HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES in Ward 8 lined up Tuesday for free turkeys. The donations were arranged by D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D). Good for Mr. Barry in helping to serve the needs of residents, particularly in these hard-hit times. But did he really have to spoil the holiday spirit with gratuitous comments that insult the very people he aims to serve?
Mr. Barry’s turkey giveaway is an annual tradition, and in years past he has refused to say who has paid for the turkeys or whether the donors have contracts with the city. Pressed this year by the Washington City Paper’s Alan Suderman, Mr. Barry said it’s only “liberal white folks” who are interested in disclosure rules or, for that matter, other good-government initiatives, such as the city’s open-meetings law. After vowing not to disclose the donors (“I’m not ever telling”), Mr. Barry released a statement that cited the involvement of Chartered Health Plan, Wal-Mart, WC Smith, Chapman Development, Intralot, United Healthcare, Fort Myer Construction and Union Temple Baptist Church.