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Fenty and Gray face off in radio debate

Washington Post Editors

Hours after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's campaign unveiled a new television ad where he promises to listen and do better, his calm was ruffled in a debate against chief opponent Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi show.

"You cut me off," Fenty told guest commentator Tom Sherwood as Fenty was answering a question about listening.

It was a highlight of the hour-long radio debate where both candidates stuck to their themes and attacks.

*Gray promised to be "inclusive" and noted the recreation construction contracts that went to firms with ties to Fenty.

*Fenty said the city has made progress during his tenure and pointed to Gray's record as director of the Department of Human Services, saying divisions went under court receivership.

But Nnamdi and Sherwood were looking for fresh answers, stirring debate about the city's racial divide. A new Clarus poll shows Gray with a slim lead over Fenty overall, but the poll also showed Gray has more support among black residents while the city's white residents overwhelmingly support Fenty.

Gray promoted his "one city" effort to bring all groups of the city together.

Fenty said he has completed several projects east of the Anacostia River in the city's predominantly black communities. "Why do people still have qualms about my campaign? It's my fault," he said, adding that he has to do a better job of informing residents of his record.

Fenty also said he has to do a better job of convincing constituents that he listens to them before making decisions.

Sherwood hit Fenty with some of the harsh descriptions that had been leveled against him: "jerk" and "bonehead." During Fenty's explanation, Sherwood brought how some had described him as being "mean." Fenty accused Sherwood of interrupting him.

The candidates ended the debate with closing statements that appeared to appeal to bases they are trying to lock down.

Fenty said he's the candidate who would keep schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.
Gray said he has a plan to tackle unemployment.

"Like anyone else, I've made my share of mistakes," Fenty said. "Going forward I'll learn from them and be more inclusive which will make me a better mayor."

By Nikita Stewart  |  August 18, 2010; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election  
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Sorry King Fenty, you fooled me once to vote for you, but I will never do it again. People hate you King Fenty and they want you gone out of political office. You have helped to divide the District by race and class.

Posted by: Ward4DC | August 18, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Not all of us White folk support Fenty. I'm sporting a "Gray for Mayor" sign outside my Ward 6 home.

Fenty, Rhee and Nickles don't know how to listen. None of them will change.

Fenty needs to stop relying on Rhee to get elected. The school system is NOT improving. Test scores DECLINED in elementary schools this spring--the one area where historically scores could be counted on to rise.

Yes, she has dramatically improved the central office. But she has alienated the very ones needed to make reform successful: the teachers. I think there is no way for her to repair her relationship with teachers. It is far too broken. And it's not about veterans vs. newbies. Even the new hires, after a couple months, come to realize that Rhee is a disaster. Teachers are retiring and leaving DCPS in droves. Where will the system be in 3-4 years if the trend continues and there are no veteran teachers and all the TFA and DCTF folks have left for surrounding jurisdictions, graduate school or more lucrative jobs?

Rhee should have been building a strong teaching corps who would make an investment in the children, the neighborhoods and the system.

She has been a disaster, riding the coattails of Janey's reforms her first couple years. Now we're seeing the results of her reforms: declining test scores.

Likewise for Fenty. The improvements in the city are the result of 8 years of Anthony Williams who made lasting changes from which we're still benefiting.

I sincerely hope Fenty loses the primary Sept. 14 and that Rhee is on a plane to Sacramento on Sept. 15.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | August 18, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Why do people still have qualms about my campaign? It's my fault," he said, adding that he has to do a better job of informing residents of his record.

PLEASE DONT!!!! You have done enough of tooting your own horn and we are sick of it. Firing everyone else and replacing them with Fenty cheerleaders. We have eyes and common sense too. What you need to do is LISTEN!!!

Once again... listening requires more than just you being silent when someone else is talking. You are like a 8 year old who knows he better not talk while the adult is talking but you know in his head he is silently repeating "They makes me sick, they makes me sick", so that by the time the adult finishes giving him his instruction and tells him to get to it, he has to stop and ask, what it was he's supposed to do. BUT HE IS 8!!!

And WHY, do you think you can talk about how sorry you are and that you will change.... just not right now... after the election you'll do it... do we really look that stupid? You said you would change, but when a citizen ask you just yesterday or the day before why you would keep funding a group with no stats, instead of answering, you asked him what HE was doing to help, and then told him he wasnt doing anything but criticizing. Do you really feel that the citizens of DC have no say over what you do with their money?

Remember, in the beginning, you said you didnt care what the wrongfully fired employees thought because they didnt live in DC anyway? Well maybe they lost their mini-mansions in PG after being fired and had to move back home with family and.... wait for it....

hahaha, karma is Bi#ch aint it?

Bottom line is you should treat your employees, your constituents and your visitors as well as you would treat anyone else because the same folks you pass while your moving on up are the same folks your going to pass (GOING DOWN) on Sept 15th.

Until then, you really haven't and wont learn your lessons because you are still in your shuck and jive mode thinking you can bamboozle us again.


Posted by: tformation1 | August 18, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Did you notice how Fenty skated, more like raced pass the question on Ron Moten=Peace-a-holics question regarding the additional $400,000. He acted as if he did not even hear the question.

Posted by: winston61 | August 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

After 10 years of increasing school test scores, scores declined last year
Only 15 schools in the District of Columbia this year met the annual goals of No Child Left Behind, down from 54 in 2009.

Fixing schools requires more than just a Diva firing “ineffective” teachers
Crime is up over the last 3 years- robbery, thefts, sexual assaults
DC now has the highest city-wide unemployment in it’s history
Fenty has awarded his fraternity brothers $82 MILLION in illegal contracts that they were unqualified for
Fenty condones corrupt elections: He vetoed a bill passed by 10 Councilmembers that made it illegal for a candidate to pay someone for their vote!
Fenty arrived into office with a huge budget surplus that he has turned into a large deficit
He has depleted our Rainy Day Funds so he could open $400k dog parks and heat his favorite swimming pool
Over the last few years, Mayor Adrian Fenty has dipped into the city's rainy day fund to the tune of $840 million, bringing the balance in the savings account down from $1.5 billion in 2007 to just over $650 million for 2011.
Fenty risks the city’s bond rating
He leaves the country without telling anyone or leaving any one as custodian of the DC government
He has police escorts close down roads so he and his friends can bike on them
His personality: Arrogant, selfish, stubborn, has a lack of compassion
He refused to meet with Destination DC- DC’s official Tourism office. Is tourism not a big industry in DC?
He is unwilling to hear any different opinion and anyone that doesn’t agree with him
Fenty doesn’t consult with the community on ANYTHING.
Fenty has not held ONE news conference since becoming Mayor. Not one.
Fenty misses community meetings and simply says he “couldn’t make it happen”
When asked about a triple homicide, Fenty says “it could have been worse”
Fenty refuses to hand over any government records- has worst record of responding to Freedom of Information Act requests
Fenty is unable to play well with others- refuses to give City Council tickets to Nationals game
Fenty led a sketchy donation of firetrucks to the Dominican Republic. Don’t we need them?
Fenty has a poor record on juvenile justice and public safety- Kids that were in custody murdered DC Principal Brian Betts.

Posted by: DCResident3 | August 19, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

In the interview he said that there hasn't been any knew Grocery Stores in the last 20 yrs (east of the river) and that these stores started and ended in his administration and would not have happen if he wasn't in office.

YOU LIE! In my Representative Joe Wilson voice

Safeway complex near Alabama & Naylor

“You could say that this project has been in the works for almost 25 years…[and] we’ve probably come closer to getting the shopping center under [former DC mayor] Tony Williams,” said At-Large City Councilmember and Chair of the Council’s Committee on Economic Development, Kwame Brown. “We were able to go through the RFP process through Tony Williams and we were able to get a developer selected through Tony Williams.”

2. Giant Superstore and complex @Stanton and Alabama was planned and approved
under Williams

“The Giant and adjoining shopping center sit on the site of Camp Simms, a former military base. The city acquired the 25-acre lot from the federal government 25 years ago, while Marion Barry was mayor. The Barry administration never managed to get any development going on the site, but in 2001 the Williams administration invited developers to present proposals for developing the vacant lot. William C. Smith & Co. and the East of the River Community Development Corporation responded with a joint venture and were sold the property for half a million dollars – about a quarter of what the city paid to the federal government in 1983.”

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 19, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"Why do people still have qualms about my campaign"

Another lie. Fixing school buildings didn't start with your administration.

This has been in the works since FY 99.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 19, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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