Where does Washington restaurant food really come from? Kojo explores how the phrase "farm to table" is used and discusses whether it should be retired altogether.
Guest Host: Tom Sherwood
D.C. lawmakers try a different approach for obtaining more control of their budget. Maryland’s governor backs a new surcharge for electric service. And the region’s airports authority welcomes new faces. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
- Lanny J. Davis Founder, Purple Nation Solutions; Principal, Lanny J. Davis & Associates
- Jack Evans D.C. Council member (D-Ward 2); Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue
- Patrick Madden Reporter, WAMU 88.5 News
Politics Hour Video
D.C. Council member Jack Evans said the city is in final negotiations on a new D.C. United soccer stadium. He said the stadium’s planned location across from Nationals Park on South Capitol Street, SW, is the “perfect area.” Evans added that the soccer team would pay to build the stadium while the city provided the infrastructure.
MR. TOM SHERWOODFrom WAMU at American University in Washington, welcome to "The Politics Hour." I'm Tom Sherwood sitting in for Kojo Nnamdi, and sitting in for me, Patrick Madden, star reporter here at WAMU 88.5. Welcome.
MR. PATRICK MADDENGood afternoon, Tom.
SHERWOODYou just got back from investigative seminar three days in Boston. Was it worth it?
MADDENThis was a couple of months back, but, yeah...
MADDEN...it was fun. It was...
SHERWOODWell, you acted like this morning there was -- you just got back.
MADDENI'm still going over all the -- as -- we talked about a lot of good interview techniques that I will be using later today on our guests.
SHERWOODCan you tell what the first question is right before you...
SHERWOODOK. Here we go. Let's talk -- we've got some great subjects this week. First of all, Yvette Alexander, the Ward 7 councilmember, said she didn't care if speed camera fines are $1,000. She thinks it's a safety issue.
MADDENWell, I mean, this has been issue that has been -- people have gone back and forth on whether this ticket price -- the ticket fines, which...
SHERWOODThe $250 is the max now.
MADDENWell, if -- will they double, though, if you don't pay it within 30 days? So you can theoretically get a $300 ticket for making a right turn on red depending on where you are. And so a lot of people are wondering whether these tickets are about filling the city's coffers or about safety. And advocates, pedestrian safety advocates will point out that pedestrian fatalities have gone down.
SHERWOODChief Lanier said it...
SHERWOOD...80 percent reduction in fatalities in traffic.
MADDENBut it's hard to look at the numbers that are coming in right now in revenue.
SHERWOODTommy Wells, the Ward 6 councilmember, says he and Mary Cheh will propose lowering all these fines, and they hope to have a new law by December.
MADDENYeah. I mean, I think they're trying to find some middle of the road where the technology will still be there. The cameras will still be capturing folks doing, you know, running red lights, speeding, and I think there's even new technology now that they're going to unveil down the road. But they're just going to lower the fines.
SHERWOODWell, you know, as Chief Lanier says if you don't speed, you won't get a ticket.
SHERWOODBut let's -- moving on. The Washington Redskins jumped into the seven gambling initiative in Maryland. It's very unusual for a pro sports team to take a position on a gambling issue.
MADDENI don't get this. All I know is every time I turn on the TV, if I'm not seeing a presidential ad, I'm seeing one of these question seven ads regarding this ballot initiative coming up in Maryland over this gambling measure. But, yeah, they have come out as an organization to support this gambling question on the ballot and I -- it's my understanding that it's to sort of promote sort of economic development in Prince George's County. But, again, I don't get it.
SHERWOODEconomic development, the Nationals, Teddy is still a big issue whether -- did you think he should win or lose?
MADDENSee, I think I'm in the minority here, but I feel like once Teddy wins, then it's -- you can't talk about it anymore. So I think from one standpoint, it was always fun to go to the game even though you knew Teddy was going to lose. It was sort of like the Charlie Brown thing where they pull the football out, but now, there's nothing left to do.
SHERWOODWell, from Teddy to taxis, the -- there was -- in a matter of hours, there was a new taxi surcharge. The taxi commission's Ron Linton said we're going to let taxicab drivers all over the city charge an extra dollar per passenger over the -- after the second passenger during the playoffs. This is right after the mayor said we're going to make a welcoming fun experience for people coming to the games. And then suddenly that fare went away. What happened?
MADDENI mean, this was incredible. There was a press release that went out late in the day, earlier this week from the taxicab commission basically adding a dollar surcharge during home games that would apply not just to cabs going to the ballpark or from the ballpark but everywhere across the city, and people -- it just made no sense because on one hand you're going to have more folks needing rides so there's going to be more demand. You would think that'd be good for taxicabs. So why would you need to then offer...
MADDENYeah. Offer this incentive.
MADDENAnd it still didn't make sense. If that was a trial balloon that went up, I don't think it left the person's hand before it got popped.
SHERWOODI believe it was a lead balloon.
SHERWOODYou may have heard a laugh. That's Jack Evans, a member of the D.C. Council, financial and revenue chairman. He's a Democrat from Ward 2. He's joining us now in the studio since he leans forward to the microphone. Were you for or against Teddy winning?
MR. JACK EVANSFor Teddy winning.
EVANSI think it was about time that Teddy won a race. I was not happy with the way he ran, and actually, I don't think he actually won. I think...
EVANSWell, I think we -- he doesn't -- he didn't win. It goes, Patrick, maybe to your point that I think it should be declared that this Gumby guy ran out -- there's a Philly fanatic, I guess -- it looked like Gumby -- ran out of the stands and knocked down the other three, and then Teddy won. If he was going to win, he should win by beating the other three in a footrace, not some convoluted thing. I think they're going to declare it invalid, and we have to wait for look for next season, yeah.
SHERWOODLet me give the phone number here. You're listening to "The Politics Hour." Our guest analyst today is Patrick Madden, a reporter for WAMU 88.5. We're talking with Jack Evans about several subjects. You can join the conversation by calling 1-800-433-8850, or you can make a comment on our website, kojoshow.org, and you can also send us a tweet, @kojoshow, kojo dash show.
SHERWOODThere's so many ways to communicate now, no wonder we don't understand what's going on.
SHERWOODThe playoff fever, no doubt, you'll be at the game probably Wednesday.
SHERWOODI would say the St. Louis or Atlanta.
SHERWOODAnd take us back just a few years. We promoted this show by saying, you know, the council came within a vote of not even having a team, having a stadium. There were many six -- seven-six votes. Mayor Williams in 1999 said let's try to do something about baseball. It came in 2005. How close did we -- this city get to not even having a team?
EVANSWell, it was pretty close, Tom, and it actually predates that. You go back to Frank Smith when he was the council, remember, trying to put together a baseball fund. Bill Hall and I, for years in the mid-'90s, used to keep in touch with baseball identifying...
SHERWOODBill Hall, the big giant lawyer guy...
SHERWOOD...whose -- has those great seats right behind home plate...
SHERWOOD...off to the left of the pitcher.
EVANSThe one and only.
EVANSTrying to figure out how to get -- I remember talking baseball, and they said, you know, what you have going for here is you have a stadium and nobody else does, and that was empty RFK Stadium, but we had it. And then when Montreal became in play, that's when this whole thing started in earnest. And Mayor Williams and Linda Cropp, myself and others were really looking at this as a real possibility. It became -- baseball was never excited about coming to Washington, MLB.
EVANSThey don't like the history. They don't think the team could survive here. And so they would...
MADDENClose to Baltimore.
EVANSToo close to Baltimore and Peter Angelos. So I actually went up and met with -- during this whole process to try and get him to back off.
SHERWOODAngelos is right, you know? Ever since we've had a team...
SHERWOOD...I have not been to one Orioles game.
SHERWOODHe's worried that this would bleed his team.
EVANSYeah. But it really hasn't, and I think all -- it was one of those all boats rises because the Orioles are doing fine, and he got a tremendous deal, as you know, on the TV rights in order to back off the Nationals. But they were looking -- baseball was looking anywhere but here. And the biggest competition we had ended up being Northern Virginia, and, frankly, when it came to the wire, had not -- Northern Virginia fumbled on the bonds where the governor at that time, Mark Warner, said he wouldn't back the state -- wouldn't back the bonds.
EVANSIt could very well have gone there, but it didn't. And -- but on the city council, it was difficult. And I just want to name the seven people. There were seven council members who stuck with this issue all the way through and without them we wouldn't had it. And it starts with Chairman Linda Cropp. Linda got a bad rap at the end. She was trying to get a better deal for the city. It looked like it was going to impede baseball, but at the end of day, without Linda Cropp's leadership on that council, we wouldn't get the baseball thing done and...
SHERWOODOK. Name them quickly. You and Linda Cropp, that's two.
EVANSLinda Cropp and myself. And then you had Harold Brazil, Kevin Chavous and Sandy Allen, who are all not there, Vincent Orange, who was terrific, and Sharon Ambrose. And that was it. Those seven voted for baseball all the time. And I have to mention the three who never did was David Catania, Phil Mendelson and Jim Graham and Adrian Fenty voted against baseball 12 times.
MADDENDo you ever see them up in the -- in that suite?
SHERWOODJim Graham was honored on the field a couple of weeks ago.
EVANSHe was honored on the field.
EVANSAnd Adrian Fenty was a good friend of mine. I mean, the irony is he was the -- one of the -- with David Catania, the most vocal opponent of baseball, voted against it 12 times and threw out the first pitch as mayor.
EVANSSo there you have it.
MADDENDo you know what sort of economic benefit these playoff games are going to bring to the city and...
EVANSOh, I could break it right down for you by the numbers.
EVANS...compare that to the public safety cost the city is going to have to spend?
EVANSThe public safety cost is estimated to be $76,000, right? It was in the paper yesterday. All right. I'm going to give you the benefit from having a playoff game here next Wednesday, just next Wednesday. There are 42,000 tickets in that stadium. They're all going to sell, OK? Sold out already. The average price per ticket -- lowball, a little bit up, but just so you can do the numbers in your head -- it's $100.
EVANSSo 42,000 times 100 is $4.2 million in revenue in tickets, and we get 10 percent. That's $420,000 right off the top we get. All right? On food sales, we get 10 percent of all the food sold. On...
SHERWOODIn the stadium and outside.
EVANSIn -- yeah. Just -- we're talking just the stadium right now, 10 percent in the stadium. Of merchandise sales, we get 6 percent on all merchandise sold in the stadium. Right now, we're about $600,000. People in the bars and restaurants, as you mentioned, that night...
EVANS...on a Wednesday night that they wouldn't be there otherwise...
EVANS...watching this game, now we're up to $700,000. And I just gave you the math.
MADDENSo can you explain this to me then? It fits...
EVANSSo there's no question this will bring -- and you get a World Series here with the Yankees, you're looking at $1 million. You'll sell out every hotel room in the city.
MADDENSo if it's a million -- it could be up to $1 million...
MADDEN...a game in revenue, why wouldn't the Nats just pay for (word?) ?
EVANSWell, this is to us. This isn't to them.
MADDENWell, it just seems...
EVANSThis is to the city.
MADDENRight. But why...
EVANSWell, I'll give you the answer to all of that because I was intimately involved in the whole thing.
SHERWOODDon't give us all the details. We have other questions.
EVANSIf this was Cleveland Indians, if this was the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, was playing this World Series game, the Cleveland Indians would not be paying for the Metro, and they wouldn't be paying for the police. OK? The city of Cleveland would be paying for the police, and the Metro would be paying for the Metro...
MADDENBut we built the stadium.
EVANS...in every city. Well, they did it in Cleveland, too. You know, the bottom line is there's an emotional factor here that's entering in. We want the Nats to pay because we don't like them, you know. And the bottom line, Abe Pollin (unintelligible)...
MADDENWell, I think we like them. It's just -- it's $30,000...
EVANSAbe Pollin did not pay...
MADDEN...compared to the money that you're talking about.
EVANSI understand what you're saying, but I'm arguing -- I'm talking about the rationale. You're talking about something else. OK? The rationale is when -- at the Verizon Center today, the city pays for the police protection, OK? That's what they do. And so at the National Stadium...
MADDENAt the Verizon Center, they will pay for Metro.
EVANSWell, that's just because they chose to do that. Any other city in the country, we did a survey, any other city in the country, Metro pays for Metro. The team doesn't pay for Metro. And, frankly, I think with the Redskins and the Caps and the Wizards, they shouldn't be paying for it either.
SHERWOODThe critics were saying that the stadium, $800 million was...
EVANS...we borrowed 585.
SHERWOODOK. Well, whatever the -- if the big figure, it could have been spent differently. Obviously, the team is winning now. There's been some stuff...
EVANSIt couldn't be spent differently, Tom, because you couldn't borrow that money without the revenue to support the borrowing. You know, there wasn't $585 million in the bank that we handed over.
SHERWOODSo the Nats...
EVANSWe borrowed the money.
SHERWOODSince 2005 when the Nats got to town...
SHERWOOD...and since the stadium was, what, since 2008? How long -- how many years?
SHERWOODIt -- economically, it's -- even though it was an expensive deal, it's been a good deal for the city. It's paying the bonds, the business tax...
SHERWOOD...the attendance is paying.
EVANSThe three taxes, the tax on utilities, the tax on the businesses and then the tax on the stadium and all the things involved with the -- plus the rent raises over $50 million. And our debt services about half that. So already we are banking over half of what we need, which it will then go to pay off the bonds early. Secondly, the value of the real estate around the stadium has almost doubled.
EVANSSo in essence, you could say, in about five years, the real estate taxes that we are getting, the property taxes will more than pay for what the stadium is. It's just like the Verizon Center. You know, we kicked down $100 million in the Verizon Center for (unintelligible).
SHERWOODThe critics say to me that the Southeast area around the stadium would have developed anyway. And I always try to say I'm not taking sides, but saying, well, the baseball stadium didn't create demand over there, but it accelerated demand. Is that the right word?
EVANSOh, you're absolutely right, Tom. I mean, when people say it would've developed anyway through two recessions that we just had, if there was no baseball stadium, that place would've looked exactly like it looked 10 years ago.
MADDENBut do you think that area has developed as quickly as it was projected to develop...
SHERWOODNo, because there's an actual recession.
EVANSIt wasn't projected to develop that quickly. I said 10 years. We are five years down the road. We have five more years to go, and I based it on the Verizon Center. Verizon Center opened in '97. There was nothing there but Tony Cheng's restaurant and the police station next door to protect you from going (unintelligible).
MADDENBut how long will it take for the stadium to pay for itself?
EVANSTen years. I'd say five years.
MADDENFive years from now.
EVANSOh, yeah. Absolutely.
MADDENOK. So we're going to come back in five years.
EVANSWith the property taxes that we're taking in right now, I can calculate it out for you.
SHERWOODOK. Oh, don't calculate.
EVANSI'm not guessing.
SHERWOODDon't calculate anything.
EVANSI'm not guessing. I'm telling you.
SHERWOODI'm calculating the time we're spending on this issue. But I do want to address because you have been the proponent of both the Verizon Center, the conventions -- the critics all said...
EVANSAnd the baseball team.
SHERWOOD...bad economics, bad site, too big or to -- for the sites.
SHERWOODAll those things have not turned out to be true. You also are promoting bringing the Redskins to town…
SHERWOOD...allowing the team -- letting the team or making the team build a stadium at the site -- footprint of RFK to pay for it for the same economic benefits. You've gotten a lot of pushback on that. Is there -- is that still pie in the sky some people think or is it still a doable thing?
EVANSIt is a doable thing, and it's not a question of it'll happen. It's when it'll happen. As you know, the Redskins have a lease at -- in the county till 2026. And at some time between now and 2026, there's no doubt in my mind the Redskins will return to the city and build a brand-new stadium at the RFK site. That's going to happen. So...
MADDENWhat about the Pepco site? I've heard that mentioned is if there was -- if the Redskins did come back, that could be a possible site.
EVANSThat would be where the -- for the practice fields.
EVANSThat's what they would be looking at 'cause that's a bigger issue.
SHERWOODLet's try to take in call and bring some people on this totally different subject
EVANSOK. OK. Sure.
SHERWOODWe're going to go to Anne in Washington, D.C. Freedom for D.C. citizens. Anne?
ANNEHello. I -- thank you for letting me call in, and particularly while Congressman Evans is there. He...
ANNEHe was one of the few people who spoke up for the citizens of the District of Columbia down in Charlotte at the little abortive demonstration that DC Vote had who have been leading us astray in many ways.
SHERWOODOK. OK. Ask your question, Anne. We only have a short time.
ANNEOh, OK. And what he said was why are we spending so much time on budget autonomy, voting rights and all the rest of this stuff when we can get everything with statehood? And my question to him is, why is the council is going to spend our money on an election, waste all the stuff on a referendum on budget autonomy, which even our attorney general does not think is necessarily legal, instead of really pushing Congress to admit us as a state in which we would get all of our rights?
SHERWOODCan you explain...
EVANSAnne, I agree...
SHERWOOD...that this is Mendelson's -- chairman's idea...
SHERWOOD...of passing local legislation for this and then presenting it to Congress?
EVANSYeah. I agree with Anne. And, Anne, I remember when we were in the pouring rain in Charlotte in the middle of that field, but we were out there and we made it happen. I don't think there's a lot of enthusiasm behind the bill that councilmember -- Chairman Mendelson introduced. But he did it at the request of DC Vote. I think it's try -- it's a way to try and keep the issue in front of the public and in front of Congress, 'cause keep in mind if indeed it were to pass in a referendum, it goes to Congress and they can shoot it down.
EVANSAnd so the end of the day is with budget autonomy, our congresswoman, I support what she's trying to do is to get it done and get it done as quickly as possible. But statehood is the ultimate goal.
ANNEBut statehood will only happen if we ask for it and don't muddle our message, and we actually think the citizens, but not to our elected officials are actually getting co-sponsors of Eleanor's statehood bill, and there is a huge groundswell of interest in statehood around the country and around the world. And, for example, a friend of mine...
SHERWOODOK. Anne, I'm going to have to let them answer that 'cause...
SHERWOOD...I don't think a lot of people have seen that huge groundswell, at least it hasn't been played out in the media.
ANNEThat's because they're not talking to the people.
SHERWOODOK. But thanks.
EVANSYeah. But it's a good point. And one last point in that at the convention in Charlotte, actually Mark Plotkin and I went over and met with the Puerto Rican delegation who are voting on statehood in November. And were they to vote for it, you remember the Alaska, Hawaii model. Maybe that's a model that would work for us.
MADDENBut you actually think that statehood is reasonable...
SHERWOODIt's within -- is it -- can you politically say that it's not within sight?
EVANSI would say it is not anywhere within sight unless something like the Puerto Rico, D.C., Alaska, Hawaii thing (unintelligible).
SHERWOODYou're listening to The Politics Hour. Our guest analyst today is Patrick Madden. He's a reporter for WAMU 88.5. We're talking with Jack Evans, councilmember from Ward 2 and the biggest proponent of organized sports.
SHERWOODWe never -- before we go off, I meant to ask you, you know, there's a lot of talk that the soccer stadium could to the land around the...
SHERWOOD...acreage land over there across South Capitol Street. Where -- what's the status on the soccer? A lot of people said we want a soccer stadium. There's a big, growing audience for that.
EVANSI would say we're in final negotiations on the soccer stadium as well. They have a new ownership, the D.C. United, who are really committed to building a stadium in the city. The area you talked around across South Capitol Street from where the baseball stadium is a perfect area. It would bring a lot of synergy with the baseball stadium. Unlike -- even the baseball scene, there's a lot of sport for the soccer stadium. And I think...
SHERWOODIt wouldn't be as nearly as big.
EVANSTwenty -- 25,000 seats, so it's a much smaller stadium.
MADDENAnd who would pay for that stadium?
EVANSThe team would pay for it, and the city would do what we always do is to simulate the infrastructure…
EVANS...which is a lot of it is there. Same with the Redskins.
SHERWOODOK. Bruce Johnson from Channel 9 just tweeted this afternoon that he's been told by somebody close to Gray that Gray is not going to run again and whether this probe thing works out against the mayor or not. Your own thoughts, you've been looking at a race for mayor in case this mayor didn't survive his scandal. What do you think about the mayor? Do you think he would run again if he survives this scandal?
EVANSWell, I can't put words in the mayor's mouth, but I would be hard-pressed to believe the mayor said anything about not running again. You would not, as a sitting mayor, regardless of your situation, put yourself in lame duck status. So I don't -- I haven't talked to the mayor about this, but I highly doubt he would, in any way, shape or form, indicate what his plans are in the future at this point in time. He's a very good politician. He wouldn't do that. So we just have to wait and see what happens.
MADDENBut if Gray does not run, are you definitely running for mayor?
EVANSYes. Yes. If Gray does not run, I would definitely run for mayor or some other instance happens. If there's a vacancy, I would definitely run for mayor.
SHERWOODSo you, Muriel Bowser, Tommy Wells, some people think David Catania...
SHERWOODVincent -- well, you know, and I always said that if I ran for office -- I've said that here before -- the first bill that I'd pass if I got on to the council would be a bill to put Vincent Orange's name on every ballot that comes up...
SHERWOOD...every ANC, every council seat, everything, and just let Vincent be on the ballot. And then…
MADDENRight. And just let the signs there at all the times.
EVANSYeah, leave the signs up, right? You don't have to take them down.
SHERWOODWhat about Michael Brown and the controversies with Michael Brown? You know, he just seems to have one issue after another. Are you endorsing anyone in the races other than your own campaign?
EVANSNo, I always stay out of the endorsement business. I think that's a smart thing to do. Other than the Democratic...
SHERWOODYou're the finance and revenue chairman. Do you have any finance or revenue advice for Michael Brown in his various troubles (unintelligible) and other candidates who are bringing it up?
EVANSNo, I don't. I want to say that I recently endorse the Democratic Party candidate. I believe Vincent Orange is the Democratic Party nominee. And so I always support the Democratic nominee.
SHERWOODWouldn't this be better with non-partisan elections?
EVANSI don't think so. I like -- I think partisan elections are a part of our history here. And I know people are always trying to change the rules. I always see people trying to change the rules because they want to get elected, you know. And so I think that these -- the way we elect people around here has worked quite well over the years. I think -- I mean, look at the results. Washington, D.C. is the number one city in the country today. We're the most fiscally responsible.
EVANSWe have more development. We're the envy of development around the nation. Washington, D.C. is a complete success story. Why would you want to change the…
MADDENDo you think the local government is a complete success or, I mean, we've had...
EVANSWell, we've had our ups and downs.
MADDEN...a number of scandals this year that the...
MADDEN…people say is -- one of the problems is that it's a one-party government. And perhaps opening up the elections, making it to open primaries would, at least, make it more competitive, bring other voices into the process.
EVANSThat may be true, but I don't now that that's the problem. And, again, when you talk about scandals, I mean, everybody else to the last three governors of Illinois are all in jail. I mean, in Pennsylvania where I come from, every judge in Luzerne County is in jail. I mean, scandals are endemic in these governments. It's unfortunate, but they are. But I don't think our government is any worse or any better than governments around the country. And I don't know that keep changing the rules is going to bring you more honest politicians.
SHERWOODWell, speaking of scandals and ethics issues, you're supposed to hold a hearing next Wednesday on the stories that The Washington Post has been doing about the property records and who does what. And one of the persons in lowering the property tax assessment and that the chief guy was doing it on his own and overwriting some of his assessors. But now the ethics person from the CFO's office has abruptly quit when he was suppose to be at your hearing next week. Do you think you'll subpoena him? What do you think will happen?
EVANSWell, no. I spoke to him on the phone today, and he's going to be coming to the hearing. He's not the ethics director. He's the head of the office of investigations.
EVANSWell, it's not...
SHERWOODThat's a cop term.
EVANSIt's the internal audit.
EVANSAnd so he resigned yesterday and then I spoke to him. We had asked him to come, sent a letter asking him to come in his official capacity. So I spoke to him on the phone today, and he's going to come in his citizen's capacity.
MADDENWhat's your biggest concern having read these stories? I mean, what do you want to get to the bottom of here 'cause there's a number of issues that have been raised?
EVANSWell, the real issue that's been raised is about the assessments, and it was someone going in and changing the assessments to provide favors to the people on the office buildings. I assume that's what they're driving at. And so what we want to get to the bottom of: Number one, was somebody doing that? Number two, was there an audit trail? Was there a way for me to determine that Tom was going in and doing this and I didn't know about it? And then, is it backed up by the data? So if you changed the assessment...
MADDENRight. There should be some forensic.
EVANSWell, you should have a file that says I changed the -- yeah, as you say, forensics. There's data that supports the change you made and there are all those systems in place. And if they are, fine, and if they're not, why are they not in place? And, again, the gentleman who resigned yesterday was the one who did the investigation. And so I want him to come as a public witness and lay out for me what's the problems here and then...
SHERWOODI hope we'll understand it better when you get there.
SHERWOODWe'll go back to the callers. I want to go back with callers because Rob from Rosedale was calling in about RFK Stadium. If a team or the Redskins were to come back to town, what benefits would there be? Rob, ask your question, please. Rob? Apparently, he's gone.
MADDENYeah, but I...
SHERWOODHe wanted to know about parks and what benefits would there be for -- there's a -- the people who live on Capitol Hill are very worried that all that space would be going over to a practice field that they won't have access to. And they'll be stymied in the economic development on Capitol Hill.
EVANSYeah. Well, beyond just the stadium itself, I think there would be a lot of discussions where the individual residents were there and others as to what the whole complex would look like around there. And I think...
EVANS...having fields -- practice fields, fields people can use, retail...
SHERWOODRob, are you -- Rob, are you there now?
EVANSOh, is he back again?
ROBYes, I am here.
SHERWOODOK. I think I asked your question for you. But if you would succinctly ask your question, I'd appreciate it to make sure I asked it correctly.
ROBYeah. I'd appreciate it. Thank you, Councilmember Evans. We are -- I'm from Kingman Park in Rosedale which is right across from there. And the question we have is that we have worked to try to put in place playing fields and soccer fields for kids to use. And a new stadium is going to take 15 years to be built or at the earliest, and there's discussion about bringing the Redskin training center.
ROBWe don't have a problem with that, but as long as that training center and the condition of building it is linked to them also investing in playing fields that the community and children here can use from Wards 5, 6 and 7. Strongly, we urge you, if you're going to push for a training center here in that neighborhood, to please put upfront benefits for the community and not simply make it a spa for rich athletes.
SHERWOODGood enough. Good question. Community benefits.
EVANSNo, I think it's -- no. It's a great question, a great comment too. And that's exactly what we would do. It's exactly what I would do. Whenever we try to bring these sport facilities into town is to make sure that there are benefits for the people who live there. And I think what you're talking about is exactly what would happen. And just -- you'd have the stadium where RFK currently sits, but beyond that, everything is open to discussion as to what this would all look like and how it would benefit the community that lives there.
SHERWOODPatrick, I want to change subjects unless you want to follow on this.
MADDENNo. Go for it.
SHERWOODThen in the guise of running for mayor but not yet running, you've introduced a bill that would require librarians and music teachers and every school -- that's a real winner for communities all across the city 'cause there's been -- some librarians are now being shared in some of these schools. The city has spent X billion of dollars on repairing all the fiscal schools. But now there's worries that the musicians and the librarians aren't there.
SHERWOODCan you quickly tell me what that's about?
EVANSWell, sure. No, it's a bill that says every school on the city should have a librarian, an art teacher and a music teacher. And these are fundamental things that I believe that every student should have access to because I have three kids, and, you know, they're not all that interested in sports than they are interested in this other stuff. And as a personal thing, you start to realize what's important. Our school system spends more money per a child than any school system in America, any city, county or state. We have the money to do this. We just spend it in areas that we choose not to spend it.
MADDENBut doesn't this fly in the face of when mayor will take over...
EVANSOh yeah, micromanaging. Of course, yes. Yes. I was there when it happened. Absolutely. Yes.
MADDEN...and when we want the counsel to stay out of the school's business, and yet this bill would mandate what the schools would have to do?
EVANSYeah, yeah. No question. Yeah. And I sat at these public meetings and I sat with the chancellor, the one in Ward 2. And three-quarters of the people who got up said we want a library and a librarian in our school. And it's either is falling on deaf ears or something's happening here. And so at some point as a legislator -- and I am completely aware of that issue of micromanaging the schools, talked about it when we did the takeover. But at some point, you can't sit there and say...
MADDENBut where is it going to stop? What if another councilmember suddenly decides that he wants to promise something that...
EVANSWell, then, we have to make a valued judgment that that's something we shouldn't do. But this, I think, we should do. And hopefully it'll pass, and hopefully next year when the schools open, it will happen.
SHERWOODKaya Henderson, the chancellor, has got to close 20, 30 more schools. So that'd be 20 or 30 fewer librarians...
EVANSWell, that's right. Yeah.
SHERWOOD...and art teachers. Well, Mr. Evans, your time is up.
EVANSOh no, I have nowhere to go.
EVANSI booked the whole hour.
SHERWOODYou know, the problem with inviting Jack Evans here is that you can't get him out. He's like the relative. He comes, stay just for a couple of weeks...
SHERWOOD...and suddenly is, you know, hair growing on your sofa.
EVANSI'm just getting started.
SHERWOODJack Evans, chairman of the council Finance and Revenue Committee, biggest booster for baseball and sports in town. I think we asked you some questions today about it. That's really a good thing and we're solid on it.
SHERWOODYou're unopposed for the Nov. 6 election?
EVANSUnopposed in Nov. 6. So I'll be back...
SHERWOODWell, maybe we invite you back after Nov. 6?
EVANSNo. On -- just on Feb. 13 of next year, I will become the longest-serving councilmember in the history of the council. So I have a little cake down at the Wilson building.
MADDENHope it's a big cake.
EVANSMaybe a big cake.
SHERWOODYou know, in politics, people say, "He's been there too long."
SHERWOODThat's why you're trying to move up to mayor.
EVANSWe've passed that.
SHERWOODThanks very much for coming in.
EVANSAll right. Thanks a lot.
SHERWOODWell, he's actually getting up and leaving without the armed guards this time.
EVANSI'm just waiting for them to drag me up.
SHERWOODThat's good. That's good. We're going to have Lanny Davis come in in just a moment and tell us why the police union has such a soft union contract. He'll hate that phrase. And so there he goes.
EVANSWhere's my briefcase?
SHERWOODNow, he's -- Jack lost his briefcase.
MADDENSo, Tom, are you excited for some Nats playoff baseball?
SHERWOODWell, yes. I'm actually going to go Wednesday.
EVANSAre we off the radio?
SHERWOODNo, we're on the radio, Mr. Evans. Thank you very much. Exit's over to your right. No, I think, you know, I think whether you are for the team coming here, whether -- it is an economic development thing. It is a community thing. You know...
MADDENIt brings the city together.
SHERWOODWell, I -- some it does. Yes, I think it does. But it's like the Washington Redskins. Some people hate their name but like the team. And they talk about it a lot. And I think it's -- I think sports -- I grew up around sports in the military as a military brat, and I think sport are a good thing. They should not just be blank checks for the team owners.
MADDENRight. But as someone who -- I grew up in New York. There's nothing better than playoff baseball. I know people sometimes can say baseball is too slow. You go to the game and it -- you can start dozing off. But playoff baseball, when every pitch counts, there's nothing like it.
SHERWOODWell, first of all, people who say baseball is too slow don't know what they're talking about, but let's move on. I'm still upset that Teddy won. I think that was a mistake. Lanny Davis is a co-founder of Purple Nation Solutions, a strategic communications and public affairs firm. He's also a principal at the law firm of Lanny J. Davis, which happens to be his name, & Associates. And he's a former special counsel to a former president, Bill Clinton. Before we get to your issue, very poor -- serious issue, welcome to the program.
MR. LANNY J. DAVISHello, Tom. And I want to say that anybody who is a Washington Nationals fan -- and you can't find anyone in Washington who isn't -- would not say that a single pitch, a single minute watching a Nationals game is boring. And talk about the playoffs. We're all just looking forward to the next several weeks.
SHERWOODWe have a serious issue. Let me give the numbers. You're listening to The Politics Hour. Our guest analyst today is Patrick Madden, a reporter at WAMU 88.5. And we're just about to talk with Lanny Davis. You can join the conversation by calling 1-800-433-88500. Or you can make a comment at our website, kojoshow.org. And you can also send us a tweet, @kojoshow. I want to ask you about the presidential debates.
SHERWOODYou've been involved in presidential politics. What happened -- just give me 20 seconds on what happened to Obama. Was that a trick so he'll look so great the second time around?
DAVISI'm a supporter of Barack Obama, and I've never been more amazed. I think he had a bad night, but worse than that is his habit of looking down, taking notes while somebody is talking too. It was just...
SHERWOODSmart, arrogant. I thought Adrian Fenty was up there.
DAVISHe's such a nice guy with a great jump shot and a great family. And I mean jump shot, meaning everybody relates to him. And that sort of snarling look down, taking notes while someone is talking to him is just bad. And he's got to cure that one.
SHERWOODWell, he ought to go back and play some of the tapes of Adrian Fenty 'cause I wrote a column about that saying it's a replay of that where he was just dismissive of anything.
SHERWOODLet's get on to the Montgomery County Police union. There's question B. It says it's going to attempt to rewrite some of the bargaining rights for the police officers. You're representing the police union.
SHERWOODThe county counsel last year voted unanimously to say affects bargaining is no longer going to required, and that means that anything that the police department wants to do that affects the hours and if -- and the duties of the police officer has to be bargained before it can be put into effect, except with minor exceptions, public safety. What's your position on this? Why should people vote either for or against this?
DAVISWell, the police union is against a law that's been on the books for 30 years. You would think if you're overturning something that's worked for 30 years, you would have some good reasons to do so. And these folks or friends of mine, I get a kind of executive -- the Democratic county council, I'm a Democrat. These are friends. But what I am shocked about...
DAVISI am shocked. If Roger Berliner is listening, he's refused to debate me. If Ike Leggett is listening, I have not gotten anybody to accept my challenge that what police have had on the books for three years -- and here's what it's about. This simple. The right to talk within a limited period of time set by the statute not to exceed 50 days. The right to talk within a limited period of time not to exceed 50 days.
DAVISIf the police department management makes a decision that affects a policeman's family such as changing schedules from a dayshift to a nightshift or changing territories from one vicinity to another. And it's only about the right to talk within a fixed time period of 50 days or less. And if it's about public safety, under the expressed language of the law that they want to repeal, the police chief can immediately implement.
SHERWOODThe police chief said -- in testimony for this, Police Chief Tom Manger said that this has "overreached reasonable notions of collective bargaining and labor peace." He says, "I do not possess a single management right that can be excluded from bargaining." And he says -- let me read this so you can answer it -- "And even attempting to bargain over whether or not officers need to answer emails or determining if the department can issue electronic ticket writing machines based on seniority."
SHERWOODOne of the complaints was they wanted to issue ticket writing machines to officers who showed effectiveness in doing the ticket writing. But he said that was -- had to be bargained because the union said, oh, this is got to be done on seniority. The senior officers need to get these machines. That's the kind of thing he's saying is hampering his ability to run the department.
DAVISSo understand that what he just said is false, not true...
SHERWOODPolice chief is false?
DAVIS...false and not true. And I challenge him to debate me on television, in the studio or anywhere. And so far, he was invited by Channel 8 to debate me. He has turned it down. Roger Berliner has turned it down. Why? 'Cause here's what the facts are: Whether you talk about ticket writing or any other subject, he is not refuting the fact that all the police have is a right to talk within a time limit, and the police can do anything he wants if it's a management decision, anything he wants if it's a management decision.
DAVISI challenge the chief to call into this program and tell me whether he doesn't have the right to do any management decisions regarding effects. I challenge him to call into this program and tell me...
SHERWOODI think you've exceeded your limit on challenge.
DAVISWell, I keep saying this...
SHERWOODYou sound like a -- challenge -- people that send in some money for public radio.
DAVISTom, my concern here is about truth. There's only one set of facts. You don't have a right to make up facts. You have a right to your opinion or vote against this position. Our position is vote against Question B because the truth is being distorted. This is simply about the right to talk about effects on police families within a limited period of time.
SHERWOODI want to let Patrick in. But what other -- I was told, in doing some research on this, that no other union -- can you name another union in Maryland or the police union that has this effects bargaining power?
DAVISFact: Every union in the United States, through the National Labor Relations Board law, through the Supreme Court and the state of Maryland and Montgomery County, every union has the right to effects bargaining without time limits. They can go to court if the management declines to bargain on effects. I will say that again. Every union has this right. The difference in Montgomery County -- and only in Montgomery County -- there was a statute time-limiting that right to 50 days. Fact.
SHERWOODWell, full disclosure, I was the head of the -- chairman of the union at The Washington Post for two years. And I have to say I was a little surprised at this. It's not -- I mean, you can bring up anything in bargaining. Surely anyone can bring it up, but this mandates that things have to be discussed.
DAVISWithin 50 days if it's an effect...
SHERWOODFifty working days or days?
DAVISWithin 50 days after the process is invoked where there's a discussion and there's a stalemate. If it's a public safety issue -- and we have misinformation talking about sending people to Silver Spring when crimes spike. False, false.
SHERWOODWhat about the electronic ticketing?
DAVISLet me just finish the point. The public safety exemption in the law plainly stated is if the chief says it affects public safety, he may immediately implement, not even within 50 days. But the reason that Montgomery County is the only one that has a statute is it limits the time, whereas if there were no statute, as in the rest of the state, there's no limit on the time that you can try to bargain, go to arbitration and then go to court and spend a lot of money. That's the only difference. We have a limit in Montgomery County, under the law, of 50 days or less once the process is invoked.
MADDENAnd, Lanny, I know you've called out Roger Berliner for a debate here or anywhere else.
MADDENAnywhere. But talk about...
MADDENCan you talk about the role that the county council has had within this debate sort of...
DAVISYes, and it's disappointing. Three county council members stopped me in the hallway and my friend Ike Leggett, who I've been friends with for 40 years. And I said, before I speak to the precinct officials, am I wrong about the facts that I just told Tom and this listening audience? Am I reading the statute incorrectly? Does the chief have any impediment to doing anything he wants if it's a management issue, and if it's an effects issue, it's within 50 days, and if it's a public safety issue, it's immediate?
DAVISAm I wrong? And not one of them said I was wrong, Tom. And I said, then why did you do this? Why would you appeal something in 30 years that Scott Walker in Wisconsin exempted police, in Montgomery County Democrats did not? And the answer was politics.
SHERWOODWell, let's flip the answer. Politics doesn't answer. So answer me this.
SHERWOODAll right? So, essentially, a liberal county, non-liberal members of the Montgomery County Council decide that this is necessary to support Tom Manger, the police chief, to give him better management authority over a police department that has growing responsibilities in a growing county. Why -- what is the basis of the politics that -- for them to do that?
DAVISThere is no shred of truth that his management authority is affected by this law.
SHERWOODWell, I'm not -- that's -- that...
DAVISYou mentioned his management authority.
SHERWOODNo, but I'm -- that's their position. But why would they do this?
DAVISSo if their position is that they think his management authority is limited and they want to repeal the law that's been on the books for 30 years, their position is false.
SHERWOODYeah, I know, but you've said that. But why do they want to do it?
DAVISAnd the question is why would they do something that -- and they're putting out information using county taxpayer money. That's false.
DAVISTom, if you get Roger Berliner in this studio, you can ask him, is Davis right or wrong?
SHERWOODNo, no. You're talking -- you're arguing facts. I'm not...
DAVISWell, I'm not -- truth matters, right?
SHERWOODBut I'm asking you, why...
SHERWOOD...does the council turn, in your state, turn its back, you would think, on the police union? Why is it doing it if it's so clear-cut in your mind?
DAVISLet me repeat that I asked some close friends -- I've been friends with Ike Leggett for 40 years -- the question you're asking me on the air.
SHERWOODAnd the answer is?
DAVISHe couldn't tell me other than, look, there are personal emotions involved here. They're angry with some of the union people, and that's why they did it. And one councilman in particular, Marc Elrich, who talked to me off the record -- I can't repeat on the air -- told me this was personal and this was political. But I am telling you that if they have a good reason for overturning this, Mr. Manger -- I don't know him, I'm sure he's a great police chief, people say he is -- is misinformed if he says his management authority is affected one iota. If he says that, it's a false statement.
DAVISIt's a false statement.
SHERWOODYeah, but it sounds to me like you're making a -- pardon me for saying that. I don't mean to be dismissive of it, but that you're making a legal argument that...
DAVISNot legal. It's about police families who have overtime issues, who have day care issues, who want to talk. It's not legal. It's about basic representation to talk.
SHERWOODHe wants to require police officers to read their emails.
DAVISHe -- there's never been a question that he can't do that. He can do that...
SHERWOODBut he has to wait 50 days?
DAVISNo, he doesn't have to wait 50 days.
SHERWOODI thought the union raised some issue about that.
DAVISHe -- that is...
SHERWOODDo they have to read them when they're off?
DAVISThat is totally false. This is never, ever...
SHERWOODYou're telling me the police chief of Montgomery County is a liar.
DAVISI'd say he's misinformed. He has the wrong information. And if he were here in the studio, I would say to him, if you can show me that emails were ever prevented from being enforced to be read, and you can show me the record, I'll buy you dinner, chief, 'cause it's false. Now let me just say one other thing to you, Tom. The truth matters. Either I'm right or I'm wrong that if he has to wait 50 days to get people to read emails, which is a matter of public safety if it's an email that's going to affect my safety, he can do anything he wants.
SHERWOODWell, but that's a qualifier. That's a -- but let me say this. You're listening to Lanny Davis.
DAVISWhat's a qualifier?
SHERWOODWell, you -- if it's public safety or not. You can have a difference of opinion.
DAVISHe can -- but who's going to argue with me? He can do anything -- no, no, no, no. This is -- please listen.
SHERWOODNo, no. No, I understand.
DAVISThe law says...
SHERWOODHe should do it 'cause it's a public safety issue, but the...
DAVISHe can do whatever he wants.
SHERWOOD...but the union can still then go and challenge him.
DAVISThe union can challenge him for up to 50 days in an arbitration...
SHERWOODSo every management...
DAVIS...and then the arbitrator can decide whether there's a reasonable basis. Nobody ever...
SHERWOODSo everything is challengeable.
DAVISNot one said -- no, not everything, and only within 50 days if it hasn't to do with public safety.
MADDENTom, can I just say one real quick?
SHERWOODI feel like we've -- can I just -- can I tell who we're talking about, then you get to...
DAVISJust the effects.
SHERWOODOK. You're listening to The Politics Hour. Our guest analyst is Patrick Madden, a reporter here who's going to try to get a question in in just a moment. We're talking with and over Lanny Davis, who's here representing the police union of Montgomery County, and it's a battle over Question B and their bargaining rights. Patrick, take it away.
MADDENLanny, I want to get your response here. This is a letter, it's my understanding, that Councilmember Berliner sent to you.
MADDENAnd he writes, "I had..."
SHERWOODWhen is this letter is sent? Is this brand new?
MADDENThis is sent in September...
DAVISThis is the one that he declines to debate.
SHERWOODWell, no -- well...
MADDENSept. 25. And he...
SHERWOODOK. Good. Contemporary.
DAVISAnd you have to -- and he has put it in context...
MADDENAnd he writes that...
DAVIS...but he was declining my invitation to debate.
SHERWOODWait. Read the letter.
MADDENRight. He is declining Lanny's request for a series of debates on this issue. And essentially, he's raising the point that Tom just raised that you're here accusing or it's seeming to accuse the county executive and the police chief of lying. And so he's calling you out for these statements that you're making.
SHERWOODCan I see the letter?
DAVISI stand -- he said, essentially, I'm accusing him of lying.
MADDENYeah, essentially. Yeah, that's put in caveat.
DAVISAnd that means by saying that he knows the facts and he's intentionally misrepresented and I never get into intent -- I want him to tell me that I am right or wrong -- then we don't have to worry about what his intent is. When I show him the plain language of the law and then he intentionally misrepresents the plain language that there isn't a public safety immediate implementation issue here, then I would have to say...
MADDENDo you think this sort of scorched earth -- I mean, I'm calling it very, sort of, confrontational approach is hindering.
DAVISExcuse me. I have to ask you a question you're asking me. Are you offended by someone who tells you something that's untrue?
EVANSIs that scorched earth if I say that what is being said by a public official is untrue?
MADDENNo. But you're here pretty much calling the chief of police a liar.
DAVISInstead of characterizing what I'm saying, am I saying the truth or not? Does that matter to you?
SHERWOODWell, it's not...
DAVISWhy is it -- and excuse me -- why is it we get off on political name calling, which is what Roger has done, saying I'm calling him a liar, rather than saying, you know, Lanny, it is a fact that the police department can do anything it wants. That's a management decision. It would be illegal to challenge the police department to issue a management decision. Working conditions are subject to collective bargaining, management decisions are not.
DAVISIf there is an effective management decision, such as day care, if somebody's shift has changed, then the effects, 30-year statute is implemented and no more than 50 days once the process is invoked.
DAVISWhy won't Roger Berliner at least say and everybody here at least say, you know, that is a fact. Now, let's argue.
SHERWOODBecause they disagree with that being a fact.
DAVISNo. They haven't -- believe me, Tom.
DAVISNobody can disagree with plain English language.
SHERWOODThe chief says, "We're not attempting to eliminate bargaining over salary, wages, pensions, benefits, hours, working conditions, personal patrol vehicles and the processing of settlement of grievances."
MADDENDid you hear the word effects there?
SHERWOODNo, I didn't hear effects.
MADDENSo where is he disagreeing with me? There is no disagreement on my facts, Tom, not one person. I asked them as they walk by me. Does this affects bargaining, one iota affect anything the chief wants to do? No. Does it...
SHERWOODRespond to Jim in Silver Spring, "I, as a citizen, I am outraged at the chutzpah of this --" Did I say that word right, chutzpah?
DAVISYou got it.
SHERWOODHoot, hoot, you know?
SHERWOOD"We seldom and we could barely get through the day. I'm outraged at the chutzpah displayed by the union. Everywhere else, the employer defines the work to be done and organize employees, negotiate the terms and conditions. In Montgomery County, the police say they shouldn't answers phones, that they should collect full disability benefits while fully employed elsewhere. It's crazy and costly to taxpayers."
DAVISDo you notice that misinformation campaigns lead to this kind of uninformed? What this gentleman just said has nothing to do with what's on the ballot. Not a shred does that have to do with effects of what management does, whether a family who's day care is effective by a shift change.
SHERWOODYou mentioned day care. Was there an effort to change shifts that would affect the day care?
DAVISThat's an example. People say, what do you mean by effects bargaining? I give two examples that are easy for people to understand. One is, if an officer is given a shift change and he doesn't have enough advance notice, then the issue of how much advance notice is fair before you have to worry about day care can be negotiated as effects bargaining. And let me give you another fact, Tom, that's stunning. Fifty days may seem like a long time. It has nothing to do with public safety. If it does, it's immediate. But 50 days may seem like...
SHERWOODBut when you say immediate, they -- but the union can still challenge it.
DAVISThe police does whatever -- the police chief does whatever he wants no matter what the effects. The union...
SHERWOODAnd then the union challenges.
DAVIS...invoking an arbitration process lasting no more than 50 days. Hello? But here is the fact, stunning. Not once in 30 years, not once, has that 50 days ever been reached.
SHERWOODHow much money does a county spend on police -- on arbitration and arbitrators on these issues?
DAVISI don't know whether I address the money. Not once has arbitration ever been invoked on...
SHERWOODBut there has been how many arbitration cases that I do not know.
DAVISExcuse me -- you asked me a question, Tom, you and I know each other long time, I gave you a truthful answer. Not once...
SHERWOODRight. I'm changing the question.
DAVISWell, I'm giving you the answer on money. Not once for effects bargaining has 50 days ever been reached and has there ever been any need to reach the 50-day time limit. As to how much money is spent if the chief has a meeting or a telephone call where he says, I won't do what you want me to do, they are stalemate. He can go into anything he wants if it's a public safety issue, or they can invoke arbitration. But I'm telling you, in 30 years, that 50-day time period, it's always been worked out.
DAVISAll this is about -- and I challenge again, am I wrong? This is about the right to talk with a statute that limits time, whereas in every other jurisdiction, there is no such time limit, people litigate, spend money, everybody has got the right to bargain over effects under the law. But in Montgomery County...
SHERWOODBut other jurisdictions...
DAVIS...there's a time limit by statute.
SHERWOODBut in other jurisdictions, there's not -- everything can be subject to a management union debate with a 50-day period.
DAVISLet me repeat -- let me -- that's the limit in Montgomery County. There is no limit elsewhere.
SHERWOODBut if I were the chairman of the union, I want to change something about the way the color of the light bulbs over my desk, that's not necessarily a management issue. But then your -- the police union can make that a issue and within a 50-day period.
DAVISWell, in any county in the United States, any police union can go to management and try to make an issue on a bargaining issue and...
SHERWOODBut not to be required to negotiate or go to arbitration.
DAVISNeither is the chief required here unless it is in effect. And if it isn't in effect, that is if the management says, this has nothing to do with affecting you, then the police chief says -- the police chief has the right to make any decision.
SHERWOODHe makes the decision, then what happens if the union disagrees? They have 50 days to have it on arbitration.
DAVISIf there were no law, what would be the case? I'm now going to ask you the question. If there were no law on the books, what would be the case?
SHERWOODThe chief would put in yellow light bulbs, and if you don't like it, get another job.
DAVISThat's exactly the case right now. And if there is...
SHERWOODThe union can't challenge yellow light bulbs?
DAVISUnions can challenge anything and management throughout the country and...
SHERWOODBut in this case you have...
SHERWOODI understand that there's a universe ability to challenge anything, but in Montgomery County it seems, the police union has additional power to force the minorities. It would go to some kind of table to discuss it and go to arbitration if you don't agree.
DAVISI see a table and I say no and you want something, and I know I have a limit within 50 years -- within 50 days and...
SHERWOODIt feels like 50 years.
DAVISThis issue is like 50 years because for 30 years, we've never reached the 50 days...
SHERWOODAny polling on this?
MADDENYeah. That's the question.
SHERWOODOh, you had to -- we're about almost time.
MADDENPretty -- where do you think it stands right now?
DAVISI just got started about a week ago, and the question we're going to post to the public so I don't have any polling is, this is about police and families versus politicians who are disregarding the truth. Which way do you want to vote?
SHERWOODWhat if it's about the police chief? I mean, this would be one thing if the council were trying to do something, but the chief seems to be fully on-board. So is this a battle between the rank and file and the chief?
DAVISIs the police chief speaking the truth when he says he is limited doing anything he wants at a management decision? If the answer is he can do anything he wants and if the law isn't on the books, the union can do anything it wants to challenge effects without time limits, then that's the truth, and nobody is going to vote down a 30-year law where there's no disadvantage to treating our police with dignity and allowing them the right to talk within the time limit.
SHERWOODAnd speaking of time limits...
DAVISThank you, Tom.
SHERWOOD...we have broadcast time limit.
SHERWOODI will say that we will continue on the Politics Hour to discuss this issue. Maybe we'll get Tom Manger in, or...
DAVISMaybe you'll have Tom Manger in the same studio with me, and he'll...
SHERWOODWell, no, because he won't get a word in edgewise.
SHERWOODPatrick Madden, thanks for being in today.
SHERWOODYou are very good guest analyst.
MADDENI'm excited for these Nationals.
SHERWOODAnd it's all good. We'll see (unintelligible) Wednesday night.
SHERWOODI think we can agree on that one thing.
SHERWOODThis has been the Politics Hour. I'm Tom Sherwood, sitting in for Kojo Nnamdi. Thank you very much.
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