David Catania may be behind in the mayoral polls, but he still has a few days left to win voters—-or at least alienate them from rival Muriel Bowser. Over the weekend, Catania’s campaign handed out campaign literature naming individual Bowser campaign workers and supporters in an attempt to tie Bowser to mentor Adrian Fenty.
“Thirteen members of Adrian Fenty’s inner circle make up the Bowser campaign team,” the literature reads. “Don’t be fooled. Muriel Bowser and Adrian Fenty are one and the same.”
There’s also a grinning little Fenty with a speech bubble saying “I’m back!” (It’s a Washington City Paper photo by Darrow Montgomery that was used without permission, for what that’s worth.) To prove its case, the literature names 13 people tied to the Fenty/Bowser Green Team. Some of their connections to scandal are well-known—-the handout’s hall of shame includes Fenty pals Ron Moten and Sinclair Skinner, along with former Bowser campaign advisor Tom Lindenfeld. Others, like nonprofit executive LaRuby May and former D.C. Council at-large candidate Josh Lopez, are more obscure and unlikely to sway anyone’s vote.
It’s also a surprising attack, because some people actually like Fenty. While Vince Gray beat him in 2010, he still received 45 percent of the vote. Catania’s literature risks reaching voters who wouldn’t mind the next mayor taking cues from Fenty. This isn’t the first time Catania has brought up to Bowser’s connection to Fenty’s jerkish ways, either: In May, Catania campaign workers handed out literature depicting Bowser as a Fenty puppet in Fenty-hating wards 7 and 8. Catania campaign manager Ben Young says the new handout wasn’t targeted only to the east of the river wards.
While LL suspects this amounts to a badge of honor for the Bowser supporters who just had their names blasted out across the city, Bowser’s campaign isn’t officially amused. Via email, Bowser spokesman Joaquin McPeek calls the handout “more of the same negative and desperate attacks that won’t fool District voters.”
Correction: Due to a reporting error, this story originally described the campaign literature as a mailer. In fact, it was a handout.
Photos by Will Sommer