Chatter: Bowser’s Hassle
What you said about what we said last week
D.C. residents may not know a ton about Muriel Bowser, but judging by their reactions to Alan Suderman’s profile of the mayoral candidate (“Muriel’s Vetting,” April 26), they don’t lack for feelings about her. The knocks against the Ward 4 councilmember?
- Bowser’s ties to perennial D.C. power-brokers: “I liked Bowser early on and would like to support her going forward,” said truth hurts. “Given what I’ve learned about [Jeff] Thompson, [David] Wilmot, and other pay-to-play lobbyists’ tawdry history in D.C. politics, however, I won’t back any candidate who takes money from lobbyists.”
- Robert King, a member of the host committee for Bowser’s campaign kickoff: After our story ran last week, the Washington Blade reported that King, a Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, was paid by the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage to push for a citywide ballot initiative to overturn D.C.’s gay marriage law. Bowser, who voted to legalize gay marriage in D.C., told the Blade she had accepted King’s support because he is a community fixture but that “he won’t change my views.” That wasn’t enough for Deacon Maccubbin, who wrote on our website, “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. ”
- Bowser’s record on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, a topic that one blogger felt our profile overlooked: “What [Washington City Paper] FAILED to get into or even MENTION was the fact that she sits on the WMATA board during a time when riders are PISSED at the level of service, fare hikes, and safety issues. They didn’t ask her one question about it,” wrote Fix WMATA’s Chris Barnes.
Not everyone was a critic. Responding to the Blade’s article, I’m LGBT wrote, “Muriel’s record of support to our community is strong. Just because she put a grassroots person on her host committee, does that mean she’s anti-LGBT? So, if she puts someone who doesn’t go to church or believe in God, is she then a devil worshiper?”
Readers had plenty of takeaways from last week’s election for an at-large D.C. Council seat, the topic of Suderman’s final Loose Lips column (“Plurality Rules,” April 26). Of candidate Elissa Silverman’s second-place finish to Anita Bonds, Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr. wrote, “If Silverman wants to stick around in politics, she must genuinely reach out to the black and Latino voters and deliver on their concerns in D.C. politics regardless of the growing white votes in D.C.”
Reader Chatham dissented: “It’s a mistake to view any racial group as a unified block. I think Silverman’s appeal for a more progressive taxation system and more spending for our most vulnerable should appeal to anyone concerned about the needy in this city, especially when compared to Bonds’ praise for municipal bonds tax cuts.”
One reader was relieved. “The worst election in D.C. history and thank the dear lord it is over,” wrote RealDC, who got in this zinger about the GOP’s Pat Mara: “You are like this character from this arcade game from the ’80s. The game is called Punch Out and the character is Glass Joe. He never wins. Get it?”
Department of Corrections
Due to a reporting error, a Housing Complex column about development at Hill East (“Pity on the Hill,” April 26) misspelled the name of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Brian Flahaven.