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Fenty, Gray face off at forum

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and mayoral challenger and D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray were on their best behavior during a debate Tuesday night at the National Council of Negro Women, where the hottest exchange was whether D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles is the best person for the job.

Nickles' detractors have accused him of acting more like the mayor's personal lawyer rather than representing the best interests of D.C. residents. But Fenty cited Nickles' 47 years of experience at a major law firm, and also his vigilance as attorney general.

"In terms of both management experience, litigation experience and legal experience, you can make a case that Peter Nickles ... is as qualified as anybody we ever had in the position," the mayor said.

But Gray began his comments by saying that as mayor, he'd fire Nickles.

"I have already called for him to be fired," Gray said. "The question is not: 'Does he understand the role of attorney general or general counsel?' Frankly, I wonder: 'Does he understand the role of mayor?' He acts like the mayor of the District of Columbia."

While Gray talked tough, mayoral challenger Leo Alexander said Gray and Fenty worked in concert to approve Nickles' nomination to the post.

Avis Jones DeWeever, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, said the candidates were on point at the forum at the group's headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. "They discussed issues that were of importance to the community, women specifically and young people -- education, crime; all those key issues that touch people's lives," she said.

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Erica Johnston  |  August 17, 2010; 10:34 PM ET
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Someone should have asked King Fenty, why did he refuse to meet with the late 98 year old Dr. Dorothy Height twice in 2009?

Posted by: Ward4DC | August 18, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

There you go Ward4DC,

Spreading falshoods. That was debunked months ago. As was Fenty's alleged refusal to meet with Maya Angelou. Rehashed propaganda. As well five or six other rumors that you help spread.

Give it a break. Let people make up their minds without having to sift thru your falsehoods.

Posted by: politicalrealist | August 18, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

He didn't refuse. The meetings were scheduled then later cancelled. "Dr. Maya Angelou and I were scheduled to meet with the mayor on the 28th of August and on the 31st of August. It didn't happen because the meetings were canceled." Dorothy Height, 9/3/09

It may be that he had idiots working for him. But he could have found the time to meet.

Posted by: mamaspearl | August 18, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Uh, sorry politicalrealist but WARD4DC is correct in stating that he refused to meet with her. I know you all want us to think that him visiting her in the hospital, on her deathbed at a time when she had no idea he was there means he did "meet" with her but at that point it was too little too late. Just like his promise to be more open if we give him 4 more years. Not gonna happen!

Posted by: tformation1 | August 18, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse


It is not true. Period. He did not refused to meet with her.

She is now deceased so we can't get clarification from her personally. However, he family did not express any issue with him. It is only people attempting to use Dr. Heights name as a political tool up in arms with fake outrage.

By the way, Maya Angelou sent a personal letter to the Mayor apologising for people usig her name to spread falsehoods.

If you were lying about Maya Angleou...why should you be beleived on Dr. Height. He might have gotten mad after you people started lying about it. But, he never refused.

Now, stop spreading lies. He didn't beat his wife. He is not an atheist. He does not belong to the Ku Klux Klan. He has paid attention to all wards in the city. And, he is not the anti-christ.

Posted by: politicalrealist | August 18, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

See What Dr. Dorothy Height and Maya Angleou have that Gestapo Fenty doesn't have is class. Pure and simple. That's why they didn't throw him under the bus.

This letter from the great Ms. Maya Angleou has never been released and was just hear say and even if we took his word ***cough*** it doesn't say what was reported was untrue. Now, we could try to FOIA the ltd, but if this administration’s history on FOIA request is any indication, the letter shall never see the light of day.

The facts are the facts. He refused to meet with two icons (scheduling problems in PR terms), until it became a "political/PR liability".

He's politically immature. This would have been a non-issue, but his lack of political skills as well as those around him speaks volumes.

Get over this one…he messed up and you can’t excuse this one away.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 18, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Uneducated voters, will be the reason the District fail over the next 4 years or more. Fenty has done nothing but work hard to make DC a competent, safe and educated place to live. DC residents would be CRAZY not to reelect Adrian Fenty!

Its about RESULTS not personal feelings!!!! Fenty for MAYOR 2010!!!

Posted by: BCW12 | August 18, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

See the following which appeared in CP regarding the snub of Dr Height:

Fenty Visited Dorothy Height Before Her Death
Posted by Mike DeBonis on Apr. 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty visited a stricken Dorothy Height last month, weeks before the civil-rights pioneer's death.

The visit is significant because nothing has symbolized Fenty's deteriorating relationship with black voters quite like his seeming snub of Height last summer.

Height, who died last week at 98, became enmeshed in a city political squabble when the Fenty administration threatened to evict former First Lady Cora Masters Barry and her nonprofit from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center last August. Barry tapped her impressive Rolodex, and Height, along with poet Maya Angelou, twice scheduled meetings with Fenty to plead for mercy. Both were canceled by Fenty's office; the mayor would not explain why.

Height attended a September court hearing challenging the eviction, telling reporters afterward in a faint, matter-of-fact voice that she'd been unable to get a meeting with Hizzoner.

They finally had their rendezvous.

Fenty visited Height at Howard University Hospital last month, shortly after she was admitted on March 25. The meeting was confirmed by a spokesperson for the National Council of Negro Women, the advocacy organization founded long led by Height.

Perhaps the meeting was meant to defuse tensions---tensions that have already bled onto the hustings. Or perhaps the mayor simply wanted to pay his respects to a civil rights legend.

The mayor's office would not confirm the meeting.

UPDATE, 4 P.M.: A person who was at the hospital during Fenty's visit offers some more detail: "She was in a coma," the person says, so there would have been no conversation. The mayor was at Height's bedside "for a very short period of time."

When king fenty visited Dr. Height she was already in heaven and now she is looking down on us to do the right thing emancipation day (sept. 14th) and vote king fenty out of office.

Posted by: bill121 | August 18, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

“Uneducated voters, will be the reason the District fail over the next 4 years or more.”

Well one could argue that the “go-go” voters that Fenty is courting falls under this logic.

Additionally, undervaluing, underestimating and marginalizing D.C voters. But, hey this is indicative of how the Fenty administration treats D.C. citizens.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 18, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Yes, Fenty met with a comatose Dr. Height ONLY for press coverage! Oh the hand, the President of the United States— Obama - welcomed Dr. Heights into the White House 21 times.

Fenty is a fraud and he will be booted out on Sept 14, 2010.

Posted by: GoldCoast | August 18, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse


Stop lying. It isn't true.

Neither is the Obama crap you just mentioned.

You just make up statistics and throw them out there, huh?

Posted by: politicalrealist | August 19, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"She came by not once, not twice -- 21 times she stopped by the White House. (Laughter and applause.) Took part in our discussions around health care reform in her final months."

So politically-unreal, is the NY Times a liar. Maybe the transcriber at the Funeral hit the wrong numbers.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 19, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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