Loose Lips

Claiming He’s More Democratic Than The Democrats, David Catania Launches Independent Mayoral Bid

Is Jeff Thompson lying, or is Mayor Vince Gray lying about him lying? Newest mayoral candidate David Catania isn't worried about the District's question of the moment.

“I’m talking about my vision for the city, which doesn’t include serving as a human lie detector for Jeff Thompson or Vince Gray," Catania told reporters outside U Street's Reeves Center today after he ended three months of mayoral exploration by filing papers with the District's Office of Campaign Finance to run as an independent.

Though the timing looks less than coincidental, Catania, who opened a campaign bank account five days before the Thompson plea deal became public, says his decision to announce this week wasn't influenced the court proceedings. He says he doesn't need to be facing a reeling Gray to win in November. Instead, Catania says he'll point to his 17-year D.C. Council record, including United Medical Center, medical marijuana, gay marriage, and, most recently, a raft of legislation as chairman of the Council's education committee.

Still, Catania took some jabs at the incumbent, including Gray's claim that he's played a large role in the city's boom. A day after the mayor denied that his economic success was akin to jumping aboard an already moving economic train, Catania compared Gray to a gardener working plants that were seeded by someone else. Continuing his produce-themed metaphor, Catania defended his abrasive temperament by saying that politics requires a different attitude than cutting the crusts off of cucumber sandwiches.

As for whether the District's overwhelmingly Democratic voters will ditch their party in November to back Catania, the Republican-turned-independent says they won't have to.

“I think my record more embodies Democratic values than the field, candidly, running as Democrats," Catania says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • WARD4NDC

    I would never vote for this evil surly individual, David Catania. Catania wouldn't be a great Mayor. He's never responded to any of my emails sent him, nor has he listen to most voters concerns. It's David's way or the highway. David Catania was originally a Republican and he became angry with Former President Bush and the Republican party for not supporting gay marriage. I'm liberal on some issues and I'm conservative on some issues. As a life long Democrat, I'm not a liberal Democrat. Some people think, being a Democrat means you are too far to the left or liberal. I consider myself a moderate Democrat.

  • brians.Ions

    David Catania’s entrance will elevate the mayoral campaign enormously.

    Real focus by honorable candidates on what’s important to all DC residents’ lives is what’s needed now.

    No one owes any loyalty to one who came to power by fraudulent means.

  • GoldCoastKid

    "...Human lie detector for JT and VG..."!
    now THAT is comedy
    I like his attitude. Catania is good at his job too. He takes this shit seriously and would be an excellent Mayor.
    But can he win? I think so.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    GoldCoastKid, I thought you were a Bowser supporter. You have kissed her ass enough.

    Brians Ions, I see enough of your comments on MPD listservs. You seem to be another angry white gay male like Catania.

  • Too cool

    Everyone get over it.

    Gray voters move on.

    He is going to be indicted the same time as the general, yes.

    And I was going to vote for him., yeah it sucks, yes Machen is being political but you can't put the city through that

    So we have a group of candidates no one feels really all that comfortable electing. I guess instead of bad mouthing Gray as a strategy they should have told someone maybe a qualification or two.

    Someone call Tony Williams - I got pencil I can write him in

  • Ward-8

    Catania is a Republican who was rejected by his party because he is gay so he ran for Council undercover as an independent. So know Ms Hissy Fits want to be Mayor under the guise of being more Democratic. Yes, delusional of Grandeur sometimes overwhelm ones thinking however, I doubt the majority of DC residents will fall for this Republican/Independent/Democratic/Gay agenda.

  • ward9npg

    WARD4NDC, this isn't about how you choose to label yourself. Save that for your Facebook page.

  • truth hurts

    Some great one-liners.

  • lala blood

    This'll bring the homophobes out. A couple of the comments above have started the ball rolling.

  • Corky

    He's a Republican. That's an automatic no. We don't need a Mayor Blooomberg here, another so called liberal Republican (truly an oxymoron). All he did was harass the poor and order racial profiling Blacks and Latinos by the cops. At his core, he was still a White racist Republican, just like the rest of them.

  • WARD4NDC

    ward9npg,pleas mind your damn business PG County resident. You don't vote, pay taxes, or live in D.C.

    All Democrats aren't liberal, progressive, and too far to the left.

  • WARD4NDC

    ward9npg, and another thing, I'm not on FACEBOOK, Twitter, or any other social page.

  • drez

    ^sockpuppet theater.

  • DCShadyBoots

    ^ Here's a napkin, wipe that green poo off your nose.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Catania was also listed as a recipient of Thompson cash.

  • Brians.Ions

    I'm leaning toward Wells or Bowser as I'm Democrat.

    But you're mistaken about Catania, Corky. He's a true Independent now. He told George W to shove it.

    He's won 4 or 5 CITYWIDE elections, so he's obviously doing something right. Catania is popular east of the park and east of the river. That's because he works hard at understanding peoples' problems FIRST.

    Watch the video to see what people think of him (crime, education, health care, whatever).

    Google…

    youtube catania for mayor

    or go to…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSdY25_7gA

  • DCShadyBoots

    Catania would be a Republican today but for one reason and one reason alone. Gay Marriage. On all else, he is a tried, tested and true Republican.

  • Pingback: Hook, line and sinker

  • Terry Miller

    I have met with David Catania a couple of times, as well watched Council hearings and he is just a rude, mean, nasty person,on and off the dias. He insulted me personally during a meeting in front of my boss. I don't know why he did that, as I had not previously dealt with him on the issue. I am indifferent to Kaya Henderson, the school chancellor, but I hate to see the way he treats her. Even long term allies, if you buck him, he treats you like sh-t. This person does not have the right personality to run a government well. He has no leadership skills and I have heard he treats his staff badly. I would hate to be a part of his cabinet. I guess some people, like Fenty, think that the only good government employee is an obedient "yes" man or woman. But I think most management experts don't think much of rule by terror.

  • noodlez

    WOW HE TOLD THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY "TO SHOVE IT" LIKE A LITTLE BITCH BECAUSE HE COULDN'T GET HIS WAY!

    HE WON AT-LARGE RACES WITH MAINLY WHITE FOLK VOTING FOR HIM BECAUSE AT-LARGE RACES ARE NOT CONDENSED WARD RACES. THUS HIS WHITE SHADOW THEMED VIDEO THE ONLY QUESTION LEFT NOW IS WHO HAYWARD, WHO IS COOLIDGE AND WHO IS SALAMI?

    YES SHADY HE IS A REDUMBLICAN THRU AND THRU!

  • Logan’s guy

    Catania "wins citywide" because at least two at-large seats go to a non-majority party. That's the only reason we've had any Republican or independent members on the Council.

    Remember, they always let folks vote for two in the At-large election. The top Democrat, and top non-Dem get elected.

    Academic anyway. Catania's temper would show on the campaign trail and in debates. Would folks really want to elect Mayor Hothead?

  • dan

    Catania is DC's Chris Christie. Both begone!

  • Brightwood D.C.

    The only reason Catania claims to be an Independent is because the Republican party didn't accept him as a gay Republican. Despite the hoopla, Catania is still a Republican and a person who is subject to having hissy fits just like Senator Graham of South Carolina. He have a slim to no chance of being elected Mayor of DC, now San Francisco is a different story.

  • Some Ideas

    "...It's David's way or the highway." and "...he is just a rude, mean, nasty person, on and off the dias."

    Hmmmm... sounds like Vince's predecessor... caveat emptor

  • Ashamed

    The unthinking, unquestioning, uncritical loyalty of D.C. residents to the Democratic Party is absolutely astonishing. Can I ask what exactly has happened since 1973 that warrants such blind devotion? Is it our abomination of a school system? Is it the systematic offloading of poverty and crime to the peripheries of the city and PG county? Is it the infantilization of the electorate, achieved by bartering European-style welfare handouts for votes? Or is it the baker's dozen of councilmembers who contributed to our city's sterling reputation by getting themselves tossed in jail?

    I'm obviously not claiming that conservative politicians will offer you any kind of relief from the Ponzi schemes of the D.C. Council, but make no mistake, you've been duped. The Democratic Party is equally venal, equally amoral, equally beholden to the interests of Goldman Sachs. If you've been here as long as I have, and in 2014 you're still writing off a mayoral candidate just because he was once affiliated with another party, then you're a model Orwellian citizen. The first step to becoming an adult in this town is realizing that the Democratic Party does not take a modicum of interest in your personal well being.

  • noodlez

    "The first step to becoming an adult in this town is realizing that the Democratic Party does not take a modicum of interest in your personal well being." NOR DOES DAVID GAYTANIA THE SELF CENTERED HOMOSEXUAL WHO JUST WANTS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE A NAME FOR SHIMSELF!

  • LOL

    he is better than Bowser if it came to that

  • Ashamed

    Ah yes, I suppose I should have mentioned that a great irony of this election will be DC voters, most of them lifelong bleeding heart progressives, attacking Catania for his homosexuality. Just wait until November, and you'll notice the rhetoric coming out of DC has a lot in common with the right wing bigotry over which so many of our residents claim moral superiority. The posts on this thread actually offer a nice sampling of the prejudices and the level of intelligence that most of the electorate will be bringing to the voting booths.

  • DCShadyBoots

    I'd vote for whoever is running AGAINST David Catania. It really doesn't matter. That is how much I loathe that toad.

  • Corky

    Ashamed, go to hell. Just because some people have a moral and philosophical objection to the racism, sexism and amorality of the GOP does not mean they are childish, dependent upon the government or ignorant. Some of us actually give a damn about other people and abhor the vote rigging, return to Jim Crow Tea Party politics, institutionalized disrespect of the first Black President and anti-gay policies of the GOP. If you call that childish, then call me a child of God.

  • Ashamed

    I'm sorry? Did you read my post? Did I say anything about the GOP other than that it would offer D.C. voters no relief? Your post is actually a nice distillation of the mindless, self-congratulatory platitudes that have become the trademark of the imbecilic Democratic voter in the 21st century. You're against racism, sexism, and amorality? How profound, good for you, who isn't? The problem with the Democratic Party is that it has managed to convince millions of voters whose "philosophical" convictions run no deeper than yours that they should gather under the benevolent wing of the party and surrender their critical faculties.

  • DCShadyBoots

    ^ (snicker) The problem with the GOP in the District is that they haven't convinced the electorate that their agenda is one that can be embraced. The GOP is not ENTITLED to be in elected office in the District of Columbia or anywhere else for that matter. Disrespecting the constituents of the District of Columbia is weak and pitiful, at best. You have some of the greatest minds in America here in the District of Columbia. Perhaps, just perhaps, they just aren't buying the oil you're selling.

  • Corky

    Ass shamed- Your post denigrated Democrats and progressives in the classic hateful, GOP style. It is that condescending attitude that prevents the GOP from winning any elections in cities like DC that have a highly educated voting population. Please go back to Fox News and WMAL where appeals to ignorance are applauded.

  • Ashamed

    I certainly hope so, since I loathe both parties equally but for different reasons. What confuses me is the way that self-labelled "progressives" are only able to express themselves by hurling invective at anyone who disagrees with them, a phenomenon that I'm sure we'll see more of as we approach November. If we lived in a different part of the country, we would have a different problem, but since we're here I'm interested in breaking the vice grip of the Democratic Party on the minds of DC voters. I'm also not sure what you mean about DC having such an intelligent electorate, as long as we can agree that the percentage of criminals voted into office is a reasonable barometer for the intelligence of a city's voting population.

  • tony

    Oh man, shut the fuck up!

  • Southeast Ken

    LOL@Tony; amen to your comment.

  • DCShadyBoots

    You know where you can stick that "vice". You might enjoy it.

  • Ashamed

    Like I said, not sure what you meant about our "highly educated voting population."

  • Billy The Kid

    Muriel Bowser’s Record as Councilmember
    Dorothy Brizill

    When Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney was preparing an article about Muriel Bowser, he asked me to give him my impression of her. I wrote him a long E-mail and told him that he could quote anything in it. In McCartney’s article, http://www.tinyurl.com/m7vuznp,rr he wrote that I “was one of a half-dozen people I interviewed who have observed Bowser’s work on the council and described it as lackluster. The others spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid offending a potential mayor.” Here’s an expanded version of what I wrote him.

    Muriel Bowser has been a member of the city council since 2007, when she won a special election to succeed Adrian Fenty as the Ward 4 representative on the council. As a legislator, Muriel doesn’t have an impressive record in the introduction of legislation or the use of the council to solve important public policy issues. The ethics bill, the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Amendment Act of 2011, is the one exception. It is an important bill, and it is identified as her signature legislation. But the public was clamoring for ethics reform, she was running for reelection, and she touted her work on the bill as the one example of her legislative accomplishments, The bill was largely pushed through the council by Council Chairman Kwame Brown. In the wake of the “fully loaded SUV” controversy that raised questions about Brown’s own ethical lapses and poor judgment, Brown wanted to use the ethics bill to redefine himself in the eyes of DC voters as an “ethics reformer,” and he used his influence in the council to ensure passage of Bowser’s bill. Because of the messy manner in which the bill was drafted, several verbal amendments were made on the council dais, The final text of the bill wasn’t ready for several months after council passage, and no draft text was made available during that time for public comment. Neither Muriel nor her staff consulted with experts or Washington citizens who were most familiar with the ethics issues that have plagued the city government over the years. It should also be noted that, as chair of the Government Operations Committee, Muriel wasn’t able to draft a campaign finance reform bill, although other councilmembers introduced multiple bills on campaign finance in 2011 and 2012. It wasn’t until 2013, when freshman councilmember Kenyon McDuffie became chair of the council’s Government Operations Committee, that a comprehensive campaign finance bill was drafted and adopted by the council.

    Muriel doesn’t work well with her council colleagues. She is not well liked or trusted by them, and many of them consider her a lightweight. Even before councilmembers all started running against each other to be mayor, you couldn’t find another councilmember who would speak well of her.

    Muriel has not demonstrated good judgment in hiring her staff. She has one of the worst staffs on the council. They are not informed, knowledgeable, or even pleasant, and she micromanages them. She insists that her legislative/committee director, Rob Hawkins, keep his office in her suite of offices rather than in the committee office. Her staffers, including her press director, claim never to know about legislative or issue matters, and they must get Bowser’s or her chief of staff’s permission to provide any information. All calls to her committee and staffers must go through her main office receptionist.

    As a Ward 4 councilmember, she provides very poor constituent services, and there are numerous complaints by residents of the ward about not being able to get service or assistance from her office. Her director of constituent services, Brandon Todd, has been working on her campaign full time for several months.

    Regarding education, about three years ago Ward 4 residents were outraged over conditions at Roosevelt and Coolidge High Schools and the slow pace of renovation at the two schools. Coolidge, which should have been the first on the list schools in the District to be renovated, was dropped down to one of the last to be renovated. It was widely believed that funds that were earmarked for Roosevelt and Coolidge were diverted by Mayor Fenty to the renovation of Wilson and Woodson. Ward 4 residents felt that Bowser didn’t fight for school funding in her ward, and more generally that she wasn’t engaged in education issues. In an effort to silence Ward 4 residents who were criticizing her on education, Bowser tried to counter the Ward 4 Council on Education by creating her own entity, which she called the Ward 4 Education Compact; it has not been active or engaged since its creation.

    Economic development in Ward 4, especially on Georgia Avenue, has been a consistent promise by Bowser to Ward 4 residents, but for years there was been little meaningful economic development on the Avenue. Recently, Councilmember Jack Evans, campaigning against Bowser in the mayor’s race, took advantage of this lack of economic development by holding a rally on Georgia Avenue. The one exception has been the building of the Georgia Avenue Walmart. Walmart, of course, has many vocal opponents, especially in the labor movement, but one of Bowser’s early and most prominent financial backers was David Wilmot, who served as the finance chairman for Bowser’s 2011 reelection campaign. Wilmot is a paid lobbyist and consultant to Walmart. After Walmart announced its intention to open a store at the busy intersection of Georgia and Missouri Avenues, Muriel refused to hear or respond to legitimate community concerns about the store, including traffic and its potential impact on other businesses in the area.

    Most observers of District politics and the inner working of the Wilson Building have had unpleasant encounters with Bowser. People compare her personality to Adrian Fenty’s, and say that she is cool, aloof, and mean. She will roll her eyes and openly display disgust at citizens or colleagues with whom she disagrees even when she is on the council dais or at community meetings. She is still working in Fenty’s shadow; there are even rumors that Fenty will return to DC to campaign for her in the final weeks of the campaign, and he is raising funds for her in California. Many unpleasant people who worked for Fenty are now working in Bowser’s council office and campaign.

    A telling example that is often cited regarding Bowser’s personality and how she has discharged her council duties is her treatment of Betty Noel. Noel, a prominent Ward 4 resident, had served with distinction as the District’s Peoples Counsel for eighteen years, representing citizens’ interests with respect to public utilities. When her last six-year term expired, Mayor Fenty refused to reappoint her, and instead, with Bowser’s blessing, nominated Vicky Beasley, an attorney with little experience, to the Peoples Counsel position. Beasley’s nomination, however, was not approved by the council because of opposition from citizens, the Consumer Utility Board, and civic organizations. Bowser took the council’s rejection of Beasley personally, blamed Noel for it, and retaliated against Noel. When in 2011, Mayor Gray nominated Noel to fill a vacant seat on the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the District, Bowser immediately announced her opposition. Rather than champion the appointment of a Ward 4 resident to such an important and prestigious commission, Bowser worked tirelessly with PEPCO behind the scenes to defeat Noel. Through procedural maneuvers, Noel’s nomination died in the council’s Public Service and Consumer Affairs Committee on March 15, 2012, in a three to two vote, with Bowser, Alexander, and Mendelson voting against her. To date, the seat to which Noel was appointed on the three-member board has remained vacant.

    Most troubling when assessing her qualifications to be mayor of the District is the fact that she has no meaningful work or management experience. Prior to running for the council to fill Fenty’s Ward 4 seat, she was an employee at the Silver Spring downtown redevelopment corporation, where she was not in management.

    Finally, despite her public image as being “clean,” Bowser has skirted campaign laws and regulations. When she ran for reelection to her Ward 4 council seat in 2012, she initially ran the campaign out of her council office. Joy Holland, her chief of staff, held campaign strategy meetings in Bowser’s front office, and Bowser’s campaign posters and literature were stored in the committee office of Ron Austin, who was then her chief of constituent services. Over the years, she received at least $18,600 in campaign contributions from Jeffrey Thompson and his straw donors.

  • Wondering About Muriel?

    Ms. Bowser's office does not respond to emails or phone messages. In fact, no one even answers the phone in her office. I am unable to come up with anything she has really done for the city as Economic Development chair? Anything? She does not seem to support any sort of business? Large or small. At least Catania is willing to take a stance on things. Ms. Muriel seems to make promises with no follow through. Is Councilwoman Bowser married? Does she have any children? I don't really care what she does in her bedroom but the fact that she promises things, doesn't follow through with them and also won't disclose her true sexual nature just seems to go along with the only thing consistent I have seen with her. That is she does not take sides or a side. She just sits in the middle, annoys everyone and hopes for the best. To me this is the opposite of leadership. She cannot even manage her own council office. No one returns emails, phone calls, picks up the phone, is polite, follows through, etc.? She is the last thing I want or need here.

  • Voter

    As a Democrat in a PREDOMINATELY Democratic DC, why should we trust a former Republican who can only come as far left as "Independent"? AND as a gay man, how can I trust a gay man who used to be a part of the Republican party? That's like an African American being a former KKK member!

  • Jeffrey

    Brian, you state that Catania is truly an independent - he told GW Bush to Shove it. Well how brave. After he went to GW's ranch and the Republicans refused to support gay marriage, he apparently got pissed and left the party. He didn't leave it when the Republican parties policies were hurting the weakest among us. No, he stayed and proudly called himself a Republican. But when they would not let him marry the man of his dreams (oh yeah, the one he ultimately broke up with), he jumped ship. But he didn't jump to become a Dem ( a party that has supported gay marriage and policies assisting the poor). As a gay man I can say: any gay man who is a Republican has some real self hate issues. And I don't want that person as my mayor.

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