The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Breakfast results: Less Brown, more rainbow

Photo by catwommn on Flickr.
Grosso beats Brown: Among victories for Barack Obama, Tim Kaine, and John Delaney, David Grosso beat Michael Brown for the non-Democratic at-large seat. The race focused primarily on ethics, both Brown's personally and the Council's as a whole. (Post)

Voters say yes: Maryland, Maine and Washington became the first 3 states to support marriage equality in a referendum, while Minnesota rejected a constitutional ban. The DREAM Act, redistricting map, and gambling also passed in Maryland, as did eminent domain restrictions in Virginia. (Post, Patch)

Capitol Hill upholds Hine: In all 3 ANC races putting a Hine supporter against a Hine opponent, the Hine supporter won: Brian Pate, Ivan Frishberg, and Philip Peisch in an open seat. Nichole Opkins also unseated Hine opponent Jared Critchfield.

Students do well: The 2 students running in competitive ANC elections were victorious, including George Washington University junior Patrick Kennedy over the incumbent who said students shouldn't participate in civic affairs.

Euille and Dems win Alexandria: Alexandria mayor Bill Euille won reelection in Alexandria, and the city council will now be all Democrats. Many of the races, including Euille's, turned largely on development and the waterfront plan.

Rail wins in Hawaii: Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell was reelected with a clear majority in a race that largely became a referendum on Hawaii's long-planned elevated rail, with his opponent promising to cancel the line. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

All the transportation votes: Many other states and localities featured ballot measures for transportation. Alameda County's and Los Angeles' sales tax measures got over 60% but not the needed 2/3 under California law. (The Overhead Wire)

Lines were long: Marion Barry called for a council investigation into the Board of Elections for long lines in DC. Voters also waited in line up to 4 hours after the polls closed in many states, including Virginia (WAMU, Post)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. 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 now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


Add a comment »

The failure of Measure J was the one dark spot on an otherwise great night. Super-majorities are simply undemocratic.

by gob on Nov 7, 2012 9:00 am • linkreport

The eminent domain question did pass but I don't think it'll be a watershed moment in planning in Va.

by drumz on Nov 7, 2012 9:17 am • linkreport

Thanks to CityPaper for a poll showing people who the top candidates were in the at-large race. We haven't had this before and it could have helped in recent elections (Biddle).

There will be another election to fill Mendo's vacant at-large seat in April.

by Tom Coumaris on Nov 7, 2012 9:30 am • linkreport

Less brown? Didn't Obama win last night?

Does John Delaney still own that house on Foxhall? I knew him when he was living in Hillendale.

by charlie on Nov 7, 2012 9:31 am • linkreport

We should get one of the Michael Browns to change his name to Vincent.

by iaom on Nov 7, 2012 9:55 am • linkreport

Yay for Question 1!

Another blow for control-freak-central-planners "WHY DON'T

And not a reason to fret, GGW commentariat. If people want it, they will develop it.

by Ironchef on Nov 7, 2012 9:58 am • linkreport

Residents of Maryland just made it clear that they're ok with gerrymandering.

by Fitz on Nov 7, 2012 9:59 am • linkreport

One of my coworkers has been really upset about the redistricting in Maryland. He's really upset about every item and candidate going the exact opposite of how he wanted, but the redistricting is the one he has chosen to be vocal about.

by selxic on Nov 7, 2012 10:04 am • linkreport

Interesting to note that Dan Wittels came in fourth place for the ANC 1B12 seat. ANC 1B12 is a new district and covers many of the restaurants and bars on U Street. Wittels is on the board of a group trying to get a liquor license moratorium on U Street.

by Eric Fidler on Nov 7, 2012 10:14 am • linkreport

I don't think Brian Pate or Ivan Frischberg are "pro-Hine", but rather "getting Hine right". Pro-Hine would be Garrison, Oldenburg, and former ANC Metzger. I suspect the author here is "pro-Hine" (or maybe "pro-Big-Hine"). Oldenburg and Metzger also were pro-StantonEastBanc, which has been a more important dynamic. Pate and Frischberg definitely not pro-SEB.

by sweeney on Nov 7, 2012 10:17 am • linkreport

So glad to see The Free State approve gay marriage (along with ME and WA)!

It's too bad that gay marriage will never see the light of day in Virginia, or any other Southern state for that matter, unless the Supreme Court forces them to recognize it. (It actually took the Supreme Court to force Virginia to allow blacks to marry whites)

The gay marriage train is rolling! Next Stop: NEW JERSEY

by One4All on Nov 7, 2012 11:36 am • linkreport

Some follow up on the Metro time change fiasco is definitely in order. They're being awfully secretive about it and it's a pretty massive screw-up. I understand one or two people getting mixed up. (Every year, I mix up which part of the year is "EDT" and which is "EST.") But, not one Station Manager, Police Officer, or Train Operator said, "Hey, aren't we supposed to be open another hour?" when they were told to go home? I find that hard to believe. If objections weren't raised, that says a lot about the culture at Metro generally, and doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that low-level employees would bring more serious concerns to the attention of management. If objections were raised and ignored, that creates serious questions about the judgment of the individual who decided to proceed with the shutdown.

Also, GGW might want to consider a FOIA request to find out if employees got paid for that missing hour...

by Jimmy on Nov 7, 2012 12:00 pm • linkreport

Needing a 2/3rd's majority is ridiculously undemocratic. A no vote is worth 2 yes votes. How is that even considered constitutional? 65% voted yes but that isn't enough? This is worse than the stupid 60 votes to get anything done rules of the US Senate!

by NikolasM on Nov 7, 2012 12:01 pm • linkreport

Re: Gerrymandering in MD
I accidentally voted to support the gerrymandering. When I got to the ballot and read it, it was not clear what a vote 'y' or 'n' was going to do and I couldn't remember from my prior reading (more than a month ago).

I think the ballot language was very misleading and omitted important information. It included the phrase " is the constitutional law" (something like that), so it made it sound like if you voted against it you were voting against federal constitutional law for redrawing the boundaries following the census.

Yes it was my responsibility to know for certain before i got there but the language on the ballot was unhelpful, poorly written, misleading and omitted important information.

by embarressed on Nov 7, 2012 12:29 pm • linkreport

Sooo does Question 7 (Gambling) fund Question 4 (Dream Act)?

Will Maryland have an influx of more affluent illegal immigrants due to the question 4 law? (More K-12 students?)

by jcs on Nov 7, 2012 12:52 pm • linkreport

Talking about having the last laugh.

Vincent Orange was roundly criticized for his behavior, suggesting that Brown was unfit for office. VO was roundly NOT supported to fill the Chair slot nor the no. 2. Most people roundly supported Brown over Orange.

Now look at what happened.

Talking about having the last laugh. Geesh!

by HogWash on Nov 7, 2012 1:16 pm • linkreport


Gay Marriage will CERTAINLY be a reality in VA at some point in the next 15 years or so. The demographics are simply too strong. Gay marriage is supported by huge numbers among the under 35 crowd, and opposed by huge numbers in the 65+ crowd. While the under 35 crowd ages, and are replaced by new under 35 who will also strongly favor these rights, reality dictates that current 65+ are passing away over the next 15-20 years. Even in states like NC will see this change over the next 15 years or so.

by Kyle-W on Nov 7, 2012 1:35 pm • linkreport

@ Kyle-W

Unfortunately the changing demographics won't make a difference. (Northern) Virginia's demographics have been changing for the last 20+ years, but Obama only won last night by the thinnest of margins, and if it wasn't for his "macaca" comments, wingnut, Confederate flag-flying Allen would be a VA Senator come January.

Super liberal states like Maryland (2/3 Democrat) only passed gay marriage by the skin of their teeth, including in the General Assembly. Changing demographics certainly help, but you won't hear Virginia Democrats even mention the words "gay marriage" anytime in the near future.

Consider the steps that would have to be taken just to get it passed:

1. A Democratic Governor (which VA currently doesn't have), and one who is willing to sign a gay marriage bill.
Christie in NJ has proven that moderate Repubs won't.

2. a) Senate willing to pass a gay marriage bill
b) House willing to pass a gay marriage bill
This is the biggest hurdle and its extremely unlikely for even one, much less both to happen. Maryland Democrats hold huge majorities in both chambers, but the vote was still down to the wire with a lot of eleventh hour negotiations. Republicans not only control both chambers of Virginia's General Assembly, but there are also a large number of Democrats who wouldn't even consider voting for a gay marriage bill).

3. Repeal of constitutional amendment banning gay marriage by voters.
Another huge hurdle (see: Proposition 8 in very liberal CA), especially considering how North Carolina voters approved their own constitutional ban earlier this year (the final state in the South to do so).

4. Other intermediate steps
A number of steps between the outright ban of gay marriage and its full legalization, would have to be taken first such as recognizing marriages performed in other states and legalizing same-sex civil unions.

If gay marriage does come to Virginia in the next decade it will be because the feds (the Supreme Court) force the state to adopt it. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later. Until then VA Democrats should aim for the low-hanging fruit.

by One4All on Nov 7, 2012 3:05 pm • linkreport

or, One4All, the u.s. supreme court will force all states to either perform gay marriages (a la Loving v. Virginia with interracial marriages) or recognize marriages performed elsewhere (this seems more likely to me in the short term and could even be construed as a states' rights issue--states have generally recognized marriages performed in other states as valid; why should DC or MD or NY lack the power to have its marriages enforced in other states?)

by sbc on Nov 7, 2012 3:38 pm • linkreport


I understand there are a lot of steps to take. I do not think it happens in the next decade, but come 2025, getting elected in VA if you are anti gay-marriage is going to be increasingly difficult.

I am not talking demographics of Northern VA alone, I am talking the entire state. I think it is fair to say that even in Lynchburg, there is higher support among young people than 65+. With that said, every day, there are more people reaching voting age who are pro gay-marriage, and less 65+ who are anti-gay marriage.

by Kyle-W on Nov 7, 2012 3:53 pm • linkreport


Yep, that's what I was saying will be the most likely route to gay marriage in VA.


All of what you say is true, but despite the increasingly favorable views towards gay marriage (I'm sure even the three ballot measures passed yesterday have encouraged some opponents to reconsider their stance) it will still be a daunting challenge for many states, including Virginia, without federal intervention.

by One4All on Nov 7, 2012 4:20 pm • linkreport


Totally agree. I do think in the next 15-20 years we will see it though. Think how much the landscape has changed over the past ten years. With the President now supporting it, and three states voting for it yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised to see that momentum pick up a bit more pace.

by Kyle-W on Nov 7, 2012 4:31 pm • linkreport

@ Kyle-W and One4All: You are forgetting Federal Recognition. I think it's highly likely that once the Defense of Marriage act goes down before SCOTUS (and it will), Obama will immediately make the Feds recognize gay marriage. That is a huge improvement for gay people. Once that's happened, it will be very hard for states to deny people their rights, even if SCOTUS does not void all the constitutional amendments. Slowly but surely, those constitutional amendments will go down.

by Jasper on Nov 7, 2012 9:13 pm • linkreport

@Fitz: As another commenter said, the language on the ballot was misleadingly vague. It basically looked like like a pro-forma let the government do its job type of question, and with all the attention on Questions 4, 6, and 7, you can forgive voters for not knowing about it going in. The proponents of the referendum put relatively little energy into informing people, though the editorial boards of most media outlets (including ggw) did their best.

The challenge: In a veto referendum, the essence being voted on is the law that has been enacted. In this case, the essence is a map, but ballots only contain words, rather than maps. So perhaps the only way for a veto referendum on redistricting to win is for poll workers to hand out the maps. That would take a well-organized campaign.

by Jim T on Nov 8, 2012 8:22 am • linkreport

@Jim T-if the ballot language had included the 4 word phrase "...accept the redrawn districts..." it would have been clear what voting "for" or "against" was intending. Maybe its conspiratorial thinking but I can't help but think the elections board who wrote and approved the language knew it was vague and misleading.

by embarressed on Nov 8, 2012 11:07 am • linkreport

@embarrased: If I follow, you already knew that the question was about gerrymandering, but just were not sure whether "yes" or "no" was a vote to veto the legislature's enactment. I agree that people should not have to guess whether yes or no means "approve the legislation."
But I think that the legislation was approved by more than 2:1 because most people did not even realize that it was a question about gerrymandering. They were just reading the referendum for the first time when they came into the polling place.
Including the reference "as required by the constitution" was completely superfluous, and the fact that it was in there shows that the proponents of the veto referendum had simply moved on to other things. There was no genuine campaign. Maybe in 2022, when there won't be a Presidential election going on, a few good government advocates will push the matter more forcefully.

by Jim T on Nov 8, 2012 3:01 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

You can use some HTML, like <blockquote>quoting another comment</blockquote>, <i>italics</i>, and <a href="http://url_here">hyperlinks</a>. More here.

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.


Support Us