FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Freebie tickets from D.C. Mayor

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Who’s Enjoying Bowser’s Tickets at Verizon Center and Nationals Park?

By Will Sommer, Wash. City Paper, Aug. 7, 2015

Ex-Mayor Adrian Fenty has always known the power of stadium tickets. When he was in charge, Fenty feuded twice with the members of the D.C. Council over city suites at Verizon Center and Nationals Park, once by trying to keep tickets from council members who crossed him and again by not handing over the tickets to anyone (a fight Washington Post columnist Colby King called “a spat among spongers”).

LL would think that the globe-trotting former pol—spotted earlier this year squiring Steve Jobs’ widow on a St. Barts shopping trip—would be over the free tickets back in dreary old D.C. But not so!

Like many pals and hangers-on associated with Mayor Muriel Bowser, Fenty has been eager to take in the perks that come with his protégé’s new office. Since Bowser was inaugurated, according to mayoral records, Fenty has received tickets for four Verizon Center basketball games in the city suite. (Mayoral mom Jan Fenty, meanwhile, took in a Bette Midler show on mayoral largesse.)

He’s not the only one. A Freedom of Information Act response posted to the mayoral FOIA reading room website shows who else (besides the ex-mayor) has been feeding at this particular trough. The requests also reveal the kind of Bowser and Fenty affiliates who circle around the new administration, despite not holding an official position.

The request covers all mayoral suite tickets handed out between January and June, according to Bowser administration FOIA officer Jim Slattery. (Council records on the suites obtained by LL only show which council members’ offices received tickets, not who they eventually went to.)

Read more here.