Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: A bundle


Photo by 401K on Flickr.
Raid goes to the top: Jeffrey Thompson, the target of last week's raids connected to DC Council ethics investigations, bundled hundreds of thousands of dollars for local politicians, including $100,000 to Vincent Orange. (Washington Times)

Move out or get a roommate?: DC's MLK Library cannot afford to remain the sole tenant of its building, which needs $200 million in renovations. One proposal would share the space by adding two floors, a second lobby and a second courtyard. (Post)

DC's most dangerous crossings: Despite strides in pedestrian safety, DC still has a number of deadly crossings, most clustered around freeways or 14th Streethigh traffic areas for cars and pedestrians. (TBD)

Herndon approves density plan: Herndon's approved a plan last week for new mixed-use development on 38 acres near its Silver Line Metro station, paving the way for taller buildings and bike/ped improvements. (Fairfax Times)

DC neglects crumbling facade: While other areas see new development making use of old buildings, a facade in Southeast has been a blight for at least seven years while the city has done little to fix it up. (CHotR)

Where are the natives?: What part of DC has the most "native Washingtonians"? Barry Farm, at 83.9%. Also, at least one Ward 8 resident thinks Marion Barry is a native Washingtonian. (R.U. Seriousing Me?)

Residents revolt against liquor moratorium: After Glover Park's ANC voted to extend the neighborhood's liquor license moratorium, some other neighbors organized a campaign to dump it, arguing the moratorium keeps retail space vacant. (City Paper)

And...: Kwame Brown released his school reform package, though DCPS and the Mayor aren't sold on the plan. (Post) ... Mayor Gray will lobby for statehood at the Republican and Democratic conventions, emulating Mayor Williams' practice. (Post) ... A video shows Las Vegas' sprawl growing over 40 years.

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David Edmondson is a transportation and urban affairs enthusiast living in Mount Vernon Square. He blogs about Marin County, California, at The Greater Marin

Comments

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I'm pretty sure "bundling" means when you have collected 20 plus checks from various donors, put them on one envelope, and give them to a campaign making sure they know you raised the money.

Corporate donation, as described here, are illegal in the federal sphere. Making them illegal here would help some, as the exact allegation it is 1 or two people making all donations.

Money will always find a way into campaigns as long as campaigns are expensive. DC is interesting, because it is small enough you don't really need TV.

by charlie on Mar 6, 2012 9:00 am • linkreport

RE: MLK Library

If they're going the co-tenancy route, I agree that office space makes good sense for most of the extra space. But, I'd also like to see them consider more innovative ideas like incorporating a coffee shop or other retail at the ground level or even within the library itself, Borders style.

But, given the pace the Gray administration moves at, none of this is happening anytime soon.

by Falls Church on Mar 6, 2012 9:41 am • linkreport

It's amazing that Herndon now has as many TOD approved projects as Tysons Corner does. I guess VDOT isn't holding up the process out there. Good for Herndon though, this will help create something out of a vast area of parking lot which is in this part of town right now. I think once this project goes in, people will realize just how close Herndon and Reston are to the new metro stations. This metro station is surrounded by well over 15,000 residents within 5 minute biking range, and easily 5,000 residents within a 5 minute walk.

Thumbs up FFX County, now if you could only get things moving on Tysons before metro is built and theres nothing there to greet it.

by Tysons Engineer on Mar 6, 2012 9:54 am • linkreport

It's amazing that Herndon now has as many TOD approved projects as Tysons Corner does.

How are you counting this? I count zero TOD projects in Herndon (the link only describes approval of a plan and zoning won't even start for 6 months after a study is completed). Here's what I count for Tysons:

Approved, some under construction:
Park Crest I & II
Avalon Park Crest
Towers Crescent residential (office already built)

Plans submitted, pending approval:
JBG - 7 acres at tysons west
Capital One -- 26 acres at 123 Central
Georgelas group -- 23 acres
Cityline -- scott's run 40 acres

by Falls Church on Mar 6, 2012 10:19 am • linkreport

charlie is right about bundling at least in the federal sphere. Has DC created it's own definition of the word?

by Kate W on Mar 6, 2012 10:22 am • linkreport

Isn't the Georgelas Group's development in Tysons already approved? And isn't the JBG/Walmart project a TOD and past the approval stage?

by Vik on Mar 6, 2012 11:02 am • linkreport

@Tysons Engineer
To clarify, Herndon's plan is from the town council, not from Fairfax Co.

by OctaviusIII on Mar 6, 2012 11:05 am • linkreport

@FallsChurch "But, given the pace the Gray administration moves at, none of this is happening anytime soon.

Actually, the Gray administration has accomplished far more in a little over a year than the Fenty administration did in 4 years ... and has done it concurrently with cleaning up the mess left behind. This mayor is a doer vs. a sayer. He doesn't toot his own horn on 'superficial' accomplishments. For example, he's been working at making the streetcar project a viable project. And that's far more an accomplishment than simply displaying a few cars on an empty lot and putting in track that isn't even powered.

You know when you build a building most of the work and money goes into building its foundation ... that which will support it. Ever hear anyone say 'I wonder why they've been working on that building for a year and all I see is a hole in the ground?' ... and then suddenly 'the building itself' seems to just sprout up. It's the same in this case. The hard work ... the essential work ... isn't the showy work which is just superficial. It's laying the groundwork, i.e., building the foundation, for great things to be built ... because they can be built with the right foudation.

I'm not going to list the many accomplishments of this mayor over the last year because you probably wouldn't be interested in them seeing as they are not 'showy' ... just essential. But if you are interested in reading about them, all you need do is Google the Gray news from around January.

by Lance on Mar 6, 2012 11:38 am • linkreport

@ Lance "Actually, the Gray administration has accomplished far more in a little over a year than the Fenty administration did in 4 years "

This should be good.

by Kyle W on Mar 6, 2012 11:58 am • linkreport

@Lance
Actually, the Gray administration has accomplished far more in a little over a year than the Fenty administration did in 4 years

I'm not going to list the many accomplishments of this mayor over the last year

It's pretty hard to do any convincing if you don't actually show any examples. If these many accomplishments are behind the scenes and hidden because they are not flashy, but they are essential then that is all the more reason to point them out specifically.

by MLD on Mar 6, 2012 12:22 pm • linkreport

@MLD t's pretty hard to do any convincing if you don't actually show any examples. If these many accomplishments are behind the scenes and hidden because they are not flashy, but they are essential then that is all the more reason to point them out specifically.

I think it's more "difficult" convincing people who aren't open to hearing anything that distorts their view of what/who Gray is - specifically those in this community. (Another Obama comparison) But,

There are many things Obama has done that his critics don't realize and won't even think to give him credit for. I believe the same is so w/Gray. Unlike in the previous administration, there hasn't been a push to get the news out before the story was written. So no, you don't see Kaya Henderson (who should've left w/Rhee) on national TV talking about DC's education initiatives. You don't have editorial boards befriending this administration nor have they written the "glowing/fawning" stories about it.

It's all a matter of perception. Although I think it's happening more now, Gray wasn't given an opportunity to govern from Day one. Much like whom? Barack Obama of course.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 12:39 pm • linkreport

...all the more reason to point them out specifically...

Oh, you know, like totally all sorts of things. Too many to even list. Just, like, a really a lot.

by oboe on Mar 6, 2012 12:51 pm • linkreport

@MLD, "but they are essential then that is all the more reason to point them out specifically."

here's a place to start:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/text-gray-state-district-2012_n_1261412.html

And I what HogWash is saying. I think part of the problem is that same folks who before he even entered office were calling for his resignation were the same folks who so easily got manipulated by the Fenty media machine. They liked what they heard and weren't going to scratch below the surface ... And Gray's win meant they weren't going to get what they thought Fenty was giving them. 'Cept had they scratched below the surface they would have discovered a bunch of smoke and mirrors ... such 37 mile streetcar line which had no way of connecting via Union Station, had no sites for maintenance facilities, and didn't even have a power source legal for the District. It's THIS mayor who's been left holding the bag ... and given the responsibility of actually making happen the dream which the last mayor set in place. There's nothing wrong with starting something by making people dream enough that they want it and are willing to work for it ... But let's give some recognition to the ones actually putting the details to the dream ... That's the hard part.

by Lance on Mar 6, 2012 1:03 pm • linkreport

Please don't compare Gray to Obama, that's such an insult to Obama.

Obama has accomplished a lot. Gray has been inept from the start, has an ongoing federal investigation in to his campaign, hired children of cronies, didn't call for the resignation of a councilmember under federal investigation (who later plead guilty) etc etc. Nothing of the sort has happened to Obama, despite unfair attacks. I don't see the comparison at all.

by H Street Landlord on Mar 6, 2012 1:12 pm • linkreport

I think the big difference in situations between Obama and Gray is that Obama wasn't coming in to replace someone who'd been very popular with a tech-savvy, media-oriented, single-focused group who'd been led to believe he was their messiah.

by Lance on Mar 6, 2012 1:31 pm • linkreport

@HStreet, I like Obama, even voted for him. But he's not a deity.

His detractors (Tea Party/Republicans/Former Hillary supporters) had it in for him from the moment he took office. Remember, it was (I believe) February of 2009 when they walked around w/tea bags hanging from their hats blaming Obama for a big bloated gov't. They "supposedly" had been stewing about this all along but it only came to a head when he took office. So, Obama pays for his own renovations to the WH. Obama has to apologize for saying an officer behaved "stupidly." Obama gets criticized for vacationing (on Martha's Vineyard). Obama gets called a liar. Obama gets slammed for deciding to hold terror trials in US courts.

By the same, Gray gets criticized for following standard hiring practices. Gray gets slammed for appointing someone who didn't verify their residency. Gray gets slammed for what the council chair does.

In both cases, they either followed standard protocol or had to change course based on a "new" standard only applicable to them.

So yes, the comparison is apt. People who had/have no interest in their main opponents actually governing, did whatever they could to ensure that. Check out the Wpost coverage of the Fenty vs. Gray administration. That in itself is a mouthfull.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 1:39 pm • linkreport

tech-savvy, media-oriented, single-focused group

Myopic Twits

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 1:40 pm • linkreport

Hiring the children of your staffers is a standard hiring practice? Really?

Looks at Gray's approval ratings. No one likes him! How is it anyone else's fault that he has looked so bad?

I agree that Obama has been unfairly targeted, but he has done a lot and has not been under investigation. He will also likely be re-elected. Please, please don't compare him to Gray.

by H Street Landlord on Mar 6, 2012 1:47 pm • linkreport

@hogwash

afaict, former hillary supporters have been MORE supportive of the Obama admin than many of the original Obama supporters (who have either attacked him from the left, or have drunk the fiscal hawk koolaid)

But for Obama I can think of policies he passed (the original stimulus and health care and financial reg reform) or things he was blocked from passing by congress (cap and trade for example) Im not sure what the equivalents for Mayor Gray are.

All I hear is that he is cleaning up the street car mess, and to indicate how messy that is, some cherry picking of facts about the street car is necessary.

In fact in some ways things are the opposite - Obama had a deficit that was caused by a recession he inherited - Gray has a surplus, caused (?) by the economic development that he inherited.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 6, 2012 1:53 pm • linkreport

Hiring the children of your staffers is a standard hiring practice? Really?

Not that Gray hired any children of his staffers. That's the unfortunate talking point still being discussed. But yes, administrations/business owners, DO in FACT hire relatives/friends/contributors etc. Not sure why you don't know that. Well nvm, you do know. It's just that you're applying that "new" standard much like the ones created specifically for Obama.

@AWalker, Hillary supporters eventually came around. But at the onset, yes they were looking for reasons to criticize any and everything Obama did. They even created a rather ridiculous name for themselves during the campaign..PUMA.

You don't think it's odd that you can't think of a single policy this administration has passed...and you LIVE in the area. However, you DO know what the Obama administration has done? One is local while the latter is national..and you can't think of anything? IMO, that has little to do with the administration than it does the media narrative surrounding him and the refusal of his critics to consider anything positive.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 2:22 pm • linkreport

I didn't vote for Gray (I wrote in Fenty along with 23% of other DC voters), but wanted his administration to succeed once he took office. I'm not about to root against my own city.

However, after 2 years, we have bloody little to show from the Gray administration. The city government's somehow become less transparent and responsive, the council is even more of a disgrace than usual, and various projects and initiatives have been allowed to whither and die.

Whenever people from out of town ask me about the H St streetcar, I just tell them that it's been cancelled, and end the conversation. It's too painful to talk about, and "Cancelled" is more or less the current status of the project under the Gray administration.

by andrew on Mar 6, 2012 3:01 pm • linkreport

Georgelas project has an approval (this I count as 1 TOD approval) even though only part of the project is approved through zoning, thanks to hold ups from a certain agency for transportation review.

Tysons West is not approved for the rezoning, only the previously acceptable portion which included the retrofit/walmart.... soooooo we are getting a wal mart! I'd rather have the sweet new high rise and mid rise housing seeing as we are trying to grow the population of Tysons, but ok. Once again, this project is pending approval of VDOT's master transportation study which will likely take another year. By the time its done the iron will have cooled which will be an opportunity missed.

Didn't realize the Herndon approval wasn't rezoning. I now acknowledge Tysons retains scoreboard 1-0 over Western Fairfax.

by Tysons Engineer on Mar 6, 2012 3:05 pm • linkreport

I didn't vote for Gray (I wrote in Fenty along with 23% of other DC voters), but wanted his administration to succeed once he took office. I'm not about to root against my own city.

This is a prime example of the ridiculousness of many anti-Gray'rs. Here, Andrew admitted to care so much about "not
rooting against his own city, that when push came to vote, he decided to write in the name of a person who didn't win the nomination. Yet, he was willing to give Gray a chance?

Then ends with, The city government's somehow become less transparent and responsive, the council is even more of a disgrace than usual, and various projects and initiatives have been allowed to whither and die.

Not only does he suggest that the mayor is responsible for the council (see, another Obama first), I imagine that if asked, he can't cite many (if any) substantive examples to back up with he says here. Now projects are whithering and dying? Come on dude, at least "try" to be objective and reasonable.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 3:31 pm • linkreport

$200 million is completely insane for a building as small as the MLK library. For that price, you could tear it down and build something larger and nicer.

Renting out two floors isn't even going to come close to recouping the costs of building those two floors on top of an existing building.

by andrew on Mar 6, 2012 3:34 pm • linkreport

@hogwash

(Serious) Hillary supporters came around as soon as Hillary became SecofState, and Emmanuel became CoS. Of course they opposed obama during the primary campaign - thats what happens in campaigns.

I am sorry the media suppresses all news of the major initiatives Gray has accomplished. This is your chance to bypass the media and tell me what those are. I am listening.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 6, 2012 3:41 pm • linkreport

@andrew

The cost is reportedly so high because of the presence of asbestos. The two extra floors would be in addition to space the library would vacate, as it doesn't need as much space as it has.

by David Edmondson on Mar 6, 2012 3:46 pm • linkreport

@andrew, "However, after 2 years, we have bloody little to show from the Gray administration.". Gray was sworn in as mayor in January 2011. My math says that he has been mayor for 14 months, not 2 years. Maybe it seems like 2 years given the string of mostly grade B scandals and missteps at the start of the term.

If the H St streetcar does manage to start operation in mid to late 2013, I guess you will tell them it got uncanceled?

As for the Mayor Gray versus Obama comments, I find that to be be off the wall comparison. One has been the Mayor for 14 months with a city council totally controlled by his own party. The President has faced an opposition that has tried to block almost every policy and initiative from the start. With the exception of the period in first year plus when the Democrats had 60 Senate seats and were thus able to get bills through the Senate, it has been gridlock and bitter battles on the Hill ever since.

by AlanF on Mar 6, 2012 3:46 pm • linkreport

How much would it cost to renovate/expand the Carnegie Library on Mt Vernon Square? They could leave space in the MLK building for admin and tech services and move most of the collection and public services to Mt Vernon Square.

by Steve S. on Mar 6, 2012 3:58 pm • linkreport

@AWalker, I don't make distinctions between serious and "unserious" Hillary supporters. I didn't support her...ever (likely never will) but I do admire her work as SoS. Emanuel? Well I guess we now see what bad decision that was. Ewww

And no I won't google Gray's accomplishments just to prove (to someone who fully knows better) that he has had them. But it seems more than reasonable to expect anyone questioning what any political officeholder has done, that they at least visit the person's website. You didn't see anything on http://mayor.dc.gov/DC/Mayor during your latest visit?

@Alan, off the wall comparison? Really? Obama was in office for roughly 22 months before he lost control of one of three houses. Although it's true that he's faced opposition from the start, I think you can reasonably compare that to the similar opposition Gray has faced..from the start. The difference between the two is that while the opposing party was against Obama, democrats and most of the media establishment have acted like the opposition party to Gray.

Not sure why you all think the comparison is illegitimate or unreasonable.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 4:24 pm • linkreport

There are two houses of congress, not three. The senate was virtually a road block even when the dems had the majority, because of abuse of the filibuster.

Nothing at all comparable to the council. What major mayoral initiatives were blocked by the council?

what I see on the website is mainly grey taking credit for the growth in jobs (as have every governor, dem and GOP, from oregon to georgia) and the improving financial picture. and the completion of stuff already underway. And a hodge podge of other stuff on a website that is hard to navigate in my browser.

I have to seperate the claims of credit for good econ numbers from actual policy initiatives, and seperate major from minor initiatives.

Im not sure which ones the Mayors supporters consider the really important policy initiatives. I know for Obama, the elevator spiel of what he's done would be something like this "health care, stimulus bill, and financial rereg" Period. I'm not sure from the website what the equivalent is for Gray. Since you are a supporter, I thought you could help me.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 6, 2012 4:44 pm • linkreport

I am still waiting to hear what Gray has done well, besides continue to make us look like idiots regionally with further cronyism and corrupt practices.

I do see our city improving drastically, but I attribute next to nothing to him. We have a central location, near many jobs, and a very liveable city, in a region that is among the most congested in the nation. All the while while nationwide trends are shifting towards people moving back into the city.

Our city is growing and expanding due to that, not due to anything good that Gray has done. Please do google it, because when I google it, all I see is the $600k for his one day seminar at the convention center, links to corruption and HTJ, and more "One City" bs.

by Kyle W on Mar 6, 2012 4:49 pm • linkreport

@AWalker, I didn't realize that there were only two houses of Congress. Thanks for the clarification! Correction: while the filibuster proved challenging, the democrats still had problems getting their OWN members to support the president.

Nothing at all comparable to the council. What major mayoral initiatives were blocked by the council? I have no idea where this question came from. Who said the council was blocking legislation?

As expected, I direct you to the website and then you suggest it's not what you're looking for. Again, no I won't google or provide you with his list of accomplishments because I understand in advance (much like directing you to his website) the futility of the exercise. This is best demonstrated by you saying he's completed things already underway, when as a matter of fact, Fenty is credited w/managing things that were already in the pipeline before he got in office. Clifford Janey's master facilities plan is a good example.

People are ignorant of the facts because they simply aren't interested in them. It's the birther2.0 phenom. Doesn't matter the evidence, people just claim otherwise just because.

Fortunately, I'm willing to be reasonable and credit someone (I don't like) with accomplishing things. The same can not be said about many anti-gray'rs..which is why I liken their opposition to the radicalized Tea Party. Same logic. Different demographic.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 5:14 pm • linkreport

I do see our city improving drastically, Our city is growing and expanding due to that, not due to anything good that Gray has done.

As if there was a better Tea Party-like analogy.

Sure, the economy is getting better but it has NOTHING to do w/Obama. Again, same distorted logic..different demographic.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 5:16 pm • linkreport

"What major mayoral initiatives were blocked by the council? I have no idea where this question came from. Who said the council was blocking legislation?"

You said the situation was comparable to Obama. BHO would have MORE accomplishments if his program wasnt blocked in congress. I thought you implied it was the same for Grey.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 6, 2012 5:29 pm • linkreport

"Sure, the economy is getting better but it has NOTHING to do w/Obama. Again, same distorted logic..different demographic."

In fact the business cycle has little to do with politicians - we would have recovery anyway (whatever the Dems say) and it would be slow and painful anyway (whatever the GOP says)

However one can point to a specific action Obama took - the stimulus package. I could that an accomplishment. What has Grey done thats comparable?

"This is best demonstrated by you saying he's completed things already underway, when as a matter of fact, Fenty is credited w/managing things that were already in the pipeline before he got in office. Clifford Janey's master facilities plan is a good example."

I have no problem with grey completing things that are underway. I would expect though he has started a few initiatives of his own though. Its hard for me to find that on his website though.

have you actually been on the site and tried to navigate the list of initiatives? I suspect not, as if you had you might sympathize with my complaint that its difficult to navigate. Instead of multiple pages by category, or a list with links, its one long page with a narrow scroll bar. Very bad web design. However as a supporter, you could summarize it for me. I'm really not asking you to google anything (I hate when people wont do their own googling) This isnt about research - its asking what are the two or three big things hes done? I can tell you what the three big things Obama has done are, and I do not have to google for it.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 6, 2012 5:35 pm • linkreport

This is a prime example of the ridiculousness of many anti-Gray'rs. Here, Andrew admitted to care so much about "not rooting against his own city," that when push came to vote, he decided to write in the name of a person who didn't win the nomination.

This could be the saddest, most un-democratic thing I've read on GGW. Could someone unpack why Andrew's vote for a write-in candidate in a general election over the Democratic nominee is incompatible with "rooting for one's city". Seriously? There seem to be so many unexamined assumptions in there that it's a cipher to me.

Furthermore, somehow Gray is just like Obama in that...what? They're not similar in any way I can see: Obama has had his agenda thwarted by partisan gridlock. Gray has met no obstruction whatsoever.

It seems that the only thing in common between Gray and Obama is that some people are rooting for both of them, and
can't figure out why anyone would criticize either.

:)

by oboe on Mar 6, 2012 5:35 pm • linkreport

Sure, the economy is getting better but it has NOTHING to do w/Obama. Again, same distorted logic..different demographic.

I can give you a list of policies that Obama pursued that aided an improving economy (though it's arguable he could have handled things much better even with an obstructionist Congress). I don't hear anything from pro-Gray folks other than throat-clearing and comparisons to Obama.

by oboe on Mar 6, 2012 5:37 pm • linkreport

Folks, the notion that nothing will happen quickly with MLK library due to political slowness was not my personal opinion. It was the opinion of the Urban Institue (a highly regarded national thinktank) which was hired by the city to conduct the library study. This was their opinion despite the fact they were biting the hand that feeds them.

by Falls Church on Mar 6, 2012 6:01 pm • linkreport

You said the situation was comparable to Obama. BHO would have MORE accomplishments if his program wasnt blocked in congress. I thought you implied it was the same for Grey.

The thing is, you didn't have to think I implied anything. I told you where the analogies were in at no point in any of my posts did I insinuate the apt comparison was that both were being blocked by gridlock. I didn't say, suggest it, infer it or otherwise. The problem is that you aren't interested in reading what I wrote but what you "think" I meant by what I clearly said.

From the initial analogy, I compared how people (Tea Party and some dems) were hell bent on NOT giving him credit nor did they demonstrate the slightest interest in finding out what he's done. Instead, they chose to message that he "hasn't done anything" as a way to diminish his time in office and likely him overall. You decided to take that and start comparing him/congress to mayor/council. That was your approach..certainly not mine.

Gray is not the POTUS...nor is that the case for any city mayor. So it's ridiculous to analogize their respective "accomplishments." But is not ridiculous to compare how they've been allowed (or not) to govern in ways consistent with every other president/mayor before them.

That said, the facts (nor my argument) haven't changed. Vincent Gray is facing the same sort of "opposition" that Obama has..mainly from people who were against him all along. It explains how some of the brightest minds (or so I thought) live in DC and can't cite any accomplishment of the current mayoral administration. This is ironic considering this same group can site chapter and verse of the most complex/nuanced subject matter. But ask them to list an accomplishment?

Oh, we just don't have enough information. Yeah ok. As I mentioned earlier, this is Tea Party/PUMA logic.

Hell I can cite many things Fenty "accomplished" and I refused to vote for him again. But you smart people? Nah, you need more information.

by HogWash on Mar 6, 2012 6:40 pm • linkreport

I'd say Gray's greatest accomplishment is bridging the divides to create One City. A city where the myopic twits and newcomers who have lived in the city less than 20 years feel equally well represented as the folks in Gray's home ward. This thread is clearly evidence of hhow Gray has brought the city together in ways that Fenty never could have.

by Falls Church on Mar 6, 2012 7:04 pm • linkreport

I think it's pretty obvious at this point that HogWash is in fact Vincent Gray.

by Doug on Mar 7, 2012 2:06 am • linkreport

I think it's pretty obvious at this point that HogWash is in fact Vincent Gray.

I have no problem being consistent with the usual standard of speaking up "for" people whom we support. If that makes me seem like I'm Gray, I take it as a compliment. I support that over the radical Tea Party notions espoused here in these comments. Tea Party vs. Gray? I'll take him any day of the week...

by HogWash on Mar 7, 2012 11:07 am • linkreport

Wow, you just illustrated the definition (!) of a false dichotomy.

by H Street Landlord on Mar 7, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

"From the initial analogy, I compared how people (Tea Party and some dems) were hell bent on NOT giving him credit nor did they demonstrate the slightest interest in finding out what he's done. Instead, they chose to message that he "hasn't done anything" as a way to diminish his time in office and likely him overall. "

Well in that case, you are absolutely incorrect. The Tea Party did NOT say that BHO had done nothing - they said he did quite a lot - installed socialism, ended freedom, and bankrupted the country.

The left, OTOH, did not fail to google what BHO had done - they took the initiatives he did pass (financial reg, health care and stimulus) and found them wanting compared to what the left wanted.

I do not see the comparison of Gray at all. People arent criticizing Grey for initiatives that are too moderate and cave to interest groups - they are asking what his key initiatives ARE.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 7, 2012 2:10 pm • linkreport

Sorry to interrupt guys, I just wanted to pop in for a moment and check if any Gray supporters had enumerated a single Gray initiative.

[*whistling*]

No? Okay, thanks!

by oboe on Mar 7, 2012 2:25 pm • linkreport

I do not see the comparison of Gray at all. People arent criticizing Grey for initiatives that are too moderate and cave to interest groups - they are asking what his key initiatives ARE.

What you fail to realize is that I'm not here to convince you that MY opinion on whether Gray/Obama are analogous should be your own. If you don't see it, so what? It doesn't change the fact that I (and most thinking people) think it apt. Further, it bears repeating that I will NOT give a breakdown of Gray's work because I have 100000% confidence that if you, Oboe et. al, had any REAL interest in finding out, you could. No, I won't believe that a lawyer (and whatever other occupations) can't find an accomplishment of this administration. Even though I totally disagree with what you're saying here, I am not so blinded by ridiculous rancor that I wouldn't allow myself to give an honest assessment.

My take? If you wanted to find out, you could, and I'm not going to play this "game" of indulging you w/this. If you don't think he's accomplished anything absent my talking points, then nothing I could possibly say would change that. No, I don't think any of you are that ignorant. For obvious reasons, that's the approach you've chosen when it comes to Gray. That's your issue...

BTW, the tea party, one month into Obama's administration, decided that he had done all those things you mentioned. Through their antics, they (much like the anti's here) never were interested in giving Gray the chance to govern as they had in the previous administration. Yet, you all have the nerve to complain about things in this city and fail (100% of the time) to acknowledge your contribution to local rancor.

by HogWash on Mar 7, 2012 3:48 pm • linkreport

"Further, it bears repeating that I will NOT give a breakdown of Gray's work because I have 100000% confidence that if you, Oboe et. al, had any REAL interest in finding out, you could."

If you choose to believe that I am lying when I tell you that I went to the Mayor's website and could not discern from it what his major accomplishments are, I don't know that there is anything more to say.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 7, 2012 3:54 pm • linkreport

"I take it as a compliment. I support that over the radical Tea Party notions espoused here in these comments."

Whiskey tango foxtrot?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 7, 2012 3:55 pm • linkreport

My take? If you wanted to find out, you could, and I'm not going to play this "game" of indulging you w/this.

Just imagine if Perry, when faced with his inability to remember which three Departments he'd do away with in his administration, had responded with this line. He'd probably still be the GOP front-runner. Heh.

[*whistling*]

by oboe on Mar 7, 2012 3:59 pm • linkreport

If you choose to believe that I am lying when I tell you that I went to the Mayor's website and could not discern from it what his major accomplishments are, I don't know that there is anything more to say.

No, I believe that you (as a DC-area resident obviously stepped in local issues) are lying when you say that you don't know (or can't find) anything that this administration has actually accomplished.

Just imagine if Perry, when faced with his inability to remember which three Departments he'd do away with in his administration, had responded with this line.

Perry was in a "think on your feet" debate. We're 2 or 3 anonymous people having a convo online where we all have plenty of time to "think" before responding. You're choosing not to think but instead tow the "anti" line.

by HogWash on Mar 7, 2012 4:15 pm • linkreport

Can we please stop with the "you are lying" talk. That is over the line on the comment policy. I haven't deleted any comments since this has been pretty civil and constructive still, but please drop the part about lying going forward. Thank you.

by David Alpert on Mar 7, 2012 4:38 pm • linkreport

@HogWash

If you actually care about people knowing that the mayor has done something, why don't you just post a list of a few things he's done. Is that so damn hard?

It's not a trick - plenty of us honestly want to know and I got little to nothing from the mayor's website or the state of the district address (which mostly consisted of "hey things that have been going on for the last 5 years are still going great!")

You always seem to be content in these discussions to just pick around the edges and talk about how people are misinformed instead of, you know, INFORMING THEM.

by MLD on Mar 7, 2012 4:43 pm • linkreport

@David, I'm the only one who said it so I wouldn't have been offended had you just called me out on it directly (even though you did) :)

MLD, no need to curse. It's not civil. :0)

To your point, I actually DON'T care about people on THIS site knowing what he has done. In fact, I would be more inclined to engage on the topic anywhere else BUT here. Why? As I mentioned earlier, I have seen people dissect, research and analyze topics in ways that far exceed your usual online banter-like conversations. Even for those who aren't subject matter experts, these same people "wondering" have demonstrated a keen ability to get into the weeds with almost any subject matter. Being so, I refuse to believe that these same bright minds are incapable and wholly incompetent in finding out about local issues..especially when it comes to what the mayor has accomplished. The "question" itself only serves as a proxy for those seeking to diminish/marginalize this administration and ultimately the mayor. So that's why I'm not in the least bit interested in "informing" people here. I'm just not.

Interestingly enough, you say that Gray's site is mostly comprised of him talking about how he's managed the city's affairs since taking office. Yet, both Fenty and Klein were credited for managing projects..some of which had lain dormant for years..others weren't even his proposals. Were Fenty's "accomplishments" limited to dog parks and bike lanes? Of course not. But we read a lot about them. Was the school renovation idea a Rhee initiative? Of course not. Did she get credit for it? Of course she did. She succesfully managed a project. Klein successfully managed projects. But Gray managing projects isn't really a sign of success (or competence for that matter) because it's Gray right?

Oh shucksaroody...I forgot. We're not talking about whether the administration has been competent in managing the city. We're talking about whether he's accomplished anything at all.

Daggone it!

by HogWash on Mar 7, 2012 5:22 pm • linkreport

"No, I believe that you (as a DC-area resident obviously stepped in local issues) are lying when you say that you don't know (or can't find) anything that this administration has actually accomplished."

i am a resident of FFX county, who mostly follows DC politics as it relates to transportation and development. I realized I might miss accomplishments in other areas, so I looked at the mayors website, and found it confusing. I still do not know what the mayors major accomplishments are (the equivalent to Financial reg, health care, and stimulus for BHO). You can tell me, or you can leave me in ignorance. your choice.

David A - dont delete Hogs comments - I confess to effectively asking to be called a liar, and I find this interesting.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 7, 2012 5:35 pm • linkreport

"Yet, both Fenty and Klein were credited for managing projects..some of which had lain dormant for years..others weren't even his proposals"

yes, fenty did get credit for things begun under Anthony Williams, i would strongly agree with that.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 7, 2012 5:38 pm • linkreport

@Steve S "How much would it cost to renovate/expand the Carnegie Library on Mt Vernon Square?"

Renovate maybe,expand no. I believe it's a landmarked building and it would hard to expand it except for making going underground with more levels. Also, I'm vaguely remembering reading that it got a new paying tenant which has allowed the Washington Historical Society to stay in its part of the building. I don't remember the details, but it's 'already taken'.

Personally, I think the current MLK building is a very nice looking building as it is. (Though horribly maintained by the District.) And yes I know the architect envisioned one additional floor on this building ... but he didn't envision two ... That said, it's a great place for a central library ... if we need one. I'm really not sure what 'library-specific' purposes libraries serve anymore. Their primary role was to store books that people could read ... either by coming in to read them (as the libraries in Europe work) or by lending them out (as American libraries work.) But now we get all our reading material electronically. That main purpose of a library will only extend as far as being a repository of historic books being kept as artifacts .. i.e. 'museum'. (And even those books will eventually all be digitized so that they can be read and viewed on line.) Over the years libraries acquired other functions such as places providing meeting spaces or audio-visual equipment use. They also provide shelter to the poor and homeless on cold and rainy days and they give parents a place to drop off their children. But I'd argue that all those other uses (including the 'museum' one) could be better effected by the District funding those specific uses instead of the catch-all/no-main-mission library system. They could build meeting spaces (like the Resource center which the Dupont community borrows from NPS and pays to make usuable by many of the neighborhood groups), they could fund more homeless shelters (i.e., why only give the homeless a place to say during the day ... when they could have a place to sleep at night too), we could build more play areas for children with new media tools, and we could devote some of the former library space to museums for those documents which have value as historic artifacts. We could do all that better by directing (and managing funds) to where they belong rather than throwing them to the catch-all library 'system' and hope it knows how best to spend this taxpayer money.

So, it's not to say that the MLK building isn't worth preserving. But IMHO it could serve a better purpose than being a library. Actually, you could probably say that about all the District buildings serving as libraries today.

by Lance on Mar 7, 2012 7:41 pm • linkreport

The "educational reforms" that Rhee "accomplished" have run DCPS into the ground .see article in today's Washington Post www.washingtonpost.com

by Eleanor on Mar 7, 2012 8:36 pm • linkreport

It doesn't change the fact that I (and most thinking people) think it apt.

So far, it's you and Lance. Any other thinking people?

Slightly OT, but in my experience, people who routinely beat their chests and proclaim that they are reasonable and open-minded are typically anything but. This thread has done nothing to dispel that notion.

by dcd on Mar 8, 2012 8:56 am • linkreport

i am a resident of FFX county, who mostly follows DC politics as it relates to transportation and development. I realized I might miss accomplishments in other areas, so I looked at the mayors website, and found it confusing.

Although I wasn't sure (see DC-area resident reference) and after paging through the site, I'm willing to reconsider my earlier position that you "should" know how to find the information. My apologies. I also realize that just because it was easy for ME doesn't necessarily mean the same for you. I took for granted that anybody should know that an administration's "accomplishments" are always announced in press releases.

So I googled, "vincent gray accomplishments" and immediately came across his 3-month old press release outlining his major accomplishments. Wondering whether they were any more/less substantive than in other cities, I then googled the same for Michael Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel and found that both NYC's and Chi-town's OTM's site contained about the same and information on initiatives/"accomplishments" are found w/in the press releases - just like Gray's. So I actually get that it would seem confusing..but contend that if you knew where to go initially, it wouldn't be.

WRT: Gray/Obama comparable accomplishments, there will never be any. The same should be said for Bloomberg and Emanuel. I don't believe any mayor can have the level of accomplishments similar to the POTUS. I even went back and thought about what were considered Fenty's accomplishments and really couldn't come up with much.

All that said, I go back to what I've said here and before, it's hard for anyone to be seen as effectively governing when the media/chattering class is invested otherwise. The reason we know what Obama has done is because it's been talked about incessantly...by foes and enemies. What has been the incessant media focus wrt to Gray? Whether he followed the standard practice of hiring friends/relatives/contributors etc. And whether he promised Sillyman Brown a job. And whether he vetted his people properly. And now, whether he really should be trying to bring back the redskins.

Allll of those are valid. But they also give the impression that Gray really hasn't accomplished anything at all. It's a perception problem..not a lack of accomplishment policy.

BTW, I looked up the info on all three sites in about 2 minutes.

by HogWash on Mar 8, 2012 10:56 am • linkreport

people who routinely beat their chests and proclaim that they are reasonable and open-minded are typically anything but. This thread has done nothing to dispel that notion.

I agree! And also think that those who think that what I've said here is unreasonable and close-minded, are most likely being unreasonable and close-minded.

by HogWash on Mar 8, 2012 10:58 am • linkreport

HogWash - I'm glad you agree. By the way:

"Fortunately, I'm willing to be reasonable and credit someone (I don't like) with accomplishing things."

"Even though I totally disagree with what you're saying here, I am not so blinded by ridiculous rancor that I wouldn't allow myself to give an honest assessment."

by dcd on Mar 8, 2012 12:17 pm • linkreport

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