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|For Immediate Release
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September Surprise: Going Negative
Washington D.C. – Sept. 3, 2002 – Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson today blasted her Democratic primary opponent, Erik Gaull, for distributing campaign literature that accuses her of "skipping out on responsibilities." The charges relate to a vote Patterson missed while attending services for a longtime Washington Post editor, and votes missed when she testified before the U.S. Congress on behalf of the D.C. Council.
"This is obviously the work of someone desperate at the end of a losing campaign," Patterson remarked, also noting that the most recent financial report indicates her opponent has poured more than $82,000 of his own money into the race, making up more than two-thirds of his total expenditures.
Gaull’s campaign literature mailed to Democratic voters this week states that "when it came time to vote on a bill to allow the Mayor to issue towing regulations, Kathy Patterson couldn’t be bothered to cast a vote." The 2-term lawmaker did, in fact, miss a vote on one version of legislation that she supported on two other occasions. The reason: "On January 15 when that vote was taken I attended memorial services for a longtime friend and constituent. In fact, Chairman Cropp announced from the dais the reason for my absence, and had a moment of silence to mark the passing of Peter Milius, someone held in very high esteem by all of us."
The second specific in the Gaull literature: "in the last Council period alone she missed 40 votes." The 40 votes in question – out of more than 1,800 cast thus far in the Council period – occurred on June 26, 2001, when Patterson appeared on behalf of the Council to testify before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on the District of Columbia on the proposed family division of the D.C. Superior Court. That initiative was supported by the Council and also strongly endorsed by Mayor Anthony Williams.
"I have an exceptional voting record in seven and a half years on the Council, and anyone who pays attention to the legislature knows that," Patterson said.
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