Dear PoP – Fenty is Already Campaigning Door to Door


“Dear PoP,

Fenty and his handlers were making their way up Rock Creek Church Rd from NH and GA Aves campaigning for his reelection. I got a knock on my door around 4pm (I work from home) and one of his handlers was there. He introduced himself and asked for my support and then called Fenty over who also asked for my support and shook my hand. It was one of those moments where I was caught off guard and could think of nothing to say to the mayor but nice to meet you. My question is isn’t it a bit early to be campaigning for reelection in 2010 when clearly there is a lot of work that Fenty could be taking care of on a Tuesday afternoon? With the rash of crime in the area I would prefer to see cops walking a beat rather than a politician. I guess that’s what I should have said to him… but like I said I was caught off card and a little celebrity struck.”

Given all the scandals he has been going through, I’d say it def. makes sense that he has begun campaigning. When I asked if folks thought he was doing a good job there were very few positive comments. He also has a pretty slick reelection Web site set up.

But what do you guys think – is it too early for Fenty to begin Door to Door campaigning?

64 Comment

  • Absolutely wrong. I’m hoping this was some kind of mistake or misunderstanding on the part of the poster, for it is appalling that any city official would even consider this. It is directly stealing money from citizens.

    The mayor is hired by the citizens to do a job. Every hour spent campaigning is time away from working. If I need to go to DMV or any other city agency I expect the city workers to be there working as they are paid to do.

    This would be like going to eat wings at Hooters and sitting there waiting an hour for service because your waitress is out practicing her runway walk for the Miss USA pageant.

  • He wasn’t supposed to be riding his bikes and breaking the law, either. Who knows with this guy? He’s Mr. PR, not Mr. Let Fix things.

  • He does nothing other than open bike lanes for his own benefit and ensure his friends are paid with taxpayer money. No More! Vote Fenty (and Phil Mendelson) out!!!!!

  • I ran into the mayor campaigning as well a couple weeks back. I was out walking my dog around 3 pm when I ran into fenty and his staffers going door to door. He came over and asked me for my support. It was a really awkward encounter. I have never met fenty before, but I had imagined he would be pretty charismatic. He came off kind of bored. Kind of like a teenager who is forced to do something they don’t want to do.

  • I am no great fan of fenty, at all, but I do think it is a commonly accepted practice for a sitting politician to campaign while “on the job.” Obama, McCain, Clinton, Biden and Palin all did just that and there seemed to be relatively little outcry.

    That said, with as many problems as this city has I think Fenty would be better served going door to door to see what is working and what is not, rather than just asking for support.

  • While I’m not thrilled about Firetruck-Gate and the personal fight with the City Council, I know that I can’t name anyone on the City Council that would be a non-crook as mayor. Even if the mayor puts heaters in his community’s pool (yawn), takes his bikes on plane trips (give me an effin break, politicians have been taking their golf clubs at govt expense for YEARS), sends his kids out of boundaries (there has to be some perk to being the mayor) and rides with a police escort (does anyone really think the mayor shouldn’t have a police escort) the city still runs better than it ever did under Marrion Barry and his Cronies This city was 100 times worse. You think juvenile justice is bad today? They actually arrest suspects today (for both of the big murders in the past two weeks). The police didn’t even show up in the Barry years. Finally, he and M. Rhee are totally doing the right thing on schools. If he does nothing other than break the back of the teacher’s union, he can have another 4 years.

    Let’s look at the alternatives:

    V Gray. Crook. Back to DC being run like banana-stan with money fleeced from the budget for the Unions, but no actual benefit to the city.
    Leo Alexander -Marrion Barry-ite. The city will be run by Marion Barry.
    Michael Brown -Perpetual Candidate with no platform. Same failed policy prescriptions as Barry. “My Dad was famous” is his motto.
    Phil Mendelson – Defends DCPS and the Teacher’s Union. Likes keeping kids stupid.
    Sulaimon Brown – Just read his website. He’s the weirdest candidate I’ve seen since Ross Perot. He’s a volunteer with no actual experience running anything.

    So there you have it. You have “back to the future” with the policies and politicians that turned this city into a hell hole in the 80’s and 90’s or someone who, while not totally clean, is doing most of the right things.

  • It’s kind of nice to see that people are finally starting to acknowledge the fact that Fenty isn’t necessarily going to automatically be reelected. Unfortunately, a worthy challenger has yet to show up, and it’s getting late.

  • Agree with Stubs – I think he’d be better off going door to door checking out the neighborhoods and what DC residents think need to be changed. That might sway a few voters towards him. At least then he wouldn’t just be asking for support, he’d actually be *doing* something to gain the support. I think we all need to be prepared for the moment when Fenty’s campaign comes a knockin’ – have something prepared so you’re not awestruck like the poster (and I know I would be as well).

  • From DCist:

    Ethics Probe Turns to Gray: A note written by city council chairman Vincent Gray asking Comcast for money has caught the attention of the city Office of Campaign Finance, according to the Post. The note asked for $20,000 to help cover lobbying efforts on behalf of D.C. at the Democratic National Convention, and succeeded in securing a $10,000 donation. That obviously exceeds the $5,000 annual cap on donations to a party from a single donor that’s imposed by D.C. law. Gray says that he didn’t think the donation was a political contribution, but rather a donation to fund lobbying for D.C. voting rights.

  • I’d be OK with him campaigning door-to-door if he didn’t spend so much of the rest of his time cyling, stonewalling reporters, or generally being MIA.

  • It would be nice if this guy would work a couple days a year instead of using his staff and out tax money to drive him to events like the US Open in New York City.

  • I truly hope he takes a bullet from some repeat offender gang banger awaiting trial at home on assault charges. Truly.

  • I’d be careful Pennywise – you are pretty close to crossing over a line. Anyone could be reading these posts…

  • Going door-to-door is great. He can hear that we are concerned that he may be corrupt. If you meet him, ask him why his frat brothers are getting work on the city’s dime. Ask him why he can’t get along with the council. Tell him you’ll vote for him if cuts out the nonsense. He can reform, but it has to start now.

    As far as DC mayors go, he’s far from the worst (Barry). The current field of candidates isn’t promising. But frankly, I’d vote Republican (which would be a first for me) if an honest, decent, organized candidate applied. 50 years of one party rule of this city hasn’t really worked out.

  • Jesus Christ, Pennywise.

  • Seriously, are there any real alternatives? I think Ragged Doll Ragged @ 9:01 sums the other candidates up pretty well. Is he missing anyone?

  • I think the mayor expects to hear concerns while going door to door. That’s how it was in the last election. Just keep it short and sweet, and reasonably actionable.

  • Actually the door to door thing is big plus for me. I lived in Somerville MA and I coached football with the (now) mayor. He wore through 3 pairs of shoes asking each registered voter in the city for their vote. If you want to be in touch, and have people actually get off their chair and walk down to the voting booth, this is what you do. It’s a personal connection and it gives the voter a chance to speak his or her mind. If you say ‘no I won’t vote for you’ and he walks away without asking why, you know you made the right decision. If he asks why, and tries to understand even if he’s unable to deliver, then I would vote for him. At least he’s heard the issue.

  • uhhh pretty close to crossing over a line? its been crossed… PoP — ban this jerk. (Pennywise)

  • Why does another candidate have to be City Council? Is there someone from the business community that can be drafted? Or we can just bring back Tony Williams.

  • Yes, I agree the line was crossed – maybe I was being too polite 🙂

  • Ragged Dog is right on the mark. In DC you vote for the lesser evil.

  • Anon. @ 10:37 has it right. Municipal elections are won and lost door-to-door. Fenty’s case is slightly different, since his name ID is likely 100% and DC mayors tend to be (usually notorious) celebrities. But the strategy is more or less the same. In a fair fight, the city-wide candidate that knocks the fewest doors and shakes the fewest hands generally loses. Perhaps even more so with someone like Fenty, who constantly puts himself at risk of seeming (not to mention being) out of touch with normal DC residents.

    I am pretty new to local DC politics, though. Something tells me that the power of incumbency is very strong here.

  • Weekday campaigning doesn’t make sense to me as a campaign strategy. But, he’s got $2 million in reelection funds and no opponent, so I guess you got to look busy.

  • Why not Jim Graham? His efforts with the taxicab commission have been incredibly successful.

  • Pennywise while tasteless has done nothing wrong. I love these forums where I would assume all would be strict constitutionalist (14th Amendment; equality in marriage) but when it comes to speaking ones mind no matter how tasteless everyone raises a flag; i.e. im offended, you’re offended, we are all offended. Please spare me the time to note that this could be inciting violence. No reasonable person or judge for the matter would agree.

  • I disapprove of Fenty’s handling of DCPS, therefore he will not have my vote.

  • It amazes me that so many people in this city seem to think that Fenty is a shoo-in for a second term, yet EVERYBODY I know who lives and votes in the District is unhappy with him and will not be voting for him.

  • Kwame Brown might run, not my first choice but at least we can take him seriously.

  • VOR: I doubt Fenty could/would ever secure your vote.

    I’ll vote for him because, he’s a t least made an effort to remove the lazy leeches who believe that DCPS exists solely as an employment agency.

    Does DCPS have good teachers? Yes, but they are the minority. The majority of DCPS teachers are little more than paycheck collectors.

  • But mayoral races, and particularly ones that fall on midterm years, are base elections. Your friends, Anonymous, may not be voting for him, but I doubt many will show up on election day specifically to vote him out. It’s about rallying your base, because turnout will be very low. Not about swaying ambivalent liberals + indies.

    He seems like a shoo-in to me.

    Does anyone really think that his lack of a serious challenger and his $2M dollars on-hand (not to mention his photo-op lunching with Michelle Obama) are unrelated???

  • CH Dude, I voted for him the first time. I regret it. You’re completely wrong on your other points as well. The majority of teachers in DC are hard working, intelligent, dedicated people who could make a lot more money under much better circumstances but stay here to try to make a difference in people’s lives. Your unsubstantiated disrespect is simply that.

  • I’m with CHDude on the DCPS issue and I will support anyone willing to do some union busting which will benefit taxpayer’s in the long run.

  • Agreed. People like CH Dude are the reason my town voted the school budget down virtually every year I was in public school, and many dedicated, effective teachers finally got fed up and left for greener pastures.

    And then numbskulls like CH Dude think they’ve proven their point when the school district takes a nosedive. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you want better teachers, give them a reason to come to DC.

  • Note that I never said I was offended by Pennywise’s comment.

  • VOR do you have school aged children???

    I do, I have first hand experience with DCPS. So my comments are very substantiated. Let me guess, you or your significant other is a DCPS teacher…

    And, no most of the folks at DCPS, both teachers and admin, wouldn’t be making more money in the private sector. Many are totally unemployable outside of the DCPS jobs program. I had the distinct misfortune of meeting one teacher (elementary) who was unable to correctly form a single sentence during a 15 minute conversation I heard with her. I can only imagine what her writing most look like.

    For 30+ years the DCPS has been run as a largess program for the cities “black middle class”, and look where it’s got us. A city where the majority of African American children are left to flounder with substandard educations, doomed to dismal futures.

    Do I wish we had a better candidate than Fenty? Yes, very much so. Do he’s the best we have at the moment. Where is Cory Booker when you need him.

  • Doesn’t seem like you’re in a position to critique writing skills, CH.

  • this city needs an outsider who will come in and shake up the good old boys network. a “Sarah Palin” if you will. Oooops… did i just say that????

  • Isn’t that what Rhee/Fenty are trying to do? Give good, strong, passionate teachers a reason to come to DC. What advantages does DCPS have to offer now? I mean, I may not agree with everything they do, but at least they are trying to do something. It’s going to take time.

  • WashingTRON

    What are you mouthing off about?

    I have always supported more school funding and higher teacher salaries. The problem in DC is that many teacher spots have been filled with unqualified cronies for 30 years. I’m all for boosting school spending. I’m all for canceling the F-22 and moving all that money to upping teachers salaries.

    It’s obvious you have been confused by VOR’s nonsense. I’m not anti-teacher. Public school teachers are our nations most important public servants and should be well paid and compensated for their service.

  • Tron,

    I’m not a teacher…

  • WashingTRON, way to actually avoid the reasonable part of an argument.

    DCPS has one of the highest per-pupil expenditures in the country. So I think that the “budget cutting is the reason for poor schools” argument falls apart. More money won’t fix the system.

  • I’m speaking from personal experience, and every comment I make comes with the disclaimer that I am not a DC native.

    But your comments smack of the mentality that I have heard directed at my parents (both lifelong, world-class pub. school teachers) for their entire careers: “teachers are overpaid, underperforming leeches.” And Dirty’s “Rah Rah” of your comments only underscores my suspicion.

  • Tron,

    Teachers are not overpaid. I totally understand that point. Don’t forget that Rhee had floated a plan, that the union rejected, that would have significantly raised teachers pay in DC in exchange for more hiring/firing flexibility.

    Also, you don’t need to be a DC native to criticize the insanity that is so prevalent in the DC city gov. I’m not a native either, but I have lived her since Barry was mayor.

  • Right. Teachers unions are resistant to those plans by nature, but I agree that they will have to become more flexible in the future if we want to turn schools around.

    Teacher scapegoating will always get me steamed. It definitely seems to me like a systemic problem. How many good teachers have been scared off by DCPS dysfunction and eating-of-young? My guess would be TONS.

  • Apologies if my violent language offended your yankee sensibilities, years of living on Georgia Ave have undoubtedly changed my language. Perhaps I should have said “I hope he gets accosted by a crew of ruffians.” Note the end result could like be the same (ie shot).

    My point is that few people would feel comfortable walking the streets of much of DC knocking on doors without the security bubble Fenty has. Would you? I speak as a scorned voter and Ward 4 resident who really believed in Fenty as the best hope for DC since Walter Washington. He then took a relatively secure mandate and made one decisive, if contentious, move on schools which I’d generally support. This was followed by a series of asinine and arrogant political missteps that has him wading through a quagmire of infighting, now culminating in serious corruption allegations via his DCRA contracts to friends.

    He has made not one single meaningful change to the local law enforcement regime which, I believe, allows the root of most of DCs problems: total insecurity around much of the city due to relatively small cadres of thugs. He managed to slow down construction of our crime lab (35,000 rape kits sit untested) and his crime bill effort this summer was simply laughable and a lesson in how not to get legislation through a political process. He subscribes to the fiction that a gun ban actually exists in DC, when many of hear gunfire weekly at least, and makes no effort to seriously punish gun crimes. The council of course shares blame, Mendelson in particular, but no single politician had as much potential to make DC better in decades as Fenty had.

    And yes, I also believe in the “village” analogies some of you are thinking, but I point out that even the smallest and most primitive villages have governments, and I am sure all would agree that the village is screwed when government is as corrupt and incompetent as DC’s is. All my volunteerism, mentoring, and happy thoughts are moot in such circumstances.

    I likewise agree that no viable alternative candidate exists at present, though I am intrigued by Gray. However, with proper vehemence perhaps we can impress upon Fenty what a screw up he is, and drop his support percentages to the point that he comes back in from irrational fantasy land he’s taken himself to.

  • I can live with Fenty, but Phil Mendelson MUST GO!! He has done **nothing** – absolutely nothing, other than water down crime bills.

  • Union busting (in this context) refers to the removal of under performing seniority… retaining quality teachers for their performance rather than mediocre teachers for their tenure. Much of the resistance Rhee faced was from the removal of mediocre teachers… keeping a mediocre teacher around for 20-30 years does a disservice to the children and is a waste of tax money, because we have to continue to pay the full pension earned for mediocrity. The teacher’s union doesn’t care about the schools performance they care about card carrying members generating union dues.

    Tron – in DC there are teachers are part of the problem, parent’s are part of the problem, culture/society is part of the problem… money is not. The idea that more money will lead to better results is comical.

  • DO NOT VOTE FOR ADRIAN FENTY. He does not love your children. He does not care about your street.

  • @WashingTRON – DC teachers are not underpaid. At my child’s school, one former kindergarten teacher made six figures (she retired last year). Their salaries are public record. BTW, she was an excellent teacher.

    There are a lot of good teacher in DCPS. The problem is, there are also some really bad ones. Only people without kids in DC say otherwise. Rhee has done this city a favor by clearing out some of the worst. As long as the teacher’s union makes their first job protecting every teacher’s job, regardless of performance, there will be a problem.


    A DCPS diploma for anyone who can name that book without Googling it….

  • My husband and I are educators. I serve in higher ed. My husband is a DCPS teacher.

    Fenty came to our door yesterday. We asked about his vision for DCPS. Our question was, “Where do envision DCPS in the next four years.” He response verbatim: “Rhee is the expert.”

  • Dirty- the challenges for schools are very complex. you are right, all of those things are the problem, and more. that’s one reason i have such a big problem with those who would throw teachers under the bus and no one else. and i was wrong to bring the funding issue into this debate–where i come from, most of the parents point fingers at the teachers, never themselves, and cripple the entire system at the ballot box. i’m used to having this debate over funding for my own damn high school.

  • and Ragged: did i graduate?

  • The only the Fenty cares about is using this as a stepping stone to another political office. He in unemployable in the private sector due to his low intelligence and poor work ethic.

    We need to let him know that he’s sucked so far as mayor and will have to do much better next time around if he thinks he has a chance to move on to a higher office.

  • Fenty versus Kimbo Slice on UFC. That would be a mighty duel.

  • Gold Star.

  • Fenty versus Jumbo Slice on KFC. That would be even better.

  • Ragged Dog,
    Seems like you think the bench of black electable officials is pretty slim. I have said all along that black people do not have a deep enough bench to run a city. Just too much dysfunction in our families and friends to allow it to happen. When it does occur, look what happens. The mayor brings along his cronies like Skinner et al to leech off the city.

    People speak of Newark and Booker as if he is working miracles there. that is so not the case. Booker may not be corrupt. He may be a bright guy. But he can not change a broken gov’t where there is not enough talent to head and run all the city operations.

    Next time you see a job opening on DC gov’s website, ask yourself who is getting most of these jobs. It usually isn’t the most qualified candidate. It is usually a friend of a friend. That’s fine as long as they get the job done right. But in so many cases in black cities, they don’t get the job done on time or correctly.

    As for Rhee. She may have the best of intentions. But intentions without know how does you no good. Rhee has less experience than most of the teachers in DCPS. Not that experience makes you qualified. But you can’t be qualified without experience. Rhee is neither. I have no kids in DCPS. But I one day may have kids. I think it is so unfair that I may have to move from a city I love because of the terrible schools.
    Fenty was smart to choose her though. While we were caught up lambasting her, Fenty and Skinner were walking out the back door with truck loads of our money.

    I am speaking from inside info here. I know Skinner. I know him from undergrad and when he used to live on GA Ave. He was thrown out of his initial college (Tuskegee University). The guy went from living on GA Ave to Crestwood overnight. Driving a porsche. Rumor has it that he is pulling down ~1M a year from the shady contracts outlined in the Post. All this for a guy with no discernible skills, no work experience.

  • I think one thing people can do is seriously consider working for the DC gov. The system needs new blood in it, especially the folks that comment here.

    VOR, I bet you could make a difference as a social worker in DC.

  • I am what some of you might call a longtime Petworth resident, over 15 years in our rowhouse. Actually, it feels like we just moved here. I’m also a DCPS teacher who used to support both Rhee and Fenty, albeit moderately. If you mostly hang around with educated, new to DC white people, you may have a distorted view that Fenty has strong support. However, among the black people I live near and work with (and I am not black), there is little support for either of the two. Teachers I know can’t frigging stand the sight of Rhee and these are not deadbeat freeloading DCPS as a work program type of teachers but educated professionals. And they can’t stand what Rhee is doing to the schools. They would vote for anyone vaguely credible who would run against Fenty vowing to dump Rhee, kind of like how Fenty fired Janey, the former head of DCPS. I am not saying I agree with my colleagues’ views, just what they are. If Fenty sews up the liberal white vote and they all go to the polls, he’d win unless there’s a strong candidate running election day.

  • let us pray for a real fenty contender. believe me, connections between crime and education are too plentiful. we’d all be safer and better off with better a better school system in place

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