Saturday, September 09, 2006

DC Primary: Vote for Fenty, Patterson and Mendelson

By Nancy Jane Moore

The District of Columbia primary election is Tuesday, September 12. It's the key election -- whoever wins the Democratic primary will be elected in November. Here are my endorsements:

For Mayor: Adrian Fenty. I've already praised Fenty's stand against the meaningless "crime emergency" bill and deplored his main opponent's descent into name-calling. I also like Fenty's energy and openness to new ideas. And I've also seen a definite improvement in city services in Ward 4 -- where I live -- since he took over as our council member.

Fenty has also been endorsed by The Washington Post, the City Paper, the Examiner, the Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington Action Fund (I got an email from them), and former Mayor Marion Barry, along with a number of other organizations. That's a pretty wide base of support.

For Chair of the City Council: Kathy Patterson. What has really impressed me about Patterson has been her willingness to take strong stands, particularly in dealing with the police. She was particularly critical of police excesses dealing with political demonstrations -- an important issue, since DC gets major demonstrations on a regular basis. She's good on environmental issues as well. She didn't get The Post endorsement, but the City Paper and Examiner both support her.

For At-Large Council Member: Phil Mendelson. Mendelson's noted for his lack of charisma, but he's also one of those people who always asks hard questions and fights for good services for citizens, particularly those basic things we all need, such as firefighting and ambulance service. We need his voice on the council. He's collected endorsements from the City Paper and the Examiner and -- weakly -- from The Post.

For nonvoting Delegate to Congress: Eleanor Holmes Norton. Norton does a good job of representing DC in an impossible job. She has an opponent, but this race is unlikely to be close.

I shall pass on endorsements in the open council seats in the different wards, except to observe that Ward 1 Council Member Jim Graham deserves to be reelected. I don't know enough about the candidates in the other wards -- none are incumbents -- to express an opinion. However, the City Paper endorsements by Loose Lips columnist Jim Jones provide a good guide.

Since the "shadow" U.S. senator and representative positions are a joke, I don't intend to waste my time voting in those races. We need real activists fighting for our right to a vote in Congress, not sham elections for people who just want to get their names in the paper.

By the way, there will be two at-large seats on the ballot in the general election. Due to an odd DC law, one of those seats must go to someone who is not a member of the majority political party. That would open the door for candidates from the Republicans or the Statehood-Green Party, except for one thing: The incumbent, David Catania, is running as an independent, and he'll be a shoo-in, along with whoever gets the Democratic nomination, in November.

Catania used to be a Republican -- an openly gay, pretty liberal Republican -- but he gave up on the party after a few years of G.W. Bush. He's another one of our attack-dog council members.

So if you're registered as a Democrat, get out and vote in the primary. That's when all the key races will be decided. It doesn't matter much whether you vote in the other parties' primaries -- their candidates aren't in play this year.


KCinDC said...

I don't see why people running for the shadow positions are disqualified from being "real activists". Both Philip Pannell and Mike Panetta have been activists for quite a while now, and I doubt they're going to stop because they're elected to a volunteer position.

And if anyone who is elected to one of the positions does get their name in the paper after the election, it won't be because of the position but because of their own hard work. Shadow reps and senators who do nothing certainly don't get media coverage (unless they're Jesse Jackson, but his coverage had nothing to do with being shadow senator).

By the way, anyone who likes Patterson because of her work in responding to the Pershing Park mass arrests should look into Mary Cheh if they're in Ward 3 (which you apparently aren't). Cheh worked with Patterson to come up with new guidelines to prevent such police abuses, and she lists that as the first bullet point on her "About" page.

AdamzMorgan said...

I'm sure Fenty's a nice guy, but you should really reconsider Linda Cropp. she's a former teacher, counselor, and school board president. Her tenure as Chairman of the Council has been praised and she is highly respected. She has balanced nine budgets and been effective in passing legislation that has benefited the residents of the District.

Any questions?

She gets it. She gets DC and she is getting my vote.

For Fenty supporters reading this who may be confused, I am talking about experience, solid qualifications and ability. This is what Linda Cropp brings to the table.

The choice is clear on Election Day. Linda Cropp is the best candidate for mayor and will win!

Nancy Jane Moore said...

First off, thank both of you for dropping by and adding your thoughts. One reason for putting my endorsement out there was to generate some discussion and I'm very glad you both weighed in.

I respect Philip Pannell and know that he has done a lot for the city (I don't know Mike Panetta), but I still think the "shadow" positions are meaningless. I don't see that having people in those jobs will help us get voting rights. And most of the people who've had the job in the past have done nothing.

As for Linda Cropp: Sorry, but I'm completely unimpressed by Ms. Cropp and always have been. I don't see her bringing any new ideas to the table -- as mayor, I think she would be at best a caretaker. Balancing budgets in a growing economy -- which we've had for some time in DC -- is not all that hard to do. I value experience, but there's a difference between people who grow from experience and people who keep doing the same old thing because that's what they know how to do.

But one of the nice things about this year's race is that there are a lot of good choices out there. I won't feel crushed if my candidates lose, because there are other good people in most races. I get to vote for the better of two good candidates, instead of the lesser of two evils. It's a nice choice to have.