Greater Greater Washington

Politics


The scandal's serious, but the city's solid

DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced a number of new green alleys in the District on Wednesday, then briefly spoke to the issue foremost on many minds: the growing scandal around a "shadow campaign" that disregarded campaign finance laws to help him get elected.


Photo by Don Baxter/Media Images International on Flickr.

Many commentators chuckled at the vanishing chance any coverage would focus on the green alleys. Many Wash­ing­tonians feel deeply betrayed, whether or not they supported Gray. This is a step backward for the District's reputation, for efforts to promote honesty in government and for the hope of uniting a divided city, a platform Gray ran on and genuinely believed in.

However, let's not shortchange those green alleys. They will last far longer, and ultimately make more of an impact on the lives of residents whose homes adjoin them, than this scandal or any political questions over who is mayor and for how long.

Continue reading in my latest op-ed in the Washington Post.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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by Robert on Jul 14, 2012 1:46 pm • linkreport

Excellent op-ed David. I agree nearly word for word. I was initially very skeptical of Gray, but he has done a great job with his transit and ped advocacy, with the budget, and yes, with having some big visions (Chinese help for infrastructure, large amounts budgeted for streetcars).

I hope he completes his term and then Wells is elected Mayor. I share your concerns about Mendelson.

by H Street Landlord on Jul 14, 2012 2:01 pm • linkreport

This is a tough thing to get over. It's unclear to me how Gray moves forward with all of this baggage. A three-year lame duck administration? Maybe a mayor unable to do more than advance existing policy wouldn't be a bad thing for the city, but I don't think that's what this editorial is proposing. It seems like you're saying we should all just try and move on. I don't see that happening.

Also, this presumes there's no indictment coming for Gray. A presumption that, at this point, feels unlikely. Machen is clearly gunning for the mayor. When a US Attorney wants to charge you with something, especially when so many people around you have committed crimes, he's probably going to find something to nail you with. And an indictment is game over. I'd rather have Gray resign soon so that the special election can be on the regular election day, and so Mendelson (who I am also concerned about) spends as little time in the position as possible.

by JW on Jul 14, 2012 2:11 pm • linkreport

Why is the linked to the post, and not entirely posted here?

There are some stylistic points I don't like; you could have done a better job of cutting it down a bit and showing this is a media driven event. The massive leaking from the US attorney office is pure evidence of that. Tieing it back to the importance of green alleys is key.

One major point you have wrong is the continued advocacy of the ban on corporate contributions. I've said in the past that a superPAC is unlikely in DC, but half the charges against Gray are essentialy that of SuperPAC. IThe only difference was coordiantion. Money always goes into campaigns, and you can't keep it out. Better to force disclosure than bans.

Other than the chaos, I don't see a powerful argument against Mendlosohn.

by charlie on Jul 14, 2012 2:35 pm • linkreport

If an elected leader came to power by illegal means, he must resign or be removed. Weak and unpersuasive is the argument: "yeah, well, he has been effective while in office." If accepted as persuasive, this argument has devastating consequences for democracy. What the illegally victorious candidate actually does while in office is utterly irrelevant. Shame on Dave Alpert for trying the "ends justify the means" argument. Alpert likes Mayor Gray. Not good enough. Gray obtained his office by blatantly illegal means -- he bought it. In a civilized society, there cannot be the kind of exception that Alpert champions. On a more extreme scale, the excuse did not work for Mussolini (he made the trains run on time) and it does not work here either.

You have to be pretty foolish to think that Gray had no knowledge of the shadow campaign while it was in progress in 2010, as well as the illegal cash collected from cabbies, and the cash payments to S. Brown to stay in the race. Plus the individuals who were convinced to donate $2000 to Gray, in exchange for reimbursement back thru Harris (thru Thompson), obviously did not just swap $2000 for $2000. "What's in it for me?, Why would I do that?" they would have asked Harris. Answer: additional cash payments or other favors. Other cash was used by Gray's campaign to bribe and buy votes and influence. And Gray knew it. He was in a pitched battle with Fenty and decided that he would win by any means necessary. He applied the same logic that Alpert uses in his opinion -- the ends justify the means. "It's ok for me to break the rules of democracy," Gray convinced himself, "because once Mayor, I will do some really good things." Again, shame on Dave Alpert for buying into this kind of dangerous thinking. Dave's like for green alleys and new trolleys is a very poor substitute for the rule of law.

by ChevyChaseDC on Jul 14, 2012 2:44 pm • linkreport

I think there's two broad issues here: legitimacy and effectiveness.

The legitimacy angle, which ChevyChaseDC hammers on above, is pretty simple: if a politician is elected to office through illegitimate means and tactics, then his election is illegitimate and his continued occupancy of that office is undemocratic.

Whether or not the candidate can be conclusively proven to have known about these means is not as critical as you make it out to be, David. One can imagine a candidate simply telling his trusted lieutenant: "Do what you have to do to get me elected. Don't tell me anything about it. One way or the other, I will reward you." How are you going to prove that very brief exchange took place, short of the trusted lieutenant admitting the whole thing? With plausible deniability thus established, is the candidate off the hook for any criminal and unethical actions taken in support of his candidacy?

I have seen it argued that these revelations do not affect Gray's legitimacy because he would've beaten Fenty anyway. It's not an entirely illegitimate argument: if it was discovered that some O'Malley campaign workers put up signs too close to polling places or committed some other low-level violations, that would not really affect the legitimacy of O'Malley's victory, given that he won by over 14%.

Gray's victory in the Democratic primary was by half that margin. More to the point, while Gray very well may have won even without the shadow campaign or paying off Sulaimon Brown, the calculus would have been very different if all of these activities had been revealed at the time. That is where the legitimacy standard should lie. Would 3.5% or more of the primary voters have changed their minds if they had known that the candidate promising character, inclusiveness, and good governance was benefiting from a campaign that contradicted all of that? I think so.

The effectiveness angle is more complicated and much of it is based on subjective appraisals and conjecture. Policy-wise, the DC government under Gray has largely been a continuation of what it has done under Williams and Fenty. Gray has clearly attempted to continue the "all things to all people" approach he used in his campaign. To keep one part of his constituency happy, he has largely left in place the policy course charted by his predecessors. To keep the other part happy, he has replaced some of the more grievance-inducing faces (Rhee and Klein) with lower-profile and demographically more palatable ones (Henderson and Bellamy - zero disrespect to the two of them intended).

The question with Gray has always been, though, to what extent any of this matches his vision, or whether he even has one, beyond simply wanting to be in charge. By all accounts he was a gifted manager and consensus-builder while Council Chair - but, then again, that is much easier to do if you have no strong convictions or policy preferences of your own. If he really is a weather vane, adjusting to the political currents in whatever way favors his career, then it seems that other potential mayors would also have to navigate these same currents. Would anyone else who could conceivably become mayor really govern in a way that radically departs from the Williams/Fenty/Gray policy continuum, if that's what an increasing share of the public wants?

Now, perhaps Mendelson really is an anti-development ideologue who would ground any and all progress in the city to a halt. If that were the case, it is highly unlikely he could win a mayoral election, the likelihood of which is already none too high as it is IMO.

What we're left with is a cloudy at best claim of effectiveness and a clearly tainted legitimacy. It's true that we shouldn't be declaring the District on its way to ruin and federal takeover, but that's an awfully low bar to set for the chief executive.

by Dizzy on Jul 14, 2012 3:59 pm • linkreport

The alleys are great and it's terrific Mayor Gray and his administration have embraced sustainability.

But the campaign scandal goes to the core of who Gray is and what he did or didn't do as part of the shadow campaign to be elected in the first place. The two are not divisible. Was Gray's election an illegal sham that -- in the words of U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen -- "deceived" the citizens?

If true, the impact and fallout on this city unfortunately will last a very long time.

by Tom Sherwood on Jul 15, 2012 9:55 am • linkreport

+ 1 to Tom Sherwood's insight.

As the Spanish saying goes: Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres; Tell me whom you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are.

The campaign and the Mayor are indivisible, and this Mayor is indivisible from the federally-charged longtime confidants with whom he walked.

And this city as a body politic has staggered too much, too long, for it not to benefit from a very serious sobering up.

by Joel Lawson on Jul 15, 2012 12:11 pm • linkreport

Are people reading the same article?

David suggested that we not lose sight of the fact that the city is progressing well in the midst of these scandals. That's not something to be ignored. He didn't say we should just "get over it" and move on. But let's look at the facts. The same sort of facts that didn't get in the way of the city moving forward while Fenty was having his own PR nightmares.

David also said that if the allegations are true, Gray should step down. I'm I the only one who read that? We can have opinions on whether he knew. But isn't that what the USAG is investigating?

I totally disagree with the ChChase wrt what an "illegally" elected pols does in office is irrelevant. That's unless you think that city business should fall into the dumps while we sit and wait for the next shoe to drop. The points David made showing how the city is still functioning well is exactly why what a good CEO does under fire is important. In fact, it's the hallmark of a great leader.

I agree w/Dizzy about Gray continuing the policies of his predecessors. Ironically, that was made of the main arguments against him. That, compared to Fenty, he would allow the city to regress. The facts are what they are. We haven't. But I also don't believe that any mayor will dramatically change the direction in which the city is headed. Fenty didn't. And his landmark achievement (School takeover) was something that he voted against Williams doing when he proposed it while Fenty was a CM.

by HogWash on Jul 15, 2012 3:41 pm • linkreport

It is not an excuse for corruption that Gray has actually done some useful things while in office. That is his job!

Cheaters do not deserve a job-performance review.

The discussion about what Gray is doing is being made irrelevant by the fact that he cheated getting the job. Whatever he does, good or bad, does not matter anymore.

And therefor, he needs to go. If he is exonerated, I am sure DC will (re)elect him at the next election.

BTW, the argument that a successor is worse is what kept W in office. Dems did not dare to impeach him because they'd have to deal with Cheney.

by Jasper on Jul 15, 2012 3:42 pm • linkreport

This is like saying that Joe Paterno's still a good football coach.

by Socket on Jul 15, 2012 3:43 pm • linkreport

Why can't all of these Gray supporters just own up and admit they made a mistake? It is not uncommon to chose the wrong horse. All this "There is no excuse for corruption, but..." language just makes you look foolish.

by beatbox on Jul 15, 2012 4:52 pm • linkreport

The District is far from solid. You are so totally wrong and you shouldn't be giving cover, even indirect cover, to Mayor Gray at this stage. That's what you are doing.

The shadow campaign was an audacious attempt to buy influence at the highest level of government. At a wholesale level. Corruption at this scale (buying an election) doesn't happen unless the ills already run very deep.

Yes, somethings are working and may even seem "solid." There are good people doing good work. But some things always work in these situations.

But take a lesson from Penn State. People in high-powered positions demonstrated an inability to show empathy when it mattered the most. It was this lack of empathy that former FBI Director Freeh zeroed in on his report. The people in charge at Penn State couldn't see past their own needs and put their wants above others.

So Penn State kept winning football games. It looked like everything in their program was working but, in the end, nothing really was because the program couldn't protect the most vulnerable among us. And so it is with DC's government.

The District's government only looks as if it's working. It's not. So what if the street car program is going forward. How do you know that the contracts for building it won't end up costing much more then it ought to, stealing money from other programs, once contracts are signed?

The only right thing to do is to push, and push, and push for all the answers, and for full accountability. Just like at Penn State. Only then will we know, and only then is it appropriate to assess what has worked and what hasn't.

by kob on Jul 15, 2012 6:26 pm • linkreport

Of course he knew, even before January.

This is bargaining for a lesser charge just like Brown's assertion the day before he resigned that he would not.

And we're not talking about $600 in gift cards that made the mayor of Baltimore resign or an illegal contribution over $50 that made Brown resign or even substantial money for youth baseball that made Thomas go. We're talking about $650,000 at least in an illegal effort from the contractor who runs much of DC's medicaid program.

However, I do hate to see us rushed into a Wells vs. Bowser November election.

by Tom Coumaris on Jul 15, 2012 7:46 pm • linkreport

Again, did you all read the same article? David said, "I don't believe that Gray should resign and here's why..." It is indisputable that the city is being managed well. I would hope that any DC resident would ANY Mayor (Your bff or not) to keep the city running efficiently.

I don't believe you have a substantive argument against how the city is being managed well. So your refrain has to be, "so what, who cares!" As a resident, you should care because the policies/programs put in place will affect you long beyond any BFF Mayor. Yes, you should care if your city is being managed well. Yes...you..should.

BTW, Penn State covered up a pedophile's depravity. Can we not marginalize what those little boys went through by comparing the cover up of a 60yr old man anally raping barely teenagers to a political campaign's tactics? Sure, we can have our opinion on whether he should resign. But neither of us will make that happen. So we're back to our opinions and please keep that in mind. There is no moral mandate for the two sides to agree here.

Let's hope the city continues to be managed well! People are moving in...not out.

by HogWash on Jul 15, 2012 9:13 pm • linkreport

@ HogWash - on point. It is absurd to compare a decade long cover up of an active pedofile's work to some campaign finance shenanigans. There is simply no comparison! One is horribly, horribly disgusting.

by H Street Landlord on Jul 15, 2012 10:32 pm • linkreport

I think Barras's summary of what happened is good:

""Thompson's alleged cash dump likely was a business calculation: His company, DC Chartered Health Plan, had a contract with an annual value of $350 million. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration accused it of overbilling the city and filed a lawsuit. The settlement cost Thompson $12 million. By 2010, Fenty was scouting around for another contractor. Interestingly, soon after being sworn in, Gray asked the Council to increase Chartered's rate of reimbursement; that meant $32 million more for Thompson.""

http://washingtonexaminer.com/barras-resignation-or-impeachment-choose-one/article/2502020

The unfortunate thing is this is just biz as usual for DC. It's how we work and make decisions. There's nothing that will be charged as criminal in the buying of contracts and payment increases. The criminality will be any lying, cover-ups and obstruction conspiracies relating to a shadow campaign.

by Tom Coumaris on Jul 15, 2012 11:52 pm • linkreport

Sorry, but the analogy between Penn State and the Gray apologists is right on point. It doesn't matter what the criminality is, it is justifying looking away from wrongful conduct on the basis of results that is common strain. Sandusky got away with committing crimes for years because the Penn State head coach, athletic director, and administration were able to justify leaving things the way they were because Penn State had a winning football team. Here, people are defending Gray's alleged criminality and/or his claim that "he didn't know anything about it" on the grounds that they are pleased with advancements in city services. There is absolutely no distinction between the two mind sets.

by Socket on Jul 16, 2012 8:14 am • linkreport

David, you essentially came up with the argument for justifying corruption and unethical behavior. I saw this in the mayor's office under Fenty and now see this. Corruption and unethical behavior and actions are not to be tolerated. Period. You should know better.

by Joseph Martin on Jul 16, 2012 9:25 am • linkreport

@Socket, if you think that covering up the rape of little boys is akin to a poorly run shadow campaign, then I would suggest two things: 1) You likely wouldn't feel the same way had your own son been raped by an old man and reject any comparison to politics. 2) You are likely so blinded by the partisan, toxic environment, that you are immune to the suffering a child experiences when abused.

These kids had their civil/moral rights abused by a predator and a system. Kids/innocent children, were abused and killed during the Holocaust. There is no reason to compare their deaths to politics. Likewise, there is no reason to compare the coverup of the deaths of blacks during the pre-"civil rights" era to the coverup (or not) of a shadow campaign.

@Joseph Martin, so David saying that the city is running swell, but if found guilty, Gray should resign, is the same as justifying corruption and unethical behavior? I swear, I wonder do some of you wake up with "I don't live my life according to reason," in your eyes.

Geez!

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 11:00 am • linkreport

@ HogWash:You are likely so blinded by the partisan, toxic environment

What partisan, toxic environment? This is DC. We have one-party rule! For partisanship, we'd need a DC GOP and a DC Tea-party. We don't. Hence no partisanship. The toxicity of the environment is entirely the fault of democrats at their best: clueless in-fighting.

Holocaust

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law
You loose.

by Jasper on Jul 16, 2012 11:52 am • linkreport

A slightly offtopic quibble with the article, but it illustrates (for better or for worse) one of the dangers David warns against with the disruption that a changing of the guard can bring. The streetcar project was more or less proposed under Marion Barry, in the form of an easy-to-shelve report that demonstrated the need for expanded rail transit throughout the District. But I'd say it was under Tony Williams that it came to the fore; under his mayoralty came the 3-year, large-scale DC Alternatives Analysis study, under which the present proposed route structure was more-or-less defined. It was also the Williams administration which agreed (at the urging of the ANCs) to include streetcar tracks in the H street rebuilding.

The danger of a change in leadership is illustrated when Dan Tangherlini left DDOT with about a year left in the Williams administration. The succeeding DDOT director, Michelle Pourciau, didn't move forward on any operational planning for the H street line, and neither did Adrian Fenty's first DDOT director, Emeka Moneme. It was only when Gabe Klein realized that the tracks were about to be finished without any of the other infrastructure or planning in place that the Fenty administration brought streetcars to the fore, because of the crash nature of the effort.

by thm on Jul 16, 2012 12:14 pm • linkreport

By the way, I should point out that there are plenty of those who are in Gray's camp who do not think the city is solid. Their muse, Courtland Milloy, gives voice to their perspective:

Nevertheless, Gray accomplished his most important task. He defeated Fenty and sent the snarky schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, packing. And the myopics still don’t see why.

Too busy tweeting flash-mob snowball fights and guzzling imported beers at urban sandy beach bars, they neither heard nor saw those standing on the precipice of the city’s ever-widening economic chasm. For many of the most vulnerable residents, that vote against Fenty amounted to a single-fingered salute to the leader of the twits as they were being pushed over the edge.

How could the myopics even imagine that the city was “headed in the right direction” under Fenty, as polls showed?

The District’s poverty rate shot up to its highest level in a decade, and the employment rate for African American adults dropped to a 20-year low. One in three black children were living in poverty. The income gap was among the highest in the nation.

One should keep in mind that one's definition of 'progress' is not universally shared.

by Dizzy on Jul 16, 2012 12:31 pm • linkreport

Also slightly OT: Did everyone see Courtland Milloy's latest column? In addition to his usual race-baiting and doubling-down on the myopic little twits label, his column had an interesting attitude. To me, it read like he's written Gray off.

If Courtland Milloy no longer believes Gray will survive, that is a very bad sign for Gray. It reinforces the idea that without an indictment, the best scenario for Gray is a crippled administration that probably never gets out from under the shadow of the shadow campaign. And if an indictment comes down, he's done. No "let's let a jury decide." There's no way it gets that far.

by JW on Jul 16, 2012 12:35 pm • linkreport

@jasper

Hogwash lost according to the letter of Godwins law. I think looking at the spirit of Godwins law, the folks invoking the Penn State scandal are the losers, since the are doing precisely what Godwins law is designed to prevent.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 12:35 pm • linkreport

Am I the only one who thinks that bicycle lanes can actually serve poor people, who, you know, often don't have cars? I'm also not clear on what public policies Milloy has in mind that would improve the lives of poor people at the expense of cupcake shops. Sounds like Milloy is angry at Gray for pursuing the policies that Dave thinks make sense for DC (and Milloy really gives no good argument why they aren't - one does not need to be Oboe to think that attracting more upper middle class people is a good way to pay for social services).

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 12:40 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Marian Berry on Jul 16, 2012 12:40 pm • linkreport

@Jasper, The toxicity of the environment is entirely the fault of democrats at their best: clueless in-fighting

If you would rather replace "partisanship" with "in-fighting," I wouldn't have a problem with that. The point remains the same.

@Dizzy, I read Milloy's article and facts are what they are. The economic chasm has continued under Gray. But I would argue that most people don't consider that chasm the best indicator of how well the city is progressing. Maybe they should. It's just very rare here in the US. You do raise an interesting point though, which sort of cosigns the "myopic twit" charge. That is, the myops refused to see that their view of progress is not universally shared. OTOH, what David focused on in this article were not the same sort of things myops focused on as reasons to reelect Fenty.

@Walker, if you bothered to read the article, Milloy stated, "Among them are my nemeses — whom I have referred to before as myopic twits because of their inability to see that dog parks, bike paths and cupcake parlors do not make a “world-class city.” I didn't read anything in the article suggesting that any policy should be implemented at the expense of cupcake shops.

And are you sure you aren't putting words into David's mouth? When has David Alpert EVER asserted that DC should implement policies that widen the economic gap between the have's and the have not's? I do agree with you that Milloy hasn't presented any arguments why what the myops supported weren't good for the city. I'm actually glad you said that. Have you ever seen a Milloy article arguing against bike paths and green spaces or is that the meme simply floated around by his detractors? I think the latter is more factual.

BTW, I didn't see any anger in Milloy's article. He acknowledges that Gray supporters, the informed one's, pretty much knew that there wouldn't be much difference in their economic plans. As an example of the baseless arguments myops used against Gray, Milloy points out that Gray has continued to install bike paths and green alleys. (something his detractors argued wouldn't happen)

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 1:15 pm • linkreport

I forgot, no you aren't the only one who thinks that bikes/lanes can serve poor people w/o cars. They can serve anyone w/o a car. The problem is the "what's best for you" arguments sometimes come off as condescending.

At least that's what happened during the 2010 election. the idea that, "if only those people knew what was best for them."

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 1:18 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash: The problem is the "what's best for you" arguments sometimes come off as condescending.

That's a fair criticism. But it doesn't change the fact that while Gray rode in to office on a banner of cleaner government and unification, his administration has been one long series of scandals, each of which more serious, and closer to him than the last. No one is claiming Fenty was perfect, I think it was City Paper that endorsed him while calling him a jerk. Many of his supporters agreed with that sentiment. But Gray deceived the city, and whether or not he technically broke the law or not (and I expect he did), he knew or should have known that his campaign was undermining the integrity of the election, and that is reason enough to have him removed.

by JW on Jul 16, 2012 1:35 pm • linkreport

"@Walker, if you bothered to read the article, Milloy stated, "Among them are my nemeses — whom I have referred to before as myopic twits because of their inability to see that dog parks, bike paths and cupcake parlors do not make a “world-class city.” I didn't read anything in the article suggesting that any policy should be implemented at the expense of cupcake shops.

And are you sure you aren't putting words into David's mouth? When has David Alpert EVER asserted that DC should implement policies that widen the economic gap between the have's and the have not's? I do agree with you that Milloy hasn't presented any arguments why what the myops supported weren't good for the city. I'm actually glad you said that. Have you ever seen a Milloy article arguing against bike paths and green spaces or is that the meme simply floated around by his detractors? I think the latter is more factual"

Who actually said that cupcake shops and dogparks make a world class city? Though I would suggest that new retail investment is important, and if cupcake shops are in demand, why single them out? As for bike lanes (not paths - does he know the difference?) yes, I think they are part of being a world class city - they have certainly added to that status in say, Copenhagen.

And yes, voters sometimes make mistakes. I assume Milloy thinks that when Ronald Reagan was elected that was a mistake. In America we let voters elect who they want, but we are not required to agree with them.

And, no, what I get is not from a "meme" floated on twitter I am an old guy who does not tweet. I reacted this way reading the 'deadtree' washington post this morning. It was stupid.

Look the economic chasm - the plight of the poor is serious. And it mostly has to be solved at the Federal level (including by the activity of some of the folks he calls MLT's) The DC govt can only address it if it has resources - which means affluent people moving in.

"When has David Alpert EVER asserted that DC should implement policies that widen the economic gap between the have's and the have not's? "

When did Fenty ever advocate such policies? Or any of the "MLT's"? The policies that Fenty was for, that were opposed, AFAICT were the street cars, the bike lanes, and the education changes. I think on all of those Dave was in a different camp than Milloy (though you are correct, Milloy never comes right out and says hes against bike lanes - he just snarks about them)

BTW, calling M Rhee's approach "tiger mom" was very precious, don't you agree?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 1:46 pm • linkreport

Does Milloy have any idea what ridiculous amounts of sales tax we get from those cupcake shops? And it's mostly from out-of-state. Of course places like that help us become a world class city! Becoming world class is f$&@king expensive and getting crazy tax revenues from tiny shops goes a long way towards financing the social programs designed to help the very people Milloy claims to be worried about. That's not to say the only answer to DC's poverty is more cupcake shops, but no one except Milloy seems to think that's even an idea worth mentioning!

And his comment about Rhee being a tiger mom was straight up racist.

by TM on Jul 16, 2012 2:07 pm • linkreport

I get the idea of David's piece--I actually read it not as a defense of Gray, but as a "hey, even with this embarrassment, DC is still on the rise" sort of motivational speech--but I don't think he quite pulled it off. It equivocates too much and the "if Gray is indicted/convicted, he should resign" aspect is too buried.

Milloy's editorial is pretty funny. I can't decide if he's more angry at Gray, Thomas, and Kwame for being corrupt losers, and in turn making him look like a rube for rooting for them; or at Gray for building more bike lanes.

by worthing on Jul 16, 2012 2:12 pm • linkreport

@JW, if we separate his political campaign from city governance, how is gov't "dirtier" than it was before? Your opinion that Gray "deceived" the city is not a matter of fact. It's just your opinion. If Adrian Fenty was managing the city well and it was found that his campaign had (knowingly or not) engaged in a shadow campaign operation, I would hope Fenty remained in office and let the voters decide in the next election. But that's also something about which we can have diverging opinions.

Who actually said that cupcake shops and dogparks make a world class city?

You have to ask Milloy that. Although I could make a guess wrt to what he meant.

If cupcake shops are in demand, why single them out? The Sale of single beers are in demand too. Same goes for food trucks. People single them out all the time.

As for bike lanes yes, I think they are part of being a world class city. So do I.

When did Fenty ever advocate such policies?
I have no idea. Who suggested that he did?

The policies that Fenty was for, that were opposed, AFAICT were the street cars, the bike lanes, and the education changes.

Really? That's something new to my ears. IMO, the fact that (years later) you have dismissed the real concerns of those concerned about things we prioritized in our n'hoods, means that you won't and care little about "getting it." I have yet to meet a person who said, "I don't want bike lanes nor education reform." That's simply the meme that has been floated around by Gray detractors. And you've continued it by saying, "those people are against xyz" which isn't an accurate reflection of our positions.

WRT "tiger Mom," someone is going to have to help me out w/this one. How is referring to her as "Tiger Mom" racist? Is there some sort of Asian racial epithet which uses the term in some way? I'm lost.

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 2:27 pm • linkreport

And his comment about Rhee being a tiger mom was straight up racist.

You got that right. Of course, Black racism is rarely called out, especially when it is directed at Asians.

by Vinh An Nguyen on Jul 16, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

The policies that Fenty was for, that were opposed, AFAICT were the street cars, the bike lanes, and the education changes.

The policies that Fenty was for, that were opposed, AFAICT were the street cars, the bike lanes, and the education changes. I think on all of those Dave was in a different camp than Milloy

You THINK right? Although you admit that Courtland Milloy never says he's against any of those, you just "think" that he was in a different camp. This "thinking" of yours is consistent with your "thought" that people were against bike lanes, streetcars, and education reform. You don't even say people were more indifferent than others. You take it to the head and conclude that were against it..much like your assumption about Milloy's position on streetcars and such.

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 2:33 pm • linkreport

"Who actually said that cupcake shops and dogparks make a world class city?

You have to ask Milloy that."

Milloy implied there were (by stating the negative) He did not cite anyone who does think so - so I interpret what he said as a dog whistle (the myopic little twits little twits like bike lanes and cupcake shops, which WE rightly dislike). YOU seem to think that hes actually critiquing someones vision of a world class city, not just engaged in dog whistle snark - I think the burden of proof is on anyone defending Milloy to show someone actually thinks those make a world class city.

"If cupcake shops are in demand, why single them out? The Sale of single beers are in demand too. Same goes for food trucks. People single them out all the time."

Again, I ask why? They are retail shops that bring sales tax revenue. Is Milloy saying that retail is not important? it sounds to me like he is mentioning cupcake shops cause they are associated with young college educated people.

"As for bike lanes yes, I think they are part of being a world class city. So do I."

So do you agree that the MLTs are right on this one, and Milloy is wrong?

"When did Fenty ever advocate such policies?
I have no idea. Who suggested that he did?"

I said Milloy was attacking policies that Alpert likes (ie bike lanes and street cars and educational changes. YOU said Alpert has never advocated for policies that widen the chasm. So again, what policies are you referring to, and who has advocated for them.

"Really? That's something new to my ears. IMO, the fact that (years later) you have dismissed the real concerns of those concerned about things we prioritized in our n'hoods, means that you won't and care little about "getting it.""

Which things?

" And you've continued it by saying, "those people are against xyz" which isn't an accurate reflection of our positions."

I still dont know exactly what the MLTs are for that Milloy is against.

"WRT "tiger Mom," someone is going to have to help me out w/this one. How is referring to her as "Tiger Mom" racist? Is there some sort of Asian racial epithet which uses the term in some way? I'm lost."

There was a popular book a couple of years back about child raising by a taiwanese born woman named Amy Chua, which advocated for "asians style" parenting. Its possible of course that Mr Milloy has not heard of the book, or that he had but that mentioning it in the context of Ms Rhee had nothing to do with her being Asian. It just sounds that way.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 2:42 pm • linkreport

"Although you admit that Courtland Milloy never says he's against any of those, you just "think" that he was in a different camp. "

George Will never actually says he's against political equality as such. He just snarks at everything opposed to his high tory POV. Thats the pundits way - you avoid committing overtly to an over the top POV, you just imply, poke, snark, etc.

So yeah, based on the rhetoric Milloy uses, I infer what he thinks. I think thats a reasonable thing to do.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 2:46 pm • linkreport

you admit that Courtland Milloy never says he's against any of those, you just "think" that he was in a different camp

You make a good point. I doubt Milloy was actually against any of those things. He makes his money off of stoking class and racial resentments. He doesn't really care about any given issue at all. He's purely cynical in that sense. Which is apropriate given that he's the Post's "Voice of 'Real' DC" despite the fact that he abandoned DC and his neighbors a decade ago to go live in the 'burbs.

If the "myopic twittering tweeters" are fur it, he's agin it!

by oboe on Jul 16, 2012 2:46 pm • linkreport

Comparing Courtland Milloy to George Will is like comparing tic-tac-toe to chess. And I agree with Will about NOTHING, with the possible exception of his bi-annual baseball columns.

by dcd on Jul 16, 2012 3:14 pm • linkreport

@AWalker, can you start using html tags?
start using html tags

Let's take a refresher course. In the infamous "myopic twit" article, Milloy introduces the term by saying, But he couldn't find time to meet with 98-year-old Dorothy Height and 82-year-old Maya Angelou. Respect for elders -- that's too old school for Fenty. Dis the sistas -- his supporters will understand.

And, Watch them at the chic new eateries, Fenty's hip newly arrived "creative class" firing up their "social media" networks whenever he's under attack: Why should the mayor have to stop his work just to meet with some old biddies, they tweet. Who cares if the mayor is arrogant as long as he gets the job done? Myopic little twits.

And lordy don't complain about Rhee.

Contrary to urban legend, Milloy actually says nothing about dog parks, bike lanes or streetcars. His discussion about education "reform" was limited two sentences:

Don't ask Fenty or Rhee whom this world-class school system will serve if low-income black residents are being evicted from his world-class city in droves. Don't ask Fenty or Rhee whom this world-class school system will serve if low-income black residents are being evicted from his world-class city in droves.

So there you have it. Those are Milloy's comments against streetcars, bike lanes, dog parks, and education reform.

Now to your points...(cont)

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 3:19 pm • linkreport

low-income black residents are being evicted from his world-class city in droves

shred of evidence? anyone?

by oboe on Jul 16, 2012 3:33 pm • linkreport

"Don't ask Fenty or Rhee whom this world-class school system will serve if low-income black residents are being evicted from his world-class city in droves. Don't ask Fenty or Rhee whom this world-class school system will serve if low-income black residents are being evicted from his world-class city in droves."

Fairly clearly the very significant numbers of poor african americans who continue to live in DC and will continue to live there, due both to the limits of gentrification, and to policies like inclusive zoning, that apparently are supported by the myopic little twits.

Other than that, I see nothing in what you have quoted thats actually about policy. Its all status resentment (Fenty didnt meet with the right people, and folks in fancy restaurants dont care about that).

DC should be annexed to Virginia. Then the people in DC who admire Milloy would have to deal with a govt that actually DOES want to cut programs for poor people, and has no concern with income chasms, etc. In their absence they take out their frustrations with the state of the country on people who are in fact liberals, who want to work with them, who pay taxes relatively cheerily, and who want those taxes spent mostly on social programs (with an occasional dog park or street car line).

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 3:38 pm • linkreport

YOU seem to think that hes actually critiquing someones vision of a world class city, not just engaged in dog whistle snark - I think the burden of proof is on anyone defending Milloy to show someone actually thinks those make a world class city.

No. I believe he was engaged in both. While you seem to agree that bike lanes are part of what makes DC a world class city..you're also arguing that there aren't people who think this so Milloy's snark is unfounded. Well ok. Doesn't make sense..but ok.

it sounds to me like he is mentioning cupcake shops cause they are associated with young college educated people.
I get how it might sound to you. But what he said was the cupcake parlors don't make DC a world-class city..something he thinks the myops believe.

So do you agree that the MLTs are right on this one, and Milloy is wrong?
Wait, so there ARE people who think bike lanes help make DC a world-class city? I thought you said there weren't?...Oh heck, nvm.

In response to your suggestion that Milloy seems angry that Gray is pursuing policies that David is for, I countered that his article doesn't address such and that is DOES focus on how he's disappointed that the economic disparity has increased.

I still dont know exactly what the MLTs are for that Milloy is against.
Really? Wait a minute. So you don't know what he's against. But you do know that he's against what David advocates for. Well alrighty then!

WRT to "Tiger Mom." I guess I can see how someone could make the case that Milloy was being racist by comparing Rhee to what another Asian said. In that vein, I assume it's also safe to say that those who think he was being racist, felt the same about Bill Clinton when commenting on Obama's SC victory said, "Jessie Jackson won South Carolina too." Did you instinctively think he was racist too? NVM. I'm sure you did.

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 3:52 pm • linkreport

@TM and Vinh An Nguyen

Funny you mention that... what was Mr. Mayor up to late last week, when he was in need of a rally 'round the flag effect from his base?

Going after the dirty Asian shops, of course!

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips/2012/07/13/mayor-gray-drug-warrior/

This ploy may very well be the most transparent act in the entire administration.

by Dizzy on Jul 16, 2012 3:54 pm • linkreport

He makes his money off of stoking class and racial resentments. Yeah I guess. But let's remember, he does work for the Wpost, an organization that makes a point to stoke class and racial resentments. Check their editorials. The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

He doesn't really care about any given issue at all. He's purely cynical in that sense.

Hmmm, I'll have to disagree. I can't imagine that there any many people (on either side of an issue) who don't actually care about anything and are all cynical. I certainly don't believe that's the case with Milloy. Cynical yes. But don't care about anything? Nahh

shred of evidence? anyone? He likely doesn't have any.

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 3:59 pm • linkreport

Other than that, I see nothing in what you have quoted thats actually about policy. Its all status resentment (Fenty didnt meet with the right people, and folks in fancy restaurants dont care about that).

But you're the one who said that Milloy was against "policies" that David (and the twits) advocated for. Now (again) you're saying that you can't find any policy he's against. Are you listening to yourself.

In their absence they take out their frustrations with the state of the country on people who are in fact liberals, who want to work with them, who pay taxes relatively cheerily, and who want those taxes spent mostly on social programs (with an occasional dog park or street car line).

And the flip side is that those liberals cheerily accuse those who don't agree with them of, wanting to take the city back, aren't interested in serious education reform, care more about teachers than students, don't care about crime etc. These are ALL things the "liberals" you mention accused their "friends" of believing.

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 4:12 pm • linkreport

"Other than that, I see nothing in what you have quoted thats actually about policy. Its all status resentment (Fenty didnt meet with the right people, and folks in fancy restaurants dont care about that).
But you're the one who said that Milloy was against "policies" that David (and the twits) advocated for. Now (again) you're saying that you can't find any policy he's against. Are you listening to yourself."

well when I first read the column, I read Milloy on the assumption he actually had policy concerns. However you have convinced me he does not. As always, i am willing to listen and to be persuaded.

"And the flip side is that those liberals cheerily accuse those who don't agree with them of, wanting to take the city back, aren't interested in serious education reform, care more about teachers than students, don't care about crime etc. These are ALL things the "liberals" you mention accused their "friends" of believing."

I'm thinking about the run of the mill DC young college grad, who often works for a liberal NGO, or a dem congressman, or whatever, and actually hangs at the newly chic eateries and cupcake shops and rides a bike. I doubt most of them would charecterize most non-college educated citizens of the city that way. They probably did think that Milloy might not care for education reform - again, Milloy is terribly confusing - its not clear what policies, if any, he cares about.

The Liberals at TNR kind of did get upset that Rhee was fired. I think that was because they really thought she was doing a good job. I dont think they were engaging in status politics.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 4:26 pm • linkreport

"No. I believe he was engaged in both. While you seem to agree that bike lanes are part of what makes DC a world class city..you're also arguing that there aren't people who think this so Milloy's snark is unfounded. Well ok. Doesn't make sense..but ok."

I believe bike lanes contribute to making DC a world class city, and I think there MAY be some more prominent folks who have said so. had Milloy left it at that it would be one thing. But he did not. He tossed in cupcakes and dog parks. Which makes me think it was less about a serious discussion of criteria for a world class city, and MORE about a kulturkampf.

"something he thinks the myops believe."

you honestly think Milloy thinks the Myops beleive that?

"In response to your suggestion that Milloy seems angry that Gray is pursuing policies that David is for, I countered that his article doesn't address such and that is DOES focus on how he's disappointed that the economic disparity has increased."

but why would he be angry at Gray, when theres precious little Gray can do about something driven by national economic trends? And when what little Gray CAN do requires more tax revenues, hence more development?

"I still dont know exactly what the MLTs are for that Milloy is against.
Really? Wait a minute. So you don't know what he's against. But you do know that he's against what David advocates for. Well alrighty then!"

Like i said, you've persuaded me that things I thought were Milloy positions (against bike lanes) really aren't.

"WRT to "Tiger Mom." I guess I can see how someone could make the case that Milloy was being racist by comparing Rhee to what another Asian said. In that vein, I assume it's also safe to say that those who think he was being racist, felt the same about Bill Clinton when commenting on Obama's SC victory said, "Jessie Jackson won South Carolina too." Did you instinctively think he was racist too? NVM. I'm sure you did."

Seeing a Obama and Jackson were both Dems running for president, and the South Carolina dem primary has a heavily black electorate, it seems like a pretty logical statement - it references race but in a way that has no racism (like someone mentioning that Joe Lieberman should do well electorally in NYC) . Ms Rhee was an education official, who wanted to change the way schools are run, and the way teachers and principals are evaluated. Ms Chua was a lawyer, whose only expertise relative to education was as a parent, and she had no opinion I know of on how teachers are evaluated - but rather on how parents should react to kids who want to quit piano lessons. The main thing they had in common was their race - and while Ms Chua explicitly refered to her background as related to her program, Ms Rhee certainly did not.

I hope you can see how these things are not parallel.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 4:37 pm • linkreport

well when I first read the column, I read Milloy on the assumption he actually had policy concerns.

Any policy argument he had was basically isolated to a discussion about the "economic chasm." What happens to those left behind is a matter of policy.

I saw the charge made through each and every outlet that supported Fenty. Yes, those college education bikers did make those assumptions about those of us who no longer supported Fenty. They likely thought that about Milloy because for them, the city was progressing in a way that were ultimately pleased with.

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 6:17 pm • linkreport

Seeing a Obama and Jackson were both Dems running for president, and the South Carolina dem primary has a heavily black electorate, it seems like a pretty logical statement - it references race but in a way that has no racism (like someone mentioning that Joe Lieberman should do well electorally in NYC).

WOW! You touched on the very issue many had w/Clinton's comments. That is, "of course he won, SC has a large black electorate. So they would support him because he's black." Obviously, you don't see the perceived slight. But I must say WOW because John Edwards ALSO won in "black" South Carolina almost 20 years AFTER Jessie Jackson ran. Clinton felt it necessary to go back a couple of decades and compare one black candidate to the other black candidate. And you think that's a logical comparison offering no evidence of racism? Joe Lieberman? Really? If that's the case, why not compare Obama to John Edwards..who isn't black?

However, Milloy using what one Asian said in describing someone else (who happens to be Asian) is definitely racial?

Again, wow!

by HogWash on Jul 16, 2012 6:28 pm • linkreport

I'll have to disagree, here.

It's not a scandal, it's election fraud and a likely illegitimate mayoralty.

The city isn't solid. So much of our government is in quicksand right now.

I think Dizzy said it best, as usual.

by Dave Stroup on Jul 16, 2012 7:50 pm • linkreport

Okay, so Fenty didn't like or get support from Thompson so he cut Thompson's medicaid funding by $16M. Thompson supported Gray so Gray got an extra $32M for Thompson. Graham didn't like that someone other than his financial supporter got the Metro site so he jawboned them out.

Is anything ever done because it's good or the right thing? Is anyone ever given a contract because they're the best or lowest bidder? Are we going to find corruption in the streetcar or performance parking programs? How much overhead does this pay-to-play cost?

It's an expensive way to run a city and any benefits to the intended recipients of programs seems sort of trickle down.

by Tom Coumaris on Jul 16, 2012 8:48 pm • linkreport

Hogwash

I saw no discussion of policy related to the chasm. its wider, so Milloy is unhappy about the mayors of DC. No discussion of how the mayors might have any impact on it, what policies they could do that they are neglecting to do, etc. Just - the chasm is getting wider, the people who supported Fenty are myopic little twits, and some references to bike paths, cupcakes, and dog parks. Unless Mr Milloy believes that the bike lanes and dog parks are responsible for the chasm getting worse (which you have convinced me he does not) thats not a policy discussion - its name calling and a culture war dog whistle.

as for Clintons comment, lets not get too off topic, but its very common members of oppressed minorities to vote for members of their own group, which was his point. I suppose he could have discussed Kennedy (any Kennedy) winning in Irish areas, or how Mondale did in areas with lots of Norwegians. Since Jacksons win was in the same state, with votes (mostly) from the same bloc, it was a logical parallel. I voted for Obama, and have supported him since he was inaugurated and intend to vote for him again - but the "Bill Clinton is racist" narrative was always absurd victimology (but fair game I suppose).

And Clintons motive was clear - he wanted to minimize the importance of his wife losing in south carolina, by attributing it to ethnic bloc voting, rather than her political weakness. What exactly is the motive Mr Milloy has in drawing a parallel between Ms Rhee and Ms Chua?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 16, 2012 9:05 pm • linkreport

@ChevyChaseDC

If an elected leader came to power by illegal means, he must resign or be removed.

But are you sure he came to power by illegal means? While an illegal shadow campaign was run, one tragic element of all of this is that it probably was unneccessary. Gray didn't win because he had more signs and t-shirts. Much of your argument is based on the assumption that he did.

You have to be pretty foolish to think that Gray had no knowledge of the shadow campaign while it was in progress in 2010,

Or, you just have to believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 9:03 am • linkreport

Policy-wise, the DC government under Gray has largely been a continuation of what it has done under Williams and Fenty.

Albeit at a much slower pace, and with little progress on education.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 9:06 am • linkreport

@JW

But Gray deceived the city, and whether or not he technically broke the law or not (and I expect he did), he knew or should have known that his campaign was undermining the integrity of the election, and that is reason enough to have him removed.

You're contradicting yourself. At the end you say "he knew or should have known" Which means you concede that he may not have known. If he didn't know, he wasn't deceiving the city. And not knowing that underlings are breaking the law isn't enough to be removed from office. If it were, no executive would last a year.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 9:12 am • linkreport

@Hogwash

How is referring to her as "Tiger Mom" racist?

He wouldn't have done it if she were white or black. It's also sexist. At the very least it brings her sex and gender into the conversation when both are irrelevant.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 9:15 am • linkreport

@Hogwash

, I assume it's also safe to say that those who think he was being racist, felt the same about Bill Clinton when commenting on Obama's SC victory said, "Jessie Jackson won South Carolina too." Did you instinctively think he was racist too?

Many people did. It's a little different because he's making a statment about demographics, and in that case race is relevant. It's not racist to say that blacks support Barack Obama more than whites do. But the comment did make me wince a bit.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 9:21 am • linkreport

This is one of the more disappointing things I've read here. Whether Gray knew about the shadow campaign or not -- and I really find it difficult to believe he didn't -- the city currently lacks a legitimately elected mayor. We should continue to have him coast at this job because his resignation could slow the streetcar? Wow.

This is beyond words. I feel the author is so focused on smart growth that, at this point, he's been blinded to all other issues in government.

by Ryan Holeywell on Jul 17, 2012 9:50 am • linkreport

Whether Gray knew about the shadow campaign or not -- and I really find it difficult to believe he didn't -- the city currently lacks a legitimately elected mayor.

I think whether or not Gray is guilty is incredibly relevant.

And I don't think you can say we don't have a legitimately elected mayor. Ballots weren't destroyed or stuffed. Voters weren't suppressed or faked. People went to the polls and voted. The idea that a bunch of signs, t-shirts and overpaid poll workers somehow stole the election is a bit insulting to voters. If more signs and t-shirts could win an election then Fenty would have won, because he spent more money. Much of that is fluff and there's no way it swung the election. Nor did the S. Brown business. What won the election was that a lot of people - rightly or wrongly - were disenchanted with Fenty, and Gray presented a valid alternative. None of these campaign misdeeds won the race for Gray and that may be the saddest part of it all.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 10:56 am • linkreport

Unless Mr Milloy believes that the bike lanes and dog parks are responsible for the chasm getting worse (which you have convinced me he does not) thats not a policy discussion - its name calling and a culture war dog whistle.

Sure it's name calling and culture war dog whistle? Is this something new in DC? Have you read the blogs and Milloy's own Post editorials? He is no different than the many others who play the same game.

I don't think you are black. So I understand why it's easier for you to assume that Clinton (who is white) didn't have any "racial" motivations in making his statement against Obama (who, like me, is black). Yet, it's that much easier for you to assume that Milloy (who is black) was making a racial statement about Rhee (who is Asian). And that's not absurd? Conveniently, you ignored the point that the "voting bloc" who voted for Jackson almost two decades earlier ALSO voted for John Edwards. So while race does have it's place, it doesn't explain why they voted for John Edwards in the same state. By your explanation, it seems as if you are predisposed to assuming racial motivations by blacks and will stumble all over yourself making excuses for whites. The Milloy/Clinton parallel is no better example of that. BTW, are you Asian or just offended for Asians in ways you consider absurd for blacks?

He wouldn't have done it if she were white or black. It's also sexist. At the very least it brings her sex and gender into the conversation when both are irrelevant. I don't believe you know what he would or wouldn't have done so let's stick with what we do know. You believe he was making a racial attack against Rhee by using the title from an author's (who happens to be Asian) controversial book about she educated her kids. I don't. We won't agree.

Many people did. It's a little different because he's making a statment about demographics, and in that case race is relevant. It's not racist to say that blacks support Barack Obama more than whites do.

Sure, and most of them were black who likely won't think that these parallels are "a little different" just because he made a point to invoke race. No, it's not racist to say that blacks support Obama more than whites. It's also not racist to say that blacks support democrats more than republicans. Which is why many of us scoffed at the notion offered by many Clinton supporters that it was somehow understandable why he would compare Obama to Jackson (two decades earlier) and not Edwards (four years earlier) but didn't mean to invoke race as a dismissing factor against Obama.

Yet again, Milloy said nothing about race and he's automatically branded racist. Clinton? Well nah, he was talking about demographics which was a fair point.

Wow!

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 11:03 am • linkreport

the city currently lacks a legitimately elected mayor.

Really? And your evidence of that is what? Were there shenanigans at the polling places? Did somebody muck up the ballots? Were they stuffed? Did Mickey Mouse vote?

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 11:05 am • linkreport

Oops...what David C said.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 11:05 am • linkreport

Hog

Edwards won over John Kerry in SC in 2004. There were no major black democratic candidates for president in 2004. Ergo, 2004 was not a test case of whether blacks would favor a black candidate for President, and was not relevant to the claim Clinton was making.

So yeah, I don't see how Clinton was racist based on that statement.

I would and am outraged when someone says something about blacks parallel to what Milloy said about asians. I do see that, mostly from our fellow citizens of the conservative persuasion. Im sure it happens from white liberals now and then, but I don't think your example is that, and I doubt any prominent Fenty supporters were guilty of it.

I think what Milloy said about Rhee, in that column, makes him sound more like Pat Buchanan (another who is good with implying things without committing himself) than like Bill Clinton.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 11:11 am • linkreport

I note al sharpton ran in 2004. So I guess Bill Clinton should have addressed how Edwards beat Sharpton. I do not think Sharpton was as serious a candidate as Jackson or Obama, and I dont think Mr Clinton meant to indicate that Obama was not a serious candidate - just that his win in SC did not mean Hillary's campaign was losing.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 11:18 am • linkreport

I don't believe you know what he would or wouldn't have done so let's stick with what we do know.

I think many people would agree with me that Courtland Milloy would not have called a black man a "Tiger Mom."

You believe he was making a racial attack against Rhee by using the title from an author's (who happens to be Asian) controversial book about she educated her kids

It's more than that, the book is - according to the subtitle - "a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones." So it's a book by an Chinese-American author about a Chinese way of raising children. It's much more than just a similarity between the author and Rhee.

scoffed at the notion offered by many Clinton supporters that it was somehow understandable why he would compare Obama to Jackson (two decades earlier) and not Edwards (four years earlier) but didn't mean to invoke race as a dismissing factor against Obama.

He was invoking race - or more accurately demographics - as a dismissing factor against Obama's win - not Obama. He was saying that a win in S.C. by a black candidate does not mean they will be the nominee because S.C. is not a bellweather - "just look at Jackson." Mentioning Edwards would not have played into that narrative. Had Hillary lost to a North Carolinian, he might have pointed to Edwards and said the same sort of thing, but this time using "favorite son" factors instead of demographics. I get that it's a sensative issue, but it's hardly the same. Race is relevant in politics, for good or bad, it is. But it isn't relevant in the way Milloy used it. That, in my mind, is the difference.

It's long way from saying "Like Jackson, Obama is black and that explains why he won S.Caroline" to saying "Like Jackson, Obama is black and that explains why he isn't qualified."

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 11:21 am • linkreport

"Yet again, Milloy said nothing about race and he's automatically branded racist."

I think Pat Buchanan has lodged similar complaints about being branded racist.

"Clinton? Well nah, he was talking about demographics which was a fair point."

Precisely. He WAS talking about electoral demographics. Exactly what Mr Milloy was talking about with his tiger mom reference has not been explained to me.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 11:21 am • linkreport

"You believe he was making a racial attack against Rhee by using the title from an author's (who happens to be Asian) controversial book about she educated her kids. I don't. "

it wasnt about how she educated her kids. She sent them to school to be educated. It was about how she parented them. How she told them what fields to pursue, what extracurriculars to engage in, whether or not to have playdates, etc, etc. IE it was NOT about education policies, such as Ms Rhee is associated with.

It would be like Bill Clinton saying "Obama won in south carolina, now he can put his "soul on ice""

How would you have felt about that?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 11:25 am • linkreport

@AWalker, WHEW!!! I'm glad you clarified because my mouth literally dropped after reading your post.

Yes, Al Sharpton also ran and didn't get anywhere close to John Edwards in SC. But I now see what the issue is. You think Clinton was merely making "factual" statements wrt to why Hillary's campaign was not losing. Most of those actually offended by it (mainly blacks) believe his statement were demonstrative of why he thinks Obama was not a serious candidate. Hence, "the other black guy won here too." IMO, drawing a parallel between a black guy who won two decades earlier while refusing to acknowledge the poor showing of "the other black guy" four years prior, among the same group/demographic undermines what you think he was suggesting.

This also speaks to what many of us experienced from our liberal friends who questioned our "real" motivations for supporting Obama. Our friends, yes our "friends" conveniently and consistently ignored how we have historically (upwards of 90%) supported democrat candidates who were 98% white...98% of the time. In their minds, it was only until there was a viable black candidate that we began to vote along racial lines. Previous voting patterns mattered not.

And I'm sorry, you're not going to convince anyone (not predisposed to thinking Milloy is racist) that Milloy referring to Rhee as Tiger Mom was pure racism. This is another matter on which we will not agree.

Again, I'm glad you realized that blacks in SC didn't vote for "the other black candidate."

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 11:43 am • linkreport

I think many people would agree with me that Courtland Milloy would not have called a black man a "Tiger Mom."

And many of those who would agree with you are likely those who would already believe Milloy is a racist. Men aren't often referred to as women. So yeah, you're right. He wouldn't have called a black MAN a Tiger Mom. A black woman? Sure he would.

I get that it's a sensative issue, but it's hardly the same. Since you acknowledge that, can we just agree to disagree? More importantly, you are not a member of the offended group so you are obviously not in the best position to speak to what we should be offended by. I do find it odd that while you admit that he did invoke race, you conclude that he didn't mean anything negative against Obama by it because race does matter in politics. OTOH, Milloy only has to "infer" race and be branded a racist.

It would be like Bill Clinton saying "Obama won in south carolina, now he can put his "soul on ice"" How would you have felt about that? The same way I felt about Milloy's statement, "whatever that means." What exactly does "soul on ice" refer to? I imagine that most people not predisposed to a knee-jerk reaction from Milloy would wonder the same thing, "Tiger Mom, whatever that means."

BTW, there are now three different interpretations of Clinton's comments, yours, DC's and mine. You don't believe Clinton was playing the race card, David and I do. But the distinction between DC and I is that DC believes it was a valid use of it because it happens in politics. I do.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 11:58 am • linkreport

"What exactly does "soul on ice" refer to?"

it was a book by Eldridge Cleaver. You might want to research more about him to figure out how troubling such a reference would have been, Just as Tiger Mom was a book by Amy Chua.

I don't think Clinton meant that Obama was not a serious candidate. BHO had already won the Iowa caucus. Just that Hillary losing in SC was something to be minimized. And yes, I do think the thing was blown up absurdly - but thats politics. I certainly hope that all the people so offended at the dissing of Obama then, will work super hard for his reelection now. Unless they think GOP policies are a less serious threat to african american well being that Clinton attempting to twist electin results to minimize his wife's loss.

I still don't get what Milloy was trying to say. If not racist, then its incoherent.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 12:06 pm • linkreport

@AWalker, nothing you will say is going to convince me. Likewise, nothing I will say will convince you otherwise. So can we just agree to disagree. Not one of your clarifications will make me believe that Clinton was talking about his wife "not losing" instead of "why Obama's not serious." We can go round for round but it will accomplish nothing.

I still don't get what Milloy was trying to say. If not racist, then its incoherent.

This is similar to yesterday. You weren't able to find anything Milloy wrote saying he's "against" the things DAl is for. But you knew he was against something. Here, you don't know what he was trying to say. But you knew he said something racist.

We won't reach a consensus here either. And that's ok.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 12:31 pm • linkreport

@hogwash

what he said SOUNDS like a racist antiasian dogwhistle to me. If its NOT, then its incoherent. What do YOU think he is trying to say with that remark?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 12:36 pm • linkreport

hogwash,

I'd like to second AWITC's question and expand it. What do YOU think Milloy was trying to say by referring to Rhee as a "Tiger Mom"? What do you think Clinton was really trying to say when he said “Jesse Jackson won in South Carolina twice, in ‘84 and ’88, and he ran a good campaign. And Senator Obama is running a good campaign.”?

BTW, I don't think Clinton was playing the race card, and my interpretation of what he was doing matches what AWITC thinks so I don't know why you said otherwise above. And that's what pretty much everyone else thinks too. The Times wrote at the time that "the blogosphere exploded with accusations that the former president was gratuitously mentioning him as a way of diminishing Mr. Obama’s candidacy and suggesting that his win in South Carolina would have little long-term significance." Which is exactly what we've been saying.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 1:00 pm • linkreport

A black woman? Sure he would.

OK. Find me one example of a time anyone has referred to a notable black woman as a tiger mom.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 1:01 pm • linkreport

A black woman? Sure he would.

BTW, aren't you the one who wrote "I don't believe you know what he would or wouldn't have done so let's stick with what we do know." Are you saying that YOU do know what he would or wouldn't have done? Because if so then I have to ask: are you Courtland Milloy?

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 1:03 pm • linkreport

To David C: "Much of that is fluff and there's no way it swung the election."

Really? You think they engaged in an entire shadow campaign even though they didn't think it would have any bearing on the election? What were they doing it for then? The thrill?

Whether he knew or not, Gray is the beneficiary of a campaign that apparently had no regard for elections law. Keeping him in office sends the message to future candidates that as long as they hire people who are willing to do ANYTHING to win -- and then plug up their ears as they break the law -- there isn't consequence.

by Ryan Holeywell on Jul 17, 2012 1:10 pm • linkreport

Nothing you will say is going to convince me. Likewise, nothing I will say will convince you otherwise. So can we just agree to disagree.

Let me say something about this too. First of all, it's a little bit insulting to AWITC. I like to think everyone here has an open mind and is willing to change their opinions when the facts change. In fact, he said that just that happened to him earlier. Maybe you're saying you can't make an argument strong enough to change his mind, but that isn't how it came off.

Second, changing people's minds shouldn't be the only goal. I suspect that you won't change my mind on this, and that I won't change yours; but I'd at least like to walk away with an understanding of what you think and why. I'm not trying to win, I'm trying to learn.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 1:22 pm • linkreport

You think they engaged in an entire shadow campaign even though they didn't think it would have any bearing on the election? What were they doing it for then? The thrill?

Just yesterday some campaign manager types were on NPR and they agreed that 90% of what you do in a campaign doesn't matter. The problem is, that at the time, you don't know which 90% won't matter. So you do everything. You raise more money. And you spend every dime of it. Even though you know that most of it won't matter at all. Why did they do it? Becasue at the time they thought they had to, or that it might matter. It didn't. And because they could, and you don't want to lose saying "I could've done more".

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 1:26 pm • linkreport

What do you think Clinton was really trying to say when he said “Jesse Jackson won in South Carolina twice, in ‘84 and ’88, and he ran a good campaign.

Oh my bad, I thought I already stated it upthread. I think what Clinton was really saying, "so what Obama won in SC! JJ (the other black candidate) won here too, SC does have a large black electorate you know."

You said that you believe Clinton invoked race to make a "fair" point about demographics. So you think he invoked race but didn't intend for it to be a dog-whistle attack dismissing Obama's win as a matter of race?

Ok, and as I said. We won't agree.

Also, if you really paid attention to what I've been saying, you would know that blacks viewed the attack much differently than our nonblack "friends." I don't know many blacks (outside of republicans) whose ear wasn't finely attuned to what we perceived as the usual case of people dismissing our success according to race. It's the affirmative action argument. So what someone says in the NYTimes is rather irrelevant and I can pretty much guess the the majority of those who agree with you..aren't black. But somehow you think they should be the authority on what we consider racial attacks?

I was @ the Rules and ByLaws Committee meeting at Woodley Park. I was standing next to the lady "Virginia something" who said that committee voted in Obama's favor all because he was a black man. So the idea that our nonblack "friends" (yes, she was a democrat) are somehow the authority on what black people see as racist is rather irrelevant. These same people leveled the same attacks against Obama when he was competing against Hillary and would argue you down that race was not a motivating factor.

And these SAME people are now arguing that similar attacks leveled by Republicans MUST be racial because...well it's because they're republicans. Dems wouldn't do it because they actually have (and like) black friends.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 1:27 pm • linkreport

"so what Obama won in SC! JJ (the other black candidate) won here too, SC does have a large black electorate you know."

That's what we all think he said. I don't understand what's racist about that.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 1:32 pm • linkreport

OK. Find me one example of a time anyone has referred to a notable black woman as a tiger mom.

I don't have an example. You said that you didn't think he would make that statement about anyone black. I disagreed. Outside of this discussion, Do you have an example of a time anyone has referred to ANY notable person (irrespective of race) as a Tiger Mom? The book just came out last year.

BTW, aren't you the one who wrote "I don't believe you know what he would or wouldn't have done so let's stick with what we do know. Are you saying that YOU do know what he would or wouldn't have done?

I thought we were both looking at the same issue and giving our opinions on what we "think." It's a no brainer that neither of us know (as fact) what he would'/n't do..which is why we're only able to offer our opinion.

I suspect that you won't change my mind on this, and that I won't change yours; but I'd at least like to walk away with an understanding of what you think and why. I'm not trying to win, I'm trying to learn.

But learn what? I told you what I thought and you responded that everyone else (like the NYTimes) agreed with you. I can't make you receptive to my argument. The only thing I can do is make it and then rightfully acknowledge that we will agree to disagree. What more are you hoping to learn? Way up top, I even acknowledged that we (the offended group) likely receive it in a manner different than our nonblack friends. But that's still not enough. If you haven't "learned" from the several posts on this topic, then what/when do you expect learn?

You said Milloy was being sexist. That's debatable. I'm not a woman, I wasn't offended...so I left it at that.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 1:43 pm • linkreport

"Also, if you really paid attention to what I've been saying, you would know that blacks viewed the attack much differently than our nonblack "friends." I don't know many blacks (outside of republicans) whose ear wasn't finely attuned to what we perceived as the usual case of people dismissing our success according to race."

What? Obama won in Iowa, where quite clearly his race did not help him. OTOH in South Carolina it did help him. Just being Catholic helped JFK in rhode island, and hurt him in West Virginia. Being Mormon will help Romney in Utah, and probably hurt in the deep south (but not enough to lose any of those states) Thats electoral politics in the USA. Thats not affirmative action.

" It's the affirmative action argument."

its not.

Some republicans were saying that Obama won the nomination because he was black, or that the media was favoring him for being black, or that he had become a Con law professor for being black (if I recall the GOP attacks). THOSE were "affirmative action attacks", fairly nasty ones. Saying that being black helps in some primaries is NOT the same thing. It really is not.

The reality is that some people in American politics ARE more friends to african american causes than certain other people. That may well be very uncomfortable for you. That discomfort does not change reality however.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 17, 2012 1:55 pm • linkreport

I thought we were both looking at the same issue and giving our opinions on what we "think."

Me too, but then you told me that I can't possibly know what Milloy would or wouldn't do. Look, I'm just asking you to live by your own rules.

But learn what?

Why you think what Bill Clinton said was racist, but what Milloy said wasn't. Which is why I keep asking those questions which you keep ignoring.

The only thing I can do is make it and then rightfully acknowledge that we will agree to disagree.

Ok, well I'm waiting for you to make your argument. You haven't.

Way up top, I even acknowledged that we (the offended group) likely receive it in a manner different than our nonblack friends.

I'm sorry, but that is cop out.

Let's recap. Many people said it was racist. You said you didn't get it. Then when explained you said that maybe it was racist, but then so was Bill Clinton 4 years ago, which really has nothing to do with Milloy except that it was a nice way to deflect. If Clinton was a card-carrying Klan member it doesn't change what Milloy said. In the next comment, without any explanation, you say you don't think what Milloy wrote was racist.

You next write that you can't convince anyone that what he wrote was racist - except of course all the people who think it was racist, whom you dismiss by assuming that they were all people who already had formed an opinion about him being racist. Which is a ridiculous position to take since you can't possibly know who all those people are and what they thought, but statistically it's unlikely. Go to the Post online version of this and read the comments. A lot of people found it racist, and it's incredible to think that they all had an opinion of him beforehand.

So you went from not understanding, to thinking it might be racist, to thinking it's not. But I've never heard why you think it's not racist. Only that you don't. So that is what I'm trying to learn.

All of which brings us back to the money question which you continue to dodge: What do YOU think Milloy was trying to say by referring to Rhee as a "Tiger Mom"?

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 2:21 pm • linkreport

Ok, well I'm waiting for you to make your argument. You haven't.

This statement pretty much sums up your what I consider your sole approach to learning discussing the issue. Nothing I've said amounts to an argument to you. Forget what I said about us agreeing to disagree. To you, I've yet to make an argument at all.

You specifically asked why I thought Clinton's statement was racial. But your response is that you're not convinced because I haven't laid out an argument otherwise. You asked why I thought Milloy's statement wasn't racist. But your response is that you're still waiting for me to stop dodging and answer the question. This leads me right back to my original point to AW that nothing I say will be convincing to you. And now you're right back to telling me that I haven't made an argument.

Ok David C., You (and the NY TIMES and all your friends [including the black ones]) win. Milloy was racist. Clinton wasn't.

Case closed.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 2:47 pm • linkreport

Ok David C., You (and the NY TIMES and all your friends [including the black ones]) win. Milloy was racist. Clinton wasn't

It's unfortunate that you have to deal with things in this way. It's unproductive.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 2:55 pm • linkreport

It's unfortunate that you have to deal with things in this way. It's unproductive

After 50-11 posts on the issue and you're still convinced that I've yet to make an argument, then yeah I will agree that this is an unproductive conversation. Since I assumed it would be more productive, I refused to tell you that you've yet to make an argument...because you did. What I consistently said is that I don't agree. OTOH, you don't believe and aren't willing to even say that I've made an argument you simply disagree with. You don't believe I've made one at all.

W/that in mind I'm not sure how you expected the conversation to be more productive. I felt like I've done my part by not totally dismissing your "argument."

So again, you (and the others) wins.

by HogWash on Jul 17, 2012 3:14 pm • linkreport

you're still convinced that I've yet to make an argument

Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding on my part. So, if you can just me the time code for the comment where you explained why you don't think Milloy's comment was racist and the one where you explained why you think Clinton's was, I'll go back and read those.

As for when I mad my argument, it was here and the one immediately following.

by David C on Jul 17, 2012 3:35 pm • linkreport

@David C: You're contradicting yourself. At the end you say "he knew or should have known" Which means you concede that he may not have known. If he didn't know, he wasn't deceiving the city.

I'm not contradicting myself. Close aides were organizing a massive illegal campaign on his behalf. He either knew or he was willfully/recklessly negligent in how he ran his campaign. If you close your eyes so that you don't see what is going on, you are just as liable for that willful blindness as you would be if you had actual knowledge. And he did deceive the city, because by making unity and clean governance the centerpieces of his campaign he was promoting himself as a man of virtue, integrity, and competence. The shadow campaign has shown that to be a lie.

by JW on Jul 17, 2012 4:01 pm • linkreport

What a digressive thread!

But it misses the point. We *all* know that Gray is going to resign -- probably soon. Even the most devout loyalists have to admit the likelihood is very, very high. That's reality.

Any discussion should be focused on what to do next. DC is the protagonist of our tale here, not some befuddled and/or crooked mayor. Where do we go from here?

by tresluxe on Jul 17, 2012 9:23 pm • linkreport

He either knew or he was willfully/recklessly negligent in how he ran his campaign.

That's pure supposition at this point.

If you close your eyes so that you don't see what is going on, you are just as liable for that willful blindness as you would be if you had actual knowledge.

What evidence do you have of willful blindness? And also, that's not how the law works. What you know matters, so they aren't the same thing and you aren't just as liable.

by making unity and clean governance the centerpieces of his campaign he was promoting himself as a man of virtue, integrity, and competence

Was clean governance really a centerpiece of the campaign? I don't recall that.

Nonetheless, it's entirely possible that he didn't know what was going on and that he didn't know for honest reasons - like he trusted his staff. It doesn't require willful blindness to be fooled by people you trust (ask many a cheated on spouse).

But why don't you find me the exact lie he told (a quote), and we can work from that.

by David C on Jul 18, 2012 1:30 am • linkreport

We *all* know that Gray is going to resign

I put the odds at 80%. But I'll bet $1 to your $10,000 if you're so sure.

by David C on Jul 18, 2012 1:31 am • linkreport

@David C:

Was clean governance really a centerpiece of the campaign? I don't recall that.

Perhaps not, I suppose I am just remembering the huge to do over the contracts to Fenty's frat brothers, and how often Gray supporters would bring that up when Fenty supporters were arguing against Gray.

What evidence do you have of willful blindness? And also, that's not how the law works. What you know matters, so they aren't the same thing and you aren't just as liable.

It depends on the law, but quite frequently that IS how the law works. If you objectively should have known something, that knowledge will be imputed to you regardless of whether or not you actually had it (obviously not true of every law, but often enough). And my evidence is the fact that it happened. Articles about Gray often mention he is detail-oriented. I don't need proof beyond a reasonable doubt here.

Nonetheless, it's entirely possible that he didn't know what was going on and that he didn't know for honest reasons - like he trusted his staff.

I doubt this is really a possibility, given how large the corruption was and how close it was to him. But even if it is true, it suggests a level of incompetence that makes asking for his resignation reasonable.

by JW on Jul 18, 2012 10:20 am • linkreport

David C-
You are being willfully ignorant if you don't recall integrity and ethics being the centerpiece of Gray's campaign. A smattering of coverage from the Washington Post for you:

May 6, 2010
Vincent C. Gray's campaign strategy to cast himself as the more ethical candidate against incumbent Adrian M. Fenty is a risky gamble for a relative newcomer who has yet to withstand the scrutiny and hardball tactics of a high-profile mayoral election, political observers and strategists say.

April 25, 2010
"People in this city . . . want a mayor with the integrity to put an end to cronyism and put the people first," said Gray, a reference to the controversy surrounding city parks and recreation contracts awarded to firms with ties to Fenty. "My friends, make no mistake, I intend to be that mayor."

The D.C. Council chairman's campaign kickoff speech April 24 was loaded with terms such as "cronyism" and "pay to play" as he criticized Fenty's mayoral record and designated himself the candidate to "restore a public trust in city hall."

September 10, 2010
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray said Thursday that he will ask federal law enforcement officials to investigate reports that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's reelection campaign offered young adults jobs in exchange for their votes, a potential violation of federal election law."We are deeply concerned," Gray said at a news conference in front of his campaign headquarters in Chinatown. "There are very few things that are more sacrosanct, sacred, than the voting process, and we want to make sure it's fully preserved in the city.

September 9, 2010
With five days to go until the election and fresh polls showing Gray maintaining his lead, the mayor and council chairman are trading accusations of "cronyism" and mismanagement in an effort to gain advantage in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

July 16, 2010
Gray called the Fenty administration's transfer of city funds to the D.C. Housing Authority to award the contracts "surreptitious, clandestine and circuitous." The rerouting bypassed the council, which must authorize contracts exceeding $1 million. Gray, who began his campaign in March with a promise to return integrity and accountability to the mayor's office, peppered his responses Thursday by frequently using the word "cronyism."
"If you are a fraternity brother or someone associated with the mayor, you will get a contract," he said.

Should I go on?

by Ryan Holeywell on Jul 18, 2012 10:22 am • linkreport

@Ryan: Thank you for those quotes, I didn't think I was imagining that, but didn't go back into the WP archives to find proof.

@David C: Please consider those quotes in relation to what I said. Those statements, particularly the remark about the sanctity of the voting process, show a stunning level of hypocrisy. If he knew or closed his eyes so he wouldn't know, he lied. If he legitimately was such a careless manager that he truly had no idea, he's incompetent. Either way, he should be gone.

by JW on Jul 18, 2012 10:38 am • linkreport

And my evidence is the fact that it happened. Articles about Gray often mention he is detail-oriented. I don't need proof beyond a reasonable doubt here.

You have evidence of blindness, not the willful part. As to what proof you need, I think you need more than reasonable doubt to overturn the will of the people. I don't care for Gray, but I do care for justice and I do care for respecting the outcome of elections. I'm certainly no supporter of Wisconsin's governor, but I would have voted against recall because I think the standard should be very high for removing duefully elected officials. What we have here is evidence that the campaign broke the rules, but the election was clean. As Harry Jaffe pointed out, when Tony Williams' campaign broke the law, no one called for him to resign, and he was in fact elected - despite the same opening to claims that he "should have known" and that he was "willfully blind".

Details oriented <> omniscient. Prove that he knew about this, and I'll call for him to resign too, but until then, he has only been a poor manager, that isn't enough to force someone to office.

But even if it is true, it suggests a level of incompetence that makes asking for his resignation reasonable.

Should Williams have resigned after his campaign submitted fraudulent documents?

by David C on Jul 18, 2012 11:52 am • linkreport

Ryan,

You are being willfully ignorant if you don't recall integrity and ethics being the centerpiece of Gray's campaign.

I can insure you that I'm never willfully ignorant. Why would anyone choose ignorance? I am, however, often the regular kind of ignorant. I thank you for setting me straight, but I could do without the insults.

by David C on Jul 18, 2012 11:54 am • linkreport

If he knew or closed his eyes so he wouldn't know, he lied.

Agreed. Now prove that he knew of closed his eyes so he wouldn't know. The critical word here is "if".

If he legitimately was such a careless manager that he truly had no idea, he's incompetent. Either way, he should be gone.

Well, one mistake does not incompetence make, but regardless, I don't agree that incompetence is enough to force someone from office. Or at the very least, the incompetence has to be much much worse than this.

by David C on Jul 18, 2012 11:59 am • linkreport

I think you need more than reasonable doubt to overturn the will of the people.

I disagree. I think we can and should hold our elected officials to a higher standard than "well it hasn't yet been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that I participated in a conspiracy to corrupt the election."

Should Williams have resigned after his campaign submitted fraudulent documents?

No, but that article also discussed why that was such a different story. Williams took action, coming clean with what he knew, firing his campaign manager, and apologizing to the city. He also ran a write-in campaign, which allowed the voters to decide that they still wanted him.

Well, one mistake does not incompetence make, but regardless, I don't agree that incompetence is enough to force someone from office. Or at the very least, the incompetence has to be much much worse than this.

His senior campaign aides participating in a conspiracy with a major donor to run a separate campaign, all under his nose? I guess I just disagree with you again, because I think that is reason enough to remove him.

by JW on Jul 18, 2012 1:42 pm • linkreport

JW -- I like you man. Hit me up on Twitter. Let's get a beer. Not kidding!

by Ryan Holeywell on Jul 19, 2012 11:46 am • linkreport

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