Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Fenty could directly appoint election board members

Washington Post Editors

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) could unilaterally appoint two new members to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics - effectively giving his appointees control of the three-member board charged with overseeing the Sept. 14 Democratic primary - if he and the council are unable to agree on consensus candidates, according to City Administrator Neil O. Albert.

In a letter to council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) on Wednesday, Albert said Attorney General Peter Nickles has "opined that in emergency circumstances," the mayor "has the authority to make interim appointments to boards and commissions."

"If the council does not wish to meet during recess, the mayor would be willing to consider this power," Albert wrote.

On Wednesday, D.C. Wire reported that Erroll Arthur, chairman of the elections board, will step aside Aug. 2 to take another job. Arthur's departure will paralyze the board because the council and the mayor have not agreed on replacement for Lenora Cole, the minority party board member who resigned in February 2009. With two of the three board seats vacant, the board will not have the quorum needed to oversee the Sept. 14 primary election between Fenty and his leading opponent, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray without at least one new member.

Hoping to avoid a nasty, politics-laced showdown between Gray and Fenty over the new nominees, Catania and council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) are trying to broker two compromise candidates, one of whom would have to be a member of the minority party.

But in his letter to Catania, Albert indicated that the mayor might not nominate whom Cheh and Catania suggest.

"I am in receipt of the names you recommended for the vacancies on the Board of Elections and Ethics," he wrote. "Once I've reviewed your submitted names with the mayor, I'll add them to the list of individuals already being considered for this appointment."

Given that his name will be on the ballot, any effort by Fenty to place his nominees on the board without council approval would almost certainly fuel the already explosive squabbling between Fenty and Gray supporters over concerns about the potential for election fraud.

The board, if it is functioning, will be charged with overseeing the city's new early voting and same-day registration laws. Concerned that they could open the door to fraud, some Gray supporters have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor the election. The board would also oversee a possible recount if the Fenty-Gray race is not settled on primary day.

By Tim Craig  |  July 21, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mayoral candidates busy tonight with Ward 2 straw poll, Ward 4 forum
Next: Norton gets in heated House floor dispute ... over a New York racetrack?


Albert said Attorney General Peter Nickles has "opined that in emergency circumstances," the mayor "has the authority to make interim appointments to boards and commissions."

Wow...that statment alone from an Attorney General (who is also the God Father to the Mayor)who never represents D.C. citizens beyond car lots, scares me.

They know they are losing and they plan to win by any means necessary.

Perter "God Daddy to the Mayor" Nickles made it known that he would use his power as Attorney General to retaliate personally, illegitimately, against Council Chairman Vincent Gray because he was angry that Gray criticized his negotiation of a settlement agreement with Fenty’s frat cronies at Banneker Ventures.

Shots fired!

I'm calling again on the Justice Department to step in Bush 2000 election 2.0

Posted by: thelildiva4u | July 21, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

DC voters, keep careful watch of this situation. This is leading up to corruption and fraud!!!!!!

Posted by: daughterofold | July 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The WP is as much to Blame for the fiasco.

Nickles was not elected by the citizens...

He is the defacto Mayor!

He runs all the agencies...says he does not run things by the mayor,

And interprets the law to meet satisfy the objecives of the mayor and not the people.

And the WP is not calling him out on it.

The WP is standing by why this man single handily dismantles our democracy.

How can the Post continue to support this callusion?

What kind of deal has the Post made!

A number of us have already canceled our home delivery subscriptions.

Its the principle!

Posted by: gordonbundy | July 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

You know who should keep their eyes on this the closest? Gray's finance chair. They spend money like it is water. And, this could take a minute.

Posted by: politicalrealist | July 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

This mofo has turned his tenure into a nightmare. Iwas dropping the boys off at camp this morning and on Columbia and 16th they were waving Fenty signs. I had to let them have it. This guy is doing llth hour deperation moves and things just get worse. And to have that closet Nazi Nickles in the mix is way too much. Dude reminds me of Cheney. Scary

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | July 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Fenty could directly appoint election board members"

The headline says it all.

Therein lies the problem that has plagued DC governance for decades: Unilateral decisions and conflicts of interest. When is that fat lady going to show up and sing in this city?

Posted by: logosdesigns | July 21, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Caracas? Moscow? Washington, D.C.?? The absolute last thing that proponents of D.C. self-government need is a scandal over the integrity of the electoral process.

Posted by: evwill | July 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

First he stacks the deck at the Taxicab Commission and now he's stacking the deck at the Board of Elections.

Posted by: starclimber9 | July 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

FBI oversight...THAT would be interesting. I am not quite sure that Nickles would want the feds that close to the polls on election day. Where there is a shadow of corruption in District government, there is always a footprint of Peter Nickles.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@ politicarealist

What are you rambling about?

@concernedaboutdc - Amen.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | July 21, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Nickles = Svengali

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | July 21, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

let's hope this makes the paper tomorrow.

Posted by: mamaspearl | July 21, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse


FYI, in this online edition, there's now an article - generally on this topic - with tomorrow's dateline. But the headline has been neutered, and the text somewhat emasculated as well. (No doubt, the Fenty-fied WaPo editorial board exercising its prerogative to slant and censor.)

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 21, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The best part is that all the "do gooders" in Ward 3 fighting for peoples/animals/planet rights in every inch if the world save these 64 square miles will not do a thing.

Heck they have his sign in their yard..... Might was well fire up the SUV and run overs some pengins on the way to the polls.

Which btw will be over run with new votes on election day and not one of these, again, "do gooders" that investigate election fraud else where will say tweet or blog a thing let alone stand up for citizen here.

DC dont count, our vote dont count just shut up and pay your taxes and vote for the GREEN the good sheeple you have become.

Posted by: Ward3dc | July 22, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company