It’s “Your Turn” to share your views about the stories Washingtonians are talking about ––from a rollback on federal health care subsidies to the name change of a Virginia high school named after a Confederate general.
Things are getting hot everywhere — whether you’re talking the temperature outside, political scandals, or the NBA Basketball Finals. Respond to headlines or chat about what’s happening in your neighborhood — it is Your Turn to set the agenda.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIIt's your turn. You can call us at 800-433-8850. I, for one, did not know of Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York sending a tweet to anyone until the congressman himself held a news conference to announce that his Twitter account had been hacked and that someone had sent a photograph, allegedly of the congressman, to a woman.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIThere were a lot of questions at the press conference about how it was hacked and to whom it was sent and whether he was following this person. But I, for one, and others did not know about the hacking until he told us about it. So it was with some surprise this week that we heard Congressman Anthony Weiner say his Twitter account was not hacked at all, that, in fact, he had been sending those tweets to, apparently, a variety of women.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIAnd so now there are calls for his resignation on the basis that he lied, not only to his constituents but to everyone else. There are others who say, let his constituents, the voters decide. What do you think? 800-433-8850. And about the fact that so many elected officials in D.C. during the course of the past week seem to be not only under scrutiny, which we expect our elected officials to be, but under investigation for a variety of alleged crimes.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIAnd in the case of Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. of Ward 5, the city's attorney general actually filing a suit to get back some $300,000 that the city says that the council members collected on the basis of nonprofits -- in particular, one nonprofit to help kids -- and apparently spent on himself.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIBut then, of course, you may be more interested in what's going on in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, where Ali Abdullah Saleh has been severely injured and has left that country, the leader of that country amidst speculation that he's not going to return or what's happening in Syria. But it's your turn, so I'll start with you. Here is Tony in Washington, D.C. Tony, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
TONYHey, Kojo. You know, I'm sorry to see my D.C. government officials in such hot water because it distracts from a larger political issue that I think can't pass away. Last summer was the closest I've ever seen us get to having not one but two seats in Congress. I think Utah was supposed to get two Republicans each. And I heard Tom Davis on the Friday show saying that he had bipartisan support to get this passed.
TONYHe was waiting for the green light from Eleanor. Eleanor called in -- Mrs. Norton, excuse me...
TONY...and said that she was -- there was still time. There was still time. She apparently had objections to the gun rider.
TONYWell, next thing I knew, in the news, Boehner is the speaker, and he tells her to go play in the traffic or watch daytime television 'cause she sure has no business up in Congress. Well, I think she should be held accountable for missing this once in a lifetime opportunity. She's not in this job for life. She's been in it, what, five terms? I think we can do -- I think we can thank her...
NNAMDIA lot of people felt the way you do, Tony, but the congresswoman made the argument that leading officials in the District of Columbia said they could not go along with a deal that would impose on the District of Columbia a gun law or a lack of gun law that would allow virtually anyone in the District of Columbia to own and carry handguns. Other people felt, well, they can do that anyway, so why not go ahead and get the vote on this occasion. You are with that latter group.
TONYRight. Absolutely. Absolutely. And whatever -- I hear the first point. But we have three or four really powerful partners in this city. That is the law enforcement community, the members who sit in Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House. They will never be -- you'll never be able to carry a rifle down K Street, no matter what. And some of the restrictions we were going to impose will probably be unconstitutional after all. So I say get the vote and deal with what comes with it.
NNAMDIOkay. Thank you very much for you call, Tony. We'll see if people agree with that. 800-433-8850 is the number to call. You can talk about that or any other issue on your mind. Here now is Mark in Beltsville, Md. Mark, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
MARKHey, Kojo. Thank you and good afternoon. Look, I wanted to talk about this guy, Weiner or Weiner -- pronounce it as you will -- out of New York. And my big issue with him is not so much -- I've got two big issues, and both of them are the indiscretion he presented to us publicly. One has to do the marital indiscretion, which I consider a private matter, and I don't, frankly, think that he should be drummed out of office because of it.
MARKHe now has to make peace with his family and his wife. But the biggest problem to me is the idea of politicians being politicians. And what I mean by that is that they don't answer truthfully. You can ask a politician, and this is really the litmus test. If you ask someone a yes or no question -- is the sky blue? Is it 85 degrees? Is this, you know, whatever -- and they deflect a direct answer, then they're a politician.
MARKAnd, frankly, I'm upset, and I'm very disturbed 'cause we've got so many of them here in the District. I'd like to tell them what I think...
NNAMDIWell, what do you think about this? Mark, what do you think about this? The House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi of California, just about immediately called for an ethics investigation into Congressman Anthony Weiner's conduct. And I would suspect one of the reasons she did that is that she doesn't want all politicians to be painted with the same brush as Anthony Weiner, which, apparently, is exactly how you feel, that this is really just a typical politician.
MARKWell, okay. So here's my response to that. I would think that she's, in one way, trying to avoid the type of broad brush still (word?) used to paint politicians with. I think, also, she's offended that she wasn't given more detail about the depth of his indiscretion. And I think that she is playing politics, and she's trying to protect the party. So for her to sit back and not say anything about someone who just blatantly -- this is really the essence of my disdain.
MARKHe blatantly lied to all of us. From the moment -- this is almost like Bill Clinton. And, you know, I regretted that he even said it. It depends on what your definition of is, is. The minute he said that, I think most of us said, he's lying. And that's the same thing with this guy Weiner. And, frankly, I'm sick of it because -- I'm going to quit in a minute.
NNAMDIWell, it's my understanding that the conservative blogger, Andrew Breitbart, had, in fact, posted a copy of the photo that Weiner, we now know, tweeted, and that Weiner, I guess, held the press conference in order that it would not be expanded any further. And that's when the lying began.
MARKWell, no. I don't know if that's the case. I think that he started lying until he was pressed to the mat. I think that information was presented to his organization, which was irrefutable, that showed and proved that, indeed, this was his crotch -- if I can say that, which I...
NNAMDIWell, you already did.
MARKYeah, I'm sorry about that. But, you know, these guys -- and I say this as a generic reference to men and women -- these guys lie right up to the point where they can no longer lie with impunity. And I believe that's what he did. Someone or some organization came to him and said, look, we've got the goods. We've seen your hand in the cookie jar. Now, you've got a choice to make.
MARKYou can come clean, or you can continue to lie. And if you continue to lie, we'll present information that will disgrace you.
NNAMDIYou know, I suspect this broad view of politicians goes back at least as far as Cicero. But I think people, like Nancy Pelosi, keep trying to avoid having such a broad view of politicians or, certainly in this case, Democrats. But, Mark, thank you very much for your call. We do have to move on. Here is Lala in Washington, D.C. Lala, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
LALAHi, Kojo, my comment kind of piggybacks on the previous caller, so I think that, yes, he lied to us. And -- Rep. Weiner, and, yes, it's -- that's a lie. But, really, was it illegal? I mean, not everything that is immoral is illegal. And I think...
NNAMDIYou know, frankly, Lala, I was not even interested -- not even remotely interested -- in any of this until he held a press conference two days ago and said, hey, I made it all up. I lied. That's what got my attention.
LALAYeah, exactly. I mean, it was -- I thought it was funny. And I'm actually kind of guilty of this, but I even posted it on my Facebook page. And there are, like, a bunch of advertisements that have been piggybacking off of it. But, really, I mean, it's up to their constituents. I mean, let him be. We have more important issues to work on. So move on, you know?
NNAMDISo you think it should be up to his constituents to either vote him out of office or retain him in the next election?
LALAOr -- yeah, or have an ethics, you know, investigation. And if he did something that, you know, broke some sort of an ethical violation or, like, some sort of rule, then, yeah, then demand his resignation.
LALABut on his own, it's between him, his wife and his constituents.
NNAMDIOkay. Thank you very much for your call. We move on to Andy in Washington, D.C. Andy, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
ANDYHi. Yeah, two things. One is if they're going to lie -- I don't really care if they lie about their private parts. I wish they wouldn't lie about budgets and...
ANDYYeah, about public policy, and all of them do that, I think. One of the things I wanted to say in terms of the previous topic, the crime topic -- maybe you already covered this. But on another station, actually, there was a woman yesterday from DC -- it's DC Association of Youth Advocates, DCAYA. And she's talking about the risks of a lot of kids not having anything to do this summer because of various budget cutbacks and really looking for volunteers, looking for, you know, businesses, if you can figure out some way to, you know, hire a teenager or mentor a teenager or something...
ANDY...individuals, if you can volunteer to tutor somebody. Anyway, I just -- I was urging -- I guess I'd like to urge your listeners to contact DCAYA and see if there's something they can do to help kids find alternatives to crime.
NNAMDIOkay. Thank you very much for putting that out there, Andy. We move on to Doug in Arlington, Va. Doug, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
DOUGHi, Kojo, a question for you related to Councilman Thomas' investigation. Is there anything that you know of that's more factual than what you've already reported on air about what the allegations are specifically? I'm just curious as to exactly why he's being investigated.
NNAMDIOh, yeah. You can go to the Washington City Paper's website. Click on Loose Lips, the columnist there, and he has actually posted the formal complaint that has been filed by the attorney general of the District of Columbia. So you can read the original document for yourself.
DOUGOkay. Fair enough. Thanks a lot.
NNAMDIYou're welcome. On now to Roland in Gaithersburg, Md. Roland, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
ROLANDYes, sir. I mean, my opinion regarding Weiner's case, I don't think that he should resign, the reason being that -- because they're saying that he -- because he lied. But as we all know, this politician, especially Republican, been lying left and right since about -- I mean, since Obama has been in charge. And yet you see anybody being, you know, asked to resign for that. Worse yet, the money that we have spent in Iraq, built on Bush lies about the situation in Iraq, yet nobody has seen -- nobody is putting...
NNAMDIWell, Roland, here's the argument that some people who would oppose you would make, and that is you are presumably living in Maryland. Correct?
NNAMDIYou presumably voted for somebody in the last election. You presumably voted for that person because you believed what that person told you about what they were or were not going to do. If you discover later on that that person has been lying to you, whether it is about their public policies or their personal life, how does it affect your view of the -- of your representative?
ROLANDYeah, I mean, that's easy to answer. Then since I'm the one that -- if I voted for him, then give me the chance in the next turnaround for me to express my view by voting him, you know, out.
ROLANDBecause, so far, if I don't feel that -- if I don't see that that situation, being, you know, as -- I don't know. If I -- I think that that situation is relevant to my well-being...
NNAMDIIt should be up to his constituents. Okay, Roland. Thank you for your call. We have time for one more. Here is Monica in Adams Morgan. Monica, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
MONICAHi, Kojo. You know, we're talking about -- I know one of the callers talked about budget cuts and how that's, you know, not good for the youth and kind of what we expect from our representatives, the ones that we vote in. One of the things that's on my mind that's pretty upsetting is the fact that the council won't vote on a income tax sum or a tax increase for those in higher income brackets...
NNAMDIEven though a poll was constructed by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute indicating that the voters in Ward 2 and 3, among the more affluent, were willing to pay such a tax, a couple of the reasons, one is that they said it would really adversely affect small business persons, who, while they may have overall incomes above that range, are not rich and are barely getting by. And, second, they thought they could balance the budget without having to do that.
NNAMDIThose are the two best answers I can give. But thank you very much for your call, Monica. Thanks to all of those of you who called. Thank you all for listening. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
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