the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

July 6, 2006

Too Many Candidates, and the Importance of Deadlines


Yesterday was the deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions for DC’s September 12 primary. I was sort of hoping that a few of the long list of Ward 3 council candidates might not make it, and thus simplify my decision, but it looks like they all got theirs in. Of course things could be worse — I could be in Ward 5, where there are 14 candidates.

Everyone has the right to run, but if we’re going to have so many candidates we really need a system that handles it better. Since there’s no runoff, a winner in the primary could end up having the support of only a small fraction of the electorate. Besides, this is a Democratic primary election in a very liberal city, so the candidates don’t disagree on much. I feel much the same annoyance I do at having to choose between dozens of brands and types of toothpaste. No doubt that makes me a foe of both capitalism and democracy.

All of us who have ever missed a deadline should spare a little sympathy for one prospective candidate:

But Ward 6 Democratic hopeful Will Cobb forgot about yesterday’s deadline.

“Holy cow, I got them sitting in my house right now,” he told a reporter after getting a call.

Cobb’s campaign manager, Jessica Strieter, raced down to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics but arrived at 5:45 p.m., 45 minutes after the deadline.

Cobb said he had collected 560 signatures during an aggressive door-to-door campaign to replace retiring incumbent Sharon Ambrose.

I don’t imagine he’s having a very good day today. Still, keeping track of details is part of the job.

July 4, 2006

Meet DC Candidates at DC for Democracy


Our friends at DC for Democracy are having a bunch of DC candidates at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 5, at 7pm at Ben’s Chili Bowl, 1213 U St NW (U Street Metro):

Join us after your holiday weekend to learn more about the D.C. primary elections coming up in September and to hear about DC for Democracy’s endorsement plans.

Here’s the current list of candidates attending, which I’ll update as I get more information:

Show up, have a bowl of chili, and find out more about who’s running in the September primary.

May 17, 2006

Support the DC Voting Rights Act Thursday


The Absurdist e-mailed me an alert about an important event tomorrow:

Come to Rayburn House Office Building room 2154 on Thursday, May 18 at 3:30 to show your support for legislation to give Washington, D.C. a vote in Congress.

The landscape has changed very suddenly on DC voting rights legislation. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) have introduced a new bill, the DC Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act of 2006 (H.R. 5388), which incorporates many of the elements of Tom Davis’ DC Fairness Act but corrects elements that many Democrats had objected to. This bill is scheduled for mark-up in the House Government Reform committee on the afternoon of Thursday, May 18. It is expected to be reported out of committee, however, it could languish from there without ever being scheduled for a floor vote. A strong, broadly bipartisan vote from the commitee would help to get this bill scheduled for a floor vote. Our goal is to pack the committee room to show popular support for this bill.

The act, also known as DC VRA, would give the District a real vote in the House of Representatives, so DC residents would actually have a person to write to when someone says “Write your congressperson.” There’s more information at DC Vote.

April 27, 2006

What Are You Doing Saturday? Protest, Canvass, or Schools


Ready for some protesting, canvassing, or school maintenance this weekend? Here are three options for Saturday, April 29:

February 28, 2006

Lamont, Living Wage, Schools, and Iraq at DC for Democracy Wednesday


Speaking of Ned Lamont’s primary challenge to Joe Lieberman, our friends at DC for Democracy are holding their monthly meeting this week and will have a special guest: Lamont senior campaign adviser Aldon Hynes, who will “talk about why progressives are challenging Senator Lieberman and answer your questions about his campaign and the tactics of challenging an incumbent Democrat.”

In addition, people will be talking about DC4D’s efforts at the local level to improve DC public schools and promote a living wage for DC workers. If that sounds like the sort of thing you’d like to help with, show up and find out more.

In national-level politics, DC for Democracy will be continuing with its “Change the Course” campaign — reaching out to Democracy for America chapters across the country to lobby for discussion in Congress about how to end the US occupation of Iraq. The campaign has a specific plan, focused on a stalled bill in the House called the Homeward Bound Resolution. It’s still in its early stages and could use your help.

The meeting is Wednesday, March 1, at 7pm at Ben’s Chili Bowl, 1213 U Street NW (near the U Street Metro stop). For more information, see the RSVP form.

February 6, 2006

New Post Blog Brings False Balance to Ward 3


The Washington Post launched a new blog today, DC Wire, which will focus on DC politics and this year’s city elections. I wish it luck, and so far it already has posts about the stadium deal and the school modernization bill, but I’m a little worried by the first post by Eric Weiss, which happens to be about the council race in my ward. It starts off like this:

Ward 3 council candidate Sam Brooks, who’s been involved in a low-key pie-tossing contest with fellow candidate Jonathan Rees, wants to engage in some multilateral disengagement.

Both have been saying mean things about each other for months. Rees questions when Brooks moved into the ward and Brooks says Rees may be behind negative web postings.

So Rees spreads messages accusing Brooks of fraud because of when he moved into the ward, even though the law doesn’t require candidates to reside in the ward until they are nominated, which would occur in September. And Rees spams Craigslist, DCist, DCpages.com, and loads of other websites and e-mail lists with messages promoting himself and attacking Brooks, often in juvenile ways. This week he apparently forged a message from the list admin to spam the Cleveland Park e-mail list, from which he’d been banned.

On the other side, Brooks complains about some of Rees’s attacks.

Clearly both sides are equally guilty — just as Jack Abramoff gave to both Democrats and Republicans, just as the Kerry and Bush campaigns were equally untruthful, just as experts differ on whether the moon landings were faked.

It’s not a “pie-tossing contest” if only one person is throwing pies, and so far I haven’t seen any pies thrown by Brooks. But maybe Weiss has learned the importance of “balance” from the same editor who slanted the scandal scorecard in Chris Cillizza’s Post blog a few months back.

January 26, 2006

Curling for Voting Rights


Should DC have its own Olympic team, separate from the US team? Mike Panetta thinks so, and that’s why he’s set up the District of Columbia Olympic Committee. After all, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands all have Olympic teams, even though they, like DC, are parts of the United States and have nonvoting delegates in the House of Representatives (though their residents, unlike DC’s, pay no federal income tax).

And that’s the point. Panetta launched his committee to call attention to DC’s status as the only part of the United States where the residents pay federal taxes but have no vote in the Congress that decides how those taxes are spent. If the International Olympic Committee has to rule on the issue, then that will generate some publicity that will educate more people about the situation — a situation most Americans are still unaware of.

Panetta has chosen curling as his sport and put together a team. He’s eager for more volunteers, so if you’re interested in any of 39 Olympic sports, join up. Whether you’re an athlete or not, you can use the form on the front page to send a message to Olympic officials and do a bit for DC voting rights.

November 23, 2005

Bush’s Bubble Expands


Looks like Bush’s bubble is expanding. Unfortunately, it’s not expanding in the sense of allowing in new ideas or different people, just getting bigger geographically:

CRAWFORD, Texas — A dozen war protesters including Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested Wednesday for setting up camp near President Bush’s ranch in defiance of new local bans on roadside camping and parking. […]

In August, hundreds of demonstrators camped off the road during a 26-day protest led by Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. But a month later, county commissioners banned camping in any county ditch and parking within 7 miles of the ranch, citing safety and traffic congestion issues.

The next logical step is to ban protesters (or anyone disagreeing with Bush) from a 7-mile bubble around the White House, which nicely takes in all of the District and Arlington plus a some nice chunks outside the diamond:

7-mile circle around White House

Why, yes, this is a cheap shot. What’s your point?

November 22, 2005

New Book Club for Liberals


A new book club for liberals/progressives has been formed. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00pm. The book to be discussed is “When Corporations Rule the World” by David Korten. The discussion will focus on Chapters 1-12, 18, and 22, so there is no need to read the whole book. The meeting is open to all.

We will meet at Cleveland Park Library at 7:00pm.

For more information see: http://progressivebooksdc.blogspot.com/

November 11, 2005

Events Calendar


Recently, I was reflecting on our connections to other progressive groups and events in the area. As we start to get organized for the 2006 midterms these connections are going to play a critical role in taking our country back. So, we’ll certainly have speakers on critical issues of the day come by on Thursdays. Meanwhile, some other events you may want to check out:

Sierra Club
Second Monday Happy Hour Mon., Nov. 14, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm The Reef, 2446 18th St., NW
Potluck Thanksgiving Dinner Sat., Nov. 19, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Popular Spring Animal Sanctuary, 15200 Mt. Nebo Rd., Poolesville, MD

DC for Democracy
VA Election Happy Hour celebration, Wednesday, November 16.

Women’s Caucus for Art - DC Chapter
Art from the Heart Community Party, Saturday, November 12, 2005, 7:00–9:30 pm. River Road Unitarian Church 6301 River Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20817 Admission: $5.00

National Organizing Kickoff House Party Night. Tuesday, Nov 15. Times and locations all around DC.


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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