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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.

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"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?"

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  April 20, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Marion Barry , Tim Craig  | Tags: David Catania, Marion Barry  
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Next: UPDATE: D.C. Council approves medical marijuana bill


This could easily get ugly but Catania does not want to attack Barry and risk alienating Blacks. I say fight fire with fire catania!
It's straight n-word versus b-word. Barry has a lot of ignorance in him, and Catania has a lot of feline fight in him. Catania won't take it quietly for long and he will silence Barry like none before. should be interesting. ignorant, but interesting.

Posted by: oknow1 | April 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Barry is a joke and a overrated washed up member of politics and I agree with both these statements Ward 8 needs to stand up against Barry when he comes up for reelection

"Marion had his way as mayor for 16 years and did nothing on the matter of health care for this city," Catania said.

"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?"

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | April 20, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Catania's points are valid. HIV/AIDS is killing people in the community and Barry is still pretending like it's not an issue in Ward 8. Not all of Ward 8 blindly follows Barry around, it's a new day. If he thinks he can reduce this to an argument about race, he will be sadly mistaken. (At least that is my hope.)

Posted by: anderc00 | April 20, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Frankly I don't like Catania, I live in Ward 7 & I wanted to vote on Gay Marriage & I would have voted for it. However if i was oppose to it, as Catania has Shouted that I must be a Biggot! Catania has already lost the black vote, the clergy vote, old people vote, youth vote. I wanted to vote for it so I could tell my son why I voted for or agaist Gay Marrige. I don't like way this city is going. I want one city not 8 little wards. Barry is old & needs to retire. Catania needs to know when his supporters move out of the city, which they will because they have the money to do so. Blacks & Hispanics are all thats left. Then What!

Posted by: Business_Friendly_Radio | April 20, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Barry needs Catania as a scapegoat to deflect folks from his past 'mistakes'. He is going to play the race card. You can count on it just as sure as the fact he is going to run again in ward 8. Ward 8 is changing very slowly. The very poor and elderly that Barry preys on are becoming the minority even in ward 8.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | April 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand David Catania. I think Catania is an undercover racist. Catania left the Republican Party because former President George Bush wouldn't support gay marriage. Catania panders to the mostly white gay community in Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.

Marion Barry is an idiot and I wouldn't vote for him either.

Posted by: Ward4DC | April 20, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Catania said "When was the last time Marion Barry delivered for Ward 8, and a 1984 summer job doesn't count anymore?"

I'm still laughing my azz off !

Posted by: ashafer_usa | April 20, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: 1termpoliticians | April 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

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