Loose Lips

Never Too Early: Jim Graham Gets Opponent for 2014

If you want to knock off an incumbent D.C. councilmember, it never hurts to start campaigning early. Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown did it when he beat Harold Brazil in 2004. And newly elected David Grosso spent more than a year campaigning in his successful bid to unseat Councilmember Michael Brown.

Now comes former ANC Commissioner Brianne Nadeau, who is being feted at a fundraiser next week in advance of her plans to launch a campaign next month for the Ward 1 seat currently held by Councilmember Jim Graham. That, at least, is what the invite to the fundraiser says; Nadeau says she has no announcements to make at this time, though she does have what sure looks like a campaign website and Facebook page up.

The fundraising letter, written by a friend of Nadeau's, says the potential Ward 1 candidate is "young, progressive, [and a] social change maker who aims to clean up the D.C. Council and would bring some much-needed integrity to the body." (If that sounds familiar, it's because that's almost exactly how Grosso just positioned himself.)

The letter says that Nadeau wants to make a strong showing when she announces her campaign and wants to raise as much as possible prior to Dec. 15.

If she does, indeed, enter the race, it's unclear who Nadeau's opponents will be. It's not a given that Graham will run again, and liberal hipster darling Bryan Weaver may decide to run for the seat again after losing to Graham in 2010.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • joan

    "Integrity" and "social change"? Diamond Jim will make mincemeat out of her.

  • nowaitadaminit

    Ya'll leave Jim Graham alone.
    All of the downtrodden and oppressed will vote him back in. I am neither, but he would have my vote if I lived in his Ward. The 'integrity, social change' pimps should sit their young asses down and/or go after some real offenders like BowWOWser, Cheh (The non-Constitutional Scholar) and Wiggly Worm Wells.

    Why must we always look for ways to vote someone OUT of office? This could all be avoided if we look more closely before we vote someone INTO office.

    I for one am getting sick and tired of all of the negativity surrounding our ELECTED officials. The NewBloods should build a solid reputation for themselves and DO something for the city/citizenry to prove they are worthy of election to something and I don't mean ANC.
    Shit, Minnie Mouse could get elected as ANC. I know a few like that cartoon character who did.

  • tntdc

    This is the woman who tried to get a neighborhood next to hers switched to Ward 1 even though not a single person in that neighborhood wanted to switch. And she refused to let her neighborhood switch to Ward 2 as they were supposed to this time.

    Gall and stupidity. Although it's there in droves, it's not a qualification for DC Council.

  • RealDC

    GrahamCracker needs to go!! She has my vote!!

    @nowaitadaminit- Graham is UNETHICAL as it gets. Time for a change.

  • Just Me

    Graham needs to go and the sooner the better. He had the lowest vote totals ever in the last election and if the two opponents didn't split the anti-Graham vote, he probably would have been toast in a one on one campaign. I hope she keeps the spotlight on Graham's shenanigans and misdeeds.

    Joan - the name is "Teflon" Jim. Artificial and nothing sticks.

    nowaitadaminit - I agree with you generally, just not in this specific case. Jim Graham plays politics with his Ward, so as to undermine good work that might lead to political competition.

    tntdc - please enlighten those of us in Ward 1 about what part of our Ward was "supposed" to switch to Ward 2 this time.

  • nowaitadaminit

    I know, Just You, but the Grahamster has done some really altruistic stuff for many of my former clients. He relates to them well and never tried to hide his own personal problems from them. Not familiar with his Ward 1 self-protecting politics.

    I don't know why, but in the scheme of things now, his foibles seem much less egregious than Bowser and Cheh if that makes any sense. (I think maybe I do know why now that I've typed that statement.) And also, in spite of what is being said, I admire Catania because he is articulate and uually on the money about issues.

    Ah, what the hell? I like Catania and Graham because they are honest about their lifestyles which is psychologically healthy. And no, I don't have any alternative lifestyle tendencies. Never did and I'm too old now to remember anything about my sex life except it culminated with 5 daughters and 13 grandkids running around the house when they want something from 'ole man'.

    They don't know I hear them referring to me by that name. LOL. It's okay because it's true. If they live this long they can discuss whether or not it's old when they get here.

    And yes....tntdc: Please enlighten those of us in Ward 6 as well.

  • tntdc

    quick course in redistricting- Florida Avenue has always been thought of as the natural boundary between Wards 1 & 2. Many years ago in the days of John Wilson and Dave Clark the boundary was left however at S Street because Frank Smith who was heir to Ward 1 temporarily lived on 16th above S. But each ten years another portion petitioned and got shifted to Ward 2. 22 years ago it was 18th to 16th that got shifted and 12 years ago it was 16th to 14th up to U that petitioned and got shifted. This last redistricting it was expected that 16th to 14th to Florida (Ms. Nadeau's SMD) and/or 14th to 11th to U would switch. Instead Ms. Nadeau and the usual tin-horn dictators on U launched a last minute tantrum to make the 14th to 16th area be forced back into Ward 1 against the residents' wishes.

    also- It's normal in DC, especially in Ward 1, for several wanna-get-attention types to muddle the opposition by running and splitting the opposition. In Ward 1 this has always been followed by the minor opponents having "unity breakfasts" with the re-elected council person and sometimes having their debts paid or getting jobs. Minor "opponents" are the best friends an endangered incumbent can have. "Shadow campaigns" to diffuse opposition.

  • dude

    are you sure she's not running in the special election for the seat mendo vacated?

  • Just Me

    tntdc - How about living in this decade and not twenty or thirty years ago. Redistricting is done by population and natural boundaries and while Florida is a natural boundary, somehow I don't believe you that the residents between 16th and 14th up to Florida, would have wanted to be pulled out of Ward 1, when the area west of 16th is Adams Morgan ANC 1C and to the east on 14th is still ANC1B. If Brianne did have something to do with stopping such a hair brained concept, good for her.

    Also, I've been around for all of Graham's elections and I don't remember him hiring any past opponents or getting them jobs, please enlighten us further on these breakfasts and debt payments. Once again this sounds like something you are making up or living in the past.

  • Ward One Resident

    I'm not going to weigh in on what Nadeau did or didn't do with regard to the redistricting, but if "Just Me" really thinks that "Redistricting is done by population and natural boundaries" alone, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you for a very low price.

    Redistricting, whether it's ANC/Ward redistricting in D.C. or Congressional redistricting in the other states, is fraught with politics, even when it's done by nonpartisan/bipartisan committees.

  • Just Me

    Ward One Resident- Population was relevant as Ward 2 needed to lose population and Ward 1 was barely acceptable in size with Woodley Park planning to go to Ward 3. You can still go back to Greater Greater and play the redistricting game and see that moving that section into Ward 2 would make no sense.

    That said, what in this town is not fraught with politics? Your point is well taken. If you want to go there, the redistricting committee process was one of those examples of Graham playing politics and failing to lead. Considering the opportunity to redraw ANC's only occurs every ten years, he started the process late and the final results were rushed and it shows.

  • tntdc

    Just Me- Frank Smith was the one who always had "opponents" become best friends the day after elections. I don't know about Graham. But having minor candidates siphon opposition is hardly new or rare in DC. It just comes naturally from no runoffs.

    And the best way to know what to do is to in redistricting is to ask residents their preferences. 2000 people in an SMD is not that many to go door-to-door and poll. It was done in the past but Ms. Nadeau evidently didn't want to know her neighbors preferences for Dupont Circle vs. Columbia Heights and Adams-Morgan. Instead she spent her energy mounting an ill-fated weird attack to force residents south of U to be forced into Ward 1 against their will. That's just gall and being a tin-horn dictator.

    And her actions a year or so ago are hardly ancient history.

    I don't see her as anything but a self-centered self-promoting wanna-be who doesn't care if she hurts the chances for whoever becomes the chief contender in Ward 1.

  • Just Me

    tntdc - Considering its been 14 years since Frank Smith was on the Council, don't quite see the relevance when Jim Graham is the incumbent.

    You've gone from saying that the majority of the people between 16th and 14th, U and Florida wanted to move to Ward 2, to saying that area should have been polled about moving into Ward 2, which was by far the largest Ward (population) and therefore required to lose population. All because of some 20 or 30 year old plan to move north of U into Ward 2. An area represented by Mary Street and Deborah Thomas during redistricting.

    As for that so called attack, since Ward 2 was required to lose population and Ward 1 was losing Woodley Park there was a coalition of stakeholders that were in favor of bringing the part of U Street back into Ward 1 that moved into Ward 2 in 2001, as one of the options to consider.

    Seems to me you have a axe to grind for Ms Nadeau being a messenger for that coalition of voices, that was one consideration of a full range of options being influenced by decisions all around the city.

  • tntdc

    No one knows what the people between U and Florida from 16th to 14th wanted because Ms. Nadeau neglected to ask them. The area south of U overwhelmingly petitioned 12 years ago and the area west of 16th below Florida petitioned 22 years ago.

    Her very candidacy shows the area is in the wrong ward. Ward 1 is Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan. No one from 15th and V is relevant in Ward 1. It may as well be 15th and V SE for all the importance it has in Ward 1. OTOH the area just south of there has past presidents of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, the Dupont Circle ANC, etc. and Ward 2 is Dupont/Logan, Georgetown and Foggy Bottom.

    The same is true for the area east of 14th above S Street. As a part of Ward 2 it would have been an important part of Logan Circle. Now it's just another irrelevant appendage to Ward 1 and Columbia Heights.

  • Cory

    I hope she does well, I'm not Graham fan. However there is a reason Graham has been able to hold on so long. Let's hope she's more David Grosso than Fiona Grieg.

  • Just Me

    tntdc - like I said obvious axe to grind with Nadeau for being the messenger. You would need to ask Mary Street and Deborah Thomas what their constituents wanted as they were the commissioners for that area during redistricting not Brianne Nadeau. And I'm pretty sure nobody was asking them to move to Ward 2.

    And not sure why you fixated on 15th & V, but I guarantee 180+ seniors in the Dunbar would argue with you about their relevance, as would the rest of U Street, LeDroit Park, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Plains, Petworth, Park View and all the other neighborhoods of Ward 1 you just dissed with your ignorance of Ward 1.

    The reality is that just like the US, the make-up of the Ward is changing and as the last ANC elections demonstrated, a new, much younger generation of leadership is likely to emerge in both the Ward 1 and Ward 2 council races in the future as it has on the ANC. Graham is going to be very weak in 2014 as he has too much baggage and is much like this conversation, stuck in the past, with no plan for the future of the Ward.

  • tntdc

    Well a year ago this woman was Graham's front trying to grab a chuck of Ward 2 that didn't want to switch and now she's either fallen out with him or putting on an appearance of doing so. Personally I don't see her even having the energy to get the necessary petitions to oppose Graham and Weaver. And if she's the best of the new crop that's horrible as she seems as stupid as she is obnoxious.

    Any serious contender is thinking of the April at-large election.

  • Just Me

    Actually as I stated earlier, since Ward 2 was required to lose population and Ward 1 was losing Woodley Park there was a coalition of stakeholders that were in favor of bringing the part of U Street back into Ward 1 that moved into Ward 2 in 2001, as one of the options for the citywide redistricting taskforce to consider.

    The key redistricting changes had to occur in Ward 7 and 8 which needed to grow, and the chain of possible changes ultimately resulted in the eastern part of Ward 2 moving to Ward 6. However that was not a foregone conclusion and what Ms. Nadeau did was to be messenger and advocate for a large group of primarily Ward 1 stakeholders that was advocating for a potential change that would be in the best interest of Ward 1. Seems like part of a job description for a Ward councilmember.

  • Cory

    Her indicating that she will run tell me that either Weaver is sitting 2014 out, or the Graham opposition still hasn't learned that they need to coalesce around one candidate.

    Best chance to beat Graham if he wins the primary is to have the opposition coalesce around an independent in the general. I just fear that the anti-Graham vote once again is going to be split. Does DC have a "sore loser" law where if you lose in a primary you can't run in the general?

  • Phil Lepanto

    It seems a little ridiculous to me that the story is about Brianne Nadeau getting her candidacy off the ground, but the headline is about Graham and the picture is of Graham. If you are going to have him play such a prominent role in the headline and the picture, doesn't he at least deserve a "Graham would not comment on his plans to run in 2014" or even a more quintessential Graham-esque quote like, "Oh Goodness, I don't have time to thing about 2014 while I'm so BUSY focusing on Graham-standing today. It's getting cold outside, time for me to introduce some emergency legislation about shelters!"

  • NE John

    Bribes lie bleeding in my hand ...

  • truth hurts

    Graham hasn't been indicted because he's smarter than some of his slimy city council colleagues. And I don't mean that as a compliment. Here's hoping he loses.

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