Loose Lips Daily: No Advice Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning, sweet readers! Did you see the Oval Office makeover? LL also has plans to redo his office, not for asthetics, but to clear out the food DeBonis left so a certain little mouse stops running accross LL's desk. News time:
Advice, I Don't Need No Stinking Advice: "Facing bleak poll results and rising pessimism about his chances of reelection, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty plans to rebuff advice that he try to win over only key groups of potential supporters and instead will use a strategy that worked for him in 2006: wooing voters across the city," report the Post's Tim Craig and Nikita Stewart. "Increasingly alarmed over the direction of the campaign, some of Fenty's friends and supporters have in recent days urged him to shift his strategy, perhaps embracing an approach that redoubles efforts to generate more enthusiasm among his base of support, in the white community and more affluent areas of the city." In other words, skip the Go-Go concerts and start putting as many Ward 3 residents in your Smart Car as you can and drive them to the polls. "Yet, Fenty said Tuesday that he intends to focus on a citywide campaign to win support in all neighborhoods, not just from specific voters in specific neighborhoods. ''Ive never run a campaign like that," Fenty said. "Every vote is the same. . . . They all add up.'"
As for the Vincent Gray campaign, well, it seems like their feeling just a little bit confident: "We believe if we get our voters to the polls, there is no way the mayor can win," said Adam Rubinson, Gray's campaign manager. "The only way we can possibly lose is if we are complacent and don't get out our vote. . . . The math is just not there."
AFTER THE JUMP: Rhee Wash; Where's Nickles?; Kwame + Money = Issues ...
You Say Rhee, I Say Rhee: Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is a wash in this election, the Post's Bill Turque reports. "Forty-one percent of registered Democrats regard her record as a reason to vote for Fenty over D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in the Sept. 14 contest. Forty percent say her leadership of the school system is a reason to return the mayor to private life. ... Rhee said she was pleased that the results show many voters consider her reform effort a reason to back Fenty. 'We've always known that the aggressive reforms we have pursued would stir opposition,' she wrote in an e-mail. 'The fact that people are saying that what we're doing is more of a reason to vote for the mayor than not shows that many people see the progress we're making.' Rhee's problematic image might be one reason the Fenty campaign has yet to take her up on the offer she said she made this summer to walk city neighborhoods and knock on doors. The poll depicts the deeply divergent views of progress in the 45,000-student public school system, long regarded as one of the nation's weakest. Rhee also has failed to win over the city's African American Democrats. That is notable for a school system in which black students account for three-fourths of enrollment, and suggests a challenge no matter how long her tenure lasts. Her standing in the black community has collapsed over the past two years alongside the mayor's. In a January 2008 Post poll, 50 percent of black residents approved of her performance, a figure that has dwindled to 27 percent. Among white Democrats, 68 percent said Rhee is a reason to support Fenty. Fifty-four percent of black Democrats cite her as a reason to vote against the mayor."
So Where Exactly Do You Live?: WeLoveDC's Tom Bridge put up the video that everyone's talking about: A stalker has followed Attorney General Peter Nickles to his home in Great Falls and claims that Nickles is there all the time and doesn't really live in D.C. like he claims and is required to by law. The video by itself certainly doesn't prove anything other than someone followed Nickles around with a video camera. But it does raise some questions. Nickles reaction, acccording to WBJ's Michael Neibauer's twitter account: "Outrageous conduct. I am a DC resident, pay DC taxes, get my mail in DC, registered to vote etc etc. ... I also have home in VA and spend time there too."
People Addicted to Audits: Ron Moten, the Peaceoholics co-founder and Fenty's own David Plouffe, said he's not worried about what D.C. Auditor Deborah Nichols is going to find looking at his organization, reports Deborah Simmons in the Times. Ward 7 Councilwoman Yvette Alexander has asked Nichols to look into the group and wants a preliminary report by Friday. Regarding questionable financial records and expenditures, Mr. Moten did not provide precise figures on the amount of government funding received by the Peaceoholics, from which he stepped down as chief operating officer last fall. But he said the group's books were being audited last year by the D.C. firm Haymaker & Associates. 'We were engaged to do the 2008 audit but withdrew,' said a spokeswoman who answered the phone at Haymaker but refused to identify herself."
Kw-Kw-Kwame and the Debts: "The District's campaign finance watchdogs are looking into irregularities in D.C. Council member Kwame R. Brown's fundraising reports from two previous elections," reports Ann Marimow in the Post. "In a pair of letters Monday addressed to officials with Brown's campaigns, the Office of Campaign Finance sought information about why Brown (D-At Large) was raising money for and making payments from a 2008 account this spring, two years after the election, and why a separate account he controls from his 2004 campaign owed money to the Internal Revenue Service." Brown seems to have a pretty rock solid excuse for one of those irregularities: death. "Brown formally responded within hours to finance officials' request, blaming the confusion on accounting mistakes and saying that the campaign had found the problem and discussed it with the office. The campaign incorrectly reported a surplus in the 2008 account, Brown's treasurer wrote in response. With outstanding debts and bills, the letter said, the campaign could legally keep open the account, raise money and pay bills. Concerning the 2004 account, Brown's treasurer wrote that the campaign's previous accountant incorrectly reported taxable income to the IRS as if the campaign account were a business. The accountant died before he could resolve the issue, according to the letter." Vincent Orange, Brown's competitor, is trying to hype the OCF's review, but it might be too little too late. Early voting has already started and Brown has a huge lead over Orange in the Post's latest poll. See Tom Sherwood's piece as well. Bruce DePuyt has both men on at 10 a.m.
Mendelson v. Shadowman: The Examiner's Freeman Klopott reports on Councilmember Phil Mendelson's war with shadow Sen. Michael D. Brown, who appears poised to win Mendo's seat because voters are confusing him with Councilmember Michael A. Brown. Biggest news, D. Brown is no longer returning Klopott's calls. The Post has a nifty graph that shows the similarities between D. Brown's support and A. Brown's past voters. See WUSA9. LL has some advice for Mendo.
Do You Feel Lucky Punk, Well Do Ya?: The Post's editoral board takes another look at the mayor's race and asks voters if Fenty's serious style problems "are serious enough to justify gambling with the city's continuing progress. ... The mayor didn't consult as broadly as the city's mandarins expect when appointing people such as, say, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. But his key appointments have been almost universally top-class and results-oriented. While Mr. Gray has received the endorsements and financial backing of public employees unions and community groups, Mr. Fenty was elected essentially unbeholden to any special interests. You didn't see the teachers union, for example, spending its dollars on radio ads for his candidacy, as it is now doing for Mr. Gray. Would Mr. Gray have the toughness to reward his supporters when appropriate but to say no when that is in the public interest?"
Specialty Hospitals wants UMC back [WBJ]
Jim Graham's poll says Jim Graham is going to kick ass in Ward 1 [Post]
D.C. GOP files complaint against Gray [TBD]
Jonetta finds Fenty supports in Gray's home turf, says Gray's attacks on park contracts is "propaganda" [Examiner]
Cathy Lanier, dog lover [NBC4]
Alpert for Cheh and Wells [GGW]
Don't miss the big showdown at noon. Fenty and Gray will debate at the Newseum. The Post will stream it live.