Loose Lips

Uncle Earl’s Least Favorite Nephew

After Jeff Thompson admitted to running multiple illegal election schemes Monday, District also-rans must have wondered what could have been had the shadow campaign impresario not been on their opponents' sides. And no one has been foiled by Thompson more often than frequent D.C. Council candidate Pat Mara, who twice  came in second to opponents who received shadow-campaign help.

In two races for the D.C. Council at-large seat reserved for minority political parties, Thompson spent a combined $348,146 backing three of Mara's opponents with off-the-books-efforts. Mara, the Ward 1 member of the State Board of Education, has a theory about why Thompson was so intent on keeping him off the Council.

"You may have heard," Mara says. "I'm a Republican."

In 2008, Thompson and his companies spent approximately $100,000 each on Mara rivals Michael A. Brown and Mark Long. Brown won the seat with nearly 20 percent of the vote to Mara, in second place for the set-aside with 10 percent.

Mara unknowingly faced a Thompson shadow campaign again in a 2011 special at-large election. He began to worry that there was something sinister behind Vincent Orange's campaign after signs with his rival's name appeared suddenly around town. (Orange has said he didn't know about Thompson's help.)

Especially vocal Orange supporters at a Washington City Paper debate on 14th Street NW's Black Cat also made Mara suspicious that they were being paid off-the-books. “He had a whole cheering section of people at the Black Cat," Mara says. "And it was like, you know, 'Where did this come from?'"

Orange won the race with 29 percent of the vote. Mara came in second again with 25 percent, but he says the sense that he was cheated out of his election has since faded.

Like many other District politicians, Mara received his own campaign contributions from Thompson's straw donor network. Admitted Thompson straw donor Lee Calhoun, for example, gave $2,000 to Mara's 2008 bid.

In a twist, the Washington Post reported last year that Mara benefited from his own Thompson shadow campaign in 2008. But Mara, who says he doesn't know about any shadow campaign to help him, isn't on the list of shadow campaign candidates identified only by single letters in Thompson's statement of offense.

“Please let me know what my initial is, if I do have an initial,” Mara says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • DCCommish

    Ask Mara then where he money comes from...cause it sure isn't eBay! Mara your a fat lair and no one wnats you in office in DC or anywhere else. You're ethics are just as bad as the rest of these guys getting caught. I'd say keep a low profile. Better yet move to the mountains of WV that way no only will the post no be able to find you but either will any other voteers!

  • Trulee_Pist

    In keeping things fresh and up-do-date with current DC political leadership lingo, Mara added, "Yes, I was a Republican in that campaign. But it was not illegal!"

  • Hillcrest Gay

    Barrie Daneker you are crraaaaaazzzzzzzy. Crazy. People even know you are crazy on my non Ward 5 street. Haha! That is bad..I'm so sick of seeing your stupid DCCommish on comment sections. Did you do anything else in life? [No]. You are on embarrassment to gay men in their 70s everywhere. So a couple things: first, I never ever ever voted for Mara even though I think he's cute. Sadly, I recently learned he's a breeder. Breeding Repubs are not something I support. Back to my main theme: you disgust me. You are a defender of crooked accountants. As you are aware, your boy Tim Day robbed the DC Repubs blind according to my friend who is the staff guy there. Those idiots made your partner Tim their treasurer even though he stole from his accounting clients for years. Pretty sure he was using DC Repub funds to pay for his leased BMW among many other things (cc: Machen). The DC Repubs won't say anything about his thievery cause it makes them look bad. Second, according to a gop Ward 5 friend your bff Anita just fired Day as her money guy (cc: At-Large candidates). Why? Yup, you guessed it, he was robbing her blind too. I can't wait to get into more of this once you respond you old worn out queen. Part 2 - how Barrie and Tim robbed a Ward 5 ANC blind. When HTJ gets out you are both screwed. Final question: are Barrie Daneker and Tim Day both living in the same foreclosure property together?

  • Barrie is a loon

    @HillcrestGay Don't waste your time. DCCommish is insane.

  • Barrie is a loon
  • Abominable Dr. Phibes

    excuse me, is that Gumby, or the rubber man?

  • Barrie is a loon

    If you didn't notice Vincent Orange is Barrie's attorney.

  • dccommish

    Hillcrest Gay...well considering all of your comments...You must be drinking or smoking something. Mara is a snake period! As for Mr. Day I am not aware of any of your allegations.. never even heard a beep of the charges you suggest. Mr. Day is a CPA, so I;m sure if he was stealing from his cleints he would be right next to HTJ. Am I'm certain that Machen checked Mr. Day considering the information that he brought to the attention of Machen. Further if the GOP had anything on him they would have used it by now...Are you kidding me!!! If you recently learn Mr. Mara is straight then you really are out of touch with the facts. Furthermore Mr. Day and I are not partners. Furthermore, since I have a job and work I don't need to nor have I ever taken a dime from anyone other than my employer for the work I do. And taking money from the ANC, you really are kidding me right! You must be up there in Ward 7 hanging on the corner smoking some serious weed or worse. As for HTJ, he's got no issues with me! PERIOD! as for my house, I well on my way into a 30 yr mortgage and I'm not behind on my payments nor have i ever been. That would be of pulblic record. So i'd say your angry that you are just another DC hack who I must have really pissed off cause you were an idiot!

  • dccommish

    @ loon... All is true teh OCF and that Mr. Orange offered his services along with two other attorney's. Mr. Orange was professional and did a good job. However he is not on reatiner as my general council, he just work that one case for me. Thanks for playing!


    LOL! Get real, Mara kept Mara out of office. End of story.

    Mara was a crap candidate from his very first race and until his 3rd/ 4th race!

    Losers look for excuses on why they lost 4 times!! He is not a good candidate, period!!