D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray faces new allegations about “under-the-table” contributions to his 2010 campaign. The Washington airports reverses course on plans for an underground Metro station at Dulles. And a campaign operative faces criminal charges for underhanded tactics in Maryland. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.


  • Tom Sherwood Resident Analyst; NBC 4 reporter; and Columnist for the Current Newspapers
  • Michael Brown Member, D.C. Council (At-Large, Independent)
  • Jaime Areizaga-Soto Democratic Candidate, Virginia Senate (31st District)

Politics Hour Extra

Jaime Areizaga-Soto, Democratic Candidate for the Virginia Senate in the 31st District, answers a caller’s question about why he is running and expresses concern about whether he would focus strictly on Hispanic issues:

D.C. Councilmember Michael Brown (At Large, Independent) responds to criticisms that he and his colleagues were not as open as they should have been during the process of passing online gaming legislation for the city.


  • 12:06:44

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIFrom WAMU 88.5, at American University in Washington, welcome to "The Politics Hour," starring Tom Sherwood. I'm Kojo Nnamdi. Virginia voters go to the polls for legislative elections next month. This hour, we'll be talking with Jaime Areizaga-Soto who's running in the Democratic primary in the 31st District to replace Mary Margaret Whipple in the Senate. She's retiring. That district includes parts of Arlington County.

  • 12:07:17

    MR. KOJO NNAMDIWe'll be talking shortly with D.C. at-large Councilmember Michael Brown about his measure to bring online gambling to the city. But first, meet Tom Sherwood. Of course, if you've been living in D.C. for more than 10 minutes, you've probably met him already. Between his job and his bicycle, he tends to pop up everywhere. Hi, Tom, how are you doing?

  • 12:07:36

    MR. TOM SHERWOODI'm hot.

  • 12:07:37


  • 12:07:37

    SHERWOODDon't you know?

  • 12:07:38

    NNAMDIWell, it's 110 degrees, or it will be.

  • 12:07:40

    SHERWOODIt's too hot.

  • 12:07:40

    NNAMDIThat will be the...

  • 12:07:41

    SHERWOODYou know, one thing I can't understand, if someone says, it's 100 degrees, it feels like 108. Well, how do they know the difference between what 100 and 108 is? It drives me crazy.

  • 12:07:52

    NNAMDIBecause our weathercasters make us believe we know all this stuff.

  • 12:07:55

    SHERWOODYou know, they should wear wizards' costumes...

  • 12:07:57

    NNAMDIIt was hot yesterday in your...

  • 12:07:58

    SHERWOOD...(unintelligible) basketball team.

  • 12:07:58

    NNAMDI...neighborhood, but the Washington Kastles won its 14th match, 14-0. The -- only the second time since the World Team Tennis began over 30 years ago that a team has gone 14-0. So Washington finally has a winning team. And guess what? Nobody notices.

  • 12:08:19

    SHERWOODWell, you know, this is kind of -- this is not junior circuit tennis, but it is not like, you know, Wimbledon, you know...

  • 12:08:26

    NNAMDIOh, yeah.

  • 12:08:26

    SHERWOOD...in the Potomac. But, you know, is that -- is the -- Mark, what's Ein? Right, Mark Ein?

  • 12:08:31

    NNAMDIMark Ein.

  • 12:08:32

    SHERWOODIs that a D.C. corporation?

  • 12:08:34

    NNAMDII have no idea. I just...

  • 12:08:36

    SHERWOODSee, that's what I'd do want to know. I know they're playing in town.

  • 12:08:39

    NNAMDIAnd they're the Washington Kastles, and they play here. And they won. (unintelligible).

  • 12:08:43

    SHERWOODWell, let's congratulate them. But if they're a Virginia corporation just working in town, I'm not going to be quite as happy.

  • 12:08:48

    MR. MICHAEL BROWNWell, let me defend Mark a little.

  • 12:08:49

    MR. MICHAEL BROWNI know he lives in the District.

  • 12:08:51

    SHERWOODWe have a guest analyst here.

  • 12:08:52

    BROWNHis company is in the District of Columbia. Whether the...

  • 12:08:57


  • 12:08:57

    BROWN...tennis corporation is in D.C., I don't know. But he lives in D.C., and his company is in D.C.

  • 12:09:02

    SHERWOODAnd he's -- and is -- and I live at Southwest, and I'm a very happy they're down there. And I have been to tennis matches, and I enjoy them thoroughly.

  • 12:09:07

    NNAMDIAnd they're winning, for crying out loud. We just need any winning team. Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that he will be announcing a strategy in Annapolis today to chart a path forward on gay marriage next year. Think that has anything at all to do with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's success after twisting arms, getting gay marriage approved in New York and increasingly high-profile as a possible presidential candidate?

  • 12:09:33

    SHERWOODMe, too. Me, too. Me, too.

  • 12:09:35

    SHERWOODYou know, he got a lot of criticism for -- you know, he could have stepped out of this past time. But they had a really tough time. They came close, but, you know, but churches, I have to say, in Prince George's County stepped up the opposition. But, you know, he could have been the leader on it. He's always been saying I'll sign this bill if it passes.

  • 12:09:50

    SHERWOODBut it was kind of like President Obama's, you know, I'm not really for marriage, but I'm for everything but saying the words out loud. And so, now, the governor of Maryland is trying to, you know, step up to the platform.

  • 12:10:02

    NNAMDIRamping up his strategy on the issue. Guess what the Metro station at Dulles International Airport will be above ground after all and not underground. Are you surprised at all?

  • 12:10:15

    SHERWOODWell, I'm not surprised. You know, this will sound terrible. But, you know, the underground station is about 300 extra million dollars to build the underground one. And, frankly, if you look -- play that out over 20 or 30 years, it's really not that much more expensive to have a nice cool underground station very near this terminal.

  • 12:10:33

    SHERWOODBut now to save that money upfront, they're going to have an above ground terminal, which will make it a little bit longer walk for the people who use it.

  • 12:10:42


  • 12:10:42

    SHERWOODBut there was a lot of pressure, and Secretary LaHood, transportation secretary, came in and brokered the deal. And maybe there will be some money down the road from the Feds to help them out.

  • 12:10:51

    NNAMDII always knew there was going to end up with a the station above ground.

  • 12:10:54

    SHERWOODI'm looking forward to riding it. I hope I'm eligible and able to travel by the time it's built.

  • 12:11:00

    NNAMDII am not hoping the same for you, actually. We'll see what happens. Mayor Vincent Gray, Nikita Stewart in The Washington Post this week digging up some more stuff, if you will, that went on in his campaign involving the transformation of cash into money orders. And the mayor says that, look, you know, we had to put a campaign together in a hurry, and things happened. What could the mayor be doing differently about this situation at this point?

  • 12:11:29

    SHERWOODAbout -- the old questions about the campaign finance. You know, the issue with Mr. Soileman Brown, who has been very quiet the last few weeks, you know, was -- he got paid. He says he got paid in cash, and he says he got paid by some money orders, which he had copies of. And then turns out there were $56,000, according to Nikita's story, in money orders, and the law says you can't accept cash for anything more than $25.

  • 12:11:53

    SHERWOODAnd there were -- seemed to be some turning cash into money orders to maybe -- I don't -- what reason. It's never been quite clear. And the mayor has not given a very good response yet, except to say...

  • 12:12:04

    NNAMDIWhat would be a good response?

  • 12:12:04

    SHERWOOD...I won't investigate.

  • 12:12:05

    NNAMDIThat's what I'm saying. What would be a good response in this situation? What could the mayor be doing that would satisfy us, we in the media, or satisfy the voters in the District of Columbia at this point when the investigation has not yet been completed?

  • 12:12:20

    SHERWOODPeople who have talked to the mayor have said that he could be a little more outraged about the undermining of his own campaign. He says he didn't know anything about the Soileman thing. He says he didn't know anything about the cash, but he said let the investigation play out when, in fact, he could say -- and I've told him if it were me, I'd be like Jesus in the temple.

  • 12:12:41

    SHERWOODI'd be going around smashing tables, finding out who did this to me 'cause it's his reputation that's being attacked. And the people, whoever they are, whatever they did, if the mayor is truly clear of all of this, he should be pressing them, not just waiting for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which is not the fastest vehicle in the world, to get to the bottom of it. I would be the mayor. I'd be calling them in and saying, did you do it? I want to clear it up.

  • 12:13:04

    SHERWOODI want to change the records, and I want to move forward from this. I'm not going to be dragged down. But, so far, he hasn't done that. He said let the process play out, and the process is eating away at his reputation.

  • 12:13:13

    NNAMDIWell, maybe he's been doing it in the Vincent Gray way.

  • 12:13:17

    SHERWOODWell, he is somewhat bureaucratic. He's also detailed-oriented. So if he's so detailed-oriented, why doesn't he pay more attention to his campaign finance reports?

  • 12:13:24

    NNAMDIWell, here's what history tells us, Tom Sherwood. Anytime you...

  • 12:13:27

    SHERWOODOh, no, a history lesson.

  • 12:13:28

    NNAMDIAnytime you introduce a new gambling initiative in the District, there's going to be controversy. The religious community and everybody who is opposed to gambling on moral grounds, in addition to people who feel that gambling is addictive, in addition to people who say it will affect poor people adversely, are all going to line up against it.

  • 12:13:44

    NNAMDIEverybody who speaks in favor of it will be linked by gambling's opponents, whether truthfully or scurrilously, to the deep pockets of the gambling industry. And then, well, who knows what might happen? Who needs that, especially if you're looking for ways to raise revenue for the city? But do it any other way, like including a gambling measure in the city's year-end supplemental budget appropriation with no public hearing, no committee review and the uproar is likely to be just as loud.

  • 12:14:12

    NNAMDIThat's the uproar that at-large Councilmember Michael Brown is hearing. He is an independent who sits on the council, who introduced this legislation. Councilmember Brown, thank you so much for joining us.

  • 12:14:22

    BROWNKojo, Tom, thanks for having me.

  • 12:14:23

    SHERWOODThat was his mystery voice earlier that you heard...

  • 12:14:26


  • 12:14:26

    SHERWOOD...defending Mark Ein, and well done.

  • 12:14:28

    NNAMDIThe D.C. Lottery is still getting ready to roll out an Internet gambling system. A few weeks ago, we talked to lotto chief Buddy Roogow about how that kind of plan would work in the District. But, today, we're going to spend a little more time talking about the politics behind the plan, which you have emphatically insisted was not slipped into the city's budget.

  • 12:14:46

    BROWNOr snuck.

  • 12:14:47

    SHERWOODSnuck. He said snuck.

  • 12:14:48

    NNAMDIOr snuck. And authorized by the mayor without adequate public scrutiny. So let's go back to the beginning.

  • 12:14:53


  • 12:14:53

    NNAMDIWhy did you decide to move the gambling plan in this way? And how would you characterize the way you did it?

  • 12:15:00

    BROWNWell, I hope smart. But, I guess, to go back, you have to go back a couple of years, when we started. I don't think it's a secret that one of the things that I fight for quite a bit are trying to figure out different kind of revenue enhancements to help raise revenue in the city. It's no secret I was obviously for some tax increases and other increases to help bring revenue to the city because we were watching where these cuts were going over the last -- since (word?) 2007.

  • 12:15:26

    BROWNThirty-four percent of the cuts have come from the human services world, which means people that rely on government for survival were getting their benefits cut, whether it was TANF, whether it was housing, production trust fund. You name it. Homeless money. And so we're trying to figure out ways to fix that and restore some of those cuts.

  • 12:15:43

    BROWNAnd I was reading some periodicals, and I saw that New Jersey, Illinois, New York, California, Nevada, of course, were looking at this new online gaming and a way for it to bring revenue. So I put my staff on it. We started to research the legality of it. We're working with the office of the attorney general, the council's counsel and just started to do some research.

  • 12:16:04

    BROWNAnd as we were moving the process forward, I wanted to make sure that we were going to get this revenue as quickly as possible. I briefed my colleagues on it. As you know, I was on radio shows, TV shows talking about it. So that's why the -- I'm a little offended by when people use the words sneak or snuck because when you're on radio and TV talking about it, I don't think I was doing it in secrecy.

  • 12:16:24

    BROWNAnd then we got clean bills of health all the way through the process legally. That includes the 30-day review period on the Hill. And then it became law. And now, we're on the implementation stages.

  • 12:16:35

    SHERWOODMost -- Mr. Brown, most major pieces of legislation have public hearings. They have -- they are -- may be standalone bills, or they have public hearings.

  • 12:16:45

    NNAMDIAnother history lesson, huh?

  • 12:16:46


  • 12:16:48

    SHERWOODThis one -- I think one of the irritations that people have had is, in this case, while you did have discussions with the council members in the administrative sessions, there was no public discussion of this measure before it became law, before it was snuck -- I love that word -- snuck into the budget and...

  • 12:17:06

    BROWNBut we agree it wasn't snuck.

  • 12:17:08

    SHERWOODBut there was no public hearing. And then there wasn't -- and then Jack Evans says revenue -- finance and revenue chairman had a public hearing, but only well after the -- had passed congressional review. Now, Councilmember Tommy Wells is saying he wants to repeal the law and start all over and have public hearings.

  • 12:17:26

    BROWNAnd I've talked to Councilmember Wells about it. And, as you know, Tom, a lot of us introduce legislation when we know it's not going to go anywhere. And he is going to -- I'm sure he will do it in September, October. I happen to sit on the finance revenue committee. Councilmember Evans and I have talked about it. It's not going to move. It's not going to go anywhere.

  • 12:17:42

    BROWNAnd he wants to do that to make his point to his constituents and the people -- and so I understand. But the point is now to figure out how we implement it properly.

  • 12:17:51

    SHERWOODBut back to the issue of no public hearings. I mean, I pay fairly...

  • 12:17:55

    BROWNBut keep in mind...

  • 12:17:55

    SHERWOOD...good attention to it.

  • 12:17:56

    BROWNBut keep in mind, Tom, we -- there are millions and millions and millions of dollars on the municipal finance side where bonds that do not have public hearings either. So it's not like this was one piece of legislation that was -- that didn't have a public hearing.

  • 12:18:07

    SHERWOODBut we don't have bonds...

  • 12:18:08

    NNAMDIAllow me to invite your calls. Allow me to invite your calls at 800-433-8850. If you'd like to join this conversation on online gambling in the District of Columbia with at-large Councilmember Michael Brown, 800-433-8850, or send us a tweet, @kojoshow, email to kojo@wamu.org, or go to our website, kojoshow.org. Ask a question or make a comment there.

  • 12:18:31

    SHERWOODThe criticism I've heard from a number of people and just the people who are speaking out on this, that the lottery -- since the 1980s, when the lottery began, it has done very well. And it's instituted new games all across the board and has done pretty well. And now, it's looking for more revenue 'cause some of the revenue is down. But the fact is people do not know what these hotspots are going to be.

  • 12:18:53

    SHERWOODThese hotspots, as the lottery says, are going to be places where people may bring their own computers or maybe some company or hotel will have their computers there. And you go and you log in to these computers, and you can gamble. People don't know what that's going to do to the neighborhoods, where they're going to be allowed, if the ANCs can block them, like they might block a liquor store. It just sounds like a bit of chaos.

  • 12:19:17

    BROWNWell, I don't see the chaos. For one thing, I want folks to remember is that we have residents today, yesterday, last week, last month, over the last several years that have been playing these online games from these illegal sites that were shut down by the Justice Department, these offshore sites. And so we also have a component of making sure that our residents are protected. Right now, our residents that are playing are unprotected.

  • 12:19:39

    BROWNThey have no -- well, now they do. They have consumer protections that are regulated. Before, they were not. So there was a segment of folks, thousands of people, in our city that were just playing unregulated. Now, they're protected.

  • 12:19:50

    SHERWOODBut they weren't in virtual casinos where there are 10 or 20 or 30 maybe -- I...

  • 12:19:55

    BROWNBut you don't know what they were doing in the Starbucks when they have their laptop in front them.

  • 12:19:58

    SHERWOODNo. But there was no signs saying come in here and gamble, either. And I presume you got to advertise gambling spots. So is -- so a person who's worried, say, who lives in Petworth, for example, where my intern who's with me today is from -- is if they are -- say, the organic market wants to put up 10...

  • 12:20:17

    BROWNExcuse me.

  • 12:20:18

    SHERWOOD…computers and then have people come in and get, you know, pesticide-free oranges and gamble for a while, can they -- will they be able to do that? Who's going to decide where these things go?

  • 12:20:27

    BROWNWell, first, on the implementation side, I imagine -- I think you had Buddy Roogow in...

  • 12:20:31

    NNAMDII was about to say Buddy Roogow says he's going to hold forums in all eight of the city's wards before he moves forward. Will...

  • 12:20:38

    BROWNWell, that was for the -- from the suggestion of Jack Evans and I to make sure that he reached out to the ANC commissioners, to our civic association leaders, to make sure that folks, to answer some of Tom's questions, are comfortable in understanding -- keep in mind, everyone has a different threshold of pain.

  • 12:20:53

    BROWNBut let me tell you, on the revenue side for hotels and some of our restaurants and bars, they can't wait for this to come because they are trying to figure out how to get more revenue into their businesses. Now, obviously, whether it's through tourism or folks that want to play, you have -- keep in mind, you have to be inside the District of Columbia. It's intrastate, not interstate. And so we're looking forward to getting some of the revenue.

  • 12:21:15

    BROWNBut Tom raises some good points. I know some of the critics of the measure raised good points as well.

  • 12:21:17

    NNAMDIWell, more specifically, the people...

  • 12:21:18

    SHERWOODHe's saying the good points I raised. Don't interrupt him.

  • 12:21:22

    NNAMDIWell, that's why I interrupted. Do people like Tom's intern, who obviously is here to advertise, who lives in Petworth, will -- will Tom's intern be able to participate in those hearings? Will his voice be heard? And if they decide they don't want it in the organic market in that ward, which would be in Ward 4, will that...

  • 12:21:40

    BROWNWell, I think what you'll see on the process side is the same thing as, I think, Tom has mentioned, as other folks have mentioned, related to kind of when folks need an alcohol license, that the ANC's weigh in, but they necessarily can't veto. They can...

  • 12:21:53

    SHERWOODThey have great weight though.

  • 12:21:54

    BROWNThey have great weight. They can give their opinion. But as you know, a lot of ANCs do resolutions against particular things, and they still happen. Not to say that it won't -- maybe the great weight will have a different value. But, you know, the business people need to make decisions for themselves relative to the revenue. And the city gets a piece of that revenue, and people have consumer protections.

  • 12:22:11

    SHERWOODIs there going to be a limit on how big an operation there can be? I mean, most of the mom-and-pop stores who have the little lottery on the side next to the cash register, I mean, they have space. And there are few spaces. Are we going to have gambling halls for somebody? I mean, what would keep me from having 50 computers?

  • 12:22:27

    BROWNYou know, I am -- as I've mentioned publicly on several occasions, there will not be any specific gambling or gaming halls. They will have already be in existing places where the lottery has already has a presence. But, no, you will not see the kind of...

  • 12:22:41

    SHERWOODSo Tenley Market...

  • 12:22:42

    BROWNYou won't see any kind of gaming cafe in Tenley Market.

  • 12:22:45

    SHERWOODSo the Tenley Market, which is here on Wisconsin Avenue, and it's -- I think it is the most -- what -- how do you say that -- sells more tickets than anybody.

  • 12:22:54

    BROWNI'm in there all the time. After I go to Z-Burger, I take my kids over there, too.

  • 12:22:56

    SHERWOODOkay. Well, I go there. That's where I buy my ticket. Now, if they decide -- they have a snack bar thing there. They have the fast food. They have a beer and wine license. Can they suddenly have 10 or 20 laptops lined against the wall?

  • 12:23:09

    BROWNWell, I think 10 or 20 is a bit much. Plus, you have, to, I think, in a lot of the implementation -- I hate to answer some of the stuff that I'm sure Buddy would have more knowledge than I would. You have to come in with your own laptop. And I think that's one of the differences related to some of the different myths going around. So I don't know how large. I think that's more of a Buddy question. I hate to get involved in that implementation.

  • 12:23:28

    SHERWOODBut I think it is (unintelligible)...

  • 12:23:28

    NNAMDIBuddy Roogow is the lottery chief. He was on -- a guest on the show some weeks ago. Our guest right now is Michael Brown. He's an at-large member of the D.C. Council. He's an independent. Tom Sherwood is our resident analyst. He's an NBC 4 reporter and a columnist for the Current Newspapers. And since Tom's intern is a shadow guest on the show, we might as well give his name.

  • 12:23:48

    NNAMDIIt is Sam Collins. 800-433-8850 is the number to call, or you can go to our website, kojo.org, to join the conversation there. Before I go to the phones, Michael Brown, The Washington Post editorial page has raised some pretty severe concerns about whether this issue poses a conflict of interest for you. It's asked questions about whether a law firm you've worked for stands to benefit from online gambling in the District. How would you respond?

  • 12:24:13

    BROWNWell, I really haven't responded, except to say that there is no conflict, and it's been so debunked. Even the attorney general spoke on it and called that -- those editorials a reach at best, or a stretch at best. I hate to misuse his words. And, I think, recently, they don't even use the word conflict anymore. They just talk about how my old firm had some gaming interest. So I'm not really concerned about that. There was no conflict.

  • 12:24:37

    BROWNAnd, in fact, the company that my old firm represented lost on the bid. So it seems to me that if they had won the bid, I guess there could be some level of conflict. But they lost, so I don't see a conflict at all. And, frankly, it's been so debunked, it's not even really mentioned anymore.

  • 12:24:51

    NNAMDIHere is Michael in Washington, D.C. Put on your headphones, gentlemen, so that you can hear Michael. Michael, you are now on the air with your namesake. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:25:00

    MICHAELYes. I mean, I hear everything he's saying about this. But if it was something that, you know, was right to do, it would have been done in the light. And I'd support a repeal bill just so it can go back and we can have real hearings on it and all these things, that you're saying will it won't be, can be done in the light.

  • 12:25:19

    MICHAELAnd I just feel that, with all the stuff the council is caught up in, shady-looking stuff -- you know, if you're worried about revenue bringing -- you know, you all lose $13 million, you know, whether it's people stealing it or whatever, it just looks, you know, like some shady stuff. So if -- and you're coming up for re-election.

  • 12:25:39

    MICHAELSo why not just, you know, let it come through and let it all have a public -- you know, not a round table after the fact, but repeal it and start again? And if everybody wants it, it can be done in the light.

  • 12:25:50

    NNAMDIMichael, is it possible that during those public hearings, during that public process, somebody like you can be persuaded to support online gambling?

  • 12:26:01

    MICHAELI mean, if it's -- I mean, initially, I'm not really for it because it's, you know, between all the stuff and slots and all the time...

  • 12:26:09

    NNAMDISure. I understand that. I understand that right now. But I'm saying...

  • 12:26:11

    MICHAELOkay. Okay.

  • 12:26:12

    NNAMDI...is it possible for you to hear anything?

  • 12:26:13

    MICHAELI would be open if, in the day -- in the light of day, that all the people's concerns and suspicions were shown to be unfounded and it could be done in a proper way. But like I said, this is some (unintelligible)...

  • 12:26:27

    NNAMDIOkay. Well, let me have Michael Brown respond to that.

  • 12:26:29

    BROWNWell, I appreciate Michael's comments. I think he and I will just have to agree to disagree on his -- I think he didn't want to use the word snuck or sneak. Now, he's using -- they're using the term light of day. And, Michael, I'm sorry to say, it was done in the light of day. I briefed my colleagues publicly with the press in the room on a couple of occasions. Again, I was on radio and TV talking about it quite a bit.

  • 12:26:50

    BROWNAnd so we followed the process exactly the right way. I don't agree with your assertions about the shadiness. I understand you also raised the issue about my re-election. And, you know, some people do let pieces of legislation -- 'cause they're worried about re-election. Some folks do things for the right thing. And for me, I did it for the right reasons.

  • 12:27:06

    NNAMDIThank you very much for your call, Michael. We move on to David in Clifton, Va. David, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:27:14

    DAVIDHey, Kojo, I love your show. I actually had a good idea while I was listening to you all. It's a modest proposal. But I've have friends that really like to play the lottery back when I -- I had friends that would pretty much go out there and blow a big chunk of their paycheck. It seemed to me it might be a great idea if you could have experts at these sites who could help people to access their kid's college funds, their retirement...

  • 12:27:36

    NNAMDIWell, obviously, the issue of gambling addiction is going to come up here. And I think one of the ways that this legislation attempts to deal with that, Michael Brown, is by placing a cap of $250 of how much people can wager. But, you know, somebody can come back every day and wager $250.

  • 12:27:55

    BROWNAnd one of the things we've talked about, actually, when you look at some of the consumer protections and some of the regulatory pieces we put in the legislation, it's unprecedented, has never been this high level of threshold of consumer protections or regulations anywhere in the United States ever, period. So we're obviously very pleased about that relative to the threshold.

  • 12:28:14

    BROWNObviously, with -- we want to make sure the phone numbers will be there for folks that need help. And if you look at it, some of the folks we've talked about on the professional -- professional folks that do this every day for a living -- yeah, they think the $250 is not enough. For them, that's not even -- it's more people just playing around in hobby.

  • 12:28:31

    BROWNAnd so I think that'll come up for some debate as folks see how -- what kind of revenues we're looking at at only $250.

  • 12:28:37

    SHERWOODI think that's one of the issues. I don't want to lose track of what the, done in the light, guy said. But the issue is, it's $250. But Buddy Roogow and the lottery board can say, oh, that's not enough. We'll do it $500 next week. There's not -- it's all administrative. It's not legislated. But I wish to go back to the light of day. Both the mayor and you have said you did have these meetings. You had the administrative meetings. You talked about it.

  • 12:29:03

    SHERWOODYou were on TV and radio. I've gone back and looked. I just don't see any blogs, any TV, any Washington Post, Washington Times, Examiner, a record of this...

  • 12:29:15

    BROWNI agree...

  • 12:29:15

    SHERWOODNow, I'm not saying the reporters didn't do it.

  • 12:29:16

    BROWNNo, no. I find it interesting, too.

  • 12:29:18

    SHERWOODBut what I would ask is -- if you don't mind, I'll ask the mayor's office the same thing that I'll just ask you now. I would like maybe your staff to go back over your calendar and tell us when this was done publicly 'cause I have to say...

  • 12:29:28

    BROWNI gave two dates. I'm sorry. I don't have those two dates. But I gave them on another show I was on, and there were two dates where we did...

  • 12:29:35

    SHERWOODBut I'm just saying that you mentioned radio and TV. Radio and TV...

  • 12:29:36

    NNAMDIThis is the only show that anybody actually listens to.

  • 12:29:38

    BROWNOh no, I'm talking about two...

  • 12:29:40

    SHERWOODAdministrative meetings, right.

  • 12:29:40

    BROWN…dates -- administrative meetings with press in the room. Those are two dates that I have.

  • 12:29:43

    SHERWOODBut the publicity did not come until after Marie Drissel, who was also in this show, talked to me about it. And I wrote a column saying, I wonder where all the opposition was 'cause people don't even know about it. And then people started bubbling around about it. I just don't think between January to December of 2010 and March or spring, there was more -- there was any public discussion.

  • 12:30:02

    BROWNWell, there was. I was -- I can't help that people weren't...

  • 12:30:05

    SHERWOODNo reporter, to my knowledge, remembers being in the room when that was discussed.

  • 12:30:09

    BROWNThat's -- what do you want me to say? I can't speak for why the reporters weren't paying attention or weren't in the room. (unintelligible).

  • 12:30:10

    SHERWOODBut then -- but if we just get the dates -- I'll ask the mayor.

  • 12:30:13


  • 12:30:14

    SHERWOODThe mayor says it, too.

  • 12:30:15

    BROWNAnd I know I definitely have the dates. I'm sorry I didn't have them with me today, but I definitely have the dates.

  • 12:30:18

    NNAMDIHere is John in Mount Pleasant in Washington. John, you are now on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:30:25

    JOHNThank you. I had a question in terms of the cost benefit analysis. You know, as a citizen, I'd be willing to overlook any perception of shadiness if the revenue generated or the benefit was going to be, you know, overwhelmingly good. What evidence -- what metrics did they use in determining what the revenues will be? As I know, these things never produce as much money (unintelligible).

  • 12:30:51

    NNAMDIGlad you raised the question of metrics because the chief financial officer, Natwar Gandhi, has estimated that online gambling could generate $13 million for the government over four years. But, Michael Brown, what metrics does he use to compute that?

  • 12:31:02

    BROWNNo, it's a very good question. We clearly worked with the CFO's office for quite some time related to that. And the reason the numbers are so conservative, which I'm glad they are, is since it's never been done in the United States before, it's tough to go to another jurisdiction, pick out a demographic group and do the metric that way. We had to use European models because it's being done in Europe.

  • 12:31:22

    BROWNAnd so it was very extremely difficult, and that's why I left it up to the CFO and his talents to figure out the correct metrics. They came up with that. I -- we all believe that it'll be well over that $13 million mark.

  • 12:31:35

    NNAMDIWant to get back to the issue that Tom was raising from the caller he now calls the light of day caller. A lot has happened during the past seven months. How do you think the questions about ethics that have dogged the council for the majority of this year have affected its ability to function?

  • 12:31:52

    BROWNWell, here's the analogy that I like to use. I remember back in -- first, I want to compliment Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Sherwood on a book that, you remember when I was running for another office, I talked about dream city, which is -- it's for folks who were just coming to the District of Columbia. Though, I think they need to read that to get some perspective about our city.

  • 12:32:11

    BROWNBut if you go back to -- if you don't mind, Kojo, I want to give a little context to the answer to the question.

  • 12:32:15


  • 12:32:15

    BROWNIf you go back to the late '80s, early '90s here in our city, whatever issues were going on with some of our elected officials, we were able to kind of build a bridge to bad management of the city, poor fiscal responsibility. And that's what led to the bad things to happen to our city relative to governance. I don't like saying that other word. That's why I'm using bad things relative to governance.

  • 12:32:38

    BROWNOn -- if you look at today, whatever allegations -- and, clearly, everything is always allegations. We're still in America. People are innocent until proven guilty.

  • 12:32:46

    SHERWOODThat's only in a court of law.

  • 12:32:46

    BROWNBut still, it should be in the court of public opinion, too. Just because somebody makes an allegation doesn't make it true. And then -- so there is no -- you can't draw the bridge now to poor financial management and poor city management because we have one of the best bond ratings of any city in America, a lot of rainy day funds, whatever you like to call it, fund balance -- people call it different things.

  • 12:33:08

    BROWNIt was one of the best relative to other jurisdictions in the country. Corporations are climbing over themselves to come in our city. New residents are coming into our city. So you can't draw -- there is no correlation. The business of the city is still getting done. The city is still moving forward in a positive direction. And as allegations come up, people are still doing and handling their jobs.

  • 12:33:27

    SHERWOODWell, I know you can -- your colleague, Harry Tommy Thomas, that's an example of where -- if the allegations are true -- from this city's D.C., attorney general, hundreds of thousands of dollars of money were supposed to go to nonprofits to help young children in this city get involved in sports of all types of things, were apparently used for his golf trips to Las Vegas and other places in California and purchase of equipment and a luxury car.

  • 12:33:54

    SHERWOODNow, he said he'll be found not guilty of all that at some point. But it's clear the money was not spent on the kids 'cause they would tell us it was. So I don't know where the money went. If he didn't spend it on himself, I don't know where it went 'cause kids -- they didn't get it. So I'm just wondering -- that's an example of how running the government and a personal problem of a councilmember is pretty stark in discouraging the people.

  • 12:34:16

    BROWNAnd I agree. And I think that's one of the reasons I'm so proud of the councilmember for taking a leadership role and stepping down as being chair because of a particular committee, economic development in particular. And I think you're right. I think then, it does have an impact, but not to step down from -- resigning from the council. Just on an allegation, I don't think anyone should have to live on that stand.

  • 12:34:36

    SHERWOODNo. It's -- well, again, it's a -- well, he'll run for re-election. We'll see where that...

  • 12:34:39

    NNAMDIWe talked with Tommy Wells last week about Chairman Kwame Brown's recent reshuffling of committee assignments, which stripped Wells of his chairmanship of the Transportation Committee. You voted, along with every one of your colleagues, in favor of those reassignments. You said earlier that you and Tommy Wells have talked about his intention to repeal your law, which you said is not going anywhere.

  • 12:35:01

    NNAMDII was surprised by the fact that you said you talked to him about it because the impression we got is that this is a council in which there are very few alliances and really no friends at all, it would seem, on the council. How would you characterize the relationship among council members at this time? And why was it that Councilmember Wells could not get one of his colleagues to support him on this issue?

  • 12:35:21

    BROWNWell, first, I'm extremely proud that I have a relationship with every one of my colleagues. And Tommy Wells and I actually are neighbors on the same floor at the Wilson Building. And, I guess, also, for me, Kojo, politics is business. It's not personal. And so whether folks attack something I...

  • 12:35:38

    SHERWOODI -- you know, I hate to tell you this, that -- you know, that's Marion Barry's line, you know? It's not...

  • 12:35:41

    BROWNOh, I didn't know that. I've never heard him say that.

  • 12:35:43

    SHERWOODYou know, it's not personal.

  • 12:35:44

    BROWNOh, I've never...

  • 12:35:44

    SHERWOODIt's politics.

  • 12:35:45

    BROWNOh, well. I got that from Bill Clinton and my dad. So I don't know where...

  • 12:35:47

    SHERWOODOkay. That's true. Well, your dad was a master. Your dad was a master at it.

  • 12:35:49

    BROWNMaybe, you know, maybe they got it from my father. Maybe they got it from my dad.

  • 12:35:52

    SHERWOODI told my intern to Google your dad, didn't know about him. I said, you got to Google it.

  • 12:35:56

    NNAMDIIntern's name, by the way, is Sam Collins.

  • 12:35:58


  • 12:35:58

    NNAMDIGo ahead, please.

  • 12:35:59

    BROWNThe -- so from my standpoint, as long as, again, we're keeping relationships on the business side and folks are-- people are going to have agendas. People are going to be upset. People are going to agree to disagree. You know, we're all not going to sing Kum Ba Yah all the time. The reason I had to vote with the way I voted is my committee was expanded.

  • 12:36:21

    BROWNI now have the University of the District of Columbia and the CCDC, which is the Community College of the District of Columbia. So it's going to be difficult for me to vote against my committee getting more responsibilities.

  • 12:36:30

    SHERWOODEvery councilmember got something more, except Tommy Wells, who got something less.

  • 12:36:34

    BROWNOh, every single one?

  • 12:36:35

    SHERWOODEvery one. I mean, you know, certainly, Mary Cheh, the Ward 3 member.

  • 12:36:38

    NNAMDIYou just answered the question.

  • 12:36:39

    SHERWOODI'm serious. That was a significant issue. Whoever -- with the Chairman Brown put that together, everybody got an enhancement...

  • 12:36:46

    NNAMDIGlad you mentioned the University of the District of Columbia. We have time for one more telephone call in this segment, and it's on that issue from Daniel in Washington, D.C. Daniel, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:36:58

    DANIELThanks, Kojo. I wonder if Councilmember Brown is aware of the extraordinary document released this week by UDC in which President Sessoms was forced by the U.S. Department of Education to change the name of the Community College because it was misleading and to admit that Community College students are UDC students.

  • 12:37:14

    DANIELWhy did it take the U.S. government to make these changes when the students have been making the same complaints to the D.C. Council?

  • 12:37:20

    BROWNExcellent question. And now that I have jurisdiction over those two entities, we are going to look into that directly. I spoke to President Sessoms yesterday about that, as a matter of fact. And we're going to get some clarification. He's going to work on some documents for us related to the conversation with the Department of Education.

  • 12:37:38

    BROWNI don't know if they did, they being the Department of Education, did a letter or a piece of paper or not. We're trying to figure that out if they did, or if it was just a conversation or emails. We're trying to track that down now. But you're exactly right, and we're going to try to figure that out. As we do, we'll get some answers to you.

  • 12:37:51

    DANIELWell, I can tell you that...

  • 12:37:51

    SHERWOODJust very briefly, what's -- I don't understand. What's the technical difference if it's called a community college, but is technically -- they're still part of UDC? Does it mean something in terms of getting student loans? What -- why should we care?

  • 12:38:02

    BROWNThere is. There's a financial aid component related to it. There's a middle states accreditation component. There are several different components. But also, Tom, it's interesting. Depending on -- you know, you have some advocates in this city that think CCDC, the community college is more important than University of the District of Columbia, the stage where we are now.

  • 12:38:20

    BROWNThere are some folks that say the flagship university is the most important thing, and the community college should be under that umbrella. So we're going to try to figure all that out, get answers for folks because as they start going after federal grants, when they come in, where does that money go?

  • 12:38:33

    NNAMDIDaniel, you get the last word. But we're running out of time. Very quickly.

  • 12:38:37

    DANIELThank you, Kojo. The problem is that UDC officials falsely claim community college students are not UDC students to justify taking away student rights on a UDC charter and to invalidate the just -- the legal election of UDC Student President Gabriel Ralte. Will you look into those issues as well?

  • 12:38:51

    BROWNYes. And, actually, what I would love for you to do, can you email me the points you'd like us to look into? 'Cause, clearly, you have some inside information that we would love to get. My email address is mbrown@dccouncil.us, mbrown@dccouncil.us. I would love to get your email. And, absolutely, we'll look into those 'cause I want the folks to have the trust that the university is doing right by its students and by the residents.

  • 12:39:15

    NNAMDIDaniel, thank you very much for your call. Councilmember Brown, thank you so much for joining us.

  • 12:39:19

    BROWNThank you, Kojo.

  • 12:39:19

    SHERWOODMaybe you'll have a public hearing on UDC, and then we can mention some lottery things while we're at it.

  • 12:39:24

    NNAMDISome online gambling and things while we're at it. Michael Brown is an at-large member of the D.C. Council. He is an independent. Tom Sherwood is our resident analyst. He's an NBC 4 reporter and a columnist for the Current Newspapers. Tom Sherwood, the District of Columbia is now going to have our handguns sold from police headquarters.

  • 12:39:48

    NNAMDIIt would appear that the one individual, Mr. Sykes, who was selling handguns, was not able to maintain his leased in Southeast Washington, and so for a while he couldn't operate. And now for $100 a month, he gets to operate in the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Department. What do you say?

  • 12:40:04

    SHERWOODI know that Chief Cathy Lanier would like for me to clarify something for people. Mr. Sykes is not opening a browse and buy gun store in police headquarters. He is a federally licensed agent. He's the only one operating in the District who is authorized to transfer guns from one jurisdiction to another. So if you live in the District, where there are no gun stores, you can buy one in Virginia. You can not just bring it into the District.

  • 12:40:33

    SHERWOODYou'll be arrested and charged with a crime. However, if you work -- go through Mr. Sykes, he can have the gun delivered to him, do the paperwork on it, and you can pick it up once you've completed the registration process at the police headquarters. So Mr. Sykes is not a retail gun shop. He's simply a licensed dealer to do -- take care of the licensing of the guns. So he'll have the guns that come there, and then he'll have you come down and pick it up.

  • 12:40:59

    NNAMDIWhich explains why he's only being charged $100 per month to operate in D.C. police headquarters.

  • 12:41:03

    SHERWOODWell, the reason is he lost his...

  • 12:41:05

    NNAMDIThey don't expect him to be there that much.

  • 12:41:06

    SHERWOOD...lease -- there was some political, I mean, some commercial reasons he lost his lease. And he needed -- there's not enough business for him to open up a fancy office anywhere. And so the city said, we've got to have this guy with his license operating 'cause, if not, we'll be in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.

  • 12:41:20

    NNAMDIBut for people who would like to buy handguns in the District of Columbia, they would say, well, there's not even enough potential business if you're going to put it in that situation where he's going to be in police headquarters and he won't be there very long. It seems to send the message to supporters of handgun ownership that we, in the District of Columbia, will do everything we can to prevent you from being able to (unintelligible).

  • 12:41:41

    SHERWOODNo. I think people who want to have a handgun in their home -- and even NRA might like this. Look, you know, the NRA, to my knowledge, only supports those people who legally have handguns. They don't like the -- and so it -- what's the trouble? If you have some criminal background, I'd recommend you not to go to the police headquarters to register a gun. If you're that -- well, anyway, move on.

  • 12:41:59

    NNAMDIJoining us on studio now is Jaime Areizaga-Soto. He is a Democratic candidate for the Virginia Senate. He's running for the seat in the Commonwealth's 31st District, which up until now has been held by Mary Margaret Whipple, who is retiring. That district includes parts of Arlington County. Jaime Areizaga-Soto, thank you very much for joining us. Could you please pronounce your name correctly for me?

  • 12:42:20

    MR. JAIME AREIZAGA-SOTOIt's Jaime Areizaga-Soto.

  • 12:42:23

    NNAMDIJaime Areizaga-Soto, thank you so much for joining us. You're running to replace Mary Margaret Whipple, a politician whose name carries a lot of weight all across Virginia. You've only got a few more weeks to get your name out there and let voters know what you're all about. Why are you running? And what do you think you can bring to this job that your opponents cannot?

  • 12:42:42

    AREIZAGA-SOTOKojo, first of all, thank you for having me on the show. And I'm a big fan of WAMU, so I'm glad to be here. I am running because we need a strong voice in Richmond to respond to the extreme Republican agenda in Richmond. Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell have led an agenda over the last two years that is not good for the state. And I bring a breadth of experience to the job, and that's why I have stepped up in this open seat.

  • 12:43:17

    AREIZAGA-SOTOI have served as the adviser to Sen. Whipple down in Richmond over the last two years. I have worked with the Democratic senators. I know how Richmond operates. I'll be ready to go on day one.

  • 12:43:31

    NNAMDIYou've been working with Sen. Whipple for the last two years. Has she endorsed you?

  • 12:43:34

    AREIZAGA-SOTONo, she's not. Sen. Whipple -- basically, I announced after the campaign had started. So -- but, you know, I -- she's -- you know, we've worked closely with her, and I've worked closely with other senators. Sen. Chap Petersen from Fairfax has endorsed me, as well as other members of the community, like former heads of the Arlington County Democratic Committee and the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

  • 12:44:04

    SHERWOODTell me -- I've told my interns to do this. Tell me in, like, 30 seconds...

  • 12:44:07

    NNAMDIDid I tell you -- Sam -- Tom's intern's name is Sam Collins?

  • 12:44:09

    SHERWOODYes, you know, you're going to get him in trouble, mentioning his name so much. It's priceless to be at NBC doing something. He's out, gallivanting with me in a radio station. Thirty seconds, what-- how do you earn your living? What do you do to earn a living? 'Cause you can't do that by working in Richmond.

  • 12:44:24

    AREIZAGA-SOTOThat's correct. Well, I am, I guess, the example of the American dream. I came -- I went to Georgetown as an undergrad, did my law school and a master's at Stanford. While at Georgetown, I did ROTC. I have now been an Army officer for over 20 years in the National Guard. So...

  • 12:44:42

    SHERWOODSo you're a practicing lawyer?

  • 12:44:44


  • 12:44:45

    SHERWOODWhat type of law do you do?

  • 12:44:46

    AREIZAGA-SOTOI did -- I have done infrastructure finance.

  • 12:44:49

    SHERWOODInfrastructure finance, that's what they need in Richmond. Now, you said, at the outset, you said that you wanted to be down there to fight the -- what was it, right wing, something about the Republican right wing?

  • 12:44:59

    AREIZAGA-SOTOThe extreme agenda...

  • 12:45:00

    SHERWOODExtreme agenda.

  • 12:45:00

    AREIZAGA-SOTO...of the Republicans in Richmond.

  • 12:45:01

    SHERWOODThat translated to my ears as right wing. But what is the extreme agenda you want to fight?

  • 12:45:06


  • 12:45:07

    NNAMDIAnd you say you want to defend progressive values. Exactly what do you mean by that?

  • 12:45:10

    SHERWOODWith a governor who's balanced the budget, I mean, has gotten surpluses and has gotten along pretty well for the last...

  • 12:45:15

    AREIZAGA-SOTOWell, we have a balanced budget requirement in Virginia. So, basically, every budget is balanced. And it's easy for the governor to say he's balanced the budget when he's not including the credit card on the side. So it is basically, we have a balanced budget. And all it means is that our forecast have been -- the revenue has exceeded the forecast, and that's how you get a surplus.

  • 12:45:36

    SHERWOODSo Northern Virginia is not getting its fair share of highway funds? There's not enough socially progressive issues? I mean, what are the issues that you would alter the universe if you went to Richmond?

  • 12:45:47

    AREIZAGA-SOTOYeah, definitely. First of all, we need to make sure that the divisive agenda that has been led by Cuccinelli -- number one, you see, in the area of the environment, you see Cuccinelli's suing the federal administration with respect to some environmental requirements.

  • 12:46:07

    AREIZAGA-SOTOIn the area of academic independence, you see Cuccinelli suing the University of Virginia to obtain emails from a professor just because the professor has done research in the area of global warming. You see, in the area of a woman's right to reproductive health, the pro-choice area has been under attack in Richmond over the last two years.

  • 12:46:31

    AREIZAGA-SOTOAnd now, you have much stricter requirements for first trimester abortions in Virginia as a result of that agenda. So it is important that Democratic values have a strong voice in Richmond and that the Democratic majority in the Senate is kept and that that majority fight for Democratic values in the negotiation of the budget and in -- basically, in all type of legislation when it's coming through the Senate.

  • 12:46:56

    NNAMDIIn case you're just joining us, our guest is Jaime Areizaga-Soto. He is a Democratic candidate for the Virginia Senate, running for the seat in the Commonwealth's 31st District. If you have questions or comments for him, call us at 800-433-8850. Send us a tweet, @kojoshow, email to kojo@wamu.org. Or go to our website, kojoshow.org, and join the conversation there.

  • 12:47:18

    NNAMDIFrom the issues to the down and dirty politics, your race is not a very pretty one. You've gone so far as to call on your opponent, Barbara Favola, who will be a guest on this show in a week or two -- you've called on her to resign from the Arlington County Board over donations you say she received from a towing business before she voted on a towing proposal. You claim she's violated the county's code of ethics. What is your case?

  • 12:47:44

    AREIZAGA-SOTOIt's -- Kojo, this is a very important issue. The -- it's critical for politicians and leaders to show that they have no conflict of interest and that we represent our constituents without any financial interest or without heavy influence. And that's why in Arlington, there is a code of ethics that requires officials not to be involved in conflict of interest, direct or apparent.

  • 12:48:14

    AREIZAGA-SOTOAnd my opponent has approved projects, green lit major development project and then taken a $25,000 donation from that developer.

  • 12:48:26

    SHERWOODIs that illegal in Virginia?

  • 12:48:28

    AREIZAGA-SOTOIt is not illegal, but it is...

  • 12:48:30

    NNAMDIHe says it's a violation of the Arlington code of ethics.

  • 12:48:32

    AREIZAGA-SOTOExactly. And, even worse, last Friday, we had a second one. We had -- basically, she received a donation from Advanced Towing, which is one of the towing companies in Arlington. And three -- five days after that, she -- by the way, she received a $2,500 donation. And five days after that, she voted to increase the towing fees in Arlington.

  • 12:48:54

    NNAMDIWell, here's what the Favola campaign said, that she did receive that $2,500 from Advanced Towing, but that she voted for that $10 increase in towing fees because it was recommended by an advisory board. And what they also say is that the Favola campaign says it's posted all of its campaign contributions online, so that's how you'd know about it in the first place, but that you have not been as transparent about who's contributing to your campaign.

  • 12:49:21

    NNAMDIHow can we know who's contributing to your campaign? Her campaign says, everyone knows where Barbara gets her campaign contributions because it's posted online, but Jaime has yet to come clean about where he made the money he is using to fund his campaign.

  • 12:49:34

    AREIZAGA-SOTOKojo, that's false because, basically, in Virginia, we're all required to show our contributions. So if you go to www.vpap.org, you will see her report and you will see my report. I am showing all my donations, too. So the fact is that they're not responding the real question. They're still not saying that there is no conflict of interest here. That is the bottom-line question.

  • 12:49:57

    NNAMDII find it interesting the way they pose it. They say, as Tom asked, how do you earn a living? They say, where he made his money to finance his campaign, which suggests to me, who have not been to the website, that some -- a significant portion of your campaign is being funded with your own money.

  • 12:50:13

    AREIZAGA-SOTOWell, that is correct. I am, as I indicated...

  • 12:50:15

    SHERWOODWell, can you speak clear for the viewers and bring me in the loop? How much money have you raised, total amount, just roughly?

  • 12:50:21

    AREIZAGA-SOTOI have raised around $100,000.

  • 12:50:24

    SHERWOODAnd how much of that is your money?

  • 12:50:27

    AREIZAGA-SOTOZero. I have spent...

  • 12:50:29

    SHERWOODWait. No, you -- no. I thought you said you have brought your own money in.

  • 12:50:31

    AREIZAGA-SOTOWell, no, I have loaned some of my savings.

  • 12:50:33

    SHERWOODHow much of your -- okay. How much of your money is the $100,000 through your loan or your direct gift to yourself? And it's not illegal to do this. I just want to be clear about it. Is all of it your money?

  • 12:50:43

    AREIZAGA-SOTONo, no, no. That $100,000 comes from other sources, not from me. Okay?

  • 12:50:46

    SHERWOODWell, how much money have you put in there?

  • 12:50:48

    AREIZAGA-SOTOAnd I have put in another $145,000.

  • 12:50:50

    SHERWOODOf your money?

  • 12:50:51


  • 12:50:51


  • 12:50:52

    AREIZAGA-SOTOYes. And, basically, this is -- you know, as I have indicated, I'm the result of the American dream, and I've worked hard over 15 years as an attorney.

  • 12:51:00

    SHERWOODAnd you let your -- you'll give us a list of your clients maybe?

  • 12:51:03

    AREIZAGA-SOTOWell, I have always worked for law firms. I have never worked for my -- I don't have my own firm. And, by the way, it was -- in 2007, I became a White House fellow, so I worked as a public official in the federal government. And, in 2009, I was appointed by the Obama administration to a political post at USAID. So what you have here is a 15-year experienced lawyer that has saved diligently. I'm an Eagle Scout, so we're thrifty.

  • 12:51:30

    NNAMDIHe was a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard's Judge Advocate General Corps.

  • 12:51:35


  • 12:51:35

    NNAMDIHe is vice president of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia and an Obama appointee -- Obama administration appointee to a post at the U.S. Agency for International Development (unintelligible).

  • 12:51:47

    SHERWOODAnd an Eagle Scout. I think that's pretty cool.

  • 12:51:50

    AREIZAGA-SOTOThat's correct.

  • 12:51:50

    NNAMDIOn to the telephones. Gentlemen, please, don your headphones. Here is Joseph in Fredericksburg, Va. Joseph, you are now on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:51:59

    JOSEPHGood afternoon. Sir, I received your advertising card in the mail last week. And it's ironic that two days before that, your opponent came and knocked on my door. So now I have two faces of the two people running. Here's one of my questions, and I need to know this. This has a little bit to do with who you really want to represent.

  • 12:52:24

    JOSEPHAnd I'm always suspicious of candidates when they are part of a group that they just -- you're part of, the Virginia Hispanic whatever caucus. Here's my point...

  • 12:52:35

    NNAMDIThe Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:52:39

    JOSEPHDo not take this the wrong way. Do not take this the wrong way. I find that all Hispanic people in Congress today, especially Mr. Gutierrez from Illinois, the only issues that man ever works on is Hispanic issues. I am a white guy that lives in Virginia. When you get the congressional black caucus, it's the same thing. They generally always completely focus on black issues. But if you are a white candidate, you are forced to deal with all races.

  • 12:53:10

    JOSEPHAnd I want to know, where do you stand on immigration? And what do you think about organizations like CASA de Maryland? And do you really have an agenda that is for Korean-Americans, Indian-Americans, white Americans and not overly going -- which you've already said, you're part of a Hispanic group. Why would you section yourself off like that? Why don't you just be an American Virginian?

  • 12:53:40


  • 12:53:41

    AREIZAGA-SOTOWell, that is exactly what I am. I'm a lieutenant -- no, I am a Virginian. I don't think I have come here not having said anything about my ethnicity. I have been straightforward in saying I'm an Eagle Scout. I'm a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. I went to Georgetown. I went to Stanford for law school. I have worked with law firms.

  • 12:54:00

    AREIZAGA-SOTOAnd I am running because we need a strong voice in Richmond to respond to the extreme agenda of Gov. McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli. And at no point have I made this a point of ethnicity. This is a point of democratic values. We need to ensure a woman's right to choose. We need to fight for LBGT equality in Virginia. We need to take care of veterans that come back from downrange.

  • 12:54:27

    AREIZAGA-SOTOAs a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, I have been taking care of soldiers, clients of mine as a JAG, that come back with PTSD, dealing through the whole situation, dealing with, you know, their benefits. That is why I'm running. I'm running for a better Virginia.

  • 12:54:43

    NNAMDIIndeed, in order to answer Joseph's question, your party controls a slim majority in the Virginia Senate. On what issues do you think there's the most at stake for your party to maintain the majority in Richmond, in the Senate?

  • 12:54:57

    AREIZAGA-SOTOI think that those two issues are -- basically, it's the budget and education. If you look at the budget, as approved by the House of Delegates this year and last year, it had huge cuts to public education. And the key to success, to the economic and future success of Virginia, are schools. We have great schools, and they're really my number one...

  • 12:55:20

    NNAMDIOkay. I raised that issue because our caller only seemed to notice one of your credentials that I mentioned, and that was your membership in the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia, not any of the others. Here is Paul in Alexandria, Va. Paul, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.

  • 12:55:36

    PAULThank you, Kojo. Thank you. I know that Rob Krupicka is also an education candidate, for sure. I know there's gerrymandering with some of the districts for the state Senate. What difference do you see between yourself and Rob Krupicka, the Alexandria City councilman who's also running for state Senate?

  • 12:55:54

    AREIZAGA-SOTOThe key point here is that Rob is running on the 30th District, and I'm running on the 31st District. So they're different district. Rob is in a three-way race. I am in a two-person race. My district starts in Pentagon City, and it goes through Arlington, up to McLean and Great Falls.

  • 12:56:10

    NNAMDISpeaking of that two-person race, here is Harry in Arlington, Va. Harry, your turn. We only have about a minute left.

  • 12:56:18

    HARRYHi, Kojo. I wanted to ask Jaime about some of the negative attack mailers he's been sending out against his opponent and if -- ask if he has any interest in running a positive campaign based on...

  • 12:56:32

    NNAMDIYou've been criticized for sending out mailers with Barbara Favola's picture sandwiched between Republicans Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell. The mailers say these politicians have a lot in common. There's a criminal case in Maryland right now about deceptive political tactics used in last year's gubernatorial campaign.

  • 12:56:50

    NNAMDIWhat concerns do you have about whether or not voters are tired of this kind of -- what our caller would say is negative campaigning?

  • 12:56:57

    AREIZAGA-SOTOWell, Kojo, this is a very important issue. As I've indicated, as an Eagle Scout, as an officer in the armed forces, I'm all about moving us forward together. My campaign is a very optimistic, positive campaign. The overwhelming majority of my mailers have been very positive. And there have been two that have, once again, criticized my opponent for her donations.

  • 12:57:20

    AREIZAGA-SOTOAs I've indicated, it is important that voters are aware of where my opponent is getting donations.

  • 12:57:27

    NNAMDIYou think she's more Republican than Democrat? That's why you sent out pictures of her with Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell?

  • 12:57:31

    AREIZAGA-SOTOThe key thing is she's taken thousands of dollars from a donor that has given $175,000 to Republican candidates in Virginia.

  • 12:57:40

    NNAMDIYour turn.

  • 12:57:40

    SHERWOODJust to be clear on this very quickly. Is the photo -- I haven't seen the photo. Is the photo a picture of where she's, in fact, standing next to the governor and the attorney general? Or is this a Photoshop collage?

  • 12:57:50

    AREIZAGA-SOTOIt's not at all a photo collage. It's basically three different pictures...

  • 12:57:52

    SHERWOODThree. Okay. So there's no misleading...

  • 12:57:54

    AREIZAGA-SOTOI don't think there's any misleading on that front. And, once again, it's all about making sure that the voters have the information. This is a Democratic primary, and we need to stand firm for our democratic values.

  • 12:58:05

    NNAMDIJaime Areizaga-Soto is a Democratic candidate for the Virginia Senate. He's running for the seat in the commonwealth's 31st District, which, up until now, has been held by Mary Margaret Whipple, who is retiring that district, includes parts of Arlington County. Good luck to you.

  • 12:58:19

    AREIZAGA-SOTOThank you, sir.

  • 12:58:21

    NNAMDITom Sherwood, always a pleasure.

  • 12:58:22

    SHERWOODYou know, I'm going on vacation for two weeks. But I might be back next week just 'cause I know I'm addicted to the show.

  • 12:58:27

    NNAMDIThank you all for listening. Hopefully, he'll be back. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.

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