DeMorning DeBonis: Oct. 26, 2010
TODAY IS OCT. 26, 2010 -- SEVEN DAYS UNTIL GENERAL ELECTION
PREVIOUSLY -- Ward 3 Republican candidate owes back taxes
Has Mayor Adrian Fenty "checked out" with only two months left in his term? Harry Jaffe writes in the Examiner today that maybe so, but now the "old Adrian" is back in action. "Check him out now, if you get the chance. Gone is the clenched jaw. No more veins in the brain. Eyes calm. Smile sincere. ... The old Adrian is the engaging young candidate who walked our streets, won our votes and swept every precinct in the primary four years ago." Jaffe anony-quotes "[a]ides who worked closely with the mayor" who say that Hizzoner "lost the sparkle in his eye" during his mayoralty; that he "got worn down"; and that the "Sinclair Skinner investigation bothered him" and he "took the criticism of Peter Nickles very personally." But now? Jaffe reports that the day after losing to Vincent Gray, Fenty was "happy and relaxed" and told his cabinet, "I was never attached to being a multi-term mayor." Now I'm just guessing here, but I'm thinking that some of the folks gathered around that table, who tied their livelihoods and reputations to the guy, wished he had been a little more attached to that notion.
AFTER THE JUMP -- Gray says he wished Fenty would have put an early kibosh on write-in campaign, defends Charles -- Rhee biographer lays out how to just future of school reform under Gray -- centralized charter admissions? -- AU town-gown tensions go to BOEE
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JAFFE'S TAKE -- "Fenty was totally unprepared for the harsh glare of public life. He thought he could be mayor and still take private vacations with his family, still bike through the streets at midday, wall off his personal life from his public side. No. Being mayor requires a lifestyle change. One surrenders to the office. Governing and leading is about opening up and accepting the role of nosy reporters, 'usual suspects,' even council members. Fenty shut down. ... Perhaps everyone attached to electing him on a write-in ballot needs to realize his or her candidate has checked out."
GRAY WANTED FENTY TO KNEECAP WRITE-IN-ERS -- Vince Gray appeared yesterday on TBD's NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt. Surprise, surprise: "Gray says it's still too early to talk about whether high-profile members of the Fenty cabinet will be invited to stay on when he becomes mayor. But he did say that Michelle Rhee's resignation gives interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson the chance to show what she can do." He expressed "surprise" at Fire Chief Dennis Rubin's quick departure but refused to detail any remaining staff decisions. Alan Suderman notes at Loose Lips that Gray is standing forthrightly behind Reuben Charles, the newcomer aide who has come under some criticism for a checkered background. "I think he's done a terrific job," Gray said, calling Charles an "incredibly bright young man." Most notably, Gray criticized Fenty for not doing more to end the write-in campaign push: "I really wish, though, Bruce, he had just stood up and told these people: 'Look, I appreciate this; this is very nice of you, but let's stop it right now. Let's end this whole thing. Let's come together as a Democratic Party and work to get all the Democratic candidates elected going forward.'"
WHITHER SCHOOL REFORM -- Richard Whitmire, Rhee's first biographer, lays out on the All Opinions Are Local blog five ways to judge whether Gray will continue school reform or not. "When it comes to education, Gray's heart appears to be in the right place. He seems sincere when vowing to continue education reform. Certainly, his approval of [Henderson] as interim chancellor -- Rhee's close friend and deputy chancellor -- is a positive sign. But let's be real. The pressure to ease off Rhee's reforms will be intense." If any combination of the following happens -- teacher quality expert Jason Kamras leaves; Patrick Pope returns to Hardy; DCPS hires back fired teachers en masse; or school reconstitutions cease -- parents should be concerned, Whitmore writes. And if Gray starts fiddling with IMPACT, he says they should panic.
CENTRALIZED CHARTER ADMISSIONS? -- An interesting suggestion floated at Greater Greater Washington by contributor Steven Glazerman: a centralized admissions process for charter schools. "By law, each charter school has open admissions and must use a lottery to select students if the school has more applicants than spaces. Unfortunately, the options can be overwhelming, and this fair-sounding system can be very unfair in practice, as well as inefficient. ... Who loses in all this? Schools, parents, and most of all students whose parents are not savvy, persistent, or lucky enough to work the system. Fortunately, the solution is rather simple. Centralize the admissions process so there is a single application that parents fill out, a central (but not exclusive) clearinghouse for information about school options, and a single multi-school lottery that aggregates preferences and gives every family a fair shot at their most- (and second-most, third-most, etc.) preferred school." Charters, Glazerman writes, may "value their autonomy. But even autonomy-loving charter schools should be able to see the benefits of collective action in this case." Not discussed: Banning the cruel public lotteries used to great effect in "Waiting for Superman."
MORE WMATA MEMBERS, PLEASE -- The Obama administration's tardiness in naming two federal members to the Metro board of directors "has raised concerns that the transit agency lacks the benefit of added oversight as it selects a new general manager and implements major safety improvements," Ann Scott Tyson writes in today's Post. "Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Monday issued a statement calling on the General Services Administration to take action by the end of this year. The appointments would bring the number of federal board members to four, which was mandated by Congress in 2008. But federal officials say they are close to designating new members. 'We have been working hard to ensure that the appointees are the right candidates, with the right experience and background that will be strong representatives for the Federal riding community in the D.C. metro area,' said GSA spokeswoman Sahar Wali."
TOWN/GOWN -- Tom Smith, the Ward 3 Democrats' chair and an advisory neighborhood commissioner, has challenged an American University students' representation campaign, the Eagle reports. Smith "filed two formal complaints Friday with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics against write-in candidate Tyler Sadonis, the A Voice 4 U campaign and its public relations firm, Eagle Communications. In the complaints it is alleged that they violated multiple campaign finance laws and that Sadonis is ineligible for election. BOEE Public Affairs Manager Alysoun McLaughlin said the Office of General Counsel is currently looking into the complaints. She does not know when there will be a response."
*** SMALL PLATES ***
PARKING FREEDOM DAY IS OCT. 29 (TBD)
Meet your Statehood Green candidates (NBCWashington.com)
Metrobus ridership is down, "portend[ing] another difficult budget year" for WMATA. Is Circulator partly to blame? (Post)
Archdiocese unveils 178 units of mixed income housing in Eckington (Post)
ANC elections are important! (GGW)
MPD wants you to mark your guns with invisible ink (DCist)
Another fabulous "walk with" courtesy of Lydia DePillis (City Paper)
OCTO "broadband summit" tomorrow (TBD)
H Street shuttle to continue through year's end (Dr. Gridlock)
"Only One Bid for Bruce Monroe School!" (Housing Complex)
Cardozo students go green (WRC-TV)
Should GW build a new Metro entrance as part of new building? (GGW)
Yesterday in the Chandra Levy murder trial (Post)
"Georgetown's chemistry department may need to step it up" -- true 'nuff (City Desk)
*** ON THE MENU ***
Hearing on the "Long-Term Care Ombudsman Amendment Act of 2010," JAWB 412
| October 26, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
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