the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 28, 2006

More DC Endorsements: Tenants vs. Landlords


As long as I’m going through endorsements, I’ll cover one that I’ve seen evidence of around my neighborhood. The DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition (TENAC) has been posting flyers listing its endorsements for the September 12 primary on bus shelters and various other places. For the first time ever, TENAC has endorsed “none of the above” for mayor:

After listening to months of promises, promises, promises, almost none having to do with rent control, affordable housing, and tenants’ rights, issues of key importance to the two-thirds of the city’s population who are tenants, TENAC says, “thanks, but no thanks.”

On the other side of the eternal struggle between tenants and landlords, METPAC, the political action committee of the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, has made its endorsements (which at-large council candidate A. Scott Bolden has included on his site).

So let’s compare the endorsements:

Mayor —— Linda Cropp
City Council, Chair Vincent Gray Vincent Gray
City Council, At Large Phil Mendelson A. Scott Bolden
City Council, Ward 1 Jim Graham ——
City Council, Ward 3 Bill Rice ——
City Council, Ward 5 Harry Thomas Jr. ——
City Council, Ward 6 Tommy Wells Tommy Wells
Delegate to the House Eleanor Holmes Norton ——
Shadow Senator Philip Pannell ——
Shadow Representative John Forster ——

So Gray and Wells managed to keep both sides happy, but this is one of several indications that Mendelson has more populist positions than Bolden. TENAC also endorsed at-large council candidate Antonio Dominguez, an independent, who won’t be on the ballot until the November general election.

Business Groups Endorse DC Primary Candidates


Whether you think business has too much influence in city politics here in DC or too little, it’s useful to know which candidates the business community is supporting in the election. The political action committees of the DC Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Washington Board of Trade have endorsed the same set of candidates:

The Board of Trade’s PAC also endorsed the reelection of At Large Councilmember David Catania, who is an independent and thus won’t be on the ballot until the November general election.

I’ve previously posted endorsement lists for DC for Democracy and the Sierra Club, as well as a complete list of Democratic primary candidates.

August 24, 2006

DC Democratic Primary Candidates for 2006


I haven’t found an up-to-date list of DC candidates with links to their websites, so I’ve put one together. I’m only listing Democrats, since the Statehood Green and Republican primary candidates are all unopposed.

If you’re a registered Democrat in DC (and if you’re not already registered it’s too late for this primary), you can vote on September 12 for candidates for six citywide offices, plus a councilmember for your ward if you live in Ward 1, 3, 5, or 6. If you don’t know your ward, this form will tell you.

I’ve put the candidates in the order they appear on the ballot and marked the incumbents with an asterisk. (Warning: For many of these sites, you’ll want to turn off your speakers if you’re at work or somewhere else where noises aren’t welcome.)


August 21, 2006

Party With DC for Democracy and DC Candidates


Our friends at DC for Democracy are having a fundraiser Wednesday. It’s a great group of people, so come out and support them.

Mingle with candidates, have a few drinks, meet new people, and improve the political landscape at a fundraiser for the District’s largest unaligned progressive group of activists, community leaders, and everyday voters working for positive change in our local government and recognition in America’s legislature.

Join DC for Democracy and their endorsed candidates for the 2006 DC elections:

at a fundraiser to support their political activity in the upcoming elections.


August 18, 2006

Sierra Club Endorsements for DC Primary


In spreading the word about Drinking Liberally, one of the local groups that I try to do cross-fertilization with is the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club. The club has made its endorsements for the September 12 Democratic primary in DC, but they don’t seem to be on its website anywhere, so I thought I’d quote them here (I’ve added links to the candidates’ websites):

Council chair — Vincent Gray
Gray stands out for his forward-thinking approach to public transit and his commitment to cleaning up the Anacostia River and protecting our parkland. He has been a consensus-builder in his ward, and as chair he will push the council to advance the city’s environmental agenda.

At Large — Phil Mendelson
Mendelson has been an unwavering environmental supporter over the last eight years, shining as a leader on issues of renewable energy sources, restricting the transport of hazardous materials, promoting restoration of the District’s tree cover, and more. He is committed to protecting the District’s green space for generations to come.

Ward 1 — Jim Graham
Graham has been an outspoken leader on public transportation issues during his two terms, playing an instrumental role in improving and expanding Metro service and replacing dirty diesel buses with clean natural gas buses.

Ward 3 — Mary Cheh
Tops in an excellent field of candidates, Cheh will prove to be a knowledgeable and articulate advocate for parkland protection and transit-oriented development.

Ward 6 — Tommy Wells
Wells understands how to improve the quality of our urban environment by improving transit, cycling and walking opportunities.

The club has not made endorsements in the mayoral and Ward 5 contests at this time.

There are no conflicts between these endorsements and those by DC for Democracy, though there are some races where one group made an endorsement and the other didn’t.

August 7, 2006

Deadline to Register to Vote in DC’s Primary Is August 14


If you’re a DC resident who hasn’t yet registered to vote, and you want to have a say in choosing our next mayor, city council members, and other officials, you need to register by Monday, August 14. Because the city’s population is overwhelmingly Democratic, the Democratic primary is essentially the real election, since whoever wins it almost always wins in November. For that reason, you may want to consider registering as a Democrat even if you’re not eager to be affiliated with the party.

The DC Board of Elections and Ethics site has information about the upcoming election and how to register. If you’ve already registered, you can check your registration status online, to make sure your address is correct and see what ward you live in. If you need to register for the first time or change your address or party, you can start the process online and complete it by mail.

Update (August 26): I’ve posted a list of candidates for the Democratic primary.

August 4, 2006

DC for Democracy Endorses Candidates for the DC Primary


DC for Democracy held its endorsement meeting Wednesday, following on the candidate forum it held last month. After an opportunity for candidates and their representatives to mingle with DC4D members, a very democratic and open voting process led to endorsements for these DC candidates in the September 12 Democratic primary:

Three other candidates received a majority of the votes, indicating substantial support, but did not reach the two-thirds required for an endorsement:

If you’re interested in getting involved in “the District’s largest unaligned progressive group of activists, community leaders, and everyday voters working for positive change in our local government and recognition in America’s legislature”, visit the DC for Democracy site and sign up!

Update (August 21): DC for Democracy is having a fundraiser to support its election activities.

July 28, 2006

Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Colbert Report


Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, was on the Colbert Report last night. I thought she did pretty well, needling Stephen about his frenchified name and, more important, educating a few people about the disenfranchisement of the people of DC (for more about that, see DC Vote, including “10 Myths About the District of Columbia”).

Here’s the video, which someone named uluviel has kindly put on YouTube — and Comedy Central has kindly not shot down yet:

Incidentally, this year for the first time in her 16-year career Norton has a challenger in the Democratic primary (September 12). He’s Andy Miscuk, who has attended DC Drinking Liberally, both Wednesday and Thursday. So if you haven’t been impressed with the job Norton is doing, this time you have a choice.

July 22, 2006

DNC Disses DC, Rewards Nevada and South Carolina, in 2008 Schedule


This morning at the ungodly (for a Saturday) hour of 9:30, I showed up, along with more than a dozen other supporters of DC voting rights, at the Capital Hilton to lobby and observe the meeting of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. The purpose of the meeting was to vote on a historic change to the presidential election schedule: inserting an additional caucus between the traditional leadoff events of the presidential nominating process, the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, as well as inserting a new primary shortly after New Hampshire. Ten states plus the District were in the running, and we were there to support DC’s bid. Thanks to DC Vote, we all had T-shirts reading “Let DC Vote — Early Caucus 2008″. Unlike some of the other contenders, we didn’t think to bring bribes — South Carolina had a bag of peaches for each committee member, and Hawaii brought macadamia nuts.

Our message was that DC would provide an appropriate balance for the mostly white and rural Iowa and New Hampshire, bringing needed representation of urban and minority voters into the process. In addition, greater visibility for DC in the nomination process would bring more attention to the immoral disenfranchisement of DC residents, who despite paying federal taxes have no voting representation in the Congress that decides how those taxes are spent.

DC’s lobbying effort had been pretty minimal, so my expectations were low, but they were raised slightly when I heard that a member of the committee from New Hampshire, Kathleen Sullivan, had decided to vote for DC in the hope of avoiding a collision between New Hampshire state law and the DNC’s rules. The state law requires that the primary be moved if any other state tries to move ahead of New Hampshire, but since DC isn’t a state it wouldn’t trigger the law. It’s too bad that this possible compromise couldn’t have been noticed and earlier and publicized within the committee.

The meeting started off with praise for the recently renewed Voting Rights Acts, which was followed by an attempt to reopen a question decided earlier: whether to add four new states in the early period rather than only two. That was quickly shot down, and then committee member Harold Ickes proposed that the committee consider choosing the caucus state from the West and the primary state from the South. His proposal was passed, although he and the committee co-chairs claimed that it didn’t exclude other states from consideration, so I’m not clear what its real purpose was.

Things moved on to a confused description of what seemed to be an instant-runoff vote to determine the order in which contenders would be voted on. Ickes headed that off by proposing a simpler vote in which each member would write down only his or her first choices for the caucus and the primary states. Members then spoke in favor of various contenders, describing how their favorites fit the DNC’s criteria of diversity (racial, ethnic, and economic), labor representation, and suitability for “retail politics” — all qualities DC has plenty of. Speaking for the District were Sullivan and DC resident Donna Brazile. Finally the committee completed their ballots and adjourned for lunch.

After lunch the results were announced:

Caucus        Primary
Nevada 20 South Carolina 22
Arizona 5 Alabama 5
DC 2 Michigan 1
Michigan 1

Unfortunately no one joined Sullivan and Brazile in supporting the District. Still, it will be interesting to see whether incorporating states from the West and the South will improve the presidential nomination process.

Reid Wilson from the Hotline on Call blogged the meeting live (see this post and the ones around it).

July 9, 2006

DC Vote Happy Hour and Short Film “Un-Natural State”


DC Vote, the people trying to bring true democracy to DC residents (that is, voting representation in Congress like that of other American citizens), will be having a Summer Drink, Dish, and Dash Happy Hour Monday, July 10, at Busboys and Poets (Langston Room), 2021 14th St NW, from 5 to 6:45pm. Meet new people and find out how to get involved in the fight for voting rights.

At 6:30 sharp they’ll have a free screening of the short film Un-Natural State:

A talented film production team, the Worthy Foes, chose DC voting rights as the topic of an 8-minute documentary submitted for the International Documentary Challenge. Washingtonians Kirk ‘Mango’ Mangels and Brad Mendelsohn approached DC Vote to assist in creating a documentary that would highlight the absurdity of denying democracy in the nation’s capital. The team was given the genre of ‘nature’ and had five days to complete production on the film.

And since YouTube videos are all the rage on the blogs nowadays, here’s a teaser for the film:


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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