We chat with journalist and author Masha Gessen, whose newest book explores the complicated family history behind bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Weeks before Election Day, the race for the non-Democratic at-large seat on the D.C. Council is tightening, according to a new Kojo Nnamdi Show-Washington City Paper poll. The poll —- conducted through an automated phone survey of 1,222 registered likely D.C. voters —- also covers a wide range of political and quality of life questions facing the District. It reveals a city divided on issues such as traffic cameras and recent ethics scandals in local government. But the survey also reveals emerging consensus across neighborhoods and racial lines around issues like taxis, Metro and a new D.C. United stadium. The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14, 2012. It has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.8 percentage points.
- Patrick Madden Reporter, WAMU 88.5 News
- Mike Madden Editor, Washington City Paper
Detailed Poll Results
Closed Primaries: An Obstacle to Good Government?
Since Congress granted D.C. home rule in 1973, the Democratic Primary has become a de facto general election: whoever wins the Democrats’ closed primary election has gone on to win the general election. Many non-Democrats feel this dynamic deprives them of a voice in selecting city leaders. In light of recent ethics scandals in D.C. government, some commentators — including Kojo — have suggested this closed system is also undermining good government.
A plurality of registered voters, 44 percent, said they think closed primaries are unfair because they deprive independents, Republicans and other non-Democrats of an opportunity to select the city’s leaders. Thirty-eight percent said closed primaries made sense. As might be expected, this sentiment was particularly strong among non-Democrats. A significant minority of Democrats agreed that closed primaries are unfair.
|Total||Democrat||Republican||Statehood Green||Libertarian||No affiliation|
|Closed primaries make sense||38%||43%||25%||24%||75%||16%|
|Closed primaries are unfair||44%||40%||60%||33%||25%||63%|
There appears to be majority support for the continued use of automated traffic cameras — 56 percent favor and 39 percent opposed. Ward 5 is the only jurisdiction with majority opposition to cameras — 52 percent opposed and 32 percent in favor. Interestingly, many people who have received tickets continue to support the use of automated systems. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they had received a ticket and support the program, compared to 24 percent who had received a ticket and oppose the program.
|Total||Ward 1||Ward 2||Ward 3||Ward 4||Ward 5||Ward 6||Ward 7||Ward 8|
|Have received a ticket, opposed to the cameras||24%||19%||14%||14%||30%||25%||24%||36%||25%|
|Have not received a ticket, oppose the cameras||15%||13%||15%||16%||14%||27%||7%||8%||21%|
|Oppose (with and without having received a ticket)||39%||32%||29%||30%||44%||52%||31%||44%||46%|
|Have received a ticket, support the cameras||33%||29%||41%||42%||29%||31%||33%||36%||23%|
|Have not received a ticket, support the cameras||23%||35%||22%||18%||24%||12%||31%||16%||30%|
|Support (with and without having received a ticket)||56%||64%||63%||60%||53%||43%||64%||52%||53%|
A majority, 57 percent, of D.C. voters said they have received an automated traffic ticket because of red light or speed camera enforcement. In Ward 7, 72 percent of residents reported having received an infraction.
|Total||Ward 1||Ward 2||Ward 3||Ward 4||Ward 5||Ward 6||Ward 7||Ward 8|
|Have received a ticket.||57%||48%||55%||56%||59%||56%||57%||72%||48%|
|Have not received a ticket.||38%||48%||37%||34%||38%||39%||38%||24%||51%|
MR. KOJO NNAMDIFrom WAMU 88.5 at American University in Washington, welcome to "The Kojo Nnamdi Show," connecting your neighborhood with the world. Later in the broadcast, one night with Janis Joplin, a new play explores the musical roots of an iconic singer, but, first, new insights into the minds of D.C. voters. Today, "The Kojo Nnamdi Show" and Washington City Paper released results from a unique political poll.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIWe started by asking 1,200 D.C. voters about the November horse races, from a tight council race to a not-so-tight race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for D.C.'s three electoral votes. But the real red meat comes later in our survey. We asked about taxicabs and Uber, the controversial luxury sedan service. We asked about speed cameras, publicly financed stadiums and the city's many political scandals.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIAnd we discovered a number of interesting patterns, a city divided along familiar lines of race and neighborhood on some issues but emerging consensus on others. We're calling it the coolest political poll D.C. has ever seen, and you can go to our website, kojoshow.org, to see it. But joining us in studio to discuss it is Mike Madden. He is editor of Washington City Paper. This week's political issue of Washington City Paper is on newsstands today. Mike Madden, thank you for joining us.
MR. MIKE MADDENThanks for having me.
NNAMDIAlso joining us in studio is Patrick Madden. He's a reporter with WAMU 88.5. And I guess what you find maddening is that these...
NNAMDI...Maddens are not related at all. Patrick, good to see you.
MR. PATRICK MADDENNo. Good to see you, Kojo.
MR. PATRICK MADDENGood to see you, Mike.
NNAMDIIf you'd like to join the conversation, you can call us at 800-433-8850 or send email to email@example.com. You can send us a tweet, @kojoshow. Mike, this poll was conducted among likely D.C. voters between Oct. 12 and the 14th by Public Policy Polling. It was an automated poll with a margin of error of 2.8 percent. We asked about a broad range of topics. What struck you most about the results?
MADDENWell, you know, we found somewhat similar to the last time we did one of these polls a couple of years ago. We found that that, you know, people are generally pretty pleased with the direction of the city in general. I mean, you see sort of people saying quality of life in their neighborhood has improved over the last two years by at least a little bit in every ward. But at the same time, they're not very happy with the quality of their government.
MADDENPeople are dissatisfied with the incumbents on the D.C. Council. They're irritated that council members are allowed to work second jobs. They are going to neighborhood meetings, that sort of thing, although that may be a function of the fact that they're likely voters. But there's this sort of split between, you know, their satisfaction with life in the District in general and their satisfaction with the folks who represent them.
NNAMDIDoes that sound like you? Call us at 800-433-8850. I was frankly mildly surprised that in every ward in the city people felt that the quality of life has improved. It's almost as if they were saying, yes, things are a bit better for us than they were four years ago. But tell us if that's the way you feel, 800-433-8850.
NNAMDIPatrick, Election Day is less than two weeks away, and conventional wisdom is that all the action is taking place in Maryland and Virginia, but this poll finds a tightening race in the at-large seat currently held by Michael Brown. Brown is polling at, what, 26 percent, and David Grosso is polling at 21 percent. No other candidates broke double digits. What did you make of those results?
MADDENWell, you're right, Kojo, and it's interesting you talked about conventional wisdom. And it usually holds in D.C. that it's the primaries that matter, not the general election, which is sometimes seen as an afterthought. But here, we have, as you mentioned, a really tight race between David Grosso, a former council staffer, and Michael Brown, a well-known incumbent. And I was looking at the Board of Elections' website earlier today to find the last time you had a close at-large race between the non-majority party, the -- usually, it's independents or Statehood Green.
MADDENAnd it was 1998 when David Catania won with 21 percent over Hilda Mason, 15 percent. So it's been a while since we've had a close at-large race, and that's what this poll shows. And just to break it down a little bit, it's breaking down along these lines we've seen in the past, whether it's along race. Grosso is doing well with white voters, 72 percent, Michael Brown with 75 percent support among African-American voters.
MADDENAnd it's breaking down the wards. Grosso is polling well in two, three and six, Brown in five, seven and eight. And that all important Ward 4, which is where for any people -- for anyone who follows D.C. politics closely, you want to talk about a swing state. This is sometimes our swing ward because it is where most of the voters are historically. That's where most votes come from, and they're polling about neck and neck there, both in the 20s. So that is the ward to watch election night.
NNAMDIAnd because this is a predominantly Democratic city, two of the seats, the at-large seats on the city council are reserved for non-Democrats, hence the reason why Michael Brown continues to run as an independent. The other non-Democrat who sits on the council but whose seat is not up is David Catania. Mike, Michael Brown's campaign criticized the results because we did not include incumbent Democrat Vincent Orange in the polling. Do you think that skews the results in any way?
MADDENWell, Vincent Orange is very likely to win. You know, the city -- 75 percent of the voters in the District are Democratic. There's a presidential election on the top of the ballot, which our poll shows is not going to be close, but I'm sure people are going to want to turn out to vote in. And, you know, Vincent Orange has a huge advantage in the D next to his name. So the question is really, who comes in second?
MADDENAnd, you know, we wanted to poll to find out where that race for second stood. You could probably argue about the methodology of doing a poll that only looks for second place, but I don't think Michael Brown would dispute the idea that Vincent Orange is likely to come in at first, and the race is for who comes in behind him for second.
NNAMDIBecause you will be voting for two people in that at-large race, and so who comes in second gets to be on the council also. Since Congress granted D.C. home rule in 1973, the Democratic primary has, as you mentioned, become the de facto general election, whoever wins the Democrats' close primary election has gone on to win the general election. Many non-Democrats feel that this dynamic deprives them of a voice in selecting city leaders.
NNAMDIIn light of recent ethics scandals in D.C. government, some commentators, including yours truly, have suggested that this closed system is also undermining the good government. But what's the likelihood of this changing? When you look at the poll, Patrick Madden, it looks as if most people would favor nonpartisan elections.
MADDENThat -- yeah, that and what was interesting to me, I mean, obviously, people who aren't Democrats, you know, talking about your independents, your unaffiliated voters, Republicans, libertarians, they, of course, would love to see a more open primary system. Well, actually though, I think the libertarians did not. That was the one...
NNAMDIThat surprised me. That surprised, though, betwixt the...
MADDENBut what was interesting to me is that 40 percent of Democrats surveyed would like to see or disagree with this closed primary system as opposed to 43 percent. So it really shows that a lot of do sort of agree with your sentiments that the system perhaps need to be opened up. There needs to be more voices in the process, or at least that they feel like something is wrong.
NNAMDIWhat does the process by which you think that would be able to change?
NNAMDIThere probably have to be an initiative of some kind.
MADDENThere would have to be an initiative. I mean, it's interesting if you remember back in the mayor's race, leading up to the end, the council -- let me back up. The council before the election had sort of changed the way you can register, same-day registration. And so right leading up to the primary, the Fenty camp had petitioned the Board of Elections to sort of tried to open up the primary, the unaffiliated voters to let them change their registration on Election Day to take part.
MADDENAnd the Board of Election said, unh-unh, not going to happen. There's a longstanding tradition of closed primaries in D.C. So it will take a lot of work. And, you know, as we ask Jack Evans on "The Politics Hour" earlier this month, you know, are incumbents really going to want to change a system that helps them? He didn't say that. He -- but that's me saying I can't imagine many incumbents are.
NNAMDIYeah. They probably won't, but I made the argument that it would open up the pool of talent in the District of Columbia because if you're not a Democrat, you just about cannot get elected, unless it's one of those two at-large seats. So a whole lot of people simply don't participate in the process because they chose not to be registered as Democrats. If you'd open it up, I made the argument that the talent pool would be widened, therefore you'd get a more qualified group of people running for office. And it would seem that a lot of the people we had this poll agreed with that, Mike.
MADDENYeah. I think that's right. I mean, not just the talent pool, as you mentioned, Kojo, but also simply the electorate would be broader.
MADDENYou know, the Democratic electorate is significant, the majority of the city, but that still doesn't mean that everyone in the city is a Democrat. So if only Democrats can vote in the primary, then you limit the eligibility to vote in the election that effectively determines who wins most seats or the mayor's job or whatever to just who comes out from that 75 percent registered Democrats.
NNAMDIHere is Adam in Washington, D.C. Adam, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
ADAMYes. I used to work out in the Washington state legislature, in Olympia, Wash., and I worked with part-time legislators there who sometimes had second jobs. I'm kind of amazed that D.C. allows its council members to hold second jobs, particularly given the -- I think it's the highest paid city council or one of the highest paid city council in the nation. And I was kind of curious to what your thoughts were on that and whether there are any efforts to perhaps change that.
NNAMDIYes. It's the second highest in the country. L.A. is the only jurisdiction in the country that is higher than that. And what do citizens feel about that according to the poll, Mike Madden?
MADDENWell, 60 percent of the respondents in the poll say that D.C. council members should only be allowed to work for the city. $125,000 a year is a pretty good salary for a part-time job. Several of them who have outside jobs make that much or more in their outside jobs too, but, you know, it just sets up the potential -- to me, it seems the potential for conflicts of interests or worse for, you know, mandatory recusals on issues where maybe you want your council members to be voting.
MADDENWe just had a piece a couple of weeks ago by our politics reporter, Alan Suderman, talking about David Catania who works for one of the city's biggest contractors and as a result can't vote or take part in debate on anything that involves his employer. Now, Catania, you know, some people like him, some people don't, but he has a reputation for being a pretty good fiscal watchdog. And, you know, you might want someone with that reputation involved in looking at the contracts that one of the city's largest contractor gets.
MADDENAnd again, you see this issue come up on the council, and you have some council members who strongly believe that this should be a fulltime job. And they have talked about it. Vincent Orange has talked about introducing a measure that would ban outside employment. And once again, you're going to see a lot of the council members who do work outside jobs, whether it's Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, Michael Brown, David Catania, they obviously strongly oppose it, and they'll point out that, you know, when we were elected, this wasn't a problem.
MADDENSo how can you change the rules now? But it definitely is something to keep an eye on, especially as new council members try to make an issue out of it because it is obviously -- just look at this poll, 60 percent say they do not think that council members should outside employment. That is, you know, if -- when other council members see that number, I think, they're going to see that there's a lot of support perhaps in the future for trying to ban it.
NNAMDIAdam, thank you for your call. You, too, can call us at 800-433-8850. We're talking about what we feel is the coolest poll ever...
NNAMDI...the one conducted jointly by Washington City Paper and "The Kojo Nnamdi Show." And our guests are Patrick Madden, who's a reporter for WAMU 88.5 News, and Mike Madden, who's the editor of Washington City Paper. This week's issue of Washington City Paper, the politics issue, is on newsstands today with that poll. The Maddens, as we mentioned earlier, are not related. 800-433-8850.
NNAMDIWhat do you think about speed cameras in the city? That's one of the issues the poll addressed. For them or against them? 800-433-8850. In recent years, D.C. government has invested heavily in automated traffic enforcement, red light and speeding camera systems that issued tickets to drivers. Those systems are highly controversial since a lot of drivers suspect that the city is using them as a cash cow. The poll asked about speed cameras and found that D.C. voters actually mostly voted in favor of them. That did surprise me, Mike Madden. How about you?
MADDENYeah, it surprised me too, especially because the plurality of respondents to the poll had gotten a ticket from one of these cameras and still supported keeping them, which...
NNAMDIWhich is what brought me to my own thinking because when I thought about it, I always thought that I was against speed cameras, and I got a ticket on one, and then I noticed that the street on which I got that ticket, which happened to be Missouri Avenue, Northwest, that people in general are driving more slowly on Missouri Avenue, and as a result, it's safer. So despite the fact that I objected paying the fine, I kind of support them.
MADDENI had a very similar reaction, actually. I got a ticket not on Missouri, but I got speed camera ticket on Benning Road. And now, when I drive across Missouri, 'cause I live in swing district Ward 4, when I cut across to this part of the city, I do drive more slowly on Missouri 'cause I know there are cameras there.
NNAMDIThey do seem to be working.
MADDENAnd it's crazy. I've even seen the Porter Street camera, the infamous Porter Street camera, which they finally moved. People still go about 20 miles an hour. It's just you cannot change that habit. So there's no question that these speed camera -- speed cameras are working. I think the question is $150...
NNAMDIFines are way too high.
MADDENThe fines are too high. If there was a party, the fines are too damn high, there probably will be a lot support for it.
NNAMDIWe got to take a short break. If you'd like to weigh in on that speed camera issue, the number is 800-433-8850. You can find the poll in this edition of Washington City Paper that's on the street at our website, kojoshow.org. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
NNAMDI...back. Later in the broadcast, we will be talking about "One Night with Janis Joplin," the new play that explores the musical roots of that iconic singer. Right now, we're talking about the coolest poll in town, the one conducted jointly by Washington City Paper and "The Kojo Nnamdi Show." We are talking with Patrick Madden, he's a reporter for WAMU 88.5 News, and Mike Madden, who is editor of Washington City Paper. This week's politics issue of Washington City Paper is on newsstands today.
NNAMDIWe're taking your calls at 800-433-8850. We were talking about traffic cameras when we took that break. They have become a political issue this campaign. In fact, in the Ward 7 council race between incumbent Democrat Yvette Alexander and "civil rights" Republican Ron Moten, they've even sparked a new musical attack song.
MS. YVETTE ALEXANDERI don't like the crime in the community. I don't like people who cannot elevate themselves, who drop out of school. You're a convicted felon. It could be $1,000 if you speed. I don't care. I'd say raise the price.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1I went to every council member. I told them about what Harry Thomas was doing. And you know this, nobody will stand up. Nobody will address this and all of the stuff that was going on in the Wilson Building. I was brutalized for speaking up and telling the truth before anybody did.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2All I want to say is Yvette don't really care about us. All I want to say is Yvette don't really care about us. All I want to say is Yvette don't really care about us.
NNAMDII had to let that go for a while. It's the first song we've had for this campaign.
NNAMDIThat was Ron Moten, of course. Want to comment on that, Patrick?
MADDENI just think any time you have a campaign where you have songs coming out of it is a good thing. So I'm all for this new sort of -- these songs coming out for the campaigns. But it is interesting. That was Yvette Alexander, who, during a debate, mentioned that she'd be in favor of tickets up to $1,000, and Ron Moten quickly jumped on it. And just to bring it back to the poll real quickly, in Ward 7, where that debate -- where those candidates are running, 72 percent of those polled in Ward 7 say they received an infraction.
MADDENSo they really must have a good speed camera. In fact, I was looking it up in a Washington Post story yesterday and a pair of cameras on 295 -- I think that's right in Ward 7 -- resulted in $16 million, just for these two cameras, $16 million, which is talk about return on investment. I mean, that's...
NNAMDISeventy-two percent of people got tickets, Ron Moten says it proves that Yvette don't really care about us.
NNAMDIWe're up to $1,000. We'll hear more about that. Mike, as we mentioned, if people go to Washington City Paper's website or kojoshow.org, they can cross reference our polling data. And one insight we thought was very interesting, a majority of Michael Brown's supporters, 57 percent, opposed traffic cameras, while 70 percent of Grosso's supporters support them. What does that say to you?
MADDENWell, I think that tracks pretty closely with the other splits we see in that race where, you know, both geographically and in terms of length of residence in D.C. and age and race. Michael Brown's supporters tend to be people who have lived here a little bit longer. They maybe lived in neighborhoods where driving is less optional and where the traffic cameras become more of a problem because it's not as easy to get around either on your bike or by public transit. And so it's easier to get zapped by one of those cameras.
NNAMDIOn to Daniel in Great Falls, Va. Daniel, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
DANIELHi, Kojo. How are you?
DANIELSo I was listening to this, and I obviously listen to your show on a fairly routine basis. And in the past couple of months, you've talked about corruption in D.C. and now at this poll. You mentioned that 60 percent of those surveyed thought that representatives shouldn't have a job on the site. And then I also hear that people are approving of the traffic cameras, but they don't necessarily approve of how high the fines are.
DANIELI wonder if there's a theme in the poll that says that D.C. voters are OK with the idea of punitive legislation so long as it doesn't have the appearance of having an ulterior motive or a potential gain to those who are enforcing it.
NNAMDIYeah. Well, then Mayor Vincent Gray recently questioned whether or not we should lower the fines because of how it would impact the budget. People felt, yeah, there clearly is an ulterior motive. Patrick Madden.
MADDENWell, I think even more explicitly when Michael Brown said he'd like to move all the cameras on the borders of Maryland and Virginia, sort of as a, you know, an almost like a commuter tax, I mean, I think it's pretty clear that there is a revenue component to these speed cameras, whether it's because now you can't lower the fines 'cause they've already penciled in all these money for the budget or just the fact that, well, if we can move them to the borders, we really get all the Maryland and Virginia drivers 'cause we obviously cannot do a true commuter tax here in D.C.
NNAMDIHere now is David in Fairfax County, Va. David, your turn.
DAVIDThank you. My question also has to do with -- not my question really -- my comment has to do with the revenue aspects of it. In Europe, there are a lot of places -- I've lived in Europe quite a bit -- where they have speed cameras, but they tell you that the speed camera is coming. In other words, they say there's a flashing light that says, speed camera coming. So the point there is safety, not revenue. So I think that's a very useful compromise.
DAVIDIf what you're trying to achieve is safety on the road, then the point is to make people slow down, not to catch them and make them pay a big fine. That's, I mean, I think that's a very useful compromise.
NNAMDIWhat do you say, Mike Madden, good point?
MADDENWell, that is a good point. I mean, maybe the theory here is they want you to think there's a speed camera on every road. So...
NNAMDII thought so.
MADDENYou don't know where they might get you. So, you better slow down everywhere.
NNAMDIThat's the whole point of it. Over the last year, D.C.'s elected leaders have struggled to draft new legislation on taxes on luxury sedans in particular. There's been a debate about the quality of D.C.'s traditional taxi cab system and the rise of a luxury sedan company called Uber. Whenever we discuss these topics on the air, we encounter passionate callers on both sides. What did we learn about the great taxi debates in D.C. from this poll, Mike?
MADDENWell, we learned that people are not particularly happy with D.C. taxis and that they do think Uber is a necessary alternative. And the dissatisfaction with D.C. cabs, like dissatisfaction with the D.C. government, stretches across most of the city. You know, there was -- I think only 7 percent of the city as a whole said they were very satisfied with the cab system. So, you know, there's clearly -- Uber has generated a lot of ill will with city government and quite a bit of controversy, but it's clearly responding to a desire in the market for something other than the current D.C. cabs.
NNAMDIAll across the city, people seem to favor Uber with the highest favorable rating coming out of Ward 6, but Ward 8 is not far behind with 70 percent of people saying Uber is necessary in D.C., should make it easier for the company to operate here, 66 percent in Ward 1, another one that I found mildly surprising. Patrick.
MADDENYeah, it is interesting. I mean, clear support for Uber. But again, it's how much of this is dissatisfaction with the current taxi cab system versus this new system, Uber, which obviously has just come on the scene in the past six months. And obviously, they've done a great job of lobbying council members of sort of using, I don't know if you can call it a grassroots effort, but they've been very good at vocalizing their support for this service.
MADDENAnd they really have made D.C. -- they've concentrated their efforts in D.C. to try to get on the market here. But, yeah, I mean, clearly, there's a dissatisfaction with taxi service here. That's what this poll shows.
NNAMDIAnd Uber has clearly struck a responsive chord with quite a few D.C. voters. Here is Sarah in Foggy Bottom. Sarah, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
SARAHTwo comments, one is the issue of the city council salaries. Those salaries should be compared not to other city councils, but to other state legislatures.
NNAMDII've heard that before because D.C...
SARAHAnd I don't know what the numbers would -- what the difference of the numbers would be. I don't know, and that's what should be -- that's the valid comparison and...
NNAMDIExcept for the time being, it is still a city council.
SARAHYeah. But it functions as a state legislature. I don't mean what it's called, that is its function.
NNAMDIPoint well taken. Go ahead.
SARAHWe have Medicaid. Cities don't have Medicaid. You know, there's all kind of things we have that cities don't have. And the other comment on the speed camera is, in some cases, I think perhaps, legitimate, that it slows down traffic where traffic has to be slowed down. But there are many speed cameras that are there just to entrap people. And the worst of it is not just the fine, but the increase in insurance rates. My insurance went up $100 a year for being caught in a place that I was not driving unsafely. The speed limit was ridiculous, not my driving.
NNAMDISo you think we should get rid of the speed cameras altogether?
SARAHNo, no, not get rid of them but the fine stuff. They have to be lower in...
SARAH...and they have to be put in more reasonable, less gotcha places.
NNAMDIGotcha, Sarah. Thank you very much for your call. Patrick, D.C. government has weathered a number of ethical scandals over the past year or so, and this poll touches on a couple of issues that have emerged from those scandals. Most photos, for example, think that bundling of political donations should not be allowed. Can you refresh our memories, what is bundling and how is it related to the scandals we've seen recently?
MADDENSure. Well, there's sort of these competing definitions of bundling, one being sort of when a super lobbyist can get everyone in a law firm together to sort of package the donations together in a fundraiser.
MADDENAnd then there's this other version of bundling which we've seen -- which is more of a problem in D.C., and that's the use of limited liability companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, folks who can use all of these different -- whether it's employees, family members, but especially these LLCs to really sort of legally, but they are, in essence, skirting contribution limits by being able to package all of their companies and make corporate donations together.
MADDENAnd that's created -- or at least critics say it's created an unfair system for developers, and it's part of the problem with how entrenched incumbents are in D.C., and it's created these effects. But, again, I -- and so I think you're seeing that in this poll that people are -- people have lost a lot of faith in their city government, and they've identified campaign finance as one of the major issues, and it's not hard to see why.
MADDENIf you look at all of the problems we've had in the past three years, all the federal investigations, the scandals, for the most part, they all -- except for maybe Harry Thomas, they all seem to come back to campaign finance, whether it's the investigation with the mayor, what's happening with Jeffrey Thompson, Kwame Brown. So I think people are identifying these campaign finance issues as one of the problems with the scandals at city hall.
NNAMDIRunning out of time, but, Mike, in 2007, the D.C. government picked up the $600 million tab for building a new baseball stadium for the Nationals in 2012. The Nationals refused to pick up the tab for late-night Metro service during their playoff run -- showdown with Metro that was only resolved when the daily deal company LivingSocial stepped up and offered to pay the deposit. What did we learn about that showdown from this poll?
MADDENWell, voters thought the Nationals should pay. Although, I guess, in fairness to the team, we should mention that we were in the field with this poll right after they lost that heart-breaking game 5. So maybe people had more irritation and anger towards the team than they would've if they'd won.
NNAMDIYeah, because the sentiment that the Nationals should've paid was overwhelming, of course, (unintelligible).
MADDENSixty-one percent. Now, as it turned out, they didn't stick around in the playoffs long enough, unfortunately, to need any late-night Metro service.
MADDENAnd LivingSocial, I guess, broke even or...
MADDENLivingSocial didn't have to spend anything.
MADDEN...or they didn't have money. Yeah.
NNAMDIAnd five years after the city built a baseball stadium for the Nationals, city leaders are in the midst of negotiations with D.C. United, our professional soccer team, over a possible new soccer-only home under one scenario -- the team will pay for the stadium itself, but the city will pay for infrastructure. what do the voters say?
MADDENWell, the voters would prefer that. You know, a soccer stadium will be less expensive than a baseball stadium but still quite expensive in the context of a city that's been dealing with budget cuts lately. And no one seems to want to pay for a whole stadium out of city coffers again. But 62 percent want the city to cover some of the costs to possibly keep the team in town.
NNAMDIThe politics issue of City Paper is on the street. You can see the results of the poll there. Do your cross analysis yourself, or you can go to our website, kojoshow.org, and do it there. We've been talking with Mike Madden. He is editor of Washington City Paper. Mike, thank you for joining us.
MADDENThanks for having me.
NNAMDIAnd Patrick Madden, no relation, he is a reporter with WAMU 88.5 News. Patrick, always a pleasure.
MADDENThank you, Kojo.
NNAMDIWe're going to take a short break. When we come back, we'll be talking about the studio theater production of "One Night with Janis Joplin." I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
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