Adrian Fenty, Republican?

Photo courtesy of
‘Mayor Fenty 502’
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

The results of the DC Election just got a bit more interesting.  This morning, DCBOEE released the totals of write-in candidates (PDF) for the Republican and Statehood Green party ballots, and the winner of the Republican primary for Mayor was Adrian Fenty.  He has until 4:45pm today to issue the board a letter of intent to accept the nomination if he wishes to have his name on the ballot this November.  Could he choose to run again in November?

So, let’s put aside the fact that yesterday he raised Vincent Gray’s hand in a Unity Rally for the Democrats, and that he point blank said he wouldn’t run as a Republican.  Could he succeed with a Republican campaign this fall?  Let’s look at a few numbers:

  1. There are approximately 30,000 Republican voters registered in the District of Columbia.
  2. There are approximately 73,000 voters registered with no party in the District of Columbia.
  3. Each of these voters were unable to cast ballots for Fenty that would “matter” in the September primary.
  4. Fenty lost the primary by approximately 9,000 votes in an election that had approximately 33% turnout.
  5. 33% turnout of 103,000 voters is is just under 34,000 votes.  You’d need to win 2/3rds of those votes to overcome the gap from the Primary.  Take into account that the 73,000 No Party voters are a complete wildcard and it looks a lot harder.

So, those are the numbers here.  What’s the reality?  His campaign has to be just about broke.  He had pledged to leave it all on the court for the September Primary, and it’s looking like that’s exactly what happened, so he’d need to start raising cash, and a lot of it, for a 7-week run as a Republican.  Now, if he could work to gain the loyalty of the District’s Republicans, that might well happen, given that school reform is as near and dear to their hearts as lower taxation and regulation, so there’s the potential he might be able to pull off enough of a money run to make it conceivable.

Would it be the right thing to do?  That’s where the biggest question exists.  Part of me says, you take your lumps in the primary, and you work to better the city in other non-elected-office ways for the next couple years while considering a comeback after a first term of Gray.  Part of me says, if you really believe in what you were doing, you’ll take any chance and run any risk in order to make a difference for the city you care about.

Should Fenty run as a Republican?  There’s a case for either side.  Tell us what you think in this poll:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Update, 1:00pm: The DCBOEE has ruled that even if he wanted to, Adrian Fenty was not eligible to be the Republican candidate for Mayor on this November’s ballot. Fenty would have to have been a member of the Republican Party on September 14th, and unless a late registration shows up, it’s all academic at this point. We do have some results from our totally unscientific survey though:

Should Adrian Fenty accept the Republican nomination?
Yes: 66.3%
No: 23.1%
Undecided: 10.6%

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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48 thoughts on “Adrian Fenty, Republican?

  1. According to the release, he has to also be a member of the Republican party, not sure if he can change his affiliation now.

  2. This is useless speculation, nothing more than beating a dead horse. Anyone who knows anything about DC politics, even Fenty — narcissistic and pig-headed as he is — knows that DC Dems don’t cross party lines. By switching parties and running as a Republican, or even as an independent, Fenty would only further incite the wrath of the electorate. Folks who didn’t vote in the Democratic primary would turn out in DROVES, flaming torches, crucifixes and garlic wreaths in hand — just to sledgehammer in the heart-piercing stake, to pound the final nail in Fenty’s political coffin. GOP and undecided voters could not, would not prevail against a second “populist revolt.”

    Those seriously hoping for a Fenty GOP mayoral must not be familiar with the political career of Carol Schwartz. They could not have read or taken to heart Courtland Milloy’s column in yesterday’s WaPo.

    Payback is a b*tch, but revenge is a muthaf*****.

    Stick a for in him. Fenty’s done.

  3. I think it would be interesting, since politics are to cross party bounds… if he does switch, it’d may end up in more unity. You never know… I doubt he’d really abandon the platform he’s established.. and to stick it, I think DC still needs Rhee in there for the schools… not sure about everything else…

  4. “Racist screed”? Oh, like all the (essentially) “those n-words can’t govern themselves” comments from sour-grapes yuppie Dems whose candidate lost Tuesday night? ;)

    Here’s one (reason) to take Courtland Milloy’s column seriously. In terms of the way the Dem base in this town sees it, it’s absolutely DEAD-ON.

  5. Vincent Gray may have said something about uniting the city, but it sure is clear to me that his followers didn’t get the message. Milloy’s screed is bunk. I may have preferred Fenty’s take no prisoners approach to school reform, but I don’t think it’s a disaster for Gray. Milloy’s Ward 9 paean to the age of Marion Barry has no place in a civil discourse.

    Peddle your crazy somewhere else.

  6. Fenty doesn’t seem too concerned with a “political career”…he was passionate about doing what was right for the District.

    For once, I am proud to say I had a representative and political leader who had courage. I think its a sad day for Democracy when political courage results in one’s downfall.

  7. “Civil discourse”? At no time did Milloy attack anyone; he told the straight-up truth as many see it. That is all.

    Concerned about “civility”? Tell it to the many angry Fenty supporters sounding more like Jim Crow-era segregationists, claiming the Black people of this town don’t have the intelligence to govern themselves — simply because they see things differently. Fenty loses an election, and so entrenched is the yuppie sense of entitlement, they can’t STAND it and resort to the kind of idiotic rhetoric that reinforces the continuing disenfranchisement of District voters — across ethnic and economic lines.

  8. I’m pretty sure that Milloy called me a twit:

    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.

    I’m part of that creative class, yes, and I’m part of that social media crowd.

    Get bent.

  9. Hey, an attack’s an attack, it doesn’t matter if it’s made with polite language, or if it’s made with racial epithets. It’s still the same kind of bullshit intolerance society just doesn’t need.

    This is the kind of hyped up class warfare language that the city doesn’t need right now. I heard some dismay from my DC friends on Tuesday night, but those were moments of frustration and not abandonment. We’re not seeing some mass exodus to Arlington (I’m guessing, to your dissatisfaction) here of the creative class that live and work in this city because Fenty didn’t win.

    Seriously: peddle your crazy elsewhere.

  10. You’re hilarious. I think it’s quite clear to anyone reading this exchange who’s being myopic and uncivil here. You’re so beside yourself, you don’t even see how ludicrous your contention is that calling someone a “twit” is on par with nonstop racist vitriol (we’re talking DAYS and DAYS of it–just read the reader comments section of any related WaPo article, or Twitter), that your nastiness and profanity betray your own failure to practice the very civility you preach.

    BTW, one of the surest signs of limited vocabulary in the service of a weak argument is the inability to express oneself without the use of coarse language.

    You fail.

  11. I’m beside myself? Really, I am? Where’d you get that? I’m pretty calm.

    I’m not interested in the Post’s comments section, or WTOPs; those places aren’t where the creative class that Milloy is so angry with hang out. They’re too busy building things to get lost in that crazytown.

    Also: you’re upset because I used bullshit twice? Both times in reference to the kind of intolerance that Milloy is preaching on the pages of the Post? Wow, now who’s myopic?

  12. I just realized I’ve been having an exchange with the guy who wrote this article, and that he’s one of the founders of this website.

    Just … day-um. lol

    Well, actually, it’s kinda sad/pathetic….

  13. The issue is people are not looking for a Machiavellian Prince to rule DC but they are looking for a leader that will work with them, listen to them, and keep them involved. I’m not sure what people don’t get about that?!?! This is not about rejecting progress, Fenty lost because many people in DC rejected the notion that the “ends justify the means”!

  14. Yes, he should do it and he could pull this off.
    The only thing Fenty needs to change is his public perception. The most important value he needs to embrace is his commitment to lasting and meaningful school reform. It would be a challenge, but Fenty is used to challenges, and for the good of the children, he should run as a Republican.

  15. This article about Fenty’s Repub nomination has a priceless typo:

    “Elected an eater young reformer four years ago,”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself…

  16. Thanks DC duh,

    But given the fact that the general counsel at DCBOEE wasn’t sure what the case law said until 7am, and he’s an actual attorney, I’m not going to feel too bad about it.

    The original is a valid question when the results were announced.

  17. @deeceevoice I really hope you’re not holding up Milloy’s article as an accurate or respectable example of journalism. Really Milloy? You’re going to compare the Fenty administration to plantation owners? Really? When did op-eds before the platform for pure opinion, evidence-less, pieces?

    Furthermore, when did handholder and babysitter get added to the DC Mayoy’s job description? When did our elected officials have to listen to every single individual and come up with a miraculous solution that worked perfectly for every faction?

    We elect officials because we believe they can get the job done. We believe they’re going to take on the hard, difficult, necessary issues and make our city better. Are tough decisions going to be made. Yes. Is everyone going to get their way. No.

    It’s time we grow thicker skins and look to tangible results (like drastically improved school performance) when electing/re-electing officials, instead of voting on personality and having our feelings heard.

  18. When did op-eds before the platform for pure opinion, evidence-less, pieces?

    You’re new to the WaPo editorial page I take it.

    I’m disappointed to see Milloy’s nonsense getting any discussion at all, anywhere. To even address his points is to play his game and nothing in that vomitus volume of vitrol deserves engagement.

    It’s also playing right into the WaPo editoral board’s continuing strategy of “hippie punching,” where they make an effort to provoke anyone on the left in an effort to get themselves eyeballs. Running nutters like Thiessen and Krauthammer lets them try to court the neocon crowd (that’s still never going to see them as anything other than Nixon-killers) but they’re okay with letting the left on there as long as it’s part of the traditional circular firing squad.

    But if we step out of rooting in the garbage for a minute, I have to firmly disagree about this other parallel narrative that’s come up about Fenty being unfairly set aside after delivering results. Whether you give any credit for the reforms having started under his predecessor Williams, to ignore the need of a politician to communicate with their constituency is a major mistake.

    Not only is it necessary to get re-elected, as Fenty discovered, it’s a very reasonable part of the job. The government takes our money and spends it on things, some of them even inconveniencing us with projects that are counter our personal interests or curtail our liberties. To do that without making an effort to convince us that our cash is being well-spent is a failure of the job. To take it and present an attitude of “I know what’s best, just let me do it” is a complete failure to your customers, the taxpayers.

  19. @Don I totally agree with you. “I know what’s best, just let me do it” is a major political mistake.

    However, as a DC resident, I don’t feel like that was the case with Fenty. I completely understood how and why he was spending my tax money and I approved of it.

    While the Gray campaign may claim they won because Fenty wasn’t listening to the populist, the fact is that the overwhelming tone of Gray campaign was that the Fenty administration was only focused on helping the white middle class. They positioned Fenty as an elitist, white-washer and that is just blatantly a misrepresentation of the facts.

  20. Everything I have read since the election hit the radar a month ago from either side agrees Fenty and Rhee did a great job. They accomplished a lot by assailing entrenched problems no one else had addressed for years. For people who live in DC, performance matters more than attitude, unless you are one of the under-performers. And based upon the vote, it’s my guess that DC has a majority of people who seem to think that their color, union membership or political connections should get them a pass on performance scrutiny. Gray will bring change for sure to Fenty’s way of doing things. Those who voted for Gray will love him, and the rest will take their money out of the city. Sadly, the people who voted against Gray are the ones with the money.

  21. A quickie entry. I’m crunching a deadline. Sorry if it’s disjointed. No time to proof/edit.

    No Fenty fan here has addressed the very real issues surrounding his performance and Rhee’s, the corruption and cronyism, his failed managerial style. One cannot be an effective executive if the only tools in use when dealing with rank-and-file government employees are screaming, berating, intimidation and bullying. This is Fenty’s “style” — and it has had a real impact on the quality of city services. Some civil servants and teachers are incompetent slackers, but there are also highly competent, dedicated workers as well, and many in both ranks have been demoralized, disaffected and disillusioned by and with Fenty. Rhee lied to the city council about the budget and never received so much as a reprimand from Fenty. Test scores at the elementary school level actually DECLINED during her watch. I was an activist and parent and student advocate in the local schools in my community for many years and saw firsthand the best and the worst within DCPS. I understand full well that the teachers union needs to be dealt with, that protecting incompetence and failure must end. But as someone whose mother was a lifelong educator and public school administrator (in another city), I also am fully aware of the needs of the system from the standpoint of those who get up every workday and do their best to educate our youth in the face of bureaucratic ineptitude, crumbling infrastructure, and a litany of problems stemming from serving children from a largely poor and undereducated families, many headed by single parents and immigrants. Rhee alienated many competent, committed teachers, but in so doing she also made enemies among the parents of the children she was supposed to serve, and their communities. She failed.

    And what can you say about a mayor who spends millions on dog parks around the city, but leaves $4.4 million on the table for adult job readiness and retraining — in a city where unemployment is stuck at almost 30 percent in certain portions of the city — and then refuses to own up to his negligence? About a mayor who closes shelters for the homeless with winter looming? Not a single contributor here has addressed any of these issues.

    Myopic? Yes, I’d say so. As long as they’re comfortable and employed and included, far too many Washingtonians don’t give a damn if there are others who aren’t. Those who have been marginalized and disrespected, and the residents and activists (irrespective of income and ethnicity) among us who fight with and for them — went to the polls and voted Fenty out of office. We voted for a man who has displayed a greater humanity, a deeper understanding of what is required to unify and lead a city rather than continue to deepen its ethnic and economic fault lines.

    THAT was the message of Milloy’s column.

    If Marion Barry had engaged in Fenty’s brand of blatant cronyism, deliberately circumventing District contracting regulations to give plum contracts to his fratboyz and campaign contributors, all but given free public real estate to developer contributors, had squandered public money so that he and his buddies could cycle on thoroughfares closed to bike traffic with police protection — and these are only SOME of Fenty’s transgressions — many of the contributors here would be all over him.

    We are sick and tired of runaway development by fiat that disrespects the needs of communities, sick and tired of an Office of Planning that is subordinate organizationally philosophically, operationally to Development, which seemingly focuses on development for development’s sake; sick and tired of an executive that has never met a developer with deep pockets that it didn’t like; with a BZA that issues zoning variances like a pedophile giving out candy at summer camp. Historic preservationists overwhelmingly supported Vince Gray. Anyone here wonder why?

    You can disagree with Milloy’s column, but the fact it reflects accurately how a great many among the DC electorate view Fenty and his administration. We’re ECSTATIC that he’s on his way out.

    And as we’ve seen, Fenty will NOT be running as a GOP mayoral candidate — for a number of reasons.

    Good riddance, Fenty.

    Those of you who supported him can continue to gripe and complain, can continue to disparage those who exercised their right to vote just as you did, with likely at LEAST as much deliberation and passion, can be obstructionist and critical of every move Vincent Gray makes once in office.

    But life in the city will go on, and the city will move forward without you, in spite of you.
    And should you decide to relocate, then good riddance to you as well. “Don’t let the doorknob hitcha….”

    I prefer Vince Gray’s “One City” approach, and I wish him well.

  22. @deeceevoice:

    No one here thinks that Vincent Gray will be a bad mayor, just that he won’t be as aggressive in his pursuit of results. Gray is a much more contemplative leader, taking significant time to arrive at any decision, and attempting to build full consensus before action.

    These are the kind of leaders that everyone likes, and I certainly like Vincent Gray, but I worry that we’re not going to continue on the same pace forward that we were on under Mayor Fenty.

    As for your criticism of Rhee’s action before the council, you can look no further than DCPS’ troubled relationship with the city’s CFO for the discrepancies in Rhee’s statements before the council and the statements from the city’s CFO. Natwar Gandhi, a holdover from Mayor Williams’ tenure, was not keen on sharing operation data with DCPS, which resulted in miscalculations that lead to the layoff of teachers. Rhee thought she had the right numbers, was told by the schools CFO that she had the right numbers, and testified with those numbers. Gandhi’s office pulled the rug out from under her.

    If you’re ecstatic that Fenty’s on his way out, then fine, but don’t feel the need to poke spears at those of us who aren’t pleased to see him go.


    As for leaving DC? Are you kidding me? I’m in it for the long run. I may be saving up my pennies to send future children to private schools instead of subjecting them to a school system whose reforms weren’t allowed to be completed, and that may mean I’m spending less in the city’s economy, but I’m not leaving. This is my home as much as it is yours, and if you think you can send me away because a candidate I supported lost an election, then you’re sorely mistaken.

    I dream of One City, but I dream of One City where all the schools are high achieving, all the people who want to work, and I mean really work, are able to do so, and the economy is strong.

  23. Deeceevoice – I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that you seem to have an agenda that places the city progress 2nd place behind the feelings of the workers/teachers/unions/admin who have unilaterally failed the city. The proof is the very improvements that came after their exit.

    Not even Fenty’s enemies have accused him of firing top performers. Nor have his critics claimed that his many top appointments (like Rhee) weren’t stellar. Just “Fenty hurt peoples feelings”. Well, not the feeling of people who were doing their jobs.

    When I call my kids in outta the rain, I hurt THEIR feelings. But there are clearly higher priorities than the whining of a buncha kids who don’t pay the doctor bill after they get sick with a cold. Kids send the bill for their failure to OTHER people. Their parents. So whining is fine as far as they are concerned.

    Deecee(Leftwing)voice, you need to maintain a far more “responsible” approach than assail this man on the basis of style. He’s simply fixed too many things for real as agreed by BOTH sides.

    6 months after the election of Obamah, people began to suspect they made a terrible mistake. A year later they lost their jobs, and today, the Dems face losses of both Senate and the House with historic disapproval ratings. Let me make a prediction. Deecee(Left wing)voice – We won’t hear a word out of you in six months…..

  24. Tom Bridge – “poke spears“? WTF? If your intent wasn’t some idiotic, racist allusion to that time-worn pejorative “speak chucker,” then you need to get a little keener when it comes to syntax. Either way, I’m not fazed in the least.

    What about my statement that I prefer Gray’s “one city” approach didn’t you get? That means everyone determined to work for a better D.C. Again, if you’re not, then — hell, yeah — I couldn’t be happier to see the obstructionist hit the road.

    If the shoe fits…. And if it doesn’t, then — simply — don’t.

    David — what about what I wrote about being an activist in the city’s schools didn’t you get? You clearly have no idea what that means, what sacrifices it took, what effort — and what opposition I faced, volunteering as an advocate for Black and Latino parents and their children — and for talented, committed teachers — in the face of stultifying bureaucratic incompetence, red tape and often implacable opposition from administrators, teacher and other staff and officials downtown as well.

    But it wasn’t all negative. When you do good things, like-minded people step forward and offer their support. I had some of that as well.

    Your assessment that I “seem to have an agenda that places the city progress 2nd place behind the feelings of the workers/teachers/unions/admin who have unilaterally failed the city” is one based on the prejudices/facile assumptions that you bring to my comments here and not to anything I’ve written. To your way of thinking, anyone who wants Rhee or Fenty gone are pleased with blight, deterioration and failing scores.


    I’d bet that few, if any, of you commenting herein has done much of any note/usefulness, on site or off, in any of DC’s public schools in your lifetime — and not ONE of you has seen or done as much as I have. So, I take your ignorant commentaries with half a grain of salt.

    “Left-wing?” lol You have no idea how funny/inadequate that stupid label is. Try: Pan-Africanist. Nationalist. Daughter of Africa. Child of Cherokee and Caddo nations. Committed activist. I’m left of “left.” What you wield as an epithet I think too pale a term for what you consider extreme.

    And what of it? I couldn’t care less what you think of what you imagine me to be.

    The fact is many of my activist associates and friends who voted for Gray are actually politically moderate, well-heeled, White “pillars of the community.”

    The fact is voters across this city had a choice, and we made it. Fenty would not have won had the vote been split purely along ethnic lines, and that’s a fact. Thankfully, there were enough of us across the city who saw a need for change, and we acted upon it.

    The king is deposed.

    Sorry, but you can’t make all of us into crazed radicals, no matter how hard you try.

    But keep it up. Knock yourself out — if that’s what you get off on.

    And you have no idea what my opinion is of Pres. Barack Obama. I gotta tell you, though, it’s certainly higher than my opinion of the moron he replaced — and the appalling duo he defeated. I won’t get drawn into a completely off-topic discussion of national/presidential politics with someone who clearly has an axe to grind.

    But guess what? The American electorate actually agrees with me — a Blackwoman “left-winger” (imagine that) — over you, a White guy. Wow. You’re actually in the minority.

    Ditto insofar as the will of the voting public here in DC.

    Wow. Let us pause while you wrap your tiny, little brain around that.

    And “style“? People like you reduce demoralizing the workforce to the point that many dedicated and competent professionals tender their resignation, virtually giving away valuable public land to developers who contribute to your campaign, and passing out contracts to frat brothers a matter of “style“? Failing to expend money allocated for critical job training in a time of desperation for far too many residents, while constructing dog parks a matter of style?

    Once again, generally speaking, I see insular, selfish, self-involved, yuppie myopia: a very convenient dismissal of the critical needs of others, of the importance to others of serious issues of process and inclusion, ethics, trust, leadership — and, yes, results) — particularly among peoples who historically have been disenfranchised and marginalized in this society — so long as they themselves remain pandered/catered to, comfortable and happy.

    Whether or not you hear from me in six months is utterly immaterial. Who are you that I should care? That I would even value any kind of discourse with the likes of you? (Clue: that’s a rhetorical question. I don’t care, so I don’t care!)

    Here’s the deal, man. You heard from the collective, the electorate. That’s what counts.

    And we’ve sent ya bwoi packin’. And we’re (still) celebrating.

    Deal with it.

    And, yeah. I’m out. I have things to do. ;)

  25. One last thing for those of you who don’t feel my last post wasn civil.

    Ya damn straight.

    “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”

    *in the wind.*

  26. Honestly, deeceevoice, I think you’re coming unhinged a bit. More so than most of us Fenty supporters.

    I meant no epithet by poking spears, you made that all up on your own.

    Try to get some rest this weekend. Being this worked up all the time is bad for the blood pressure.

  27. @deeceevoice

    I’m genuinely curious about the below. I’d love to learn more about the below.

    1) What report are you referencing when you say “Test scores at the elementary school level actually DECLINED during her (Rhee’s) watch?
    2) Can you please provide sources/articles/specifics about the dedicated and competent professionals that were demoralized by the Fenty administration enough to tender their resignation?
    3) What are the examples of the Fenty administration giving away valuable public land to developers who then contributed to Fenty’s campaign?
    4) What contracts did Fenty award based purely on cronyism?

  28. Everything that Fenty stated about his accomplishments was true.

    Suggested comparisons of Gray to the ‘bad old days’ of the 1970s through 1990s are not baseless.

    All the same, I did not vote to return Dear Revered Leader Kim il-Fenty to office. For one, I detest Progressive Authoritarians. Mostly, I voted what most Americans have been voting in elections, of late, and what most Americans will vote when it comes down to it: my purse.

    His Exalted Supremacy Adri-Amin Felonty has hit me hard in the purse. I was willing to vote for ANYone who could get him out. It turned out that Gray was the only one who could, but had it been Alexander, I would have voted for him.

    Oh, and I am one of the ‘new neighbours’. Like the blogger here, I frequently take offence to Mr. Milloy’s columns. After reading his columns for years, it is obvious that he has a problem with white people and shows no sign of getting over it (unlike Donna Britt, who did get over hers). However, every once in a while, Milloy is dead on, and when he is on, he ain’t halfway or most of the way or even ninety nine per cent, he is DEAD on. The column in question, the one that he ran in the Official Organ of the Compulsionist/Socialist Party of the Nanny States of America, better known as the Washington Post, was DEAD on.

  29. Deeceevoice –

    You were an activists in the schools? Well…did you take on the unions? Because if you didn’t you were pointing your activism at the wrong party. Consequently – and unlike Rhee, you probably had great frustration and no success.

    May I recommend you take a page from her playbook. Figure out what needs to be fixed FIRST – then go do activism. One thing is clear – the worst problem DC has isn’t the former mayors attitude.

  30. Two responses had me returning to this blog.

    Hat tip to Phil. ;)

    David, your response tells me you know little or nothing about how unions actually function — but indirectly, yes, I took on the union insofar as a private citizen is able. The union had protected a teacher who had a history of abusing students, physically and verbally, and threatening parents — blatantly — for years. I was the primary actor among a group of parents (though I have no children) who got rid of her. Ditto with a shamefully incompetent principal and one who was just plain Evil. I succeeded in clearing the backlog of SCORES of unfilled work orders at one of the local elementary schools, ranging from fire and building code violations, broken plumbing & unsanitary bathrooms, shattered windows, playground safety concerns, landscaping — you name it — and arm-twisting the officials downtown into doing a $100,000 cleaning of an HVAC system the Corps of Engineers stated in its comprehensive assessment of the school was a public health menace (legionnaire’s disease). I brought millions of dollars to District schools when I forced/intimidated officials downtown into coughing up Title I money it had withheld (likely intending to redirect the funds) because incompetent principals across the city hadn’t submitted their free and reduced-cost lunch forms at or or in a timely manner. (Downtown still got the federal funds, but legally didn’t have to release them to the affected schools.) And then there was fundraising (thousands of dollars), donated books from booksellers and publishers, a science curriculum initiative, field trips, serving on a committee that designed a two-way developmental (English-Spanish) bilingual program, pushing for DCPS to include high school greenhouses in their long-range capital improvement plans (urging them to rebuild greenhouses and the botany/science curriculum with a focus on environmental awareness, environmental racism, bioethics and sustainability) LSRT (how many of you even know what that stands for? again, rhetorical; not many, if any, is my guess) accountability, library improvement, etc., etc., etc.

    You’d be surprised what a single citizen can do — if you get up off your butts and do more than complain. The fact is many of the parents in the system are single parents and immigrants with limited time, limited resources (financial and knowledge/education), who are interested in their children’s education — but who don’t know how to be effective advocates. They need our assistance.

    Less time at Starbucks, more time in the neighborhoods could result in an amazing transformation in the city’s schools.

    Get up off yr a** and actually DO something.

  31. Hey, just to let you know, before the vitriol starts to fly, there are “two” Davids responding here.. the guy who got onto the union thing and what not, is not “moi”…

  32. One more thing. I’d be remiss in not thanking Jim Graham for his assistance in some of this. At my rquest, he attended the roundtable meetings I arranged with the then head of facilities for DCPS in the rehabilitation of the school in question — and he offered his assistance in the Title I funds matter. Though he didn’t really do much beyond that, his presence in the meetings was a useful reminder to DCPS that a public official was interested — and watching.

  33. Folks “We Love DC” and Deeceevoice are the same person. FYI. I just got and email from him this morning attempting to obfuscate the union problem into the statistically smaller matter of pedophilia.

    Lets clear things up for the weak minded:

    The union problem isn’t that they protect pedophiles, it’s that they protect incompetence. Everyone else gets that, and Rhee proved it after scores shot up when unions ways were assailed.

    IMO – w/o ruffling feather Rhee never could have accomplished anything. Probably same for Fenty.

  34. @David (41)

    To my knowledge (and I am the editor here, I should probably know) deeceevoice is not a member of our staff and speaks only for herself and in no official capacity for anyone

  35. The more articles I read about this Mayor thing this morning (The Post) the clearer it is that much of the DC electorate felt everything should be more about being “black” than being good at your job.

    I believe society SHOULD take care of the less able in our society (or any race or age) as a fundamental tenet of charity. But does charity require $60-80K a year and cradle to grace security on the merits of race alone?

    Gosh I’d like a deal like that!

  36. My mistake on the deeceevoice false ID – I read the email incorrectly. Sorry to deeceevoice the rest of the Board.

  37. @David – “Nor have his critics claimed that his many top appointments (like Rhee) weren’t stellar.”

    It’s incredible how blind one can become when they’re so completely in the tank. Actually, Rhee has been criticized extensively. Her methods are not based on any universally accepted “right” method, and her results included scores that shot up shortly after she took charge (and therefore having nothing to do with her) and dropped last year.

    But you can’t see any of that, because you just assume since you like her, that everyone else does, and if you don’t you must be stupid.

    “He’s simply fixed too many things for real as agreed by BOTH sides.”

    Ah yes, again, because Fenty’s campaign flyers say it’s true, it is. What exactly did he fix?

    Crime? The trend in violent crime in DC has exactly matched the national big-city average. How is that Fenty’s doing?

    Schools? The education gap between black and white students has increased. Graduation rates have declined. The entire increase in test scores we saw in the last few years has been from the addition of a few white kids to the system in charter schools. But you didn’t hear that did you? Because Rhee didn’t tell you that, and you didn’t bother asking – you just swallowed everything they told you.

    What else has Fenty fixed?

  38. “Folks ‘We Love DC’ and Deeceevoice are the same person.”

    David. Dave. Davey!

    WTF? *cringe*

    Child, what have you been smokin’?

    (Apology accepted — but just DAY-um!) *smh*

    This on DCPS in my mailbox this a.m. from DC Watch:

    The Narrative

    Dear Narrators:

    The narrative on the Fenty-Gray race is being written now, and it is being based largely on two falsehoods that were at the core of the Fenty campaign. The first falsehood is that Chancellor Rhee’s effort to drive experienced teachers out of the DC school system, on the assumption that older teachers were the primary problem with an ineffective urban educational system, represented “educational reform.” Rhee became a national symbol of educational reform and, at least in the national press, the success of her methods was unquestioned. Therefore, the narrative goes, if the children in DC schools demonstrated against her when she fired and replaced some of their favorite teachers, if the parents of children in DC schools judged that they didn’t like her methods and her attitude toward them, then those opponents didn’t care about education itself. In the local and national press, it became a racial narrative; in fact, it became a racist narrative. Black people, who didn’t value education and who didn’t want their children to be better educated, voted against Fenty because they were angry that Rhee was improving their schools.

    That this foolish argument should gain any traction is astonishing, but it has become the dominant story in the local and national press. Because both the political left and the political right have accepted the top-down, autocratic model of “educational reform” as valid, press accounts from both the left and the right have characterized public resistance to it as evidence of the self-destructiveness of a backward race, and public comments on those articles in both the liberal and conservative press have made the argument explicitly.

    Here are a few typical articles from across the political spectrum:

    Mona Charen, syndicated columnist, “DC Voters Betray Their Kids,”
    Linda Chavez, syndicated columnist, “Washington’s Racially Polarized Election,”
    Jennifer Rubin, “Who Will Get Michelle Rhee?” Commentary,
    Seyward Darby, “What Will Happen to DC Schools If Michelle Rhee Leaves?” The New Republic,
    Howard Kurtz, “The Mayor, DC, and Race,” The Washington Post,
    Ben Smith, “Teacher’s Union Helped Unseat Fenty,” Politico,
    Michael Lomax, “Is DC Mayor Adrian Fenty’s Loss a National Defeat for Education Reform?” The Root,
    Ian Urbina, “Washington Mayor’s Loss May Imperil School Reform,” New York Times,
    Andrew Rotherham, “Fenty’s Loss in DC: A Blow to Education Reform?” Time Magazine,,8599,2019395,00.html
    Alan Greenblatt, “Fenty Lesson: Mayors May Pass on School Reform,” NPR,

    Natalie Hopkinson in The Atlantic,, has written the most accurate analysis in the national press, probably because she’s a mother who had school-aged children in Washington, and therefore was watching the local schools closely. “There is pushback against the movement to treat public institutions and the precious people in them like factories. And when the impacted public is treated as an obstacle and not a partner to urban reform, it gives the whole effort [a] colonial and paternalistic smell,” she writes.

    The second false narrative being advanced is that, merely because of their ages, Fenty represented the future and Gray the past. Forward looking people, those who want progress and improvement, will of course support the younger candidate. Therefore, people who supported Gray don’t want Washington to progress; they want to return to everything bad that has ever happened in DC politics in the past. Marion Barry has become the symbol of this argument. Barry endorsed and campaigned for Adrian Fenty against Linda Cropp in 2006, which wasn’t supposed to reflect on Fenty in any way. But, since in the last month of this year’s primary campaign Barry endorsed Vincent Gray against Adrian Fenty, the narrative now supposedly stamps Gray indelibly as a tool of a corrupt past. This was a major argument of the Fenty campaign. It didn’t convince and impress the electorate; it’s not worthy of being revived now to explain Gray’s victory. It’s merely a continuation of the campaign, a way to discredit Gray and make it harder for him to govern and for Fenty’s supporters to accept him.

    Gary Imhoff

    BTW, if you’re not on the e-mail list for, you should be.

  39. On the union: I’m a unionist. Unions protect the rights of workers. The teachers union protects teachers, good and bad — just as laws protect everyday citizens, good and bad. They’re necessary. Bad things happen when crappy/disreputable teachers game the union system to stay in jobs they left long ago in terms of commitment and personal and professional buy-in/performance. But there are thousands of teachers who go to work every day and give students their best, who are successful and competent. There are, of course, many others who require retraining, possibly re/certification and oversight/supervision (from administrators/downtown) and support from same, as well as from parents and community — ALL teachers need the latter, in fact). Others simply need a boot out the door.

    There are times, of course, when unions can be flat-out obstructionist. I’m not a union buster, but there have been times when I’ve thought the teachers union needed to be … not busted, but definitely forced/coerced to the bargaining table around certain issues. But the fact is the union is there, in part, to help ensure that teachers receive due process, to guard against summary dismissal and other abuses of power by officials seeking to score political brownie points at teachers’ expense and to the detriment of the children and families they serve.

    Sorry. Fenty and Rhee are poster children for how management should NOT take on labor. They alienated education officials, teachers, schoolchildren and their families — not smart if your goal is to stick around long enough to see whatever changes you want come to pass. There’s change with buy-in and inclusive process, and then there’s change by decree/fiat and outright bullying. There’s change by empowering stakeholders and change by disrespecting and humiliating them.

    Simply put, there’s smart change and stupid change.

    Education is a field where stupidity doesn’t fly, where bullies are neither tolerated nor respected. Fenty (presumably) has learned a hard lesson.

    When you come pushing “reform,” ya better come correct.

  40. It’s tragic when one entire voting block feels somehow “entitled” because of their race to a federal job. Everyone wants to be entite4ld, and the thought that some feel others should pay for their “entitlement” is theft – pure and simple.

    Isn’t it amazing how fast the city got better the minute Rhee and Fenty started off loading those folks?