Fenty campaign says Gray supporters are luring people to vote in exchange for $10 gift cards
Updated: September 13, 2010 - 06:37 am
There are new allegations in the D.C. mayoral race tonight after a YouTube video surfaced.
Just what it appears to show is being debated.
Supporters of Mayor Adrian Fenty say the video shows Council Chairman Vince Gray's campaign workers engaging in a pattern of luring people to vote in exchange for $10 gift cards from a supermarket.
Gray supporters say it doesn't show that at all.
Gray said no one in his campaign has done anything wrong and he pointed out that in the video a woman clearly says it was a nonpartisan effort and a recipient of a gift card could vote for anyone they wanted to.
The video, released by a Fenty supporter, shows two women discussing how to get a supermarket gift card.
"We're gonna buy you lunch if you get in our van and go vote and you get back on, I'll be right here," a woman says.
"Who I got to vote for? Gray?" another voice asks.
"No, we're non-partisan, you could vote for whoever the hell -- you could vote for yourself," the woman says.
Fenty says he hasn't seen the video, which never shows an actual exchange.
But the mayor says he's been told the Gray campaign was giving away the $10 cards on Saturday, in exchange for taking people to the polls.
"One of the gentlemen went to a Board of Elections official and said, let them know he was exchanged a gift card ... for his vote," Fenty said.
Gray says he has seen the video — and denies that he, or his campaign has done anything wrong:
"I don't think it has anything to do with our campaign," Gray said. "I don't think there was even an effort to connect it with our campaign, maybe subtly."
All this follows allegations this week, that a Fenty campaign van driver offered young people $100 dollar a day jobs in exchange for their votes.
The Gray campaign has filed an official complaint with federal authorities in that case. Fenty has called that an isolated event and only one worker was involved.
And now Fenty's campaign says they're turning over information about the alleged gift-card-for-votes incidents to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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