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Strauss Due in Court on Drunk Driving Charge

D.C. Shadow Senator Paul Strauss is due in court today for a preliminary hearing on drunk driving charges.

Strauss, who was arrested on drunk driving charges on Oct. 1, said he has no intentions of giving up his seat, despite new calls by the D.C. Republican Party that he step down.

"The voters of the District of Columbia have just reelected me with the highest margin that I have ever received and I am looking forward to getting the District voters that we all deserved in this historical time for our nation," Strauss told the Wire on Friday. "I can't comment on the case because it is an on-going legal matter, but I thank all of the residents of the District for supporting me during the election."

Strauss received 167,750 votes for the unpaid, powerless seat, defeating three opponents.

Republican challenger Nelson Rimensnyder received 8 percent of the vote, but even before the race he and members of the D.C. Republican Committee were calling for

Strauss to step down after D.C. auditor Deborah Nichols issued a report charging that Strauss, as chairman of the D.C. Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals, accepted campaign donations from people in the real estate community.

In September, the auditor said Strauss "failed to effectively manage and improve BRPAA's operations, performance and stature." The report also criticized him for accepting campaign donations from real estate interests.

The local GOP cited the auditor's concern that Strauss accepted six $500 checks from several real estate companies and lawyers during his 2006 run for the Ward 3 council seat. It also noted that he has raised more than $100,000 in his campaigns.

The GOP has leveled new charges regarding the drunk driving case, claiming that Strauss flashed a Senate ID badge to the District police when he was stopped.

Strauss "is bringing more recognition to his Shadow Senate position by his drunk driving arrest and the DC Auditor report than his work on the Hill,"Paul Craney, executive director of the DC Republican Committee, said in a statement.

Hamil R. Harris

By Marcia Davis  |  November 17, 2008; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Comments

"The voters of the District of Columbia have just reelected me with the highest margin that I have ever received and I am looking forward to getting the District voters that we all deserved in this historical time for our nation,..."

"...getting the District voters that we all deserved..."?

I've seen enough of district voters to know that we don't deserve any of these people. You can keep them.

Posted by: ahashburn | November 17, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Inasmuch as a "Shadow Senator" has no power, no vote and really, no influence, why go through the time and expense of putting anyone in that position? I have always felt that the District should become part of Maryland or Virginia in order to ensure that the residents get equal protection by electing their own representatives instead of a D.C. oversight group making decisions for them. Is a DUI worse than an impeached president who lied under oath but still retained his office? I think not.

Posted by: marine2211 | November 17, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, as a DC resident who has an alcohol problem, he is in much good company.

Its how he handles the problem that matters, but whatever he does, DON'T SWITCH TO CRACK.

THE LAWYER'S GROUP OF AA MEETS EVERY MONDAY NIGHT AT 6:30 PM AT ST. JOHN'S PERISH HOUSE, ACROSS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. ONE NEED NOT BE A LAWYER TO ATTEND THE MEETING AND PARKING BECOMES AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY IN FRONT OF ST JOHN'S AT 6:30

BOTTOMS UP !!!!!

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | November 17, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a disgrace-- I've dealt with him numerous times in his roles of both an ambulance-chasing attorney and a "senator". I'd be hard-pressed to have less respect for him.

He's rarely prepared and generally tries to bully opponents with his "senator" schtick as opposed to doing his actual job.

I've always made a point of calling him "Paul" during these encounters. Maybe I'll have to find some new name after he's convicted....

Posted by: Bigbobhooter | November 17, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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