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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 09/ 8/2010

My endorsement: Where’s the case against Fenty?

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Alan Lopatin
Ward 3

On Saturday, I exercised my civic responsibility and went to vote at one of the District’s convenient satellite voting sites. I went intending to vote for Adrian Fenty, but I kept an open mind and was willing to be convinced otherwise.

I approached three supporters of D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and asked them a simple question, “Why Gray?” None offered a concrete reason to change horses in mid-stream beyond “Gray’s a gentleman,” “He’s not Fenty” and “Appearances matter.” And each was angry at Fenty for some reason (had worked for him, had voted for him, was upset with Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and her treatment of teachers).

“What about results?” I asked.

“Go to our Web site,” they told me.

I’ve spent 32 years in the District, my entire adult life. My wife and I raised and educated our kids here (and they came back for more after college out of town). From my perspective, the District seems to be going in the right direction. I see attention being paid to our schools, our public services, a vital entertainment industry for “after the monuments close” and our challenging relationship with Congress. Sure, I’d rather get more than 7 61/27 minutes for a quarter at a meter. And I’ll admit that the mayor comes across as having an ego, perhaps. But is that a reason to throw him out?

I encourage my neighbors to study the issues and the candidates, even if for only the time it takes to walk to the polling booth. I voted for Fenty, and I encourage you to join me.

To participate in "My endorsement," make the case for your candidate in the D.C. mayor's race in 200 words or fewer, and e-mail it to letters@washpost.com with “My Endorsement” in the subject line. Please include your ward number, a day and evening phone number (not for publication) and a note describing any connection you have to any of the candidates, their campaigns or D.C. politics in general.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 8, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, My Endorsement  
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Comments

Well, I think you were already decided before you went into the booth and never really researched the many reasons why people have taken issue with Fenty. I like many posters have listed many, many reasons.

On Schools- Test scores are down, the new buildings that you see were already in the works before Fenty or Ms. Rhee came into office. The curriculum was began under her predecessor and her only claim can be Impact which is riddled with issues. It seems that some folks feel good because it looks as if changes are happinging.

The "nighlife" has been humming along before he took office.

I often wonder if the Fenty administration had granted FOIA request, or held new conferences how much information the citizens could have to make informed decesions.

I also wonder how Fenty supporters feel about his relationship with Ron Moton et al?

Well just in case you told your friends about your mention in the post her are other reasons why many aren't happy with Fenty's leadership

83million laundered to friends

- Issuing check for $2.5 million to Banneker Associates despite an on-going investigation

-No job plan for those who are un-employed in the District.

-Attorney General who enters into agreements providing financial payments to groups under current investigation by the city council.

- God Daddy Nickels aka Attorney General for City, yet never defends the citizens of D.C

-Peachoholics given funding without written contracts or results.

-D.C. Youth Facility inmates escape and kill D.C. residents

-Shut down the Department of Mental Health (who will mostly likely use the new hospital owned by the city)

-Firing Grace Wiggins types (meaning any D.C. civil servants who side with District residents seeking to keep their places of residents affordable)

- Pretty much denying any Directors to testifying to the council

-Nominating unqualified individuals to influential boards

-having a $75,000 heater installed in his favorite city pool

- having his name scrawled in super sized letters on the new soccer field

-using city money to throw a frat party

-Cut D.C. Fire Cadet Program (few programs that allowed 18-22 yr to become firefighters.

- Summer Youth debacle (years 2007 -2010) has overspent $30 million in the last three yrs

-Peter Nickels refusing to make public the books on NCRC and AWC

-Fire Truck Scandal (Please google Mr. David Jannarone) now Deputy Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development

-HIV rates climbed to the highest and federal money mismanaged (Bars HIV Director from meeting w/ HUD’s top brass.)

-400k doggy parks

-Maintaining friendships with Moten types who intimidate citizens and elected officials

-using police resources to stop traffic so that his friends can ride bikes

-maintained associates with I don’t recall Sinclair Skinner and OMG Karim aka Banneker Associates Bandits who also worked with David Jannarone aka Fire truck man

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 8, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

- OCTO (Office of Cheif Tech Officer) Scandal (google Yusuf Acar) multimillion-dollar embezzlement scam w/kickbacks, contract steering and ghost employees. Also it's beleived that while several DC employees were fired many new employees are here on H1B visa's

-handling of the Banita Jacks case. Fired workers without knowing the true extent of how their case loads had jumped. Didn't provide the resouces to help said caseworkers.

- D.C. tax office scandal ($20 million)

-Moves David Jannaron (fire truck man aka) to be second in charge (Deputy) at DHCD

-Federal investigation opened investigating ANOTHER employee in the city's workers' compensation agency

-Planned to cut housing for homeless families in lieu extending Summer youth one week

-Security fee’s waive for some events. D.C. doesn’t collected need revenue. An example is the $485,000 fee waived for the National Marathon alone. In hard times like these are these wise decisions? Also how does the administration determine who is waived and who is not.

-Vetoing the pay-to-vote bill based on recommendations from his **cough** volunteer campaign strategist, thugnificant…gov’t name Ron Moton.

-Director of DDOT also owner of Zip Cars…conflict of interest?

-Using gov’t resources (i.e voter registration mailers) to mail Fenty Campaign information.

- The average number of Freedom of Information Act requests wholly denied by the city has quadrupled under Fenty, while the average number of requests has stayed constant to previous administrations

- Fenty administration takes more than four years to implement the living wage bill.

-Inclusionary zoning law (one for affordable housing) took almost 3 yrs to develop and implement regulations.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 8, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey Alan,
Ask your councilwoman, Mary Cheh, what she thinks of Fenty. She's had to work with him more than any of us.

Posted by: starclimber9 | September 8, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@thelildiva4u You are completely missing his point! He asked for reasons why he should vote FOR gray, not for reasons to vote AGAINST Mayor Fenty.

Lists like yours could easily be made for gray but I won't go there but rather will restate Alan's reasoning:

As Alan wrote, he voted FOR Mayor Fenty because of better city services, better schools, and lower crime rate.

Reasons enough for my vote too.

Posted by: DCref | September 8, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Alan, but it sounds like you had already made up your mind before you went to vote, which is fine. [What’s not fine is to present it as some sort of an election day dilemma, if it was not.]

If you want choose a candidate who gets “results” over a candidate with a better character who has shown his competency, it’s also fine.

Personally I think it’s pretty compelling that people are angry with Fenty for the reasons you give: “had worked for him, had voted for him, was upset with Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and her treatment of teachers.”

Should a wife stay with an abusive husband because he gives her diamond and jewels?

Posted by: efavorite | September 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Mary Cheh only endorsed Gray so she can get her soda tax passed.

Posted by: nmoses | September 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@ DCref I didn't miss the point. I was just providing him with informaiton that was he "see's as the right direction" was wrong, that's beyond just ego, and that some issues for "the encourged" friends to think about before they vote for Fenty

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

sorry should have read "providing information that what "he sees" as the right direction was wrong.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 8, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Fenty has delivered for this city and as he says made the tough choices. He fired people and cleaned out agencies that were not performing. The list of grievances stated above are superficial and don't get to the facts just appearances. DC needs Fenty to continue the progress in this city.

Gray has run a hate Fenty campaign without saying what he will do if elected. At the same time Gray says he is a uniter, one city, what a joke. Now Marion Barry has joined Gray, what a huge step backwards.

Posted by: voter20 | September 9, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

For another take on thelildiva4u's charges, check out the Post's op-ed from August 29 (Gray's Aspersions at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/28/AR2010082802895.html).

I'm with the writer above on this one - I can't see why people would vote against Fenty, nor do I see a any case to vote for Gray. Gray is basically running a negative campaign that "he's not Fenty." That's not sufficient. Maybe Fenty's a jerk, but so are lots of other good mayors like Daley in Chicago. And, as the Post op-ed piece demonstrates, the accusations of "corruption" (raised by thelildiva4u and others) are distortions at best and have no merit at worst. Fenty gets stuff done, and I'd rather have that known quantity instead of turning to an unknown quantity just for reasons of "style."

Posted by: mannewskie | September 10, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Alan writes: "From my perspective, the District seems to be going in the right direction. I see attention being paid to our schools, our public services, a vital entertainment industry for “after the monuments close” and our challenging relationship with Congress".
----------
What kills me about what has become almost code in this city is the above vague description for something that is more national than local. Gentrification, a drop in crime and a majority Democratic congress. Something D.C. hasn't seen in a long time. How and why do you credit the Mayor for the influx of white citizens in D.C.? I didn't blame Mayors for high crime rates in the past so I certainly can't credit them for that when they drop. The job of the Mayor is to make sure our police department is ready for whatever climate the city is experiencing. As far as our relationship with congress in the past you had a far right racist southern republican looking down on black leadership. Now you have a democratic body that's more respectful and of course with the increase in white residents we see a big attitude change from those on the hill. That's just racism and the challenges we still deal with in America today.

Yes...Fenty spent a lot of time in NYC as a council member(many of them did) and piggybacked on the idea of the Mayor taking over schools. But, for the most part his performance in that area has been overrated. I can see loud and clear why you want to support Fenty.

Posted by: kentonsmith | September 10, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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