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Will Freshman Avoid the Curse of D Street?

He's just a freshman, after all, so he might not know how to spot the capital's omens just yet.

Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida
House Speaker Pelosi administers the oath to Rep. Vern Buchanan on Jan. 4, while Buchanan's wife, Sandy, holds the Bible at center. (AP)

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) bought a house on the most cursed block in all of Washington, paying an undisclosed sum for the home of former Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.), which is located near in the 100 block of D St. in southeast D.C.

Didn't he know that Shaw and three other Republican members of Congress who lived on that block lost their reelection bids in November? And that yet another member of the "D Street Block Party" gang, Mark Foley, had to resign for that little IM habit he had with teenage male pages?

Also, let's not forget that former neighbor Porter Goss, who until recently lived at 123 D St., S.E., didn't fare so well either at his post at the CIA.

Buchanan, a wealthy car dealer, clings gingerly to his new seat in Congress. He faces a court challenge to his November election victory -- he won Florida's 13th District by 369 votes -- and possibly an investigation by House Democrats into charges of voting irregularities.

So maybe he shouldn't have tempted fate by moving to D St., where, once upon a time not so long ago, ex-Reps. Shaw, Foley, Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) and Jim Ryun (R-Kansas) enjoyed good times together. They held the famed "D Street Block Party" fundraiser together two years in a row; Shaw served bourbon, Johnson poured martinis, Foley offered wine and Chocola mixed up margaritas. Ryun finished off the guests with coffee and desert.

Their fun came crashing to an end, of course, with the tawdry demise of Foley, and the rest soon following when Democratic wave crashed down on Election Day. "For Sale" signs quickly followed.

Such an infamous plot of real estate might not have curb appeal for some home buyers. But Buchanan is just not that superstitious, according to his spokeswoman, Sally Tibbetts.

"Congressman Shaw served with honor for more than 25 years, which bodes well for Congressman Buchanan's future," she said.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 2, 2007; 12:01 AM ET
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Great column, M.A. You rule! Keep up the great work!

Posted by: D. Bermtech | February 2, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I knew K St. was trouble, but D St. too? God save our souls!

Posted by: Dave | February 2, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

You HAD to put the word out on the street that Vern is a wealthy car dealer??? The man better have great bodyguards.

Posted by: Tupac Goldstein | February 6, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I cannot imagine anything more stereotypical than hiring a woman blogger and consigning her to write "gossip". Has nothing changed in the conscience of American newspapers over the last one hundred years? Will women's career opportunities never be determined by their talents and always by thier gender instead?

I challenge the Washington Post to broaden the role of Mary Ann Akers to include what we really need in serious times such as these: NEWS! The fact that Ms. Akers is a woman is no reason whatever to tell, her "be careful not to write anything meaningful, because that's the men's job."

Push the envelope and write real news, Ms. Akers! You may get fired, but you'll feel much better about yourself.

Posted by: Francis L. Holland | February 14, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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