Monday, September 15


Mike DeBonis at City Paper wrote a majority uber alles piece attacking the law that allows two of the at large seats on the council to be reserved for non-Democrats. It had the sound of legislation in the works based on the principle of dictatorship by the majority. In fact, most democratic countries function with some form of proportional representation in which minorities have a far more important say in affairs than they do in places run by free range majorities such as the U.S.

And the Democrats are up to the same tricks in Philadelphia reports the Inquirer there: "City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. said he would introduce a bill this fall to shrink Council from 17 to 15 members by reducing the number of at-large seats from seven to five. If the legislation passed and voters approved a change to the 1951 City Charter, a provision guaranteeing two at-large seats for minority parties would also vanish. 'This is already a one-party town,' said Goode, who called the minority-party quota 'an arcane political tradition' and questioned whether Republicans had ever fulfilled the role of checking the city's dominant Democratic political machine. . . The idea was instantly denounced by Republicans, outnumbered by Democrats by more than 5-1 here."

In any case, you have been warned. More power is the last refuge of the corrupt and incompetent.

Gary Imhoff, DC Watch - Patrick Mara has won the Republican primary for at-large councilmember. . . Come January, there will be no Republicans on the city council. Carol Schwartz was personally popular citywide. But with Mara's victory, and with her being off the general election ticket, the at-large seat that she currently holds will almost certainly go to another Democrat who is running under the guise of an independent. That Democrat will most likely be Michael Brown, who this year is executing the William Lightfoot maneuver, named after the first council candidate who knocked a Republican off the city council by changing his registration from Democrat to independent and assuring voters that by electing him they would get an independent (wink-wink).

Partisan Democrats routinely complain that the city charter structures elections so that every two years each party can nominate only one candidate for the two at-large city councilmembers whose terms are up. This ensures that Democrats can't hold all thirteen seats on the city council, and that at least two members - one at-large councilmember in each election - won't be elected as Democrats. I take a different view; I don't think that its good for the city to have one-party monopoly rule, completely shutting out minority party voices. It would be best if we were to have two or even three strong parties that would present strong challenges to each other. Since that isn't likely to happen, I think that it's a good thing that there is at least token room on the council for minority positions. Our current election structure has allowed Republicans and Statehood Party members to win elections, as well as independents who had previously been both Democrats and Republicans. And most of those councilmembers have been better than average on the councils on which they sat.

Scott McLarty, DC Statehood Green Party - David Schwartzman, a Howard University professor, is running for the At-Large seat on Council. Dave wants to save our public schools and libaries from the Federal City Council's real-estate grab and privatization agenda, which Mayor Fenty and some Council members have been only too happy to serve. He's also promoting local tax reform (relief for working folks, higher rates for DC's wealthiest), Green jobs, and measures to reduce congestion and pollution and expand public transportation. . . .

The Green Party, of which the DC Statehood Green Party is an affiliate, is the only national party that endorses statehood for the District of Columbia. The Democratic Party deleted DC statehood from its national platform in 2004 and kept it off in 2008 at Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's request. Ms. Norton insists that we shouldn't push for statehood and should only demand 'DC vote' legislation, which would grant us a single voting seat in the US House. The job description for DC's 'Shadow' US House and Senate seats requires that our Representative and Senators lobby Congress for statehood. If the Democratic candidates for these offices obey Ms. Norton's mandate, they'll be delinquent in their duties.

All of the Statehood Green candidates fully support statehood and have criticized DC's Democratic Party establishment for dropping statehood in favor of the DC vote bill, which won't alter the District's colonial status or the second-class citizenship of DC residents. Only statehood will provide genuine self-determination, self-government, freedom from Congress's control over our laws and finances.


At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Kris Hammond - said...

"Come January, there will be no Republicans on the city council."

Please continue to believe that! And prepare to be surprised. Will the voters elect Michael Brown, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations? This was not a technicality, it is an intentional violation of the law!

See USA Today article:


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