the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

July 31, 2005

Endless Campaigns Reach the Local Level


We’re used to having presidential campaigns that start years before the election and go on forever, but city elections haven’t been that way — until now. I was out getting groceries this afternoon and found that the area around the Cleveland Park Metro has been plastered with signs for a DC council candidate. I wondered for a second whether I had missed the announcement of some sort of special election, but no, Jonathan Rees is just getting a head start on the primary election that’s coming up on September 12. That’s September 12, 2006. I know that several mayoral candidates have already declared, but putting up signs 13 months ahead for a council race, especially one that’s not even citywide, is going a bit far. Rees has been spamming the Craigslist personals (including a “test question” about arranging a threesome) and other web boards for several weeks now, but this is the first actual sign I’ve seen.

Then there’s the content of the sign. The biggest words other than the candidate’s name are “and I will vote no”, part of Rees’s version of Bush the Elder’s “no new taxes” pledge. In fact, the sign is entirely about his antitax positions (complete with a depiction of a taxpayer in handcuffs) and gives no hint what other positions he might have. Is this guy really a Democrat, or is he just running as one because the Democratic primaries are the real elections in this city?

A look at Rees’s slightly Time Cube–ish website reveals that he does have a few more ideas. For example, he definitely disagrees with Eleanor Holmes Norton and others who have pursued the quixotic idea of taxing commuters. Instead, he wants to give commuters further tax breaks by making DC sales taxes apply only to DC residents, in order to encourage suburbanites to shop downtown. Rees also decries the “hyper-inflation” DC has experienced in the last 20 years. Ah, yes, I remember when you needed $10,000 postage just to mail a letter across town, before the government redefined the new dollar as 100,000 old ones. Rees’s proposed new tax provisions for divorced parents and reduced fines for red light runners make me wonder whether he has some personal stake in those issues.

More competition (and more competent candidates) in DC politics would be a good thing, but so far Jonathan Rees doesn’t look like what we need. Maybe another year of his antics will provide some entertainment, though.


  1. How real is Rees’ campaign? I found this news story about Jonathan Rees, which makes me think that he’s not all that serious a candidate: (You have to scroll down a bit to find the article about Rees.)

    —John • 9:32 am, September 15

  2. Thanks, John. That does fit in with my theory about the proposed tax revisions for divorced parents. Perhaps the whole campaign is about some grudge Rees has with the DC government or the courts. Then again, some of the stranger stuff (including those provisions) has disappeared from his site since I wrote this post. (It still looks like the Time Cube site, though. And I notice from his new signs that he’s now registered the too-generic domain, which just points to the same site.)

    Keith10:27 am, September 15

  3. Bizarre Smear Campaign in Ward 3

    When last we heard from early-bird Ward 3 council candidate Jonathan Rees, he was spamming Craigslist and papering my neighborhood with campaign posters. He’s still up to those things (see some of the Craigslist posts and fallout), and his campa…

    DCDL6:33 pm, November 5

  4. Who cares about city elections, let’s focus on the ineffable truth of the universe, mentioned above.
    I refer to TIME CUBE! In one rotation of Earth, there are four simultaneous days. Time is Cubic, not linear.
    Cubic Awareness Online also explains Time Cube. Hax0r yo’ cubez and get it all cubing!

    Time Cube remedies people's TimeCube ignorance10:04 pm, January 24, 2006

  5. Keith,

    I know you’re going to delete the “time cube” comment. Can you leave it up for a bit, though? The link is just too weird for words, and kind of entertaining. Kind of.

    —AltHippo • 11:16 pm, January 25, 2006

  6. Oh, I figured I’d leave it. Since it mentions city elections, it’s not just automated spam, and it’s not really off topic, since I did have the Time Cube link in the post. Plus it seems to be from a Time Cube fan, not the Time Cube guy himself, who’s probably schizophrenic.

    Besides, maybe it will encourage people to make some comments to push it out of the sidebar.

    Keith10:00 am, January 26, 2006

  7. If you really want to see bizarre:

    —Luke • 9:22 pm, January 26, 2006

  8. It gets even better for the Ward 3 candidate. Someone has linked a variety of Yahoo post via IP and cross listed them with posts at DC Message Boards:


    —Luke • 9:28 pm, January 29, 2006

  9. Looks like I’d better close comments on this one too.

    Keith10:15 pm, January 29, 2006


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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