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LOOSE LIPS’ RECAP (5/5) OF Marion Barry’s first 120 days in office shows that the city lacks leadership with a solid vision. So-called leaders such as Barry and Jesse Jackson are frauds. Both sat back and criticized the financial control board when they should have been actively involved with the process. Barry should have been more involved because this financial mess is mostly of his doing. Granted, Sharon Pratt Kelly did what she could with her limited knowledge of how to run a city government, but most of the blame should be placed on Barry.

As far as Jackson is concerned, he is too busy tending to affairs outside the District to be an effective legislator. As a city resident, I don’t want to see Jackson’s face at a rally for workers in another state. I want to see him here fighting for full representation for the District. I want to see him fighting for the parents whose day care will be cut or reduced. I want to see him here in the trenches with Eleanor Holmes Norton and the D.C. Council, trying to help with the city’s finances.

The sad thing is that Barry and Jackson will probably get re-elected. Four years from now, if the city seems to be recovering, Barry will take all the credit. If the city is not recovering, he’ll blame the government for placing more shackles on the city in the form of the control board. The ignorant voters of the District will fall for it, and he’ll get four more years either way. If Jackson decides to challenge President Clinton for the Democratic nomination, that’ll be all the campaigning he’ll need to get those same voters to coronate him the shadow senator again.

The city needs to get off the emotional waves that these men tend to create and deal with the real issues. Are these men getting down to the task of running the city? Or are they concerned with self-preservation? A look at the record shows that the latter is true.

Capitol Hill, via the Internet