Muriel's Vetting Who is Muriel Bowser, and is she ready to be D.C.'s next mayor?

Photographs by Darrow Montgomery

Muriel Bowser exits her black Lexus SUV after parking on Georgia Avenue, and a man approaches, shakes her hand, and tells her she has his support in next year’s mayoral contest.It’s an auspicious start to the Bowser tour. I had asked the Ward 4 councilmember to drive me around her haunts to help give me a better idea of where the District’s would-be next mayor comes from and what she’s really like away from the Wilson Building. Bowser told me she could give me an hour and instructed me via text message to meet her at the corner of Georgia and Randolph Street NW where a new Safeway is being built—a symbol, she’ll say right after the supporter is finished praising her—of the progress made under her watch on the D.C. Council. Once the man walks away, I joke that his timing was too perfect to be a coincidence and that she must have paid him.

As if on cue, a second man approaches Bowser.

“Our new mayor,” he declares.

“Only with your vote,” Bowser replies.


Welcome, D.C., to the 2014 mayoral contest, already well underway. Yes, this week just saw Councilmember Anita Bonds win a special election for an at-large seat, the latest in a seemingly endless string of citywide campaigns in the three years since Mayor Vince Gray beat his predecessor Adrian Fenty in the 2010 Democratic primary. But the real show starts now. Democrats—who still make up 75 percent of the city’s electorate—will pick their nominee on April 1, 2014, barely 11 months away. And while Bowser is the only declared candidate so far, it won’t be that way for long.

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells has formed an exploratory committee and will likely run. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans says he’s running. (He hasn’t taken any formal steps toward a campaign yet.) Councilmember David Catania and former City Administrator Robert Bobb are also potential candidates.

And then there’s the guy who has the position now, Gray, who clearly loves his job and wants to run again. He misses no opportunity to tout the city’s remarkable growth as proof of good things happening in his administration.

Yet Gray’s been politically wounded almost from the beginning of his administration by allegations that his 2010 mayoral bid was comically and wildly corrupt. Three people associated with his campaign have pleaded guilty to felony charges for either lying about payments made to nuisance candidate Sulaimon Brown or playing a part in what federal prosecutors say was a straw-donor scheme and a massive “shadow campaign” that skirted campaign finance disclosure rules while pumping more than $650,000 into Gray’s election effort. The federal investigation is ongoing, and it would be shocking if more people aren’t charged. It’s just not clear who or when.

How all this factors into Gray’s decision whether to seek re-election is unclear. He’s refused to say whether he’ll run or even when he’ll announce his choice. From a strategic point of view, it makes little sense for an incumbent not to announce early, lock in campaign donors, and try and scare away competition. But he hasn’t done any of that yet.

As for Bowser, 40, she thinks the end result will be the same whether Gray decides to run or not.

“I just don’t think he’s the future,” says Bowser, who currently occupies a bizarre territory of being a presumptive front-runner while also being widely unknown to most of the electorate.

If you designed the perfect candidate for a D.C. mayoral election at this moment in the city’s history, you might come up with someone a lot like Muriel Bowser.

An African-American native Washingtonian who can appeal to longtime District residents who feel threatened by the city’s rapid growth? Check. Bona fides with white voters west of Rock Creek Park and in gentrifying neighborhoods elsewhere who supported Adrian Fenty and Michelle Rhee three years ago, many of whom now feel their votes against Gray have been validated? Check. A woman in a city where women tend to vote more often than men? Check. A home base in vote-rich, kingmaking Ward 4? Check. Scandal-free? Check.

“If I was building a candidate for mayor, you can’t do better,” says political consultant Chuck Thies, who supported Gray last time around.

But outside of political circles, Bowser’s still mostly unknown. A Washington Post poll from July showed that two-thirds of the city’s registered voters had no opinion of Bowser (which is a more polite way of saying they probably have no idea who she is). The “no opinion” view cut across races, ages, and incomes.

And many of those who do know her, including Council colleagues who have worked alongside her for the last six years, don’t know Bowser that well. Councilmembers say she’s as reserved behind closed doors as she typically is in public. When I mention to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, who has known Bowser since she was a child, that I found her to be a bit of a mystery, the four-term mayor quickly agrees.

“She is a mystery,” Barry says.

Which is where my tour with Bowser comes in. It’s an early step in what will likely be a sustained PR effort during the next year to introduce voters to their next potential mayor.

With her friend Everett Hamilton driving, Washington City Paper’s photographer riding shotgun, and Bowser and me in the back seat, we drive around parts of Ward 4 so Bowser can show me developments—the Safeway on Georgia Avenue, new senior homes on 14th Street—that she’s particularly proud of. Then it’s off to North Michigan Park in Ward 5, to the home where she grew up and her parents still live. Bowser is eager and engaging when it comes to talking up her hometown’s various neighborhoods. (If she were to quit politics for a career as a realtor, she’d probably do quite well.)

But when it comes to her personal and professional life, Bowser is much more guarded. Efforts to get her off the official script prove futile. And that’s a problem, because that script—youngest child of a loving home, good student, insurance claim representative, mid-level Montgomery County government bureaucrat, ANC commissioner, not-flashy Ward 4 councilmember—is kind of dull.

During its short history of self-rule, D.C. has tended to pick mayors with compelling narratives. Barry was a rough-and-tumble civil rights icon, Tony Williams was an adopted bow tie–wearing outsider who rescued the city’s finances, Sharon Pratt took on the Barry machine while seeking to be the first black woman mayor of a major U.S. city. Even socially awkward Adrian Fenty had his triathlons and his multiple BlackBerries.

The narrative peddled by Bowser’s critics and supporters of her potential challengers, though, is that she’s a bit of an empty suit—Fenty’s handpicked successor in Ward 4 whose ascension in city politics has more to do with luck than skill, who has an unremarkable legislative record, not much executive experience, and has never had to either take a punch or throw one in a tough campaign. Spending an hour with Bowser while she recounts how she never got in trouble as a child, won kudos from her bosses as a young State Farm employee, and is proud of all the recent development that’s occurred in Ward 4 during her term (even though a glance at all the construction sites around the rest of the District makes clear it probably would have happened no matter who was in office) don’t do much to dispel those critiques.

At one point as we drive around Brookland, Hamilton tries to be helpful and urges Bowser to talk about her varied tastes in music, which she has mentioned a couple of times in public speeches. “I love steak dinners, Jay-Z, the B52s, and Nirvana,” Bowser had said at her swearing-in ceremony earlier this year, just before revealing that her favorite movie was Forrest Gump.


So dry was the Bowser tour that a few days afterward, her political advisor Tom Lindenfeld calls and says the candidate is not happy and wants to try again. Turns out that introducing herself to the city might be harder than Bowser thinks.

Bowser had been much more at ease during her carefully choreographed campaign kickoff last month. Speaking on her parents’ front lawn home in North Michigan Park, Bowser promised the crowd of 100 or so supporters that under her leadership, D.C. would have “the most responsive and the most innovated government in the entire world.”

The event felt like a class reunion for Fenty’s supporters, who milled about on the street outside the Bowsers’ house with big grins on their faces while Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” blasted over loud speakers. Bowser’s campaign chairman, former Councilmember Bill Lightfoot, and campaign treasurer, Ben Soto, had the same roles in Fenty’s campaigns. Lindenfeld was Fenty’s political advisor before working for Bowser. All that was missing was Fenty, who has all but disappeared from local politics since losing the 2010 election.

Even without Fenty around, the former mayor will cast a long shadow over Bowser’s campaign. He chose her to be his replacement on the Council when he was first elected mayor, back when he was wildly popular and won every precinct in the city in the 2006 Democratic primary. His campaign staff, including fundraiser John Falcicchio, went to work amassing more than $400,000 for the little-known Bowser in a special election in May 2007.

Bowser, who was twice elected as an ANC commissioner in Ward 4 (she’s lived in Riggs Park since 2000) and volunteered for Fenty’s campaign, became his Ward 4 campaign coordinator during the 2006 race. A product of Catholic schools, she graduated from Elizabeth Seton in Bladensburg before going to Chatham College, an all-women’s liberal arts college in Pittsburgh. After briefly working in insurance, Bowser moved back to D.C. and enrolled at American University, where she received a master’s degree in public policy. A job in government was always the plan, Bowser said; she just initially didn’t see it being elected office.

“Franky, I thought I would be in an agency somehow, directing the agency,” she says.

One former top Fenty campaign aide, who asked not to be quoted by name discussing a potentially sensitive matter, says Bowser didn’t distinguish herself as a great campaign worker, and Fenty’s top advisors were puzzled when he announced he was backing her for his seat in a special election.

“Our faces went like, ‘What the fuck?’” the former aide says. Fenty quickly curbed any possible dissent, the advisor says, saying, “I don’t want to hear another word about it. I’ve already made up my mind.”

Bowser won with 40 percent of the vote, beating 18 other candidates for the open seat. Though she’s quick to credit Fenty’s support for helping her win, she isn’t much more helpful in explaining how the former mayor became her patron, saying only that she and Fenty had a private meeting where they both decided that he would back her candidacy. What specifically did they talk about?

“I’m not going to tell you,” Bowser says, adding that there was nothing scandalous or shocking about the conversation; she just doesn’t want it made public. “I’ve probably not told anyone in six years.”

Once elected, Bowser was a solid Fenty ally on what was often a Council at odds with the mayor. Yet after Fenty’s defeat in 2010, in which Ward 4 went heavily in favor of Gray, Bowser was able to emerge from Fenty’s shadow with little difficulty. She faced no real opposition in her 2012 re-election contest, easily winning the primary with nearly 65 percent of the vote against five opponents. Bowser also showed that she can raise plenty of money with Fenty out of the game, pulling in more than $350,000.

But it’s one thing to raise money against a field of nobodies and quite another when potentially running against an incumbent mayor. Bowser recently sent out a fundraising email listing her early givers, none of whom are major donors whose names would scare Gray.

Bowser says she has no plans to minimize the influence Fenty has had on her political career. In her still-young mayoral campaign, Bowser has borrowed from past Fenty campaign themes and rhetoric, particularly when speaking about the need for a “laser”-like focus on improving the city’s schools and speeding up the city government’s metabolism. But she and her supporters are quick to try and draw distinctions between Bowser and her political patron.

Bowser, supporters say, is more approachable than the standoffish Fenty, who lost re-election in large part because of the dim view voters, particularly African-American voters, had of his personality.

“Her personality is just warmer than Fenty’s is,” says Josh Lopez, a former Council candidate who worked on both Fenty mayoral campaigns and is very close to Bowser. (He stood on stage with her as she was sworn in to her second Council term earlier this year.)

Bowser will likely need plenty of charm when she introduces herself to voters east of the Anacostia River. Longtime Ward 8 activist Phil Pannell says Bowser’s mostly an unknown entity in his ward, the city’s poorest, and should expect “healthy skepticism” from voters who feel that they are often ignored once a politician gets elected.

Bowser says she’s eager to convince the skeptics and that her emphasis on constituent services explains why she’s not as well-known around the city as some other politicians. (Whether or not she’s done a good job depends on who you ask. Her supporters say she’s been an ever-vigilant helpful ward representative; her critics say her office has been unfailingly unresponsive.)

And where Fenty—or more precisely, his consigliere, Attorney General Peter Nickles—launched a political war against the city’s old guard of operatives, lobbyists, union leaders, and others who have been hanging around District government for decades, Bowser is much more at home with that crowd.

A few weeks before she launched her campaign, Bowser went to a birthday party for Barry at his Wilson Building office. While there, she posed for a picture, flanked between Barry and lobbyist David Wilmot, which Barry promptly posted on Twitter.

“Nothing like celebrating another year with old friends--David Wilmot and @TeamMuriel,” Barry wrote.

Bowser’s father, Joe Bowser, was a longtime ANC commissioner who served as Barry’s Ward 5 campaign coordinator during the former mayor’s early races, according to Barry. Lately, Barry says he’s been doling out advice for mayoral candidate Bowser and says he may well support her campaign, which could help her garner votes east of the river. And Wilmot, one of the city’s top-billing lobbyists, has been a fundraiser for Bowser’s past campaigns and can often be found in her office.

For a candidate whose major campaign plank is restoring public trust in city government, being associated with that pair might prove uncomfortable. After all, few in D.C. associate Barry with good government these days, and Wilmot is the city’s ultimate powerbroker and lobbyist. He also has extremely close and unexplained financial ties to Jeff Thompson, the alleged financier of what the feds call the illegal “shadow campaign” that helped Gray beat Fenty. (Neither Thompson or Wilmot have been charged with any wrongdoing.)

But Bowser doesn’t see any dissonance between positioning herself as the reform candidate while maintaining close ties to the city’s longtime pols and powerbrokers, even those with less than stellar reputations.

“You have to respect the whole city, whether you’ve been here a long time or whether you just got here,” Bowser says.

Whether voters eager for change agree remains to be seen, but it’s not the only reason to question just how committed Bowser is to cleaning up District politics.

She hasn’t taken the lead on thorny ethical issues on the Council and is slow to criticize any of her colleagues. She did not join the initial chorus calling for former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. to resign, even after it was almost certain he had stolen city funds.

An ethics bill Bowser shepherded through the Council, which she lauds as a key legislative accomplishment, has been panned by good-government advocates as doing little to address the pay-to-play culture in city politics. The bill created a new ethics board that is supposed to be more aggressive in ferreting out political wrongdoing and put disclosure requirements on potential slush funds like inauguration and transition funds. But the real work of addressing campaign finance problems remained untouched. And the bill only fell to Bowser because then-Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown reshuffled committee assignments as way to punish Tommy Wells for investigating Brown’s choice in city-funded automobiles.

Bowser’s also opposed efforts to limit the outsized influence a few deep-pocketed developers or business interests can have in campaign financing. During the 2010 race, she told listeners of the Kojo Nnamdi Show that she was “very proud” of her huge campaign hauls. But the city’s since come to learn that not all of those donors may have clean hands. At the beginning of her first campaign in 2007, Bowser received more than 50 donations of $500 (the maximum allowed) on a single day from individuals and corporations with ties to Jeff Thompson, including Jeanne Clarke Harris, who pleaded guilty last summer to being part of straw-donor schemes. Her 2008 campaign received at least 25 donations from donors with ties to Thompson, making her one of the top recipients of Thompson money currently on the Council.

When I’ve spoken to Bowser about an independent investigation or my own reporting that raise serious questions about whether Fenty’s associates Omar Karim, Sinclair Skinner, and Keith Lomax may have benefited from pass-through construction companies, Bowser’s been quick to dismiss those reports.

Ethics reform, for Bowser, appears mostly limited to getting Gray out of office.

It’s the Bowser tour, part deux. We meet at Ted’s Bulletin on Barracks Row for breakfast. Sure enough, a few minutes after we sit down, a man sitting at a nearby table blurts out: “I’m probably going to vote for you.”

This time, Bowser is ready to be far less guarded. Since a new poll has come out showing that the majority of District residents favor decriminalizing marijuana, I ask Bowser if she’s ever tried pot.

“I’ll just say once,” Bowser says, before adding “Oh my God!” to underscore the fact that she can’t believe what she just said. “It just made me fall asleep,” she adds.

That wasn’t the only confession. “I’m going to tell you something nobody knows about me,” Bowser says. “How’s that?”

Bowser then explains her master’s degree in public policy at American University was supposed to be something more. She’d completed all her coursework for a Ph.D., but took a break before writing a dissertation and never went back to do it. “I regret it a lot,” she says.

“I told you my deepest, darkest secret, are you happy?”

It may be the Forrest Gump of deep, dark secrets, but maybe it’s a start.

Our Readers Say

Muriel in 2014!!!
Adrian Fenty in a brassiere. And that was not a compliment.
Good writing, Alan. Fine piece. Take care, pal.

You know who...
A totally empty suit. I prefer grandpa Gray over her, and I'm a white newcomer...
LOL@DCDude...I'd prefer several people over her, and I'm a black long-term resident in her ward.
I liked Bowser early on and would like to support her going forward. Given what I've learned about Thompson, Wilmot, and other pay-to-play lobbyists' tawdry history in DC politics, however, I won't back any candidate who takes money from lobbyists. Pass legislation banning lobbyists from bankrolling politicians, as numerous other jurisdictions have done, or keep your dignity and don't accept money from lobbyists (as in Silverman's campaign). Do neither at your political peril.

Honest, educated voters are waking up and demanding reform. We're eager to make history by electing candidates who reject pay to players. And our numbers are growing.
So she's a quitter that couldn't quite delivery the mail. Took a break ?? Yeah right aka dropped out... ! LMAO
Miss Bowser seem to be shy or aloof and she's lacking social skills. Believe me when I say it, Josh Lopez is another leech still riding the coat tail of his Kappa Fraternity brother Adrian Malik Fenty and Miss Muriel. In other words, Josh Lopez is a butt kisser making sure he's going to get a paying job on Muriels campaign. I live in Ward 4 in 16th Street Heights and I don't know nothing about Miss Muriel and I never see the lady in my neighborhood. Things I would like to know about a candidate, are they married, have children, and what are their political views on issues like public safety, housing, employment, healthcare, education, immigration, overcrowded apartment buildings, mental health, and the homeless? Policitians lie too much for me. They make promises that they don't keep. I voted for David Grosso to get Michael Brown out of office and he has never responded to any of my emails. You see, white, black, purple, or green politicians are all worth cow DO DO.
Let's be honest... I mean truly honest... Muriel Bowser is an extreme lightweight who is trying her best to capitalize on the disgruntled Fenty supporters and the current Mayor's 2010 campaign investigation. She is NOT qualified to be handed the keys to a 10 Billion dollar a year government. Clearly Bowser is not that smart, and her performance as a council member has been nothing short of mediocre at best. What exactly has she done? I mean your job as a legislator is to create legislation and respond to constituent needs. It's been what 6 years she's been in office... What major legislation has she passed... her record is light. And depending on who you ask, her constituents are not happy with her response to their needs. Now she wants to run the entire city as Mayor... Please!

Guaranteed those "I'll def vote for you,.. You're our next mayor" sets of people were planted when she was with Suderman.

Also, her Ethical Reform legislation was a joke... She is clearly connected to the most unethical people who were closely connected with Fenty... Omar Karim, Sinclair Skinner, the list goes on. They are all close friends and Frat Brothers to that idiot Josh Lopez who is quoted in this article as being "very close to her." For those who don't remember Josh Lopez, he was the hispanic version of Ron Moten, and with his antics regularly reported in the Washington Post, he can take credit for helping lose that race for Fenty.

Lastly, how can she attack the current Mayor's ethics when she is one of the largest recipients of campaign donations connected to Jeff Thompson... Clearly she's clueless. Thanks for pointing that out Suderman.

Where there is smoke there is definitely fire... And Muriel is a smoking empty suit... I'm not buying into Green Team 2.0 lead by dumb and dumber... Jack Evans for Mayor!
Amen to you comment, Honesty. When I look at Muriel Bowser, I see Adrian Fenty in a dress. What have Muriel done during her tenure on the D.C. Council and what important legislation has she authored? I had to laugh at the comment in this article about Josh Lopez being close to her. Josh Lopez is of Central American ancestry and he's pimped or tricked many blacks into believing, he's down with their cause and he has an understanding of the Civil Rights movemenet and Jim Crow in this country. If it had not been for the blood and sweat of native black citizens in this country fighting for their rights as U.S. citizens, Josh Lopez and others wouldn't be her today, if Jim Crow still existed. William Lightfoot, Ben Soto, Jourdina Brown, Ellie Anderson, and other Fenty supporters have jumped on Muriel bandwagon, I will not be voting for Muriel Bowser. I care for Frankenstien Gray, however, I would vote for him over Muriel Bowser. I hope a good qualified candidate will consider running for the Mayor's office regardless or race, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation. I am sick of the current D.C. policy makers and they all need to be voted out of office. I will never vote for Jack Evans. Tommy Wells is too liberal, however, he seems to be a nice down to earth person. Being a native Washingtonian doesn't mean anything, however, I like to say it because Muriel says, she's a 5th generation Washingtonian. hehe

Ward 4 Voter
Native Washingtonian

I don't care for Frankenstien Gray.
Come to think of it, Muriel Bowser reminds me of Forrest Gump. Take a good look at the first picture of Muriel hold onto the fence.
She's a good candidate, thoughtful, steady, reliable and practical on what can be accomplished. She will make a great mayor! I think she is tough enough to deal with the machine in DC and does not have to be obnoxious to get things done. Gray is a phony who cares about Gram and it will be nice to have someone who listens and reacts to the public.
Bowers is a puppet at best and worse, she an incompetent shell.
She's an incompetent shell.




bowser hasn't even earned or learned how to be a council member(others do the job for her) and those who expect and receive favors fund her campaign. Also please stop saying she is scandal fee....and state that none of her sh*t has been reported because not only this paper but the post WON'T report it....because there is plenty.
I don't know Muriel Bowser, but I really liked Fenty, who, had it not been for Gray's dishonest campaign, might still be mayor. If Fenty is backing Bowser, that will carry enormous weight with me.
Yeah, kob, i mean Gray was only up by ten points in all the polls, otherwise Fenty would've won. If the people who wanted Gray to win just hadn't voted then Fenty would still be mayor. Damn them for exercising their right to vote!
I plan to vote for Muriel Bowser. She is hard working, smart, ethical, repsonsiove. I believe that she will move this city swiftly in the ight direction. Rite now we are moving at a snails pace...... Muriel2014!
First of all - I can't believe the author forgot (?) to ask her about her term as a WMATA board member ESPECIALLY the same week The Examiner came out with a post about how she and her board buddies don't USE WMATA. Nice that you started out with her pulling up in a Lexus though. I didn't know WMATA made buses that small.

Second - if you want to see how she's going to run DC why not look at her lack of success on the WMATA board? She lets serious incident after serious incident pass by with a "Thanks for the report, Sarles".

DC deserves better.
I live in ward 4 and vote for Bowser 3 times already and I plan to vote for her as Mayor. She deliveres for our ward and if she an do for the city what she's done in Ward 4. This place will be awesome!
I had been giving Ms. Bowser's campaign for Mayor some serious consideration, but today I learned that she invited Bob King to serve on her host committee. As reported by The Blade, Bob King was "one of the top lieutenants of Bishop Harry Jackson, the Beltsville, Md., minister who came to D.C. to lead the campaign to overturn the marriage law." he was paid more than $60,000 to coordinate the campaign against the marriage equality law. He fomented homophobia through that campaign.

To name such a person to her host committee is an outrageous slap in the face to the whole community, but especially to the LGBT community, as well as a serious mistake for her campaign. Councilmember Bowser should immediately remove Mr. King from her committee. If she does not, she is unfit to be Mayor.
Do nothing Muriel Bowers-- And she is the best DC has to offer as Mayor....Really?? We are F@@ked. Just elect Ron Moten as mayor. He's a Fenty made politician and dropped out of high school that should surfice.
When I read the quote about Joshua Lopez, I have to laugh with laughter. This guy looks like and he reminds me of the character Tiberius on Spartacus War of the Damned.
If her campaign mails any literature to my home, I will mail it back to her office. Just as she has given the finger to many constituents in Ward 4 who have received no response to their numerous requests, I will gladly use my forever stamps to mail that garbage to the Wilson Bldg.
Fenty part II. Josh Lopez, to appeal to the Hispanics and Bob King, to appeal to the senior citizens in Ward 5. Both Lopez and King are nothing but loud mouth idiots who at best are as corrupt as any of the other "political operatives" in the city. Bowser is in the pocket of developers and the like more so than most people think. If the city wants another dose of Moten, Skinner, Karim and Lopez, they will have it if they elect Bowser.
Bob King? Blade article: Adrian dissed the old school crowed and paid the price. Muriel wants to bring the old school citywide into her tent. To be continued.
Muriel's record of support to our commnity is strong. Just because she put a grassroots person on her host committee does that mean she Anti- LGBT? So, if she puts someone who doesn't go to church or believe in God is she then a devil worshipher ? .................. I mean really. Give it a break.
Muriel Bowser, Bill Lightfoot, Ben Soto, Michael Rankin, Alfred Irving, and any others, including Barack Obama / members of his senior staff, who previously fully supported and were closely associated with the abominable Adrian M. Fenty are together with his rich / upper middle class white Jewish supporters / his Latino / Asian supporters / local mainstream media orgs. all heavily tainted with the still stinking residue of Fenty's filthy dirty reign of well white cloaked covert corruption, deliberate / exceedingly destructive political / financial terrorism, massive job terminations, home foreclosures, elimination of small business space, rampant illegal actions including gross harassment / intimidation, gross invasions of privacy, and ultimately the rapid forced herding of thousands of African-Americans out of the District of Columbia. And, who is it really all for? White folks' flagrant desire to take from, take over, control, and dominate whatever / whomever they wish with grand assistance from reliable groups of ever-willing, also greedy, quite stupid, non-thinking, bought / paid for blind black beneficiaries / helpers. Such has been the case since before and after slavery in America and Africa. Some old sayings are in order for Fenty, Bowser, Lightfoot, Rankin, and others like them including Obama. Whenever you lie down with / sleep with filthy dirty dogs, you wake up with permanent fleas. And, you become a filthy dirty dog too. Birds of a feather flock together. Evil / wickedness never prevails / never wins at all despite however things may appear at any given time. Almighty God hates injustice, avenges the righteous, / very severely punishes the wicked. No human being escapes retribution for corrupt, evil, and wicked actions against others. Whether you pay now or pay later, all will pay.
DAD, the only people I have heard say they want to run any black people out of DC are older, African-American ladies who are fed up with crime. "We would want to drive the bad families into PG County!," said one at a recent, One City meeting on housing issues. Other church-going black ladies nodded their head in agreement at that meeting. Meanwhile some of the old ladies are selling their houses to young couples for half a million dollars plus and laughing all the way to the banks in the Carolinas. "No complaints from me if they want to give me hundreds of thousands of dollars for the house I bought in the fifties for ten thousand." "The Lord is good!"
Love the one that goes through a lot of the obvious negatives and then ends:

"Jack Evans for mayor!" Wipes out all preceding paragraphs.
I know Muriel as well as about anyone and I can say first hand that she is only interested in raising her own stock. She has NO genuine interest in imrpoving DC and she has no good ideas about improving DC because she is intellectually incurious and not particularly bright (Chatham? what the hell is that? and great job finishing that PhD by the way... what real leadership position has she actually held outside of her nonexistent work on the Council???)

She's not a mystery at all. She's just a well-guarded jerk. The reason she seems mysterious is because she doesn't want people to know exactly how terrible she is and make no mistake about, she's terrible. She treats constituents like crap. She treats her staff even worse.

The fact that she's taking credit for private development in DC that was going to happen anyway is as comical as it is sad.

DC deserves better than Muriel
Instead of driving by private construction projects that she had no hand in, why didn't you drive by the schools in Ward 4?

How does Coolidge look to you? Would you want to send your kids there?

Roosevelt? How's that looking?

That is the future if Muriel is elected.

DC deserves better than Muriel.
I'm going to say what I have to say about Ms Bowser and I'm not going to cower behind a fake name.
Several years ago, a group of business owners along Georgia Avenue where the Walmart is going in, met with Ms Bowser at thr Emery Recreation Center. I attended on behalf of friends who had a business to run.
After putting forth our concerns to her, primarily that Walmart would cause quite a few of the established businesses to close, she showed complete indifference to their plight. In fact, she stated that it would be a good thing if a few of the businesses did close. For one thing, there didn't seem to be enough of, as she put it, "my people" affected. She then began to hold forth on her view of the future Georgia Avenue: a street with plenty of day spas.
Obviously, she had no idea of the income levels or spending habits of the area.
But then, she has always been indifferent to the needs of others.
When she was first running for election, she was most happy to come to a tenants association meeting at Walden Commons. But the moment she was elected to office, neither she nor her staff could be bothered with returning emails.
Seems Ms Bowser would combine the worst elements of Messrs Barry and Fenty should she become mayor. That milestone the city does not need.
I am looking forward to following the efforts put forth by Ms Browser as the 2014 Mayor Elections approach. God Bless, I love the fact that our woman in this world are stepping up to the plate. Its such an inspiration to see people who look like me and want to strive to be great in order for others to be greater. Thanks for paving another path.

Miss Arlisha Doctor
Phinis Jones owns her ugly dumb ass..
Of course Gray's running. His "announcement" of that was a 13% raise for city employees to get the public employee unions, a $1.4Billion budget-busting capital improvements budget to get the pay-to-plays, and dropping parking minimums without any return deal, to get the developers.

Gray will undoubtably have the biggest campaign fund ever and is seeking to scare away rivals by starting it now.

DAD belongs on the no fly watch list.
LGBT residents don't like having their families and loved ones threatened or insulted. Bowser's campaign has already managed to coax bigots of all sorts out of the woodwork. (Just google: "anti-gay consultant working for Bowser" and read the comments...for homophobia, ageism and racism)

Any candidate for mayor who embraces and defends one of DC's worst anti-gay bigots will rightfully become known as an anti-LGBT candidate to be soundly defeated.

It won't matter how many patronage-seeking LGBT PR 'pros' (or news comments shills) such a cynical, divisive campaign trots out. LGBTs have well-honed radar for scoping out political hypocrisy.
+1 to Honesty above.

Muriel is an empty, vacuous suit who is trying to pander to whoever will listen.

She has no rely experience, and god help DC if she is in charge of a multi-billion dollar budget.

When she was on the WMATA board, she had the opportunity to reshape the bus system in upper NW while securing millions of dollars for the city. This would require a little vision, but by consolidating the Northern and Western bus garages to an environmentally advanced underground Walter Reed site, WMATA would have been able to unlock millions of dollars in benefit (by both capital and operational savings) while also spurring economic activity and benefit to Friendship Heights and 14th Street.

Instead, she pandered to Shepard Park NIMBYs. How this conflict of interest got through the WMATA Board, who should have been looking out for the interests of WMATA is of great question.

This is not a politician who has the vision or guile to make it at the city level.

@Lukas-- I haven't made up my mind on Ms Bowser, but comments like yours push me toward supporting her. The act that you describe as pandering was responding to her Ward 4 constituents. That's what a Ward Councilmember is supposed to do. The "NIMBYISM" you accuse Shepherd Park residents of was just a mirror to the "get it out of here" sentiment of Wisconsin Ave and 14th Street residents who wanted the bus garages moved from their neighborhoods in favor of more desirable development. Muriel may have other issues, but supporting her Ward and resisting efforts of other residents to dump their problems in her ward aren't among them.
Lukas was a rabid Frumin activist who insisted the polls showing Frumin had no chance of winning were flat wrong. So I wouldn't give much weight to his/her mayoral prognostications.
Tommy Wells for mayor. Bowers is a joke and a disaster waiting to happen.
The following is from a Washington Examiner article highlighting Bowser's incompetence: "D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, who heads the council committee that oversees Metro and sits on the Metro board of directors, didn't ask about the missing documents at a hearing Monday, even though staff said before the meeting that she would.Bowser refused to comment."
Hi -

Muriel Bowser will NOT be Mayor of D.C. ever.
@Hicks Let's hope NOT....!
Bowser! What a fucking clown!!!!!
@ward four rez

The problem is, she had a fiduciary responsibility to WMATA. Now, WMATA has higher operational costs to maintain two facilities it doesn't need. TruthHurts can make whatever claims they want, but the facts speak for themselves. Yes, she should be advocating for her Ward 4 constituents, but it should not be happening at the expense of the regional transit authority. That is why she should have recused herself from the proceedings, so more independent thinking could work through the issue and resolve it.

As it is, I feel like the region was screwed by not having this question rational discussed. It may have ended up the same what, which would have been fine, but without the discussion, the region loses.
@Lukas: Maybe she didn't know how to respond to WMATA, didn't give a damn, or both. One thing is clear: it's very concerning and not a good look for someone who wants to run entire city. Not many people can show up at their jobs, not execute their responsibilities and when called to account, tell their boss, "no comment." Essentially, she is telling the citizens that she can pick and choose when and where she needs to show up and be responsible for representing our concerns.
Bottom line, she's not ready.



@NOODLEZ, I really enjoy your commentary. You're right, Bowser should have waited until the contamination from her boy Fenty wore off...if that's possible. Right now she just looks like someone who the Washington Post covets to slow or stop the Gray train from accomplishing anything of significance, particularly for people of color who were totally overlooked and ignored by the previous administration. Like you I am very disappointed with Gray's education agenda, particularly with him keeping Rhee protege Kaya Henderson in place to further Rhee's and the conservative right agenda to destroy public education. Bowser would do much of the same because she has shown that she is in the pockets of big business and developers.
Bowser is an ding-bat with no self-awareness!

Bowser will NOT be mayor. DC is not that desperate.

Gray, Wells or Evans before the LOUSY Bowser!
One thing the bus barn FUDnimbys neglected in their "math" was the cost of the walter reed site itself. Anyway if relocating is planned it makes way more sense to put the bus barn on the benning road pepco site.
BobSee reiterates the mantra of the 'build it anywhere else" folks. WMATA needs to have facilities thoughout the region. Putting all of the bus garages on the south and east part of the city only make the operational costs worse, as deadheading buses are required to travel extra miles. That is not efficient.

The Walter Reed site is partially controlled by the District, and part by the State Department. The relative costs would not have been a hurdle, particularly when one considers the revenues from the lease or disposition of the Northern and Western sites.
"BobSee reiterates the mantra of the 'build it anywhere else" folks."

Nope, I'm not a 14th St nimby that started all this bus barn drama for self-gain. Funny though, the 14th st barn was there BEFORE the nimbys...

"WMATA needs to have facilities thoughout the region. "

Yeah, one at 14th and one at Friendship is a good start no? Anyway, before you said:

"by consolidating the Northern and Western bus garages to an environmentally advanced underground Walter Reed site "

Oh, so we're back to one location?
Please Run for re-election Mayor Gray !!!!!!!!
Wells isn't any smarter than Bowser and Evans is just as connected to lobbyists, developers, and big business.
Bob See

One location cuts down on operational costs.
One location that isn't close to the others help on deadheading.
New location helps mitigate the environmental issues.

No matter how you slice it, not having WMATA consider this option seriously was a fidcuciary breakdown of the process. That is at the feet of Councimember Bowser.


1) Weren't there competing development proposals for the Walter Reed site? My understanding was the District was going to get ownership of a substantial piece of that parcel, then sell land rights to a private developer, which could result in a property tax windfall. Isn't it possible that part of the calculus involved in Bowser not supporting a bus barn at that location centered around a different use of the property that would both net the District more property tax revenue *and* be more amenable to area residents?

2) Were there any other locations being considered? Why are you acting like Walter Reed is the only place in DC where a central bus barn on the north side of the city could be located?
Why Are Ward 7 Council Member Yvette Alexander & Mayoral Candidates Muriel Bowser & Tommy Wells Against A Living Wage For D.C Residents? Just Follow The Walmart Money And Lobbyist
Single, Black, Female... should i go on??? I am a black woman so I am speaking from experience. She should not become Mayor of DC.
Single, Black, Female... should i go on??? I am a black woman so I am speaking from experience. She should not become Mayor of DC.
She's smart, she's learning, and she wants to be mayor.

Jay z b52s and nirvana. Whaddyaknow.
Who is she? If you're a native Washingtonian why would you need to be introduced to the CITY...HELLO.
I'd like to hear what if anything Ms. Bowser has done for economic development in her ward or for the city for that matter? Has it been anything? She is the chair of the economic development authority but doesn't seem very business friendly AT ALL!! Further, is her current office hard of hearing? They never respond to anything I have problems with? Mayor Gray's office does though? I think it might be time I learn more about our only way out of this and learn more about David Catania?? Does anyone know anything about him? Everything I have turned up so far looks positive? We'll see. I do have bad feelings about her becoming our next Mayor if she cannot even return e-mails?? If she can't do it she has a staff that we pay for that can?? I'm not asking for any favors? Just what we pay you to do! I think her office is too busy worrying about decorating the mayors office vs. her present day obligations.

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