Pop Quiz, Hotshot: The Results
At last night's at-large D.C. Council candidates' forum/debate, LL passed out an obnoxious quiz for the candidates to fill out. The questions, with answers, are below—and below that, the answers the candidates gave, which in most cases had almost nothing to do with the right answers.
- Name the three major bond rating agencies. (Moody's, S&P, Fitch)
- What is the approximate amount of the District's local-fund budget? ($5.3 billion)
- How many students attend public schools in D.C., both traditional and charter? (about 75,000)
- Which Republican congressman is in charge of the House oversight committee responsible for overseeing District affairs? (Trey Gowdy, but LL messed the wording of this question up)
- Name the end points for each Metro line. (Red: Shady Grove, Glenmont; Green: Greenbelt, Branch Avenue; Blue: Franconia-Springfield, Largo Town Center; Orange: New Carr0lton, Vienna/Fairfax; Yellow: Fort Totten, Huntington)
- Bonus: Correctly spell Marion Barry's middle name. (Shepilov)
Before LL reveals the candidates' answer sheets, a few observations:
- The next at-large councilmember will have horrible, and LL means horrible, handwriting. LL has no room to talk on this issue, but damn, that's some ugly chickenscratch.
- LL enjoys Josh Lopez's candor. When asked at the forum what he'd do if he met President Obama, the man who recently sold out the District's budget autonomy, Lopez said he'd ask for an autograph. In the pop quiz, Lopez couldn't name all three bond ratings agencies, so he wrote "got me" instead.
- Bryan Weaver, promoter of public transportation, utterly failed when asked to name the end points for all the Metro lines. Weaver's lone answer: "Shady Grove—" Everyone got this question wrong, btw, and you probably would, too.
- Pat Mara has taken some guff for announcing his at-large candidacy a mere fortnight after winning the Ward 1 State Board of Education seat. Valid criticism? At last count, there were 45,630 students at DCPS and 29,356 students enrolled in charter schools. When asked on the pop quiz how many students D.C. has, Mara got close for DCPS, but was 6,000 kids off for charter schools. Sekou Biddle, who is making education his thing, was 3,000 off for his figures on DCPS but was very close to the actual charter numbers. LL was very strict in his grading, so the best anyone did was .5 points (Vincent Orange, who nailed the number of charter school students).
- LL messed up the fourth question, which was supposed to ask which Republican congressman heads the House subcommittee that oversees District affairs (Rep. Trey Gowdy), but instead asked for the committee. A couple candidates named Rep. Darrell Issa, who does indeed head the House Oversight Committee that Gowdy's subcommittee is a part of. Biddle named Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who will head the House appropriations subcommittee that controls the District budget, which is where most of the real power is anyway. Badly worded question, though; no points were awarded for this question one way or the other, thanks to LL's error.
- No one even tried to answer the bonus question, which asked candidates to correctly spell Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry's middle name. Weaver, in fact, just drew a big line underneath the question. (It's Shepilov; co-host Tom Sherwood told LL the middle name was given to Barry by his college buddies.)
- Only Biddle and Orange knew that the District's local budget is about $5.3 billion.
Candidates could get partial scores for naming one end of a Metro line, even if they didn't get both. The final scores, out of a possible 10 points, were: Biddle, 5.5; Mara, 5.5; Orange, 4.5; Weaver, 3.5; Lopez, 1.5
See the answer sheets for yourself: