the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

November 5, 2005

Bizarre Smear Campaign in Ward 3


When last we heard from early-bird Ward 3 council candidate Jonathan Rees, he was spamming Craigslist and papering my neighborhood with campaign posters. He’s still up to those things (see some of the Craigslist posts and fallout), and his campaign site (available at both and the oddly generic still reminds me of the Time Cube site, but things have gotten weirder recently.

Now that current Ward 3 councilmember Kathy Patterson is planning to run for council chair, Sam Brooks has entered the Ward 3 race. Recently someone has been posting white-supremacist and anti-gay messages on Craigslist and other forums under Brooks’s name, as reported in the Post and the Blade. Rees denies any connection to the messages.

But some newer anti-Brooks messages have Rees’s fingerprints all over them.

Once again, they’re in various sections of Rees’s favorite place to spam, Craigslist. This time they concentrate on accusing Brooks of election fraud (apparently because he only recently moved to Ward 3, something that according to DC law he doesn’t even have to do until he wins the primary) and claiming that the Post and the City Paper declared Brooks unqualified last year when he ran for an at-large seat (because they endorsed other candidates, who were not of course Rees). The posts are interspersed with posts that seem to be from the Rees campaign, but that’s no evidence of their author.

Some of the attack posts do contain links to a website, however, and websites are easier to hold someone responsible for than anonymous forum posts. For example, this post in the Groups section says:

The Washington Post & City Paper Says No To Sam Brooks!

The link goes to a page with this sophomoric and poorly punctuated message:


Would you marry a man who does not have a stable work history let alone date one?

Of course you wouldn’t?

Would you vote for a 27 year old man who still mooches off his mother?

Sam Brooks does!

Is this the kind of man?

You would want as your Next Councilman?

The page has the same (lack of) design as Rees’s site and like his site shows signs of having been created with Microsoft Word 2002. The source code of the page contains comments listing the creator’s company as “Rees for DC City Council”, just like Rees’s own page, but the author as Sam Brooks. That still would be easy enough to forge if you wanted to go to the trouble.

The more damning evidence is the site the page is hosted on. The site is for Executive Dental Service, and the domain is registered to Michael Griffiths of 3100 20th Street NE (the zip code is part of the domain). Griffiths is the dentist who runs Institutional Dental Care at that address, and Rees is the business manager there.

So Rees is behind these posts attacking Brooks, unless someone is going to a great deal of trouble to construct false clues to make it look like he is. I’m betting on the simpler explanation, considering Rees’s past behavior and the general vibe his acknowledged writings give off.

The primary is still ten months away, so there’s plenty of time for the Ward 3 campaign to get worse. Joy!


  1. Yeah, what’s the deal with the guy? I’ve had to spend a lot of time removing his crap, and am tempted to turn it over to the cops.


    Craig Newmark1:15 pm, November 6

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Craig, and I wish you luck in ridding yourself of the annoyance. Maybe you should get together with Sam Brooks and pool your resources to get the guy (though unfortunately it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth).

    Keith2:11 pm, November 6

  3. I should just note that you don’t often post a note about Craig’s List, when Craig Newmark stops by. Way Cool.

    On the campaign ad, I happened to be taking a break from watching “Bush’s Brain.” The similarity to a Rove campaign is kind of freaky.

    —AltHippo • 3:32 pm, November 6

  4. hey, cool research, i’m glad you found some stuff about it. how bizarre.

    andrew7:49 pm, November 6

  5. The postings about Rees having peppered most of our ward with his literature is true
    but that is no crime but how do we know that you are not the other candidate who is posting
    the above?

    If anybody in our ward would take a hard look, none of what has been reported took place
    until Sam Brooks came onto the scene which would make me and anybody else believe that he
    might be behind the smear campaign just to get some free press.

    I am a member of a group of housewives where our husbands are medical doctors and we do
    oppose Sam Brooks, we will shortly list ourselves and a phone and that should show all that
    we are for real unlike all of these postings nobody can verify is really being written by
    the named writer.

    Again, none of this was going on until Brooks came into the picture and that should make peopler

    —Gloria Guiterrez • 1:29 pm, November 7

  6. I have never seen a campaign where both sides aren’t bad mouthing each other.

    Keith I do not believe for one minute that you are who you say you are.

    I believe that you are someone associated with the Brooks campaign and your side is just as guilty as Rees’ side of this internet crap and everything else.

    Thus you are not fooling anyone or convincing about your man Brooks.

    When I vote, I usually go with the Democratic candidate in a primary who has the best educational level and the most years of experience in the political arena and guess what, your man Brooks comes up short in a big way.

    Thus unless someone else comes along who has impressive credentials, I will chose the lesser of the evils and go with Rees.

    —Leonardo Green • 1:48 pm, November 7

  7. Keith,

    Based on this posting on CL , I heard that Mr. Epstein has refused calls from news reporters and Mr. Marshall admits what he did but denies that he was doing it in conjunction with any candidate.

    —Leonardo Green • 1:53 pm, November 7

  8. I was wondering how long it would take you to arrive.

    Note to readers: “Gloria Guiterrez” and “Leonardo Green” are posting from the same IP address. They are at best cooperating and at worst one person posting under two names. I’m happy that they’ve revealed that by posting here, where I have access to the logs, as I suspected that the Rees supporters seen in various web forums weren’t actually as numerous as they appeared.

    I have no connection with Sam Brooks or any other council candidate. I researched the antics of Jonathan Rees and his supporters this weekend only after becoming curious about the Craigslist posts. I know nothing about Rees other than what I’ve seen on his own website and in Internet postings by his supporters. If he is unhappy about people’s reactions to his advertising content and methods, he has only himself to blame — not some conspiracy of Brooks backers.

    Rees’s supporters have not responded to the most damning part of my post: the evidence that the amateurish “Ladies!” page was created by Rees’s campaign, not by Brooks trying to make Rees look bad. Now, it’s not illegal to produce such a silly piece of propaganda, but it certainly calls into question a candidate’s professionalism and fitness for office.

    Keith2:59 pm, November 7



    The difference between me and my only opponent Sam Brooks is:

    I have a graduate degree in management and he does not;

    I have over twenty (20) years of work experience in upper business management in the legal, legislative and health care industries and he has less than 1 ½ years of any work experience;

    I have around ten years of experience before the United States Congress and state legislatures and he does not; and

    My opponent in a published interviews in DC states that the only reason that he is running for public office right out of college and does not need any work experience in all the right areas to hold an important position on our DC City Council is because his mother told him he did not have to and that he was destined for greatness!

    I have gotten out and literally walked every street of Ward 3 to hand out my political flyer and completed all of Ward 3 in under three months to get my message to voters and Sam Brooks has yet to get out and his strategy to get known is to manufacture/self-inflict wrongs to gain media attention.

    While I humbly do my thing not taking anything for granted, Sam Brooks treks around DC with an aurora of arrogance, abrasive treatment of people, intimidating tactics and advocates a socio-political agenda liking to the era of Marion Barry and his economic policies which caused our economic calamity and the seizing of our government by a federal control board.

    My opponent’s philosophy is that of a these great but failed programs of the past but due to his lack of any real work experience, and what he advocates, would bankrupt our city and doesn’t address our history of gross mismanagement of all forms of resources.

    Sam Brooks has no original ideas and like his senior year thesis on Marion Barry, his entire career has been a cut and pasting from the hard work others.

    The WASHINGTON POST, September 11, 2004; Page A20 speaking of my opponent Sam Brooks said:

    1. The District deserves a better choice for city council.

    2. He doesn’t come anywhere close in the needed experience overall in representing the city.

    3. He is long on energy and ambition but short on community service, and lacks substantive knowledge of the problems confronting the city and ideas for solving them.

    4. The District needs someone who knows how the government works, is familiar with the city other than through a political door-to-door campaign and who doesn’t need on-the-job training in the basics.

    Sam Brooks talks about his youth and compares himself to Adrian Fenty but the big difference is, Adrian Fenty had an education in the right area to serve in government and Sam Brooks does not; Adrian Fenty had four to five years of work experience under his belt and Sam Brooks does not and can’t hold any job for long as the public record supports and Sam Brooks reminds people of many young people just out of college that walk through the door with no real work history believing they should be paid $50k to begin with only to get a chuckle.

    The Washington City Paper, October 21, 2005; speaking of my opponent Sam Brooks accused him of political carpet bagging and lacking any political ethics over his suspected phony presence in Ward 3 when all evidence said he was still living in Ward 2 in order to run for office when “Loose Lips said:

    “Ward 3 D.C. Council candidate Sam Brooks might consider putting in a call to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for some campaign advice”.

    The public record from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics 2004 shows based on the vote count v actual voters:

    That 91% of all Ward 3 voters SAID NO TO SAM BROOKS.
    That 99% of all African American voters SAID NO TO SAM BROOKS.
    That 96% of all Latino voters SAID NO TO SAM BROOKS.
    That 81% of all Caucasian voters SAID NO TO SAM BROOKS.
    That 87% of all GLBT voters SAID NO TO SAM BROOKS.

    Sam Brooks’ website talks of a great future for us, what he would like to see take place but it totally lacks any specifics as to how he would achieve anything.

    My platform is one that says that until we reign in the gross mismanage- ment of all levels of DC Government we cannot begin to achieve any of the goals we have set down like improving our schools, better healthcare, lower taxes, luring in and keeping people and business, and addressing other things like crime and it is very specific.

    The bottom line is, the voters have a choice between a candidate educated in management with over twenty (20) years at it (vs.) a candidate with no such education and less than 1 ½ years of any work experience whatsoever.

    In sum, when you look carefully at the two candidates, it is night and day but to even think of electing a person with no real work history like Sam Brooks own Résumé shows, a work history where he can’t sit still and stay for long on any job, who talks a lot about what we should do but he has never bothered to jump into the trenches and actually do any of what he advocates and then asks you to vote for and trust him is like asking you to play a form of [Reverse Russian Roulette] where all the chambers but one are full of bullets.

    Jonathan R. Rees
    Committee To Elect Jonathan R. Rees
    Democrat For Ward 3 City Council
    P.O. Box 21422, Washington, DC 20009

    Jonathan Rees4:20 pm, November 7

  10. Yes sir, we are all over here at PG County Hospital at a meeting of health care professionals including the front runner Rees who got a better rating on the yearly score card for DC political candidates above the mayoral ones from the American Medical Association and the American Civil Libterities Union and other candidates are here too. So we all thought we would mess with your head Keith.

    —Leonardo Green • 4:24 pm, November 7

  11. Interesting that “Gloria” is appearing here. I noted on the DC Pages, Politics section that “Gloria” has posted twice. Once as “Gloria” and once as Rees himself.

    When will the real Gloria/Rees/Alex multiple personality disorder stand up?

    —B. Frank • 5:42 pm, November 7

  12. I moderate the Cleveland Park Listserv,, Washington, DC’s largest neighborhood email list. We’ve had to ban Jonathan Rees and his numerous aliases from our listserv. Rees has tried –mostly unsuccessfully– to spam our email list many times under many different identities.

    I’d be happy to work with Craig Newmark and any other list owners to help put a stop to this spammer.

    Bill Adler6:27 pm, November 7

  13. Not surprisingly, the comment from Jonathan Rees and the third comment from “Leonardo Green” came from the same IP address as the earlier comments.

    Thanks, Bill, for keeping the Cleveland Park list free of this junk. I’ve been a subscriber for some time. You and Craig might want to talk to the admin at DC Pages. They’ve had the Rees spam problem there too, mainly in DC Politics but also in various irrelevant categories.

    I guess Jonathan Rees really believes there’s no such thing as bad publicity. We’ll find out over the coming months whether that’s true.

    Keith7:23 pm, November 7

  14. Keith,

    You’ve really done an impressive research job, and a great service to DC.


    Bill Adler10:53 pm, November 7

  15. I belong to the Tenleytown listserv and that has also been spammed mercilessly with numerous
    messages, ostensibly all Rees aliases. It’s gone beyond merely papering the entire
    neighborhood or a little bit of mud slinging. He seems a bit mentally unstable.

    —Ellen • 10:09 am, November 8

  16. This is so bizarro. He’s posting on the Logan Circle list serve too (or, “Gloria” is), but Logan Circle isn’t even in Ward 3! Why not post on or something also, weirdo.

    Andrew12:01 pm, November 8

  17. Great post, Keith. I’ve always been interested in abnormal psychology, so
    it’s interesting to read about some local crazy people.

    Jason Bradfield12:27 pm, November 8

  18. Rees’ own website,, looks like it was written by a 5th grader. And I quote: “Rees has over twenty (20) years of upper business management experience and in the government affairs.”

    If it weren’t for the fact that he’s become a notorious spammer, Rees’ posts would be laughable.

    Bill Adler1:13 pm, November 8

  19. War of Words in Ward 3

    Politics can be dirty. And with the advent of the internet and its power to spread messages far and wide at almost no cost and at surprising speed, politics in these times can be anonymously dirty. While in decades past candidates and political activi…

    DCist3:33 pm, November 8


    Contempt for sending an Email?
    On Feb. 10, the entire US D.C. judiciary received an e-mail filled with
    vulgarities and aimed at Superior Court Judge John Bayly Jr. The
    message revealed that the author was Jonathan Rees. At the time, Judge
    Bayly was presiding over Rees’ divorce case, which had been going on
    for eight years. Bayly ordered that Rees show cause why he should not
    be held in contempt for violating a previous judge’s 1992 order
    prohibiting him additional filings in the divorce matter without
    judicial approval.

    But in a hearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Rankin, Rankin
    decided against prosecuting Rees for the contempt charge because Rees
    did not receive sufficient warning that his actions violated the 1992
    order. At the hearing, Rankin said any order will put Rees on notice
    that any further e-mails to D.C. judges would be grounds for contempt.
    But Rees’ attorney says that prohibiting his client from communicating
    with the judiciary would infringe on Rees’ right to free speech.

    —B. Frank • 9:24 pm, November 8

  21. the comment thread on their post about this is hilarious, if you haven’t seen it already.

    Andrew11:25 am, November 10

  22. o.0

    Wow, and I thought DCDL was a sleepy, relaxed kinda place! Turn my back for a week of personal drama and I miss all the fun!!

    StealthBadger6:15 am, November 13

  23. Jonathan Rees now has his own Yahoo Group:

    —Sandra • 4:39 pm, November 24

  24. I guess it is Mr. Rees and all of his aliases conversing 24/7.

    B. Frank

    —B. Frank • 10:25 pm, November 27

  25. It totally is! Well, except for one brave soul who’s actually tried to engage the alters in rational discussion. Once you realize that it’s all Rees talking to Rees, basically, it’s like the best comedy series ever!

    —notFooled • 11:08 pm, November 27

  26. When will a real reporter reveal what’s behind the curtain? It’s got to be a good story.

    —Sandra • 11:08 pm, November 28

  27. More Rees antics on DCist, These two threads are especially interesting:

    —Sandra • 5:44 pm, December 2

  28. Check out his loony group today. He’s posted a creepy account of how his round-the-clock spamming Craigslist non-political forums (and ad hominem attacks on other people’s blogs) has resulted in his being ‘attacked.” See, HE wasn’t wrong for violating posting policies. He’s actually the VICTIM, see? HIS attacks weren’t attacks, but the responses to them are. And HIS spam isn’t spam at all.

    It’s eerily similar to the way people with borderline personality disorder respond when criticised.

    —notfooled • 2:19 pm, December 4

  29. I took a look at the thread on Rees is really extreme. I wonder how much longer it will be before DCist bans him. (I’m surprised that they haven’t already.)

    —Sandra • 2:50 pm, December 5

  30. I’m closing comments on this post. The anti-Rees commenters are becoming nearly as obsessive as Rees himself (and who knows, maybe they’re all part of the same “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” campaign). Those interested in Rees’s latest antics can check out DCist or Craigslist or whoever he’s plaguing at the moment. If there are ever interesting new developments, maybe I’ll make a new post.

    Keith7:13 pm, December 5


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