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The Mayor and Mrs. Cropp

Long before much of Washington has focused on this fall's mayoral election, departing Mayor Tony Williams has now endorsed D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp to be his successor. What? How could Bowtie embrace the woman who worked so hard to sabotage his most cherished showpiece achievement, the return of baseball to the nation's capital?

It's revisionist history time in the mayoral sweepstakes. Here's Cropp on what she was really up to during all those months of studied rug-pulling and last-minute shock tantrums:

"I was trying to save baseball. Otherwise, it would have gone down," she said. "Folks said I was doing this stuff for the campaign. But to tell you the truth, my campaign said: 'Leave it alone! It's killing you!' "

Let's return to the fall of 2004, when I reported that Cropp's decision to toss a stink bomb into the negotiations to build a baseball stadium was motivated primarily to launch her mayoral campaign and send the message to District voters that she was on the populist side against the barons of baseball. But Cropp protested then that she had no intention of running for mayor, that politics was the furthest thing from her mind, and that she was considering retiring after her council term.

Now, we finally learn from Cropp herself that she already had her campaign set up and advisors to guide her through the thicket of baseball politics. The truth does occasionally out.

But why is Williams endorsing his erstwhile nemesis? Three reasons:

1) He can't stand Adrian Fenty, the charismatic Ward 4 councilman who is leading in the early polls for the September Democratic primary. The mayor believes that Fenty is anti-business, anti-development and too green for the job--not a serious enough person, a guy who doesn't do his homework. There is certainly some truth to the idea that Fenty is not nearly as well grounded in the ins and outs of municipal finance as the mayor is, or as Cropp is. But Fenty's remarkable energy and strong connection with the voters in his ward offer a different kind of approach. Which is right for the city remains to be examined and debated as the campaign continues.

2) Williams owes Cropp big time, because in the end, the baseball deal would not have happened had Cropp not finally come around. Her game plan all along was to send the message to the grassroots anti-baseball crowd that she had their interests at heart, then to turn around and make the deal because she knew that losing baseball would be devastating for the city's ability to attract businesses and expand its tax base. Many voters see through her cynical game, but many do not. Surely Williams does, but he still owes her for the way the deal finally came down.

3) Williams looks around at the weak field of five candidates to succeed him and sees two novices with zippo in the way of government experience (Michael Brown and Marie Johns), two council members he believes aren't up to the task (Fenty and Vincent Orange), and one veteran politician who knows the city government like her own dresser drawer--Cropp. Of course, Williams also can see that Cropp, despite her rhetoric, is really gearing up to return us to the Barry era--with the same cronies and advisors who surrounded Barry and the same forked-tongue appeals to the disaffected black majority and the always-worried business elite. Williams also knows full well that Cropp's idea of governing is through back-door, secret meetings. And he knows that her decades in District government have produced no vision, no policies or achievements of her own design. But Williams sees her as the only one who knows this bureaucracy and can handle its various idiosyncracies.

The mayor's choice is a sad and narrow one, but it is one that many in the upper echelons of Washington's business community are also making. They fear the other candidates because they fear change. Few, if any, of these self-appointed movers and shakers like or expect much from Cropp, but they believe hers is the closest candidacy there is to offering any consistency with the Williams years, so they are jumping aboard. Will that push Cropp past Fenty? Stay tuned.

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By Marc Fisher |  May 17, 2006; 7:49 AM ET
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Comments

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Why does the Mayor have to endorse anyone at all if he views Cropp the lesser of evils.

Posted by: ABH | May 17, 2006 8:58 AM

"Her game plan all along was to send the message to the grassroots anti-baseball crowd that she had their interests at heart, then to turn around and make the deal because she knew that losing baseball would be devastating for the city's ability to attract businesses and expand its tax base. Many voters see through her cynical game, but many do not."

Absolutely correct. But if she had coupled this approach with some real leadership, she might have been able to get a unified council that really would have extracted some meaningful concessions. instead, all she accomplished was to protract the discussions and probably increase the District's overall costs.

Her lack of leadership skills -- together with her lack of vision and immersion in the District's backroom crony politics that Marc accurately describes -- will make her a terrible mayor. Whatever Fenty's shortcomings, he represents the future.

Posted by: Meridian | May 17, 2006 9:02 AM

Lets look at the words Mr. Fisher has used to describe Mr. Fenty: energetic, charismatic, connected to his constituency.

The Mayor: Bowtie, upper echelons of the business community.

Ms. Cropp: tantrums, nemesis, cynical, back-door, forked-tongue.

Wow! I wonder who Mr. Fisher thinks people in DC should vote for (in spite of the disingenuous disclaimer about "which approach is right for the city will be determined during the campaign")?

I'd say my perspective is rather different. Whenever I see Mr. Fenty in the news, he is:

A) disparaging white people who move into DC and using the bigoted term "gentrification" to describe the reinvestment in and reinvigoration of neighborhoods.

B) complaining that there isn't enough investment in DC by businesses (stores etc.).

C) complaining that the police don't do enough policing to protect people in his Ward.

D) complaining that the police abuse people in his Ward.

Notice how A contradicts B and neither C nor D imply that he will have a great relationship with the DC police. A-D all indicate to me that he is a demagogue and showboater.

I agree that it is sad that Mayor Williams is endorsing Ms. Cropp due to her being the least of 5 evils. Mr. Fisher seems to feel that the "upper echelons" (code for "rich white people" or just "rich people"?) fear "change" just because it is "change." Well, it seems to me that a change towards the racist, anti-business, anti-redevelopment policies of Mr. Fenty IS to be feared. Just my opinion (everyone has one).

Posted by: John | May 17, 2006 9:25 AM

I wonder how many people remember the sad state of affairs the District was in, and still is in in regards to the "Original district residents". Those that have resided here all of there lives and have seen gentrificaion uproot and disregard them.Remember that Mrs. Cropp is part of this process. It is time to remove the old guard and start out fresh with someone who's sincere desire is to help the "Original district" residents who deserve to be a part of this revitalization and renewal of the city.Someone who cares about the forgotten, unlike Tony Williams and Linda Cropp. Wake up DC!

Posted by: Thomas | May 17, 2006 9:53 AM

Tony Williams is the best mayor we've had in decades, and he is widely reviled for being pro-business and pro-development. I guess many district residents enjoy being surrounded by condemned buildings and low-rent chicken wing joints. Maybe they enjoy the irony of sending their kids to sub-par dc schools which, shockingly, enjoy some of the highest funding levels of any school district in the country. Now that's quality governance!

...so now we're poised to trade in the Williams era for what DC residents seem to embrace: sermon-inspired speeches that go for emotional impact over substance; and bold political stances tailored to maximum grandstanding effectiveness and short-term political gain.

DC residents already (re)elected a crackhead for mayor, and after multiple drug-related embarrassments (re)elected him to the city council...so I guess the city gets what it asks for.

...and several years from now when the new stadium has revitalized a whole swath of waterfront DC, the voting public's short memory and general cluelessness will preclude them from ever acknowleging the superb legacy of Tony Williams. He'll just be misremembered as the sellout in the bowtie.

Maybe if Williams takes up crack cocaine DC voters will give him some respect.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 17, 2006 10:03 AM

Huh? Fenty "racist, anti-business, anti-development"??? This is a ridiculous and inexplicable characterization. Many of us in Ward 4 communities have had plenty of firsthand dealings with Fenty at the grassroots, he has generally been inclusive, pro-business, and pro-development (but not at the expense of the little guy). I do believe his challenge is to prove that he can really deliver as the different kind of mayor that his image suggests, not that he needs to compete with Cropp/Williams in their vein.

Posted by: Bill | May 17, 2006 10:13 AM

I have to disagree completely with "John" (no last name?) and his characterization of Adrian Fenty. I'm the chair of Petworth's ANC 4C, and I spend a considerable amount of time working with Adrian Fenty on a full-range of issues. Your characterizations don't match the Adrian Fenty I have come to know. I do not agree with Adrian on every issue, but wouldn't agree with any politician on every issue.

Business issues: Adrian has put a lot of effort into attracting development -- which is well on its way -- to Petworth. I have been in meetings with Adrian and businesspeople dealing with DCRA's obstacles to business development. In fact, I know people who think Adrian's too pro-business.

While we have an outstanding set of beat cops lead by Sgt. James Black in MPD's Patrol Service Area 404, we have a serious problem with gun violence and illegal drug dealing. Adrian has shown significant leadership on this issue. If you write to me, I'll tell you more about a pilot project in which I am involved that CM Fenty created with Deputy Mayor Brenda Donald-Walker. When and where has Adrian accused the police of engaging in abuse? I haven't heard everything he's said, read everything he's written, but I have been with Adrian in a number of meetings with the Metropolitan Police.

I'm on the record for being quite pro-police. I have served as a character witness for two beat cops in my neighborhood. I helped MPD seize an armed robber in my old Dupont neighborhood who confessed to multiple murders and armed carjackings and is in prison for 90 plus years as a result. If I thought for a moment Adrian was inherently anti-cop, I'd be on his case. We DO have a serious problem with gun violence in Petworth, and MPD is not doing enough in my view. It's a management problem. I have no complaints with the beat cops.

Adrian as "anti-white?" Gee, I'm an Anglo-Irish white guy who grew up in Boston, and I maintain a visceral reaction against just about every form of bigotry. I have zero use for the race-baiting (and gay-baiting and Latino-baiting) which sometimes passes for leadership in DC. I'd be going for Adrian's jugular if I thought he was a bigot. His mother is Italian-American. Last I checked, Italy was in Europe and most Italians were considered Caucasian.

"John" may be speaking from own experience. I'm speaking from my considerable involvement in Petworth and with CM Fenty. John's claims simply do not match the reality of my practical, near daily experience with Councilmember Fenty and his staff.

JM
josephmartindc@yahoo.com

Posted by: Joseph Martin | May 17, 2006 10:56 AM

Lets be honest here. In the past 30 years, DC has gone from Sleepy Government Town, to Drug and Violence infested/Financial disaster, to a New Vibrant, business attracting, good place to live. Look at those three time periods, then look at who was running things. Tony Williams was the best thing that ever happened to DC, and its hard for me to understand how people can't see this. Out of all the candidates, Cropp is the safe choice. Fenty will be a little better than Barry was (since he most likely won't use crack while in office), but he still wil be anti-development. I thought Vincent Orange might be a good choice (since he knows business), but his recent uncalled for actions against the Lerners made me realize that he lacks some basic common sense to not speak out against something unless you know all the facts. All in all, Cropp is the only real choice.

Posted by: Navy Yard | May 17, 2006 11:04 AM

Why is no one taking Marie Johns seriously? There have been plenty of cities that have elected mayors with no government experience. Bloomberg in New York comes to mind.

Posted by: Question | May 17, 2006 11:50 AM

Did Linda Cropp do anything as President of the School Board? Obviously, not. How about as Chair of the City Council? Not much. What do you think she'd do as Mayor. Probably just continue eating lunch regularly at the Palm and Georgia Brown's. That'd be it. But what is Ms. Johns waiting for to introduce herself to the voting public? Going to candidate fora isn't a good answer. She needs to get out and really campaign. Everyone I know wants to vote for her, but doesn't know who she is. She is really losing out on a great opportunity. Worst campiagn I've ever seen. Great, we'll get just what DC needs a return to the backroom Barry days with the same cast of characters starring Linda. I'm moving.

Posted by: Mike | May 17, 2006 12:35 PM

I think one particular point that Marc wrote is profound. I'm paraphrasing: Cropp is is the obvious choice for those who fear change more than they do the Barry era.

I've watched and participated in public and private meetings with many current council members. Adrian's the best hope.

Posted by: none | May 17, 2006 12:57 PM

The Mayor's endorsement signals that politics is for grown-ups. I was no fan of Ms. Cropp when she was putting a wrench into the plan to return baseball but I could understand her reasons. And she had the courage to stand by them. A person would have to be incredibly cynical to say she took such an unpopular stand to HELP her campaign. How you connected those dots is a real long shot.She didn't role over for MLB and allow them to do whatever they wanted. She stood up and said there's got to be some accountability.

Your wording says everything about who you want to be the next mayor, but Mr Williams has does enough good things to put this city back on track that his endorsement, while open to debate, does not deserve to be mocked in the childish way that you chose.

Posted by: Bill | May 17, 2006 1:50 PM

I'm sorry, but Fenty's race-baiting, ant-business, and just plain ignorant hystrionics during the stadium debtae show he is completely devoid of the kind of leadership this city needs. Vote for Fenty if you want and watch this city regress twenty years back to the bleakest days of the 80s when this city was a dump.

Is Linda Cropp perfect? Far from it. But I'd rather have a steady hand on the wheel than politics-as-usual ignorant upstart like Fenty.

The city has come too far to take such a drastic step backwards. I've lived in DC all of my 33 years, and if Fenty gets elected, I'm outta here.

Posted by: Glover Park | May 17, 2006 1:51 PM

It is hard to believe so called informed voters are not taking Marie Johns seriously. She is the ONLY one who has experience leading a mutibillion dollar company (which is very similar to what DC is); she is the ONLY candidate who has devoted time, resources and efforts on the civic front, not because of an "elected position" requirements, but because she is serious and cares about DC. The bottomeline is Cropp has been there for 25+ years and done squat; and Fenty (who may have his heart in the right place) has no experience and has even been admonished by the DC Court of Appeals for his dereliction of responsibilities as an attorney. As the citizens of DC wake up and realize the importance of this upcoming election, they will inevitably realize Marie Johns is the BEST choice.

Posted by: Richard | May 17, 2006 1:55 PM

Richard, name me one former business executive who has successfully transitioned into politics.

Posted by: Glover Park | May 17, 2006 1:58 PM

Umm, there is Michael Bloomberg, mentioned above, who transitioned from business executive to mayor successfully.

Linda Cropp would be a tragedy as DC's mayor. Fenty not much better -- quite possibly worse.

The city's business growth calls for someone with business experience. You won't get it with those two hacks.

Posted by: DC | May 17, 2006 2:10 PM

Glover Park, why not just check her history as an executive and her civic efforts. You can start at www.johnsformayor.com. Also, what about Cropp or Fenty's history/record makes you so confident that one of them could "transition" into being mayor?

Posted by: Richard | May 17, 2006 2:17 PM


"They fear the other candidates because they fear change"

how about fearing the status quo? or business as usual? Williams has made some positive steps, but it can only be considered a start in the right direction.

Posted by: pete | May 17, 2006 2:35 PM

Wow! What an obnoxious column!

I can't figure out why people think it was wrong of Linda Cropp to try and get the best deal for D.C. in the baseball negotiations.

She gets hit from the pro-baseball contingent because they don't understand she made a deal happen ... at the same time she gets hit from the anti-baseball crowd for giving away too much when they don't understand she got a better deal for the city.

All Fenty does is use baseball for political posturing. He appears to say whatever the group in front of him wants to hear.

And why doesn't Linda Cropp get credit for getting D.C. government back on track? She passed ten balanced budgets in a row and earned enough trust from Congress to get the Control Board off our backs.

Cropp and Williams are partners in D.C.'s recent economic boom. It should be no surprise that he supports her.

Posted by: Dupont Circle | May 17, 2006 2:54 PM

And it's a cheap shot to say Linda Cropp is beholden to the Barry cronies.

Compare the rhetoric of Fenty and Cropp and try to figure out which one sounds more like Marion Barry. It's certainly not Linda.

It's also pretty funny the way Marc tries to belittle Anthony Williams AND Marion Barry. You seem to think Williams is too pro-business and Barry is too into racial politics. Way to go for the cheap caricatures Marc. You belong on talk radio!

Posted by: Dupont Circle | May 17, 2006 3:03 PM

Dupont Circle, How can Cropp take credit for balancing 10 budgets in a row when she is part of a COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN ELECTED OFFICIALS? Cropp, by herself, could not, did not, and cannot balance budgets or make any other decision without input and votes from other councilmembers. But on that point, then Cropp should ALSO take credit for DC going into receivership and failing to balance budgets in the past! She ALSO should take credit for the state of DC's educational system! How come she never "takes credit" for these accomplishments?

Posted by: Bloomingdale | May 17, 2006 3:09 PM

Thanks for responding, Bloomingdale.

As Council Chairman, Mrs. Cropp is responsible for bringing together 13 council members with different interests and forcing them to make the hard decisions so they end up with a balanced budget. The easy way out would be to overpromise and over spend -- which did not happen once while she was chair.

Linda deserves credit for being responsible.

Posted by: Dupont Circle | May 17, 2006 3:52 PM

Bloomingdale, you misunderstand politics as a whole. By your rationale, no one member of Congress could ever take credit for anything because they are only one of 435 (or 535, dpeending on your math). Who knows, that could go a long way toward cleaning up this disgusting spectacle called American politics.

Richard, your failure to answer my direct question tells me everything I need to know. As to DC, who mentions Michael Bloomberg, you are quite correct. Though he is the exception to dozens of other business execs who have been utter failures once in office.

It's a chance I'm unwilling to take, which is why I'll be casting my vote for Cropp. She's got the experience and she always knows her facts before she speaks. (Mr. Fenty, can you now name the three manjor bond rating companies? How's your law license?)

Posted by: Glover Park | May 17, 2006 3:56 PM

Glover Park, my understanding of politics is good enough. Good enough to know that Cropp takes credit for being a part of the "good" and forgets about being a part of the "bad." By your rationale, as far as "she's got the experience and she always knows her facts before she speaks," you might as well vote for Barry. Moreover, as far as "executives" who made a sucessful transition, Mayor Williams is another example as he was a CFO (an executive position) prior to taking office. Lastly, Marie Johns has plenty experience and knows plenty of facts -- again I suggest you do your homework as even Mayor Williams relied on her experience and leadership for a number of Mayoral appointed positions. I will take my chances of proven leadership!

Posted by: Bloomingdale | May 17, 2006 4:12 PM

Marie Johns really is by far the best in the field. You look at her business experience, and you know she will be the best for fiscal responsibility and accountability. You look at her community experience, and you know her head and heart are in the right place (i.e. started a job training program that placed 400+ kids--many high school dropouts-- in communications jobs; started first home in city for babies born to mothers addicted to crack cocaine). And you look at her character and you know she's gonna be a straight-shooter -- unlike "Flip-Flop" Cropp and a too young Fenty. This is a woman who says what she means and means what she says. And this town -- more than any other -- should know how valuable that is!!!

Posted by: G | May 17, 2006 6:42 PM

Me thinks the Johns supporters doth protest too much.

Posted by: Glover Park | May 18, 2006 9:31 AM

The successful businessman as failed politician scenario doesn't hold up at all. Examples are everywhere in statehouses and the White House. Pres. Carter and both Bushes. Gov. Warner in Virginia. Ross Perot launched a formidable third party presidential bid with no elective background at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 18, 2006 10:30 AM

Well this is an interesting trail of emails. For all you naysayers and interested parties, here's a request. Take an educated look at candidate Marie Johns. Get to know the real Marie every Monday starting May 22, 2006 from 6-8pm at H Street Lounge--1236 H Street NE. If you don't know much about her, this will be a standard up until the election. Bring your friends and tell your friends that Marie is the right choice for DC!!

Posted by: RET | May 18, 2006 1:29 PM

I agree with the Glover Park comment above. I have lived here all of my 35 years and the day Fenty is elected is the day I run for the hills.

Being able to effectively pick up the phone and get DDOT to shovel snow on your constituent'block does in no way shape or form translate into the ability to think, shape opinion (or have an original one), bridge build, make a decision, or lead.

I haven't picked a candidate yet, so I guess it's safe to say that I - like so many other DC residents -- am on the "Please, anyone but Fenty" team for the time being.

I'm keeping a close watch on Ms. Johns. I think she could be the dark horse of this race.

Posted by: Anita | May 18, 2006 1:45 PM

I can't understand why Marc characterized Fenty as being for the little guy. All his recent votes are signals that he'd sc^%$ over the little guy in order to get business votes and dollars.

Posted by: 20009 | May 19, 2006 6:49 AM

Interesting to read all the comments above. I will be honest and say I tend to agree with Marc Fisher when he talks about Linda Cropp. Just look at her record and look at the people who stood with her when she announced her campaign and are her advisors now. It is like the movie, "Back to the Future".

Linda is a nice person and someone who would make a great dinner companion. But her tendency to forget that she was a major part of the govenment that brought us the Control Board and bankruptcy, and as school board President left us unprepared to move into the 21st Century with a good education system must not be something the voters should overlook.

Yes she worked with the Mayor to help balance the budgets in recent years, but those are Mayoral budgets not Council budgets and for every vote for a balanced budget Linda cast-Adrian Fenty cast the same vote.

As to some of the comments about the recent history of those businessmen being successful in politics I laugh when the person mentioned Jimmy Carter and George Bush (the current). Jimmy Carter had basically a failed Presidency and only came into his own after he left Office. George Bush will most likely not even do that. We had Sharon Pratt Kelly in DC and I don't think anyone can claim that was a rousing success story. The Washington Post brought us Kelly through two heavy editorials at the end of that campaign, I don't think even they will try to do that for Marie Johns.

This campaign is about the future of the District of Columbia. It is about moving us into the 21st Century. Let's decide this race on what we want to be. I think that a candidate who is for open government, transparency in all dealings, fiscally conservative yet socially progressive, comes from a business family and grew up in the District, has children that will attend the public schools in the fall, can connect with voters from the peaks of Ward 8 to the woods of Ward 3,has taken the time to look for creative new ideas by meeting with the Mayor's of New York, San Franciso, and Deputy Mayor of Baltimore, who has a record of constituent service unmatched by any Councilmember, is really the kind of Mayor we want and need in the District.

Posted by: dupont | May 19, 2006 10:06 AM

dupont, my friend, you are way off base.

How, on earth, do you make the argument that Linda Cropp "brought us the control board and bankruptcy?"

Since she's been chair, she's NEVER ONCE failed to balance the budget. And if you don't think the chair is responsible for getting 13 council members to shed their pet projects and work together and agree on a budget, you don't understand the process. Just read this past week's District Extra in the Post to see how Linda forced Jim Graham to make tough choices and prioritize his spending.

It's unfair to blame Linda's tenure on the school board for the schools. When she was board president, scores actually WENT UP and the city started investing in school infrastructure. A lot has changed since she left in 1989.

Yes, Marie Johns is well polished, but let's not over state her executive experience. She was president of Verizon's Washington office, not the whole company. She was essentially a lobbyist and oversaw a staff of seven people.

Adrian Fenty has proven that he'll say whatever the current audience wants to hear. His questionable ethics got him kicked out of the Washington Bar Association. He's a much better politician than he is a public servant.

Posted by: Dupont Circle | May 19, 2006 10:42 AM

Dupont, I do agree with your views on the candidates. And you were going so good until I read your last paragraph. Sorry to say, that I have been to about 3 debates so far and have heard that speech from Fenty every time. Is there anything material about Fenty (not his parents, not his friends, not his supporters) that would make him the right choice for the District?

Posted by: Ward 3 | May 19, 2006 2:20 PM

First Dupont Circle you do what Linda wants you to do. Forget that she was on the Council approving all the Marion Barry budgets that brought us the Control Board. She helped get us into the mess. Also you may want to take a look at the real record of Linda on the School Board. Scores actually went down during her tenure. Also those were the years that School Boards across the nation were setting up special education programs and our school board under Linda Cropps' direction didn't do that. Much of the reason we are now spending over $200 million a year on special ed.

Ward 3 you should feel free to go to the Fenty website, www.fenty06.com and see his vision statements on all the issues which the City will have to face and which no other candidate has addressed. You can read his specific and detailed education plan, his plan to use the CAPstat management tool which is based on the successful use of this tool in Baltimore, New York, San Francisco among other cities to manage government and bring down costs. Read his pledge to not raise taxes but use CAPstat to manage the current budget.

These are just some of the specifics of why to elect him. If you want more issues it is he leadership in getting the School Modernization Act, which the Washington Post has given him the credit for having passed, the smoking ban in the District which was based on the bill he introduced, the affordable housing task force which was created by his bill.

There are more but I hope this will get you started on looking at why Adrian Fenty should be the next Mayor.

Posted by: dupont | May 19, 2006 3:02 PM

Some additional things Fenty has said:

MLB is making so much money for the Nationals that they should pay for more of the stasium.

So let me see if I get this straight: a sale of something he doesn't even own garners his attention and he is, in effect, demanding a slice of the pie. By that rationale, when my neighbor sells his house, I shold get a taste of the sale.

But Fenty's ignorance about the stadium goes well beyond that. He's also decried the money to be spent on the stadium and wishes it would go to education. Well that shows that Mr. Fenty can't read a budget or allocate money -- two VERY important skills one needs as Mayor. No funds in the City coffers will be re-allocated to pay for the stadium. Indeed, it is a one-time new tax focused only on businesses.

I guess Mr. Fenty either doesn't bother to make that distinction or just doesn't care.

Look, I don't think the stadium deal was a good one, but I prefer to take a look at the long-term and see the revenues that will be coming into the City because of the team and the stadium and I realize that those monies can be used to improve the schools.

It's the difference between politics and leadership. It's the difference between making a touch choice in the short-term because it's the right choice for the long-term.

Sadly, Mr. Fenty fails on all of these counts.

Posted by: Glover Park | May 19, 2006 4:26 PM

Dupont, you are way off base regarding Marie Johns and it is not surprising that a Linda Cropp supporter would attempt to belittle Marie Johns' leadership and executive background. The fact remains that Marie Johns is the only candidate with proven management and leadership skills. Moreover, she has done more for the city during her tenure at Verizon than Cropp has in 25+ years. It was Marie Johns that created and spearheaded the effort to put internet in ALL DC public schools; it was Marie Johns who identified the problems with DC's workforce and created a workforce program to train and employ disenfranchised DC residents; it was Marie Johns who spearheaded the creation of the DC Tech Council; it was Marie Johns who spearheaded the creation of the Howard math and science elementary school. In sum, Marie Johns has proven her leadership and proven her compassion for this city -- not because she was an elected offical, but because she identified problems in the city and then created and executed solutions to address those problems. Unlike Cropp, Marie Johns does not flip-flop, do back-room deals, and she is not motivated for her own interests. She is the real deal! What DC residents need is a mayor who is different, real, and better than the rest. A mayor who will talk the talk and walk the walk, but most importantly, do both for the true betterment of ALL DC RESIDENTS. And this is why, Marie Johns will be our next mayor!

Posted by: Bloomingdale | May 20, 2006 2:46 PM

Glover Park, you can add the name of Ray Nagin (2nd term mayor, New Orleans) as a former executive who has successfully transitioned from executive to mayor.

Posted by: DC Resident | May 21, 2006 1:09 AM

It is my understanding that Marie John's, while holding the title President, was only responsible for managing a hand-full of people. Is this correct? If so, how is that proven experience?

Posted by: Ward 2 | May 22, 2006 10:42 AM

Ward 2 - - Your understanding is misplaced! You have to first understand the corporate structure. Does the fact that Mayor Williams has a "hand-full" of direct reports (Deputy Mayors) mean that he does not manage the city? Of course not! Bill Gates is the CEO of Microsoft, but does the fact that he has a "hand-full" of direct reports lessen in anyway the fact that he manages Microsoft? Of course not! Likewise, Marie Johns was President and CEO of Verizon-DC. So don't let her opposition (who have NO PROVEN MANAGEMENT OR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE) attempt to convince you otherwise or belittle Marie Johns' accomplishments. I will assume you are much smarter than that.

Posted by: DC Resident | May 22, 2006 11:58 AM

Right, DC Resident, Marie was president of Verizon-Washington. But that's not the same thing as Verizon. Verizon-Washington is mainly the local branch office/lobbying arm of Verizon. Let's not overstate her role. Am I wrong?

And is Verizon such a consumer-friendly company that we would want to elect it's head as our mayor?

Posted by: Dupont Circle | May 22, 2006 2:55 PM

DC Resident, I understand what you're saying and you may be right. But I think Dupont is on my train of thought.

Although Mayor Williams does only have a handfull of direct reports, those direct reports, in-turn, manage a group of people and so on. Was Ms. John's management structure the same. Were there many employees under her direct reports?

Posted by: Ward 2 | May 22, 2006 6:03 PM

Ward and Dupont, I do believe the management structure for Verizon-DC and the District government are very similar to say the least. Nevertheless, this back and forth has to do with which candidate is the BEST candidate. I don't know if either of you have been to a debate to witness the candidates in live fashion, but my guess is that you probably have not based upon your previous comments. I suggest that you owe it to yourselves as informed voters to simply do the research about each candidate and vote on September 12. My feeling is that once you critically assess each candidate, the choice is easy. But hey this IS politics, where the best candidate does not always win. Nevertheless, I plan to not waste my vote :o) Marie Johns for Mayor, REAL, DIFFERENT, BETTER!

Posted by: DC Resident | May 23, 2006 8:41 AM

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