The Never-Ending Pasta Bowl ended up a never-ending scandal for Ward 5 hopeful, Tony Johnson. On the campaign, trail, Johnson was your typical populist progressive: a champion for local small businesses and restaurants. Yet, for the third time in the past year, he was caught eating out at a corporate chain.
It all started in the Spring of 2018. His light blue Toyota Prius was caught on camera at the Taco Bell drive thru on New Hampshire Avenue. Within minutes, the local press had microphones in his face as he waited for his Grilled Stuffed XXL Burrito with Chicken. His opponent wasted no time taking advantage of the situation, labeling him “Taco Bell Tony,” which remains his nickname around town.
After apologizing and refusing to ever eat at a chain ever again, he was then caught at Wendy’s just blocks away from Taco Bell, ordering a Chocolate Frosty on a hot summer night. His infamous Frosty moustache pic was retweeted over 10,000 times.
The nail in the coffin happened this Sunday, when an unsolicited text was sent by Johnson at 6:54 pm to his campaign staffer, Claire Mack. “At first, I just thought it was any Italian restaurant,” Mack described. “It was a half empty pasta bowl with some grated cheese on the table. But then I saw something I just couldn’t unsee.”
Mack was sent a picture of Johnson’s breadstick, which she immediately recognized as the trademark Olive Garden free appetizer given to all patrons. “I was disgusted. How could he do such a thing?” Mack said. “I immediately sent it to all my friends.”
It took merely seconds for Tony Johnson’s “stick pic” to go viral. Within minutes, several long time supporters asked him to end his candidacy. “I think Tony would have been a great ward 5 council person, but this is the third time he’s cheated on our local business,” stated Marty Long. “And of all places…Olive Garden?! He can never overcome this.”
“I was willing to forgive him for Wendy’s,” Gayle Adam’s added. “I mean, who hasn’t gotten a frosty on a hot summer day? But Tony just can’t control himself. He needs help.”
We attempted to reach out to Johnson with questions about the “stick pic,” but all we received was a pre-written auto response thanking his followers for their continued support and a promise to tear up his McDonald’s buy-one-get-one-free coupons.
His wife and campaign manager, Virginia Johnson, managed to return our phone calls informing us that the campaign was over, and Tony planned to start eating at local establishments daily. “I love my husband very much, but he needs help right now,” she added. “He made many mistakes by eating corporate meals in secret, but do understand that he continues to support our beloved Takoma Park small establishments, like 7-11.”