Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Greig Drops Council Bid, Cites Intimidation

Ward 2 D.C. Council candidate Fiona Greig pulled out of the race Wednesday morning, citing an “intimidation campaign” from her opponent Jack Evans as a factor in her decision to withdraw.

“Working inside D.C. government didn’t prepare me for what I faced when I launched an underdog challenge for the Ward 2 seat,” Greig said in the statement posted on her campaign website.

Greig went on to describe some of the occurrences that had driven her to call it quits, citing muffled calls describing “dirt” her opponent had on her and angry emails sent to a Greig supporter who had offered to hold an event.

Grieg also said that her opponent, 20-year incumbent Jack Evans, had hired a private investigator to follow and intimidate her. Media speculation pointed to Ken Cummins, president of private investigation and research firm, Capitol Inquiry.

In an interview with The Hoya, Cummins said that he had requested controversial finance forms forGreig’s campaign from the D.C Office of Campaign Finance, but that the request had nothing to do with Evans’ campaign. As a former writer of the “Loose Lips” column for the Washington City Paper, Cummins said that it is normal for him to look up information about political candidates for his own purposes.

But the forms caused a scandal when Cummins discovered that the campaign had mistakenly attached a document in which a donor was referred to as “homosexual” and another as “super-rich.”

According to Greig’s campaign chair, Ken Archer, this is why the campaign thought that Cummins had been hired by Evans.

“It seemed like a reasonable conclusion to come to that he had been paid,” Archer said. “I think we jumped to that conclusion, but we knew that there had been some other explanation [as to why the reports came out].”

Cummins criticized the campaign for being so quick to accuse him of working for Evans.

“[Greig] made a wild leap there that has no basis,” he said. “It appears to me that she just wasn’t ready for politics.”

Though Cummins has done some opposition research for other political campaigns during his time as a private investigator, he said he would never have exhibited the behavior that Greig described in her statement, including following the subject of an investigation.

“Even if I was working on a campaign, I wouldn’t do anything like that,” he said. “That’s not research, that’s intimidation. … I doubt that any candidates would do something like that.”

Though Evans declined to comment on the issue, a political consultant for Evans, Tom Lindenfeld, agreed that the allegations were too strange to be true.

“Their theory … is a fantasy,” Lindenfeld said. “[The Greig campaign] is reading detective novels.”

Lindenfeld added that he knew nothing about the unwanted phone calls to Greig’s home or where they could have originated.

Archer expressed regret that the issue of the investigator had been brought up.

“Talking about the person following [Greig], I probably overshot the runway on that one,” he said. “It happened at a very intense point in the campaign.”

But he stressed that the demise of the campaign should not detract from the message Greig was trying to convey.

“I’m disappointed in myself in creating this distraction,” he said. “Jack Evans will now run [this] electionuncontested.”

“Evans is not an agent of change [in D.C. politics],” he added.

According to Archer, Greig had hoped to shake things up in the D.C. Council but faced resistance from the D.C. Democratic Party.

“[Greig] wanted to have a campaign of ideas, but she got frozen out,” Archer said. “D.C. Democrats have been especially guilty of being an old boys’ and [old] ladies’ club [in recent years].”

Archer said that the “old boys club” nature of D.C. politics prevents insurgent candidates from entering the arena.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to get support to good people who are not career politicians early in the process so they don’t make these missteps and so they are … prepared for the scrutiny of the process,” he said.

ANC 2E student representative Jake Sticka (COL ’13) said that he is not surprised the Greig campaign had a hard time getting off the ground.

“It is very difficult to run a campaign, especially against a 20-year incumbent,” Sticka said.

Craig Cassey (COL ’15), the on-campus captain for Greig’s campaign, said that the news of Greig’sdecision came as a surprise.

“All the students I’ve talked to have expressed a lot of sadness,” he said. “Not that they feel she let them down, but they’re very hopeful for a pro-student candidate. They still thought that even after everything that occurred, she still had a lot of potential to win.”

Cassey added that he hopes another candidate will attempt to be a voice for students.

“There’s still time for a candidate who’s supportive of students to step up, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” Cassey said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *