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Gray ad goes after Fenty


It's not airing on television, but D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) appears to have launched the hardest-hitting ad thus far in the mayoral race.

In a Web video produced by the Gray campaign and distributed to the media, Gray goes after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty for failing to live up to the expectations he set when he was elected mayor. The ad is based on a snippet from a story by NBC 4 reporter Tom Sherwood in which a mother accuses Fenty of not doing enough to help her family.


"You were vigilant. You were supporting us. You were helping us. And then you turned your back on us," the woman told the mayor in Shaw.

Fenty responded, "I didn't do the job I'm supposed to."

The Gray campaign video concludes," That's right Mr. Mayor, You Didn't."

But Gray's Web ad omits Fenty's full response to the woman. After saying he didn't do the job he was supposed to Fenty told the woman, "even if you don't vote me, I want to help you."

Gray's video also blames Fenty for high unemployment in Wards 7 and 8, and a citywide increase in burglary, auto-theft and sexual assaults. The ad also accuses Fenty of giving city contracts to fraternity brothers and mismanaging the city's summer jobs program.

Short of cash and unable to pay for television ads, the Gray campaign is using web videos and radio ads to counteract the commercials Fenty is airing on broadcast and cable television.

Gray's free-media strategy -- yes, D.C. Wire, took the bait, this time -- could be crucial in trying to overcome Fenty's 10 to 1 cash-on-hand advantage.

But Gray's ad, which is also making the rounds on various neighborhood listservs, may awaken a sleeping giant.

So far, Fenty's television ads have focused on the mayor's record and ignored Gray.

Gray's video, however, could be viewed as the opening salvo in the negative ad wars. And Fenty doesn't need to rely on D.C. Wire and other media outlets to broadcast his commercials.

Gray campaign advisors dispute that their video is the first attack ad of the campaign. They note that Fenty-ally Ronald Moten has been producing Go-Go songs criticizing Gray.

Either way, game on.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  August 3, 2010; 3:52 PM ET
 
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Next: Gray wins straw poll on Fenty turf

Comments

Mayor Fenty looks anything but arrogant in this piece. It looks like he was listening to that lady and admitting that he could do a better job.

How many poiticians would pass the buck in that circumstance.

A person like that most certainly has my vote. And, probably the lady that he was talking to. Thanks for showing me that Mr. Gray.

Posted by: politicalrealist | August 3, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Looks like he got caught in the headlights and has to admit that he has not performed in office. He is not arrogant because the cameras are rolling. If the cameras were not there he would be different and there are a whole lot or people who will testify to that. Thank you Mr. Gray for getting Fenty to admit that he has not performed and we do not need him for a second term.

Additionally, the reference about his arrogance is not about him talking to a mother in front of her little children. His arrogance is not including the legislative branch of the government that the people of the District of Columbia voted in, not taking into account how his decisions effect the tax payers when he directs his staff to give contracts to his friends for more than double what they should cost, firing people whole sale, giving out no bid contracts and thinking that he is above the law.

Posted by: diahhna | August 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Hammer Time!!!

Posted by: starclimber9 | August 3, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Arrogance? Yes, Fenty responds to the woman in a caring manner but that's not the thrust of the ad. This ad is squarely focused on the incompetence of the Fenty administration and not Fenty's special character traits. It's diversionary if your takeway from the ad is Fenty's manner. Yes, there are plenty of examples of Fenty's arrogance but this ad is not one of them.

Posted by: roscoedc | August 4, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

...and the lady will not be voting for Fenty. I bet my life on that!

Posted by: roscoedc | August 4, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Gray cares so much about unemployment that he appointed Marion Barry to chair the Committee on Workforce Development.

Posted by: billjones21 | August 4, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"'You were vigilant. You were supporting us. You were helping us. And then you turned your back on us," the woman told the mayor in Shaw.'"

Translation: You didn't give me the handout that I was entitled to. It's mayor Fenty's fault that I can't get out and better myself and get a job to provide for my kids.

Posted by: Ward5Rez | August 4, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What did this woman expect the mayor to do? How long has she depended on the city for help? I think it's time she did something to help herself. And who's the "us" that she speaks of? If that is all the others on assistance, then that is all I need to know in order to count myself in the Fenty camp.

Posted by: Ward5Rez | August 4, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"'You were vigilant. You were supporting us. You were helping us. And then you turned your back on us," the woman told the mayor in Shaw.'"

Translation: You didn't give me the handout that I was entitled to. It's mayor Fenty's fault that I can't get out and better myself and get a job to provide for my kids.

Posted by: Ward5Rez | August 4, 2010 9:21 AM |
=====

HA! the utter elitism/classism of Ward 5 residents.

Of course latte-drinking, elitists, like you would make such a ridiculous statement. What is does is express the usual antipathy towards others "down the economic scale."

Hard to imagine that your response would have been the same had the black women w/kids been replaced w/a white blond woman w/the same number of kids.


In fact, I'm sure it would not have been.

Posted by: dcis1 | August 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

dcis1,

Maybe Ward 5 Rez should have more compassion, but I agree that the free for all, handout mentality is what brought city finances to their knees in the 90's.

The city needs to have programs in place to help people help themselves, instead of just a handout. Handouts perpetuate poverty. What Fenty has done to revamp UDC is a major step towards giving disadvantaged people the chance to break out of poverty.

Posted by: DCNative26 | August 4, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Ward5Rez and DCNative.

I am black, grew up in poverty in SE. Despite this, I enlisted in the army at age 19, learned a lot of valuable skills, went on to college courtesy the GI Bill.

Upon graduation, I decided to come back to my hometown for a job. I bought a home here and have been able to provide for my family without any handouts.

There are so many programs in place courtesy the DC and Federal government. People need to quit blaming politicians for their problems and start taking control of their lives!

Posted by: CgrssHtsHomeowner | August 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

politicalrealist:

I have to agree. The Gray camp likes to paint Fenty as arrogant, and he has certainly done some things that give off that appearance, but having worked with him professionally, I can attest that he is anything but.

He honestly just wants what's best for the city. He's so involved with everything, that he is crazy busy. It's not that he's arrogant and ignoring people, it's that he really is that busy.

Posted by: trinidad3 | August 4, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

billjones I agree 100%. i lived here under the wrath of "mayor for life" marion barry. it was a disaster. gray scare me to death. he will herald a return to marion barry years. the post like to paint this election as an old time resident vs new resident thing, but theres alot of us oldtimers that don't want to go back.

Posted by: choclatecity | August 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

As an attack ad, this video is a failure. Gray's cash-poor campaign needed to get maximum publicity out of its first web-only attack ad, because it's the only one that will be featured on a website in this way. This portrays the critics as selfish and the mayor as respectful. Some people will consider the attack unfair: the mayor doesn't have a magic wand to fix people's lives on demand.

It's poor judgment to think this ad was a winner.

Posted by: hungrypug | August 4, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The Fenty administration has done so much for every ward. The city is growing again for the first time in 50 years. Crime is down. By every measurable statistic, DC is doing great.

Yes, Unemployement is up. Hello? We're in a recession.

Posted by: Ward71 | August 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Why does he only quote unemployment in Wards 7 and 8?

Maybe that's because that's where the greatest concentration of welfare recipients are. Unemployment in those wards has always been high. Those people have been on welfare for GENERATIONS. How is one mayor supposed to change this?

Is Gray serious with this? hungrypug is right, this ad is a FAIL. The mayor looks calm and respectful, while this lady looks lazy and selfish.

Posted by: joeswanson | August 4, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Here are my reasons for voting for Anyone BUT Fenty:

After 10 years of increasing school test scores, scores declined last year
Fixing schools requires more than just a Diva firing “ineffective” teachers
Crime is up over the last years
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 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
He leaves the country without telling anyone or leaving any one as custodian of the DC government
His personality: Arrogant, selfish, lack of compassion
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 lead 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 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ha. Maybe she should quit having so many kids.

Posted by: clarendonchick | August 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

DCResident3,

You think Gray will be any better? His track record is just as dismal. The best ward in DC is actually across the Potomac.

Gray is a retard. At least Fenty made DC safer and more desirable (not hard considering how bad marion barry ran the city into the ground).

Posted by: clarendonchick | August 4, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

DCNative/Congresshomeowner, your posts have absolutely NOTHING to do what Ward 5's elitism/classism. Not one single thing.

At all!

What does the availability of gov't programs, growing up in SE, or being black have to do w/the cost of tea in tibet?

I'll tell you what has occured here, Ward 5, the elitist, saw an ad featuring a black woman challenging the mayor over his promise to do something that would aid people "like her." Consequently, Ward5 (w/the help of congresshomeowner and DCNative) bought into the classism he/she demonstrated.

Why do I say this? It only takes a minute to ask yourself why does the image of a black woman w/kids invoke accusations that people like "her" want a gov't handout. I have BLACK college educated friends who are/have been unemployed. They could have asked Fenty the same question. And your assumptions would have likely been the same.

Black person (specifically a woman) challenging a gov't official on anything is forever likened to another case of welfare/entitlement mentality.

Posted by: dcis1 | August 4, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

dcis1-

Please. Since when is getting off your ass and doing something for yourself "classist" and "elitist"? Only lifetime welfare recipients in DC equate hard work as "classist" and "elistist".

If hard work and providing for oneself is "classist" and "elitist", then count me in as well.

Posted by: ftottenite | August 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

dcis1, you need to get over this classist and elitist nonsense. You, my friend are the classist and elitist one- the welfare class elitist.

Since when is it Fenty's responsibility to provide jobs for your unemployed black friends? Oh, I see, you got confused and thought this was 1980 and Fenty was Marion "dc gov't jobs for all unemployed black people" Barry.

The whole country is in a recession. DC actually has better employment stats than most of the country. Is it Fenty's fault too that no one else in the country can get jobs either?

Posted by: Ward71 | August 4, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

dcis1, brah, tell em like it is. they have no idea how hard it is to be black in a white mans world.

yo listen, my mamma and i ben living in barry farms my whole life. once i got a job at mc d's but i made to much money there and dcha wanted us out so my mamma made me quit. our crib sux ass theres roachs ev' where, fenty need to fix this joint up! c'mon fenty, do more for us disvantagd folk!

Posted by: section8plzhelp | August 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, typical responses from people of your kind.

Do you even know what you're responding to?

Some idiot, concluded that the BLACK woman in the ad who said that Fenty has turned his back on people like "her", is a welfare queen, accustomed to gov't handouts. That conclusion was based on nothing other than her presence in the ad. No knowledge of who she is. What we do know is what she looks like and what she said.

Now we have even bigger idiots commenting about something they themselves fail to understand.

Why has what she said elicited responses of WELFARE and asking for a handout?

Further, Ward7 IDIOT, the entire country seems mad at the current administration because of the high unemployment numbers. In fact, many people criticize this administration for what it is "perceived" not doing. Conversely, since when is it the Gov't's job to get someone a job? It's not.

But, IDIOT, tell that to the host of americans upset so that they can redirect their anger at themselves instead of the federal gov't.

Posted by: dcis1 | August 4, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"But, IDIOT, tell that to the host of americans upset so that they can redirect their anger at themselves instead of the federal gov't."

Truth hurts, don't it?

Posted by: CgrssHtsHomeowner | August 4, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"But, IDIOT, tell that to the host of americans upset so that they can redirect their anger at themselves instead of the federal gov't."

Truth hurts, don't it?

Posted by: CgrssHtsHomeowner
====

Er, no it doesn't because I have not asked nor expect any assistance from the federal government outside of what those in my income bracket qualify for.

It's good to know that you, a homeowner, didn't accept nor expect any type of government assistance in purchasing your property. That means, no tax break, federal loan or otherwise.

Posted by: dcis1 | August 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

dcis1, brah, tell em like it is. they have no idea how hard it is to be black in a white mans world.

yo listen, my mamma and i ben living in barry farms my whole life. once i got a job at mc d's but i made to much money there and dcha wanted us out so my mamma made me quit. our crib sux ass theres roachs ev' where, fenty need to fix this joint up! c'mon fenty, do more for us disvantagd folk!

Posted by: section8plzhelp
====

Er, nice try.

If you are going to try and speak in what you consider the vernacular of those of us who live in Ward 8, it would behoove you to learn how to at least write in a manner reflecting "black" dialect.

Contrary to your obvious belief, people in Ward 8, including Barry Farms, know how to speak and write in the english language.

Sux? Who writes like that?

Posted by: dcis1 | August 4, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Congresshgtsowner,

I'm glad you were able to get your education...on that government handout called the GI bill.

Posted by: orbitcv | August 5, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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