LOOSE LIPS SEEMS TO have a selective memory when it comes to acknowledging candidates in the past election who raised the issue of the District’s fiscal crisis. D.C. Council Chairman Dave Clarke and independent mayoral candidate Curtis Pree were complimented by LL (12/2) for addressing the budget issue in the general election. However, in the primary mayoral race, Democratic candidates Otis Troupe, Don Reeves, Don Feldon, and myself hammered away repeatedly that D.C. was going broke.
In fact, Marion Barry, John Ray, and Sharon Pratt Kelly were shocked into reality by the lesser-known candidates’ relentless attacks on this overwhelming issue, and they were forced to make it their major campaign concern as the contest progressed. Even the Washington Post and Washington Times acknowledged that it became the major battle turf.
Apparently my suing the mayor to force the city into bankruptcy was not enough for LL. Calling a press conference in front of the statue Titanic to highlight D.C.’s impending fiscal doom, and advocating an outside independent fiscal panel with final authority, just did not convince LL that the mayoral primary candidates offered the same prophetic message regarding this problem.
However, despite Loose Lips’ falling into lock step with other press and media experts, especially the editorial writers at the Washington Post, along with the recently “concerned” politicians (i.e., Eleanor Holmes Norton, Barry, and the D.C. Council) about making drastic budget cuts—they still don’t get it.
You can raise taxes, cut services, and reduce the budget by $500 million, or even $1 billion, and it still will not solve the District’s fiscal problems. It’s the system. The establishment. The status quo. The special interests, the noncompetitive bidders, the consultants, the water and snow removal “advisers,” the homeless shelter contractors, etc. will keep skimming it off the top, sucking the system dry.
If Loose Lips wants another prediction, one that I have been advocating for the past 15 years, it is that this country, and the system, will not be righted until we have either a third party or a multiparty system to clean up this local and national mess.