D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty Cut The iPhone Line

Did D.C. Mayor Adiran Fenty dispatch henchmen to retrieve an iPhone? An eagle-eyed tipster spotted a member of the Mayor’s coterie dashing into a double-parked SUV with three bags outside the AT&T store on 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue.

By this point, more than a few people are asking questions, and after a guy behind me yells out “fix the schools first,” the [Mayor’s staffer] gives him the finger and sneers, “there’s only 15 left.”

The full email, after the jump…

I have a brief iPhone/government story. I work in downtown DC and went to the AT&T store on 17th and Pennsylvania around 4:45 to get in line. About 35 people were in front of me, everyone was nice, people from AT&T were giving out water and all was well. They and another store I visited during lunch wouldn’t or couldn’t tell us how many they had, so the line kept growing until it was about 70 or so. Six o’clock finally comes and they let some people in, and it’s really slow going–like one person every ten minutes, even though there are a bunch of employees and registers in there. We later found out that AT&T’s system crashed.

So we’re all waiting outside and some of the people around me notice a double parked car with a driver and a few dudes outside all on Blackberries talking and looking into the store. A little while later, a guy comes out with three bags and gives them to the driver. AT&T was only allowed to sell one iPhone per customer. Then the same guy disappears back into the store, into the back room. The manager comes out to update people and someone asks him what just happened and we find out that the phones are for D.C.’s mayor, Adrian Fenty. The guy comes out again and quickly gets into an SUV parked in front of the store. By this point, more than a few people are asking questions, and after a guy behind me yells out “fix the schools first,” the guy gives him the finger and sneers, “there’s only 15 left.” The manager, who had come out a few times and been giving rough inventory updates, had estimated about 50 were left minutes ago, and he had also said that there were plenty of 8 GB ones left (which everyone behind me seemed to want). Manager comes out again and says there are now only two 8 GB iPhones left, and that a lot of people in the back of the line probably aren’t getting an iPhone today. He said that there were four people from the Mayor’s office in the store and they each only got one, but that was a pretty big drop in his estimated inventory.

Incidentally, while we were in line, we found out that the Apple stores in Nova and Maryland had plenty of stock and no lines.

At least Philadelphia Mayor John Street had the decency to pull up a chair and wait on line until being accosted by a citizen.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Major-General says:

    Hey, at least DC’s mayor isn’t selling crack. We hope.

  2. DojiStar says:

    This is why I don’t live in Washngton DC.

    The Mayor employs line cutters.

    If it wasn’t for that, I’d live there.

  3. tonkyhonk says:

    Famous/important person is allowed to break the rules/given special treatment.


  4. swvaboy says:

    And the point of this is?

    We all know that government “Officials'” get preferential treatment, and I really have no problem with that.

  5. swvaboy says:

    Almost forgot, you can go ahead and attack my thoughts, I have tough skin.

  6. Havok154 says:

    At least Philadelphia’s mayor sat in line like a law abiding citizen.

  7. j-o-h-n says:

    @swvaboy: Escaping that kind of privileged ‘overclass’ is exactly why this country was founded. You may have a tough skin, but your gray matter seems thin.

  8. rekoil says:

    One thing to consider – it’s certainly possible that this wasn’t something the mayor actually authorized – it’s not uncommon at all for staffers to pull favors in the mayor’s name for their own purposes.

  9. kenposan says:


    I do have a problem with that. Something about “… that all men are created equal…”

    But beyond that, it’s a f*cking phone!!!!

  10. rbb says:

    Hopefully someone got the license plates of the vehicle and will report it to the DC Inspector General as fraud, waste and abuse….

  11. lestat730 says:

    I don’t mind that government officials get special treatment sometimes. They have a difficult job to do, and tons of people scrutinizing every little thing they do. This post isn’t very interesting…

  12. ceejceej says:

    It just goes to show you how little pull Philly and DC mayors have… you know all the other mayors got their iPhones weeks ago…

  13. j-o-h-n says:

    @lestat730: I’ve BEEN a (local) elected official. I could not disagree more. When you start thinking you are special, you are no longer “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and you should resign or be thrown out.

  14. thekizerman says:

    I really don’t see what the big deal is with everyone complaining about mayors purchasing iPhones. Sure their job is very important, and they could be considered “on-call” 24/7, but seriously guys, its not like the city of DC is going to crumble since he took maybe an hour to go buy a phone, and I’m pretty sure if he was in his office for that hour, he probably wouldn’t have found some way to magically “fix” all the “problems” with the school system. I guess now you’re going to say he can’t go out to a restaurant for dinner, because he should be finding a magical way to lower the crime rate in the 30 minutes he has to wait for a table.

  15. Bay State Darren says:

    I just like the part of him flipping the bird [if I read correctly.] He is the most, if not only, honest person in politics for that. And I really hope that somebody took a picture.

  16. TechnoDestructo says:

    I hope this is remembered at the next election. People like that don’t need to be holding public office. Or breathing public air.

  17. tcp100 says:

    Or everyone could just wait three god damn weeks or something and just waltz into a store and buy one. I have never, ever, understood the “waiting on line” thing unless it’s for a one-time-only thing.

    Seriously, people. This is a mass-produced consumer product. They’ll make more. (Although, they still will only have 2.5G EDGE and no instant messaging, but hey, fanboys.. I hear if you sniff the earpiece hard enough, you can smell Steve.)

  18. yg17 says:

    @tcp100: 3 weeks? As of this morning, EVERY SINGLE APPLE STORE IN THE US still has iJokes in stock.

  19. If it was a lobbyist or a higher official, they had the apple store bring them one. But the Mayor of DC is of less importance. Hence the line cutters.

    people are suprised?

  20. The Bigger Unit says:

    So, like I said in the other post about the Philly mayor: people would rather the actual freaking mayor sit around and twiddle his thumbs on a sidewalk all day, waiting to buy an iPhone, than actually do work for the city in his office.

    I see.

  21. mac-phisto says:

    i have a problem with the idea that these guys are doing this on company time. that shit would get you fired in the private sector…it should get you thrown in jail in the public sector.

  22. Brazell says:

    @The Nature Boy: What do you think they do in their offices all day … work?

  23. crankymediaguy says:

    “I don’t mind that government officials get special treatment sometimes.”

    May I ask WHY you aren’t bothered by that? Sorry, but they aren’t special, they aren’t better than their constituents. If they can’t wait in line or order the thing online, fuck ’em.

    “They have a difficult job to do, and tons of people scrutinizing every little thing they do.”

    Could part of the reason people “scrutinize” what they do be that some of what they do is elitist, self-aggrandizing, sometimes illegal, shit?

  24. synergy says:

    @The Nature Boy: I’m pretty sure that a lot of what the Mayor does is take calls, make calls, and sign papers. This day and age, you don’t need to be in an office to do that even without an iPhone.

  25. Shadowman615 says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. The Philly mayor got flak about sitting around in line all day — at least Fenty was smart enough to send his assistants.

    Seriously though, I don’t get why anyone would want to stand in line outside a store at 6am to be the first person to buy *anything*…unless, of course it was the liquor store ;)

  26. kelz says:

    What’s so “special” about cutting a line that shouldn’t have existed in the first place? So he kept a few geeks from getting their toys a few minutes earlier. Big freakin’ deal.