Adrian Fenty: The Jerk D.C. Needs Why you should vote for an unpopular mayor. And lots of other endorsements, too.

For all their divisions, supporters of Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray share a basic sense of what 2010 means. A vote for Fenty, mayoral fans argue, continues the District’s metamorphosis into a more cosmopolitan, upscale city. A vote for Gray, admirers of the D.C. Council chairman imply, stops The Plan dead, putting all those whiny newcomers in their place.

Both versions are phony. The demographic changes polarizing the electorate mostly reflect things no mayor controls: Interest rates, changing tastes, suburban commutes. To historians, the story of early 21st century D.C. will be that, after decades of shrinking, the city began to grow again—in the process acquiring a richer, whiter population than it had between World War II and the 1990s. Same goes for many other big cities.

The main job for the next mayor—and the mayor after that, and the mayor after that—is managing this change. Demography may be destiny, but plenty of variables remain, not all of them racially polarized: Will non-rich longtime residents feel like they benefit from an expanded tax base? Will newcomers believe D.C.’s schools, parks, and government live up to the higher standards they experienced elsewhere? Will Washington grow by embracing big-city density? Will it attract immigrants as well as yuppies?

On these questions, neither candidate is perfect. Fenty has bungled the job of making poorer residents feel a part of the new D.C. Admirers say the only people who call Fenty a jerk are the hacks he’s ostracized. But as emotionally satisfying as it is to hear him elicit wails from the Washington Teachers Union, even a half-smart pol knows that gratuitous dissing of D.C. employees and insiders can play as disrespect for the African-American population that comprises most of those employees and insiders.

Fenty, we now know, isn’t a half-smart pol. When he came to chat with Washington City Paper, he dismissed concerns over a shady parks contract for his failed dry cleaner pal Sinclair Skinner by saying an independent city authority cut the deal and he didn’t have the statutory authority to override it. True! But he had the moral authority. Is he too dumb to realize that sort of muddy message, even on an absurdly overhyped scandal, hurts his ability to sell major initiatives? It’s not that Fenty failed to sell his administration; until his poll numbers tanked, he didn’t even try.

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All the same, public policy matters a lot more than even the most idiotic communications. And on this front, it’s hard not to love Fenty.

Building on Anthony Williams’ efforts, Fenty has overseen a dramatically more professional D.C government. There’s a reason that even polls predicting a lopsided Fenty loss reveal happiness with the general state of things. Thanks to appointees like Gabe Klein, Harriet Tregoning, and Cathy Lanier, the city’s agencies are more responsive to citizens than they’ve ever been.

With schools, Fenty’s been even more ambitious than his predecessor. Michelle Rhee’s assault on the D.C. Public Schools status quo will go down as a rare attempt to raise local institutions above the low standards Washingtonians once accepted. Rhee shares Fenty’s abrasive traits, but in her case, it’s easy to be more charitable: When it comes to reforming a failed school system, you either go monomaniacal or go home. It’s naïve to think that you can do it while simultaneously making nice with the old guard.

Making nice with the old guard, alas, is a key Gray tactic. He hasn’t argued that Fenty is a failure—to the contrary, he makes Fenty’s case by failing to criticize the mayor on substantive policy grounds. When we asked Gray to name three Fenty policies he’d overturn, he struggled to come up with one, dinging Fenty (politely) for giving short shrift to the University of the District of Columbia in his education efforts.

Instead, Gray’s message is about style, about how a mayor must be more “respectful.” What does that mean? A pretty good hint came in the form of an e-mail asking fired city employees to contact Gray’s campaign, presumably to testify about how disrespectful Fenty is. Gray distanced himself from the e-mail, but not from the idea that his election means bureaucratic job security will be a top priority again at the Wilson Building.

Polls have shown the courtly Gray benefiting from voters’ conclusion that Fenty is a jerk. Content with riding that into office, he’s settled—wisely—on a strategy of being all things to all people. Take transportation: He wants to get people out of their cars. But he wants cheaper parking, too! Or growth. Should a D.C. mayor push for new residents? “Yes, within limits,” he says. “I don’t know what those limits are at this stage.” Thanks for clearing that up.

The “yeah, but...” strategy is especially pronounced on education: Gray wants school reform, he says. “Aggressive reform,” even! But when it comes to school closings and teacher firings—“aggressive” in action—he is Mr. Passive. Contrast his rare shots at DCPS’s status quo ante with the ample time he’s spent on pusillanimous process questions about Rhee’s personnel decisions.

When Gray came to visit, he extended his noncommittal approach beyond policy questions. Who, we asked, did Gray think was the best mayor D.C. has had under Home Rule? They’d all done some good things, he said. Who was the worst? “I’m curious as to why you even ask that question,” he said.

Well, Vince, we’ll tell you. For a dozen years, D.C.’s government has generally, if imperfectly, gotten better at doing its job. There are a bunch of reasons for this, but the biggest one may be the way two successive mayors made it clear to employees that a sword of Damocles hung over them. Fuck up, and you just might get fired. This wasn’t true under Marion Barry, who’s endorsed you, or Sharon Pratt, who first brought you to government. So, yeah, it’d be nice to know just who you admire.

When people evoke Washington’s bad old days, they don’t just mean mayoral drug arrests. For locals, the strongest memories are of smaller ignominies at the hands of a nincompoop government—one that screwed up minor DMV tasks and major social-services responsibilities alike. One Gray supporter lamely told us that bureaucratic competence was now “baked into the cake.” People once said the same about incompetence! Campaigning on his style, Gray hasn’t proved he’ll watchdog against revived ineptitude—especially if watchdogging means acting like… a jerk.

Gray is a decent man, someone who won’t embarrass via personal escapades and won’t stoop to Barry-style race-baiting. He holds himself to high standards—higher, often, than Fenty. But until we hear him explain how he’ll hold others to those same standards—and until he demonstrates that he has whatever combination of managerial toughness, personal ruthlessness and out-and-out misanthropy it takes to exorcise those who don’t measure up—he ain’t our guy.

Vote Adrian Fenty. He’s a jerk. But he’s your jerk.

Related:
The Coolest Political Poll D.C.'s Ever Seen

D.C. Council chairman Vincent Orange

You know who we’d really like to endorse for D.C. Council chairman? Vince Gray! Gray’s plodding style is a good fit for a body that only recently started to provide a real check on the executive branch. Alas, he’s not on the ballot, and the two candidates who are—At-Large Councilmember/boating enthusiast Kwame Brown and former Ward 5 Councilmember/Pepco lobbyist Vincent Orange—are no great shakes.

The choice serves as a reminder of the cowardice of D.C.’s political class, many of whose more appealing members should have run in this race. Nearly all of Brown’s colleagues have endorsed him, which means only that they think he’s going to win and don’t want him to mess up their comfortable status quo. That’s reason enough to oppose him.

Vote Vincent Orange. If you must.

At-Large council member Phil Mendelson

This year’s Democratic primary for at-large member of the D.C. Council could provide proof-positive that the District, dynamic new image notwithstanding, houses the world’s dumbest electorate. How else to explain the fact that a relative unknown named Michael D. Brown is running ahead in the polls—mostly because voters confuse him with popular incumbent Michael A. Brown, who’s not on the ballot?

The reasons for opposing Brown go beyond concern for hometown dignity. They mainly involve Phil Mendelson, the stellar public servant who’d be ousted in the process. A legislative workhorse who shepherded initiatives like gay marriage into law, Mendelson is also kind of a quibbler, which can be irritating to mayors and other ambitious types. But he’s in a job that suits his persnickety skills.

Vote Phil Mendelson. And follow all of the appropriate procedures when you do.

Ward 1: Bryan Weaver

In Ward 1, on the other hand, Jim Graham’s case for re-election doesn’t involve wonkery so much as omniscience. Graham’s been the go-to guy, his campaign says, on every issue—from potholes to crime to development—where residents must interact with their government. After a term that saw Graham’s chief of staff arrested on bribery charges and Graham’s service as Metro board chairman come under prolonged attack, is that any reason to keep him?

It might be, if not for the fact that Graham is facing a challenge from Bryan Weaver, a four-term advisory neighborhood commissioner and all-around good guy. Weaver can match Graham’s constituent-service hustle—and brings some worthy experience battling slumlords and reaching out to at-risk kids—and he comes without much of the incumbent’s baggage.

Vote Bryan Weaver. And watch the video!

Ward 3: Mary Cheh

Ward 3’s Mary Cheh faces no primary challenger. This is kind of a drag, since we’d have liked to see how she handled her loathing for the mayor while facing a challenge in her Fenty-loving ward. We’ll concede that most of the problems in their relationship were Fenty’s fault—it’s his job, after all, to keep hard-to-please legislators on the team. Still, if Gray wins, Cheh will have done her part to drive Michelle Rhee out of D.C. We gladly endorse her based on a stellar legislative record. But it’s a pity she won’t have to answer for this on primary day.

Vote Mary Cheh. She’s the only choice. (Literally.)

Ward 5: Kenyan McDuffie

In a crowded field, Ward 5 Democrat Harry Thomas, Jr. may be the most vociferous opponent of reforming the way D.C.’s government does business. Unfortunately, his highest-profile opponent on primary day is Delano Hunter, whose high profile stems in large part from the fact that he’s the darling of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage.

Thomas’ brave vote in favor of gay marriage is one of the few reasons to applaud his term in office. There will be more reasons to applaud four years from now if voters pick Kenyan McDuffie, who would bring a wonkier style—and fewer ties to the status quo—to the job.

Vote Kenyan McDuffie. Spouses of any gender welcome at the polls.

Ward 6: Tommy Wells

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells rocks. He’s a champion of transit, the environment, and the walkable city of lively neighborhoods that we hope D.C. will become. For all that, he’s facing a challenger who’s throwing around class-politics code-words to imply that Wells’ urbanist concerns are only important to the rich, Capitol Hill parts of the ward.

Bullshit. Living, breathing, walking neighborhoods—and the transit and commerce that enable them—create jobs and reduce crime, which are basics for everyone.

Vote Tommy Wells. And please, walk to the polls.

D.C. Congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton

With most of the electoral attention on the Wilson Building, the race for D.C.’s congressional delegate has largely been off the radar. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s critics—including primary opponent Doug Sloan—slam her for failing to win a vote for the District despite a large Democratic majority in Congress. But with Republicans poised to gain in November, chances are that whoever is D.C.’s delegate will no longer worry about playing offense.

Instead, the task will be defending the District against members who want to use us as their legislative petri dish. Norton was stellar at that during the last GOP majority. And her power and influence have grown since then: She chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure economic development subcommittee and is the No. 2 Democrat on the subcommittee that oversees District affairs. Bottom line: It would be really dumb to boot someone with Norton’s grit and know-how—not to mention her seniority.

Vote Eleanor Holmes Norton. While you still can!

D.C. shadow representative Mike Panetta

Without status or paycheck, D.C. shadow representative is an appropriately obscure office. Challenger Nate Bennett-Fleming, a young Ward 8 native, is the most passionate speaker about the District’s lack of voting rights. But the incumbent, political consultant Mike Panetta, has done more than speak passionately. In creating the Free and Equal D.C. Fund, a PAC funding home-district challenges to members of Congress who mess with D.C., he’s actually spoken the one language national pols understand: The language of money and fear.

Vote Mike Panetta. But more importantly, contribute to his PAC.

Do you want to take our endorsements to the polls? Download and print City Paper's Handy Voter Guide (PDF).

Our Readers Say

Thanks for the advice, but Im going with Gray.
You all lost all credibility with this one line "....dynamic new image notwithstanding, houses the world’s dumbest electorate".

Considering the entire US electorate is like this. Alvin Green, South Carolina???? ring a bell? Your endorsements actually come off more condescending than the Washington Post. Congrats!
This is kinda naive: "Bullshit. Living, breathing, walking neighborhoods—and the transit and commerce that enable them—create jobs and reduce crime, which are basics for everyone."

It's the other way around.

For most of the Ward, it's the most obvious thing in the world: Can't have living neighborhoods when the neighbors are locked down by unemployment and crime. Dealing with serious social programs for those in need in Ward 6 will make every part of Ward 6, including the sidewalk in front of Tune Inn, more liveable. We need a CM who recognizes that, somebody who supports the streetcar but whose hair is on fire when it comes to dealing with other priorities.
You lost ALL credibility with this endorsement. Most of the Fenty scandals and investigations have come about as a result of the City Paper's great reporting and behind the scenes investigations. Your stories have largely led many progressives to vote Gray instead of Fenty. And now, you can honestly say with a straight face that you are endorsing the man? You can't be serious and you can't really expect us to be influenced by your empty endorsement. Additionally, the City Paper is clearly not ready for the big leagues. The Washington Post has always been in Fenty's corner so there were no surprises when the paper endorsed him for Mayor and the paper has taken its tongue lashings as a result of the endorsement. City Paper, on the other hand, enjoyed creating all of the drama that has lead Fenty to be in the position he is now (fighting for his political life) and now you don't have the balls to stand behind what should be the only logical conclusion after years of reporting on his cronies, backroom deals, lawless attorney general, incompetent and unqualified cabinet members and board nominees, stonewalling press office, refusal to do interviews, delayed or unfulfilled FOIA requests and suspicious international trips. Yep, the City Paper is sooooooo progressive and brave!! You have FAILED.
Its hard to get upset when it doesn't matter. Jesus himself could endorse Fenty and nothing would happen to his poll numbers.

And when he is finally indicted in the fall every paper has to remember this was your pick, but unlike Dixon or Kilpatrik there was lots of evidence he could go to jail.
Fentys not "my" jerk! He's just a jerk who's turned his back on dc residents who voted for him. Gray will do a great job and he's got my vote. Fenty fooled me once shame on him fool me twice shame on me.
Well this is it you guys are no more journalistic then the Washington Post. I agree with mission impossible you where on a roll but to condone Fenty's behavior is unbelievable. I no longer have a paper to read . I hope that you fail just has the Washington Post is going to do and I wouldn't even use it to line my trash can. I am still voting for Gray. So long idiots. Jason I hope you can sleep at night no wonder Mike left.
Maybe you can convice Mr. Wells that Ward 6 is more than Capitol Hill, because I've yet to see tangible results from him that extend beyond the Hill's borders. All one has to do is sit in a community meeting with him and you'll feel his disdain for many of the Ward 6 residents that don't reflect the "new" Washington. He's a decent councilman, however, he could be a great one if he showed true leadership. We all know the demographics of the city, specifically Ward 6, are changing, however, there's no need to create an "us vs. them" climate. Mr. Wells thrives at this. He's master of the photo-op and loves to stake claim to achievements that are not his own.

Progressive my ass. When the city is bankrupt and I am sure it will after Fenty gives all the money to his cronies but it is okay as long has he didn't hurt your ward.
I love a good piece of satire. I will assume that this is satire.

What I find particularly interesting is the assumption that even after 12 years of aggressive reform, that a person has to be a "jerk" to improve city services. I think you can be an effective manager without having to act like an "jerk."

I also think that it would be counterproductive to have "jerk" ranting and raving about RESULTS when we are in a very precarious financial situation. When the budget hit the skids last year with the revised revenue projections, it was the council [i.e. Gray] that made tougher decisions about how money should be spent.

The problem that I have had with most of the editorial board endorsements this year is that they reach a conclusion then work backwards through facts, cherry-picking the information that fits best. That seems to be the case here. One fact was completely ignored. The city is about to hit the financial skids. Who will lead in that environment. I am not sure that it will be Fenty because 800 million of the debt is on his watch and he is consistently mucking up the budget.

In the Wards, I have no idea why I shouldn't vote for Thomas other than for the element of another candidate being "wonkier." Really? Why would any paper use that adjective as a reason for an endorsement.

I normally enjoy the city paper's writing style because it informs and entertains. But with this endorsement, I don't see it doing much in the way of informing. It paints this very broad brush of Williams and Fenty = progressive government and rather narrow brush of Gray as against all progress without any real review of why that belief is held.
I'm actually surprised, given the tone of the snark in LL land. But sums up my perspective pretty well.
Too little, too late, CP. Your lazy reporting and commentary ever since "one city" announced his run for mayor makes your eleventh hour half-assed endorsement of Fenty meaningless. You blew it big time. Don't say i didn't warn you about Gray.
Well what can be said for a paper that has now turned its own back on itself?
Much of what you have touted over the past 4 years has been the mistakes, scandals and mis-steps of Fenty and now you are asking up or telling us to vote for him again. What is this any way a ploy to keep your readers amazed?
Fenty has failed at the simplest of jobs, that of HONESTY! His frat brothers are wealthier than they were 4 years ago, Peter Nickels lives in Great Falls and holds down a major appointment that requires residency, so he thumbs every citizen every day as he crosses the bridge into the city. Parks are better and schools are questionable at best. But the bottom line is the financial impact of all these quick improvements we will not know for years to come. I suggest to you that there is no doubt that Fenty has over spent by probably millions of dollars. Michelle Rhee is best known for not being able to crunch the numbers. So we can probably expect DCPS to be over budget at least 40 million, and everything else put together I expect at least a 34 million dollar deficit before it is all over. Let's face facts folks, all these new things, renovations, refurbished and looking pretty has cost a lot of money. Fenty had a surplus coming in and the city is practically broke! Read it and weap. Money is tight and it's the administration's fault!
Fenty has no tack in dealing with people and their needs. If he doesn't see it then it doesn't exist. He is rude, arrogant, divisive, and could care less about most of us. He is both selfish, condescending and lacking the general culture that one should expect in their mayor. He's walked on way too many people in this city to now try and ask to be forgiven. He has not been careful about making friends and bringing people on board with his creative method of change. Instead, he has pushed his way to gain control be right, wrong or indifferent of nearly everything he could control. He is now on the slide down and will likely be leaving office come January 2nd. All due to his inability to garner the support that could have carried him through for a long time.
Vince Gray has single handedly carried the agenda of the Council in a productive, and professional manner. And that has been no easy accomplishment. Given this group of losers we have down there. (Not all of them) Economic Development has slacked, the small business owner is struggling. Kwame Brown has little of nothing for anyone other than his friends. If not for Phil Mendelson, Mary Cheh and David Catania I don't where we would be. These three have keep the lid on several far out approaches to change that we simply didn't need and couldn't afford. Tommy Wells has been nothing less than a waste of oxygen. His oversight of Disability Services Administration has been like something out of the funny papers. He's been asleep at the wheel! David Catania kept tabs on a badly needed hospital and medical care for citizens east of the river. What a mess that would have been if it failed. Health Care for everyone in this city would have been effected. Mary Cheh has been instrumental in safeguarding some bad and weak legislation. Parking fees has tripled, fines have doubled and city services on any given day can nearly be in 911 distress. Simple things have been over looked. There are way too many guns on our streets, and too little being done to get them off. Our Children are not safe and drugs and gangs are too established for our own good. At the end of the day we need a mayor that will prioritize things a whole lot better than Fenty and his entourage has done. Vince Gray will orchestrate through leadership. Something that Fenty hasn't been able to do yet. I say vote for Vince Gray and get us back on track and let Fenty grow up and when he matures let him come back and run again in 20 years. But not again in 2010. We need basic services taken care of first, and our disabled citizens thought about at a time when they too are struggling. We need affordable housing and fairness in the job market again. Vince Gray will bring all these qualities and with a refined style.
Well if your commentors are representative, then we are all screwed.

Thanks for the sound endorsement of Mr. Fenty and, as a Ward 5 native and current resident, Mr. McDuffie.
Fenty is the man for DC. Sure, it would be idyllic if he could be nicer and more collaborative, but then again that would require the opponents of progress also be nicer and more collaborative. Just look at how long it took to get a new teachers contract (with a 20% pay raise!) to get a sense of how nice and collaborative the old-school institutional DC suckage is. And that's just one example out of a thousand.
At the end of the day, this election should hinge on the classic right track/wrong track question.
Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?
If yes, be absolutely sure to vote Fenty.
Has CP sold its sold to GGw? It seems like it!

I've already voted, and so what I will say is that next on the docket should absolutely be the police force. We need to turn our attention to that on a massive scale, much like the city has done with the schools. God, it could be so much better! Imagine, a city where cops, wait for it .... get out of their cars in Winter!

(I recommend listening to This American Life next time its on. Talking about padding police and crime stats.) I like Cathy Lanier, at least the image she projects. I don't know how much of that is reality.
A few things.
If Fenty being an asshole is irrelevant, why devote a cover story to it? You pretend like it never happened- "Instead, Gray’s message is about style, about how a mayor must be more “respectful.” What does that mean?" This is dishonest and cheap, you devoted an entire issue to explain what this means! Is this a page-view thing? Ew.

Also, the whole tone of this is icky. Basically the "old guard" (read: black people) need to get over the fact that this isn't their city anymore. This is doubly offensive because everyone @ the city paper is white.

Seriously- of all the writers and editors, how many are not white? I'd love a reply to that.

Yuck.


Blue Pen: maybe you should actually look at the numbers: the murder rate is the lowest it's been in almost half a century. I'm not sure why you feel that we need to double down on crime when it seems clear that we're already on a pretty positive path.
"Will non-rich longtime residents feel like they benefit from an expanded tax base? Will newcomers believe D.C.’s schools, parks, and government live up to the higher standards they experienced elsewhere? Will Washington grow by embracing big-city density? Will it attract immigrants as well as yuppies?"

The answer to the first question is no, not if Fenty is mayor again & the 1st 4 years of his administration are any indication. The last 3 questions will have the same answers regardless of who is mayor.

Basically you're endorsement implies that a vote for Gray is a vote for Barry-era cronyism and incompetence, but you've got no evidence to back that up.

The non-wealthy majority of the city wants a better DMV, schools, and police responsiveness, but we also resent the mayor balancing the budget on our backs (cutting funding for mental health services, affordable housing, daycare, etc). The mayor just doesn't seem to get that he has to serve ALL of the city's residents.

Also, Vincent Orange is a corporate shill. Ick.
Are you serious? Wow. I'm speechless.
This is the most disappointing City Paper article I've read in the many, many years I've being reading this paper. I've always loved the edginess of City Paper, and have long considered it the best source for local investigative reporting. But I've also known that City Paper---like the Post in many ways---has never fully understood or embraced the city's large, working class black communities. The endorsement of Fenty---who is an out and out crook---against the squeaky clean Gray, is proof positive that City Paper is protecting the perceived interests of "its kind of people."

City Paper rightfully dissed on Marion Barry---dubbing him hizzoner---during his reign of corruption. But it was easier for City Paper to do this because Barry didn't reflect City Paper's base. Not so with Fenty. He has built his short, failing mayoral career on a platform of appealing to the business community, and wealthy whites in upper NW and Capitol Hill. His remarkably amateurish "Chancellor" of education, is the most salient example of this. Her idea of reform is to move working class black kids attending out of boundary schools, back into their boundaries, and appealing to white families to take their place. One can argue the fairness of such a policy, but it would be hard to argue that this is not the foundation of her strategy. So many in the wealthy white communities embrace her, in spite of the fact that she is an inveterate liar and a political dunce.

City Paper shows its true colors---lily white---by giving Barry the hell he deserved, while endorsing Fenty, whose behavior ranks him neck and neck with hizzoner.
Well, now I remember why I stopped reading your bullshit after the Cropp/Fenty election. CP was truly an embarrassment to the women of this city. To show Mrs. Cropp walking down the street with her dress caught up above her rear end was distasteful and not at all funny. I thought you guys had matured in your thinking, but I see that has not happened. It will never happen as long as you young white guys are writing poop like this and spreading it all over a city that you know nothing about. Take your damn paper and wipe your funky little asses with it.

You have shown your readers what racist, whinney, self-serving little bastards you really are by merely suggesting that this city should continue to be controlled by a bi-racial jerk and an Asian cold hearted bitch that want to accomodate ingrates like you. Tommy Wells didn't do shit while he was on the school board but look confused all the time, just as he does now on the Council. Vincent Orange is looking for power and name recognition and yes, I guess he would make a good NB for you to write about when he screws up. Michelle looked like a wet duck out of water when she arrived in this town with her Walmart dress and too big faux patent leather shoes. This city has been good to her ass and totally disastrous for others who loss their jobs because of her lies.
You all stink with fowl oders of racism and a secret desire to banish all people of color out of this city. Well, we ain't going no where and we ain't reading your shit anymore.

Readers, don't be fooled by these immature jackasses. CP answer Walk's question. How many non-white writers and editors are on staff in your funky little building?

GRAY ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!! KWAME STAY THE COURSE AND COMMAND THE SHIP BABY!
Ask ANY DC cop... white, black, Latino and they will tell you flat out that Fenty does not support them one bit. Fenty hasn't given them a pay increase since he has been in office, doesn't give the police department the time of day. And the hiring and training of new police officers has been almost completely frozen. It's a miracle that crime is down in DC... with the lack of support and $$ the police department has gotten since Fenty has been in office.

Fenty needs to go....
Sure you're right! Fenty is a racist who hates blacks, latinos, asians, whites, himself, his kids and his wife. I hear he even was born in Jamaica.

Back off, haters. You won. Start working on your applications for one city money.
Which City Paper compiled these endorsements, Omaha? Especially who WCP has choosen to endorse from and for Ward 5. Let's start with VINCENT ORANGE.....was WCP around when VO was Councilman for Ward 5? He won't win against KWAME BROWN in Ward 5!
Most of Ward 5 wants and will get Kwame Brown. Perhaps OPPORTUNITY will knock elsewhere for Orange.

KENYON Mc DUFFIE for Ward 5 Council......Wow WCP.....how thought provoking!
KATHY HENDERSON MAY be on the ballot...WCP hasn't spotlighted her since the Cover
Story of her giving an applicant the run around to enroll in a training program.

FENTY CENT....NO MORE YEARS! Enough is enough of what even Washington Lawyers call an EMPTY SUIT!
DR PHIL would probably say: Lighten up Dude! how can you expect others to like you when you don't even like YOU?
FENTY'S STAFF don't have favorable memories or comments.
FENTY has likely blown any chance of landing any position w/the Obama Admin.

WCP...NOTE WELL...I campaigned almost daily for FENTY and this is NOT the same person from the 06 campaign trail, maybe that was his represetative??

We'll all look forward to the September 16 issue of WCP
WCP, really, is this a publicity stunt?
Is their a Literary Award Catagory for endorsing a self-proclaimed JERK?
WCP, WTF.....?

PEACE
You know, there is a certain hilarity in overt racists like "somebody" decry racism. Too funny.
@John: it's not funny, it's rather depressing. After all, Gray's "one city" mantra has been subliminal race baiting for years. Worked last time againt the white lady Patterson.
This is your point of view and that is all it is. I have to admit that I am disappointed in CP and you have lost a lot of value in my eyes. I don't see any of the substance that I expect from CP in your write-up of Fenty. Peter Nickles, funding to Peacoholics, the refusal to provide residents with information that we have a right to, the denial of FOIA requests, etc. Fenty has run a closed government and this is very serious to me. How could this not be mentioned by a newspaper? You all get information and it's your job. Do you have any idea how hard it is for some residents? No successes of Fenty and his administration excuse a mayor who refuses to respond to those who live in his city. Not ever. Is this the opinion of the majority of CP staff?
@John and Truth Hurts speak when you have something worthwhile to say. You obviously do not know or understand the feelings of people who have stood by and watched this city change for some and not for others. Even Marion Barry thought DC was a sleepy little town filled with suckers when he arrived. Why do you think he stayed? Everyone is not as pityful or stupid as you may think, just angry as hell and tired of the soft coded racism that exist in this city. Let me be as overt as a pimple on your faces, but it doesn't change what I am feeling about a few people who think they can decide for others what ought to be. So, laugh or be depressed it's your choice, just let me make my own overt decisions.
WCP here is an education for you and your readers.

You stated that, "Building on Anthony Williams’ efforts, Fenty has overseen a dramatically more professional D.C government.Thanks to appointees like Gabe Klein, Harriet Tregoning, and Cathy Lanier, the city’s agencies are more responsive to citizens than they’ve ever been."

WCP why didn't you just actually write instead "Thanks to the white people Fenty has hired...". Why not also mention Peter Nickles, Dennis Rubin, and on and on and on because the vast majority of people within Fenty's cabinet are white.
So you're saying DC residents have "a dramatically more professional D.C. government" thanks to the newly hired white people? Good move on your part WCP. Very smart. About as smart as dumb-ass, shit-face Fenty.

The fact is that prior to the Pratt, Williams, or Fenty administrations the majority of D.C. government employees were competent. Had the D.C. government always been predominately white, I am quite sure there would not have been a peep from any powers that be in this city about local government employees being incompetent regardless if many were.

Fenty largely illegally fired more than 5,000 (not 2,500 as Fenty states) African American DC government agency workers and DCPS teachers from their jobs unrelated to performance to hire white people with latinos and others benefiting as well from the ill-developed job vacancies nefariously created by the Fenty administration. This action was not only unethical, but illegal racial discrimination. Fenty deliberately sought to whiten DC government agencies and Michelle Rhee sought to whiten DC public schools. These actions have also caused the hugest racial divide in this city likely not seen since before the civil rights movement.

My mother used to always tell me it is not always what, but how things are done.

Fenty is an extremely confused half-white boy who right now professes, as he and his wife recently did during an interview with WUSA 9 Anchor Bruce Johnson, not to have a clue why he is so vehemently hated. I'll answer this question for this terribly stupid young politician and his equally clueless wife.

Among many other valid reasons, Fenty severely irreparably harmed and ruined the lives of thousands of African Americans and their families by firing people from their jobs unrelated to performance and during the worst economic crisis since 1929. He threw thousands into long-term unemployment, loss of long-earned financial savings, job-loss related home foreclosure, involuntary first time dependency on social services, and deteriorated health as a result of debilitating stress and despair.

Fenty is a stinking dead fish in the water regarding his likelihood to again be elected mayor of DC. WCP stating that "Fenty is a jerk" isn't nearly a serious or accurate enough description of hizzdishonor. Demon Boy Fenty came straight from hell and a substantial number of DC residents are very much hoping he dearly suffers well beyond losing the DC 2010 mayoral race in every conceivably painful way possible
You write about all the scandals and this is truly scandalous. I am so dissappointed.
Just because you don't agree with Truth Hurts and others doesn't mean that they don't have anything to say. I disagree with Truth a lot. Yet, I welcome his and other's opinions. People this election has become very ugly [I would say that both campaigns are to blame for this]. If you don't like what somebody has to say, think about how or if you can change their mind.
Tom, I'm not sure I said we needed to "double down on crime." I said we need to turn our attention to the POLICE force. The way it's run. There are a ton of improvements that need to be made.
I hate jerks! Glad I have a huge SUV and plenty of registered family members to accompany me to the polls!

Larry - I share your sentiments.
Why is it that the writers at the City Paper are so much better than the Post? I'm just talking about the writers' skills, not the positions they take.

I'm so tired of "the murder rate's the lowest it's been in 40 years" argument. That's the trend nationwide, including in major cities. To which my BF replies -- wow, Fenty is even more impressive than I thought; he's lowered the murder rate throughout the entire US!!

So, um, how long has the CP ed board lived here -- sounds like less then 4 years. He may be your jerk but I don't see why he should be my/our jerk....


Thank you city paper for your thoughtful endorsement. Many people often say they wish less politician-like people would run for office. People that can actually get something done, and that man is Fenty. Granted, he comes across poorly often - because he doesn't say the politicianly thing - he reacts in the same way most people would (I'm working hard and frustrated as much as you are, and I don't have the answer you want right now. But, I'm working on it. Hard.) Even given that, I don't understand how anyone can believe that Fenty is not working extremely hard for the betterment of DC, with much more success than any administration before it.

I'd much rather have a man that gets the job done, than one that pays me lip-service.

Fenty has produced fruit - He works hard at achieving results - He cares about the future of DC. Bravo City Paper for spelling that out.
I hope that you all were being sarcastic. Why would you endorse someone who beats their wife? While he was an ANC commissioner and the current chief was commander of the Fourth District, police were called to his home not once but twice. There were visible signs of abuse present on his wifes body. However, the then commander ordered officers not to arrest him. Check this information chronologically if you doubt its substance.

As for the murder rate being the lowest in forty years? Save it. This is not the doing of MPD or Fenty. I will agree that the police have a much better image today than they did fifteen years ago. However, this image was fixed during Anthony Williams era and under Chief Ramsey. I am not knocking the current Chief as she seems to be continuing what was fixed before her. The dip in the murders can be attributed to the economic boom in the city. The public housing facilities in the city have been torn down or converted into condos. Section eight residents receiving vouchers are being displaced and moving as far as North Carolina, local counties (p.g. included) refuse to accept the DC's housing vouchers to house any more of DC's section 8. As a result cities such as Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Charlotte has seen crime rise.

As far as crime being down. Again this is the economic boom. The justice system in DC is a failure and joke. The DC Superior Court is a circus. It is a revolving door for criminals and the Prosecutors are weak. The Judges are far too liberal. Someone arrested for carrying a firearm today will more than likely be out tomorrow. They will not properly prosecute someone who has been arrested with a large amount of drugs. For instance anyone with less than 19 bags of crack is considered a user. This system is a joke.

Oh yeah. Vote Gray.
Thanks City Paper for saying what so many in this city won't - voting for Vince Gray means going backwards to the Marion Barry days when living in D.C. was like living in a third world country. We're finally beginning to look and feel like a real, cosmopolitan city. This city makes me sad. Maybe I should move to Silver Spring.
Ho-hum. WCP claims to hate the Post and yet seems to love the Post's logic. Too late.
"But until we hear [Gray] explain how he’ll hold others to those same standards—and until he demonstrates that he has whatever combination of managerial toughness, personal ruthlessness and out-and-out misanthropy it takes to exorcise those who don’t measure up—he ain’t our guy."

Perhaps this is a challenge to Gray to do something tough, ruthless and misanthropic in the few days left before the election to prove himself to the City Paper.

Or perhaps its purpose is to bait the new Mayor Gray into doing something disgusting and totally out-of-character so the City Paper has a juicy story to write soon after the election.

Maybe toughness, misanthropy and ruthlessness are indicative of CP's management style.

Maybe the whole thing is satire.

The possibilities are endless.
Brian you are a D**bA$$. There is fare too much money and the field has changed for it to go back to the Barry days of old. I see you are a DC (new by the way) resident.
I will not read your paper any longer due to your endorsement of Fenty. The Baltimore City Paper has more sense than your editorial board.
"- voting for Vince Gray means going backwards to the Marion Barry days when living in D.C. was like living in a third world country."

Dear Brian - stick around for 6 months into the Gray administration, and if your mind has changed from this completely hackneyed and fear-mongering opinion based on no facts whatsoever, then please come back and say you were wrong.

I will do the same.
Wait, it's not the first of April, so why is the City Paper playing us for fools?
I've spent years reading about Fenty's numerous misdealings from the City paper and for it to endorse him, given the lengthy track-record of pretty shitty things done either with Fenty's knowledge, blessing, or both, is simply telling of what a piece of shit the CP has turned into.

Thanks for wasting my time with all of those stories about Moten, Skinner, Nickles, Lomax, Karim, and Fenty himself. At least we always knew where the Post was. So much for integrity. You all are just fucking hypocrites.
@dr, or anyone else.

Please tell me what is so great about Gabe Klein. I get that he likes bike lanes and wants streetcars and that he has planned both poorly. But what is it about him that makes him a great Department head? i'm not asking this in a baiting sense, I really want to know. Because those are the two things that I think of when I think of him, and he sort of bungled those. So besides his ideology, what is he bringing to the table?
Ummmmmm.....what happened to wards 7 & 8?! You must be a jerk just like Fenty. You obviously have an unfinished article here.
Also, I'm not entirely clear why we should keep a moron of a mayor because some of the people who work for him are good. This isn't Iraq or the Fenty administration circa 2006. Gray is not going to throw everybody out because they worked for Fenty. So please stop pretending like everyone who supports Gray is a welfare queen or a dimwit who wants to see Marion Barry back on top. The more I think about the tone of this as well as the tone of the Washington Post, the more I feel completely insulted.
@Hello: The councilmembers in 7 and 8 aren't up for re-election.
WAKE UP AND PUT AN END TO THIS NIGHTMARE. FENTY IS FULL OF SHIT AS IS THIS PAPER. WHAT HAPPENED TO WARD 7 AND 8? NOT IMPORTANT TO THIS PAPER IS IT IS NOT TO FENTY EITHER. MAYBE THE WCP HIRED HIM TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE. WHAT WE NEED IS UNITY PEOPLE. ONLY WAY CITY WILL BE BETTER. ONE CITY.


GRAY
"Truth" is NOT me. He/she ought to post under a different monikor. I suggest "libelous tortfeasor". Far more accurate.
ORANGE? You've got to be kidding me. You endorse Orange for council chair because Kwame Brown's colleagues have endorsed him? That's the most ridiculous, un-serious thing I've ever heard. Having a chair that works well with other members is a good thing, not a fault. I live in Ward 5 and we were delighted when Orange decided to run for mayor because it meant he'd no longer be representing us. Orange got a tiny fraction of votes from Ward 5 in that election from people who'd seen him in action pushing for casino and slots on NY Avenue. Don't buy it folks.
Uhh, does the Fenty endorsement stand after confirmation of vote buying by his campaign?! Come on guys -- the ends DO NOT justify the means!
Too late City Paper, I already voted! It was for Vince Gray and Kwame Brown. Gray made sure that the budget was balanced. He stood fast and shut the cash register just this year when Fenty overspent those hard earned DC tax dollars by $11 million and was looking for more. Fenty tried to blame Vince and the Council for being mean in trying to protect the taxpayers. But, some people are so easy to forgive him. I say to all of you let Fenty manage your money, but not mine. Fenty is so quick to point the finger when the finger should be pointed at him! He is also famous for twisting the facts and numbers with an assist from his Merlin -- Nickles. Hey Brian, move to Silver Spring, DC doesn't need you. Hey, Jennifer, you surely were not around when Fenty's predecessor Mayor Williams put this city back on firm footing after General Becton and the Control Board. Now Williams was more effective than Fenty, plus he was professional with the cronys like Skinner and Moten that you have somehow grown to love. Fenty said that DCPS had all the money it needed and that it was mismanged. Then he got control and came back looking for more money and got minimal results with Michelle Rhee at the top with it. She is a union buster who got a big fat bonus for doing so. She did nothing for Ward 3 schools since they were always desirable. She has been demonstrating how talentless she really is by contracting out the management and chartering out Ward 8 schools -- making the corporate heads of out of town outfits rich! Also, Jennifer, Ron Moten is looking for a new woman after this campaign is over and you seem like you are ripe for picking -- clueless and gullible! Hey Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 along with other people with integrity across this city from Wards 1, 2, 3 and 6, run out to the polls like you did for Obama and elect VINCE GRAY, MAYOR!
Like the Post, the City Paper thinks it can undue all the damage its done with a single endorsement. When we're waste-deep in the inevitable backslide a Gray administration is going to bring, we won't forget which paper(s) helped put us there. God dammit - this city was THIS close to an actual turnaround. Fuck you, City Paper.
@asuka,

Stop with the fear mongering. Please. Stop. If you think that journalists should not do their job, but rather parrot party lines, you should be watching Fox News. You are embarrassing yourself.
@asuka: Well put. I too won't forget the half-assed media outlets that failed to weigh in when it mattered.
Unbelievable, I have to believe that your endorsement of Fenty is more self-serving than a public service. Only someone ethically, intellectually and politically deficient as Adrian Fenty can provide the ethnically challenged staff of the City Paper with material they can pass off as investigative journalism and satire. Your endorsement of Fenty is also an endorsement of Ron Moten and Peter Nickles. If I'm not mistaken, the same rationale helped to re-elect George Bush and look where that got us.
@TH

What did media fail to weigh in on when it mattered?
Indeed, You'll have four years to catch up, don't worry. Pretty sure you're adept a googling if you want to get a head start.
HAHA, ethnically challenged. This is really the problem- being respected and having a seat at the table isn't a problem for this all white staff.

EDITOR: Michael Schaffer
MANAGING EDITOR: Mike Madden
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR: Michael E. Grass

ALL WHITE MEN NAMED MIKE- AAAAH
@th,


Vague assertions and no evidence=huh? I remember asking you for some actual facts to back up what you're saying about Gray's frat brother. You said you'd get them, but I don't remember seeing them. It's always fun to make accusations and then say that you don't have to provide evidence and that other people need to investigate it themselves.

This subject has been brought up in the press numerous times, by the way.

I can't wait for a do-nothing job in DC's government. where do sign up, mr gray?
The telephone number for the White House comment Line is 202-456-1111. Eventually you can speak with a live person, if you wish. I let the volunteer know I supported President Obama in both the primary and general election when he ran for office. I then let the volunteer know that Baby-Fenty is a nasty, corrupt, egomaniac bully; and that President Obama should not endorse baby-fenty, because Baby-Fenty is going to lose. I cautioned the volunteer that the President won't want the press next week saying that the President had endorsed another loser.

President Obama should know not to endorse Baby Fenty. The national media would be all over this story reporting a President getting involved with a local mayoral election.
"Thanks City Paper for saying what so many in this city won't - voting for Vince Gray means going backwards to the Marion Barry days when living in D.C. was like living in a third world country. We're finally beginning to look and feel like a real, cosmopolitan city. This city makes me sad. Maybe I should move to Silver Spring."

Let me guess, you consider yourself progressive, have black friends and don't have a racist bone in your body.

If you want to live in a real, cosmopolitan city, move to New York. You must be from a small hick town in the Midwest or Pennsylvania.

I bet most of you hope that King Fenty can continue his reign, so you can speed up gentrification and push DC's black population to PG & Charles County.
I am in a state of shock. Never thought the CP would endorse Fenty for a second term. But your logic makes sense. After all, Fenty is a jerk, but he is our jerk. Its sort of like we are looking in a mirror.
@BDR:

You are hilarious.
YOUR THE BIGGER JERK FOR PICKING FENTY...NEVER WILL HE WIN BECAUSE OF OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE HE TRICKED INTO VOTING FOR HIM WANT THEIR VOTES BACK SINCE HE DIDN'T PAY THEM.....I think he called them young dumb black kids! But anyway the fed's are coming now to get fenty and CITY PAPER will end up being the biggest jerks of them all...HOW COULD YOU!
i agree with your assessment of the situation between gray and fenty. i am voting for fenty even though he lost me for awhile in the fenty-arrogance frenzy. i've lived in the city for 25 years and yes, i'm from central pa. but i live in a dynamic, diverse neighborhood here. almost can't afford it, but this place is alive and repairing itself. no time to slide back.
You Crackers in this city really stick togther. I guess you want to be journalist had to kiss the Washington Post ass to endorse Fenty to get a job with them in the future like Mike Debonner.
God, its an ugly jungle out there in comment land. Do any of these people remember the lax incompetence of every administration up until Williams? Fenty is young, and yes, at times he is arrogant. But he is getting things done. I'll never forget the day I saw him stand up against a crowd of angry taxi drivers on the corner of 16th and U. They heckled and yelled, and he said quietly "I'm just gunna do what's right."The problem in this town is that what is right isnt always popular. Rhee wields an axe because the school system needs to be fixed. The softer Gray approach will lead to business as usual in the school fiefdoms, and regression of this city.
The fact that you broke so many stories, leaves me to believe that you have many, many more; And, yet! you still come out and endorse the very person that is holding DC back from becoming more. @ the end of the day 1 Mayor or 1 School Chancellor alone are not going to change a thing all by themselves. The public has to buy in and lift the load as a community ~ unless the WCP thinks citizens are potted plants.

Consider the Mayor has not launched one initiative that uses the collective of our desire to help like in Haiti or Equator with Crisis Camps. Heck DC is one big Crisis from the budget to structure deficits in agencies with closed doors, computers and a complete lack of social media presense which is you have not notices the Intertubes are now socialmedia.

Where is DC in any GOV 2.0 CrisisData, or OpenGOv meetings, I am at many and they aren't there. The worst part is that WCP is helping to float a myth that DC is safe. HELLO in Ward 3 folks are getting robbed in their homes at night every week. There are very few people that will walk around our communities at night and if you have a babysitter she aint walkin home.

We are at the awaking of the masses understanding their collective power via social media it is then that Citizen 2.0 will emerge....

Given that this election seems to be more about Rhee and her policies, than it is about the relative merits of Gray or Fenty, I think you all would do well to read up on Diane Ravitch. Ravitch was United States Assistant Secretary of Education under both Bush the first, and Bill Clinton. Initially a proponent of so called school reform (I.e. assessment, charter schools, assaults on the teachers unions), she recently published a very persuasive book in which she completely debunked all the claims made by supporters of such measures. What statistical evidence we have indicates that teaching to tests does not improve student's competencies, that the overwhelming majority of charter schools perform at or bellow the level of the regular zone schools in their municipalities, and that the non union teachers recruited by Teach for America and other such programs, move on to careers in other fields before they can gain the experience needed to be effective educators, much less to make a substantive difference. As Ravitch writes, "The best predictor of low academic performance is poverty—not bad teachers." As a former employee, I'm sad to see the CP standing up to support someone who has engaged in such craven and underhanded union busting. Just my two cents. Cheers.
@Tom,

Unfortunately you are presuming that what Fenty does, and what you think or believe, is always right. That is pretty strong presumption. Neither you nor Fenty have cornered the market on being right, unfortunately. And until you accept that, you will be a long way from understanding why people in this city don't like Fenty.
I fear the CP is suffering from the abused wife syndrome. Think about it. CP is the perfect battered wife candidate. It’s come out in the past, critical of Mayor, chastising his sins and asks others to join in on the bashing. They are so upset that they give us all of the sordid detail and desperately ask for help against this monster. But, time to turn him in, they up and say wait… he might be all of the above, but he’s still theirs and they wouldn’t have anyone take him away from them. Sadly, they prefer the abuse.

Ok, at some point, I’m sure Amanda Hess is going to swoop in and bash me for using this analogy, but if the shoe fits…
Well, of COURSE you'd endorse Fenty. If I walked into your offices, I'm sure I'd see a mirror image of his fan base: young whites. Please. And after all you've had to say about Fenty over the past four years, you just totally flushed your credibility down the toilet. And that's exactly where I hope to see YOUR jerk (not MINE) go on Election Day.
It's discouraging that the CP has fallen in step with this ridiculous assumption that the only problem with Fenty is that he's a "jerk." I don't give a shit if the guy is a jerk. What matters to me is whether he's competent, intelligent, engaged, and law-abiding. He isn't. He isn't any of those things.

The guy is an idiot. Listen to him talk. There's nothing between his ears. He hired some good people... but some idiots as well. And he is chickenshit -- my god, how he greenwashes. DC has one of the lowest recycling rates in the nation because the head of Public Works won't pay attention to the issue. The mayor made the head of the Dept of the Environment testify AGAINST the 5-cent bag fee, against his wishes and professional judgment. The mayor raided a bunch of environmental funds for millions and millions of dollars rather than raise taxes or cut stupid programs. The mayor refuses to pay for, or implement, his so-called "commitment" to plant 8500 trees a year. The mayor won't clean the Anacostia or green the building code or support solar power. He appoints great personnel such as Tregoning or Hawkins and then hamstrings them. He lobbied against legislation that would eliminate lead paint from multi-family housing. He really just doesn't care at all about any of it. What he wants is attention, triathlons, and development.

Development is good, and beneficial to the District. But we need JOBS, a service sector, some kind of industry. When the credit markets shut their doors, real estate development does too -- and we're left twiddling our thumbs wondering how to move the local economy. Why? Because the mayor chose to invest all of his energy in real estate development. He doesn't know how to stimulate any other kind of jobs growth. He has utterly failed to do so. So "River East" continues to rot... stuck in 1985, as Jonetta Rose Barras writes... because the Mayor won't do squat to fix it.

There are just so many real problems with the guy. He shut down a homeless shelter, in the middle of the damn night -- even though the Council had passed emergency legislation prohibiting it. He imposed unconstitutional (so sayeth the court) roadblocks turning Trinidad into a ghetto. He employs a dismal failure of an attorney general and an incompetent Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. He presided over the Yusuf Acar scandal, part of the Harriet Walters scandal, and the Office of Risk Management life insurance scandal. He sends the Council budget proposals that simply don't make sense. He gives contracts to his unqualified buddies. He lost out on millions of dollars of potential federal funding. He STILL hasn't spent much of our stimulus/ARRA money! That's money we need, just sitting there, because he either can't get it done or he doesn't care, or both. He ignored parts of the Home Rule Act, offers no assistance to stop the downward slide of WMATA, and he appoints truly unqualified people to important boards and commissions (such as Lori "Missy" Lee at the Public Service Commission) *simply because they're his friends or his wife's friends.* He ought to be ashamed of that crap! He wouldn't send executive witnesses to hearings... even when his *own bills* were the subject of the hearing! WTF?!?

This isn't about being a jerk -- this is about being a bad mayor. I understand trying to make the argument that Fenty is less of an evil than Gray, or that the only important thing at stake is Michelle Rhee's continued tenure, but please stop focusing on silly shit like baseball tickets and failing to meet with Maya Angelou. That shit doesn't matter. Please focus on the mayor's real failings.
@Indeed

I think journalists should do their job IMPARTIALLY. Fenty has been on the receiving end of an unrelenting and unfair witch hunt from both the Post and the City Paper, while Gray has waltzed through this election completely unchallenged. Most of what these two "papers" have perpetrated has come in the form of op-eds, otherwise known as, "we get to say accuse or outright lie and not have to answer for it." As for "scare tactics", I leave those to the Gray campaign, which has been race-bating in an effort to frighten the city's less informed voters. "One City" my ass; just look at some of the comments on this page:

"You Crackers in this city really stick togther."

"If you want to live in a real, cosmopolitan city, move to New York. You must be from a small hick town in the Midwest or Pennsylvania.I bet most of you hope that King Fenty can continue his reign, so you can speed up gentrification and push DC's black population to PG & Charles County."

This is the kind of divisiveness Gray has been fostering. Its an old, racist play from the tired, Old Guard playbook of DC politics.

What unrelenting and unfair witch hunt? I'm sorry I must have missed this. Was it the one where Fenty moved contracts around so that his unqualified friends could get a piece? Changing homeless services administration so that an unqualified department can administer contracts? Please try to be a little more specific.
@asuka

I'm also pretty sure that the Post editorial board has gone out of its way to get Fenty re-elected.
So, Tom, let me get this right. It was okay for Fenty or his underlings to try to get away with giving away city assets through a scheme; fail to enforce the first source requirements when unemployment in parts of the city is 13%; circumvent contract rules; give bonuses to managers for suspect and unacceptable performance; and mismanage and significantly blow the summer job program budget for four years running, including giving jobs to non-residents? Yeah, Ms. Rhee wielded an ax alright by privately contracting schools out which incidently cost the taxpayers more money and by increasing the pay and numbers in central administration! She is another one that can't count or control a budget, all to the detriment of hard working citizens. You talk about incompetence in administrations before Fenty. Well the Fenty administration is just as incompetent. Special education, which Ms. Rhee can't seem to solve is still blowing a hole in the DCPS budget. You still need to pay or grease the palm of a middleman to get a permit approved through DCRA for a project. DYRS and Office of Risk Management are a mess -- talk about drive bys and insurance fraud. DOES can't seem to effectively facilitate getting citizens jobs and the Technology Office scandal cost us taxpayers millions of dollars. Yeah, Tom I think you must have bumped your head!
Wrack, here is the link to Lory Lee:

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/tag/lori-missy-murphy-lee/
Thanks for the advice but I am supporting Vince Gray, and Kwame Brown. They are the best qualified candidates. Vince Orange should of never run for Chairman of the City Council.
@Indeed

And how many articles were written about those issues, even thought the Post's own board (and the City Paper) declared that there was "no there there"? And yet the likes of Milloy (a racist and a sexist), King (another racist), Debonis, and Stewart wrote piece after piece after piece. It was a DAILY onslaught, twisting the same facts, making the same unfounded accusations.

I notice you ignored Mr. Gray's race-bating. Care to address that?
That's a well-argued defense by WCP Management of Fenty, even if the Publisher redacted whole paragraphs of unpleasant stuff. In this cruel world of suppressed by-the-word payment-rates for good writers, the publisher must have been at his ironic best to employ some of its best to write this endorsement, the debater's exercise that means they buy food or drink craft beer ..... ......this week.

And what if Gray, intellectually vigorous at 67 has a different plan: to kick ass, manage a budget, and leave a legacy of harmony, efficiency and no debts before retiring at 71? A vote for Gray doesn't mean you'll have to keep your dead-tree edition edition to be read in City Hall. It may mean that at 40, Adrian will have to grow up, maybe even go somewhere Uncle Peter doesn't come to visit.
Honestly, I haven't lived in the DC area long enough to know what it was like a decade ago, but I do know it is where I live now and want to live. I am not voting for Gray because while he might have all the best intentions in the world if you can't ever tell someone no then you can't ever get anything done. There will always be someone fighting for X and someone voting against it, and in the end when you tell someone no they will think you are a jerk, because everyone always thinks they are right. Fenty may be a jerk above and beyond that but he at least has the guts to pick a side. Even if Gray accomplishes anything it will take four times longer to do so because he will require that 20 town meetings and months of deliberation be complete before a tree can be planted. Sometimes deliberation just dilutes the message and delays the process, which just provides a half assed more expensive solution.
@asuka

I'm sorry that I engaged you if you're calling Courtland Milloy and Colby King racists. You are a moron.


@Ashley,
Whether Fenty is mayor or Gray is mayor, decisions that take place in cities will always be largely subject to consideration by the people. Fenty claims that he fast tracked projects that were already supposed to be taking place before he came into office. I have no evidence that he did so, but people give him credit for this. Many of the people who are now voting against Fenty were once for him. Then they saw him up close.

When you are the mayor, you have to make a lot of decisions. Some require thoughtful deliberation, some don't. When you see someone take the same approach for every decision, big, small, whatever, you come to question that person's grasp of his job. Fenty simply does not understand. It is relatively easy to make decisions about projects that are already in the pipeline. It is much more difficult to make decisions about say, human services. For Fenty, every decision he makes is based on what credit he gets(fairly typical of a politician) or whether he likes you and thinks that you are on his team. If he perceives that you are not on his team, he will do everything he can to make your life hell. It doesn't matter whether you are good at your job, or run an organization that benefits the community. Fenty's personality has a direct effect on his decisionmaking. And that is why people don't like him. Everything is personal to him.

If you want to live in a place where there is no consideration of the population, then move to Burma. If you want to live in a Democratic Republic, then you will get the input of the people. You choose.
Bravo "Indeed" she doesn't have a clue.
Well written Indeed! Send Ashley's ass along with Fenty to Burma! He can rule there with her as his prime lackey!
I know we are all upset but please look at the paragraph from James McBee #73. I was listening to Democracy Now and they were talking about this very thing and how Arne Duncan is not a superintendent. He is a corporatist he left the city of Chicago in a deficit he only cares about profits . Needless to say that Fenty and Rhee are giving us the hose or the ones that believe them. She is not qualified which we already know but they are just keeping poor kids from getting no higher then a 7th grade education, all they focus on is testing. And they want 4 more years of this idiot who cruise through Howard. Nothing against the school but damn. If you don't believe me do some research it has opened my eyes.
@Indeed

So you have no rebuttal. Got it. Now run along.
I have to admit, you guy's really had me bamboozled for a while, seriously, I thought that you were actually an opotion too the crap that I've been force fed by the post. I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, along with the smoke screen. The election has just been a gaging tool for you (jerks),to build your bloggesphere. Now that you've done so, you play to your base, nothing personal, just business, right, well if you've learned anthing about this town, you should know, that we don't forget when we're disrepected and that's exactly what this kind of back dooring is, with no grease.It's a known fact, that the Chairman was not going to go into specifics about his plans for the city at this junture and you're playing on it and I'm not going too hate on you for it. Just remember this, (fool me once, shame on you),you wont get a second chance cause this kind of band wagon sh*t doesn't go to well in this town, I think you're going too find that out. The fact that you would over look the total cloud of improprieties hanging over this Administation,reaks of an odor that's starting too come from the CP, to think, I had such high hope's that we had finally found a replacment for the Star and a new competitor to the WP. I am truly disheartened, but I've been around long enough too no better, real journalism is truly dead in this city. Also I wish you would stop belittling by constantly refering to this Chairman Grey's election bid as based purely on personality differences, that a very minute portion of the issues an very distorting. The Chairman very clearly points out the bases for his bid,it;s about stagnation by and unwillingness to respect the basic processes of this city. The reason we have civic association and ANCs in this city, is too have the wishes of communities heard and adhered too.Adrian Fenty never understood that simple rule, which is really a continuation of his Council day's, he never really believed in processes.He speaks of running the city like a business, what qualifies him to even run a business not to mention a multibillion dollar business, probably emailing Bloomberg for tips, this ain't NYC. I guess we found that out the hard way (huh). (Peace)
Ayy WCP, this the section of the paper called the COMICS correct!?!?

PATHETIC!
This provokes thought. Gray is the REAL eltist here, as evidenced by his stubborness in the fence matter. He has taken the basball ticket matter to heart, and is running against Fenty for personal reasons. Fenty DID get thihgs done for this city, and he deserves to be reelected. Gray will only bring sorrow to this city with his old tired ways. It's an EGO thang, people!!
"The demographic changes polarizing the electorate mostly reflect things no mayor controls: Interest rates, changing tastes, suburban commutes. "

The most naive description of gentrification I think I've ever read.
Just remember that a vote for Fenty is a vote for Peter Nickles. Think about it.
@ se resident

"in the process acquiring a richer, whiter population than it had between World War II and the 1990s"

I think you missed ths one my friend!!

Whites are just as broke, desperate and disenfrachised as blackfolk, why else would there need to be gentrification, the systematic replacement of fired black WORKERS with WHITES and the assistance of TMNT to facilitate such bullshit??!!

This recession knows NO color!
Start with fenty in 2010, end with Bowser in 2012. Both need to go! Her seat is the most wasted seat on the council and she does nothing in her ward either.
ABF - That thought is waaaaaay too scary to conjure. Go Team Gray!
Given that the Post has claimed the LL who was in the seat when most of the great and serious reporting on Fenty's scandals were made known (@MissionPossible), we will have to assume that the still-settling-in Suderman was getting queues from Madden, Cherkis et al, and give WCP a pass of sorts on this one.

A zero (who may prove a positive, TBD) is better than a negative (who will only prove a greater, more self-assured negative if reelected), which is pretty much the choice we face for mayor. Or in the case of our council chairmanship options, deciding which of two negatives will be the least potent.

The Fenty endorsement is dead-on in noting that DC bureaucracy is becoming more professionalized. Anyone who has dealt with the new crop of well-educated, workaholics who have sincerely embraced their roles knows this. The problem is that we have also seen the worst of professionalization: clever corruption (e.g. end-arounds on the city council for contracts ... as opposed to the ever-bumbling Barry driving someone to an ATM to get a bribe in-hand), a lack of transparency, and worst of all, a school system that is claiming achievements when in fact it is just juking the stats (again, clever corruption).

Because of all the great reporting of recent years -- from the reports of Rhee's fiance making grotesque advances on his female employees and Rhee playing a Michael Clayton role in the scandal to the GWSA articles and the FOIA requests that gave us a small glimpse of the monster councilmember in Ward 1 -- I will not be abandoning WCP. But this is a bit hard to fathom, nonetheless
I wrote in my blog about my experience living with Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham.
Thanks City Paper for keeping the public informed of the Fenty administration's many ethics failings, missteps (and in the vein of the Washington Post's David Nakamura on which you reported) Fenty's general disregard of the "regular people." No thanks, City Paper for your unwonted and unwanted support of Fenty. Whether you wish to recognize it or not, you have done your job too well in informing us as to why we should not re-elect Fenty. You last minute support of hizzoner is at worst a non sequitur and at best a shaky turn at satire. Wake up!

Thanks MissionPossible for stating things as they are. And to you, too, Truth. Declining crime is a nationwide trend (due to integration of local, state, and federal police services, street cameras, and burgeoning technology) and has been for years. No politician can honestly take full or sole credit for this -- and yet they do. It is the media's job (that's you, Washington Post!) to call politicians on their continual attempts to take full credit for jobs initiated or undertaken in part or total by others. That goes for schools (Rhee should bow to Janney--those initial raised test scores were his doing); budget and city services (Fenty should bow to Anthony Williams, Natwar Ghandi and the Control Board); city services (Fenty should bow to former Chair Linda Cropp and current council members who initiated park and rec renovation platforms in their respective wards.
I agree with @Pete : I was thrilled to be rid of Orange. He was totally unresponsive as my council member and totally ineffective. Why would he be any different as council chair?
He may be A jerk, or he may be WCP's jerk, but he's Not the jerk who is gonna be the next DC Mayor.
Watch the jerk get dissed (HILARIOUS):

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local-beat/_He_Did_Not_Endorse_You___Washington_DC.html
The Mayor can be a jerk, if he can be an honest jerk. However, these demonstrate that our jerk is a liar:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-opinions/2010/09/mr_fenty_and_the_banneker_cont.html

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2010/09/bill_slover_challenges_fentys.html

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips/2010/09/10/bill-slover-goes-after-fenty/


How can Fenty supporters defend this activity? How can the City Paper endorse this activity? This is not about personalities, it is about how our city is being run, and to whose benefit?

I'd love to know how many commenter IPs are unique compared to the number of comments.
Welcome to Washington, Mr. Schaeffer. I've noticed a distinct improvement in the online and print versions of the City Paper in the couple of months since you moved to Washington, but your maiden editorial is a dud. With all due respect, you need to look beyond Ms. Barras' clips over the past three months in the Washington Examiner for an accurate portrayal of Fenty's regime. Like the editorial board of the Washington Post, you might look over the reporting your own reporters have done over the last three or so years. (Let me add that I appreciate that you are not apparently imposing "message discipline on you reporters. Best wishes as you and your family settle into Washington and learn a bit more about the city, and thank you for providing the opportunity to comment.
And Vincent Orange? Please. I's one thing to cater to the ruling economic interests and another to go compltetely into their tank.
Sorry. The previous message should have rea" "And Vincent Orange? Please. It's one thing to cater to the ruling economic interests and another to go completely into their tank." Thank you.
Went to a Gray event today. The audience was a rainbow- well integrated, representative of ages, sexes, sexual orientation, and race. Mayor Williams's mom was there. She is TOO THRU w/Fenty's claims of credit for her son's original ideas and work. I'm with her, WCP- Fenty has outstayed his welcome. BTW, Mr. Sliver was there, too...
I meant Mr. Slover, as in Bill Slover. Fenty is so wrong for what he did in that case.
Does anybody actually know how many people voted in the last Mayor race? Seems to me the election is all about turnout, who can bus the must voters to polls in the wards where Gray has the lead. The folks in the Fenty wards will find their own way to the polls. Those folks are hard set to not let Gray win and they will turn out. Barry was famous for bussing his voters to the polls and there was no way to beat his bussing machine. Things have changed. A couple thousand extra votes bussed in to vote may be all either candidate needs to win.

Vote for Gray and spend the next 2 years with a government in disarray as he tries to replace every competent leader put in office over the last 12 with cronies from an era by-gone. I Cropp would have beat Fenty, I would have moved out of this city. While Gray is not a "move out of the city if he wins" candidate, having him as mayor will mean a complete transition of government back to the old days of DC Government (you can refer the article for that definition).

I agree 100% with the City Paper. I am baffled by the anti Fenty rhetoric and it's shallowness. Of course, that is America. Most folks here are completely ignorant of how government works or what it takes to move a city forward. It is all just rhetoric, banting, pointless, meaningless rhetoric.
Fenty may be City Paper's jerk--a "newspaper" written by an all-White staff--but he ain't mine. Out with Fenty and out with this Metro rag.
What a lovely surprise from White City Paper! Maybe some gentrifier will dig it out from the crevices of a sweaty Metro seat and enjoy.
@Patrick, I totally agree with you on the ignorance displayed by some of the folks in this city, not to mention their not knowing how government works. But don't forget to include yourself and Adrian Fenty in that catagory because for one, he really doesn't care cause nothing relevant existed before he got there, and two, government works the way the (King)says it should work. It's folk like you that can not see beyond steriotypical bullshigety, that really stagnates the process of building a truly inclusive living environment in this city. Try honestly opening your mind to what's really going on around you, so that you won't wake up one morning wondering where you are. Ask (Bill Slover), how shallow the thinking of DCs citizens is when it comes to this Mayor.Polarizing people like yourself are not good for this city, you need to check yourself.
Anyone know where I can board a Gray van and pick up a gift card? Gray's supporters probably aren't working out of the Giant parking lot anymore.
Wazzup w/WaPo and no ability to post <p><b>comments<b><p> on today's front-page Marc Fisher story.
TH- the video has been discredited and removed. Turns out that one of the woman "buying" the vote is actually a Fenty supporter (who also happens to be in the recent Moten/GoGo Fenty support video in full Fenty regalia). This is pretty pathetic on Fenty's part.
Dear WCP,

Over the past few years, I've followed your coverage of Mayor Fenty's sordid,dishonest and genuinely appalling treatment of the city and its residents. Your stories were well-written, informative, and hit the nail on the head so hard it saw stars. And as time went on, and the Post's glaringly obvious love-affair with Fenty became harder and harder to stomach, you still cranked out story after story detailing his blunders and voicing the frustrations that many in the community could not.

As a former student employee in the Summer Youth Program, it felt great to see the utterly ridiculous ways that many of us were treated by Fenty and his minions displayed in the Paper for everyone to see. The program was mismanaged on every conceivable level, and it treated all of the kids and college students in the program like thugs, lazy bums, brain-dead idiots or worse, like we didn't exist at all. (I almost wish I had sent in the tip about the massive fight that broke out on the floor of the convention center during our orientation after being herded downstairs like cattle and moved into color-coded pens to await "instructions". Fear of intimidation by the mayor's goons got the best of me, I suppose, but I digress.)

So the fact that after all this time, you suddenly decide to come out for Fenty feels like a slap in the face. My only true question is "Why now?" If you truly believed that Fenty was an ideal candidate from the beginning, why spend years, countless reams of paper, and gallons of ink and toner to bring us any of these stories, when in the end, you were just going to Mulligan everything and jump on the Fenty bandwagon?

All you've done is reinforce the sad truth about local news coverage that many of us have had to live with - that telling (and printing) the truth means nothing if you're not willing to stand by it, regardless of the outcome or who it makes look bad in the eyes of the public or your investors.

I know that my comments on this board probably won't mean much to you; They'll be chocked up as just another whiny reader hiding behind the guise of the Internet, and quickly discarded. But even though most of the comments here will just become fodder for the post-election threads, it still won't change the fact that you had the ability to cut through all of the crap and grime in this election by standing strongly behind your stories, and you chose to throw it all away for a "jerk".


I hope you're happy. Your readers sure aren't.


Signed,

An SYEP survivor and former WCP reader
Phil Mendelson is a POS who will finally get what he so richly diserves tomorrow for assisting in making DC less safe. Screw him and screw the progessives who support him from the safety west of the park.
Racist Dogs, I can't believe that you all endorsed Fenty.
@ABM: Don't know who is right/wrong on this one (and really doesn't matter now). Enjoy your victory party and please stay involved in the political process.

Remember that it's important not to demonize those who disagree. I too will try.
@SYEP: Your well-written diatribe against CP's courageous endorsement of a good man who will lose tomorrow doesn't pass the smell test.

You have not earned the right to speak for CP's "readers". Go away and stop this fake b.s.
Good grief, are there ever a bunch of racist (wardist?) commentators. Screw you people. You know who you are.
thanks much for the input. I must admit I am stunned at the outrage people have against the mayor. He's no Tony Williams, but he no Marion Barry either. He gets my vote, and Mr. Gray, should he get elected, will get my prayer. I love this city and don't want to move, but I will in a heart beat if the education system does not continue to improve.
@ TripleBee: WELL SAID!!!
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