Loose Lips

Writing In Superman?

Fenty Write-In Campaign Waits for Superman

Mayor Adrian Fenty may be repudiating their efforts, but some of his most loyal followers are still pursuing a write-in campaign for the mayor in the Nov. 2 general election. (Remember, even though it might be the most meaningless day in the D.C. political calendar, it’s still happening.) And the release of Waiting for "Superman" is giving the write-in attempt its latest rallying cry.

Despite my negative review of the film, the much-hyped education documentary was the hardest ticket to find this weekend at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. When I went there Friday night to see something else, the entrance to the theater was surrounded by former staff and volunteers of Fenty’s primary campaign, who touted the glowing portrayal of D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in Waiting for "Superman" as their latest reason to cast write-in ballots for our ousted mayor.

Donny Gonzalez, a Columbia Heights resident who admitted he hadn’t yet seen the documentary, spent much of last spring and summer volunteering for Fenty’s reelection effort. A graduate of the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Shaw, Gonzalez is a big Rhee fan and fears that mayor-in-waiting Vince Gray will undo the reforms made over the past four years.

“We’re finally starting to see improvements and we need to support the mayor that got us there,” Gonzalez told me while passing out some of the unauthorized Fenty literature that the write-in backers have produced. “We need to support the chancellor that got us there.”

Also picketing the theater were staffers of Democrats for Education Reform. Devin Q. Boyle, the group’s legislative liaison, was pushing her group’s “Done Waiting,” campaign that is attempting to transfer the popularity of Waiting for “Superman” into activism. (The film does this as well in its lengthy end credits. Its distributor, Participant Media, is not working with Democrats for Education Reform, Boyle said.) Boyle insisted her group was not coordinating with the Fenty backers—but she didn’t mind the confluence.

“We are in support of Fenty and Rhee,” she said.

Both groups found an supporter in Laura Blood, who stood right next to the theater entrance hoisting a sign reading, “We can be Superman. Write Fenty in.” Blood, a Ward 2 resident and mother of a 5-year-old enrolled in what she called one of DCPS’ “great schools,” attempted to buy tickets earlier in the day—only to find that every showing on Friday was sold out. But moved by a recent episode of Oprah featuring Rhee, Bill Gates and Waiting for “Superman” director Davis Guggenheim, she returned to the theater with the sign and her family in tow.

Of the canvassers hovering around E Street, only Boyle had seen the film as of Friday evening. In addition to their enthusiasm for a documentary showcasing Rhee, they were unified in their defiance of the long odds against an unauthorized write-in campaign in a mostly ignored general election.

“Republicans weren’t allowed to vote on the Democratic ticket and neither were the independents,” Gonzalez said about the Sept. 14 primary. “We always talk about statehood and no taxation without representation, but here we are disenfranchising a large amount of D.C. residents by not allowing them to participate in electing the true mayor of D.C.—Adrian Fenty.”

Photo by Benjamin R. Freed

Comments

  1. #1

    if a republican or an independent wanted to vote in the mayoral primary then they could have easily changed their party registration for the primary election. everyone knew how the system worked up front...there were no surprises.

  2. #2

    Amen Typical...nobody was disenfranchised.

  3. #3

    Some ought to explain to Donny who went to a Charter School that Rhee has nothing to do with Charter Schools. She is the Chancellor for DCPS.

    Rhee actually could have stayed if her ego didn't get in the way. Someone needed to tell her it is about the children not her.

  4. #4

    These women need to give it UP --it's over, you lost. If you want to help with education volunteer at DCPS and get a life!

  5. #5

    I'll write Fenty in.

    Gray's core supporters will push for him to defund public education. Perhaps to shift moneys to charters or adult job training or affordable housing. And Gray will. The ATF bought and paid for that.

    My suspicion is that his funding decreases will gut the oversight necessary to insure IMPACT and other performance metrics are adhered to. If those aren't scrapped entirely.
    That way, teachers will get the huge raises negotiated in the contract without actually being held to improved standards.

    But I agree the primary didn't disenfranchise people. After all, everyone still has a vote in November.

    And, hey, I'd be thrilled to be wrong, but I just don't see even a single reason to believe that I am. Hell, when the US Secretary of Education feels the need to suggest Rhee stay, you know there's a serious reason.

  6. #6

    As a voter who does not want to be identified with a party for philosophical reasons, I find it distgusting that anyone would suggest I register as a Dem in order to have voting rights as a resident of this city. That is astoundingly undemocratic.

  7. #7

    Does the little girl in the picture know her mom is a sore loser?

  8. #8

    I would hate to think of how (disenfranchised)mid to lower middle class folk would feel if the status quo had been allowed to continue the quest for it's total eradication from this town. You people never cease to amaze me with your gall. Do you think for one second we were going to continue being led down this slippery slope by this (kid) and the hand picked image that Arnie,Mike and he are trying to shove down our throats. We know that this is a desparate situation we're in, but no one is going to go for that old bait and switch sh*t, either Rhee has a plan or she doesn't, if it's the former just to let us view what it is, we're not going to except fried ice cream, no, cause our kids aren't experimental mice.We want real honest progress. From the beginning we've been asking to let us participate in the process or admitt,the (Emperor) doesn't have any cloths on. The District would have been the ultimate fish bowl for your little media/social network experiment,but you didn't have enough respect for it's resident's to share the spot light with them, instead she chose to play the savior of the down trodden role for the camera's, instead of focusing on doing what ever it took for real schoolreform. Go somewhere and work on your people skills Michell and really get yourself ready for this ordeal before you try and take it on, and (Arnie), give us more credit than you have,we know that you want the feather in your cap but, we've got more to lose from this political postering than you know, so let us govern ourselves

  9. #9

    @Lawest:

    I don't believe anyone was suggesting that you change party affiliation in order to vote in the city. What was being discussed was the fact that since the start of Home Rule in the city, all party primaries have been closed (i.e. the Republican Primary is closed to Dems and Independents; the Statehood and Independent Primary is closed to Republicans and Dems; and the Democratic Primary is closed to Republicans and Independents). However, every voter regardless of party affiliation can participate and vote in the general (open to everyone) election.

    Therefore, if Republicans and Independents wanted to have the option of participating in the closed Democratic Primary, for which Fenty and Gray were the candidates, then Republicans and Independents would have had to re-register as Democratics (by the registration deadline) in order to participate in and have a voice in the selection of the Democratic party candidate for Mayor (especially considering that the city is approximately 95% registered voters are registered as Democrats). Otherwise, please stop B & M'ing (Bitching and Moaning) about being disenfranchised from selecting the next Democratic Mayor for the city in the Democratic Primary. If you don't fall in the category of being one of the Republican or Independent voters; or a Democrat who is simply a sore loser, then neither the previous posts nor this post apply to you; and you can continue to belong to the same party that you currently belong to. Just know that the city is approximately 95% Democratic; and ALL Primaries are CLOSED. You don't have to like it, but it is still the reality.

  10. #10

    Corrections:

    @ Lawest:

    I don’t believe anyone was suggesting that you change party affiliation in order to vote in the city. What was being discussed was the fact that since the start of Home Rule in the city, all party primaries have been closed (i.e. the Republican Primary is closed to Dems and Independents; the Statehood and Independent Primary is closed to Republicans and Dems; and the Democratic Primary is closed to Republicans and Independents). However, every voter regardless of party affiliation can participate and vote in the General (open to everyone) Election.

    Therefore, if Republicans and Independents wanted to have the option of participating in the closed Democratic Primary, for which Fenty and Gray were the candidates, then Republicans and Independents would have had to re-register as Democrats (by the registration deadline) in order to participate in and have a voice in the selection of the Democratic party candidate for Mayor (especially considering that approximately 95% of registered voters in the city are registered as Democrats). Otherwise, please stop B & M’ing (Bitching and Moaning) about being disenfranchised from selecting the next Democratic Mayor for the city in the Democratic Primary. If you don’t fall in the category of being one of the Republican or Independent voters; or a Democrat who is simply a sore loser, then neither the previous posts nor this post apply to you; and you can continue to belong to the same party that you currently belong to. Just know that the city is approximately 95% Democratic; and ALL Primaries are CLOSED. You don’t have to like it, but it is still the reality.

  11. #11

    These people are beginning to look a lot like that fringe group PUMA and see's Rhee as the Saint in the same manner as the tea party is for Sarah Palin. They don't even care what the facts are. They don't care that she really can't see Russia from Alaska. They just want HER at all costs. Same with Fenty/Rhee.

    DREZ, and where are you getting these crazy ideas from? Since you don't live or work in DC, I can't imagine that you attended a forum and heard anything remotely close to people wanting to defund education. Moreover, it is this movie and most of the commentary that has focused much more on charter schools. So, if you have an issue with the seeming preference for charter schools, take it up with Oprah, Gates, Rhee and 'em.

    Also, unless I'm a bit slow, recipients of RTT funds must teacher performance measures that MUST be adherred to, as part of their "contract" with the federal government. that is already separate from the terms of the contract with the union.

    This means that you, a MoCo resident since the 80's, don't know what you're talking about. Who else other than a radical would change terms so that his/her state forfeits FREE money? Who does that?

  12. #12

    I think if you believe that this is an "unauthorized" write in, you are naive. Certainly there are some people out there volunteering, but who paid the $2000 for the write in booth at Fiesta DC plus the additional $2000 for personing it? Who paid the money for the polls? I am willing to bet it is Fenty (and was said at the festival to be Fenty) but we will not know until the next finance report. After all he has not said what he plans to do with his left over 800k from the campaign.

    The thought is if they can just turn out the ward three and ward one people who voted Fenty, since the expected turnout is low that he could carry a write-in.

  13. #13

    SEis4ME- Drez gets solid data and a lot of it. Unfortunately, it comes from his ass, so I don't really trust his "source". He fed me a bunch of bullshit about DCPS and when I used the links he provided and looked into the school profiles, 7 out of the 8 schools I looked into all posted declines in test scores. One in particular had a 54% drop in Math and a 40% drop in reading. When I shared it with him, he attributed it to the "high Latino" population in that school and the language issue. I guess the other DCPS that have large hispanic populations that made strides (but that were also well-performing prior to Rhee) shouldn't be included in his analysis of the data.

    Now Drez is presenting with such confidence what Gray's intentions are. Surprising in way but then again, it's coming from our friend Drez- a formerly homeless biracial resident who happens to have a masters degree.

  14. #14

    I understand wanting to write Fenty in if you're a Fenty fan. But portraying him as some kind of superhero is just too much. The guy is a complete idiot. If he had half a brain, he would've easily won this election.

    More people have slipped into poverty over the last four years. This is not Fenty's fault. But he pretended like nothing was wrong.

    His working fast and hard mantra would've worked if he knew what he was doing. But he didn't. And neither did a lot of the people who worked for him. So, if you want to write him in, then do so, but please have a conversation with the guy about something of substance before you do. Maybe then you'll see just how stupid he is.

  15. #15

    ABM
    I don't have a masters degree, nor do I recall ever stating that I do.
    My post above was of course speculation, but it's driven by data. Gray was bankrolled in large part by unions, and many of his volunteers were union folks. And yet he's promising charter advocates that he will find money somewhere for them. And we're broke, so he'll have to make compromises to please these warring members of his "coalition". He only has a few possible moves.

    By the way, if you don't like Bruce Monroe at Parkview, you might also try looking at Francis Stevens. I'm sure you've been told this before, but visiting any school and getting a sense of the atmosphere- maybe even sitting in on a class for a few hours- is the most important thing you can do.
    Good luck.

  16. #16

    Don't write in Fenty, write in Rhee. Clearly, some of Fenty's supporter only want Rhee to stay in DCPS.

    It isn't about Fenty or the DCPS students. Give me a break!!

    Vote for Vincent Gray on November 2, 2010 and visit http://www.vincegrayformayor.com.

    Enough is Enough, Rhee MUST GO!

  17. #17

    HAHAHAHA!!

    SUPERMAN.....WOW, comical yes, a JOKE yes yes....TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE....HELLS YEAH!!

  18. #18

    Drez- Data driven is not really your side's forte, now is it. Though you all often claim it (Rhee with DCPS improvements, Fenty with everything), you guys often don't substantiate them (DCPS numbers did go do for elementary schools and we still have no idea what the hell Peaceholics did with $10 million), so I'm going to have ignore you on this one.

    Also, if you really were so concerned with data, why not have Rhee share some with the rest of the world. Theory is always pure, my friend, until put into practice. So I would love to see what a billion dollars plus has gotten us these past 4 years. So far it seems like it's only gotten one expensive movie star (Rhee).

  19. #19

    Again, I register, but not with ANY party, including Indy, for philisophical reasons. Thus, anyone suggesting I should register as a Dem or shut up to have equal voting rights is insensitive. To suggest that my efforts to see Fenty serve the District for another term is being a "sore loser" or "bitching and moaning" is just wrong.

    This is my only opportunity to participate, and the lack of respect and the tone of the replies here are both a little sickening.

  20. #20

    @lawest

    Please stop you sound crazy. If you want to vote for a democrat register as a democrat. If you want to vote for a Republican, register as a republican. These are political parties after all which you choose not to be a part of. Please do not blame others for the choice that you have made. Even in Virginia where you do not affiliate with a party when you go to vote you must choose what ballot you will vote for (Dem or Repub). So stop

  21. #21

    ABM

    You can of course chose to believe what you want.
    But please do come up with something to base your beliefs on that is more solid than "they taught the test" or "they cooked the numbers" or "all the gains are really due to Janey". Because those are all things that people who claim to care for DCPS and support Gray tell themselves, and they are not internally consistent.
    At the end of the day, they are just excuses. And, at some point, reality will catch up. It always does.

    Good luck on your school search. Francis-Stevens really is worth a look.

  22. #22

    Drez- it works both ways my friend. I suggest you take a hard look at what has been spent and what is the result. We are facing another budget crisis because of poor decisions Fenty made and I'll grant, the Council allowed. Look at how much has been dedicated and spent on DCPS since Rhee's been in power. If you were her boss and spent as much as you did implementing her plan, you wouldn't want to know where all the money's gone? As you have seen, a large portion of DCPS are still unperforming.

    I will be as critical of Gray as I was of Fenty. I just cannot believe politicians when they say trust me, progress is happening, and yet, my kids can't attend a decent school, my neighborhood still has a lot of crime, and my general living conditions have not improved. My tax dollars was wasted far too long under Fenty and his priorties. Hopefully, Gray will listen. If he doesn't and makes the same mistakes, I have no qualms about criticizing him.

    I've spoken to the VP at FS. She was very helpful on the phone took down my information, but never called me back. I'll try back.

  23. #23

    Fenty's people think that everyone who supports Gray will be just like Fenty people: unwilling to hold their guy accountable. Quite the opposite. And if he doesn't live up to what we want, we'll help kick him out.

  24. Southeast Resident
    #24

    @drez

    Reality is Ms. Rhee overspent the DCPS budget, so it will be cut by Fenty and not Gray. She can't manage a budget, so this is another reason for her to hit the trail.

  25. #25

    @ Lawest:

    There was no intent to insult or belittle you regarding registration or the desire not to register. I was simply trying to explain the conversation that was taking place regarding the voting process; and closed Primaries. Moreover, there was no tone behind my comment. Specifically, I stated that if you did not fit into any of the categories that I outlined, then all of the posts, including mine, did not apply to you with regard to B & M'ing or anything else.

    Please excuse any tone that you read into my earlier post; there was no tone intented and no tone suggested. Much respect to you for whatever your choices and decisions are; that is the beauty of America, we can make our own choices - we just have to be prepared to live with the consequences.

  26. #26

    Donny Gonzalez was unqualified but nonetheless got his job from Fenty. Do your homework. Check it out. He also campaigned on D.C. taxpayer dimes -- a Hatch Act violation. If you are reporters, do your homework before penning such trash. You have no credibility otherwise.

  27. #27

    @SE Rez
    Rhee overspent her budget this year by less than 3%. And during her tenure DCPS has made gains unprecedented in modern DC history.
    Obviously, things are not where they need to be, but we are now seeing gains after 40 years of failure. This is born out by test score gains, federal recognition, winning competitive federal and private funding, enrollment gains, etc. Just about every single metric shows this.
    As a parent, I'll stick with a proven winner before I roll the dice on someone who has no like-kind record and is funded in large part by people who have consistently opposed education reform.
    It is what it is.

  28. #28

    Will ELI BROAD (the Southern Calif. real estate mogul
    & rhee-form oligarch, otherwise known as
    Sugar Daddy Warbucks) please clean up after your crews' deep dippity-do & stinking pile of hypocrisy! Will ELI BROAD & cronies please arrange (ASAP !) a consulting gig for his political concubine & broom-humping pet --- rabid MICHELLE RHEE --- Also, if she's got too many skeletons rattling in the closet (along with Kevin Johnson, including financial misappropriation scandals, cover-up of sexual misconduct with minor students & teenage staff, and a range of federal /state /city illegalities & violations) --
    and if no other school district will hire
    Chancellor Queen Rhee (because she's not qualified to actually be a school-district superintendent) ---
    it's not the DC voters' problem !!!
    There are excellent, experienced,
    qualified candidates who are ready
    to replace her and ready to implement
    strategic, viable improvements.

    Rhee-move her !

    -----------------------------

  29. #29

    @Isn't It Obvious

    Ahh, civility. Thank you, it is appreciated.

  30. Southeast Resident
    #30

    @drez, there is someone who accomplished more up the road in Baltimore named Alonso. He did it with a buy in from not only the community, but also the Teachers Union. That is the kind of person that we need down here. Plus how much talent does it take to contract management of a school out? That's Rhee's trick. If you charter out the poor performing school the test scores should rise. If you contract the management out of the poor performing schools because you are no expert, if it fails as it is doing at Anacostia, you can blame someone else. Also, those tax dollars that she is wasting are yours and mine if you truly live in DC. If its ten bucks, she is expected to do better. Oh, but that is the Fenty thing waste and cover it up until you are caught, then blame someone else. You would fit right in with them.

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