From WTOP’s Mark Seagraves :

The sex industry funded part of a campaign that opposes the construction of a new baseball stadium on the Anacostia waterfront.

Opponents of a publicly financed baseball stadium spent roughly $50,000, trying to sway public opinion.

In one method used to get their message out, opponents used an automated phone line.

The person on the automated phone call says he’s from a group called Friends of the Earth, and he’s opposed to a stadium built with public money

Friends of the Earth is part of a coalition called “No D.C. Taxes For Baseball.”

And, WTOP Radio has learned up to 20 percent of the $50,000 came from Robert Siegel, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner whose business would have to move to make way for the stadium.

Siegel is a major landowner on the South Capitol stadium site, an area that Siegel calls “D.C.’s unofficial Red Light district.”

He owns 11 properties, several of which house gay nightclubs. He also owns a gay porn shop and adult theaters.

He says he’s spent $20,000 of his own money to keep from being displaced by a new stadium. The funding includes other efforts he undertook to keep out baseball, including neighborhood signs and lawyer fees.

Some of the money went toward posters and radio ads, including one that ran on WTOP Radio.

Siegel says he’s staying in the background because he doesn’t want to cloud the issue of baseball with sex.

“No D.C. Taxes For Baseball” tells WTOP it wasn’t trying to deceive anyone with its message. The group accepted money from Siegel’s legal businesses to make its point.

Other members of “No D.C. Taxes For Baseball” include the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and the Statehood Green Party.

Research-crazy Don Smith (who was warning CSTB about this story several days ago) supplies us with the following backgroun on Siegel from the latter’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission file.

SMD 6D07 Robert Siegel
Address: 1352 S. Capitol St. SE
E-mail: legeis@bellatlantic.net
Age: 53
D.C. resident: 30 years
Education: 4 years college
Current occupation/employer: Self-employed businessman

Other significant experience: Treasurer of HIV Community Coalition; treasurer of Anacostia Coordinating Council; treasurer of ANC 6B and chair of the ABC Committee of 6B; Ward 6 Democrats 3rd vice president. What are the most important issues facing your neighborhood in the next two years and how do you plan to address them? 6D07, formerly 6B02, is an interesting area. There are only 14 people living along South Capitol Street. 95 percent of the adult 2,000 people are in public housing who are going through a serious physical upheaval due to HOPE VI. There is a lot of new commercial development in progress with a soon-to-be-announced huge construction project in the South East Federal Center. I expect to be working with my constituents in demanding more unheard of amenities from the developers. I expect that the District government will enforce the first rights of 6D07 Jobs within my community for the employment, training and education is sorely needed. I am running unopposed and will hopefully be doing a second term.

Writes Don,
In other words he’s some kind of pimp who got elected in an area with 14(!) homeowners and the remaining residents in public housing. To compare I have about 53 townhouses and apartment units on my block.

Well, yeah, not everyone is lucky enough to have (their own) porn shops for neighbors.

Earlier this week, Mr. Smith calimed that he’d received a voicemail message from “Friends Of The Earth” calling for protection of the city’s waterfront area, which Don describes “an industrial dump about a 15 minute walk from the Capitol building.”