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|THE D.C. STATEHOOD GREEN PARTY
BALLOT PETITION DEBACLE ENDS MAYOR WILLIAMS' CLAIM TO A MANDATE, HELPS STATEHOOD GREEN CANDIDATE DONKIN
Williams' removal from the Democratic primary ballot is likely to boost Steve Donkin in his challenge to Williams' 'One City, One Future' anti-resident agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The scandal over Mayor Anthony Williams' ballot petitions, which led the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to deny him a slot on the Democratic primary ballot on July 26, damages Williams' chance of easy reelection and will boost D.C. Statehood Green candidate Steve Donkin's numbers in November. Donkin is running unchallenged for the Statehood Green nomination for Mayor of Washington, D.C.
"The scandal over the Mayor's falsified ballot petitions weaken his equally falsified 'One City, One Future' claim to a popular mandate behind his agenda," said Donkin. "Williams used his term to dismantle D.C. General Hospital, our full-service public hospital. His office improperly used public money to campaign for his plan to bureaucratize the D.C. school board. His administration redefined 'economic development' to mean massive displacement of D.C. residents while lining the pockets of his cronies in real estate, hotel, health insurance, and other industries."
The Statehood Green Party has strongly criticized many of the Mayor's taxpayer-funded development plans, including a new ballpark, the bid for the 2012 Olympics, failure to consult neighbors about the Grand Prix racetrack or new rec center construction in Turkey Thicket and elsewhere in D.C., new business development in Columbia Heights in which nearly all the principles (including the chair of the Redevelopment Land Agency, which oversees the proposal process) were connected to the Federal City Council, an elite circle of real estate and other corporate lobbies. Some of these projects involve eviction of current neighborhood residents to make way for sports facilities, parking and traffic, and hotel and other accommodations.
"The Mayor's fiasco exposes the malfeasance of Democrats in a city dominated by a single party, and voters are ready to consider someone different," said T.E. Smith, a native Washingtonian and longtime D.C. statehood activist. "Steve has been running a genuine populist campaign, on a platform that includes restoring D.C. General and providing health care for the uninsured, strengthening rent control and housing rights, rechanneling millions of dollars from the Mayor's and Council's financially wasteful and ecologically unsound theme-park projects back into D.C. schools and other human needs."
"The Donkin campaign is stressing D.C.'s need for statehood -- not just seats in Congress, but full self-governance to rid us of Congress's anti-democratic control over us," said Statehood Green steering committee member Michael Piacsek. "Steve Donkin and our other candidates are taking these messages door to door. The corruption evident in the Williams campaign has given the Donkin campaign greater credibility. Statehood Green candidates, like all Green Party candidates across the U.S., refuse to accept the corporate money that has compromised Democrats and Republicans and which lies at the root of currect corporate CEO scandals."
"Perhaps the mayor will be forced to run on his record if he is no longer on the Democratic Party ballot," said Jenefer Ellingston, Statehood Green candidate for Ward 6 council seat. "His record is thin on positives and long on negatives. I would not like to run on it."
"Mayor Williams' reckless mismanagement of his own campaign, his demand that ballot access laws don't apply to him, and his refusal to accept responsibility show his contempt for democracy and law," said Steve Donkin.
"Williams challenged the constitutionality of the District's election laws and insisted that signatures improperly collected should count toward his nomination," Donkin continued. "Mayor Williams believes he's exempt from election rules. The D.C. Statehood and Green parties, before our 1999 merger, worked hard to gather the thousands of signatures necessary to put our candidates on the ballot and to achieve major party status. We helped collect over 32,000 signatures, nearly twice the required 17,000, to place Initiative 59 for medical marijuana on the ballot and win 69% of the D.C. vote. Our ballot petitioners have always been volunteers, spending hours and shoe leather to advance D.C. statehood and other goals."
"Regardless of whether Williams decides to run as an independent [with a later ballot petition period] or undertake a write-in campaign, the petition fiasco has damaged his campaign and his reputation," said neighborhood activist Debby Hanrahan. "The scandal suggests that Williams won't waste his reputed managerial skills on something as democratically mundane as an honest election campaign."
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