Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Stadium Backers In Line for Reward

Williams Agrees To Fund Projects
By Lori Montgomery and Yolanda Woodlee
The Washington Post
November 10, 2004

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has persuaded seven of the council's 13 members to line up in support of his baseball financing plan by slipping more than $70 million in enticements into the stadium legislation, including $40 million for commercial development in Southeast Washington, $2 million for a high school in Ward 5 and $10 million for unspecified projects in Wards 6 and 7.

The expenditures showed up in a 41-page draft that Williams's allies on the council planned to offer yesterday in place of the mayor's original bill. Several items were added at the request of council members who were early supporters of the ballpark proposal. Others were added just this week to secure the votes of members who had been considering voting no.

Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), for instance, agreed Monday to vote for Williams's stadium package after the mayor promised to sign separate legislation dedicating $45 million to rebuilding the city's underfunded public library system.

Graham would have provided the seventh crucial vote for the baseball package yesterday. But as it turned out, Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) pulled the stadium legislation from the council's agenda, saying she wants two weeks to study a last-minute proposal to build a ballpark with private funds.

The substitute bill was never offered, but some council members obtained copies, as did The Washington Post. Several council members accused Williams (D) of buying votes.

Read the entire article here on the Washington Post website