Loose Lips

“Rent Is Too Darn High” Slate Looks to Upset Democratic State Committee Regulars

2014-03-22 17.02.11

While most of the attention tomorrow will be focused on Vince Gray's attempt to hang on to the mayoral suite, another batch of incumbents will be facing a challenge much further down the ballot from the D.C. Democratic State Committee's "Rent Is Too Darn High" slate. And yes, they have the backing of a certain elaborately mustachioed former New York mayoral candidate.

Former District shadow representative John Capozzi, who's running for an at-large committeeman spot on the Rent is Too Darn High ticket, says his reform-minded group took its name from New York's Rent Is Too Damn High Party as a nod to affordable housing woes in the District. Of course, it also doesn't hurt to be associated with an attention-getting name in a little watched race, either.

Jimmy McMillan, the flamboyantly facial haired founder of the New York party, called each of the slate members to express his support, according to Capozzi.

The slate, which also includes former Councilmember Sekou Biddle, former shadow representative Mike Panetta, and cycling activist Veronica O. Davis, will likely face its stiffest competition from D.C. Democrats Moving Forward, which includes many incumbent members of the DCDSC. Rent Is Too Damn High candidate accuses the incumbent slate, which didn't respond to LL's requests for comment, of cutting out new party members.

“It showed that people weren’t trying necessarily to get new faces," says Gregory Cendana, a Rent is Too Darn High candidate who outmaneuvered the likes of Marion Barry  and Jack Evans to land a Democratic convention spot in 2012.

Normally, LL wouldn't blame you for ignoring this race. But thanks to the hyperactive U.S. Attorney's Office investigation into Jeff Thompson-fostered political corruption in the District, whoever's in charge of the State Committee could soon be making some big decisions about some offices that District voters have actually heard of. If Gray wins the mayoral primary tomorrow but is somehow unable to compete in the general election (say, because of criminal prosecution), the DCDSC would choose his replacement as the Democratic nominee, according to a spokeswoman for the Board of Elections.

Similarly, the group will be responsible for filling any interim spots if at-large Democratic councilmembers resign, a looming possibility now that Thompson has identified Councilmember Vincent Orange as a shadow campaign recipient. Both Gray and Orange say they didn't do anything wrong.

Cheeky naming aside, the Rent is Too Darn High couldn't quite honor McMillan's original party. Blame District rules against putting expletives on the ballot.

“The Board of Elections wouldn’t let us use 'The Rent is Too Damn High,' so it’s 'The Rent is Too Darn High,'" Capozzi says.

Photo courtesy Vincent Villano

  • dcgovcorruption

    If I am not mistaken Mr.Thompson stated at his plea hearing that Mr. Orange and Mrs Cropp were not aware of his shadow campaign acttivities on their behalf. Now, I don't really see how that would require Mr. Orange to resign from his council seat, Mr. Sommer? I realize this was in contradiction with the pleading that Mr. Machen filed, but, will you just pick and choose which statements (under oath before the judge) Mr. Thompson made in court from his mouth to believe?

  • Tight Lips

    The rent isn't high, they are scared to move to SE thats all.

  • DP

    @Tight Lips:
    1) The rent in SE is too high for a lot of people living there
    2) Some of these folks do live in SE

  • Tight Lips

    @dcgov this is nothing more than LL's attempt to bring out a reaction from Orange, being as though most of his blog entries report that Orange doesn't respond to LL lol.

    If you look closesly in the picture, Sekou "Weakass" Biddle is there. Maybe LL is hinting at Sekou trying to avenge his the legacy of his short-lived political career on top of the legacy of his butt-buddy the great Kwame Brown.

  • Ward 2

    Are Sekou and Kwame really butt buddies? Wow!

  • Tight Lips

    @Ward2 ahaha you must not know about Sekou Biddle, Kwame Brown, Harry Thomas and Marion Barry's pow-wow right after Gray & Brown took the power back EOTR.

  • Tight Lips

    Anita Bonds.....

    Sekou Biddle, Kwame Brown, Harry Thomas and Marion Barry..

    Vote Biddle or we will take contracts away from you....

    Does that ring a bell?

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    Tight Lips, you seem to be one bitter human being. Do you have a life outside of posting negative comments on the City Paper?

  • DCShadyBoots

    I had no clue who these people were. I didn't vote for any of them.

  • DCCommish

    Well it seems this slate could get of the the gate? The rent too damn high...well pay your bills! Democrats Moving Forward won the slates. With a ethic,social and economic diverse slate it shows you that these fly by night "progressive" are just that all talk and no actions or results.

  • Pincheweyy

    4000 dollars a months is fucking crazy.. hel 2800 months is fucking crazy. profits rise for the rich .. while inflation remains low.. and you know why?? because rich people are raising prices.. when your land lord is really a bunch of people that own a hedge fund its all about maximizing profits.. ONLY. that is why the rent is so damn high..wall street moved in..removed the landlord and replaced him with a portfolio.. and a computer program.