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‘Twas a festive morning in December 1994, and D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas was preparing for his annual holiday party and toy giveaway. The party was filling up with Thomas’ Ward 5 constituents and other well-wishers when Thomas noted something awry. A staffer from his office was behaving rather unmerrily and making some unseasonal remarks. So Thomas hauled off and cold-cocked the guy. End of story.

Although D.C. politicos have never taken governing very seriously, they don’t let anyone mess with their holiday festivities. Over the years, they’ve learned how to profile at holiday events and hold themselves out as charitable figures. This year, though, Washington City Paper is keeping score. A team of judges with more than 40 years of combined experience assessing holiday decorations and cheer set out to rank D.C. politicos on a rigorous, scientific scoring grid. In each category—office decorations, charity, and spirit—contestants can score anywhere from -10 (big-time Grinch) to +10 (jolly Santa).CP

Frank SmithRibbon on magazine Passes out toys and Owns a Santa suit

rack, pine cone display bikes in Ward 1 that he dons

on coffee table, beard public housing. +9every year. (It’s

on councilmember. +5his second—

he wore out the

first one.) +10


Harry ThomasReal 8-foot tree with Hosting ward party, Bought real

lights that blink, passing out toys, tree for council

accompanied by holiday attending holiday lobby from a

tunes, tinsel in doorways, parties, working on lot in his

wreath, poinsettia, his right hook. +4ward. +7

candy canes—a virtual

winter wonderland. +10 +21

MetrobusChristmassy red stripes Ferrying holiday “Happy Holidays”

on bus sides, Home revelers all over greetings on

Alone 3 posters. +4town. +6marquees. +7


Marion BarryTastefully color-coded Lit Christmas tree, “The mayor’s going

9-foot real tree, lighted hosts holiday parties to brave the weather

ficus, pine-bough for children, preaches to light the tree

arrangement. +8passionately about that’s symbolic of

redemption. +5 the hope and

prosperity for the

District,” says a

Barry supporter. +4 +17

Sandy Allen 5-foot fake decorated Hands out 3,000-“We are a very festive

tree, plastic “Happy 4,000 toys on Martin crew,” says staffer

Holidays” banner, Luther King Jr. Bob Bethea. “I

accordion-pleated Avenue SE. +7won’t be dressing

hanging paper bells. +6up—they need

someone a little

bigger and a little

jollier.” +3 +16

Harold Brazil 6-foot fake tree Visiting senior citizens His press secretary’s

with nary an home, attending name is Mary

ornament. +4holiday parties, Rudolph. +8

hosting his own


fund-raising party. +4+16

Carol SchwartzOne sprig of evergreen, Diverting office-party “She’s a very gracious

handmade paper chains, funds to a needy and gregarious lady

and snowflakes. +2family. +6who wishes everyone

holiday greetings,”

says a staffer. +3


Linda CroppPoinsettia, wicker bowl Passes out 100 food “Hmmm, you know,

covered with shiny baskets, 700 toys to we’re as festive as

ribbons. +2the needy, donates to you can be while

midget football. +8you’re working,”

says press secretary

Bob Hainey. -2 +8

Kevin Chavous2-foot fake tree bearing Giving turkeys, toys “We’re trying to get into

$7 price tag on office to low-income the holiday spirit,”

table. Real jumbo candy families. Passing says staff aide Cheryl

canes in box. +3out socks to senior Grant. “That’s as far

citizens. +5as we’ve gotten.” -3


Tom DavisA few Christmas Honorary House “I’m sure he was thrilled

wreaths. +1chairman for clothing with the opportunity to

collection for Martha’s clean out his closet,”

Table—helped load says Anne Carlson, one

the van, too. +5of the organizers of the

collection. -3 +3

Jack Evans 3-foot fake decorated Collects toys, attends “No Santas here.

tree on table, festive holiday reception for No Mrs. Claus,” says

candle, and pine cone senior citizens, chief of staff John

glitter ornament. +5campaigns for mayor’s Ralls. -5

office. +3


Charlene JarvisPoinsettias, Hosting swank party “I don’t think we have

wreath to come. +1 for Ward 4, attending anyone who could be

holiday buffets. +4Santa,” says a staffer.

“No one would fit the

personality.” -4


Hilda MasonA few lame “She has a full Festive? Why? What’s

Christmas cards. +0.5schedule of events, “this for?” asks

but she may not be Daniel.”Oh yeah, we’re

going to all of them,” real festive.” -3

says staff aide Nadine

Daniel. “So if you’re

looking for a reason to

follow her around, I can’t

help you.” -2 -4.5

Sharon Ambrose”We’re not a frilly office,” Giving out a few “We don’t have any

says executive assistant turkeys, helping money, really, to do a

Vickey Wilcher. “We’re out families in bunch of Christmas

just a nuts-and-bolts, Ward 6. +1activities,” says

no-nonsense kind of Wilcher. -7

office.” -5-11

Kathy Patterson”We don’t have any Attending a few parties, “We haven’t even

decorations; we work,” assisting the down-discussed

says staff aide JoAnne and-out in the holidays,” says

Ginsberg. -8Ward 3. +0.5Ginsberg. “You can

put down that


Patterson is doing

her job.” -9 -16.5

Andrew Brimmer Who knows? Press “He’s on vacation now…”Holiday spirit?” asks

secretary Jim Davison [but] he doesn’t haveDavison. “What

could not obtain clearance time for charityabout it?” -9

to allow judges to see work,” says Mimi, an

office doors, which are employee at Brimmer

supposedly decorated & Co. Inc. -10.

for the holidays. -8