spend $ on roads instead, etc. He is still talking.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/07/2006 4:33 PM  

    • Orange just did an AWESOME job in making the case for the Stadium.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/07/2006 4:57 PM  

    • Thanks for the updates. I was on my way home and missed most of it, unfortunately.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/07/2006 5:00 PM  

    • Huh -- I just tuned in and Fenty and Evans both voted yes on something and the vote was 10-3. I gather that was not the vote on the lease . . .

      By Blogger Sam, at 2/07/2006 5:20 PM  

    • Nope... just procedure.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/07/2006 5:22 PM  

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