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Mayoral hopeful David Catania headed to Congress this morning to schedule a meeting with Rep. Andy Harris, the Maryland Republican attempting to derail marijuana decriminalization in the District. While Catania didn’t get his meeting, he did get a lesson in the low regard that some congressmen—-and their staffers!—-hold for the District’s elected officials.

Harris is back on the Eastern Shore during the congressional recess, so Catania dealt with Christopher Meekins, Harris’ deputy chief of staff. Meekins told the at-large councilmember that he couldn’t ask for an appointment in person, then refused to call Harris on Catania’s behalf.

“Look, this is a campaign prop,” Meekins said. “We all understand what this is.”

With Meekins distributing press releases saying that Harris wouldn’t meet with Catania until he’s “ready to deal seriously with the problems of drug abuse,” it became clear that the staffer wouldn’t relent.

“I think I made my point,” Catania said. “We’re not going to get a meeting.”

Before leaving, Catania had his own chief of staff send an email asking for a meeting. Catania shouldn’t get his calendar out yet, though—-when he asked whether he’d hear back on the request by the end of today, Meekins said Catania might get a response by next Friday.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery