AAA Mid-Atlantic just posted the following statement on Twitter:
The remarks attributed to John Townsend reported in the City Paper article are inappropriate, and in no way representative of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s views. Mr. Townsend apologizes for comments attributed to him that were offensive.
It was never Mr. Townsend’s intention to be insulting and agrees that there is absolutely no place in the public discourse for personal attacks.
That said, Mr. Townsend believes that many of the statements were presented out of context and mischaracterize the discussion.
Update: DCist’s Martin Austermuhle figured out the missing context. For example,
I think he’s developmentally retarded, and I use ‘retarded’ in the French way, meaning that he’s late. He’s late to development meetings, that’s what I’m trying to say.
Update 2: Reporter Aaron Wiener defends the context of the quotations and gives even more examples of insults from Townsend: “He also called [David Alpert] ‘reptilian,’ ‘pedantic,’ and ‘childlike,’ and suggested he had a ‘Napoleonic complex.’”