Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tweet of the day, Jan. 19

Candidate coverage, Jan. 19

News old and new:

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Social media and the candidates, Jan. 19

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Candidates and campaigns in the media, Jan. 18

Some current some not:

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Bowser's poll (updated 1/18, 1:06p)

The poll in the media and social media:

Poll Released By Bowser Campaign Finds Bowser Closest To Gray In Mayoral Race (January 16, 2014) (DCist)

2014 DC Mayor Democratic Primary - Gray 20%, Bowser 18% (Garin-Hart-Yang 1/6-1/9) (HuffPost)

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

No endorsements likely from Mendo

Social media, candidates, the people, and more!

Housing for All candidate forums calendar added!

Look up!   There's a link to the just-launched Housing for All calendar of candidate events (forums and such).

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Social media and candidates, Jan. 16

got some social media posts/Tweets I've missed you think should be shared here?   Email me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Washington Post poll

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is top Democrat in poll as primary looms starts with
Public opinion of Mayor Vincent C. Gray has strongly rebounded in the eighteen months since scandal threatened to derail his mayoralty, with voters supporting him over all of his Democratic primary challengers, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Mayor Gray’s approval surges, ethics remain a concern in April Democratic primary presents data in response to the following questions:

  1. If the Democratic primary election for mayor of the District were held today, for whom would you vote?
  2. Thinking about the investigation into Gray's campaign finances when he ran for mayor in 2010, will this be…
  3. Do you think gray is honest and trustworthy, or not?
  4. Do you think things in D.C. are generally going in the right directions or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?
  5. What kind of job is Gray doing on…

Mike DeBonis Tweeted the poll results, starting with some humor:

And some reactions to the poll:

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Report to DC Voters: "Politics and Taxes: a Problem of Democracy"

On January 5, 2014, semi-retired journalist Edward Cowan (NYTimes 1962-86), shared "Politics and Taxes: a Problem of Democracy", part of his intermittent "Report to DC Voters."   The report is reprinted here.
Report to DC Voters
From: Edward Cowan
January 5, 2014

Politics and Taxes: a Problem of Democracy

With a mayoral election looming in 2014, electoral politics will permeate nearly everything the District's governors—the mayor and the 13-member council—do in the coming months.

That is clear already in a bill scheduled to come before council on Tuesday. It is a bill sponsored insistently by a new council member, Anita Bonds (At Large), who is up for re-election this year. She seeks a legislative trophy.

The bill would relieve about 4,300 older District home owners from paying real property taxes, starting October 1. These men and women already enjoy a 50 percent tax concession. The Bonds bill would give them a complete tax holiday—100 percent—if they are 75 years old, have lived in the District for 15 years, and have household income of $60,000 or less.

The bill is supported by council's chief tax writer, Jack Evans (Ward 2), chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, who is running for mayor. With Evans presiding and with little debate, the committee approved the bill on December 16.

Evans hopes that the Bonds bill will sail through council on Tuesday without opposition or modification. In my opinion, modifications are in order, for several reasons.

A Sense of Entitlement
It is a bad idea, generally, to remove from the tax rolls people who are not destitute. It encourages disengagement and, sometimes, a sense of entitlement.

Home owners with $60,000 of household income have significant means. Having reached age 75, many probably have paid off their mortgages. They should not be removed entirely from the real property tax rolls. They already get the 50 percent reduction available to all property owners 65 and older with less than $100,000 of income ($125,000 in 2015).

There is no reason to reduce their taxes to zero just because they have reached age 75.

Seniors Continue to Use City Services
They will continue to have their supercans emptied by municipal employees. They will continue to get police and fire protection. They will continue to have access to the city's parks and swimming pools, to take their grandchildren to the city's playgrounds..

According to Bonds, her bill would remove 4,362 taxpayers from the real-property tax rolls, with an average saving to each of $1,158. The revenue loss would be $5,049,305 a year. (These estimates come from the Office of Revenue Analysis. Bonds's press release erroneously attributed them to the Office of Tax and Revenue.)

When I asked Evans why he supported the bill, he said, "It's meant to benefit senior citizens who have lived in the city a long time, who have contributed to the prosperity of the city. In their golden years, let's give them a break. We can afford to do it."

Mary Cheh (Ward 3) told me she supported the bill because "They have paid their dues." However, when I pointed out that senior citizens continue to use and benefit from city services and that it is a bad idea to take people off the tax rolls entirely, Cheh said that she was willing to consider modifications.

By "we can afford it," Evans meant that the city's revenues are rising. He might even have said that $5 million is a fraction of one percent of local revenues.

There is another way to look at it. How much would $5 million a year buy? If highly trained, experienced special-ed teachers are paid $80,000 a year, $5 million would pay for an additional 62 of them. That might further reduce what the District must spend to send special-needs children to private schools because our public schools lack the sufficient teaching talent.

A Problem of Democracy
This is a problem of democracy. Bonds, who faces challengers in an April 1 Democratic party primary less than a year after winning her seat, wants a legislative trophy to demonstrate that she can get things done—not just anything but something that benefits people in her core constituency, Wards 5, 7, 8, which embrace the city's poorest neighborhoods. .

In the April 23, 2013 special election, Bonds achieved her only majorities in those three wards—58.9 percent in Ward 5, 76.43 percent in Ward 7 and 75.75 percent in Ward 8. The three delivered 14,603 votes for Bonds, or 81 percent of her city-wide total of 18,027.

It is germane that Evans is one of four council members vying for the Democratic nomination in the primary, as are the incumbent mayor, Vincent C. Gray, and several less known contenders who do not hold public office. (To see the names of those who aspire to the Democratic, Republican, Statehood-Green and Libertarian party nominations for all offices, go to

It is also germane that when Bonds, the chairwoman of the DC Democratic party, won her At Large seat last April, standing next to her in the newspaper photo showing her celebrating her victory was Jack Evans. Making his second bid to be mayor, Evans evidently seeks the support of the woman who controls his party's local organization. (Whether the chairwoman will endorse any candidate is open to doubt.)

This problem of candidates pandering to voters by giving them special tax relief was manifest at the Committee on Finance and Revenue. The original Bonds bill would have required 25 years of residence to qualify. But committee member David Catania, who also aspires to be elected mayor in 2014 (as an Independent), proposed 15 years. His amendment was accepted.

DC Voters who think that the Bonds bill needs modification—a lower income ceiling, less additional tax relief, a longer residence requirement—can make their views known to council chairman Phil Mendelson and to the other members, and especially to Evans, who will manage the bill in committee.

The format for e-mail is, or Evans uses A complete list of members can be seen at

Petition challenges

Essential info for residents: How to register and where to vote

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Monday, January 13, 2014

The candidates and social media, Jan. 13

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Candidates in the news, Jan. 13

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"Electing A Mayor" Candidates Forum Jan. 18

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McDuffie kicks off campaign Jan. 25

The McDuffie Ward 5 kickoff takes place January 25 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.   Details are on the Kenyan McDuffie website kickoff page.

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Mayoral candidate forum

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At-large candidate Nate Bennett-Fleming campaign kick off Jan. 18

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Candidates in the news, Jan. 12

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Use #DCision14 and make your Tweets easy to track, a public service announcement

A public service announcement:   Want your Tweets about #DCision14 read by lots of people?   Want to influence voters or just share information about candidates and campaign events?   Then use the hashtag #DCision14.   It makes following easier.

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The Jan. 9 mayoral candidate forum Storified

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A white mayor for 'the chocolate city'?

CNN is the latest to take on a white mayor in DC with A white mayor for 'the chocolate city'?   Journo Dan Merica discusses demographic changes, economic growth, housing, and myriad issues about how black residents have and are faring.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pics from the Settles kick-off

On January 4, 2014, John Settles II kicked off his campaign for At-large member of the DC Council.   Some pictures of the event are on John Settles for At Large DC Council.   There's also the video At Large DC Council Candidate John Settles on Education taped at the kickoff.   The video is also on the Settles website.

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Candidates on Facebook and Twitter, Jan. 7

Got some social media I've missed?   Email me.   I'll be doing another Twitter and Facebook post soon!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rules about campaign signs

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Morning Tweets, Jan. 6

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Ward 5 candidate Carolyn Steptoe announces website

From the Ward 5 Google Group:
Campaign Site: Steptoe for Ward 5 D.C. City Council Jan 05 06:17AM -0600

Greetings! I am pleased to note that the Steptoe for Ward 5 DC City Council site is officially up. You may view at

Very kind regards,

Carolyn C. Steptoe,

Candidate, Ward 5 DC City Council

(202) 281-4362


Let's Make Ward 5 History…ELECT


Ward 5 DC City Council


Voice for Ward 5 Residents

Steptoe: Leadership that Stands With and Works For Ward 5"

Paid for by Candidate Carolyn C. Steptoe, 1257 Lawrence Street, NE, 2013 Ward 5 DC City Council candidate (DC Official Code §1-1102.10). A copy of our report is filed with the Director of Campaign Finance of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics (DC Official Code §1-1102.01(e)).

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Candidates in the news, Jan. 5

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Candidates headed to the April 1, 2014 primary

The Board of Elections has released the list of candidates headed to the April 1, 2014 primary (PDF).

Got a story or a Tweet I've missed? Email me. The Gray Equation's Andrew Lightman considers what it will take for mayoral candidate Vince Gray to win re-election in The Gray Equation published January 2, 2014.

Got a story I've missed?   Email me.   That's what Lightman did and here it is, blogged!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mayoral candidates invited to Ward 7 crime meeting Jan. 3

Do you know of events where mayoral candidates will speak, debate, other?   Email me.   Please.

Mayoral petition wrap-up, Jan. 3

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Mayoral candidates in the news, Jan. 3

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A recap of three mayoral candidate fora

November 2013 DC Bar forum

December 5 PCDC forum

Washington Teacher’s Union (WTU) forum December 9

Mayoral candidates on education

Education Town Hall on WEACT Radio has some info on mayoral candidate views on public education.   DC Mayoral Candidates Weigh In on Education has info effective December 28, 2013.   Candidates whose education views are so far shared on the site are Octavia Wells, Christian Carter, and Michael Green.

You can also listen to the programs on the Education Town Hall's site.

Got some stories I've missed?   Email me.

Mayoral candidate debate Jan. 9

The Georgetown Business Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown are sponsoring a debate for candidates for mayor January 9 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Dumbarton House (2715 Q St NW).   The Current Newspapers' Davis Kennedy will moderate.

Reservations are requested.

Do you have info about other candidate fora?   Email me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mendelson guests on Nov. 2 Rock Newman Show

Rock Newman starts the interview asking DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson about whether Vince Gray will run for a second term.   Newman returns to the question a third of the way through.

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Search function fixed

Just a bit of housekeeping:   I've fixed the search tool so searches now actually yield results.

Morning Tweets, Jan. 2

Mayoral candidates in the news, Jan. 2

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