An argument between Lamont Harrell, manager of Kevin B. Chavous’s recent losing campaign for D.C. Council, and activist Sinclair Skinner dampened what was otherwise described as a successful event for an Obama Super PAC last week.
After the confrontation with Skinner last Thursday, security escorted Harrell out of the Park at 14th, a downtown nightspot where a fundraising event was held for 1911 United, a super PAC formed by members of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi fraternities with a goal of raising $1.5 million to support the reelection of President Obama.
“I can’t confirm any physical activity,” Harrell said. “We had words. They were strong. I left.”
Harrell said the argument stemmed from Skinner’s belief that he had said something disparaging about Skinner, though he is not clear what the rumor is.
Skinner, a friend of former mayor Adrian M. Fenty and whose work as a subcontractor was the subject of a D.C. Council probe in 2010, also confirmed that there was an argument. “Whatever he [Harrell] said, I agree with... I don’t think the reports you are hearing are accurate. They are exaggerated,” Skinner told The Washington Post. “Throughout the campaign, we’ve been arguing about how we are going to make a difference.”
Harrell most recently managed Chavous’s unsuccessful effort to unseat incumbent Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) in the Democratic primary.
Both Skinner and Harrell are members of Kappa Alpha Psi. Harrell said he had reached out to Skinner with an apology since they are fraternity brothers. “This isn’t Lamont’s Friday night,” he said, saying such altercations are unusual for him.
According to the most recent campaign finance records available, 1911 United has raised more than $45,000, although a majority of the funds are through Skinner’s firm Liberty Industries LLC.
Skinner said that last week’s event raised $60,000 and that the committee also received an additional $60,000 in pledges. “It’s our time. As a generation, we’ve been through a whole lot,” Skinner said, referring to HIV/AIDS, the crack epidemic and other social ills. “They called us Generation X, like we were lost. We’ve been successful to do something that no one else had done: elect a black man as president... His being a one-term president is not an option.”
The Root DC, a forum for local news about issues affecting African Americans on the Post’s Web site, recently published a 12-part cartoon series that Skinner wrote and produced to defend Fenty’s legacy.
Staff writer Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.