the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

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.”

Bush Tramples Flag for September 11


Via Americablog, I see that Bush celebrated September 11 with a little flag desecration (a habit I’ve mentioned before). It still seems to me that if something is bad enough to require a constitutional amendment, it should be an impeachable offense.

Of course, the real question is whose idea it was to make a September 11 flag doormat in the first place. That sort of thing hasn’t gone over well with Republicans in the past.

September 9, 2006

9/11 Press for Truth Screening


Come see it.

I know it’s short notice, but I figure it’s a better alternative than watching ABC’s dreck.

Update: WOW it was well-done. It proposes no explanations, it only takes what information is publically available and verified and sets it in chronological order. Interesting to see a documentary, and hear the thoughts (or misgivings) expressed about things they couldn’t cover from the people who both were behind it and one of the people in it.

One interesting thing that came up is that al-Jazeera will be airing it Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

I think I’ll go see it again tomorrow just to get a better sense of it. It’s going to be at Ben’s Chili Bowl, which is right across from the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro station. ^.^

Robo-Calls for Candidates Are Out of Control


I agree with Bill Adler and Peggy Robin, administrators of the Cleveland Park e-mail list (definitely worth joining if you live in or near the neighborhood):

Today we received six pre-recorded calls from candidates for various offices. (And the day’s not yet over.)

To any candidates or their staff who read our listserv: Stop! These pre-recorded calls (which are usually displayed as “Unknown” on our caller ID) are disruptive and irritating. Do you think that voters like being summoned from the shower, lunch, or reading to hear a taped political pitch,
let alone a half dozen in an afternoon?

So, please, think creatively in the remaining days of your campaign. Don’t buy into the consultant’s glossy brochure that tells you how many voters you can reach cheaply through these calls. These calls can easily become an I-won’t-vote-for list.

My ancient answering machine is filling up with pointless and annoying messages. Some years ago, I tended to vote against candidates that used the technique, but nowadays it’s so pervasive that that policy would leave me with no one to vote for.

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.

August 30, 2006

Joe Lieberman Procures Sunset to Ride Off Into


I’m trying to avoid posting too often about the Connecticut Senate race, but sometimes Lieberman’s buffoonery (along with my interest in a state where I lived for a while) makes it impossible to resist. The Lieberman campaign has released a new ad that’s being ridiculed across the web (including some YouTube comments that were deleted).

The strangest thing about the ad, aside from its lack of content, is that it features a sunset — not be the best image for a politician who’s trying to convince people that he’s not in the twilight of his Senate career. When asked about the image, Dan Gerstein, Lieberman’s communications director, true to form, lies through his teeth:

In an interview, Gerstein took issue with the idea that the sun is setting. “It’s actually a sunrise,” Gerstein said. “It’s very much a sunrise.”

Judge for yourself. Here are two images, the first from 10 seconds into the ad, the second from 23 seconds:
Sun higher Sun lower
If the Lieberman campaign thinks the sun gets lower when it’s rising, it’s no wonder their campaign is in trouble.

For further confirmation that the image is a sunset, and far from Connecticut, commenter JeffW at MyDD discovered that the ad uses segments of two stock video clips from Getty Images. The first clip is described as “Wide shot sun setting over ocean / birds walking along water’s edge / Santa Barbara”, while the second is “Wide shot sun setting behind clouds with ocean in foreground / Santa Barbara, California”. So give it up, Dan — it’s a sunset.

Update (8:49 pm): Gerstein admits it’s a sunset.

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.


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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