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Friday Question of the Day: Who you gonna vote for and why? (Reader Request)

by Prince Of Petworth August 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm 192 Comments

Thanks to a reader for sending in the great shot of a ‘house divided’ above

“Dear PoP,

So in recent weekend outings of mine, I can’t help but see the incredibly enthusiastic Vincent Gray campaign volunteers/staff. So, I begin my research into who I’m going to vote for, which turns out is a little difficult. I can find summaries of debates and interactions, but I want a side-by-side unbiased comparison of where they stand on various issues. I know Gray is running on an education platform, but what else is he planning to do to improve the city–and how is it better than what Fenty’s already doing?

I’m sure opening this up as a question of the day on PoP could yield some strange/inappropriate responses, but myself and I’m sure some other people out there wouldn’t mind digging through those comments to find something of value. Just something to think about before November 2.”

Actually the primary is September 14 so you only have a month to decide! So another reader asked that I put up a more updated Mayoral Poll:

For those who’ve been following the campaign – who are you going to vote for and why?

  • caballero

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or as they say in parts of South America, the dog you know is better than the dog you don’t know.

    I’m with Fenty, warts and all.

    • Nice Marmot

      There’s plenty broken with Fenty’s administration. Parks contracts and engineering licenses going to unqualified failures who happen to be buddies with the Mayor Fenty…more violent crime, though murders are down (credit where it’s due)…all but abandoning voting rights or pursuit of statehood…political appointees who hold politics as more important than DC residents…and an inability to work with city council or embrace anyone’s ideas outside his inner-circle to name but a very few. DC can do a lot better than Adrian Fenty.

      • neener

        1. DC Can’t really do better than Fenty, we had Barry for roughly 15 years. It would be nice, but it wouldn’t be true.
        2. Gray is not remotely better than Fenty re: Cronyism, oh my god that’s so not even funny, start with the fence

        I could go on and on there.

        • JohnGalt

          If the predominately white areas of the city are clean, good schools, low violence, why isn’t anyone urging a councilmember from one of the white wards to run? They seemingly have done a good job with their neighborhood. Maye they could work their magic on the rest of the city.

      • caballero

        The things you mention sound like the trivial gripes that animate Scandinavian politics. Given where DC has been only recently, I’ll take your complaints as a Fenty endorsement. Adelante alcalde!!!

    • beth b

      the dog you don’t know? Gray has been working for this city WAY before Fenty was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye.

      in fact, I think it’s saying something that it was Fenty’s administration that pushed Gray enough to run.
      Fenty is still coasting on the coattails of the progress that Williams made. I never thought i would say that. I wasn’t fond of Williams either, but it hasn’t been until I’ve seen what’s really happened after he left that I can really see what he’s accomplished and people are crediting Fenty.

      • Ragged Dog

        Gray’s record is exactly why I’m not voting for him.

        The differences between a Gray administration and a Barry administration will be minuscule.

  • saf

    “how is it better than what Fenty’s already doing”

    Well, I really really hate what Fenty’s doing. That makes my choice easy.

    • **DOLPH STRIKE**

      What’s Fenty doing that you hate so much?

      • voter

        -i hate what he has done to arts funding in this city.
        the dccah is in shambles right now because of fenty and the appointed director.

        -the direction and manner in which dc
        is surplussing its property is also short sighted.

        -putting dog parks in front of other projects that then get denied because of funding

        -that my ward is the dumping ground for social services

        -the shuffling around of government agencies.

        -extending parking meter hours till 10 pm downtown and near the mall

        -what seems like an absolute lack of oversight on ddot, wasa, washington gas projects and a lack of accountability on projects that have been RFP’d.

        -baseball ticket pettiness

        -his general stupidity and inability to speak.

        – closing of dmv office in NE except for drivers test.

        not that he isn’t the best option so far.

      • saf

        Mis-directing contracts illegally.

        Mis-use of the attorney generals office

        Selling off city property for too little to selected buds

        Refusing to listen to anyone outside his little frat-boy circle

        Hiding from the press

        Hiding from citizens

        Refusing to undertake real reform in the agencies, especially DDOT, DCRA, Zoning, and city-wide contracting procedures

        Supporting haphazard, uncoordinated projects (such as the ongoing traffic calming projects and several streetscape projects) (I would love traffic calming. I would love new streetscapes. But projects are poorly planned, poorly coordinated, and the contracting is simply criminal.)

        In general, behaving as if he is king, rather than mayor. He works for the citizens. He is responsible for DC. But he cannot see that, and is not willing to put in the work that the job requires.

        • 13th Street

          I agree with almost all of this, and I’m voting for Fenty. Voter/saf: How will any of this improve under Gray, and/or why would I trade these problems for an administration that I can only believe would turn the city’s focus away from making DC a place that professionals will move to, and back towards a social services-centered, \consensus\ mayor’s office.

          Williams with Fenty, Barry and Dixon with Gray, what more do I need to know? Crony hiring of the low skilled for government and social services work costs the city a lot more over 30 years than a couple of (really big, totally absurd, completely improper) development contract handouts. I’m still waiting for the day when underskilled Barry and Dixon government hires will all retire. That alone will improve the city immensely, so long as we don’t restock the government with more Ward 7 and Ward 8 patronage hires (Cough, Gray, cough).

          • saf

            I believe that Gray is thoughtful and intelligent. I believe that Fenty is not all that smart, and prone to rash action.

            I would rather have thoughtful.

          • 13th Street

            I’d prefer smart, thoughtful, and fast acting — but that’s not on the table. I also think “thoughtful” in reference to Gray really means status quo anti Fenty, maybe even Williams. I think words like “Process” and “inclusiveness” from the Gray campaign are code for “we won’t move to fast, don’t worry.”

            Why would I want that? Under Fenty the city is at least trying to clean agencies of ineffective employees, even if they can’t get through the unions. And we have gotten modernizations like postcard permits at home depot and online service requests for city services. I’ve been here 10 years, and I feel like the city bureaucracy has been dramatically more responsive to my needs under Fenty. I’ll take it, despite the idiot moves, despite the arrogance, despite Nickles, who I think is legitimately destructive to the city’s interests. I still take Fenty, because I feel forward momentum for the first time, well, ever.

          • saf

            “Under Fenty the city is at least trying to clean agencies of ineffective employees, ”

            See, my experience is that they are simply moving those employees around so that people THINK they are doing something.

            “online service requests for city services”
            I think that came under Williams?

            I have had problems with this process, including requests that have been marked complete when nothing has been done at all, and requests that have simply been ignored for months on end. (not all online. some were called in.)

            “I feel like the city bureaucracy has been dramatically more responsive to my needs under Fenty.”

            My experience has been the opposite.

            I have had issues with the city government due to my job.

            I have also gone through a nightmare when attempting to do some SMALL exterior work on my house. Every interaction I have had with the city government has gotten worse and worse every year since Fenty was elected.

            I have never been as poorly treated and as seriously personally insulted as I was when I tried to get a few permits for that exterior work. (Really, sexually harassing a member of the public and then accusing her of impossible things is not a good idea. And the fact that this was in public and nobody was willing to stop it made it that much worse.)

            The agencies did not help, and were not willing to talk. Our Ward 4 representative in the mayor’s office was unable to help. (willing, and trying hard, but unable to get anything out of the agencies. Bowser’s office was even less helpful.)

            In my experience, many city agencies have gone from red-tape choked messes with unhelpful front-line staff to red-tape choked messes with staff who are so afraid to do anything that will get them noticed that they will simply refuse to do anything and reject everything that comes across their desks. Agency managers and directors simply ignore correspondence, and forget getting them on the phone.

            Lack of information is a problem too – DDOT, DCRA, DMV, how do you expect people to comply with your requirements if those requirements and regulations are not publicly available, up-to-date, and complete? And how are we supposed to find this information when your web pages are out of date and you will not pick up your phones and you will not return phone calls?

            Or 911 – the police say to call whenever you see something and they will come check stuff out. Well, when 911 operators won’t take reports, or accuse you of making things up, or never pass on the call, it doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that the police will be told to come when I really really need them. 911 is a mess.

            Note that I know a number of city employees. Many of them are really good at their jobs and really care about the city. Sadly, there are not enough of them to overcome the inertia that comes from the deadwood and the problems that flow down from the mayor’s office.

          • You apparently are a young white person whom obviously has fed into the steriotypical garbage of your ancestors, you are in desparate need of some soul searching.Check out your living conditions, look around you, this is not the work of who you are invisionong but it is those so called underskilled folks that make all this possible not to mention, they were here when you got here and continue to observe your totally unchecked arrogance. You need to take a long look in the miror at yourself, you’ll see the child that you thought was grown.

        • pworth

          Hiding from the press and citizens? I see him out all the time… I mean does a new business open and Fenty doesn’t show up? Ever?

          • saf

            And will he talk to anyone? Do you ever get anything more from him than a greeting and a grunt?

          • Ragged Dog

            I’d rather have a mayor that charges forward on the obvious problems (schools) than advocates twiddling his thumbs talking the problems to death.

            Most of these problems have been festering since the 80’s, so if you still need to talk to people to figure out a solution, you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Vakil

    When Fenty cowardly gave in to that racist at the Examiner and pulled a Shirley Sherrod on Marc Shindler, that decided it. If hizzoner doesn’t have the balls to stick with a working plan just because some loudmouth idiot with a conservative platform likes to squawk, how can I trust his staying power?

  • mphs

    My wife’s deal breaker: We applied to DCPS lottery for out of boundary and we got 148 on the waiting list.

    Fenty got Rhee to allow him to bypass the lottery and put his kids into Lafayette, one of the most desirable elementary schools.

    My kid may not get a top public school education, but at least she knows that cutting line is a douchebag move.

    • neener

      NOT TRUE necessarily.

      I suspect you and your wife are totally ignorant of DCPS by what you wrote. You sound ignorant anyway.

      What grade is your child to be 148 on the waiting list? Please tell us the grade. My guess is at 148 we’re talking Pre-K, K or first grade. Fenty’s kids were NOT IN THOSE GRADES! Therefore your placement on this waiting list and Fenty’s kids are ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT to this discussion because…

      The 4th grade in Lafayette had no waiting list by August 21 and started school with an opening. I bet you don’t know one single parent of a 4th grader in a class with Fenty’s kids. I do. They had open slots for the 4th grade because… drum roll please…

      after the third grade the St Johns, St Albans, etc Lower Schools open up and residents pull their kids out to go to prep schools making LOTS OF EMPTY SPACES in DCPS from 4-5 in elementary schools. There are, traditionally NO WAITING LISTS for those upper grades and you’ll see schools like Murch or Eaton have 3 Pre-K classes, 3 K, 3 First, 3 2nd, 2 3rd, 3 4th, etc as white students peel off for Landon, Bullis, Holton-Arms, etc

      So, pretty much, you’re lying and I caught you lying or else you just are ignorant of DCPS. Either way, you owe it to your children to vote for Fenty because you’d never send your children to DCPS if it weren’t for Rhee.

      • neener

        that should read “2 4th” as in 2 4th grade classes or 2/3 the number of 4th graders as they have 1st graders.

      • TimStJohns

        Neener you seem to have the answers, like Glenn Beck. Thanks for your wisdom, ass. Now let’s some footnotes for your screed before you call anyone on this comment thread ignorant. I believe “mphs.”

        I also have the integrity to use my real name.

      • Local

        Why would any parent want their kid to go to Bullis, Landon, OR Holton Arms instead of DC public? Those are tier 2 or tier 3 schools with tier 1 cost.le

        • Anonymous

          Is that a joke? Look at the percentage of Bullis and Landon and Holton Arms kids who go to college, and where they go to college, compared to DC high schools. If a parent wants their kid to be successful, and college is usually (not always) a prerequisite for that, that parent would choose those “tier 2 or tier 3” schools every time based on simple statistics, if they can afford it of course.

          • Local

            No, not a joke.

      • mphs

        Um, it was Pre-K, Neener. Is that okay, or are going to go all deranged on me.

        From now on, since you’ve hijacked the thread, we should all just ask ourselves, WhatWouldNeenderDo, umkay?

        • sophiagrrl

          Totally not getting into a Neener debate, but there are some truths in here:
          PreK is 1) not universal and wholly over-subscribed so yes, it’s comparing apples and oranges. Did you apply to more than one PreK program? This could have happened in the IN-Bounds process also, since ALL PreK kids have to apply and do lottery. My in-bound PreK generally finds it has more slots in October, when the shuffle between in and out-of-bounds and charters slows up.

          Having been through this process two years now, I learned last year that nothing is settled by mid-August, and you may find you are IN that school you want by mid-October. Most families I know who’ve ridden this ride for the last 3 years are in schools they like, often their first pick.

          So what if he got is honorably… and what if you still get a great school? I’m suggesting that basing a decision on a wait-list # on the (non-universal) PreK in early August is premature.

          For the record, I don’t know if Fenty got in legit Out-of-bounds. He may or may not have pulled rank. But your experience and his are not comparable… and to decide hes unethical for it is to make a leap of logic.

          He might be unethical. Or maybe there was space in that school. Or maybe it’s OK for a mayor to get into the public school of his choice (I don’t have an issue with it if he did jump the line; shoot me).

          • DCster

            bang *smoke*

            No, seriously, I’m with you – I’m not basing my vote on the mayor’s kids’ school. You bring up an interesting point – there is a large demand for PreK in DC and one of Gray’s major talking points is his expansion of pre-K slots through funding passed in 2008. Fenty has redirected funds from city pre-K to other programs (summer jobs perhaps, I’m not sure?). I don’t know if DC provided pre-K was any good or not (maybe it needed to be shuttered), but this is one issue where I think Gray has an advantage. There are other aspects of Gray’s education plan that I’m not so thrilled about (funding parity for charters), but I do give credit for this.

          • mphs

            We’re fine in our charter now, thanks.

            But, I don’t really get YOUR logic: Out of boundary slots should be allocated to the tax-paying public by a lottery unless you’re the Mayor, in which case you can have your pick?

            Despite the best efforts of Saint Rhee and her minions, there aren’t enough good schools to go around. They ought to be allocated fairly, transparently, with the same rules for all, kind of like in kindergarten.

  • DT

    So far everyone has a bone to pick with Fenty, but I would like to hear why people think Vince Gray will be any better. I have yet to hear any substantive policy positions from him and we are a month away from the election. When I hear Marion Barry is supporting Gray and Anthony Williams is supporting Fenty, my inclination is to vote for Fenty, despite his ego problems.

    • Anonomi


      • I like cheese

        Huge plus 1 on the marion barry support. that should be the death knell. what a turd.

        • saf

          He endorsed Fenty last time.

  • sb

    Fenty. He may be a jerk, but I like the people he appoints (Gabe Klein, Cathy Lanier, Rhee, etc.).

    I think Gray lacks workable plans. He’ll say anything to anyone. At least when Fenty disagrees with something, he’ll tell you.

    They’re both corrupt. They’ll both give contracts to their shady friends. I have never in my life considered just not voting but I’m so tempted to do it now. I’m sticking with Fenty, though.

    • NotScott

      Aheh…I know one of those people and my personal knowledge of that individual suggests my “only what I read in the papers” impression of another is on spot: that these are essentially shameless self-promoters rather than dedicated administrators. So, um yeah, it’s Gray for me.

      • Ragged Dog

        “Dedicated” to putting DC back the way it was in the 80’s you mean.

      • sophiagrrl

        So name the likely replacements. I’m typically a Fenty supporter but if Gray names an All Star line-up, I could be swayed. WHO replaces Rhee, Lanier, Klein and Nicholson? Prove to me it won’t be a line-up of old guard with a mission to unravel anything with Fenty’s name on it.

        Anyone have names of the likely Gray cabinet?

        • NotScott

          I have to admit: Lanier seems to be doing well with the MPD, and Klein is bringing in a lot of great new ideas – I really like the streetcars and bike lanes. I’m not a fan of the anti-car stance that many DDOT priorities seem to result in. I’d really have preferred someone who had more of a traffic engineering background – more of a technocrat. Lanier fits that mold in her area. I’d much prefer a technocrat in place of a pol (Rhee) any day. In general I think the city would be better served by technically skillful administration, something I believe Tony Williams did a solid job with – certainly in contrast to Barry and Pratt-Kelly.

          I don’t know enough inside ball about various alternatives (up and comers) in other major US cities. The thing is: I credit their predecessors with a lot of the work that lead to the improvements in the past decade.

    • saf

      “At least when Fenty disagrees with something, he’ll tell you. ”

      Huh. IME, if you disagree with hime, he fobs you off on an aide and runs away.

  • Andy

    Ongoing education reform is the difference between whether I put my kid in a public school or charter, impoverish myself, wife and kid by putting that kid in a private school, or leave the city I’ve lived in for 14 years. It is the issue I expect to vote on.

    Fenty means the reforms continue. Fenty has a track record on this. Gray has a record of taking many interests into account and working to accommodate all with interests in a given issue.

    The most important thing I hope to receive from my city – a decent public education for my kid – comes directly from destroying the system that legacy teachers are trying to preserve. Rhee does not accommodate teachers trying to preserve their jobs in the face of lack of improvement and Fenty backs her up. Gray is willing to accommodate the teachers, meaning I get less chance of a decent public education for my kid.

    • neener

      it is critical to remember that the DCPS of 10 years ago needed to be DESTROYED. No negotiation, no discussion, just fire people who aren’t real teachers and couldn’t pass certification or didn’t even TRY to pass certification.

      I was told the story of a teacher’s aide who was fired and ended up working at the CVS because she couldn’t get a job elsewhere. Does anyone want a CVS clerk teaching their children?

  • Jim

    Sharon Pratt and Marion Barry support Gray. That’s all I need to know.

    • Anonymous


      If you’re the type of person who reads Prince of Petworth, has lived in DC for less than five years, and isn’t really sure yet about DC and its wacky city government, please just vote for Fenty and save yourself the headache of having to move to Silver Spring or Arlington.

    • Fellow Petworthian


    • MichelleRD


    • John


    • Nice Marmot

      Yeah, and Rev. Wright and Charlie Rangel are enough to keep me from voting for Obama. Give me a break.

    • gup

      ooooooo noooooo i wish i didn’t read that

      …now i am back in the undecided. i get embarrassed as a DC citizen everytime Fenty talks with all his “ahhhs” and “ohss”. he also sounds like he has a bag of marbles in his mouth.

      • Ragged Dog

        Who cares if he’s awkward? He’s not your friend or your minister. He’s the chief city executive.

        • +2

          Clearly people just don’t like the man, so they think this is the right reason to not vote for him – clear lack of intellegent thinking.

          And maybe GW will call you all to come out to the ranch for a beer. Isn’t that why people said they wanted him? They liked him, he was nice guy I could have a beer with.

          Anything associtaed with Barry is bad. I have been in this city my entire life and he screwed us bad and still we are paying for it.

          FENTY is the one.

    • CP Expat


  • intractable

    I’m leaning toward Gray, but your ignorance is shocking. How many DYRS kids have die or kill someone before you stop making spurious charges of racism and start doing something about this city’s extremely serious youth crime problem?

    The riot at New Beginnings was a pretty clear sign that all was not well with DYRS, and Schindler’s leadership sure as hell didn’t work out well for Brian Betts.

    The young punks who have been terrorizing this town give us all a bad name, they need to do hard time. DYRS is probably the reason DC’s crime rate is about what New York’s was at its height in the 1980s.

    • Leroy

      A) First mention of racism is (I believe) yours…

      B) Locking up juveniles for “hard time” creates “hard criminals.” I’m not exactly sure how you time traveled here from the 50s, but a few things have changed.

      • gup

        so you let them run loose and start 80+ person brawls on the metro??

    • JohnGalt

      Two more were killed this week. Read the Examiner as the Post glosses over this colossal failing.

  • Joe

    i’m voting for fenty because i want klein. that’s about it.

  • Jay

    I’m voting Gray. I hate bike lanes, dog parks and extended parking meter hours.

    • KenyonDweller

      Why do you think Gray would change any of that?

      • Jenna

        From what I’ve heard, the first two are definitely pet projects of Fenty’s (but I love both, and if you really want to reduce traffic you should support bike lanes to encourage people to bike instead of drive!). The third is something he supported, but my guess would be that it’s something he was advised to do and even though some people are frustrated by it, I’m not if Gray would do anything different after getting the same information.

  • ProfChris

    Come on Andy, the teachers aren’t the issue. The parents and kids are. You could have Oxford Dons teaching class and Bill Gates and Steve Jobs providing the supplies. It would still take a generation or two to fix.

    Vince Gray one of the few people who are making the common sense statement: Michelle Rhee can’t be married to the mayor of a city–a big city with big problems–3000 miles away and still tell the parents of this city, parents who demand that this person with the title of Chancellor, has some local-visceral-rooted stake in the community. She doesn’t. This is from parents, not teachers. They feel she doesn’t care, and valuing someone who feels they are unvalued is the key to fighting the hooliganism, drop outs, etc etc.

    • neener

      nope, the teachers are the issue, trust me, I was on the playground with some teachers and joking around and one said, “Remember back in the day when we all were on the boat?”

      because every parent longs to have a discussion with their kids teacher about SMOKING PCP.

      trust me, you are very wrong. the SE DC parents with drug abuse issues WERE ALSO DCPS TEACHERS.

      • Anonymous

        this didnt happen

      • JohnGalt

        Neener, be serious. SE has 30%+ unemployment. Not many of them are teaching anything. Hitch your wagon to Rhee if you want. She won’t be here long no matter who wins. You don’t think some of those TFA are smoking a little pot and doing some lines while they are biding time before grad school?

        Since you are so up on education. You will probably remember Rudy Crew. He was the rock star superintendent from NYC we tried to recruit before Rhee. Google him and see how these superintendents are nothing more than self promoters. Crew failed spectacularly in MIA after 4 years.

        Rhee will leave here in another year or so. By her own designs or when the curtain is pulled back on her failings. It’s not about the output when you can’t control the inputs. DCPS has bad inputs (students).

        • Ragged Dog

          Then by that logic we shouldn’t be paying to educate kids at all. If they’re un-educable, then we really just need to build enough auditoriums to warehouse them and we still don’t need the existing teachers.

          • JohnGalt

            Warehouses. Auditoriums. Or prisons. That is where a considerable number are going. Fenty/Gray’s best bet to improve the schools would be to speed gentrification and let a better crop of families populate the schools. See my quote from Fenty in today’s Examiner. He says the gov’t can’t save many of these kids. As such, the summer JOBS program should merely be used to keep them from sitting in front of a TV all day.

          • NotScott

            I don’t agree that we toss them into prisons/warehouses/what have you – that’s just cynical and silly. However, the fundamental truth remains: you cannot ignore one of the major inputs (students and by extension, their parents) when you assess based on outputs. You can beat up on the teachers and the union all you like – wipe it out – and it will not achieve what you want.

            It would be nice if Rhee put some of her get-tough attitude to work on discipline in the schools – backing up teachers on classroom level enforcement. Of course, it’ll never happen because it’s political suicide.

          • Lindsay

            NotScott: +1!

    • Jenna

      You can argue about the merits of the choices she’s made, but I think it’s pretty hard to argue she doesn’t care. She could have just gone along, not rocking the boat, and had a much more comfortable ride.

    • Anonymous

      In the case of dcps, I don’t want somebody who has some established stake in the community. I want someone who is able to be objective about things, see decades of abject failure, and start over without being beholden to any portion of the community’s past failures. Someone who works off the standards of the rest of the world, where results matter.

      Save for his appalling inability to cut ties with his frat buddies, Fenty seems to be the one more willing to move that direction.

      • El Gringo


        “Consensus” is what has held DC back for so many years. …and before anyone lectures me on democracy, remember majority vote does NOT equal consensus.

        Like others, I’m not 100% thrilled will all of Fenty’s work, but after reading the City Paper’s recent profile of Grey as a “consensus builder” who has been involved in DC politics and government for 40+ years….I can’t help but think: isn’t that exactly the kind of person we DON’T want?

        I mean, despite all the remaining problems, it seems undeniable that DC is in a better place today than it has been in 2 generations….I prefer someone who is both forward looking and willing to piss off the “establishment”, not someone “rooted in the traditions” of pre-1995 DC.

        • sophiagrrl


  • ProfChris

    FYI there is a groundswell of support in the black community in DC for Gray. That could be the X factor, and folks better take heed. If enough white yuppies either don’t vote (or can’t because they are registered elsewhere) “Count Chocula” will beat “BooBerry” and become mayor. (I guess Leo Alexander is Frankenberry)

    Ironic that Fenty has Williams’ support, as Fenty and Williams were enemies on a lot of issues. Once Fenty became mayor, he flipped and is now just as much in developers’ pockets as Williams was. Strange bedfellows indeed.

    I’m more interested in the council races.

    • neener

      every mayor was “in the pocket” of developers because developers are that important to DC. Who was Barry’s pet developer? Don Peebles? well he was one of them.

      We’ve come a LONG way since “White Men’s Roads Through Black Men’s Homes.” If you don’t think Gray is already in the pocket of developers then you don’t understand developers.

      • ProfChris

        Yes I’m sure Gray has his pets and he is the pet of some, but Adrian Fenty’s sin is one of open hypocrisy on that front.

  • Anonymous

    I abstain.

    I’m tired of having to endure all these self serving politicians whether in the Mayor’s office or the City Council that have come and gone over the years with different names and faces who in the end are not public servants at all.

    They set out to make a name for themselves more involved in serving themselves, their friends and cronies, carving and making a career out of their public service and a standard of living for themselves they could never garner in the private sector, and then leave us the citizens of the District of Columbia the burden of enduring a declining quality of life, a load of public debt, and carrying it all through such high taxes.

    I’m waiting to vote on a referendum that abolishes the dismal failure of Home Rule and all this representative nonsense that has brought relatively little to those of us living here in our nation’s capital but a declining quality of life and public safety;

    and restoring:

    the standard of Mount Vernon, our D.C. flag, the three red stars on a field of white,

    once again with three gray haired old men educated in public administration appointed by the President of the United States with six year staggered terms to run apolitically our federal city and our municipality and restoring our three commissioner form of government which worked so well and existed for nearly two centuries since George Washington appointed the first three commissioners

    until we established this Home Rule nonsense and its proven failure.

    We are less than 600,000 here. It shouldn’t be so hard.

    • BorisBecker

      My parents were longtime District residents, and while no liberal they, heck no, and cloistered as they were over on Tunlaw, even THEY said the Commission was rife with corruption and racism. Ever wonder why there was a Marion Barry in the first place? The Commissioners. Try again.
      Home rule is the right to mess up. If you don’t think that’s the case, tell me every town, village, city is a well oiled machine. Even countries. 15,000 men dead or dying in one day at places like Antietam, an hour drive from here, should remind you.

    • **DOLPH STRIKE**


      what a stupid post. let’s go back to the way george washingotn governed. how do you know it worked so well? times were simpler then, but not nearly as simple as your contrived observation.

  • Anonymous

    It’d be nice to have an apolitical administration of our municipality, in particular MPD.

    Our police department should be run by law and order police professionals and law enforcement officials under no political influence.

    Today our police are the ones with the hand cuffs on their wrists because of interference with law enforcement by far too many elected officials more into self empowerment and self aggrandizement than just ensuring public safety for all Washingtonians that live and work here.

    There needs to be redefining of what it is to be a public servant. It should be a thankless job that is as temporary overseer and not a lifetime career making a livelihood from it all with excessive salaries and benefits packages for themselves and their staffs that they could never make outside of government.

    • Ragged Dog

      We call that position “City Manager”.

  • Ragged Dog

    I agree with just about everything neener has stated so far.

    I’ll enrich the conversation by noting that Mendolson was the architect of the modern youth justice rules in DC and that no Ward 5-8 Council person supports tougher rules on youths. You can put Barack Obama or George Bush (or George Washington) for that matter and nothing’s going to change with youth justice with the mayoral election. The City Council has to change the rules first.

    As such, I’m voting for Clark Ray for At-Large. He’s a reserve police officer and he’s the only person running for City Council with any experience running an organization (Parks and Rec.)

  • rob

    fenty is a joke, schools are in shambles, he didn’t even know if we had a budget or a surplus!!! out of touch, but they all are!! this is the capital of the united states, it should be a model city, they need to gut it and start over, corruption is now the standard.

    • neener

      I know! this is so different than it was under Barry when Corruption never existed.

  • Rick Shard

    I can’t stand either of them, so neither one will be getting my vote. That said, I think that Gray may surprise a lot of people and take the win. He has a very good chance.

  • there is nothing better than a flame war on the blog 🙂
    1) streetcars

    2) bike lanes

    3) progress over process

    gray is all process, procedure, stalling, planning.
    fenty for me )

  • J street

    There really isn’t any difference in the policies of the two candidates other than Rhee. My opinion would be to vote for the youthful politician who will stay more with what the cities growing dynamic wants and keep DC competing with other major U.S. cities.

    The people who think that Gray will not have a whole team of cronies the day he is elected mayor are sadly mistaking. Also, I have to second the above statement that an endorsement from Barry is a total turn off.

  • x

    gray’s silliness over the georgia ave. street cars showed some serious incompetence. it was very apparent that gray didn’t give a shit about the petworth hood and downright offensive when he flip-flopped and then sent his sign-holders for his campaign here a few days later.

    fenty for the same bullshit. gray for even more bullshit!

  • PG

    Neither – I live in Maryland.

  • Darth Fabulous

    The complaint there should be with Phil Medehlson, and we all have the chance to vote him out of office. Whenever a yout justice bill comes by with any kinds of penalties for youths, Mendhelson strips those provisions out, which he has the power to do as Chair of Public Safety. Nothing will change as long as he’s still in power.

    • Darth Fabulous

      That was a reply to intractable, but cpatcha screwed me up. I blame Gray.

  • ProfChris

    Again, that’s why the council races are what POP should really look into. That’s where there should be changes. I’m snickering a little about the criticism of Mendelson for softness on juvie crime b/c there have been numerous times challengers–some well financed have come up against him and he’s won in landslides, and it wasn’t the black vote that put him there. On the home front, I think Graham has gotten much to comfortable. I think his lack of vigilance on the Metro Board is further evidence of this (if he really cared, he would have insisted they shelve this ridiculous fiefdom and made WMATA into a real self-taxing regional authority like Port Auth. in NY or RTA in Chicago). This kid Jeff Smith seems all about action and not reaction/plugging dikes and pr, so I may give him a look in Ward One, or the other guy who’s name escapes me LOL.

    I just want to ask Fenty and Gray one thing: why is the only city instrumentality that runs with diamond brillance and precision, no matter in Snowpocalypse or Rainpocalypse, and with cutting edge technology, is the parking enforcement brownshirts? Right down to the overpriced and confusing meters, to the hunter-killer boot squads. They can’t stop crime, or fix a street sinkhole or illegal dumping, or criminal absentee landlords, but they sure can find your car.
    The person who gives me the frank, non-self serving/party line, intelligent answer to that gets my vote…


    • mv

      I don’t fully agree with all of your statements, but I’m with you on the parking – it’s not that parking enforcement (along with speeding tickets) isn’t important, it is, it’s just why does that particular government entity run SO freakin well?

      • Leroy

        Cause it makes lots o’ money…

        • mv

          So do you think they appoint quality workers to manage the parking enforcement? Or does it just seem to work so well on the surface, we just don’t hear about crap behind the scenes?

          And FYI I’m all for parking enforcement – in fact, I wish some of the areas had stricter enforcement so MD/VA couldn’t park there at all!

      • saf

        It doesn’t run all that well, actually. They issue a lot of tickets, but many of those tickets are incorrect, and the appeals process simply continues to get worse.

        So yeah, it generates a lot of money, but it is NOT a well run program.

    • JohnGalt

      I’ll give you the answer. You can train any dummy from the poorer wards to write tickets. Heck, the machine does most of the work for them. But for doing the more cerebral tasks, the bench isn’t deep enough in this city to draw the talent needed.

      Here is Fenty’s quote on the JOBS program:

      Fenty, who hasn’t released a plan, seems more satisfied with the status quo. “Government will never solve all our problems,” Fenty said. “For these youth, there’s no alternative. At best they’d watch TV all day. … The program is intended to give them something to do.


  • Cat

    I will absolutely be voting for Fenty because I want Michelle Rhee to stay here in DC. I work in education, and the reform efforts underway need continuity to be effective. She has had the guts to stand up to the teachers union, with Fenty’s full support. The new teacher evaluation system that Rhee put in place in DCPS is groundbreaking – we need more accountability in this most important profession. We can’t let the mediocre and flat-out bad teachers stay in our classrooms any longer. Gray has said he will stand with the teachers, and Rhee will be off to California.

    It seems like Americans are more and more inclined to vote out the incumbent. Like Sergey said “progress over process.” I want to give Fenty more time. Don’t let DC go back to square one, especially in the schools.

  • Ward One Resident

    I’ll be leaving that spot on the ballot blank. You couldn’t pay me to vote for Fenty (although I’m sure Ron Moten will try) and Gray is not the answer so I just can’t vote for either. I’m tempted to write in Anthony Williams (again) though…

  • David

    ProfChris, you might be surprised at how high parking enforcement ranks in the minds of district residents.

  • DC

    After Gray’s Street Car debacle, I’m Voting Fenty all the way.

  • PetworthRes

    Voting for Fenty – and agree with others who have commented about the good people he appoints (Lanier, Rhee, Klein)

  • BaconForBigAl

    Will we ever see an actual campaign from Gray or will he continue with his opposition, “I’m not Fenty”, plan of attack? We’re about a month out and still nothing of substance from Gray — hope the rest of DC sees this also.

    Furthermore, why is there such disapproval & disdain for a man whose first term has actually helped our city progress? Corruption is nothing new, especially to DC. Why are we so shocked and up in arms after learning that a politician is corrupt? They ALL are! How naive are we to hate Fenty and believe that Gray will be any different?

    Lay aside personal opinions and focus on the results. Hopefully fact & reason will govern our decision making come 9/14.

    • neener

      My theory is this. when people say Fenty has a big ego that’s a code word for “Uppity Black Man.”

      White people want him to uplift his people (actually I know his mom and she’s white) by any means necessary even if it’s tough love.

      This is the generation where voters of all races are looking for African-American heroes to throw off the shackles of Jim Crow AND civil rights-era handouts.

      I don’t want kids out on the street due to their parents’ bad behavior but on the other hand kids raised in public housing appear to be raised with no shame about public housing. They hit rock bottom at age 9 but then at 19 have children before they’re even finished with undergrad. Someone isn’t knocking sense into their heads about grad school. I worked with a woman who was sick of her relatives dumping their high school aged kids into her house because they couldn’t go to school amongst other poor kids because they’d never get out of poverty, and it’s true, she walked 3 grand nieces through high school graduation and into PG Community College. It’s not like people don’t get it.

      Our urban areas need socially conservative African-American liberal leaders. I wanted that in Obama, I wanted that in Fenty and Williams.

      • mv

        neener – you should run for mayor! I agree with every single thing you say on PoP.

        • voter

          conversely, i think neener is an idiot that thinks he’s got it all figured out.

          • mv

            and the need for elections continues…

        • neener

          You aren’t the first person who asked me to run for office, particularly ANC, but I’ll take positive comments whenever they come my way. I wrote and said too much in college as a rock critic that could be used against me.

      • JohnGalt

        Neener, Fenty isn’t socially or fiscally conservative. A social conservative wouldn’t be hanging around the likes of Ron Moten. A social conservative would not cede leadership roles in schools and crime prevention over to criminals like Peaceoholics. A fiscal conservative wouldn’t give unqualified people licenses and contracts. A social conservative would have called out the parents of the Deonte Rawlings et al that have caused havoc in this city and not coddled them in New Beginnings.

        If I were a black parent, I would not vote for a man that would put self aggrandizing criminals (Moten) in my school and not do the same in the white wards. That would do it for me.

  • Leroy

    While I don’t necessarily agree, I think it’s interesting to think about WWBD (What Would Barack Do?) if Home Rule didn’t exist?

    • Leroy

      Whoops – supposed to be a response to Anon @ 1:54 AM

  • Eric in Ledroit

    I frankly appreciate the effective parking enforcement, even though it costs me money when I do something like forget to move my car for street sweeping. Without effective enforcement, the streets would never get swept, I’d have broken down cars with MD plates sitting by my house for months, etc. Thanks to parking enforcement, spaces actually turn around in the downtown core rather than being occupied by office workers. I have been conditioned to assume the laws will be enforced; therefore, I am careful about where I park; therefore, we are all better off. People love to bitch about parking, but what I really want is everything else to run as well as parking does.

  • mv

    I’m going with Fenty. I’ve only been here 2 years, but when I contacted him about the increase in crime in my neighborhood, he contacted Lanier asking her to increase patrols in my area – now I always see patrols going by. I was extremely impressed with his diligence.

    • saf

      That’s what he does – forward your message to someone else, with no thought. He certainly should delegate. He also should pay attention to what he’s hearing, and think about patterns, and place these requests in a larger context.

      He did that stuff when he was on the council, and he hasn’t improved as mayor. He’s short-sighted, and doesn’t think anything through.

      • sophiagrrl

        I’m not sure how effective delegation is a BAD thing in a mayor. Until we have a mayor/city manager split (which I think would be brilliant and I’m not sure why we haven’t pursued that), the mayor has to decide if he is giving time to city management or constituent relations or both or neither…

        Since he’s supposed to do everything, having a team of people who are competent to handle the requests is ideal. Did you instead want him to reply to this crime Q personally? Hire more folks on his own staff to do that? How would that help?

        • saf

          “He certainly should delegate. He also should pay attention to what he’s hearing, and think about patterns, and place these requests in a larger context.”

          I’m guessing that wasn’t clear enough?

          Of COURSE I want him to delegate. Micromanaging results in nothing. However, he tends to pass it along randomly to several people and say he “solved” it, rather than giving it to the appropriate person, or having a staff person give it to the appropriate person. He also does not seem to learn.

          When he was our council member, I had to contact him over and over about an issue. He kept forwarding my emails all over the universe, and the issue never got solved. And I never got any response from most of the people he forwarded my stuff to.

          Every time I asked him about it, he would say, “we took care of that.” Well, no, you didn’t.

          A few weeks ago, I got a call from his campaign, citing that exact problem, telling me that since he had solved my problem, I should donate $ and accept a yard sign.

  • fivepercentyak

    I feel like if I vote based on what is good for me as a young middle class white yuppie, I vote for Fenty. If I vote for what is best for the majority of the cities residents, I vote for Gray. It is sort of hard as someone who doesnt really want to see the city overrun by too much gentrification (and also am not as up to speed on DC politics as I’d like and while I’ve lived my life in the DC area, am a fairly new DC resident). I feel like DC is a strange little microcosm, and those of us who though we may love the city are new to it and/or not planning to be here forever, shouldn’t do too much to muck with it. In a way that seems to be the heart of home rule, that those who are lifelong residents should steer the city, not politicians who are only here a fraction of the year and only for a term or two. On the other hand, I dont think anyone wants to go back to the way things were a decade or two ago in this city. So, I have no idea who to vote for. Maybe in the end they aren’t that much different and it doesn’t matter much.

    When it comes down to it, I may be inclined to vote Gray if not for the street car funding debacle, and the fact that he tried to gain political points by jumping into the WHC nurse firing debate after snomageddon. Whether or not they deserved to get fired, he really didnt know what he was talking about and should not have told the hospital how he thought they should run themselves. Also, WTF is up with that stupid fence? Was it really that important that he couldnt move it as soon as it became clear doing so would help his chances?

    Also, I think some of Fenty’s appointees, Lanier, Klein, and to a lesser extent Rhee have done a pretty good job and would be good to keep around.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      this is a very strange perspective IMO.

      what exactly about Gray do you think will be “best for the majority of the cities residents”? Any specific policies in mind?

      • voter

        i’m curious as well.

      • PetworthRes

        Hmm, I happen to think less crime, better education, better transportation and better city services are good for the city’s residents, and that’s why I’m voting for Fenty.

        • saf

          Please define “better city services.”

          I have found many agencies getting much harder to work with under Fenty. Many of them have stopped doing anything at all.

          • Eric in Ledroit

            “Many of them have stopped doing anything at all”?!

            where do you come up with this crap?

            i was in and out of DCRA yesterday to get a permit for repointing my home in a historic district and was just about blown away by how efficient and friendly they were. Big props to Vivender Ghogal and the rest of the Homeowners Service Center folks (not to mention the HPRB lady who was helpful and quick).

            Lots of folks just don’t like Fenty personally. I personally was VERY turned off by learning about that Ellington Partners corruption, but seriously this is window dressing on what matters for the city.

          • saf

            “where do you come up with this crap?”

            Did you really need that last word?

            Answer: from personal experience. The homeowners’ center folks were very nice. They also were unable to answer simple questions.

          • saf

            UH, sorry, that reads funny. Let’s try again:

            What makes you think it’s “crap?” It’s my personal experience, just as valid as yours.

          • sophiagrrl

            In my experience (with DCRA, DDOT, DDOE, DCPS, DPR, UDC, DMV, DOP, DC Court House, MPD…) things have gone very well. I’ve gotten permits, gotten call backs, met with folks face-to-face. Thinking on it, I’ve gotten personal time with someone in EACH Of those agencies in the last three years and been listened to. No, the money for what we wanted as not always there. Yes, bureaucracy still slowed crap. But on the whole, I’ve seen agencies better run…

            So it’s not just an idle question: Where do you get your information? What trends have you tracked? What do you see that I do not?

          • saf

            DDOT: No response to requests for information on public space permits, simply “bring it in and we’ll tell you if you can have a permit or not.” “I’d like to know what is required to get a permit.” “We’ll tell you after you apply.”

            DCRAand Zoning: Same as DDOT, for construction permit rather than for public space permit. In addition, they held my application for over a month, refusing to make a decision. I have heard similar stories from a number of people. When I asked what would be required to bring it into compliance and have a permit issued, they refused to tell me, and said “revise it again, re-apply, and we’ll review it again.” This happened three times before I gave up.

            DMV: In order to register that, you also need this, this, and this. Those aren’t listed on the website, and I didn’t need them last time. We have always required those. I go, get all the addition stuff, and then don’t need it.

            DPR: applied for a permit to hold an event in a park. told it had been issued and faxed. It never arrived. followed up every week, always told it had already been issued and faxed. Finally went up there and sat in the office. They told me I had never applied. I had the email from them telling me it had been issued and faxed. Turns out, it hadn’t. They did it, incorrectly, on the spot. Worried the whole time, as the permit was not quite accurate, but I couldn’t get them to re-do it.

            MPD: They’re great, when I can get them. OUC resists sending them.

            None of these are uncommon stories – I’ve heard plenty of similar things from others.

      • fivepercentyak

        What I mean is that in the less affluent parts of the city you see more Gray signs and in general he seems to have more support of lower income residents and Fenty more higher income, so Gray is maybe the candidate of the people with less of a voice. As I said, I havent done enough research to know whether this is right or wrong, but it seems that the more bread and butter city residents support Gray and think he is better for them. I’m basing my observations almost entirely on where the candidates core support seems to come from. I of course need to do some research before I can really choose my vote.

        • fivepercentyak

          maybe I should add that the reason I am reading this whole thread and posting on it is I genuinely dont know who to vote for and am interested in what people who are more in tune with city politics have to say.

        • neener

          yeah, do some research here.

          You see a lot of drug dealers in public housing but it doesn’t mean they’re good for the residents of public housing.

        • PW Neighbor

          Ah, but just because people support a candidate doesn’t mean that that candidate will help them out the most in the long run.

          I have never heard what Gray will do, only anti-Fenty sentiment. It makes me nervous when a politician’s campaign is soley a negative campaign. I have asked every Gray supporter I’ve spoken to on this subject why they would vote Gray, no one could give me an “action” answer, i.e. what will Gray do. They can only list what they don’t like about Fenty. You’ll not get my vote on the anti-campaign.

          • saf

            What will he do? He will think about the larger implications of decisions. He will pay attention to what actions mean for the WHOLE city.

        • voter

          lower income does not mean less of a voice.

          definitely not in this town.

    • Ragged Dog

      I’m not sure another 30 years of poverty and poor education is “good” for anyone. “gentrification” is not some modern phenomena. It’s the natural turnover when old people move and new people come in to fill in the vacuum. If the kids of these older generation had been provided a proper education, they would be in a place to compete and move back into the neighborhoods they grew up in. The reason why they can’t is because MB and his generation thought they could create their own little everlasting kingdom. Anyone with a brain knew it was a lie.

  • DL

    I was in Mt. Pleasant last week while Gray was having some sort of campaign thing in the little park across from Don Juan’s. Meanwhile, behind them was the garbage truck that had run over a woman in the street, police cars, etc. The Gray campaign just ignored what was behind them and went on shaking hands, etc.

  • Phineas

    I would like to know if any Gray voters on this list have lived in DC since before Fenty was mayor. And even more appropriate from when Barry was mayor. These are the people who got so angry over the fact that their two block long street (or worse yet alley) wasn’t plowed 3 hours after a 2 foot snowstorm. Oh I wish you could have been here in 1996.

    People voting for Gray because they don’t like bike lanes, dog parks, and extended parking meter hours would be the equivalent of an Obama voter switching to Romney because they think he should have vacationed in the Gulf instead of Maine. If you’re willing to sink a city because of dog parks, be my guest and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Fenty is not flawless but he’s the best we’ve had in years. Maybe ever.

    The comment about DC high schools being as good as private schools was absolutely hilarious. Get your head out of the sand. Going to be interesting when that poster’s children apply to college and wonder why they were rejected or even better when they go for their first job interviews waving their UDC degrees around.

    • Local

      No, it wasnt about all private schools. Just Bullis, Landon, and Holton Arms. I cant think of 3 more over rated schools in the area. Perhaps Paul VI out in VA, but that hardly even qualifies as private.

      To clarify, my children will be going to neither DC public schools OR UDC, thanks for playing.

      • Phineas

        Don’t get me wrong. I think those schools are overrated. Unless you want your kid to be a murderous lacrosse star of course…. But I would never refer to them in the same sentence as the best of the best DC public schools. Bethesda-Chevy Chase will be the ticket for all of my offspring. You get the best of both worlds. I can claim I sent my kids to public schools but still look down on everyone else. Go Barons!

    • saf

      I have. I’ve been here 27 years, a Petworth homeowner for 20.

  • Carragher Leg Sweep

    I have never once seen Gray in person. Not once. I have met Fenty more times than I can count, all over the city. While he is certainly lacking in the personality department, he has always seemed to be around, taking part in many of the events around town. I think there is something to be said for that. His mere presence aside, he has my vote, because as has been said several times, crime is down and schools are improving.

  • Anon

    To those who don’t plan to your vote (but say you favor Fenty, if forced to choose between two evils): By abstaining you are not making some statement about your disgust with corrupt politicians; you are effectively giving Vince Gray a vote. Knowing what little there is to know about Vince Gray, I’d rather not risk the city returning to its glory days in the 80s when trash sat in the alleys for weeks and the mayor partied in New Orleans over Super Bowl weekend as the city sat snowed under. I much the prefer the city of Williams and Fenty. As for teachers not making a whit of difference, the Atlantic Monthly ran a story a few months back. You may be surprised to learn the power individual teachers have, regardless of parental influence or environment at home. read this story. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/01/what-makes-a-great-teacher/7841/
    I throw my hat in with Rhee. Finally, there is progress being made on the schools front in DC. That should be enough of a reason to vote Fenty.


    What an asinine post. I hope you either A) get a life or B) realize that the life you have right now is not special.

    Who does that? Who honestly takes a second to post saying that they live somewhere else and add nothing to the conversation? You really sat there and typed in the anti-spam code just to announce that you live in Maryland?

    Thanks. Thank you so much. You are the worst.

    • **DOLPH STRIKE**

      that was @PG.

    • PG

      You’re welcome. The post asked a question and I answered it. I have a very good life.

      • mv

        I didn’t know you lived in Maryland! I know you’re a regular, so I appreciate the clarification. And the response is snarktastic 🙂

        (my username used to be different, I changed it so it wasn’t my name)

      • **DOLPH STRIKE**


        Living in Maryland and “having a good life” are incompatible.

        you either: A) have a boring life


        B) have bad taste

        Now, mount thy tractor farmboy and head to the cheesecake factory; there’s city-folk about with serious endeavors to pursue.

    • Huh?

      How did your post advance the conversation. You fault him for taking one second but you had to taken longer than that…

      • **DOLPH STRIKE**

        It amazes me what kind of workload I have to carry around here.

        So, there’s a social order that exists, right? One of those groups are known as “idiots”, okay? Sometimes “idiots” get a little bold and step out of line (actually, this happens often. Look at the creators of “friends”). When this happens, it takes brave, reasonable people to step in and lasso these wild boars.

        Hence, we try and police ourselves by pointing out how pointless said post is. Pointless in that it’s not funny, it doesn’t help anyone out, it doesn’t trim anything down; it’s foolishness run amok. It’s like facebook. “Look at me, look where I live,” etc. etc.

        So, let’s next time PoP posts something about voting for a council member, let’s just have everyone disregard the fact that the man implied that he wants feedback about voting for the person and their platform – not your current voter registration status and eligibilty- and we can all chime in with what ward we live in instead and that we won’t be voting. That’ll be just oh-so helpful.

  • CH Pappy

    I’m voting for Rhee. As a DCPS parent, a Hispanic one at that, I feel that Rhee is the only solution for the system. For to long it was all talk and no action. Gray was part of that, lots of talk and hand shaking, but no action. Sure he’s all for conciliation,but the time for conciliation has long since passed.

    I’m not a Fenty fan, he’s arrogant. Every time I’ve met with him (several times) he’s been rude and uninterested. But this isn’t a popularity contest, it’s an election.

    All you have to do is review Gray’s tenure as the head of DCHHS to realize what he would be like as mayor. As AIDS burned through DC’s gay community, he fiddled. As Congress warned DC about accountable spending and waste, he fiddled. And on, and on, and on… At least I know what I’m getting with Fenty.

    I’ve lived in DC long enough to have experienced both a Barry Administration and Pratt-Kelly Administration, I do not want to go back to that. It’s time that Gray’s generation of afro-american machine politicians retire. It’s time we move beyond Sharpe James, Marion Barry, Charlie Rangel, etc… Time for Fenty, Booker, Obama et all to come into their own.

    • Eric in Ledroit

      I think it’s hilarious when people complain that Fenty is “arrogant.” No one becomes a politician because they feel like they’re just one of the gang…

      Some politicians are better actors than others, sure. But they’re all arrogant as hell.

  • Fonzy

    Gray looks like a washed-up gangster from a James Cagney film.

  • James

    I’m not voting for either one. I think both are incurably corrupt, and await a time when I can vote for a mayor who won’t shuttle my tax dollars to his/her cronies or frat buddies.

    I would also gladly vote for a mayor who would actually take statehood seriously, by vocally calling Congress’s tyranny over our city for what it is on every possible occasion and organizing acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against our oppressors.

    • Anon

      Well, from my perspective, by not voting, you are increasing the chances that the city, under Gray, will get worse, and you’ll be waiting even longer for your chance to vote for someone who isn’t shuttling tax dollars to his cronies. The city is heading in the right direction, as anyone knows who’s lived here for decades. Gray, to me, seems like a return to the Barry years, when incompetence ruled the day. Fenty, for all his flaws, is a step towards the future that you are hoping for. Why wouldn’t you be pragmatic and support him?

    • neener

      you will wait forever then. Grow up and realize your choices will never be perfect.

      • Ragged Dog


      • Tres

        While I agree with you on other points, James’ point here is fair — not in his best interest, but fair. While his non-vote would perhaps encourage a Grey election, it also punishes Fenty, and thus gives notice to him or future Fenty-like candidates that might come after a Grey victory: we expect more.

        It’s like when gay Democrats sit home election night, because they feel the promises made by their party haven’t or aren’t being delivered. I mean, will that constituency ever vote Republican? No. The only way to be heard then, is to withhold their votes.

        That said, I’m throwing in my lot with Fenty, Rhee, et al. I’m way more pragmatic than my devil’s advocate side is.

  • K St.

    Mayor is a no-brainer; it’s a guy endorsed by Williams vs. a guy endorsed by a felon. My question is who to vote for for council chairman? I always thought of Vincent Orange as an afterthought and a joke but the Post endorsed him right after they endorsed Fenty and I typically agree with the Post’s Editorial Board on local issues.

    What do others think about the Chairman’s race?

    • Jim

      The chairmans race is one where I don’t particularly care for either of my choices. That being said, Im voting for Vincent Orange. Kwame Browns personal debt crisis highlights the exact kind of thinking this city does NOT need; an attitude of “spend the money and then figure out a way to pay for it later.” with the city budget as precarious as it is already, there’s no way in good conscience I could vote for someone who can’t live within their means to run a multi billion dollar city budget.

      Truthfully, even after reading the post piece on Orange, I still don’t get a sense that I know anything about him; but I’d rather vote for the unkown than I object to.

      Oh yeah, Im voting for Fenty. This city demands a mayor who doesn’t mind hurting feelings to do the hard things for progress. When Gray says he wants to include everyone, to me that means stifling inneffectiveness. Too many politically important people have a lot invested in the status quo in this city; people being upset is just a sign that were moving forward.

      • sb

        Yeah, I’m at a loss on council chair. Someone who can’t manage his own finances, or someone who opposed gay marriage because it’s not in the Bible (dude, parking tickets aren’t in there either so why don’t you outlaw those?) and whose big claim to success is Pepco.

      • neener

        Kwame Brown is a really nice and friendly guy. It killed me to learn about the financial stuff because anyone who is pro-Neener usually gets my vote. I probably will vote for him though, despite…

    • JohnGalt

      Moten is a felon that has endorsed and campaigned HARD for Fenty. On top of that, he’s gotten rich in the process. Both candidates are flawed. We need Cheh or someone west of the Park (read: white). At least they won’t be throwing parties on the city dime or getting unqualified cronies contracts.

    • Darth Fabulous

      Here’s an easy answer: 11 of the 12 councilmen endorsed Kwame Brown for COuncil Chair. That means vote for Orange.

    • NotScott

      I hate to admit it, but the endorsement thing is making me reconsider.

  • CH Pappy

    Cheh??? The last thing DC needs is a knee jerk liberal from the richest and safest section of the city as mayor… Talk about out of touch.

    What DC really needs is a black republican mayor. FYI, I’m a registered DEM and tend to vote with my party.

  • What I LOVE about Fenty is his absolute lack of a politician personality. We criticize insincere politickers, we even coin the word to characterize them! Then we get mad when a politician comes along who doesn’t play the phony, glad-handing game. Fenty is hard as nails and a great influence on this city, its youth and politics in general with his work ethic, stoic and persistant get-it-done manner. More of them should behave this way. Mathematically speaking Gray = Vincent Price X (Marion Barry – Snoop Dogg) divided by Omar Shariff

  • Anonymous

    Fenty is destroying this city. He deserves to lose, and honestly, to rot in hell.

    I don’t love Gray, but I consider a vote for Fenty to truly be a vote for the Devil himself.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t like Gray but won’t vote for Fenty because of the outrageous frat brother corruption and arrogance and lack of thoughtfulness in addressing city problems—it’s all about being a bull in a china shop—which would be good if the bull actually knew what he was doing and had some grand plan.

    Instead,talking to people who worked for Williams, Fenty has dismantled every operational structure that Williams tried to put in place to get a handle on the DC bureaucracy. People still working for DC (and these are people I respect, not the typical do-nothing DC bureaucrat) think Fenty is a mess. I think Rhee is a huge self-promoter that cares only about eventually being Secretary of Education. Her decision to go on NPR and politicize her job by saying that she probably wouldn’t stay if Fenty left told me everything I needed to know about her character—because someone who was truly “all about the kids” would never have done that.

    With that said, I do think Fenty’s efforts to rid the city of the stranglehold of the public employee unions has been admirable, but they have done it in such a knee-jerk way that it won’t stick. Take for example the DC ambulance driver whose gross negligence in transporting mugged NY Times reporter David Rosenbaum was the promixate cause of his death. Fenty fired her but she was reinstated because they didn’t follow the DC procedural manual in firing her. They ought to be rewriting the procedural manuals and lay the groundwork for easier employee terminations—not just shooting from the hip.

    No, Gray is not any different and may be worse when it comes to the unions. And I have lived here for over 15 years, so I remember Barry full well. But I view Gray as a placeholder mayor—especially given his age—in order to keep Fenty from gaining a Barry-like stranglehold on city politics. And maybe in four years a better candidate—(or even a chastened Fenty) will emerge.

    –signed, Disgusted Voter

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you that Rhee does is a self-promoter, has ambitions far beyond being Chancellor and that the kids are not her first priority.

      However, I think that this can actually work in DC’s favor. If she “fixes” DCPS she will go down in history. She will have virtually a blank check to go anywhere and do anything because she will have already accomplished the impossible.

      I think that is why this job appeals to her and she won’t go running off to California, because of her ego and her ambition.

      • JohnGalt

        You are banking a lot on a lady who follows people with much more experience than her that have been unable to do it. By all accounts, Janey was a better administrator. He could not do it. Rudy Crew tried everything in MIA Rhee is doing. He could not do it. There is a reason why.

        • neener

          Rhee made much more identifiable progress than Janey did. She kicks his ass. How can you dispute this? Janey wrote plans he could never implement. Rhee implemented plans she modified.

          • JohnGalt

            Ok. Since all are subjective. I’ll give you Janey. But Rudy Crew was far and away the favored savior pick. Remember, they begged him to come by offering nearly 500K/year. Any explanation as to why he has flamed out in his last three superintendent positions?

  • justathought

    I’m white, college educated, and have no friends. Think I could be a good mayor?

    It seems like it would be so easy if you just didn’t do anything illegal or morally dubious. DC is on the rise and you basically don’t even have to steer. Money is coming in and this rocket is going to the top.

    Why can’t we elect neither? I say if ever there was a time for a philosopher king this would be it.

    • justathought

      Oh and the white thing wasn’t racist, other posters really just seem to want a white mayor for some reason (i don’t get that one).

      • Ragged Dog

        Which post are you referring to that mentioned a white mayor?

      • Anonymous

        The current mayor is half-white. That should be enough to please everybody.

        • JohnGalt

          But look who Fenty hangs around. Skinner. Omar Karim. Moten. I bet Cheh wouldn’t be hanging around the likes of felons and ne’er do wells like Moten, Skinner, Lomax, and Karim

  • x

    Just so y’all know, Kojo Nnamdi is having both candidates on his show for an on-air debate next Wednesday!

    • Tres

      Great tip, thanks!

  • djdc

    I think it’s too bad that one has to register as a Democrat to vote in the primary, the election that de facto decides the mayor. I don’t even know if I still have time to do that.

    And I can never remember if it went Pratt-Dixon or Pratt-Kelly or just Pratt or Pratt-Dixon-Kelly. Oof.

  • Nate

    My vote is for Fenty. I value style over substance, and I’m not looking to have the city regress.

    I know Marion Barry and the dealer in my back alley (not joking) would love to see Fenty gone, but I for one want to see DC move forward, by using the latest educational research, asking more of our civil servants, and applying aggressive policing techniques.

    Of course the most laziest, most complacent teachers (those on the bottom 1 percent have no excuse) and city employees have been infuriated that have to meet standards and be held accountable for their performance. The rest of us should be thankful, though. Despite a terrible economy, DC is on its way up. Building continues, and businesses own. Teachers work harder and police make our streets safer than they previously were.

    If some people (and its important whom) are stirred up and angry, I think that’s a good thing. Do you not think Giuliani ruffled some feathers when he turned NYC around? Or Jack Welsh when he revolutionized GE? Good leaders don’t care about appeasing everyone. They may be assh*(&s, but they get the job done, and that’s what Fenty has been doing.

    • Nate

      Oops. Obviously, I meant to write that I “value substance over style” b/c even I can admit Fenty’s style leaves much to be desired. 😉

  • MichelleRD

    Back in the days when Petworth was still NotYetWorth and before he was mayor, Fenty came to a neighborhood meeting convened to address crime issues; my memory of what he did there pretty much sums up how I feel about him now.

    We were a couple of weeks in front of the election and despite the fact that I’d seen him on my street more than any candidate for anything ever, I was not a fan and was not planning to vote for him. Too young, too arrogant, too inexperienced to plow through the DC government morass I’d been watching with disgust since the late 80s. He showed up to the church on Grant Circle that night nearly an hour late. He looked tired and a little pissed off, as if he’d been dragged there against his will. He sat down, crossed his arms over his chest and with his head down and eyes closed appeared to be sleeping through the 15 or so residents who stood at the mike to rant about everything from drug trafficking to abandoned vehicles to the “stupidity” of flashing lights on police cruisers. The response from the MPD respresentative was pat, ineffectual and wholly unsatisfying. Basically, “thanks for your concern, we’ll see what we can do.” I was ready to go, convinced that this crowd–the most diverse I’d seen anywhere else in the city–had come out for nothing.

    Then Fenty stirred, shook off the air of reverie, stood and took the microphone. For the next half hour I sat riveted as he addressed each of the complainants and outlined a plausible action step for every last one of their complaints, no matter how trivial. I couldn’t even remember everything these people had been shouting about but he’d been sitting there processing and coming up with viable solutions. He didn’t expend any breath asking for votes but he got mine that night and will again this fall.

    He’s still not a likable guy but that’s not what this city needs. My other reasons for Fenty over Gray:

    1. Schools. I was briefly a teacher in DCPS back in the mid-nineties. The dysfunction went from the top down and was so entrenched that everyone from administrators to teachers to students to parents would openly pat themselves on the back for their ability to game the system. No way to fix that mess but to raze it, crush the foundation and rebuild. I had no hope of it ever happening until Rhee and if ego is the worst thing about her, then I’m more confident than ever she’ll do what it takes to reach success. No clue what Gray will do, he hasn’t said.

    2. Crime. The improvement in the last four years is noticeable in this neck of the woods and for the first time I get a sense of competency from the leadership at MPD. Again, I don’t recall hearing Gray’s plans for maintaining safety.

    2. Vision. I can see what Fenty sees for the city’s future. I don’t have a dog and rarely ride my bike but I’ve been here long enough to see them as a welcome replacement of the brown fields and perpetually broken streets that were fixtures for as long as I’ve lived here. I get a smile on my face every time I pass the new green space on Georgia Avenue or see kids playing on the field at 11th and Kenyon. I don’t *care* how it happened, I care about the outcome. No idea what Gray has in mind for the city’s future but I want a pragmatist who’s running FOR the city, not a politician running AGAINST the best status quo we’ve seen in decades. What’s Gray’s vision and why can’t he find a way to talk about it?

  • We Believe in Fenty

    Please follow us on twitter at @webelievefenty! We will providing videos directly from the community in the near future!

  • paulkp

    As unlikeable as Fenty has been, the blowing up of the school system makes this vote a no brainer. Did you really want to not educate another generation of kids?

    Watching Fenty and Chancellor Rhee run circles around Chairman Gray made me realize that Gray is not really that smart. He is well-intentioned, but I envision sortof a feckless, finger-pointing four years if he is elected. In addition, I fear a rollback of some of the school reforms that are finally making the reality of a decent school choice for every kid.

    Hold your nose and vote for Fenty.

  • G

    A vote for Gray is a vote for Barry…

    • Anonymous

      no it isn’t.

  • Luke


    Three reasons I will not vote for Fenty.

    Bill Slover. Check out the Washington Post Article on him.

    If we really want to move away from Barry style politics, then we cannot support Adrian Fenty. He has proven that he is incapable of submitting a balanced budget – the $1.2 Billion surplus left by Mayor Williams IS GONE.

    In the meantime, Fenty’s preferred vendors (named above) are driving new Porches and pocketing $82 Million for nothing more than being unqualified fraternity brothers.

    And Ron Moten as a “Fenty Strategist” is simply a joke.

    Fenty is accusing Gray of everything he, himself is guilty of.

    A vote for Fenty provides another 4 years of absolutely brazen behavior and financial stewardship that we can ill afford.

  • Skeptic

    Dear PoP,

    You realize your polling software doe not disable the ability to simply refresh and re-vote?


    Someone mildly skeptical of the current polling results.

  • Vann-Di

    I am worried by the fact the failed mayors Sharon Pratt Dixon and Marion Barry support Gray. Many old time DC power brokers such as Rock Nueman, Vernon Hawkins, Cora Masters Barry, and Linda Cropp all support Gray. I do want the District to return to the old way of backroom deals and people with jobs in local government for life


  • KC of DC

    Where is all of the affordable housing for low income residents? That was one of Fenty’s promises his first time out. Low income residents are seeing all of these gorgeous condos going up and can’t afford to live in them. Also, wouldn’t it be easier to model DC public elementary schools after Lafayette, instead of closings and firings? I also noticed how Bruce Monroe Elementary was torn down to build a playground. That doesn’t seem quite right to me.


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