Catania Floats PAC to Deter Meddling Congressmen
Maybe Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) should have given mayoral hopeful David Catania that meeting after all. Almost a month after Harris' staff snubbed him in a congressional office building, Catania thinks deep-pocketed District residents should consider launching a political action committee to scare off congressmen considering Harris-style meddling in District laws.
“Everyone understands that Congress has the right to tell us what to do, the Constitution says so," Catania told a meet-and-greet crowd in Capitol Hill yesterday. "But we also have the right to play within the rules, and the rules could be a political action committee."
Catania campaign manager Ben Young says his boss has been floating the idea over the past few weeks. It wouldn't be the first PAC aimed at promoting the District's position in relation with Congress, although its prospective predecessor, the D.C. Democracy Fund, hasn't been active for eight years. In an interview with LL, DC Vote head Kimberly Perry, whose own organization has run ads against congressmen, welcomed Catania's PAC idea.
Thanks to pro-gun legislating from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and anti-pot decriminalization maneuvering by Harris, it's been a hot time for congressmen looking to impress their constituents by blocking District laws. Yesterday, Catania name-checked Harris, who has delighted in tweaking District pols.
“When Mr. Harris from the Eastern Shore decides that he’s got to interfere, he might be slightly tempered if he knew that we were sitting on enough money that we could flood his district with a million dollars," Catania said.
Enthusiasm for a congressmen-hunting PAC aside, though, voters shouldn't expect any hypothetical Mayor Catania to follow Vince Gray's lead and get arrested on the District's behalf.
"We have to stop sitting in the street and getting arrested," Catania said yesterday.
Alas, we may never know how Harris and Massie would respond to either tactic. Reps for both congressmen didn't respond to LL's requests for comment.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery