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Fenty says he won't 'personally' ask write-in campaign leaders to stop

Washington Post Editors

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said Monday he will not ask leaders of the "Write Fenty In" campaign - many of whom worked on his primary bid -- to cease their efforts to get voters to write in his name on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Fenty said it would be "improper" for him to personally reach out to the leaders of the write-in campaign, even though some of them used to be on his campaign payroll.

"Everyone has the right to do whatever they want to," Fenty said Monday after the opening of the new Georgetown Library. "I have my own personal views and I have expressed them consistently since Sept.14. I believe not only in the Democratic process, I believe Chairman Gray is the best person for the job...It's up to everyone else to decide who they are going to vote for in their own individual capacity."

Fenty sent out a statement Friday reaffirming his support for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, who defeated Fenty in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. It was the third time that Fenty has publicly thrown his support behind Gray, who is all but certain to win the general election.

But leaders of Write Fenty In are not relenting in their efforts to drum up for support for the mayor in the general election. Saturday, Josh Lopez, who was Fenty's Ward 4 coordinator in the primary, and several other volunteers went door-to-door in upper Northwest passing out information to residents on how to write in Fenty's name on the general election ballot.

Several of the volunteers were wearing their green Fenty hats from the primary, surprising residents who appeared confused by the visit from the "green team."

"At this point, Fenty is still the better candidate and people want to write him in," Lopez said as he canvassed the wealthy Palisades neighborhood of upper Northwest. "We are confident if we get enough support, (Fenty) will accept the nomination."

Indeed, Lopez and the other members of the green team found several residents who were sympathetic to their efforts.

"Thank you," one Palisades homeowner told Lopez. "I support Fenty and think it's a travesty that he lost to Gray."

Gray, meanwhile, is continuing his efforts to win over residents who didn't vote for him in the primary. Last Wednesday, several Gray supporters held a sign wave near American University in upper Northwest. But Dave Donaldson, Gray's Ward 3 coordinator, tells D.C. Wire the Gray volunteers met a "hostile reaction," perhaps due to the fact news was just breaking that Michelle Rhee was resigning as chancellor of D.C Public Schools.

"I couldn't believe it, there were some very angry people out there," Donaldson said, recalling how one motorist stopped her car and shouted through the window, "You're the reason Michelle Rhee is resigning today."

With Monday being the first day of early voting in the District, the Write Fenty In campaign also has dispatched volunteers to greet voters at the Judiciary Square polling site. Voters will be handed detailed green-and-white "how to vote" fliers stating how to "write in Adrian Fenty."

Lopez said the Write Fenty In campaign also will hand out the fliers at numerous precincts on Election Day.

Still, few expect the write-in campaign to be successful, although it could embarrass Gray on Election Day if enough voters opt to write-in Fenty instead of voting for Gray.

"It's not going anywhere," Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who supported Fenty in the primary but now is campaigning for Gray, said after seeing a copy of the "how to vote" flier.

By Tim Craig  | October 18, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election, Tim Craig  
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Comments

The fact The Washington Post continues to give this write-in effort and its "advocates coverage over other important and credible issues and community leaders, demonstrates this newspaper does have a reporting bias and exposes The Washington Post as supporting this write-in campaign.

Robert Vinson Brannum
rbrannum@robertbrannum.com

Posted by: robert158 | October 18, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I suspect King Fenty and Ward 4 D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser along with Bill Lightfoot is behind this write in campaign.

Posted by: mmatthews1 | October 18, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

What you need to understand is that neither the Post nor any political machine is behind this. We're real people, average voters, not particularly connected to any political group, but dedicated to the idea that we can organize and vote for whoever we want in an open democracy. We think Adrian Fenty is the best candidate for mayor and we're acting accordingly. Sounds pretty nefarious! And if there weren't thousands of us, I guess you could accuse the Post of a bias in reporting our story.

Posted by: TRDC | October 18, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow the last four posts that DC Wire has put on their blog is about the write in....

Really?

Nothing else to report on?

No really?

Posted by: thelildiva4u | October 18, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Only in Washington DC could a school administrator be forced to resign for improving the school system.
One must wonder if she were black and had improved the schools, would this have happened.
Face it, the worst thing Congress ever did was to give home rule to such a third world group.

Posted by: daveasphalt | October 18, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

There are people being robbed and killed on the streets of the District of Columbia and all Tim Craig can think to write about is a campaign without a candidate.

Mr. Buffet, do yourself a favor and fire this hack.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 18, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I will celebrate Fenty's defeat; just for the speeding cameras and parking fees.
Cheers,

Posted by: juanp | October 18, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'll be casting my vote for Gray in Ward 6 this Saturday. Equally important, I'll be casting my vote IN FAVOR of making the Attorney General an elected position.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 18, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I will be casting my vote on tomorrow for Vincent Gray at the Board of Election. These Fenty fanatics need to give it a rest and let it go. Vincent Gray will be the next mayor of the District of Columbia. I hope never to see Adrian Fenty again in life or in my Ward 4 neighborhood. I wish this guy would disappear from our neighborhoods. Fenty helped to divide this city by playing racial politics by devaluing black D.C. voters opinions and by disrespecting us. Many of the people trying to get King Fenty re-elected on this write in madness are trying to save their jobs or continue to get perks, low numbered D.C. tags, and D.C. tax funding for their agendas.

Posted by: Ward4DC | October 18, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ward4,

I am writing in Fenty for none of the ridiculous reasons you stated.

You act so high and mighty because you voted against Fenty, and you call us fanatics. At least we like Fenty instead of just hating his opponent for the nonsensical reasons you stated.

Posted by: nmoses | October 18, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of Gray supporters telling us to "give it a rest" - how 'bout myob. You vote, we vote. Although Gray will probably be DC's next mayor, he isn't my mayor yet, and I'm not voting for him.

Posted by: dantedog | October 18, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why anyone would want to write-in anyone who has accepted defeat and has already put his support behind the candidate who really is running November 2. I just think sometimes people just thrive off the drama of it all. Vincent Gray is trying to unify this city and all the write-in fenty folks are doing is undermining these efforts. Give Gray a chance just like you gave Fenty and if after 4 years you don't like what the results, vote him out. Let it go people!

Posted by: nativewashingtonian80 | October 18, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Brannum - Reasons for this article:

"Gray, meanwhile, is continuing his efforts to win over residents who didn't vote for him in the primary." And you know it would be embarrassing for Gray if there were 20k write in votes for Fenty on election day. That is reason enough for this to be covered in the "D.C. Wire: News and Notes on District Politics" (thats for lildiva and concernedaboutdc)

As I said in a previous post: If anything, the write-in voters want to make sure that Vince Gray continues some form of Fenty policies (a majority of which DC have enjoyed over the past four years) during his administration or pledge to do so during his administration. Something that Gray hasn't done yet other than town halls during which he has said the same campaign rhetoric. (and if you hear that via 20,000 votes on election day isnt that reason enough nativewashingtonian80?)

-DCref
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously"

Posted by: DCref | October 18, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

This is not about drama, this is about momentum. Fenty supporters want to continue down the path Fenty has set us on, and Gray fundamentally wants to change that.

For drama AND proof that WaPo is not ridiculously biased towards fenty, see Courtland Milloy's commentary.

Posted by: dantedog | October 18, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Where are the facts about Gray fundamentally wanting to change the path Fenty has set? I see just the opposite. Case in point, Gray wants to continue to the reforms in education -- he just pushed to get Rhee's right hand person Kaya Kenderson in as interim chancellor. He just wanted someone who would be willing to respect other's opinions and be collaborative. This is not about momentum. Fenty has given up. So should you.

Posted by: nativewashingtonian80 | October 18, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

DcRef have you been to any of the town halls? I really don't think any of these comments against Gray are fair if you haven't even attempted to get to know who he is and what he stands for. He has actually congratulated Fenty at 2 of the town halls I went to (Ward 5 and 2) for many of the things he's done and he wants to build on that. He also brought up great ideas that the audiences have actually responded well to. And if 20,000 people write in Fenty I will be very surprised but it still doesn't change the fact that Fenty has said himself, HE IS NOT RUNNING! That is my whole point. If he is no longer interested in being mayor and has gone so far as to say he is supporting Mr. Gray, why are you fighting so hard to get him elected?

Posted by: nativewashingtonian80 | October 18, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

When Fenty is indicted for corruption. All of you ill informed people will be sorry that you did not listen to the people who worked with him and know for a fact what happened on his watch. Did you watch the hearings? Have you paid attention to what this unethical, corrupt person did while he held office? Take the blinders off.

Posted by: diahhna | October 18, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Fenty just wants to see how many votes he can get.

Posted by: efavorite | October 18, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Dang, I guess tomorrow Tim Craig will publish the Write Fenty campaign's "how to vote flier" with detailed instruction on how to spell Fenty's complete name--including middle initial--and what type of lead pencil to use.

Tim, where is your freakin disclaimer that’s required for campaign ads?

Posted by: GoldCoast | October 18, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that the FBI raided the home of a close Fenty confidant yesterday? One who has been under investigation for questionable contracts under this administration. That is what the rumor mill is saying. What say you Tim Craig. Any journalistic integrity left?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 19, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

The push polling for the Write In campaign is being done by Cooper Seacrest, an Alexandria firm. Reporters: Ask who is funding this.

The Mayor can state unequivocally and "personally" that he will not accept the write in votes and send an email and letter to the DC Board of Elections stating that he is not a candidate for Mayor and will not accept the write-in votes and that he has no plans whatsoever to change his mind.

Anything short of that is speaking out of both sides of the mouth.

JM

Posted by: EastofthePark | October 19, 2010 5:37 AM | Report abuse

"The Georgetown Dish appreciates passionate, determined activists. The Dish offers a hat-tip to Hlinko for adaptive re-use of the rather worn Statehood message, but this turkey won't bite. Er, this dog won't fly.

Presumptive mayor Vincent Gray has already set the right tone in the weeks after the primary. He has had successful public meetings with Ward 2 and Ward 3 voters -- those voters who most strongly favored Fenty. Gray selected a protege of hard-core schools chancellor Michelle Rhee to carry on -- hopefully with less acrimony and more humanity -- important and necessary education reform. As the city faces a looming deficit of $400 million or more, city leaders -- as well as activists -- need to focus on the challenges ahead, not the battles of yesteryear.
We are duly impressed by Hlinko's talents as a social media campaigner and, if he is indeed writing a book about his effort, as reported by our colleague "Loose Lips," we will gladly throw our neighbor a book party. But we urge John Hlinko and the Run Fenty Run group to aim their energy at more worthwhile challenges, of which there will be many ahead.

We hereby re-endorse Vincent Gray, a leader with the skills, experience and right democratic instincts to lead the District, for Mayor in the general election Nov. 2."

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 19, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Fenty wants to get re-elected so that he has some kind of cover when he is indicted. Think about it, because he will not be the Mayor, he has no protection. He will be an ordinary citizen charged with corruption while in office. He will be on his own.

Posted by: diahhna | October 19, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

To Daveasphalt: If Rhee were Black, she wouldn't have been appointed due to lack of
qualifications!

Posted by: whitaker200 | October 19, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Just reading what Concernedaboutdc wrote:

"Is it true that the FBI raided the home of a close Fenty confidant yesterday? One who has been under investigation for questionable contracts under this administration."
______

OMG, I got to check with my sources to get the 411 !

Posted by: GoldCoast | October 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Georgetown Dish needs to get it right. Gray can't appoint anyone yet, he's not the Mayor. Henderson was appointed by Fenty, not Gray.

Posted by: GoldCoast | October 19, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious that...

JOSH LOPEZ and this corrupt, clownish Fenty CREW
are now canvassing
& soliciting funds $$$
in order to continue to pay salaries to THEMSELVES !!!

Also, there is a back-door
attempt to manipulate & put pressure on Gray
(in terms of forcing through
political agendas) -- and trying to
make a show that (supposedly) Gray
doesn't 'have a mandate' -- despite Gray's substantial
victory margin clearly displayed in the
Primary election results.

==============================

Posted by: honestpolicy | October 19, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is entitled to vote the way they like. The sad part about this is that it will make Fenty a two-time loser. That won't help him in the future.

Whether Fenty gets 1,000, 10,000 or 20,000 write in votes won't matter- he won't be the Mayor and Vincent Gray will. Mayor's are elected even with one vote more than the opposition. Vincent Gray has the support of the Council of the District. He has the support of the new Council Chair Kwame Brown, so he will get his legislation and appointees passed with or without a mandate.

Vince Gray will lead this city forward and Adrian Fenty will have to find a job. This write in won't make it easier for Fenty to find that job. It will also not help any of the Fenty supporters who want to continue to work for the City and those who want to volunteer. It will simply leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

Ellie Anderson who is one of the leaders of this write-in should know better. Josh Lopez is young enough that he will learn a good lesson from this. I am sure he will find a job somewhere with a political consultant where he can use what he learnt in this write-in campaign.

There is a reason most candidates graciously concede after losing an election and it is because they want to be part of the future. Adrian Fenty is making a mistake not asking Ellie and Josh to stop this.

Posted by: peterdc | October 19, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

All of the above sounds great, but it's not even a black/white issue. It's about knowing how to treat people and appreciate the fact that they work hard to support you everyday. I know of so many people that have been fired under the current administration, only to be replaced by someone who doesn't have a clue about what the job entails. Most agencies are severly top heavy, with layers of upper management pushing work down on the lower personnel. Until you have been the person stressed out on the bottom of the totem pole in the Fenty administration, don't talk to me about fairness. I voted for Gray because I know people that he has interceded for and helped, these same people who got treated like crap by Fenty and his staffers.

Posted by: aridrue | October 19, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

People have a right to form their own opinions. In my opinion she was not forced, she elected. If she were so passionate about what she was doing she probably should not be so quick to quit and "let the children down". All she has to do is work within the rules and be able to explain better her plans so everyone understands. She just will not have the total autonomy that she has enjoyed in the past; she'd have to be a team player.

Posted by: tazz2 | October 19, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is a lying bama.

Adrian has his 'mini-me," Josh Lopez, out disrupting Gray town hall meetings and trying to start fights outside Judiciary Square early voting.

If you want some fun entertainment, head down there on your lunch break and watch Mini-Fenty still crying bout losing. Have you ever seen a person in green pants with ducks on them trying to act tough? They are caricatures of themselves at this point.

And that makes them double losers.

That they have put up the challenge suggests that they risk being triple losers on Nov 3.

Posted by: tcs1999 | October 19, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Fenty, is a low life little weasel who is not man enough to accept that he lost the race fair and square. Instead he weasealy says he can't tell people what to do. "Everybody has a right to do what they want to do". What a chump. This is why he has not found a job, because intelligent people know how unethical and dishonest he is. The Republicans want him because they know he will continue to divide the
City and ignore and make worse certain parts of the City.

Posted by: diahhna | October 25, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

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