Loose Lips

Bowser Campaign Moves Aboveground

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Muriel Bowser has been running for mayor since March. Until recently, though, her campaign has been housed in digs more appropriate for a middle school Dungeons and Dragons game—Bowser, according to campaign manager Bo Shuff, has "a great basement."

All that's over. On Saturday, the campaign got some more appropriate space with a new headquarters at 4300 Georgia Ave. NW.

In a speech to an at-capacity crowd at the office opening, Bowser touted her record. "You know what they say about me at the Council?" Bowser said after an introduction from  ex-Councilmember and campaign chairman Bill Lightfoot. "I'm prepared, I'm ready, I pass good laws."

LL's not sure what Bowser is paying in rent, but campaign filings show her 2012 Ward 4 re-election campaign paying $1,200 a month for the same office. Jack Evans, by comparison, is shelling out around $6,532 (not counting utilities) for his 14th Street headquarters.

Speaking of Evans and his office, his campaign welcomed Bowser's new HQ with a Saturday morning press release touting their outreach numbers "while other candidates just begin to open campaign offices." Bowser wouldn't comment about the release (too bad!), but Shuff wasn't as reluctant to put down Evans' numbers.

"I don't think a sign on every light pole is that convincing," he says, a nod to Evans' prolific light-pole campaign.

As for mayor and maybe-candidate Vince Gray, Bowser wants to capitalize on what she sees as dissatisfaction with Gray in wards 7 and 8 if he runs again. "I don't care who gets in the race," she says.

Correction: Despite LL's earlier assertion that only Evans and Bowser have headquarters, Tommy Wells also has one on Pennsylvania Ave.

Photo by Will Sommer

  • noodlez

    $7k A MONTH?



  • Truth Hurts

    Funny... You'd think after being out there for 9 months there would be some significant buzz or at least some visual support across the city like yard signs. Her showing is pathetic at this point. Yeh she's going to get contribution dollars b/c she heads the economic development committee, that's a given for whoever chairs that committee.

    Gray gets in the race he's gonna mop the floor with her.

    Her personality is so fake... A prune has more charisma than she does and she is an intellectual lightweight.

  • New School DC

    Bowser has done a good job in Ward 4. I hope that she can do the same for the entire city if she becomes mayor. We desperately need a change to someone that is honest and thinking about the future of DC. Im tired of having to apologize for corrupt politicians that pander to residents instead of doing their job to bring about real change in this city.

    Bowser is the only person running that represents the future of DC - not the past which we all are so tired of.

  • mona

    For anyone who thinks she has done a good job in Ward 4 think again. Especially if you live near the 1300 block of Taylor st NW. Bowser is allowing a group home of delinquents to move into this block. This area is already over saturated with social services and she is using this block for a dumping ground. Every single home on this block has signed a petition asking her to just get information and all they hear from her office is crickets. There is something very fishy going on with how the contract is being awarded to the group home owner and she refuses to even acknowledge there is a problem which leads me to believe she is part of the problem. Remember, DC allows the councilmembers influence on contracts that are awarded. She is not a good councilmember and she will be an awful mayor. Do not vote for her, do not contribute money to her campaign. I would rather keep Grey in office then see her there. Bad, bad choice for mayor...don't be fooled.

  • Mike

    Ms. Bowser's office has been thoroughly useless in regards to the proposed group home on the 1300 block of Taylor. We neighbors have been requesting information and/or a meeting with the concerned parties for months. What we have received in response is "sit tight. We're looking into it."

    Then we were told a community meeting would be held AFTER the group home is opened. No doubt to provide Ms Bowser with a nice photo op. We're being "slow walked" until the facility open and we have no choice, I'm certain.

    Her office has consistently ignored the voices of a fully united neighborhood and has done nothing to even open up a dialogue. Requests for public information go unanswered. Requests for meetings drift in the wind. Requests even for a response fall on deaf ears.

  • ekw

    I, unfortunately, second Mona's comment. We have 200+ signatures on a change.org petition, 98 hand written signatures, have contacted her office multiple times over the past 4 months attempting to get attention to this matter, and Bowser has not met with us. She only committed to meeting with us after the contract has been awarded. What good does that do? We already know how to call 911. I had hopes for Bowser in our Ward, but not responding to our requests for transparency in the contracting process leaves us discouraged and frustrated.

  • SEis4ME

    Uhm, well in order to prove that Bowser is the best person to position DC's future, you have to at least know what about Gray's "vision" for DC that is at odds w/what most of would consider DC current progressive movement.

    If what Gray has done as Mayor represents a blast from the past, then show us how

  • Oldtimer

    DC's mayoral line up just got scary! I remember the Muriel Bowser community activist, humble and forthright. DC can do much better than someone who will dance around issues, avoid her constituents and out right ignore those that put her in office as it suits her. She seems to be aligned with some very shady practices of DC's shady offices. Muriel Bowser would have had my vote now I hope she skips my community entirely as she pursues her Mayoral seat, just as she's been skipping it for sometime now.

  • DCNative

    WOW!!!! A group home this makes her more useless than I originally suspected. Having that many against something and to do nothing until after the fact, isn't that like wiping your butt after you sh**?!?!? No wonder Ward 4 hasn't changed much. She will NOT get my vote. If this isn't on the news it should be.

  • East of the River Legend

    Muriel Bowser will not WIN Ward 7 & 8 she don't understand how to engaged the voters over here. And has not employed anyone that has real connectivity from these Wards on her team. She rarley speaks when she attend community meetings and is very invasive when asked a direct question. WE WILL NOT SUPPORT HER OVER HERE!!!!!

  • Brightwood

    Sounds like some folks are upset!Every neighborhood has some Not In My Backyard types that always complains. Muriel Bowser won her reelection with 70% of the vote that speaks volumes for how she is regarded in Ward 4. Gray is corrupt and taking credit for all the stuff Fenty started. he refuses to answer any questions about his corrupt campaign and hides behind his lawyers. I guess we supposed to ignore $650K side campaign and pretend it didn't happen. Get real and wake up!

    Bowser gonna beat the Mayor and the rest of them jokers

  • CuriousGeorge

    LOL @ not in my backyard types as complainers. Well that is an interesting take on your officials not looking into issues and using specific areas as dumping grounds with an expectation that citizens rely on the very broken and shady "PROCESS" to work. My ward is an active community and I see very little wrong with wanting to be clear and concerned about how much "dumping" is being done? I can promise you its more in YOUR zip code than it is in MINE and as I sit high on my perch I clearly see the distinct disregard but that is okay to you because you like her and your neighboring neighborhood, not so much. I've seen her in action, she's great at showing up for photo op issues. Unfortunately, it may be another race of whose the lesser evil to live with.

  • CathyR

    This is a shame and a mess I've been a Ward 4 resident for as long as I can remember. And as someone who voted for Bowser, I have yet to see anything that she has done for this area. A group home for boys in an area that has young girls and an Elementary school in them seems not so wise. She seems to just plug along at doing the bare minimum and now instead of coming through neighborhoods and seeing and discussing issues and concerns with the residents, her focus seems to be on locating a place to run her mayoral bid from. Muriel, if you alienate your constituent base and disregard their concerns how are you gonna represent the city as a whole. #Already made one bad choice. Not gonna do it again.

  • saywhat14

    I see all the trolls are out against Muriel Bowser, whom I think has been a wonderful Councilmember. Not to worry Muriel, just wait for April when they have all awaken to the television declaring you the winner. Stay focused and forget the rest of the bull.

  • Petworthian

    I agree with Mona, Mike, ekw. The response from Bowser on the group home next to Powell Elementary has been pathetic. Residents have asked for more information through countless phone calls and petitions with hundreds of signatures. The response has been stalling ans slow walking.

    Residents deserve to know when the City is putting a group home next to an Elementary school and on a residential street. They deserve to know if the contract was awarded in a competitive process and they deserve to know how the location was selected. Ward 7 and 8 know what I'm talking about. It isn't right for social service facilities to be dumped in a few neighborhoods.

    Ward 4 AGAINST Bowser!

  • drez

    ^Sockpuppet theater.

  • Out of the Closet

    Am I the only person appalled by a closeted gay woman running for Mayor of DC in 2014? Bowser is a puppet of the worst, most self entitled, intellectually. limited, vacuous, greedy, of the Fenty crowd.

  • Really?

    For everyone who believes she is a Fresh of breath air who isn't affiliated with corruption needs to review who brought B to the dance. It looks like you cut and paste the same folks who ran Fenty's campaign.

  • Real4

    Stop complaining and hurling accusations. Bowser has won 3 elections in Ward 4--so most of the Ward is ignoring these loudmouths. She is gonna win her 4th election in April - So get ready. You guys remind me of the republicans that only watch FOX news--no grip on reality. Here are the facts Bowser won 3 elections--the last one 70% of the vote.

    Pack up and move to Virginia cause Mayor Bowser is on the way to the Wilson building!!!!

  • saywhat14

    Closet gay woman, really are people so desperate to go that far, come on, we as a people can do better than this. Muriel Boswer gay, so what if you may think she is, and for the record she is not, what's the problem? Grasping at straws, people get it together. If you don't like her that is fine and I would say the same thing about Mayor Gray if people did him that way. Can we please just stick to the issues.

  • city gal202

    Gay? Closet? I don't like her or her politics but whether she is gay or not is quite a petty response. Her bedroom choices are of no concern. Let the miserable facts and disregard for her community do the job of keeping her out of the mayors office! Politics brings out the worse in this city its shameful! @saywhat... your no better calling people trolls because they have experienced her politics differently. This group home issue does seem to fit who she has really been as a councilmember. If she has showed up for you and your neighbors UNDERSTAND she has ignored plenty others and when your area is of less politically yoked her way-maybe you will see that politicians shouldn't cherry pick the issues of her constuients to support. Whether you agree or not that issue speaks volumes about her. She won't get my vote and I will be sharing this in our next community meeting and community listserv.

  • drez

    ^ Nice to see Gray's shadow campaign getting back into old form. I expect it'll be even better this time around with government instead of Jeff Thompson's illegal contract money to fund it.

  • Ward-8

    I have gotten several robo calls from Bowsers campaign, I still can't get a live person so that i could give her the number to Wal-mart, I heard they are hiring, it sure would beat the piss poor job she has done as a councilwoman to date. I guess she has the mentality of the current bunch of Republicans who think the majority of voters are stuck on stupid and or low information and thus can be told any bamboozle BS and they would believe it. She has as much chance of being elected Mayor as the Tpublicans finally losing their hatred for the President.

  • SEis4ME

    And the laughable quotes of the day belong to the one who posited:

    Muriel Bowser won her reelection with 70% of the vote that speaks volumes for how she is regarded in Ward 4.

    And so did Marion Barry..if not by more.

    Gray is corrupt and taking credit for all the stuff Fenty started. he refuses to answer any questions about his corrupt campaign and hides behind his lawyers.

    Such as? Assuming that you have no clue about how city projects/initiatives work nor the extent to which Fenty managed projects that were introduced under previous administrations.

    And no! No one cares about her sexual identification...at least we shouldn't. She could be as Gay as many Dupont Circle's patrons but it doesn't make her unqualified to be Mayor. She's just not cut out for the job..plain and simple. Doesn't matter if she's a homo, hetero, lesbo, drago et. al.

  • A different Mike

    Multiple posters on this board have stated what has been going on in the 1300 block of Taylor Street. Many, MANY attempts have been made trying to reach out to Bowser's office, and to say we received even a form response would be generous. Staff for other council members at large have done more than Bowser -- and they only asked a few questions by email!

    Here is the problem. A group with a checkered history of ensuring the surrounding areas of its programs stay safe has stated it's moving into a home on a street full of diverse families. (This isn't the charge of gentrification.) THE CONTRACT HAS YET TO BE AWARDED -- yet the program director has furnished and prepared the home. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE if the contract isn't awarded until October 31? Our neighborhood has been asking Bowser this for MONTHS and the only person to really look into it was the chief-of-staff for DAVID GROSSO"s office. They however, for obvious reasons, don't want to step too much on the toes of Bowser's failed advocacy of her constituents.

    We have been asking questions wanting to know more about the program, its history, etc., but nobody will answer us OR ask the questions for us. Grosso's chief-of-staff wrote in email two weeks ago, "...It sounds like the contract is going to be approved - was there any chance for community input?" -- And our answer was no. Something shady has been going on behind the scenes here and it doesn't seem anybody wants to help us figure out what is going on.

  • stick2yourguns

    Bowser is an idiot who can't even properly represent ward 4 unless it's for her own good. she has allowed Walmart to build 2 Walmart's within 3 minutes of each other You ask why because SHE WAS PAID TO. She has also allowed a long standing business owner to be PUSHED out of their store by Walmart and this business has been in ward 4 longer than her ass has!
    She is not as smart as she appears to be...and the truth about what we say about her is Fenty cursed us with putting all of his people and money behind her to be his puppet when he was here which is why Coolidge and Roosevelt will be the last high schools in the city to be re-done because Fenty told her to. Bowser cares nothing about residents who are renter, residents who are ex-offenders, single mothers, or low income because she feels she is better than them all.
    A woman with no children, never been married and has such a disconnect from people can never run a city...hell she is already running ward 4 in the ground.

  • stick2yourguns

    FYI...talk to real ward 4 residents who live on her street in her neighborhood before you think ward 4 s running soooo great!! Also now she is renting Vince Gray's old campaign office..lmaooooooooooo

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  • violeta

    I've been so frustrated with Bowser and her lack of response on the group home issue. Not only this halfway house is next Powell elementary and on a residential street but also on a street where two shootings occurred in the last year or so. This is not the right environment for these kids to recover and not the right environment for my daughters to be around. It not only bothers me that she is neglecting the neighbors requests but also the fact that the contracting process has been shady and corrupted from the get go. If in such a small issue she is not being transparent I can’t even imagine what her government is going to be like. Muriel is not getting my vote!

  • srparker37

    Bowser may have won by 70% last time but I can assure you she isn't going to win her ward or this city by those kind of numbers. She is unresponsive, ineffective, obtuse and useless as a councilmember to Ward 4. She may have won last time because there was no one else running against her that was worth a hoot but she has several very good contenders running against her as mayor. She is no shoe in and as soon as people find out how she has handled this group home on Taylor, and believe you me when the campaign really kicks off it will be front and center, her chances of winning will be like watching a bolder fall off a cliff

  • John

    I live in ward 4 and I do recall seeing correspondence from Bowser's office on more than one occasion regarding the group home on the list serve. Bowser can not stop ANY Group home form,locating anywhere in her ward. The Home operator would sue her office and the District of they tried. Many group home residents are considered a protected class of people. Check out the Fair Housing act ( Federal mandate) that DC has not control over. So to say that she's been UN responsive isn't true because I saw more than one post regarding this on a few neighborhood list serves. Just because its not, perhaps what you want to read or don't agree with, doesn't mean its non-response. The people who live in group homes certainly deserve to live somewhere, do you not agree?

    I've voted for Muriel since 2007 and I will vote for her on April 1st. She's responsive to our ward's needs, we've seen tremendous growth under her leadership and I'm looking forward to her being our next Mayor!

  • SEis4ME

    I am thankful w8 resident but do responses on a n'hood listserve serve the same purpose as the nonresponse allegations here or is that simply how Bowser informs her residents?

  • tony

    Muriel Bowser can’t get elected Mayor in this city because she lacks significant support within the black community city wide, period. This is a very serious problem for her and she should ask herself how this can be.

  • bmorecmore

    I too have seen responses but unfortunately as one of her supporters... it was inadequate given what's been communicated. I truly expected more and have been soured by this and other reports of her "way" of addressing concerns of her city/ward. Some issues are over blown - I find this saturation of services and group homes in this area an important matter that deserved way more than what she provided. A few messages from her staff isn't an acceptable response when the responses aren't useful. If she couldn't do anything then that is what she should've said but to placate and BS the voters was a big mistake! We could all do well to hold our leaders responsible for the CITY not just the piece of their part of the world that currently has the leaders ear. A problem on my street today could quickly become a problem on your street tomorrow.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    Muriel Bowser doesn't have time to deal with us, her constituents in Ward 4. Her staff person Todd Brandon is answering her emails by using Muriel's email address. Several Ward 4 residents I've spoken with have told me, they have called Todd Brandon, Judi Gold, and Joy Holland in Bowser's office for assistance and they never recieved a response from her staff. Bowser is a not a good Ward 4 Councilmember. Fenty had his faults, however, he was the best Ward 4 Councilmember as for as constituent services.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    Brandon Todd, not Todd Brandon. LOL

  • stick2yourguns

    I am soooo glad someone is telling the truth...part of her (Bowser) disconnect is because she doesn't do the work she doesn't know what is going on in her own ward let alone the city. She has her hand picked of residents of who she will respond to.

  • justsayin

    Bowser is not only selectively responsive to her constituents but as an ANC, she openly expressed her contempt for renters during a special commission meeting to consider a variance for a proposed developent. Her dog and pony show is a damn joke.

  • JustMe

    This is a tragedy waiting to happen. I don't live in this ward but its unnerving to think she'll be a mayor that would willingly ignore and do nothing to support the wishes of her constituents. I hope this news spreads fast. I wish Ward 4 well. DC isn't doing a great job at monitoring its city services. I think I read somewhere that one of those offices were being investigated.

  • Ken

    Who takes over as CM for Ward 4 if CM Bowser wins the mayor's office? Since there's an April primary, does that mean the winner of the April 2014 (in five 1/2 months) primary will most likely be Mayor?

  • stick2yourguns

    Ken anybody would be better than her....and how is she able to pay only 1200.00 all candidates have to pay MARKET RENT on their campaign offices...it would be illegal to accept a discount from a landlord

  • Mike

    Bowser has done little for WARD 4. Our neighborhood formed a group consisting of homeowners, renters and parents of Powell elementary students concerned about the placement of a youth jail diversion facility across the ally from the Powell Elementary playground. Our online petition has over 200 signatures and a hand delivered petition has over 80 signatures yet Bowser has yet to meet with our group or seriously address our concerns or get answers to some simple questions.

    It is infuriating that our neighborhood’s concerted effort to be proactive is being ignored. When local elected officials, like Bowser, are ignoring their constituents or asking them to stop asking questions you’ve stopped working for the people.

    Placing such a dangerous facility, already over saturated with social services and so close to an elementary school without any input from Powell Elementary or the neighboring community lacks the transparency and openness we expect from our elected officials, especially when contracting with our taxpayer dollars.

    Bowser will not be getting my vote, and her recent actions have prompted me to support her opponent. Bowser was no good for Ward 4 and she’ll be horrible for DC

  • ljw

    I don't think a woman should be mayor or any high ranking position... We are too emotional... Sorry but true

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  • Eric Dyson

    I would like for her to come to my job site and talk to the people about where she's going to take this city I work for asking her to come without people.From management so she can hear the truth We the People Osse think it's time for a change so can you please have her come to see use thank you very much number to village lane southwest