Barry-Catania feud continues over contracts, health care
The feud between Council members Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and David A. Catania (I-At large) could come to head this afternoon when Barry tries to get his colleagues to disapprove three contracts that Catania had a role in crafting.
It does not appear as if Barry has the votes to derail the contracts, the most significant of which is the Department of Health's consulting agreement with the George Washington University School of Health and Health Services.
But that isn't stopping Barry from making his feelings toward Catania well known. This morning, Barry stopped a Washington Post reporter to state his feud with Catania is not personal.
On Friday, the Washington Post wrote a story noting how Barry's relationship with Catania has turned toxic since Barry voted against Catania's bill to legalize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Since that vote, Barry has suggested Catania has been the fuel behind his recent ethics troubles.
But Barry insisted today his issues with Catania are political and not personal.
"This is ideological and philosophical," said Barry, noting Catania is a former Republican. "David is an independent Republican and I am a progressive Democrat... He holds some values that are diametrically opposed by us progressive, liberal Democrats."
Barry went on to accuse Catania, the chairman of the Health Committee, of ignoring the health needs of residents in Ward 8.
"He has had at least a dozen hearings on HIV/AIDs, which is important, but not one over diabetes, hypertension, obesity or urgent care," Barry charged. "That is what this is about."
Catania initially did not want to respond to Barry's charges. But then Catania quickly fired back.
"Marion had his way as mayor for 16 years and did nothing on the matter of health care for this city," Catania said.
Catania said that under his leadership, the city has slashed its rate of uninsured residents, placed a nurse in almost city school and pumped tens of millions into hospitals and other medical facilities.
"I think people would consider that progressive," said Catania.
Catania is up for reelection this year, and will be running against the Rev. Anthony Motley, a key Barry ally, in the race for one of two council seats reserved for members of a minority party.
But Catania said he's not going to get let himself get into frequent disagreements with Barry, who appears increasingly primed to take the battle to the public.
"I have real work to do," Catania said. "When was the last time Marion Barry delivered for Ward 8, and a 1984 summer job doesn't count anymore?"
April 20, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
Categories: D.C. Council , Marion Barry , Tim Craig | Tags: David Catania, Marion Barry
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