Loose Lips

Ex-Loose Lips Wants to Be a Councilmember

Elissa Silverman, a former Loose Lips who also used to write for the Washington Post, announced today that she's running for the D.C. Council at-large seat in the special election to be held in April.  Silverman just took a leave of absence from her gig as a budget wonk (but not a lobbyist!) for the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, a left-wing budget advocacy group.

Like several other declared candidates, Silverman plans to make government ethics a centerpiece of her campaign pitch and noted today in a news release that she will not accept corporate donations. Silverman was part of a group that recently tried unsuccessfully to put a referendum on the November ballot asking voters whether corporate campaign giving should be banned. Former Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson is Silverman's campaign chairwoman.

Silverman joins a growing list of candidates that includes a pro-marijuana decriminalization lawyer, a film festival organizer, an education advocate, newly minted Councilmember Anita Bonds, soon-to-be-former Councilmember Michael Brown (well, maybe), and Republican school board member Pat Mara. LL suspects the requirement that candidates submit 3,000 valid signatures from D.C. voters a month from now should thin the herd a bit.

Also separating the players from the pretenders will be the candidates' ability to raise money. If the giving pattern for this election is similar to past races, then Silverman's pledge not to take corporate donations will put her at a sizable disadvantage. (That could be offset by the fawning coverage her former colleagues in the press will provide to one of their own. Just kidding. For the record, LL never worked with Silverman, nor did any of LL's editors. LL mostly knows her as the advocate who once accused LL of being a stooge for the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.)

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • DC Guy

    This is a big yawn. She has been a reporter and a flack for the wacko DCFPI. So, other than the failed Prop 70 fiasco, what does she bring to the table?


    That's just what we need on the D.C. Council, another left wing liberal.

    We need some moderate Blue Dog Democrats on the DC Council.

  • duh

    Elissa, please don't do this. You may be a very nice person, but you aren't going to win. You don't need to run for public office to do good in the world.

  • drez

    Out of the box, I'd vote for her.
    She brings both budget smarts and heart, and that's an excellent combination.

  • Ward One Resident

    Meh, she doesn't have a snowballs chance of winning a citywide election.

  • StrangeFruit


    I've come to the conclusion that you are CITY PAPER !

  • drez

    LOL. Not so. Not even in anagram form.

  • StrangeFruit

    We know who the city paper will endorse and give a boatload of free and unwarranted publicity!

  • RT

    Michael Brown will probably roll over these duds (not that he isn't a dud, but we've run out of big name or well-prepared, like Grosso, candidates). I hate to be right but that's what I see happening. Hopefully someone better will come along.

  • Truth hurts

    This is the best thing that's happened in DC politics for years. I'm all in and will be an energetic volunteer. The fact that Kathy Patterson is chairing her campaign is reason enough to support her. Patterson was the last great CM in DC.

  • nowaitadaminit


  • DC Guy

    Actually, the fact that Patterson is involved is enough to turn me off completely. Patterson was a horrible ward representative from all accounts by friends who lived in Ward 3 under her leadership. She never took positions, would stick her head in the sand and was generally unaccountable for her terms there. If this is what Ms. Silverman is basing on as a city wide representative, forget it.

    Patterson is an honorable person, as is Silverman, but that doesn't make them a viable city wide elected official. There is actually a lot of hubris to think she can use her position as a policy wag and former journalist as a launching point for this office.

  • truth hurts

    For those with short memories, then CM Gray cast the deciding vote against then CM Patterson's open meetings law about 6 years ago. As LL, Silverman consistently held city pols' feet to the fire on open government/transparency issues. She left CP for WAPO about the time Nikita Stewart moved to WAPO. They were supposed to share responsibility there for covering city politics, council races, etc. The arrangement didn't work as Silverman had hoped, and she left.

    Recently, Silverman's worked to remove from city politics its worst problem: huge wads of cash funneled to local campaigns by business donors seeking city contracts or special legislative treatment from those CM's (and mayor)they bankroll. Virtually no CM will vigorously supported this no-brainer reform, and the few CM's who support toughening campaign finance reforms nevertheless take buckets of corporate cash in the interim.

    Silverman is the only current candidate (or sitting CM) who walks the talk on banning corporations from buying politicians.

  • RealDC

    Yawn! .. is this story going somewhere?

  • teamtango

    wasn't she the one promoting the yoga tax - hold on to your wallet

  • tntdc

    If she couldn't get the signatures for Prop 70, how is she going to get 3000 valid ones in one month? I suspect Brown can't either, let alone the fringe candidates.

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  • Lester

    She is not a lobbyist? Spending numerous hours weekly meeting with Councilmembers and staff to promote an agenda is the definition of lobbyist.

  • Angelina

    Great,then Marion Barry can blast her for those nasty articles she wrote about him !!

  • Drez

    She's been an excellent government watchdog.
    More liberal than I, but very respectable.

  • SEis4ME

    Elissa, sorry but I'm not seeing much there..there. You worked as a lobbyist/budget wonk. Great. You were a reporter. Great. You tried to get some signatures. Great.

    Then what?

  • Sally

    Just what DC has been in desperate need of: Another tax & spend liberal do-gooder with no actual business experience whatsoever!

    With Silverman's entrance into the race - and the fawning media coverage she will get from CIty Paper, Washington Post, Greater Greater Wells, etc. - she will help split the anti-same ol', same ol' voting contingency and help elect Anita Bonds to a full term as Councilmember.

    We've seen this same idiocy before when Bryan Weaver got into the last special election, and split the anti-Old Guard vote with Patrick Mara and Sekou ("Who?") Biddle.

    Vinny Orange should make sure to send a thank you card to Weaver, Dilbert, Lissy, Chucky, the CouncilMartyr, and the rest of the myopic little twits that were essential to his election.

    We're about to see a repeat performance by the same band of political nitwits.

  • Frank Lee Mahdear

    Yeah, this is why we progs need to take over the Statehood Greens or something, so we can settle on one candidate to put up against the machine's candidate in the general.

  • DC Voter

    The more the merrier is what Anita is singing.

  • tony

    Elissa Who???

  • Perro1

    Elissa will make a great councilmember, best of luck.

  • Knowledge Spoken

    Anyone who thinks that she would be good for the council is about as dumb as a person willing to let Marion Barry invest their money.

    The fact of the matter is that she is a left wing crackpot being supported by Kathy Patterson who was a nice lady but a shitty Council Person. had Patterson been in any other ward than 3 she wouldn't have lasted as long as she did.

    These two should go run and hide. They are part of the problem in this city. In a city in which a small minority pays for the majority and doesn't get shit for it they are just an example of what is wrong.

    They have never seen a tax increase they haven't liked, they have never seen a unsustainable budget busting social program they don't like and have never seen a budget they couldn't grow. At the same time AS works for a so called liberal group who serves continue to grown the city's fucked up budget.

    It was said before and will be said again. We need a blue dog but this city won't stand for it.

  • GJ

    Didn't the Washington Post suspend her for plagiarism?

  • RealDC

    LOL. Wow, she sounds she has been "winning friends and influencing folks", all over town. This race will be straight COMEDY!

    ..." clowns to the left, jokers to the right....LOL

  • Ward3dem

    Mr. Suderman forgot to mention AJ Cooper who got over 25,000 votes in the last election. One of those votes was mine. He is my choice in this special election. He is the only one with the brains and guts to make any positive change happen on the council. I think it is very telling that Alan omitted him. For anyone who is interested in another choice I would check him out. http://www.CoperAtLarge.com. He seems to be a very nice young man with progressive ideals tempered by real life experience.

  • Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr

    Elissa Silverman needs to get a real job. She was a terrible reporter with the City Paper and Post. She has no chance of being elected to the DC City Council.

  • DC Guy

    If it is any indication how in the bag the local media is for Silverman, look no further than the Washington Post, McCartney column giving her a shout out, and then her appearance on Monday, Jan 7 on Patrick Madden's WAMU show. There are currently 15 people getting signatures and working their way to relevance, but yet the local media is dogpiling itself over this one candidate. Until I see equal treatment given to all candidates, I will consider this one to be a fraud.