City Desk

Candidates Swarm Stinky Palisades Parade

At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown had a gigantic truck at the July 4 Palisades parade. (Photo by Michael Grass)

At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown had a gigantic truck at the July 4 Palisades parade. (Photo by Michael Grass)

While Palisades residents love their annual July 4 parade and the throngs of local politicians and would-be politicians it brings to their leafy Ward 3 neighborhood, they might be already regretting it. And they certainly will by Tuesday or Wednesday when sustained high temperatures near the century mark will make all the horse excrement plopped on the hot asphalt stink to high heaven.

After leaving the post-parade festivities at Palisades Park, complete with free hot dogs and moon bounce, City Desk surveyed the remains of the parade along its MacArthur Boulevard route. Parts of it were quite malodorous. (Who wants to have some dinner on Kemble Tavern's patio?) But it wasn't necessarily trashed like last month’s Capital Pride Parade. And no unclaimed free condoms on the sidewalk, either!

All the candy that Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and his supporters showered on parade-goers seemed to be snapped up. The children of Ward 3 certainly love their sugary treats! City Desk wonders if Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, fresh off her legislative victory to mandate healthy school lunches, will soon start a push for a Healthy Parades Act. Will someone not think of the children and their dental health?

Cheh, meanwhile, had her supporters pass out miniature copies of the U.S. Constitution, not particularly exciting as a freebie but quite fitting for a George Washington University professor specializing in constitutional law.

Some savvy politicians targeted parade-goers with implements to beat the heat. The campaign of D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, who is challenging Mayor Adrian Fenty in the September Democratic primary, passed out miniature fans. Team Fenty, meanwhile distributed water bottles and green towels, to which DCist’s Martin Austermuhle remarked via Twitter: "Not very soft, like the candidate!" (When City Desk touched a Fenty towel, it was indeed quite abrasive—a mix between sandpaper, chamois and ratty gym towel. Did Hizzoner not test the hand-out on his bald head prior to distribution?)

Fenty and Gray "[b]oth did a good job keeping people cool," said Nate Bennett-Fleming, who is running for D.C. shadow representative and passed out around 1,000 Nate-branded bottles of water.

Campaigning has never been an especially environmentally friendly activity, with all the signs, stickers, Mardi Gras beads, pamphlets and the like that generally have a short life span before being trashed.

One resident of MacArthur Boulevard, hosting a July 4 parade-watching party on her front lawn, told City Desk that she wished Mayor Fenty’s Green Team would’ve been more green with the parade freebies.

"I support him on school reform. But these water bottles—look, they're everywhere!" The woman, who said she would be voting for Fenty, didn’t want to disclose her name. "I know not to criticize the mayor. He rides his bike up here."

The mayor, to his credit, did have his trusty Smart car at the parade, which was dwarfed by the monster truck At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown, who is running for D.C. Council chairman, had at the parade. City Desk was concerned that the gigantic vehicle would not be able to navigate some of the tight turns of the parade route, especially at Edmunds Place and Sherier Place where regular traffic jams developed as the parade snaked its way into Palisades Park.

The campaigns of Gray and former Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange, who is running for D.C. Council chairman, did the best job at preemptively claiming all the good sign space along MacArthur Boulevard. (And on the lot in front of Palisades Park that once was home to the Jesse Baltimore House.) Four years ago, Fenty's mayoral campaign had the best ground game. This time, Gray bested the incumbent and had an excellent post-parade sign-collection operation. Two hours after the parade started, you would have had difficulty knowing that Gray was even at the event. (We pity the sign-collecting Gray campaign supporter that City Desk spotted walking all the way to his car parked out in front of the German Chancery on Reservoir Road, but not as much as the overheated Bolivian dancers who were weighed down by pounds of colorful costumes!)

Perhaps City Desk missed him, but we were hoping that Orange would be cruising MacArthur Boulevard on a Segway passing out candy and beads, just like he did during his ill-fated mayoral run four years ago. There were reports, however, that Orange was busy stumping for votes at an ice cream truck. Orange, known for his larger-than-life personality, seemed to be no match for Brown’s behemoth truck, which was a regular topic of conversation at the parade. (Orange, to his credit, had an aggressive signature-gathering operation.)

"This is the Washington, D.C., parade," said Patrick Mara, the school board candidate from Ward 1 who is better known for knocking off longtime At-Large Councilmember Carol Schwartz during the 2008 Republican primary, therefore depriving Palisades parade-goers of seeing Schwartz in her eye-popping yellow TransAm convertible. Even if Ward 3 voters—who form the core of the Palisades parade turnout—can't vote in your race, "you need to have a good showing here," said Mara, who had 20 supporters working the parade and post-parade party. "It says something about the strength of someone’s candidacy."

In that case, City Desk nominates the "Millwood Mob" for something, but we aren't sure what. Millwood Lane NW, a short street connecting Loughboro and Glenbrook roads, year after year fields a very organized showing at the parade, complete with its own queen. Imagine if the Millwood Mob would form its own political party! Watch out Mary Cheh!

Because of the hot weather, At-Large candidate Clark Ray, who was wearing a white sleeveless shirt, may have been the wisest person at the parade—though this writer’s recently deceased great aunt, a feisty, opinionated longtime Palisades resident, would have likely scoffed at any politician displaying bare shoulders.

But Team Ray was out in full force and was warmly received by the crowd, along with incumbent Phil Mendelson.

The one person who was missing was Don Peebles, the big-time developer and would-be mayoral candidate who kept political watchers on edge for months as he weighed a challenge to Fenty. (Through artfully crafted language, he decided not to run.) City Desk thinks Peebles should have teamed up with Matthew Lesko and his question-mark mobile—a perfect way to continue to toy with the populous!

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    Why would these circus clowns turn a nice community affair into their own agendas?

  • larry

    If I were that woman interviewed in this story who is going to vote for Fenty I wouldn't give out my name either. I'm suprised Michelle Rhee wasn't there wearing a green bikini and pouring water on herself from a Fenty water bottle. Fenty's gonna need those nasty green little towels to mop himself up after he loses on 9/12.

  • Mike Panetta

    I tried to turn the parade into a learning experience by passing out temporary tattoos to the kids that were branded with the "Where's My Star?" logo. It's the new look for DC Statehood. Kids love tattoos - and it's both figuratively and literally "branding" for the next generation!!


    The Palisades Parade was very nice, as it is every year. What was noticeable and memorable to me was the sharp contrast of Fenty folk in the parade. It was extremely noticeable that there was a very distinct differnce between the Fenty supporters who marched in the Caribbean Parade, the Deanwood Rec Center opening and the Sunday go-go celebration; the difference is that there was a very absent Ronald Moten, Sinclair Skinner and there were no black youth with their pants hanging below their thighs at the Palisades Parade. In fact, it was very noticeable that 90-97% of the marchers were white with very little black supporters at all. Now I find that very telling considering that each time he does an event in what he perceives to be the "hood" or heavily populated by African-American's he pulls out the "stereotypical" black dudes with the ebonics and ghetto style of dress, yet where were these youth in the Palisades. Not four days prior to the Palisades Parade there were lines wrapped around the Fenty campaign office filled with black males from homelss shelters, why were they not in this particular parade? I further notices that there were no whites at the Go-Go event held in Ward 8 on two Sunday's ago. There were very few whites at the Caribbean Parade. This is very devisive and again borders on race-baiting. It is also very reprehensible.

    Mr. Fenty's pandering to certain audiences is why Mr. Gray's message resignates with voters. One City! We should not see different color and ethnicity of volunteers based solely on what Ward Mr. Fenty is attending an event in. Mr. Gray's campaign shows up with whatever volunteers (non-paid) that are willing to support the candidate at that event.

    When you wonder why the city is polarized along racial lines, just look at Mr. Fenty's campaign. He is dividing this city and is is DISGUSTING to say the least.


    WHAT A WASTE -- fits you like a glove. I'll wager a thousand bucks your from Gray's campaign. You think Fenty's supporters at the go go gig maybe were whities in black face? Maybe Fenty bussed in the palisades pale faces from virginia. Your sick and sicker, asshole.


    WHAT A WASTE -- How much is Gray paying you. How is it within two weeks your counting black and white faces at the palisades, the go go gig, the carribean festival, the deanwood rec center opening, at Fenty's campaign office, and you also know Moten and Skinner when you see them? you cant have a job unless Gray's paying you. asshole.

  • larry

    I know I know Moten when I see him! Mostly, it's when I HEAR him - which is easy even if you're far away. If you want real entertainment go watch Moten in action at a dc council hearing or pretty much any community meeting. He's priceless. (sorry to disappoint those of you who use foul language to make a point)


    larry aka WHAT A WASTE -- so your attending dc council hearings and community meetings along with festivals,parades, rec center openings,go go gigs and still stalking fenty's campaign office. how much cousin vinnie payin you? Im marveling at that 90 to 97% white folk palisades parade thing you did. dang, the park police sho could use a estimator like you. they aint payin you cuz?


    Jacques Chevalier aka dc blackdaddy aka fakesechurchby7dpo-po you were told to leave rev.Talbert and her members alone.The judge said you was your own enemy. JUDGEMENT IS COMMING IN MORE WAYS THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!!!!!!!

  • larry

    No, they're not paying me. It's a shame a Fenty supporter like you didn't benefit from the miracles of Rhee in the dc school system. You might have learned to reason, write and speak properly. You should join up with Moten and charge a fee. You guys would kill. There's still time for adult education. Look into it.

  • Strayer… um… really?

    Can we get dcblackdaddy a reality series with these greasy, severely morbidly obese, black church women?

  • LaCaiRaine

    WOW, not seem angry about factual information. I was at each of these events and I have a job and I can tell you point blank that I have viewed the very same scenarios with Mr. Fenty's campaign.

    I just want to know, why all the anger and hostility at someone expressing an opinion? Isn't that was a "comment" section is about, to express a point of view.

    It is too hot to be this angry.

  • atty2d

    Ward4NDC: ask your own councilmember. Bowser marched too.

  • bigbob

    Thank you LaCaiRaine 4 attempting to bring civility

  • http://coalitionagainstjacqueschevalier coalitionagainstjacqueschevalier

    JAC, YOU WERE WARNED!!! What you so obviously fail to realize is that Rev. Talbert, Ms. D. Jackson and her children, Ms. W. Jackson and every one of the members of the SE church you are hell-bent on harassing, are all well-connected. As you well know, Rev. Talbert has a diverse congregation made up of black and white. Her membership consists of people who work as FBI and Secret Service Agents, Police Officers, Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers and Politicians. to name a few, all of whom are well-respected, good people you have chosen to harass and come against in your blogs on numerous occasions. This church is a part of a national organization in other states as well other countries that impact the lives of young and old positively. However, this coalition formed for the express purpose of exposing and stopping you! We have taken up this charge for Rev. Talbert and Faith Tabernacle. Your stalking and veiled threats aimed at Deborah Jackson by describing her vehicles and locations including landmarks ( where police car is parked) and offerings of money ($1000) are duly noted and will not be taken lightly!

    From all of your blog babblings, we are under the impression that you think the men in these women's lives would sit idly by and allow someone of your divisive and depraved character to stalk, threaten, intimidate and harass our Queens without retribution. You are deluded and sadly mistaken. While it may be in their nature to avoid you, remain silent and turn the other cheek, it is certainly not in ours. Our nature is to protect and defend them against the likes of a dangerous, unscrupulous, divisive, individual such as yourself.

    While you continue to stalk, threaten, and make false claims and demeaning personal, physical and character assassinations on women reluctant to defend themselves against you, consider this: We have watched you advance in your threats on numerous blogs as dcblackdaddy and fakechurch by 7D po-po. However, that day is over and we have taken the matter on! It's out of Rev. Talbert's hands! You have made it personal but know this, YOU WILL CEASE AND DESIST FROM THE AFOREMENTIONED ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!

  • tired

    LaCaiRaine and Big Bob you want to know where the anger comes from, this present admin. When you are a citizen paying taxes and you ask a question and get the response of I don't have to tell you anything from hizzoner and his personal lawyer. Again who is getting paid from our taxes Who acts on behalf of Fenty for a number of years this ticks myself and others off. Our only solution is he has to go. Goodbye, So Long.