Loose Lips

Mayoral Rivals Criticize Bowser Over Trips, Real and Imagined

As the District's mayoral race works its way through its last sleepy month before Labor Day, Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser headed to Montreal last week for a conference. Bowser's trip to Quebec reminded rival David Catania of another French-speaking part of the world: France.

“She’s becoming the Marie Antoinette of D.C. politics," Catania campaign manager Ben Young says. "'Just let them eat cake, I’m off to Montreal.'"

Catania's campaign alleges that Bowser ditched her responsibilities as the chairwoman of the D.C. Council committee that covers housing issues, opting instead to hobnob with the Québécois.

Catania's camp followed the slam with a postcard graphic illustrating the deteriorating Park Southern housing complex, with a "wish you were here" caption for Bowser. (By comparison, Catania visited to Germany last September, but Young estimates that his candidate hasn't spent more than 48 hours outside the District in the past six months.)

Bowser's trip to speak to young people in Montreal won't cost District taxpayers, according to spokesman Joaquin McPeek.

“This is the latest in a series of desperate stunts and a sign of a campaign that continues to be in panic mode," McPeek says.

Mayoral hopeful Carol Schwartz got in on the homebody action, issuing a press release that was ostensibly about her trip to Saturday's Ward 8 Democrats cookout. The release's true purpose becomes clear, however, when Schwartz describes not seeing Bowser at the event.

“I am so pleased that Muriel got time off from her hourly wage housekeeping job at the Marriott Marquis for a fundraising weekend in Martha’s Vineyard," Schwartz cracks in her statement, an allusion to Bowser's plan to work as a hotel maid for part of a day.

Except, according to McPeek, Bowser wasn't at Martha's Vineyard this weekend. Schwartz admits that she got the idea that Bowser was in Martha's Vineyard based on scuttlebutt she heard in Ward 8.

“I didn’t see her ticket or anything," Schwartz says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • DC John

    Be very careful, Carol...you yourself were over in Rehoboth two weekends ago voting for mayor!..

  • nativonian

    When candidates complain about every little thing their opposition is doing that they aren't doing then it is curtains for the complainers.

    Carol is along for the ride hoping to trip up ol' David.
    While David just hopes to get rode.

  • Shocked..Not!

    I have to agree with Nativonian. It really says you have nothing new or worth hearing to say. How about instead of attacking Muriel -- you prove to me that you're better than Muriel with your ideas, your mission, and what you hope to accomplish as mayor. I'm not a Muriel supporter (actually, I'm not impress with one single candidate); but I find the cheap shots just that cheap. And, your hits are just a distraction on your lack of substance.

    I did expected better from Carol Schwartz. I heard so many good things about her, though I don't know her. This is just disappointing.

  • REALDC

    This whole election is becoming corny..... Bowser working as a maid at the Marriott? SO!!
    What is that? Who cares? She and her campaign crew are just DUMB!! A bunch of clowns!

  • Mark

    David's campaign is schizophrenic.

  • Which Campaign? The Loudoun County one?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/post/david-catania-has-a-new-240000-a-year-job/2011/11/02/gIQAC80SgM_blog.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/loudoun-board-rejects-openband-agreement/2011/11/03/gIQAxGzVvM_story.html

    "Ben Young, director of government affairs for OpenBand, said the company was considering several possible courses of action, including resubmitting its application.

    Hodell-Cotti said her association is concerned that OpenBand will wait until after the election to resubmit its application. She noted that David Catania, vice president of corporate strategy for M.C. Dean, told The Washington Post this week that “the story isn’t over ” in regard to OpenBand’s franchise application."

  • What is OpenBand?

    http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/letters/article/why_is_openband_spending_so_much12 October 12, 2011

    "Coincidentally, around Aug. 18 OpenBand hired a new spokesperson, Mr. Ben Young. Prior to his new position at OpenBand, Mr. Young served nearly 7 years as D.C. Council Member David Catania’s Chief of Staff. Your readers might ask who is David Catania and why is he relevant? The answer is rather simple: Since 2006 Mr. Catania has earned a dual-living as OpenBand’s in-house council while concurrently serving as a D.C. Council member."

  • Peter Rosenstein

    If David and Carol have nothing better to criticize Muriel on they are in serious trouble.

    David is the last person to talk about not focusing on Council or citizens business since he had a second job - at one point making $240,000 a year from a firm that had a contract with the city- while Muriel was a fulltime Councilmember working only for the citizens of the District.

  • justsayin

    Bowser might have been working for the citizens as a "fulltime Councilmember", but many of us in Ward 4 have spent the past seven years trying to figure out what she's been working on and why she should be mayor.

  • Ward8

    Take an Independent stance...vote integrity, accountability, responsiveness. VOTE CATANIA

  • question for justsayin

    If you are earning $240,000 per year from a contractor with City contracts in your "day job" and $125,000 at your "part-time" Council job which job would you take more seriously? Does the Contractor take into consideration you "part-time" job and its connections when hiring you?

  • justsayin

    Answer: Your hypothetical does not address the concerns of many dissatisfied Ward 4 residents who can't find a reason to vote for Bowser other than "she's not her opponent, whoever that may be." For my part, I don't like either one of them.

  • thoughts for justayin

    Is it correct that Ben Young and David Catania have collectively earned millions from employment with a Contractor who has contracts in DC?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/post/david-catania-has-a-new-240000-a-year-job/2011/11/02/gIQAC80SgM_blog.html

    http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/letters/article/why_is_openband_spending_so_much12 October 12, 2011

    "Coincidentally, around Aug. 18 OpenBand hired a new spokesperson, Mr. Ben Young. Prior to his new position at OpenBand, Mr. Young served nearly 7 years as D.C. Council Member David Catania’s Chief of Staff. Your readers might ask who is David Catania and why is he relevant? The answer is rather simple: Since 2006 Mr. Catania has earned a dual-living as OpenBand’s in-house council while concurrently serving as a D.C. Council member."

    http://thefightback.org/2010/09/david-catanias-double-dipping/

    http://thefightback.org/2011/05/is-councilmember-david-catania-fit-for-office/

  • justsayin

    You've posted that info ad nauseum and it doesn't make Bowser any more appealing.

  • thoughts for justsayin

    What about a ban on employment with contractors who have contracts with the City?

    "He is not breaking all ties with M.C. Dean, whose revenues approached $900 million in 2011. Catania said he is in talks to join an unnamed law firm, most likely in a salaried position, where he will manage existing litigation involving the company...

    Colleague Vincent Orange (D-At Large) has been particularly outspoken, introducing a bill last week that would bar companies who employ council members or staff from holding city contracts...

    When Catania took the executive position, M.C. Dean had only one significant piece of business with the city: a $9 million-a-year deal to maintain traffic signals. Since then, the firm has pursued other big-ticket D.C. contracts — a $50 million streetcar construction project and a streetlight maintenance deal potentially worth $100 million or more."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/wp/2013/01/14/david-catania-has-left-his-job-with-m-c-dean/

  • justsayin

    Re: #15
    What about it? You sound pressed trying to unsale a candidate to me for whom I've not expressed any interest or endorsement. The question that has yet to be satisfactorily answered for myself and many in my Ward 4 community is, "What the hell has Bowser done to deserve our votes?" Up to this point, I had no idea of who I wanted to WRITE-IN as I am unimpressed with all of the present options. However, of one thing I am certain: I will not be voting for the dingbat who is marginally responsive to her constituents. Perhaps I can hold my nose and actually consider Catania after all. He's no more arrogant and nastier or ethically-challenged than Bowser.

  • justsayin

    Whatever happened to my response that was awaiting moderation?

  • http://thoughtsforjust@gmail.com thoughts for justsayin

    What about a "None of the Above" Category on future DC Ballots?

    http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2014/06/12/none-of-the-above-tops-dem-gubernatorial-primary/

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