the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

November 1, 2006

DC Candidates for General Election 2006


Even if there’s not much suspense about the outcome of the general election in the District (has a Democrat ever lost?), it’s still important to vote. Besides, you’ll need to vote for at least one non-Democrat in the at-large council race, and the school board and ANC races are nonpartisan.

If you’re registered to vote in DC, you can vote on November 7 for candidates for eight citywide offices, plus a councilmember for your ward if you live in Ward 1, 3, 5, or 6, plus a school board member if you live in Ward 5, 6, 7, or 8, plus an Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) member. So that’s nine to eleven decisions you need to make before Tuesday. If you don’t know your ward or ANC district, this form will tell you.

As I did for the Democratic primary, I’ve compiled a list of DC candidates with links to their websites. I’ve put the candidates in the order they appear on the ballot and marked the incumbents with an asterisk. If you know of any websites I’m missing, let me know in the comments.


September 19, 2006

Scott Bolden Still Campaigning


One week after being unexpectedly clobbered 63 to 36 percent by liberal incumbent Phil Mendelson in the Democratic primary for at-large councilmember, A. Scott Bolden is still paying for Google ads. I saw one yesterday on DCist, and you can still see them today on Google itself if you search for “Bolden” or “Phil Mendelson”. I know from experience that you do enter an ending date when setting up a Google AdWords campaign, but I guess if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign donations from the business community to outspend your opponent 3 to 1, a few extra web ads here or there don’t make much difference.

September 17, 2006

Mysterious Ads for Petition Circulators


This afternoon I noticed that the lampposts, trees, and bus shelters along Connecticut Avenue and some side streets around Van Ness have been blanketed with bright yellow signs reading as follows:

Earn $500-$100 weekly
Hiring Immediately!!
Work FT/PT
Citywide Signature Drive - looking for circulators
Must be 18 years or older & eligible to vote in D.C.
Must have valid D.C. ID

The signs are attached with plenty of strong tape to make them hard to remove, and there are many per block. Granted, such illegal postings occur all the time, but this one seems particularly egregious.

Google reveals that the number belongs or belonged to someone named Odell Mcdaniel, but the trail goes cold after that (I’m not a real reporter).

This sounds like the work of the unethical proponents of the unkillable slots initiative, people who never let little things like telling the truth or obeying the law get in the way of attempting to make big bucks at the expense of District residents. If they are the ones behind it, I’d suggest that any circulators demand payment up front, to avoid being stiffed like the homeless people they hired last time around.

Who Were the Most Powerful (or Luckiest) Endorsers in the DC Primary?


I’ve already mentioned that the Washington Post had all seven of its endorsed candidates win in Tuesday’s DC primary, but I thought I’d see how well other groups and publications did with their endorsements. My simple scoring system awards 1 point for each endorsed candidate who won and subtracts 1 point for each endorsed candidate who lost.

Here are the scores:


September 13, 2006

DC Primary Results: No Squeakers Here


If you’re tired of the current fashion of nail-bitingly close elections decided only after recounts and court battles, yesterday’s DC primary is the election for you. In every one of the ten contests, the winner beat the closest opponent by at least 15 percentage points. You can get results from the Board of Elections site.

Here are the winners (almost certain to be the winners in November as well):

All seven candidates endorsed by the Washington Post won, as did all three incumbents running for reelection (Mendelson, Graham, and Norton). Despite the victories for incumbents, the council will see a big turnover (assuming no bizarre occurrences in November), since next year we’ll have to have a special election to fill the seats in Wards 4 and 7 that Fenty and Gray are leaving for higher offices. So within several months the seats for Wards 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, as well as the chair, will likely have new occupants.

September 12, 2006

DC and Maryland Primaries Today


All the intra-party conflict, signs, phone calls, flyers, mailers, and door knocking of the past months and weeks come down to this: the primary election. If you’re registered to vote as a member of a party in DC or Maryland, get out and vote today! The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you still haven’t decided on your candidates, you might be interested in lists of DC Democrats and Maryland statewide Democrats, as well as other articles you’ll find if you look around the site.

If you have questions about voting, check the site of the DC Board of Elections and Ethics or the Maryland State Board of Elections. In DC, be aware that the precinct number on the cover of your voting guide is probably wrong; for your polling place, check the online form or your voter registration card.

Update (5:15 pm): Voting hours in Montgomery County have been extended until 9 p.m. in an attempt to compensate for the disastrous incompetence with electronic voting machines this morning.

Saving D.C.: Marie Johns vs. Adrian Fenty


Anyone who has seen Marie Johns speak, trump her rivals in debates or read her solid proposals for reform knows that she is the best qualified candidate. The former local Verizon president has the management experience and reformist zeal needed to make a difference in the life of the city’s most neglected and poorest people.

I was inspired to support Johns after a friend of mine, Monica Yin, a victim of the city’s criminally negligent emegency medical services (her case was described in a series of Colbert King columns) decided after much research into the candidates that Johns was the best candidate to save this mismanaged city that has also allowed poverty, crime, drop-out rates and despair to flourish.

But progressives are asking themselves: Are we throwing away our vote if we vote for Marie? Will we help the veteran hack and council chair Linda Cropp become mayor if we vote for Johns instead of the front-runner, Adrian Fenty?


September 11, 2006

Bolden and Wynn Pad Endorsements


Al Wynn is a Democratic congressman running for reelection in Maryland’s 4th District. A. Scott Bolden is a former president of the DC Chamber of Commerce running for the at-large city council position in the DC Democratic primary. Both candidates have been accused of resembling Republicans — Wynn because of his support of Bush and the Iraq war, Bolden because he’s a K Street lawyer who’s extremely friendly to big business. Both have underfunded opponents who portray themselves as more liberal: Wynn faces challenger Donna Edwards, while Bolden faces incumbent councilmember Phil Mendelson.

But the similarity doesn’t end there. Both men list on their campaign materials endorsements from organizations or persons who say they have made no such endorsements. According to today’s Washington Post, Wynn claimed the support of a Montgomery County council member and two unions, all of whom deny endorsing him. His claimed support from the Teamsters is particularly incongruous, since last month two of his campaign workers were accused of beating up a Teamsters officer who was a supporter of Donna Edwards.

Similarly, Bolden claims on his website and campaign literature that he’s been endorsed by the Ward One Democrats, but a press release from Kathy Boettrich, chair of the Ward One Democrats, disagrees:

The Ward One Democrats did not endorse Mr. Bolden, or his opponent, Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D - At-Large), for the September 12 Primary. Records confirm that Mr. Mendelson received more votes than Mr. Bolden received at the July 17th forum, but did not reach the required two-thirds threshold.

Of course, once the false information is out there, there’s really no way to entirely correct it. As Mark Twain said, “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

September 9, 2006

Newspaper Endorsements for DC Primary


Newspaper endorsements have no effect in some races, but an endorsement from the major local paper (in DC’s case, the Washington Post) can sometimes cause people to pay serious attention to a candidate they would otherwise have written off, especially in a race with many candidates. Besides, reading the reasoning behind the endorsements can help you think through your own decisions, and sometimes endorsements are even entertaining.

I’ve searched out the endorsements for the September 12 Democratic primary from several local newspapers and put them into a table with links so you can read them. The big one, of course, is the Washington Post. The table omits the Washington Times because it has made only one DC endorsement, Marie Johns for mayor, but I did include our other conservative-owned paper, the Washington Examiner (which recently warned us about Muslims under the bed).

The Washington City Paper doesn’t have editorials, but its political columnist, Loose Lips, does make endorsements, so I’ve included those. Finally, the Northwest Current endorsed candidates, but it doesn’t put its content online, so there are no links for it.

Post Examiner Loose Lips Current
Mayor Fenty Fenty Fenty Johns
City Council, Chair Gray Patterson Patterson Patterson
City Council, At Large Mendelson Bolden Mendelson Mendelson
City Council, Ward 1 Graham Graham Graham ——
City Council, Ward 3 Cheh Goulet Cheh Cheh
City Council, Ward 5 Thomas James Ray ——
City Council, Ward 6 Wells Etherly Wells ——
Delegate to the House —— —— Norton ——
Shadow Senator —— —— Pannell ——
Shadow Representative —— —— Panetta ——

For links to the candidates’ websites, see the list of Democratic primary candidates.

September 8, 2006

Last-Minute Dropouts in DC Primary


With only days to go until the September 12 primary, Michael A. Brown has pulled out of the race for DC mayor. He’s throwing his support (possibly in the neighborhood of 3 percent) to Linda Cropp. So that leaves six candidates for Democrats to choose among (see candidate list).

Last week saw a lower-profile withdrawal. John J. Forster dropped out as a candidate for shadow representative, leaving a two-man race between Mike Panetta and James Bubar.

Since both withdrawals came too close to the election for ballots to be changed, there’s a danger that people will still vote for the candidates, so educating voters is a problem. The Board of Elections has told Mike Panetta that there will be signs at the polling places.

Maryland’s primary has a similar situation, since a court ruled one of the Democratic candidates for attorney general, Tom Perez, ineligible for the office. Perez has endorsed Stuart Simms, one of the remaining candidates (the other is Douglas Gansler). As in DC, signs will be posted at polling places to notify voters.

Update (12:23pm): I forgot to suggest that you should take one last listen to “Get Down With Brown”, clearly the best song of the 2006 DC primary.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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