Tuesday, January 11, 2005

BUSH SKIPS ON BILL

By Tweed

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 11, 2005; Page A01

D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.

Federal officials have told the District that it should cover the expenses by using some of the $240 million in federal homeland security grants it has received in the past three years -- money awarded to the city because it is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack.

Arthur Shingold, a Washington DC attorney with the law firm of Arnold and Porter, witnessed the event which occurred at Equinox, a local Washington DC restaurant.

"I saw the President and Andrew Card at the table next to mine with Mayor Williams," said Shingold. "I heard what they were talking about, and things didn't sound like they were going well. Bush had the appropriation bill for the extra $11.9M, and he was shaking it at Williams' face, and called him 'Bow-Tie-Boy.' I don't think Williams liked that."

Shortly after the heated discussion Andrew Card excused himself to use the rest room. "Then," Shingold said, "Bush got up to stretch out his legs - he said that he'd jogged that morning and felt a cramp coming on. He stretched a little, then - out of the blue - bolted for the door, leaving the Mayor with the bill for the President's game hen, Card's steak, their surf and turf appetizer and the appropriations bill."


Card and Bush As Card Excuses Himself and Shortly
Before Bush Bolted for the Door

Card never returned to the table, and was later seen walking down 16th Street toward the White House with a combination of parsley, bread crumbs and silantro on his shoes.

A spokesman for the President neither confirmed nor denied Shingold's story, but did insist that the President left the tip.

Other diners were surprised at the activity. Williams waited for a few minutes and then settled the restaurant bill.


Mayor Williams Posing With Equinox Staff
After Finishing His Shift Washing Dishes

Williams plans on taking public safety courses in the coming weeks to prepare for the innauguration.



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