Vincent Orange wins Special Election for At Large Council Seat


Photo by PoPville flickr user Vileinist

According to DCBOEE Orange (28%) beat out Patrick Mara (25%) who took second and Sekou Biddle (20%) who took third (Weaver came in 4th with 13% and won Ward 1). Only 12% of the electorate voted.

D. Kamili Anderson won State Board of Education seat for Ward 4.

Trayon White Sr. won State Board of Education seat for Ward 8.

On twitter last night there was a lot of discussion that Mara had lost the election because the white vote was split – do you feel like there was a ‘Ralph Nader ala 2000′ candidate(s) in this election?

157 Comment

  • Between Biddle, Weaver and Mara, if any two of the three hadn’t been in the race, the other would’ve handily beat Orange.

    And this may be a subject for another post, but when is the DC Council going to look more representative of this city’s current ethnic make-up? There are lots of Asian and Latino residents who are not represented by one of their own in the Council.

    • I’m not sure on the demographic numbers, but I agree with you about having a Latino council member, but not an Asian one. I think there should be an Ethiopian council member, and one did run in this special election, but was hardly “present.”

    • There’s no basis for the claim that someone who has the same ethnic background as you can somehow better represent your interests. Despite being white, I’d feel much better being represented by Josh Lopez than Patrick Mara, b/c I prefer Lopez’s stance on a lot of issues. Similarly, I’d bet that a lot of DC’s Hispanic population would feel better represented, even on issues specific to the Hispanic community, by Bryan Weaver over Josh Lopez, due to Weaver’s work with Hoops Sagrado and his Ward 1 background.

      • Your first statement, while true, has nothing to do with the way people vote.

        And I’d argue that a majority of the city disagrees with you when it comes to ballot time.

  • Looks like we’re in for a few more months of DC’s governing status quo … Some fresh ideas and new perspective would have been nice.

    Weaver in April 2012!!

    • Didn’t get many votes outside of Wards 1/2.

      I think he should concentrate on beating Jim Graham head-to-head. I think it’s time.

      • I agree. Also, Mara got most of his votes west of the Park- he should think about running there (although he’d have to move there first).

  • If Mara were a democrat he would have run away with the election.

    The Post quotes someone saying essentially that they couldn’t decide between Mara and Biddle, but voted Biddle because they won’t vote for a republican. Frustrating . . .

    • The DC Democratic party would have found a way to hamstring him. Vincent Orange is on the board of the DC Democratic Party, how do you think they got Jacque Patterson of the ballot?

      • Now it looks like a good thing Kwame Brown ordered two SUVs, we won’t have to order a new one for Vincent Orange!

    • not frustrating. I will never again vote for a republican due to their party platform against homosexuals.

      Because hating on my people will never get you my vote.

      • I was going to say the same thing about the Democratic Party hating black people from the 1860′s through the 1994 election.

        • You must have missed that Civil Rights Act thingie…

          • You must have missed out on living through the period.

            The term “Southern Democrat” applied until the Newt Gingrich era.

        • Republicans act out an anti-gay agenda as of today.

          If a vote is worth anything, it’s to shape politician’s -current- agendas through election of new candidates or instilling the threat of election loss into the old ones.

          Nothing can be done to change the opinions of the past unless you have a flux capacitor handy.

          Also: you’re dumb and wrong.

          • The national party politics has virtually now effect on a municipal or local election.

            For Reference: See Maine.

            Also: You have a hair brain and your mother is a horse shoe crab.

        • so you don’t vote democrat. good on you anonymous white person. I don’t usually either, but not cuz they’ve hated, but because they are completely useless.

          • I vote both parties. I tend to vote D nationally, but I actually use my brain in local elections.

      • Mara is a Republican who supported gay marriage in DC

  • I almost always vote democrat, but I voted for Mara.

  • Mara…so close.

    • I would have voted for Mara except for his views on taxation (not even supporting increase in parking garage tax, c’mon).

      • This is why I didn’t vote Mara, too. His anti-tax absolutism put him behind Weaver and Lopez for me. I couldn’t really care less about his party since local elections don’t really hinge on national issues for me.

        • Because you thought one guy on the council who was anti tax was going to bring down the machine?

          Excuse me while I go and laugh.

          The benefit of having him on the Council is that there’d be one guy, other than David Catania, who had the balls to call out shenanigans. Tommy Wells plays inside ball and has no stomach for public confrontation.

          • I’m just going to have to live with your disappointment that I didn’t vote for somebody with whom I disagree. How will I go on?

            There’s no reason to think that Weaver wouldn’t point out shenanigans either. Liberal and advocate for the poor does not equal corrupt.

          • But he has no reason to do so, so hoping he will is like hoping the city wins the powerball lottery.

            Look at Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh and all the other democrats on the council. They’re limp on the topic.

          • I like Mara (less homophobic than Orange; good on education) but the anti-tax thing sent me to Weaver. It’s not just him; the current CMs who were undecided on tax increases were definitely looking at this race for direction.

            On another note, I wonder if this changes Marion Barry’s goal of bringing part of Ward 6 into 8 during redistricting? Mara + Lopez + Weaver (probable “anyone but Barry” votes) got way more in 6 than Orange got in 8.

      • Over 70% of the voters supported candidates who opposed raising taxes. That says something. If people wanted to raise taxes, the votes would have been there. As it was, they either didn’t vote or voted against a tax increase in most cases.

  • I’m a Weaver voter and there is damn way in hell that I’d vote for Patrick Mara after what the GOP has put DC through in their very brief tenure in Congress.

    And I’ve heard the same thing for dozens of friends who were Weaver voters.

    Mara was running phone banks out of the RNC headquarters — the same building where the GOP strategies about how to keep DC from gaining real representation.

    I’d have voted for Biddle if Weaver weren’t in the race. If Biddle hadn’t been in, maybe Lopez, I don’t know. But NO MARA, NO WAY, NO HOW.

    • Shortsighted…

    • Mara didn’t support creating an upper tax bracket beyond what exists now, ($40k). That’s not progressive, I can’t vote for that.

      • oh yeah, what we need is higher taxes so the morons in the city government can afford more tricked out SUVs and sweetheart jobs for their buddies.

        remember this is the government that paid tens of thousands of dollars for the incoming chair of the department of employment services to stay at the W hotel downtown and be chauffered to and from work each day.

        the devotion of the electorate in dc to voting for democrats would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad and destructive.

    • Maybe if DC had a little Republican influence, the GOP wouldn’t be so hard on DC. Maybe if we had a single republican politician, he or she could better reach across the isle. Not all republicans are fundamental christian, gun toting cowboys you know . . .

      • I tend to agree there is some chicken-and-egg problems with getting different viewpoints in our city government.

        But I’m not walking off that plank with Mara. Show some leadership and call the house GOP out for what they are doing, taking away our autonomy.

        Seems like others are willing to give Mara that benefit of the doubt for the hope that he’d bring some new opinions, but I’m not there yet.

        • Give me a break. By that logic, you shouldn’t vote for Democrats either because they balked when given the opportunity to vote (with a clear majority) for statehood.

          Your logic is flawed. Your a partisan, just say you’d never vote for a Republican because you think it’s uncool.

      • Or, maybe if Congress had less Republican and NRA influence, the Congress wouldn’t be so hard on DC.
        I’m not going to vote for Republicans in DC (with all of the policy implications that entails) just in the hope that they might be able to reduce Congressional interference in DC affairs. Mara wasn’t even against vouchers – so how exactly would he have been blocking Congressional interference? There are enough local issues that council members can influence directly not to base a vote on national issues that may not be within their control.

        • Fantastic. I’m sure the kids in the 50/51 worst school district in the nation will look at your political position with gratitude.

          Except that most of them will become so discouraged by the poor effort their teachers give that they’ll drop out and won’t ever pick up a newspaper and understand it.

          • Yeah, DCPS is poor compared to other systems, but it’s also improving (gaining students, getting higher scores).
            Let’s be real, we (our country or city) do not have funding to sustain educating all or even many public school kids at a $$$ private school (and results indicated it didn’t increase the scores of the kids who participated anyway). To me, that sounds like a program fiscal conservatives would love to hate.
            Anyway, DCPS already spends too much of its budget sending kids to private schools.

          • I’d argue that it wastes too much money not-educating kids in public schools.

            If you don’t get a benefit, it’s just money down the drain it’s not “saving money”.

            I have no problem creating another tax bracket to pay for useful schools, but the people I’d trust to implement it lost the last mayoral election.

    • I forget, what exactly did the Democratic House/Senate/White House do for DC during their tenure from ’08-’10? Give us ‘real representation’ when they owned the entire process?

      And who threw us under the bus as a bargaining chip during the budget negotiations?

      Now we have Orange who campaigned in Wards 7&8 on “He walks like us, he talks like us, he has a record of working for us.”

      Real great.

      • They gave elanor a vote. They gave us our needle exchange programs and women’s health care.

        Obama hasn’t done what he promised to do and Dem Congressional leadership deserves some blame also, but if you can’t see that the GOP does not give a shit about the residents of this city, I can’t help you.

        • Really? When did they do that? Enlighten me.

          When has ‘Elanor’ had the right to do anything but vote in committees?

        • Neither does the national Democratic party.

          All Eleanor does is whine, she doesn’t build coalitions.

          The reason we’re in this position is Eleanor Holmes Norton, not the national Republican party.

    • Exactly. Plus, can you imagine how the national media would run the ‘Mara wins’ story? Oy. “Even in deep blue Washington, DC, the Republicans are on the rise.” Gag gag gag vomit.

      If Mara wants to advance his ideas on the DC Council then he needs to lose the ‘R’ next to his name.

      • I disagree completely. If anything, I think him running such a close race against Orange (who had every possible competitive advantage) may actually encourage more fiscally conservative and socially moderate Republicans – whose policies align quite nicely with many DC residents – to run. Also, many people simply choose to register as a D in order to have a say-so come primary time. If there was a thought that a Republican could come within 40 percentage points of a Democrat in a significant primary election, maybe more folks would register as R. Maybe.

    • So the District gets to suffer because of your concern with the building that Mara made phone calls from. You don’t have to scratch the surface very hard to see that Mara isn’t exactly John Boehner or Tom Coburn when it comes to the issues.

  • Ahhhh, Monday-morning quarterbacking. Mara lost by about 1100 votes (not including absentees). I would bet that had either Biddle or Weaver (or Lopez) not been in the race that 1100 of their supporters would not have voted for Mara.

    This was a special election. It’s about getting out your base and your voters. Many of these people vote because they are voting specifically for their candidate.

    • Agree – this election and the electorate that voted in it is not going to be comparable with an election with multiple (local and Federal) ballot races. If progressives can be better organized in 2012, I think Orange will face a tough primary.

    • Maybe some, but not all. There were enough 3rd tier candidate votes (Lopez, Weaver) that if just some of them had voted Mara, he would have taken it.

  • Yes, most definitely. Nolan sounds like the dumb woman quoted in the WP who said she could never vote for a Republican. Way to be open minded like that.

  • There should’ve been the option to vote for “none of the above”.

  • oops. my plus one was about Mara’s opposition to raising taxes for the wealthy. That was the ultimate deciding factor as to why I didn’t vote for him.

    • Big factor for me too. D

    • Who do you consider wealthy??

      My wife and I are both .gov lawyers, live in a small row house in CH, send our kids to charter schools in other wards because our local school sucks, have massive school debts, drive a beat-up up old station wagon, are constantly scrambling to afford repairs to said crumbling row house, have almost no retirement, little college savings for the little ones, and yet have a 200k combined income.

      Why should we pay for Vince and Kwame’s new SUVs??

      BTW, we are both life-long Dems, and have both been Dem staffers on the Hill and voted for Mara.

      • Compared to most people in DC, and certainly in the world, you are beyond wealthy. You own a home and a car, have schools to send your kids to, and at least some savings.

        No, you shouldn’t pay for politicians corruption and graft, no one should, but to complain about your relatively cushy life and high income is offensive and pathetic.

        • The only solution the DC Democratic Party offers is to undereducate kids and make them dependent on the Party’s political largesse while simultaneously blaming people from Kansas and Texas for their misery.

          It’s such a load of BS and it’s been going on for DECADES. It’s the exact same script Barry was using and it’s sad that it still works.

      • Sorry, Dad, but you’re wealthy to me.

      • Wealthy? No. But high-income, yes. You don’t have wealth because you chose to get expensive degrees & live in an expensive neighborhood in an expensive city. But the tax code doesn’t distinguish on level of savings, only income.

        • So we should not have gone to school? Only folks who have family money should go to law school? We choose to live in an expensive hood? Are you kidding me? I live in CH because it was close to work and was cheap when I bought 10 years ago. I take it you prefer we move to the MD/VA burds and abandon the city?

          I’m not complaining douche bag, just informing you why I voted the way I did.

          Also, why does DC need a government that is 4/5 times larger that comparable cities? I get the whole DC is a state argument (I support full statehood, including Senators for DC), so it makes sense to have a larger gov, but 4/5 times more?

          Wake up, we could fund a lot of great programs in DC and truly help the poor by simply removing quite a bit of fat in the system.

          • I’m not saying you should have made different choices, just pointing out why you’re not wealthy.

            But, man if you bought a house in Columbia Heights 10 years I’d think you’d have a super-low mortgage and would have been able to save more.

          • You obviously don’t have kids. And I wish my mortgage was super low…

          • It’s true, I don’t, and I’d probably be broke too if I did. I do get how raising a family in this city is tough even on 200k – daycare alone is practically a 2nd mortgage – but I still support more progressive tax brackets. You’re not living large, but you’re doing a lot better than a single admin assistant, but the tax code currently doesn’t make a distinction. And honestly, if you’re an even 200k your taxes wouldn’t go up very much if at all under the proposals on the table.

          • I support paying my fair share, but this council is too full of holes for me to believe that they actually need more.

      • People define “wealthy” as anyone who has more money than they do. “Those are the people who should pay more taxes, not me.”
        As one of the “wealthy,” I have no problem with paying more taxes as long as my tax dollars are going to good use. But if what you are talking about is throwing more money at problems that gobs of money haven’t and can’t cure, I’m not interested.

        • +1,000,000 – If there were even the slightest hint that the DC Gov’t would do an honest audit of its spending and true revenue needs, rather than provide jobs that serve no purpose to people who can’t get jobs elsewhere, I think far fewer people would be opposed to kicking in a little extra. Problem is, no one who works hard for their money likes to see it pissed away on incompetency.

      • Agreed. 200k with a family in this city is hardly wealthy. Keep taxing us and the re-population of this city will end soon. You’re pushing your tax base to Virginia. Start a commuter tax and then the law firms will start to move to Bethesda or Clarendon and bye bye go your business taxes too. How is everyone we elect to dumb to realize this?

        • because it’s wrong. most people don’t move here or don’t move here based on taxes or tax policy. the law firms need close and easy access to the federal government, you could tax them up the wazzoo and they wouldn’t leave.

        • That’s why the current proposal would raise taxes on people earning $200K+ by $0. It doesn’t even kick in until incomes above $250K, and even then that person’s taxes rise by like $60-$90 a year. No one is moving out of a city (can we say closing costs), because of taxes like that.

          • Yes, but many with school aged kids moving to the region will look at VA and say “My kid can get in-state tuition at two of the best public universities in the country/can go to an outstanding public school for free” or I can pay a little more in taxes and have to pay another $30k/year in private high school and college fees.

            Which is actually the point. DC Old head Dem’s have figured out that they’ve had quite enough gentrification for their liking.

          • DC taxes, even with the proposed increase, won’t really be that much higher than VA’s (about 2% a year for a family earning $150k…not enough to get someone to move), and will be lower than MD. VA has a tax on groceries and an exise tax on cars. MD has high sales and gas taxes.

            http://voices.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/01/who_pays_more_taxes_virginia_m.html

            Also, DC residents get in-state tuition at all state universities–including UVA and UMD. So that would be a silly reason to move somewhere other than DC.

        • Conservatives like to make the argument that increasing taxes pushes wealthy people and businesses away, despite numerous studies that contradict this claim. A year ago, the argument was that the “millionaire” taxes enacted by Maryland and New Jersey caused millionaires to move to other states. Now better studies by non-interested parties are showing that the “disappearance” of millionaires in these states was not due to them leaving states because of higher taxes, it was due to their loss of net worth as a result of the recession. They still live in the same states, they are just not “millionaires” anymore. It’s not a simple matter for the types of firms that are in DC to just pick up and go to Bethesda or Clarendon. For one thing, there is only but so much space in these areas. For another, there is the problem of you workforce having to fight its way to some location that’s not centrally located. Sure, there is a limit to the level of taxation people will put up with before they change their behavior. But the goods and services provided by the City aren’t free – someone has to pay for them.

      • If you’re pulling a combined $200k and struggling with:

        - Your kids’ charter school tuition
        - Massive law school debts
        - repairs to a crumbling row house

        And have little to no:

        - Retirement
        - College savings for the little ones

        You are doing several things TERRIBLY wrong or you have 8+ kids.

        Reassess your spending or get your tubes tied. Plenty make due with much, much less.

        • So it’s the race to poverty? That’s what DC’s Democrats want.

        • saf

          “charter school tuition”

          You mean private school tuition? Because charter schools are public schools.

          • You’re right, I slipped. I thought Dad was complaining about the cost of his kids schooling. Rather he was showing that he doesn’t put his kids through schools that charge an arm and a leg.

            Still, the numbers don’t add up. $200k combined salary, a 10 year old mortgage, and no car payments. Something smells funny

  • Tom Brown would have won if all the other candidates had stayed out of the race.

  • Never voted for a Republican until yesterday. Really was hoping Mara would pull it out, but I agree he would have won if he were a Democrat.

  • People with Bryan Weaver’s political bent have been running this city for 35 years. That anyone would call someone who wants to throw more money at our failed schools “progressive” is laughable. That term — in this town, anyway — describes maintainting the status quo rather than any kind of progress.

    The Post was right. Diversity of ideas is better than not, even if you disagree with the ideas.

    I’m quite pleased Jesse Jackson’s former press secretary got half the vote of the Republican; not because I’m a Republican but rather because I think Jesse Jackson proteges should no longer be running our fine city.

    • Amen, and I’m a liberal.

    • Really? Weaver represents the status quo? Perhaps you meant to type “Orange” and your fingers slipped?

      • No, he does. He’s using a tired old script. Nothing on his platform is anything other than comfortable status quo.

        It actually makes him look more foolish than he probably is.

    • unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone with Weaver’s political bent has ever been elected to Council, let alone be running the city!

    • @Real Progressive:

      Can’t say I disagree. Adam Eidinger and Jason Cherkis’ support of Weaver was pretty much all the anti-endorsement I needed. I think Weaver makes a great advocate for the poor. That’s totally laudable. He makes a great ED for a non-profit.

      But the poor have a lot of advocates on the council.

      • why shouldnt every member of the council advocate on behalf of the poor?

        • Because the poor don’t pay taxes, that’s why.

        • Because creating more poor, doesn’t help the poor get out of poverty. Being poor isn’t a merit badge.

          Making poor a way of life and then making yourself out to be their one and only savior creates a dependency focused on keeping people poor. It’s the Marrion Barry playbook.

        • So because the poor are poor and dont pay taxes, no one should care to represent their interests?

          And Dad, I thought you were poor with your 200k salary? Maybe you should gain a little financial literacy.

          You people who talk about the poor not being deserving of advocacy and implying that because you pay more taxes you are entitled to more are repulsive and do not deserve all of the benefits that luck, god, and maybe your hardwork have given you.

          I know I’ve been fortunate in my life and I’m not some bleeding heart, but this crass attitude of “screw the poor” is despicable.

          • Ok, in defense of the Big Meanies who want to “screw the poor”: a functional city needs to balance its interests. Should every councilmember look after the interests of the poor? Of course. Those interests should always be considered. But it’s frankly stupid to prioritize the interests of the poor over all other groups. You give money to charity–or at least I hope you do–but you don’t give the poor your rent money. Someone who’s sole professional background is as an advocate for getting the maximum benefits for poor people (which is what Weaver, as the head of a non-profit serving poor youths *should* be doing) cannot have that balance.

            So what we’ll get is demonization of developers, dog-parks, and bike lanes.

            If you want to look at a politician who’s capable of balancing the interests of his consitutents, Wells is a good example.

          • So the argument that one less than 100% of the council should advocate, first, on behalf of the poor, is now equal to “because the poor are poor and dont pay taxes, no one should care to represent their interests?” Go back under the bridge, troll.

          • you guys are really lost. I asked “why shouldnt every member advocate for the poor?” I dont see their interests as in conflict with my own, and I’m not poor. My second post was in reaction to the answer that the council shouldnt advocate on behalf of the poor because the poor pay no taxes and the twisted logic that somehow advocating on behalf of them would cause them to be perpetually poor and increase poverty.

          • I asked “why shouldnt every member advocate for the poor?”

            If you mean this in a general quasi-platitudinous sense of “every man should look out for his fellow man” I agree with you 100%.

            If you mean it in the “We should zero out the streetcar budget, eliminate transit improvements, and stop filling in pot holes, because we could take that money and buy the poor new televisions”, I disagree.

            I don’t care whether the poor pay taxes or not, but we do need someone to pay the taxes. And, yes, in an area of bottomless need like “supporting the poor”, there do have to be trade-offs.

            The supply of money is not infinite…

    • Diversity of ideas is a great idea. Let me go ahead and vote for a person who chooses to align himself with a party that believes in banning abortion, teaching creationism, banning homosexuals, decreasing gun ownership regulations, praying to a fictitious being for all guidance, transferring all wealth to corporations and their CEOS, blowing up unions, eliminating my job, and decreasing the power of the district where I live. And doesn’t believe that global warming is even occurring. That’s a freaking great idea. We should elect more skinheads. I feel their ideas aren’t represented in the Council right now. I’d like to add that our current political situation shows exactly what happens when you have groups with “diverse ideas” that refuses to compromise or reach across the aisle. Sorry but I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever vote for anyone who shares a political party and any portion of a platform with the Republican party as it currently stands. And yes, I voted for a Bush twice. No, not that one.

      • The ad absurdum angle is entertaining, but Pat Mara is obviously no skinhead. He’s just got an R after his name.

        If your allegiance is to a political party, so be it. But understand that we’ve had a single party running Washington, DC for a very long time and this city continues to be poorly run. For me, that’s dispositive.

        Well, that and the Cherkis endorsement.

        • Why does he have an R after his name? I believe it is primarily because economically and on education policy he agrees with the R party. And I am pretty surprised that such a large portion of urban DC blog contributors are okay with keeping taxes low at the expense of social services. Or do we just need to run everything “more efficiently”? I have no problem with supporting change and breaking up the DC old guard but I believe increased taxes are necessary and school vouchers are harmful. Based on the comments here apparently a lot of people disagree. Nothing wrong with that but those are my issues and why I didn’t vote for Mara.

          • Why discount a human being with a decent platform just because he has an R after his name?

            Seems shortsighted.

            He’s not a catholic priest, he doesn’t answer to some other authority.

          • which social services, specifically, is DC lacking that we should increase taxes to pay for? Just curious.

          • bravo anon1151.

            we know what the R platform is. If you do not stand behind it, why do you have the R at all? Because you do stand behind it.

            It is not discounting a human, it is taking that human at his word; this is the group I stand with.

            and I am not a democrat, please don’t insult me by calling me one

  • Congratulations yuppies!

    You couldn’t choose between the perennial Republican white candidate with no chance east of the Park and the black candidate who supports your only significant issue, education.

    So your vote got split and now we’re stuck with a guy who says he wants to fight the mayor, that the Council hates, who sued Linda Cropp while on the Council, who knows that he has no support from the yuppies so will always side against us.

    So stop complaining if other voting blocks give us bad council members(/former mayors for life). At least once we could have actually decided to vote together and get something better, but didn’t.

    • On what planet are people able to effect the sort of political movement you’re proposing when there are 10 candidates? Most systems have a run-off to avoid this sort of thing (or proportional representation).

      This is hardly the yuppies’ fault. It’s the nature of democracy. Expecting a diverse group of people to agree on a single political candidate is folly.

    • If Biddle had half a spine and hadn’t been such a tool of the Brown family, he could have walked away with the election.

      He’s got no one to blame but himself for his own lack of independence.

    • @andy:

      At least once we could have actually decided to vote together and get something better, but didn’t.

      Man, that’s some pithy analysis you’ve got there. Damn you yuppies! You should’ve all gotten together at Meridian Pint, and agreed on who to vote for! Weaver fans: you should’ve voted for the Republican! And Mara fans: you should’ve voted for the uber-liberal advocate for more lenient sentencing for violent youths! Biddle fans: I’m not sure what you should’ve done, but let’s all get on the same page, people!!!

      Meanwhile, instant runoff voting is the solution to this incredibly common scenario. There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t pass legislation to mandate it by the next election. Other than that it’ll be fought tooth-and-nail by folks who don’t like the “Things White People Like”.

      • +1

        But the real reason IRV won’t pass is because the people who’d be in charge of passing it are all indebted to the status quo (i.e. “first past the post”).

  • Andy,

    I am a young (34?) urban (District resident) professional (evil consultant), and now I’m worried based upon your post that I voted for the wrong person. Who should I have chosen?

    Off to shine my boat shoes,

    Graham

  • This myopic dog loving-latte drinking-snowball throwing- dem staffer voted Mara and got her boyfriend to do so as well. Who better to pitch dc’s cause to congressional republicans than a republican?? We need new ideas. Biddle was endorsed by brown, berry and Vince gray. The Entrenched old guard… No thank u!!

  • As you might have guessed, yep, everything I’m saying is a venting of spleen.

    Stand up for yourselves yuppie Vincent Orange voters!

    If we didn’t want him, then why couldn’t we rally around an alternative candidate?

    It seems to happen in a very high proportion of other elections, even if we aren’t “pod people.”

    It might just have been the disengaged, quiet, odd nature of a special election that didn’t lead people to realize that splitting their vote between the non-Orange candidates was just going to elect Orange.

  • Its funny how candidate choice can put things into perspective.

    I voted for Vincent Orange in the Democratic Primary because I knew Kwame Brown was corrupt and incompetent. However, in this election, I prayed ANYONE other than Orange would win.

    FWIW I voted for Mara because its always good to have at least one person who plays devils advocate at every turn and his party affiliation is inconsequential to me, it’s his stance on the issues. Its the 1st time I’ve ever voted Republican, and if we keep electing only race baiters like Orange and Barry or fundamentalist liberals like Wells and Graham, it unfortunatley won’t be the last time. I kind of imagine this is how republicans in Florida who voted for Charlie Crist feel like.

  • For a political city, you’d think that somebody would note that Orange is by far the best politician. That kind of helps when getting elected. If you’ve met him, as I have, he’s very gregarious and a real gladhander, a natural campaigner. He’s been on the scene for 10-15 years, shaken a lot of hands, answered constituent complaints, and simply met a lot of voters. Plus, he had more money. Why is it surprising that the newbies were behind from the get-go. Weaver had no signs in Ward 4 that I saw, and Mara, unlike Repubs Carol or Catania, didn’t seem to seek any votes East of the River. Biddle didn’t have a natural political touch. Lopez took enough votes to keep Mara from winning, mostly as a vanity project it seems to me.

    Orange just had to get votes from folks who already knew him. BTW, his history is certainly not hostile to development at all, as some complained. I”m not saying his a legislative genius, but he’s a good candidate, with a lot of personal contacts, and a long history in the community. At this point, he’s no pal with Brown or Gray.

    As for the tax cuts, and hiring/SUV gates, can somebody please note that the City has cut $500 million plus in spending, and the total pissed away in those scandals is probably less than $200,000. Irritating as they are, it’s literally chump change. If you can’t get perspective on that, you need brush up your math skills.

    • The problem with the hiring/SUV gate is not the single dollar amount. The real issue is that it points to how business is conducted at the Wilson Building. For every SUV the Post or City Paper reports on, dozens of other highly questionable “deals” are taking place unseen, and those add up to more than 200K. Remember the lady from the tax office that walked away with millions?? What about the sham non-profit run by Harry Thomas? The DC lottery contract? I’ve done IG work before, and trust me this stuff is the tip of the iceberg.

      • exactly.

      • What mphs is pointing out, I think, is that for every $20,000 in too-high salary or $60,000 in unnecessary SUV lease, the city has cut or proposed cutting tens of millions in school funding, assistance to disabled individuals, and affordable housing. And this has been going on for years now. The city has gone on a ‘cutting spending’ spree that makes those instances you cite minimal in comparison. Saying there are ‘unseen’ wasteful deals does not negate the very real and evident sacrifices the economic situation has forced on many of DC’s residents who are not earning 6 figure salaries. I don’t see how Mara (or Orange) getting elected improves any of that.

        • +1 Plus we can’t afford freakin’ trash cans anymore.

        • The reason DC is in this position is because people like VO and MB and now VG don’t know how to create opportunities for people to be self sufficient and compete in the work force. All they do is trap people in poverty, so that you need more services every generation of new kids.

          It’s really noble to take care of the poor, but it’s not noble to create a poverty factory.

        • For every one of this deals, a needy person will miss a meal, a student will go out new books, etc… Those instances are not minimal they are substantial and real. I, along with many of my fellow residents, will not pay more taxes until we are assured that these deals really are “minimal” and just and occasional anomaly. And, FYI, DC spending has been cut, but they city went on a spending spree when times were good, so the net loss is still a gain for public services. I’m more than willing to pay my fair share, even to pay a little more, but not until we have responsible voices and eyes on the council.

    • Yes, but he is on the board of the DC Democratic party, which makes him ideologically an insider.

      No one’s surprised that he won, I think many were just hoping he wouldn’t.

    • Nevermind the property tax scandal at the tail end of the Fenty campaign. I’m certain that there’s plenty more waste and corruption in the city.

  • In the 2010 general election, I voted for Mara for Ward 1 school board member because I agreed with his views on a specific issue–education reform. I voted for Weaver over Jim Graham.

    Yesterday, I voted again for Weaver, even though I knew his candidacy was a long shot. My second choice would have been Mara. Why didn’t I vote for Mara?

    If I’m supposed to be strategic about how I vote, I expect my candidates to be strategic about how they present themselves. I think Mara would have easily picked up enough votes–including mine–to win if he had just run as an independent. But he decide to align himself with the national GOP and its absent-minded “no new taxes” mantra. From everything I have read about Mara, he’d probably get thrown out of a CPAC meeting–so why keep the “-R”?

    • Because some R’s, like a few of my relatives, still believe they can reclaim their party from the lunatic fringe. Maybe they are naive, but they want to restore their party to what it was when Rockefeller, D’Amato, Chafee, Morella, had a R next to their names. I personally think those days are gone, but some don’t. We chide the R’s for begin out of touch fringe whack-jobs, but when they few that aren’t try to recapture their party we chide then too.

    • It’s easier to get money for his campaign. He could concentrate on campaigning instead of fund raising. Where’s the PAC money for the (I) party?

      For living at ground zero for politics, I’m amazed at how green people are when it comes to electioneering.

    • One party political entities (like the city of DC) are a suckers game.

      Voting only for local Dems because you vote for a national Dem party is condemning this city to more of the same.

  • Frankie James

    Hey the old school crew is in charge again!

    Hold on tight folks, its going to be a bumpy ride.

    • How many weeks until a new “fiscal crisis” causes taxes to go up and everyday services to disappear?

  • Too bad those of us who oppose corruption don’t gather at the same place every Sunday morning to be indoctrinated with who we should vote for, like the other side does. We could have just picked a candidate and beaten Orange instead of splitting our vote.

    • Which is why it should be fiscal conservatives PRIORITY to fully fund proper education for poor kids. They don’t get any smarter under the current system.

    • Anyone politician who says they will help get DC achieve statehood or get real voting rights in congress is living in a fantasy land and should not be viewed as a serious candidate. There is plenty else to be done in this city and making noise about statehood/voting rights is nothing more than tilting at windmills – a nice idea, but futile.

  • Maybe now, Bryan Weaver will have to go out and get a job,

    not just organizing basketball games for kids in Adams Morgan,

    but a real job, in the real world private sector to actually work and provide for himself and his own,

    instead of aspiring to get elected to a cushy $126,000 a year public sector salary as a DC City Councilman (the second highest paid councilmen in the nation), a salary he’s never made in the private sector.

    Honestly, can’t DC voters see beyond the typical profile of these urban liberals seeking public office with their self serving community organizing:

    They are mature middle age adults that have been failures in their private lives never having been able to hold down a real job and actually work for a living in the real world private sector.

    They’re all government,

    smooth talkers, collectivists that believe everyone should work for government in a world of a life by government ration for all of us.

    • Yup, everyone should be a corporate law partner. Otherwise you’re a failure in the private sector. At least that’s what my mother-in-law keeps telling me….

    • Dear Glenn Beck – just because you’re unemployed now that you arent barking on Fox News all day, doesnt give you the right to come on to PoP and start barking at all of us.

  • Don’t give the losing candidates a pass. I live in Ward 5 they did not bother to campaign or have a presence at the my polling place on election day. There are a lot of new residents in Ward 5 (Brookland, Fort Totten etc.) with little or no history with Orange. Also if you get one Orange voter to flip it is essentially two votes. Someone else mentioned he ran a better campaign. Orange as name recognition, he is like a lot of people in this area (not from here, attended Howard & Georgetown) I don’t think it is fair to group him with Gray or Brown because his one standout quality seemed to is his fiscal savvy. He is not hostile to development, I believe development in Ward 5 would have fared MUCH better under Orange than it has under Thomas.

    Bottom line is more people should have voted and I bet many of the people now complaining voted for K. Brown for Council Chair.

  • 73% of the votes went for candidates who openly opposed raising any taxes. Stop telling me that people want to raise taxes in this city. If they did, they would have voted and voted for someone else.

    • I think you are reading more into the result than reality warrants. People vote for candidates for any number of reasons (sometimes issues, but sometimes personality or name recognition). There was minimal media coverage of the implications of electing a particular candidate versus another on tax policy and only 10% of registered voters even voted in this election.

      If a neutral organization conducted a (scientific) poll with a question about the specific tax increase proposed, and released the findings, that would provide much stronger evidence as to whether people want/don’t want to raise taxes.

  • Folks in DC need to always get out and vote. The Council needs new fresh blood. Biddle is a good person and did make a mark during his short stay at the council. Orange is a devisive force. In the past, his demeanor was not the best. He touts himself as a lawyer and an accountant.
    Is he going to give the council 24-7 or is he going to be part-time.
    His term is short. I would suggest that Biddle start now
    to get ready for the next election…For a first timer, he did well…. just needs to get his face all over DC in
    all of the political forums, neighborhood/Ward meetings.

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