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Good morning sweet readers! Can you believe it, only one more day until our long municipal nightmare is over. “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow,you’re only a day away.” What happened to LL’s Cowboys last night? Oh that’s right, they were robbed of a win by their own stupidity. Anyway, ‘Skins fans, enjoy this moment of glory, cause you know it’s not going to last if your offense can’t manage to get a single touchdown. (Editor’s note: Talking trash after your team loses is not wise, LL.) News time:
Swim, Run, Pray: Who are you going to vote for, the athlete or the religious man? While Adrian Fenty spent Sunday morning swimming in the Potomac (which is now clean, btw) as part of of the Nation’s Triathlon, Vincent Gray spent the morning going to sparsely attended churches. Typical Fenty behavior of shutting out the community, says Gray, who promises to restore an office of religious affair if he’s elected mayor. Fenty says “he cut funding to the office of religious affairs and moved its responsibilities to the community affairs office because of the city’s tight budget. ‘In tough financial times, mayors make tough decisions,’ Fenty said,” reports Freeman Klopott at the Examiner. LL tagged along with Gray during the morning. How’s this for a recipe for sleep: church, hearing Gray’s stump speech for the millionth time, rainy and gross outside. LL is still trying to wake up. Mike DeBonis was at the triathlon’s finish, but says Fenty gave reporters the slip after the race. Question for DeBonis: Did Fenty bike, run, or swim when evading the press corps? Both candidates wound up at Adams Morgan Day, where it’s not clear, according to this Post story , if their eyes met as they passed by each other. Also, police shot a dog.
Gift Card Madness:Back in July when the D.C. Council passed an anti-vote buying bill (which Fenty later vetoed on the advice of Ron Moten, according this piece in the Post), LL remembers councilmembers stressing that the bill would not affect such time-honored traditions as organizations providing free lunches to people who go and vote. LL remembers thinking the words “slippery slope” at the time, because the idea of giving someone anything, even a boxed lunch, to vote struck LL as a bad idea. Well, behold what that time-honored tradition has wrought: two hilariously bad “gotcha” videos being promoted by none other than Moten. The videos show a group organized by Cora Masters Barry giving away $10 Giant gift cards to people who have voted. The Post, which felt like the story deserved a home in the Sunday print edition, transcribed some of the dialogue: “‘We are going to buy you lunch,’ the one woman says. ‘If you get in our van, and go vote, if you get back on, I will be right here.’ The woman asking about the gift card then asks, ‘Who do I got to vote for, Gray?’ ‘No, we are non-partisan, you can vote for whoever … you can vote for yourself,” the other states.” That’s probably not the answer Moten was hoping for, and kind of undermines the Fenty camp’s suggestion that there was some sort of massive criminal activity here. Is it kind of shady bribing people to vote with gift cards? Yes, but Lady McBarry has a point when she says there’s not much difference between handing out hot dogs and handing out $10 gift cards in exchange for voting. Anyway, the BOEE has gathered info on this whole mess and forwarded it to the feds to sort out. Remember, this brouhaha comes on the heels of this ABC 7 story, which alleges the Green Team was promising people $100-a-day jobs in return for votes. Fenty said after that story broke that he wanted the last few days of the election to be focused on important issues, not silly side shows. Guess Moten didn’t get the memo.
The Internet Is Full Of Evil People: Michelle Fenty says she’s “beaten down” and “heartbroken” about all the negative things people are saying about her husband on the Internet and is looking forward to this race being over, according to this profile by the Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia.Fenty again breaks out the line about being “shocked” by recent poll numbers showing how unpopular her husband is with “these people.” (Though polls from as early as August of last year said pretty much the same thing.) “‘We’re in this box. We’re surrounded by people in the box,’ she says, pausing with chopsticks in hand over a salmon roll. ‘The perceptions are hard to understand because we don’t know the people who have the perceptions.'” Fenty says her husband is awkward, but that he really is driven to improve the District. Also of note: Mayor Fenty was not in Jamaica at the time of the South Capitol shooting, but was at a tennis event with his twin sons, Michelle said. That makes it hard to understand why it then took Fenty more than 24 hours to show up at the scene of the shooting, where he was booed for showing up so late.
Style vs. Substance Story, Take 35:The Post’s Marc Fisher, apparently given a reprieve from fending off complaints from Jim Graham, writes a nice story about the contrasting styles of Fenty and Gray. Best anecdote: Gray asking unsuspecting people if they know who Vince Gray is. “Gray is aware that to many, he’s just one more man in a business suit. Sometimes he plays with this. Tall and polite, he interrupts an occasional stranger in his low, rumbling voice to say, ‘Do you know who Vince Gray is?’ ‘Yes,’ replies a middle-aged black woman, eyes focused on her shopping, not on this stranger. ‘Have you met him?’ asks the candidate, dressed in a custom shirt with ‘Vince’ embroidered on the cuff, two BlackBerrys on his belt. ‘No,’ comes the reply. ‘That’s who I am,’ Gray says, and now the woman looks up.”
Well, At Least He Didn’t Call Him Deliberative: The Examiner’s Tim Carney has a pretty dim view of both Fenty and Gray. His lede: “If you are registered as a Democrat in the District, you have a choice on Tuesday: Do you want your tax dollars and the resources of your city to be handed over to the teachers union, the government-employee unions, and the local chamber of commerce? Or do you want the spoils going to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi?” Carney goes on to lambast Fenty for his “small-time gratuitous corruption” in steering contracts to his fraternity brothers and Moten, but indicates that’s still better than what voters are going to get with Gray. “But just as Fenty’s graft was pointless, it was also nearly harmless — at worst, a few million thrown away. And just as Fenty seems to think too highly of himself, at least that means he is independent. ‘Independent’ is the last word you would use for Vincent Gray. His candidacy was spawned by Fenty’s lack of ‘respect’ for the teachers unions—whose mission is to save the jobs of teachers who have failed to teach. Gray’s campaign coffers are filled with special-interest cash, public employees are burning up the phone lines, and union operatives are going door to door for him. ‘Beholden’ is the word that comes to mind when considering the prospect of a Mayor Gray.”
LL Hears the Greater Washington Sports Alliance Pays Well: TBD get a little bit too ahead of themselves with this in-depth look at Fenty’s future job options should he lose Tuesday. People not willing to say they’d hire Fenty: His former boss Ward 7 Councilmember Kevin Chavous, Howard poli sci head Daryl Harris, Gray frat buddy Bruce Bereano.
Juking the Stats: The Post’s Mary Pat Flaherty calls out both candidates for cherry picking crime stats.
Education Blowout:Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee outlined the way teacher bonuses were going to be distributed on Friday. Rhee speaks up on Fox 5. The Examiner gets an ‘F’ in math but has Chuck Thies opining on how much Rhee has meant for Fenty: “If Michelle Rhee had been abducted by aliens, disappeared in July, Fenty would be losing this race by 20, 25 points.” And Post columnists decide to write about Rhee. Courtland Milloy is impressed with Rhee’s crazy idea of outlawing private schools. Jay Matthews chronicles a new teacher who is impressed with Rhee’s fast-moving style. Colby King says Rhee should have kept to the sidelines in mayoral race, and needs to go.
Fenty unveils job program, right before the buzzer [WBJ]
Moten’s thoughts on poll numbers: “A lot of people were on vacation.” [Times]
The AP story that the rest of the country will read about mayoral race [AP]
Very Sad: Prof. Ron Walters passed away Friday.
Jonetta backs Fenty. [Examiner]
Gary Imhoff on why Fenty lost [DCWatch]
Jack Evans is getting married Sept. 18, has bachelor party at Cafe Milano. [Bisnow]
David Catania gets his star turn in The Real Housewives of D.C. [Reliable Source]
Gray is on with DePuyt (Fenty was invited too).