DC mayor under fire for leading LARGE entourage on taxpayer-funded ‘mission’ to Las Vegas

Washington DC’s leftist mayor, Muriel Bowser, is facing scrutiny for embarking on yet another taxpayer-funded trip.

Her calendar, seen here, shows that on Friday she left for Las Vegas to attend the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) latest conference from Sunday through Tuesday.

The ostensible goal of the trip is “to attract retail to the District of Columbia.”

“We know that Washingtonians in every part of DC want access to fantastic amenities,” Bowser said in a press release. “From the Lidl in Ward 7 to the Wegmans in Ward 3, those are conversations that started at ICSC.”

“Through programs like the Food Access Fund and the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, we have made good progress in filling amenity gaps, but there is still more to do to ensure greater accessibility and equity – and filling those gaps and supporting the continued transformation of Downtown will be a focus of this trip,” she added.

Bowser attended the ICSC’s 2023 conference as well:

While the trip admittedly sounds on the up and up, it comes amid mounting concerns over her last taxpayer-funded trip last month to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

Bowser’s calendar shows that she traveled there ostensibly “as part of a sports and economic development visit.”

According to the Washington City Paper, Bowser claimed that “she and her Senior Advisor, Beverly Perry, were guests of Jodie McLean, chief executive officer of EDENS, a national retail and mixed-use real estate company.”

EDENS’ local projects “include Union Market, a 40-acre retail and dining space in Northeast that has benefited from the District’s tax increment financing bonds totaling more than $82.4 million,” the Paper notes.

“Jodie McLean invited Mayor Bowser to the Masters, as well as arranged travel,” EDENS spokesperson Sommer Hixson told the Paper. “This was done under the agreement by all parties that the expense would be reimbursed.”

The Paper went on to complain about Bowser’s lack of transparency: “The mayor’s office has declined to release significant details of her excursion, the total costs of travel, and exclusive events she attended while at the Masters.”

Speaking later with D.C. station WTTG, Bowser was adamant that she wasn’t hiding anything.

“We tried to be transparent, so I don’t know what questions you have that remain,” she said. “We disclosed – I don’t know what questions you have that remain; we expect an invoice if it hasn’t – we haven’t received it yet from EDENS. I believe that the estimated costs were in the range of $5-$6,000 and that’s for air travel … per person.”

But the mayor was unable or unwilling to specify the cost of the tickets to the Masters.

“Listen, voters have placed their trust in me to make the best decisions for the District for the last 15 years, including three elections as mayor,” Bowser continued. “We made no secret about the fact that we make sports investments. We are the sports capital, and we are going to promote the District in every corner of the world, and that has been my experience as mayor.”

Furthermore, when asked why details of the trip are being kept secret, the mayor bizarrely claimed they’re not.

“You know the reason why you know about the trip? Because it was on my public schedule. That’s not a secret,” she said. “What our scope is, you heard me mention, one thing that’s in our budget and planned for a $60 million project that would allow us to build an indoor sports complex for DPR and for the residents of the District of Columbia.”

“So let me be clear, me attending just like we attend with developers a lot of events, doesn’t preclude any developer from being involved with us on any of our projects,” she added.

But the reaction on social media suggests most people aren’t buying her story:

Vivek Saxena

Comment

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles