Loose Lips

Challengers Having A Hard Time Knocking Bowser

At last night's Washington City Paper/WPFW Ward 4 debate, the five challengers did their best to get some licks on incumbent Councilmember Muriel Bowser. Maybe it was because the venue, Petworth's Domku, was stacked with Bowser supporters, but LL didn't see many blows land.

The three lines of attack used most often were 1) that Bowser allegedly allowed Ward 4 schools to get short-changed in the capital spending department; 2) Bowser's support of Wal-Mart is at odds with what the ward needs; and 3) her implied or explicit support of a "pay-to-play" political culture down at the Wilson Building.

If there's gold to be mined in any of those arguments, LL didn't hear any of Bowser's challengers—Baruti Jahi, somewhat sardonic crowd favorite Calvin Gurley, Judi Jones, Renee Bowser and Max Skolnik—hit paydirt last night. It could be their delivery, or it could be that her challengers need some new issues to talk about. School funding is pretty unsexy by nature. Wal-Mart's impending arrival just doesn't appear to be that big a deal to most voters (though for the people for whom it's a big deal, it's a very big deal). And though Bowser can fundraise with the best of them, she's pretty well-removed from the stink emanating from some of her colleagues.

Or maybe it's just that Bowser's had this race wrapped up for a while, and nothing her challengers do/say will make much of a difference. On that note, LL should add that Bowser left the door wide open when asked about the rumors that she's considering a run for the mayor's job in 2014. Bowser gave the boilerplate answer most politicians considering higher office give: she said that if she were to try and move up the ladder, it would only be with Ward 4's consent.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • RealDC

    Yes, its sad but she does not have much of a challenge, this time. But don't be fooled, Bowser is lousy!

    When asked, she refused to answer if she was subpoeneaed by the US Atty. That is a "Yes" or "No" answer. No futher explanation is needed. Not good for "Ms. Ethics".

    Bowser's supporters at Domku does not equal ward 4 voters. Some of the green sticker people said they support her but do not live in ward 4....its called stacking the room with bodies.

    We can't take 4 more years of Bowser's crap!

  • DC2+2

    Did Bowser come clean on her high phone bills? Is there an FOI request in for the phone records? Can somebody publish them?
    Why is she so stingy with her constituent service money?
    Voted to raise taxes on retirees?
    Introduced a bill to give Donattelli a tax abatement on his development project? He gives her a bundled donation to her campaign.
    Wilmot, lobbyst for Walmart, is on her re-election team. Ward 4 gets 2 Walmarts? Bundled money from the Wilmot tree is up in her campaign.
    Jeffrey Thompson has bundled money for her campaign.But she is reformist for ethics on the council.
    What's that smell? All of these items by theirselves are probably minor but when you keep a running tab, the smell becomes very strong and that's not cheese you smell.

    Is she using her campaign office on Georgia Ave? Her posters are plastered on the windows but one of supporters said it is just a front, not really used for anything, just a billboard for her picture and signs. What's the rent on that space? Who owns that building? I know its her campaign money and she can spend like she chooses. But she is not taking this election serious and she is not taking the people of 4 serious. Arrogant and out of touch is good description. BTW- Gray used it for his ward 4 office. How much did he pay? But his folks did use it? They partied their too? Bowser is using it as one big yard sign, hmmm, maybe she is counting that as a new business on Georgia Avenue.

    End of the day, I don't know who to vote for. The incumbent is smelley, a little stench is blowing off of her. I do not think she is corrupt, yet, but she is not spring fresh, there is an odor around. A lot of questions around her votes and conduct are raising eyebrows. The other candidates are trying but they have no sizzle, yet.

    Ward 4 is waiting for a super hero, invigorate and inspire the people. Fix our schools, save Georgia Ave, get folks working, encourage local ownership, cut taxes, etc. Just fight for the people of 4 and don't forget you are the WARD 4 Councilmember!! Not an at-large member getting ready to run for chair or mayor. Focus on 4!!

  • Non Liberal Democrat

    This is sad news to hear. However, voter apathy in Ward 4 is high and many Ward 4 voters will not vote April 3, 2012. This is the worse D.C. couuncil in history. As a 37 year voter in the District of Columbia, I will not vote for Muriel Bowser nor any of the candidates. I am not impressed with non of their liberal bullshit. I will write in NONE OF THE ABOVE at the polls.

  • Delta Soror

    I agree, Non Liberal Democrat, the Ward 4 voter turnout is low and the apathy is high. Muriel Bowser and the candidates running against her are undesirable. Talking with other neighbors here in 16th Street Heights, most fell the same and they are not going to vote April 3rd. 54th precinct at West Elementary School has one of the lowest voter turn outs in Ward 4 and in the District of Columbia. I am turned off by the corruption and scandals within the Wilson Building. I will write in none of the above on the ballot. There is a lack of good candidates running for public office in the District of Columbia. Bowser will win not because she's popular. Her winning the Ward 4 Council seat will be due to the lack of voter turnout and the several candidates running against her splitting the vote.

    16th Street Heights Resident

    Ward 4

  • Non Liberal Democrat

    Noted and agreed, Delta Soror.

  • OllieSeymore

    She is a crook and needs to go in the April 3 primary!
    Her buddy CM Yvette "PIG FEET" Alexander needs to go because she is crook also!

    The incumbents must pay the price for these pay to play schemes!

  • Skipper

    Bowser will easily coast to victory. And then she will immediately began planning to run for Mayor in 2 years.

  • RealDC

    @skipper- God help us all!



  • just sayin

    Money talks and bullshit walks right into office

  • na

    So sad and such a shame.

    Ms. Bowser I thought that you were better than this!

  • DC 4

    Bowser voted against Betty Noel? What a PIG, the ward 4 council member sided with Pepco and corporate money.......Vote her OUT!