Ward 4 Showdown
The 2008 District Election debate season appeared to kick off with last night's forum hosted by the Ward 4 Democrats. Council member Muriel Bowser is being challenged by Baruti Jahi, a former president of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, and Paul E. Montague, the former ANC Commissioner who was recalled in 2004.
Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King served as moderator, throwing out questions about everything from the ward's recent spike in burglaries to school closings.
With nearly every answer, Jahi tried to focus on the idea that Bowser, picked by Fenty as his success for the council seat last year, lacks autonomy from the mayor.
Jahi said Bowser did not stand up for Clark Elementary, a school that will be closed despite its rising test scores.
Bowser said she was tired of hearing the argument that she heard last year. "None of that has proven true," she said of voting with Fenty.
As for the school closings, some schools had to close, she said. "We can't always tell the people what they want. Somebody has to have a backbone and stand up and tell the truth even when it's not popular."
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