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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- White People Who Bike Like Fenty
- Anita Dunn Helping The Green Team
- SEIU Helping With Brown/Brown Confusion
Good morning sweet readers! Football season is here, finally. LL dozed off half way through the second quarter, but by all accounts didn’t miss much. Oh yeah, the biggest election in D.C.’s history is four days away! News time:
Why Adrian Loves Peter: Add “sugardaddy” to the list of descriptors of Attorney General Peter Nickles‘ relationship with Mayor Adrian Fenty. The Post‘s Mike DeBonis and Nikita Stewart dig a little deeper into the strong, strange bond between the 39-year-old mayor and his 71-year-old A.G. “When a young Adrian M. Fenty and his brothers were forbidden by their parents to consume meat, salt and sugar, they could count on family friend Peter Nickles to loosen that nutritional regime. Nickles, like the indulgent uncle, had Sugar Pops cereal. … ‘Anytime [the Fenty children] wanted to cheat . . . eat cereal with sugar, they could come over,’ Nickles said.”
DeBonis and Stewart also discuss Nickles’ rein as mayor AG, and how he’s done some good—going after slumlords, moving the city out from under court orders—and some not so good—politicizing the position, undermining the previous A.G. How Nickles told the Post with a straight face, “I am completely apolitical,” is beyond LL. The most recent e-mail LL got from Nickles ended with this “apolitical” line: “I find it particularly interesting that my office would be accused of delay in light of the Council Chairman’s own recent delay of several months in responding to a simple Freedom of Information Act Request by a local newspaper.” If that’s not playing politics, then what is?
AFTER THE JUMP: Votebuyinggate; Kinder School Reform; Gray Lady Takes a Look; Fenty the Republican…
Is VoteBuyingGate to TBD what the first Gulf War was to CNN? No: TBD, well okay ABC7, had the big scoop with the story that the Fenty campaign might be trying to buy votes. But instead of writing a coherent follow up to a story they own, they post updates all day that lead to this confusing jumble of diarrhea news. If this is the future of news, we’re screwed. For a real story, head on over to the Post, where Tim Craig and Ann Marimow write a lucid, easy-to-follow story that has a beginning, middle and end. Beginning: Vincent Gray‘s campaign is calling for a federal investigation after the ABC 7 story ran. Middle: Fenty campaign says its workers are told not to try and buy votes, the Board of Elections and Ethics says it’s concerned too, Gray camp says it hears vote-buying is widespread, Ron Moten says it’s not. End: This vote-buying allegation is more bad news for Fenty, who is down in the polls with time running short. Peace out! See also AP, and Examiner. TBD also has this mess on whether it’s illegal to buy votes. Seriously, how is anyone supposed to make heads or tails of that?
Hey-Yo: LL’s column makes Mike Allen‘s Playbook. Does this mean LL gets a cut of all that Albritton money? (LL’s editor: Probably not, after the way you mocked TBD in that last graf.)
Kinder School Reform? Don’t Think So: The Post editorial board weighs in on the mayor’s race again, expressing doubts about whether Gray’s promise of a kindler, gentler school reform as opposed to Michelle Rhee‘s take no prisoners approach will work. “For all the progress D.C. schools have seen in the last three years, there’s much more work to be done. Too many children remain stuck in classrooms with no learning going on. A mayor can keep peace by keeping happy all the grownups who depend on a public school system. That doesn’t help children who are being deprived of a future.” It mirrors the arguments City Paper‘s editors made in the recent endorsement of Fenty (again, LL didn’t write ’em, so direct your hate-filled anonymous comments elsewhere) that you have to “go monomaniacal or go home” when it comes to school reform. That may be true, but one point that LL thinks is often overlooked is this: How can any school reform effort be sustainable if the schools chancellor doesn’t have the support of the majority of black parents in this town? Fair or not, that’s a crucial failure on Rhee’s part that has the potential to undermine all her other efforts.
Mayor Adrian Fenty (R-D.C.)?: DeBonis (man, that dude likes to work!) has a column up on how Fenty may become a “victim of the District’s Democratic monopoly.” DeBonis points out that the “national two-party straitjacket is an awkward fit” for D.C., and Fenty would have a much better chance if the votes of indo’s and Republicans helped determine this election. Will that wish be granted? Could be, DeBonis says, pointing out that Fenty might get enough write-ins in GOP primary to be the Republican candidate for mayor in the general election. Hizzoner has shot down that idea repeatedly, but DeBonis makes the good point that Fenty may feel a wee bit different when he wake up Sept. 15, walks outside to pick up the paper, and sees Gray driving off in the city-owned Smart Car. Such an effort would likely have little chance of success, DeBonis notes, but hey, we can hope for this battle to drag on another two months, right?
Oh Gray Lady, Tell Us What’s Going On: The New York Times’ Erik Eckholm pens a dispatch for his Upper West Side readership on the state of the mayor’s race. A solid retelling that has this lede: “By any measure, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has suffered an astonishing reversal of political fortune” and this mindreading: “This week, Mr. Fenty seemed chagrined but clinging to electoral hope. He argued that in the end, many voters would think twice about returning their city to what he calls ‘the dark old days.'” There was a Wall Street Journal reporter at a Fenty event yesterday, along with a CBS Evening News with Katie Couric crew (minus Katie Couric) and a South Korean documentary crew (they were filming something about education).
Gray’s Very Own Moten?: What a bizarre story from the Washington Times’ Jeffery Anderson about a former drug kingpin who supports either Fenty or Gray. Cornell Jones, who apparently did well enough as a criminal to be featured in BET’s American Gangster, told Anderson he was helping the Gray campaign, before retracting that statement (and blaming it on a faulty phone connection) and saying he supports Fenty. “Multiple sources told The Times that Mr. Jones and Ms. Rowe helped line up go-go bands that provided entertainment for the Aug. 23 Ward 8 Community Day at Oxon Run Park—an event funded by Gray for Mayor, according to an event flier, with a permit requested by the chief of staff for council member Marion Barry. Mr. Jones, a former nightclub owner who had provided go-go bands for an October 2008 political forum ahead of that year’s council elections, did not respond to detailed questions about the Oxon Run Park event. It remains unclear to what extent Mr. Jones and Mr. Gray know each other or have coordinated their campaign efforts.”
Just a Slight Exaggeration: Maryland Gov. Tommy Carcetti Martin O’Malley says a decision whether to endorse Fenty is similar to the decision whether to approve Jesus’ crucifixion. “This is one of those Pontius Pilate things, Mark,” O’Malley told WTOP’s Mark Segraves in response to a question about who he’s supporting the mayor’s race.
Jaffe talk about the great Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. [Examiner]
Don’t miss the Mo Down, as Ron Moten and Mo Elleithee debate on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt [TBD]
Student claims teacher got her pregnant [Fox5]
Peter Rosenstein for Gray