Dodging questions and a runaway shouting match over who passed more contracts to "cronies" defined a debate between Mayor Adrian Fenty and mayoral hopeful D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray.
The two squared off Thursday morning on radio station WPFW. When the they weren't arguing about whose friends had benefited most from having access to the John A. Wilson Building, they hit upon a few key points.
Fenty touted his record of keeping the doors open at the only hospital on the east side of the Anacostia River; Gray said United Medical Center needs to be just one part of the health care plan for the city's most troubled section.
Fenty kept D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in the foreground of his campaign when he asked Gray whether the chairman would fire Rhee if he was elected mayor. Gray answered by sticking to his often stated point that school reform shouldn't be one person's turf.
But much of the debate revolved around cronies.
The fuel for their anger started Wednesday, when Fenty backer and Peaceoholics founder Ron Moten called on Fenty to veto an emergency bill unanimously passed by the D.C. Council on Tuesday that mirrors federal law and makes it illegal to buy votes.
Moten is concerned the bill would make his voter registration go-go concerts illegal. He claims the council was out of line by passing the bill without public debate.
Gray responded in a statement that labeled Moten a Fenty "crony."
Peaceoholics received $277,000 from city agencies in 2006 -- the year Fenty was elected, records show. Three years later, Peaceoholics took in at least $5.1 million from the city.
But Moten told The Washington Examiner on Thursday that he's not friends with Fenty.
"He's never been to my house, I've never been to his house," Moten said. "We don't go out to eat."
Regardless, Moten was upset by the comment, and it appears Fenty was, too.
Early in the debate Fenty went on the offensive, challenging Gray over lottery contracts that reportedly landed in the hands of Gray's friends. Fenty then took issue with a fence Gray built around his Hillcrest property without a permit, and was constructed by a Gray friend with questionable ties to a city contract.
"You didn't pay for the fence and you didn't recuse yourself in the contract vote," Fenty shouted.
"No city contractor worked on the fence, and I paid when the work was done," Gray shouted back. "Don't you have the obligation to at least know what you're talking about?"
Gray later questioned Fenty on $82 million in construction contracts funneled through the housing authority to Fenty's fraternity brothers.
Fenty fired back: "I question the duplicity in the criticism of how we get things done and then you come to the ribbon cutting."