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“I don’t know the details of any scheduling.”

—Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Sept. 3

In what developed into the political boner of the year, Fenty’s administration in early August dispatched a letter to Cora Masters Barry, evicting her nonprofit organization from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center—the facility it built. Certainly good reasons existed for ousting the prickly ex-first-lady from her fuzzy-ball fiefdom on Mississippi Avenue SE. But Fenty never explained them, and legally, he had no grounds for the power move, a judge later made clear. But the signature misstep of Fenty’s came when he refused to meet with a pair of high-profile Barry allies—poet Maya Angelou and civil-rights icon Dorothy Height—and then provided the above explanation to WJLA-TV. It was a massive diss that has resounded through black Washington, and one Fenty will hear plenty about on the campaign trail in 2010.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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