Monday, September 28, 2009

Where's the love?

In an article by Washington City Paper writer Mike DeBonis, under the heading of "Political Potpourri", posted on September 23, 2009, Mr. Debonis describes thusly a confrontation between Ward 7 Councilwoman Yvette Alexander and Ron Moten, cofounder of the Peaceoholics during a recent city hall protest:

"Ever since Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted “You lie!” at President Obama earlier this month, folks across the land have been decrying the lack of civility and respect in Washington’s political quarters.

That includes the John A. Wilson Building, apparently. Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander tells LL that she was not extended her due courtesy recently.

The occasion was a city hall protest last week, where Peaceoholics co-founder Ron Moten brought dozens of supporters to protest the slashing of council earmarks—of which his group has been a prime beneficiary.

Outside the Wilson Building, Alexander says Moten & Co. got in her face about the cuts to the fiscal 2010 budget. Alexander says she had a retort: “I said, ‘What are you arguing for? You’ve never had a shortage of any funding.’” She added: “Your well has run dry.”

To that, Moten did not react well: “You’re trash!” Alexander recalls being told at least three times with Moten’s finger in her face.

In an interview, Moten admits to comparing his councilmember to refuse: “She was acting like a piece of trash,” the Ward 7 resident says. “She wasn’t acting like a councilmember.”

In Moten’s telling, it’s Alexander who needs to improve her manners: “She was talking to the people like nobodies. ‘I don’t like people who drop out of school. I don’t like people who stand on corners.’” In fact, he says, “I’m debating whether or not I’m going to press charges against her for grabbing my finger.”

One can only imagine, that had the protesters that approached Councilwoman Alexander been restrained and civil, the occasion of the Councilwoman's interact with the protesters would not have reached the attention of Mr. DeBonis or any of the readers of his writing or this blog. We do not expect our elected officials to have to endure ad hominem attacks or for that matter, the threat of physical abuse. Also, the altercation could not have been in the best interests of the Peaceoholics, because the Councilwoman could/will certainly have the last say.

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