Fenty Losing His Grip? Loose Lips Daily
Morning all. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty: Everyone knows he's had a bad year. A slip on the firetruck thing, a stumble on the pool heater, and a general haughtiness that casts doubt on his image as a champion of the everyday D.C. resident.
But does all that hurt his chances for re-election next year?
The Examiner kinda-sorta suggests that it does. On the front page of today's editions, it is shouting the news that just 30 percent of respondents in a recent poll say that the incumbent "definitely" has their vote.
You listening, Vince Gray?
From Michael Neibauer's piece: "The new poll, commissioned by the business-backed Nation's Capital Committee for Good Government, implies the incumbent's popularity has waned. Only 30 percent of respondents said they would "definitely" vote for him again, while 13 percent said definitely not, and 46 percent said they would consider someone else."
Implies? What does that mean. The problem with this piece is that there's no comparison with a previous set of polling numbers. The poll gives Fenty a 68 percent favorable rating and a 25 percent unfavorable rating. So, OK, fine—but compared to what? That question goes unanswered. Other points about the poll: It covers only registered Democratic voters in Wards 1, 3, and 6, leaving out Fenty's home base in Ward 4. It was commissioned by the Nation's Capital Committee for Good Government, a front for "downtown business interests," according to Neibauer. Those folks have never been too big on the mayor.
In a companion piece, Neibauer explains the implications of the poll for council races. The upshot? Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and Ward 3 Councilmember Tommy Wells all appear safe.
Who isn't safe? Well, it's the same guy who's never safe. The guy who every four years has a target on his back, who the entire political class insists is vulnerable, whose days on the council are numbered. Yeah, Mendo: "At-large Councilman Phil Mendelson has the toughest road ahead, if the poll numbers are to be believed. Mendelson, who soundly defeated lawyer A. Scott Bolden three years ago, had the definitive support of only 32 percent of those surveyed. Thirty-four percent would consider a challenger, 8 percent would oppose Mendelson and 25 percent were undecided."
Examiner commentator Harry Jaffe also spins a piece out of the poll. Here's the key part: "Next most popular city official [after Fenty]? Council Chair Vince Gray? At-large member Kwame Brown? No and no. Most favorable ratings after Fenty went to schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. The hard-charging school reformer got high favorables in Ward 3 (69 percent), Ward 6 (58 percent) and Ward 1 (57 percent)."
Jaffe also gets a laugh line out of the data: "Attorney General Peter Nickles might not want to enter any popularity contests. His fave rating was 17 percent."
Examiner's Nei-man also covers the aimless wanderings of the mayor's "blue shirts."
CHARLES COUNTY COURTHOUSE MADNESS UPDATE! OK, we advertise LL Daily as providing as much D.C. politics as "humanly possible," but recent events compel coverage of the hinterlands. Seems that a judge in Charles County may have gotten pissed enough about parking hierarchies that he allegedly deflated the tire of a car belonging to a courthouse cleaning staffer. This gem comes courtesy of the Washington Post's Ruben Castaneda: "Jean Washington, the owner of the Toyota, said in an interview that she had just entered the courthouse for her work shift when a sheriff's deputy alerted her, 'Jean, you need to move your car. Judge Nalley's going to let the air out of it.'"
Tattoo parlor entrepreneur who allegedly killed her husband will be held in jail, not in a halfway house, as her lawyer had requested.
GOOD POINT DEPARTMENT: Post editorial notes that even though Congress long ago lifted its ban on the District's paying for needle-exchange programs, language in pending legislation could have the exact same effect: "The House voted to end a 21-year-old ban and allow federal funding of needle exchange programs. It also voted to allow the District to use its own money for such a program. There's one catch: the programs cannot be located 'within 1,000 feet of a public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, college, junior college, or university, or any public swimming pool, park, playground, video arcade, or youth center, or an event sponsored by any such entity.' This would render whole sections of cities off-limits."
Verizon Center not doing it for you? Well, the Washington Biz Journal is reporting that reps from Madison Square Garden LP are scouting the District for a new location. "The sports, entertainment and media company began contacting the office of Valerie Santos, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, and major landowners in early summer, according to Steve Moore, executive director of the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership. 'They are shopping the District ... They're very interested. It's a question of finding the right spot,' Moore said."
Also on the development front: See breakdown from Washington City Paper's Ruth Samuelson on Fenty's unveiling of Northwest One, the Walker Jones Education Campus.
Here's a scoop from NC8: The District is preparing to close its Brentwood DMV facility. It'll cease operations at the end of the day Friday.
Lots of gunplay out there on a summer eve: Seven shot, one killed in less than nine hours in the District, according to WUSA-TV.
9:15 am: Remarks, Wheatley Elementary School Grand Opening
Location:Wheatley Education Complex, 1299 Neal Street, NE
10:15 am: Remarks, Chevy Chase Play Courts Ribbon Cutting
Location: Chevy Chase Playground, 5500 41st Street, NW
5:30 pm: Remarks, Convention Center HQ Hotel Bill Signing
Location: 9th and L Streets NW