Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Angry Black Straw Voters Edition

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Good morning, sweet readers! LL had a good laugh reading Dave McKenna's column in this week's City Paper about Maryland Del. Michael Vaughn incorrectly boasting on his campaign website that he played 3 years with the Dallas Cowboys.  Little known fact about LL, he played 12 seasons as a backup long snapper for the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders. Sigh, those were the days.  On with the news:

Lord Help Us, More Ward 4 News: The Post has not one, but two stories about D.C. Council Chairman and mayoral hopeful Vincent Gray's victory over Mayor Adrian Fenty in the Wednesday night straw poll and the Examiner's has it's own report. So, what's new?

1) Fenty's folks basically call the Ward 4 straw poll outcome a win for angry black people: "Bill Lightfoot, Fenty's campaign chairman, called the straw poll voters 'disgruntled,' saying that former mayors Sharon Pratt and Marion Barry attended in support of Gray. In his attacks, Fenty has connected Gray to the city's financial crisis in the 1990s by noting that Gray was then director of the Department of Human Services. 'Those are the people angry with Adrian. They turned up to vote last night,' Lightfoot said. 'It was a return to the '90s. They were disgruntled. They were in control then, and they want to get back in the fire,"' report the Post's Tim Craig and Nikita Stewart.

The Examiner's Freeman Klopott has this: "A high-ranking Fenty campaign member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, noted that most of Wednesday night's voters were black. 'There are other demographics in Ward 4 that will show up on primary day,' the Fenty campaigner said." Nice code talk. LL did not know that word demographics meant: rich white people who live on the other side of the park. The Post's Mike DeBonis has another anonymous quote: 'Gray has a rabid corps of volunteers that wants to kill us just to watch us die,' says one Fenty campaign staffer."

DeBonis also has a more diplomatic take: "In spinning Wednesday's Waterloo-esque result, the Fenty camp makes some valid points — variations on the not-regular-people theme: Who, after all, would stand in line for nearly an hour on a weekday evening in close to 100-degree heat to cast a vote as an essentially meaningless exercise? Certainly not those with young families. Certainly not the ward's more affluent residents, who might well be on vacation. Those, indeed, are expected to be sizable blocs of Fenty voters." DeBonis goes to point out how seriously Team Fenty took the straw poll, which makes their reactions to his loss sound like sour grapes: "Still, Team Fenty pulled out more stops than seen before. After being outbused in a Ward 6 tilt last week, they sent several buses of seniors. Numerous city officials residing in Ward 4—including City Administrator Neil O. Albert and the heads of the departments of public works, insurance, and parks and recreation—cast ballots. Those in Fenty green outnumbered Gray blue in the audience of the accompanying debate. Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D), a stalwart Fenty ally, was deeply involved in the straw poll, making turnout calls beforehand and policing the voter line as polling took place. At least three Fenty staffers stood at the door of the venue, checking names off Fenty's vaunted voter list."

2) Fenty says the loss stings a little. "It was disappointing, not embarrassing...We would have wanted to win, but you can't win every straw poll,' he said after he cut the ribbon on a new Joe Cole Community Center in the Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast. 'I don't usually go in with any expectations. I would have wanted to win, and I can say I was disappointed,'" Craig and Stewart report.

3) Fenty's got some negative ads lined up: "Fenty's ads feature supporters addressing perceptions that he is arrogant and indifferent to some residents' concerns. Although Fenty has attacked Gray in forums and interviews, the ads haven't ventured there. On Thursday, Fenty advisers said his campaign is prepared to release ads that would attack Gray's record, but they would not say when that might happen. Mo Elleithee, Gray's senior campaign strategist, said his campaign is 'bracing for an onslaught.' 'When you look at his performance in these debates, his tone is becoming increasingly negative, increasingly angry, Elleithee said. 'That shows you are worried, and it's a reflection of what we expect to see on the airwaves soon.'"

The Post's editorial page asks everyone to calm down, calls on both Fenty and Gray to step up to get their supporters in line, and says the "truly disturbing" behavior is coming from Gray's camp. "There's no question that many of those who oppose Mr. Fenty are driven by anger, which never brings out the best in people. Still, it's hard to reconcile such uncivil behavior with Mr. Gray's promise of "one city" where everyone gets along. That the divide is increasingly breaking along racial lines is all the more troubling." LL agrees that it's surprising that Gray doesn't at least to pretend to try and quiet the crowd when they are booing Fenty. Aren't all politicians supposed to fake that? But is this race "increasingly" becoming racially polarized, or has it been that way for a while?

AFTER THE JUMP: Michael ? Brown; Struggling Latinos; New Pot Rules...

I'm Michael Brown, No I'm Michael Brown: Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown had a surprisingly strong showing at Wednesday's poll for the At-Large Council race: the reason, some voters thought they were voting for Councilmember Michael A. Brown. Supporters of Councilmember Phil Mendelson, whose running for re-election in the At-Large race, "urged Council member Brown to do a better job informing voters he is not on the ballot this year," Craig reports.

DeBonis discovers that A. Brown has no sense of humor: "Michael A. Brown isn't amused. He said Thursday that he's the victim of 'political identity theft' and that elections officials 'have a duty" to clear up the confusion — perhaps by issuing a letter to Democratic voters including each Michael Brown's picture and bio.' D. Brown shrugs: 'Brown touts his 30 years as a behind-the-scenes guy for national Democratic politics. 'Name recognition is not unimportant. People bring this up to me a lot, and I don't know what to do about it. ... It's not like I got into politics to capitalize on this.' He notes that he knew Michael A.'s dad—former Democratic National Committee chair Ron Brown, and in fact hired the son for a summer some years back."

And NBC4's P.J. Orvetti draws an apt comparison: But like the “Office Space” character who refused to change his name from “Michael Bolton” because he had it first, Shadow Senator Brown – who turned 57 on Thursday and who is a dozen years older than Councilmember Brown – isn’t having it.

LL thinks that someone is going to have to man up here and start going by "Mike."

D.C. is a hard town for Latinos: "The recession has been particularly harsh for many of the District's Latino residents, who are heavily represented in some of the lowest-paying jobs and have clustered in neighborhoods where rents and condominium conversions soared during the decade, according to an Urban Institute study," reports the Post's Carol Morello.  "'We don't have a strong Latino middle class,' said George Escobar, deputy director of [The Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs]. "The jobs don't pay at a level that allows them to stay and grow a family. The American dream is in Maryland and Virginia, regionally. That's where they flock when they save enough and invest in long-term housing."

New Pot Laws: WAMU's Patrick Madden reports that a draft of medical marijuana laws is set to be released today. NB: "D.C. and 14 states have legalized medical marijuana, but the District is the only jurisdiction in the nation that will allow its poorest residents to obtain the drug for free. The law reads patients "unable to afford a sufficient supply of medical marijuana" will be able to purchase it 'on a sliding scale.'"

Why are cops in Maryland so eager to shoot dogs? [WTOP] (Also, if you ever shoot LL's dog, you may as well shoot LL too, because otherwise he's coming after you.)

No coordinated attack on NPR [Post]

Whole Foods coming to Foggy Bottom [Housing Complex]

D.C. is irritating, so are 10 ten lists [Examiner]

Big storms, cool crab picture [Post]

NIH workers enjoy porn [MyFoxDC]

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh is on Kojo.

No public schedule for Hizonner or Council

  • http://twitter.com/kcivey KCinDC

    The shadow senator already introduces himself as Mike Brown. He should list himself on the ballot that way too.

  • Charlie

    I think the Vince Gray v. Adrian Fenty split in Ward 4 isn't on race. It's on time you have lived in the city. In mid-decade the city was flooded with new (and often white) new residents. They were hoping to make a buck on real estate and planned to move when they had kids who are school age. (I say this because I saw this on my street several times during the 90s.) But now they are underwater and cannot move without incurring a big loss. They are disturbed that city living is not like the suburbs and are set on changing the place. They want their dog parks and kid parks and speed bumps. These are the people that want to keep Fenty in office.

    If the economy would improve they could all move away. Sadly this won't be happening anytime soon.

  • noodlez

    “A high-ranking Fenty campaign member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, noted that most of Wednesday night’s voters were black. ‘There are other demographics in Ward 4 that will show up on primary day,’ the Fenty campaigner said.”

    SO NOW WE ALL KNOW THE REASON WHY THE $400K DOG PARK WAS REALLY FUNDED BY DC TAX DOLLARS AND CONSTRUCTED FOR FOLK WHO CAN HAVE MULTIPLE DOG PARKS BUILT ON THEIR OWN DIME.

    THE SOON TO BE FORMER MAYOR CAMPAIGN STRAGEDY IS A MICROCOSM OF HIS TENURE. INSTEAD OF GIVING $400K TO BUILD A DOG PARK WEST OF ROCK CREEK AND THROWING GO-GO/HOT DOG RALLIES ON THE OTHER SIDE HE SHOULD HAVE FLIP-FLOPPED IT.

    THE $400K COULD HAVE PUT SEVERAL FOLK TO WORK FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS ON THE OTHER SIDE AND DRAWN SUPPORT IN AN AREA OF THE CITY WHERE HE DESPARATELY NEEDED IT. THROW HOT DOG RALLIES FOR THE FOLK WEST OF THE PARK THEY DON’T NEED MUCH OVER THERE BUT TOSSING THEM A BONE WILL MAKE THEM FEEL APPRECIATED ONCE REELECTED THEN YOU SET SOME DOUGH ASIDE FOR A PET PROJECT.

    **********************************************************

    LET ME DIGRESS FOR A MOMENT. noodlez NEED SOMEONE TO PLEASE HELP HIM OUT AND EXPLAIN TO HIM HOW HIS COMMENT IS RACIST AND THE ABOVE QUOTED COMMENT ISNT? OR WAS THE COMMENTER WRONG IN STATING MY COMMENT WAS RACIST? GRANTED I KNOW MY COMMENTS CAN BE A LIL ABRASIVE AT TIMES HOWEVER THAT ANONYMOUS SOURCE BASICALLY REITERATED WHAT I SAID.

    noodlez
    August 3rd, 2010
    11:58 pm
    SEE THE PROBLEM IS YOU WHITE FOLKS WANT TO MAKE A DECISION BASED ON A PLATFORM. THAT IS WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES WITH FAGGIE FENTY. HE STOOD ON A PLATFORM AND DIDNT DELIVER. WHEN YOU STAND ABOVE THE FRAY HOW IN HELL DO YOU KNOW WHATS IS GOING ON?

    SEE US BLACK FOLKS JUST WANT SOMEONE TO LEAD, BE FAIR, KEEP US WORKING AND DONT SCREW IT UP. MAKE SURE OUR CHILDREN ARE SAFE AND EDUCATED. AND BY ALL MEANS DON’T PRETEND LIKE WE DON’T EXIST.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    IMGoph
    August 4th, 2010
    7:23 am
    jason: why is that certain commenters are allowed to spew racist and homophobic junk here without getting some kind of moderation slapped on them?

    I REALLY WOULDN’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS COMMENT BUT THIS WHITE PERSON’S SUGGESTION THAT I BE SLAPPED WITH MODERATION JUST SHOWS THE DEPTH OF HOW SOME WHITE FOLK WORK TO STAY UNDER THE RADAR TO HIDE THEIR OWN HANG UPS, BIASES AND SHORTCOMINGS. LET ALONE THIS JOKER CO-CONSPIRED TO HAVE ME BANNED FROM ANOTHER SITE.

    LET ME BREAK HIS COMMENT DOWN FOR YALL-certain commenters=BLACK COMMENTERS, spew racist and homophobic junk=DEGRADING MY COMMENTS BECAUSE HE CANT AND NEVER WILL UNDERSTAND, moderation slapped on them=SHUT HIS BLACK ASS UP.

    I RECKON THIS ELECTION WILL TRULY DETERMINE WHO HAVE THE POWER IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THOSE WHITE GENTRIFIERS OR THOSE BLACK NATIVES.

  • Indeed

    @Noodlez,

    Even if he is on the dl, I think the use of the word "faggie" rubs a lot of people the wrong way (no pun intended), which it should. No reason to use it.

    However, I agree with you that there are a lot of people on this site and others, who would like to see brothers shut the fuck up. That is, unless they think the same way that they do. Because having a thinking brother, one who doesn't just fall into line behind what the capitalists, free marketers, and fake ass progressives think, is considered a real danger to society. God forbid you think about something before you do it, because if you hesitate nowawadays, they'll say you're just like Barry, you're trying to figure out some way to get something for yourself and then things don't get done. We need to separate these two strands of thought. Thinking and being corrupt are two totally different things. Not always mutually exclusive. But if you do one, you don't automatically do the other.

    Also, you have to remember that in this age of Obama, lots of white people think that we're post-racial. They think because they voted for him that everything is forgiven and we're all square. Their feelings are hurt that you won't love them for voting for Obama. They don't want you to call them out for their b.s. and their continued coded put downs.

    So all I'm saying is take it easy with the gay bashing. No call for it. But I feel you on the other stuff.

  • DCGuy

    Noodlez, if it hasn't been said before, It's easy to skip over your post because OF THE ALL CAPS WHICH DOES NOT TRANSLATE WELL ACROSS A COMPUTER SCREEN!

    I agree, Fenty's sexual orientation is irrelevant. But I must say that "entitlements" seem to run the gamut in DC.

    I overhead a interesting Starbucks conversation this morning debating the upcoming election. One lady was commenting on the fact that she's not completely unhappy with Fenty, but the bike lanes have really excited her since she can ride her bike to work now. The other lady talked about her recent trip to the new dog park in her neighborhoods.

    These issues clearly affect those "across the bridge" and I would guess that many people wouldn't criticize their support of gov't funded projects.

    Now imagine if people across the bridge were voting for a politician because of what they FOR their Ward.

    How novel

  • downtown rez

    noodlez-
    You and I have only ever agreed on maybe one thing- that it's a shame so much of the black middle class left PG- but you'll maybe also remember I defended you a bit on DCist before you got yourself banned from there.
    I may not like your voice, I may think you are wrong, but it's in no one's interest to "SHUT (your) BLACK ASS UP".
    It is in a lot of people's interests to promote civil discourse.
    BTW- nice job in W4. You're still wrong, though.

  • downtown rez

    Not "left PG". "Left for PG".

  • Brahmin

    I agree with Charlie. But here is the rub to the Fenty campaign too simple to understand how campaign works. New voters 1. Don't transfer their voting rights to DC years after they move. 2. Go negative, as the Fenty camp plans to do and they will sit on the bench. They do not want to get into this mess--they do not yet have the investment to pick a side in passion. Plus, DC electorate is still majority black.

    If this is their strategy I hope Gray is planning a nice Mayor Elect Black Caucus Ball.

    ----

    William Lightfoot should know intimately the pungent taste of bitter...He after getting snubbed by Mayor Williams, whined to everyone who would listen and then was involved in the failed Mayoral recall...or wait that was his wife and he could not have known anything about it.

    Mr. Lightfoot support of Mayor Fenty would have not led to my lack of respect for him. But the use of race to advance a candidate that he himself has stated has misuse his position and made mistakes--is revolting. He would dismiss them as ANGRY black people and allow the tone to be so racist in the campaign, I have heard whites complain it is complete uncomfortable to be around the Fenty camp at times. And although they have to work with the administration they will be voting for Vince Gray.

    I think Fenty story is written. His cronies Bowser and Lightfoot are really going to tie themselves to the anchor of that sinking ship let them. I think the day after the straw poll the recruitment for the next Ward 4 councilmember began in earnest.

    ----
    ‘Those are the people angry with Adrian. They turned up to vote last night,’ Lightfoot said. ‘It was a return to the ’90s. They were disgruntled.

    Over a 1,000 people voted in the Ward 4 election and over 500 Ward 6 both won by Gray. But according to the Fenty canvasser in Ward 6, Fenty won.

  • Manor

    "SEE US BLACK FOLKS JUST WANT SOMEONE TO LEAD, BE FAIR, KEEP US WORKING AND DONT SCREW IT UP. MAKE SURE OUR CHILDREN ARE SAFE AND EDUCATED. AND BY ALL MEANS DON’T PRETEND LIKE WE DON’T EXIST."

    Lets just hope the segment of black america that is as ignorant and charity-seeking as the above gets smaller and smaller. Hope.

    Sounds like noodlez would be happier as a slave, with someone to keep him working. Do you need to be spoon fed too?

  • Indeed

    Wow, Manor. You really are trash.

  • larry

    I don't see this so much as being about black and white residents, but more about who has wealth and is being catered to by this mayor. I think there are too many people in this city who have never been touched or hurt by the actions of the Fenty administration. And, they are either not aware of or avoid thinking about those who are. The person who wrote about the conversation they heard in starbucks just kind of sums it up. Dog Parks and Bike Lanes do it for them. That's a vote? That's enough? I'm going to be attending the campaign event in ward 8 on Monday and I am hoping to ask the mayor (if he shows) why this money (or even some of it) didn't go to replacing the boys and girls club in ward 8 he closed over 2 years ago. He said he would be replacing it. How many of those kids are using the new bike lanes and taking their dogs to dog parks?

  • S.E.

    It's going to take a combination of the Black, Latino, White, Affluent and Poor vote for any politician to become elected in this city.

  • Manor

    Believe it or not, every Ward in the city deserves to have some city money spent on it. Not every dollar needs to go to the poorest areas, especially given the corruption, waste, and crapulence of those areas. The WaPo did a survey of spending and has the numbers:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/05/AR2010060503976.html

    Poor Wards still get lots and lots of money for all sorts of projects, but richer Wards get some too. Remember that's where the bulk of tax dollars in DC come from. Of course, some of you will denounce WaPo as the paper of Mr. Charlie but please do come up with better numbers.

  • larry

    I do agree with those of you that money needs to be spent in all wards, but I do have serious concerns about the prioritizing of where some funds should go and when. A huge number of the population most vulnerable to the cuts in social programs are children.

  • SuperS

    Lightfoot, I used refer to you as Mr. Lightfoot, but you have killed that title for yourself. What bothers me the most is that I remember when you were a poor angry black man your self. Always remember what goes up can come down, look at your Candidate Fenty. You don't have enough money that it can't be wiped out if a tragedy happened. You are not Bill Gates and remember that you are still Indian and Black witch is still considered the minority to white folks.

  • noodlez

    @Indeed-I DONT BASH GAYS OR HOMOSEXUALS. NEVER DO OR DID. WHEN I SPEAK ON THE SUBJECT I DONT TIP-TOE AROUND IT. I LET MY POSITION BE KNOWN. NO KID GLOVES FROM ME.

    CONTRARY TO FOLK BELIEF IF THE GAY MARRIAGE BILL WAS PUT TO A VOTE AND IT GOT THE SUPPORT FROM THE CITIZENS OF DC IT NEEDED THEN I WOULDNT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT. THE PROBLEM I HAVE IS A GAY CITY COUNCIL MEMBER FORCING PRO-GAY LEGISLATION THROUGH A QUESTIONABLE LOOP HOLE AS OPPOSED TO HAVE IT PUT THROUGH THE PROCESS LIKE THE FOLK IN CALIFORNIA.

    NOW GRANTED THE GAY JUDGE WHO MADE A DECISION ON PROP 8 REALLY ISNT HELPING THE CAUSE. HOWEVER AN ISSUE SUCH AS THIS ONE SHOULD BE PUT THRU THE FIRE TO FORGE ITS RESOLVE.

    IF THEY WANT TO BE INCLUDED IN THE MAINSTREAM THEN THEY SHOULD TAKE THEIR LUMPS JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER GROUP OUT HERE. THOSE WHO TAKE MY COMMENTS TO HEART OR OUT OF CONTEXT ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY PROBABLY ARE STILL CONFUSED ABOUT THEMSELVES ANYWAY. THE TRUE HOMOSEXUAL WOULDNT GIVE A SHIT BECUASE THEY KNOW WHO THEY TRULY ARE AND ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THEMSELVES NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS!

    F.Y.I.-THE TERM FAGGIE IS DC JARGON JUST LIKE THE WORD BAMA. FAGGIE WAS ESTABLISHED WELL BEFORE THE GAY REVOLUTION OF 2K AND IS NOT HATE SPEECH. **********************************************************

    DREZ-YEAH YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE AND YOU SAW WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I DIDNT FIT IN TO THEIR LITTLE WORLD. THE VERY SHIT THEY WERE TRYING TO PROMOTE IS THE VERY SHIT THEY BANNED ME FOR. I WAS HAPPY WHEN THEY DID BECAUSE IT JUST SHOWED ME THAT THEY ARENT READY FOR PRIMETIME YET.

    IF THEY CANT DEAL WITH ME ON SOME FAKE ASS BLOG SITE HOW IN THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO DEAL WITH REALITY.

    NOT TO GET ALL CUSHY COZY BUT WE ALSO AGREE ON THE EDUCATION VEHICLE AND ROUTE THAT IT WOULD TAKE TO LIFT THIS CITY OUT THE DOLDRUMS. WE JUST DISAGREE ON THE DRIVER (INSERT ASIAN JOKE HERE).

    **********************************************************
    DCGuy-I APOLOGIZE MY POINTS GET LOST IN YOUR TRANSLATION BECAUSE OF MY TYPO-GRAFFITI. IF COMMENTS WERE SUBMITTED BY HAND I WOULD USE A CRAYON SO THAT YOU MAY UNDERSTAND.

    ASK CLARK RAY IF HIS SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS IRRELEVANT.

  • Manor

    SuperS: for the last many years whites have been the minority in DC, blacks have been the majority. Not sure where Native Americans rank.

    For the record, as a white guy I want nothing more than black empowerment, especially as I live in the city and have for decades. Unfortunately, I see more black self-destruction than anything else, though perhaps I am not looking in the right areas.

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