City Desk

Jeff Smith Will Make Graham Challenge Official

0309smithFormer school board member Jeff Smith says he's ready for a full-on challenge to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham.

"I'm not positive yet, but we're probably going to file in the next couple of days," says Smith, who has run an exploratory campaign since December.

He's already on the attack: In a posting today on his Web site, Smith unfavorably compares Graham to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry.

In fact, Smith goes out of his way to brush off Barry, calling his misdeeds "very old news," in order to take shots at Graham and his connections to the taxi scandal that led to the arrest of top aide Ted Loza. (Which would seem to be the older news, by Smith's logic.)

"Apart from its redundancy and opportunistic timing, the move to censure Barry raises the specter of a double-standard at City Hall," Smith writes. "Whereas Barry, who represents Ward 8, has suddenly received renewed levels of public scrutiny, other similar cases of outright scandal right here in Ward 1 remain unresolved and without similar rebuke."

Furthermore: "What thoughtful spectators of this political play should be observing, therefore, is not the elaborate public pantomime of Marion Barry’s censure for ‘corruption’ but the more insidious aggregate of tolerated corruption of the current Ward 1 Council member. Jim Graham and Marion Barry: a double standard, or a reminder of a long-existing need to clean up City Hall?"

In closing, Smith writes: "Join us on March 19th, the first day of Spring, to launch Spring Cleaning. It’s time to clean house."

Sounds like a campaign kickoff to LL.

Smith says that's indeed what it will be if he gets his papers in on time; if not, "that's our spring activities event," he says.

Smith is taking on Graham's formidable war chest—he had more than $160,000 banked as of Jan. 31. Smith reported raising $28,250 for his exploratory effort at that point, with $16,596 left to spend.

He'll also have to contend with the sharp tongue of Graham campaign adviser Chuck Thies, who notes that all of Graham's earmarks survived investigator Robert S. Bennett's scrutiny. He adds: "Unless Jeff used the time he freed up by quitting the School Board mid-term to pursue a law degree or achieve competence as an investigator, I suggest he refrain from issuing inflammatory screeds. In the same way that voters don't take kindly to elected officials who quit on them, they also won't stomach unfounded conspiracy theories."

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  • Rick Mangus

    First, David Catania is a SOB, graduated with honors from the 'Rahm Emanuel School of Charm' and both Graham, aka 'The Queen of All Media' and Catania are both members of that political action committee, FUDGEPAC!

    First off as a gay man I thought a little humor was needed!

  • Korrupt

    Is Ted Loza still sitting around at home collecting a paycheck from the DC taxpayer? When's he going on trial?


    Thank you Rick Mangus, I always enjoy your comments and your sense of humor. LOL

    I wish others had your sense of humor and knowledge.

  • MPD White Official

    David Catania should marry Rahm Emanuel. I wonder which would be the bottom?

  • pamela

    Hi - thanks for the post. I never know what I will come across when I scroll these blogs. But just wanted to let you know I really liked yours. Keep it up.


  • Wassup

    To MPD White Official:
    David Catania is exclusively a bottom so it is to be presumed that in a romantic dalliance with WHCOS Ram Emanuel Catania would assume the role of the "wife". That being said, Emanuel is such a complete a''hole that all bets are off.

  • eastoftheriver

    Nyasha and Jeff Smith are good people. Not sure about the politics surrounding these nasty comments but I wish Jeff a fair and successful campaign. Let go of the hate, people Your comments are very negative and off topic. And for all of you who claim you know Nyasha and Jeff's story so well, you obviously don't because Nyasha worked for former Councilmember, Carol Schwartz, not Marion Barry. I do hope voters reading these comments don't take the nonsense as fact.