Gray campaign ISO fired Fenty employees
Is there a more ready-made group of Vincent Gray supporters than the cohort of District employees fired by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty -- whether for budget reasons, plain ol' poor performance or no reason at all?
The Gray camp certainly has recognized that fact -- there's about 2,000 such former workers, by the campaign's own tally. In terms of votes, you can subtract a good chunk who live outside D.C. but add in the friends and family in each fired worker's orbit.
This past weekend, a Gray campaign staffer moved to exploit the fired-employee demographic, sending out an "URGENT REQUEST" looking for folks "involuntarily terminated by the Fenty Administration."
"We would like you to please share your story with the Vince Gray for Mayor Campaign," read the e-mail, also obtained by City Paper's Alan Suderman.
As Post columnist Colbert King quite masterfully described on Saturday, Fenty has deeply alienated city employees, in no small part by cutting jobs:
Fenty -- like [former mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly] -- is seeking reelection without the support of those who have traditionally played important roles in the city's political life: government workers and their unions, families, friends and churches. He's struggling to regain the support of longtime middle-class and working-class residents who feel they have been relegated to second place by an administration that caters to, and is under the influence of, that old race and class bugaboo: "others."
But overtly pursuing the fired-employee demo carries deep political hazards for Gray. There is no shortage of voters who consider the city government a haven for the underqualified, unaccountable and feckless. They cheer on any executive willing to trim the city bureucracy -- and Fenty often boasts about how he's held the line on spending.
The Gray campaign maintains that it isn't trying to build an army of laid-off employees to sic on Fenty.
The e-mail came from an official vincegrayformayor.com account and was signed by the "Vince Gray Field Operations Office" on Georgia Avenue NW, but Gray campaign spokeswoman Traci Hughes says it was the "unauthorized" work of an "overly zealous" campaign staffer in search of "unique perspectives or unique stories" about how the Fenty administration sent them packing.
"It's not something that we intend to pursue," Hughes says. "We're more interested in having people channel their energy in more productive ways."
Here's the full e-mail:
From: Jerry Brown
Date: August 7, 2010 12:41:12 PM EDT
Subject: Fwd: TERMINATED FENTY EMPLOYEE - NEED YOUR STORY!!
The Vince Gray for Mayor Campaign has an URGENT REQUEST For:
Are you or do you know any DC resident formerly employed by the DC Government that was involuntarily terminated by the Fenty Administration? We would like you to please share your story with the Vince Gray for Mayor Campaign.
Please contact Keith Childs @ 202-345-3935 or firstname.lastname@example.org No later than Sunday August 8th 4:00pm
Early voting starts on August 30th and ends on September 14th we need EVERYONE to GET OUT and VOTE to ELECT Vince Gray Mayor! Avoid the lines and crowds, VOTE EARLY!!
Vince Gray Field Operations Office
4300 Georgia Avenue, NW.
Sat-Sun 10am- 6pm
August 9, 2010; 12:39 PM ET
Categories: DCision 2010 , The District , Vincent Gray
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