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Fenty fills out Gray critique in TV interview

In an extended one-on-one interview with NewsChannel 8's Bruce DePuyt this afternoon, Mayor Adrian Fenty again took aim at contender Vincent Gray and his service in the early '90s administration of Sharon Pratt.

"In the early to mid '90s, the city's finances literally fell through the floor," he said, "because the people who were running the city at the time didn't balance the budget."

But Fenty never referred to any particular action Gray took as Pratt's director of the sprawling human services department.

He did compare the general welfare of the city during the Pratt years to the state of the District today. "Crime was completely out of control," he said. "Fast forward that to today, where we have the lowest number of homicides I think since 1966."

DePuyt called Fenty out for tying Gray to matters beyond his direct control. Fenty said he only sought to draw contrasts: "If you are the incumbent, your first obligation is to demonstrate that you've been able to get things done, that you've delivered results. ... I believe that if you're in a job, and you're getting a job done, you should be allowed to continue, no different from being a news anchor."

One thing is clear: Fenty refuses to be outflanked by Gray on fiscal responsibility. The council chairman has slammed Fenty on the hustings for spending down the city's savings and punting tough budgetary decisions to legislators. Today, Fenty repeatedly referred to his budgetary decisions as "mature" ways to strike a difficult balance between preserving needed city services in a time of stingy revenue.

Fenty also addressed why his well-regarded HIV/AIDS czar, Shannon Hader, abruptly left the city health department. He noted that Hader spent more than three years on the job, "easily the longest-serving HIV/AIDS administrator by at least double," he said. But would not address why she left -- including rumors of a clash with health director Pierre Vigilance --- saying only that "for professional reasons, she's moved on."

DePuyt noted that Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), chair of the health committee and usually an ardent Fenty supporter, called Hader's departure "catastrophic" in a Post story today. But Fenty wouldn't directly address the claim: "We have momentum. We're on a upward trajectory," Fenty said, noting that Hader's replacement, Nnemdi Kamanu Elias, has a resume "every bit as exciting and robust as Dr. Hader's was when we hired her."

Also addressed: The Office of Campaign Finance's decision to investigate Chancellor Michelle Rhee for a potential conflict of interest in pursuing private funding for the new teacher contract: "It didn't make any sense," Fenty told DePuyt. "At best, it's very hard to understand where anyone thinks there might be any wrongdoing."

Rhee, he said, "stands on firm ground."

By Mike DeBonis  |  June 9, 2010; 9:14 PM ET
Categories:  Adrian Fenty , DCision 2010 , The District  
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I saw wrong doing tonight. The Fenty folks were out tonight. They came on the "private property" of some senior citizens in ward 4 and snatched Gray signs and replaced them with Fenty signs.

Posted by: candycane1 | June 9, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

candycane1, I love your use of the word snatched, given your screen name. (spoken like a true drag queen on stage!) And, since you're in ward 4 I'm assuming you're most likely Cybil!

Some people really need to stop hating and start loving life!

Posted by: joejack65 | June 10, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

"In the early to mid '90s, the city's finances literally fell through the floor," he said, "because the people who were running the city at the time didn't balance the budget."

Looks like the pot is calling the kettle black.

Posted by: starclimber9 | June 10, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Bruce DePuyt is very biased when it comes to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. I no longer watch News Talk 8. Bruce DePuyt is so far up into Fenty's crack, it's obvious, he supports Fenty.

LOL@JoeJack65 aka checkered1

Posted by: ConservativeDemocrat | June 10, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

The people who were running the city at the time didn't balance the budget, says King Fenty. After stealing funds from Mr. Hardy's checking account while serving as a trustee, I am startled that King Fenty would say the words finances and budget.

Go look in the mirror at your lying self.

Posted by: bill121 | June 10, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Fast forward to the Williams Administration. It was Mayor Anthony Williams that turned this city's financial condition around. While doing so it was Councilman Adrian Fenty that attempted to obstruct his efforts every step of the way. From 2000-2006 Adrian set on the D.C. Council and in that time didn't get a single piece of legislation passed. Not even for the ward he represented. He had a "no to everything" attitude when it came to Williams.

It was Anthony Williams that organized citizens summits to get a pulse on what the citizens wanted and needed, then went out and secured the funding and locked in contracts on those projects. This would include affordable housing development, parks, rec centers, DCPS School Modernization. The Downtown street scape and development was a Williams accomplishment. Fenty is only well accomplished in spending money and taking credit where none is due, unless, of course, just staying out of the way of the projects already in the works when he entered office.

Anthony Williams handed Adrian Fenty a D.C. budget with a 1.7 billion dollar surplus, along with a healthy savings. Recession or not, there is no way the District should be in a deficit situation now, under Fenty, with no savings. While, at the same time, investing in dog parks and a boutique 1 billion dollar streetcar to nowhere.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 10, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

@joejack65:My use of the word snatched matches the dictionary, not your obvious reference points. Ward 4 equals cybil? I guess every non-sensible word of your post says it all!

To the caring people, please watch out for the senior citizens in your neighborhood. It's one thing to see someone canvassing the neighborhood. That's legitimate regardless of who you support. It's a whole different thing when you see someone in your "yard", at night,taking what does not belong to them. I hope that kind of roguish behavior is the few and not the many.

Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I Love the statement, " I believe that if you're in a job, and you're getting a job done, you should be allowed to continue, no different from being a news anchor." I'll bet the casualties of the war on district workers said the same thing.

Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Adrian Fenty promised transparency and accountability.

Adrian Fenty delivered obfuscation and cronyism.

His apologists and defenders all have something to lose and don't give a damn about DC.

Posted by: heltonennis | June 10, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Candycane1, Joejack65 is a redneck living in a trailer park. He assumes, you are me using a different screen name. Some of the posters are halarious by assuming who's who on this blogs.

I will not be voting for King Fenty. I heard, he didn't give a good interview this morning on Fox 5 News.

Posted by: Ward4DC | June 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Ward4DC: Thanks! I was not understanding that at all. Yes Fenty was terrible. But I love Tony Perkins because he tries to keep a poker face but when the BS is as deep as it is with Fenty on Fox, he just lets it show. He got to the point of, Yeah,ok thanks for coming on. There was no need to ask or say another thing.

BTW: I blogged last night that the Fenty folks were stealing yard signs and replacing them with Fenty signs. Went to get my mail and they got me too. They will go as far as trespassing and theft. That's desperate.

Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

That line about "if you're in a job and you're getting the job done, you should be allowed to continue."--does that mean that the mayor believes we should just skip the election and allow him to continue?

Posted by: 1citizen | June 10, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse


I can always count on you for a fresh accusation. Now, YOU caught fenty tearing down Yards signs.

NO chance the people in the building asked for signs? No chance, they took down the Gray signs because they were asked to. You researched that correct.

Or, perhaps, you are just pulling that accusation out of your backside. Just like 99 out of the other 100 accusation that you have made against Fenty over the last year.

You are a walking spin zone with a personal grudge against the Mayor.

Posted by: politicalrealist | June 12, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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