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October 27, 2010


Dear Incorporators:

Last Thursday, October 21, the Gray for Mayor campaign committee filed articles of incorporation with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for the DC One City Fund, Inc., The Fund is the nonprofit entity Gray will use to solicit contributions for his transition and inaugural expenses. The corporation will be governed by a board of directors that will consist of Lorraine Green, chairwoman of the Gray campaign; Thomas Gore; and Lloyd Jordan, legal counsel to the campaign.

In our introduction to Sunday’s issue of themail, we wrote that “on Friday night [October 22] Gray held a fundraising event” followed by a Saturday night fundraiser with former mayor Anthony Williams and development Jim Abdo. On Bruce DePuyt’s NewsTalk show Monday morning, Gray implied that we were completely wrong regarding both fundraising events. In fact, we made two minor errors. Gray did hold a fundraising event on Friday night, but he didn’t appear personally; Reuben Charles, the Gray campaign’s controversial director of operations, hosted the event instead. And the Saturday event occurred on Saturday afternoon, rather than Saturday night. The Georgetown Dish has an article about and photographs from that event:

Meanwhile, Kwame Brown and his campaign have not been forthcoming about how he will fund his transition and inauguration. Brown has asked Gregory McCarthy, vice president of Government and Municipal Affairs for the Washington Nations baseball team, to chair his transition committee.

Gary Imhoff,
Dorothy Brizill,


DC Tax Dollars at Work
Dorothy Brizill,

With the District fiscally in the red for $175 million, you would think that someone like Jack Evans, Chairman of the council’s Finance Committee, would be especially prudent about spending District funds. It was, therefore, especially troubling that Evans used four large Department of Parks and Recreation buses to transport guests to his birthday party Wednesday evening at the Homer Building on 13th Street. When I stopped City Administrator Neil Albert on the sidewalk as he was leaving the party and pointed to the buses, he first tried to deny that they were District government vehicles. When I pointed out the District logos on the buses and the District government license plates on them, he said that he would look into the matter. Then he turned around and went back inside the party to speak to Evans.


A Dozen Conditions that Mayor Gray Surely Doesn’t Need in DC
Len Sullivan,

1) Another management-challenged, egocentric public schools superintendent who doesn’t understand the inescapable linkages between schoolrooms and home neighborhoods, or the difference between teaching for test-scores and learning for adulthood. 2) An inefficient public school system with tens of thousands of square feet of surplus, antiquated schools on hundreds of acres of scarce, valuable city land. 3) An overly ingrained Chief Financial Officer unable to grasp or exercise his essential budgetary responsibilities beyond sycophantic bookkeeping. 4) A city government that doesn’t grasp its nationally, and internationally, unique role — or fully exploit its potential benefits — as host of the American federal government.

5) An insular, xenophobic, city government that doesn’t accept its responsibilities — or exploit its potential benefits — as the core city of a major American metropolitan area. 6) A go-it-alone city government that copes poorly with its embarrassing inner city problems rather than sharing the cures for poverty, poor education, bad health, and crime with its far larger (and wealthier) neighboring suburbs (e.g., special ed schools, health clinics, forensics labs, etc.). 7) Local activists with the mistaken urge to convert DC into the smallest, poorest, dumbest, sickest independent state among our United States, rather than to morph DC into a unique national political entity whose residents gain a suitably proportionate vote in the Congress. 8) A smalltime transportation department that ignores its central role in assuring total future metro area connectivity as well as maintaining neighborhood convenience, rather than pandering solely to the latter with fixed, street-clogging trolleys and little-used bike lanes.

9) An aging urban infrastructure, from roads, bridges, railways, and subway; to water, sewer, and power that requires capital investments way beyond the city’s long-range planning and resourcing capabilities without regional and federal cooperation. 10) City activists and officials with an almost paranoid disdain for the commuters that provide DC with far more revenues (albeit indirectly and inefficiently) than do the less-scorned annual tourists. 11) Micro management of DC’s affairs by Congressional “dregs committees,” where junior members attach foolish but binding provisions to their annual appropriation bill approving (or modifying) the city’s operating budget, based on its own locally raised revenues. 12) Outdated federal laws and properties that severely curtail DC’s revenue-raising compared to its closest suburbs. These include: building height limits, sprawling surface parking lots around the capitol; and outdated facilities and parks well beyond the “topographic bowl” of the “federal city.”


Voting Irregularities
Lino Stracuzzi,

My name is Natale (Lino) Nicola Stracuzzi. I am a member of the DC Statehood Green Party (DCSGP). I have come across disturbing evidence that as a result of the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, DCBOEE’s incompetence and the DC Court of Appeals’ misconduct, the DC primary election results are seriously tainted, the DCBOEE is attempting to cover it up, and the Appeals Court is helping them to do so.

In the DC primary election of September 14, I was a candidate for Delegate to the US House of Representatives on the DCSGP ballot, When I went to my polling place on Election Day, I was given a Democratic Party ballot. I had to hand it back and ask for a DCSGP ballot. Several other DCSGP members told me that they, too, were given Democratic ballots. Others have told me that this has been a problem in many past primary elections. I think that this year it cost me the election. I lost the election by thirty-four votes. When DCBOEE certified the election results on September 27, I examined the final turnout and ballot tallies and discovered that although 792 DCSGP members had checked in to vote, only 599 DCSGP ballots were cast. In addition, in eleven precincts, DCBOEE records show that the number of DCSGP ballots cast exceeded the number of DCSGP members who checked in to vote. I decided to exercise my right under DC Statute § 1-1001.11(b) to petition the DC Court of Appeals to review the election results. I had to file my petition with the Court within seven days of the date of certification and had to include copies of the official DCBOEE Certification documents. I visited DCBOEE office repeatedly every day that week trying to get the documentation that I needed, and was told things like, “It’s online,” when in fact that was never the case. On 29 September, the DCBOEE web site “updated” the certified results posted on September 27 and changed the final vote tallies. After repeated trips to the DCBOEE office, I finally got the signed and sealed Certification documents I needed on 1 October, leaving me only two days to review them and file my petition.

When I reviewed the certification documents, I found that although they are dated September 27, they contain the vote totals posted in the September 29 “update.” I filed my petition with the DC Court of Appeals on October 4, according to the Rules of the Court as provided to and explained to me by the clerks of the Court, and awaited the Court’s order to file my Petitioner’s Brief, as per the rules. On October 5, DCBOEE filed a Motion to Dismiss. Clerks at the Court and the Rules of the Court both indicated to me that I had seven calendar days to file an opposition. On October 12 at about noon, just as I was leaving my home to go to the Court and file my opposition, Court clerks phoned me and told me that the Court had granted the DCBOEE’s motion and my petition had been dismissed, even though the time allotted by court rule to file an opposition to a motion had not elapsed. In so doing, the Appeals Court violated my due process rights under its own rules and under DC Statute §1-1001.11(b).

I believe that there are widespread discrepancies in the voter turnout and ballot totals in all three party primaries. I believe that DCBOEE acted to cover up its incompetence. I believe that the Court either purposefully misinformed me or is so incompetent that it is not familiar with its own rules. I have lost an election and been deprived of my due process rights by incompetence and/or misconduct. For the sake of the integrity of our electoral process, I hope that you will investigate this situation.


Franklin School Reuse
Elizabeth Elliott,

The DC government — no doubt after sinking millions of dollars into renovations — has put the headquarters of its Community College of DC into 801 North Capitol Street, a dreadful brutalist building owned by Doug Jemal and the prior home to Office of Planning and various other DC government agencies (

Is anyone privy to how this — choosing to re-up the office rental contract rather than renovating a publicly owned education property like the Franklin School — came about?


Leaf Collection Schedule for 2010-2011
Kevin B. Twine,

DC residents who currently receive trash and recycling services from the District will be getting a brochure in the mail that includes the leaf collection schedule. I am posting the link to the brochure for those of you that will not be receiving one in the mail and for those who wish to start planning ahead:


Richard Urban for DC Council At-Large
Richard Urban,

I am the only At-Large candidate for DC Council who believes that marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman only. I am the only At-Large candidate who supports DC Voting rights, including the right to vote on the definition of marriage. I am the only At-Large candidate who advocates funding for youth empowerment programs that encourage youth to abstain from sex before marriage and say no to drugs and alcohol.

I am in favor of returning control of DC Public Schools to an elected school board with more local input from parents and community members. I will work to make conflicts of interest within the DC Council illegal, such as the current conflict of David Catania, who receives income of $120,000 per year working as general counsel for OpenBand LLC, a subsidiary of MC Dean. MC Dean has done $130 million worth of business with the District.

I am for rolling back the increase in property taxes for longtime homeowners that took effect last March. I am for mandatory sentencing for illegal gun possession by felons. I am for community based policing, with more cooperation between police and community members. I am the clear choice among the four At-Large candidates for those who believe in the values above, and I ask for one of your two At-Large votes on November 2. Our web site is


Evans Tries to Rebate Ballpark Fee for Businesses Retroactively
Ed Delaney, “Evans tries retroactively rebate ballpark fee for businesses,” “It’s ridiculous that Evans and the business community are trying to pull a fast one amidst DC’s thorny economic climate, especially a maneuver that could involve as much as $50,000 each ceded to scores of District businesses.”

It’s comical that they could be so out of touch with a $175 million shortfall looming, but it’s par for the course for the ol’ Brigade.


Evans Didn’t File Required Conflict Statement
John Hanrahan,

If a conflict of interest falls in the DC government forest and no one hears it, is it still a conflict of interest? In other words, what good are the District of Columbia’s conflict of interest laws if no one will enforce them? That’s the question I have after receiving recent Freedom of Information Act responses from the three entities to which council members are required by law to explain self-acknowledged appearances of conflicts of interest — in this case Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and his June and July 2009 recusals from voting on a $272 million public financing package for the Marriott International convention center hotel. As I previously discussed in three Evans-related conflict-of-interest pieces here in June (see,, and, the public record shows that Evans, who spearheaded the hotel public financing legislation right up to the point of council passage, unexpectedly recused himself from votes on that legislation on five occasions in June and July 2009 (twice in a Committee of the Whole markup session, and three times in subsequent council votes). On none of those occasions did he explain the reasons for his recusal. The DC Examiner newspaper reported in passing on July 1, 2009, that Evans (who in addition to his council position has a part-time law practice that pays $240,000 a year) had recused himself from a convention center hotel vote the previous day “because his law firm, Patton Boggs, represents Marriott.”

Under the DC Official Code, the DC Municipal Regulations, as well as the DC Council’s Rule 202, council members who recuse themselves — in the language of Municipal Regulations 3303.1, 3303.2 and 3303.3 -- “shall prepare a written statement describing the following: (a) The matter requiring action or decision, and (b) The Nature of the potential conflict of interest with respect to such action or decision” and then “shall deliver a copy of the statement to . . .The Board of Elections and Ethics, in care of General Counsel, . . .The Director of the Office of Campaign Finance” and the “Chairman of the Council.” This is not some mere technicality: It is spelled out clearly and succinctly in the law — and Evans has not complied.

In answer to my FOIA requests, the OCF, the BOEE, and Gray’s office all stated that Evans had not filed such a mandated statement. This means that Councilmember Evans has been in violation of the city’s conflict of interest law and regulations for the last sixteen months (to say nothing of the DC Bar’s conflict of interest standards) — and neither the OCF, the BOEE, nor Chairman Gray has done anything about it. Nor, apparently, do they intend to do anything about it. [Finished online at]

In my FOIA requests and follow-up E-mails to all three offices, I had anticipated that Evans had not filed such a required statement and asked all three if they intended to remind Evans that he had not complied with the law and to tell him to do so forthwith. I also informed all three that I intended to write about this subject. Both Gray’s office and BOEE Senior Staff Attorney Terri D. Stroud evaded my question, not addressing it at all.

In her FOIA response, Kathy S. Williams, general counsel of the Office of Campaign Finance, stated obliquely: “Please be aware that the law has not changed in this area and the statute places the onus of disclosure upon the public official, who is in a better position to determine whether or not any official action affects his or her financial interests or those of his household.” I responded to this breathtaking statement with a request for clarification, pointing out that Evans, by recusing himself, has already disclosed he has the appearance of a conflict of interest, but that he had not taken the further step required by the law to explain the reasons for his recusals in writing to the OCF, BOEE and Council Chairman. In my clarification request, I asked: “. . . will the Office of Campaign Finance exercise its authority and inform Councilmember Evans that he has failed to file a written statement with your agency, as he is required by law to do so?” I received no response from Ms. Williams, so I can only assume her agency views itself as powerless — or useless — to deal with such matters. If, in fact, it is powerless to do so, I can only ask what that agency and BOEE, as currently constituted, are good for if “ethics” enforcement is left up to an individual public official even when an apparent violation by that public official is brought to those agencies’ attention?

In my follow-up E-mail to Chairman Gray, I had pointed out to him that in his Democratic primary campaign for mayor he had repeatedly contrasted what he described as his policy of “open, accountable, and responsive” government with what he characterized (correctly, I believe) as the top-down, closed-door, FOIA-resistant government of Mayor Adrian Fenty. In that follow-up, I also pointed out to the chairman that he had responded to a survey on government openness from several community groups with a pledge to conduct an open government “not hampered by efforts to withhold or delay access to public information.” And I noted that during the investigation into Councilmember Barry’s transgressions earlier this year that Gray pointed out the special obligation of the council to see to it that laws pertaining specifically to councilmembers are obeyed. I urged Gray (and the council aide who handled my FOIA request on the Evans/convention center hotel matter) “to show that he [Gray] will not only enforce the law when it comes to his own council members (albeit a year late), but that he can exercise the leadership to show that the council is in fact run openly regarding matters of conflict of interest.” So far, no response since I last wrote to Gray and an aide on September 10.

It is disheartening, of course, that my Ward 2 councilmember feels he need not comply with the requirements of the conflict of interest laws. Furthermore, as I noted in my June items in themail, Evans, even after he had recused himself, nevertheless continued to involve himself in the Marriott convention center hotel matter, as press reports earlier this year noted. He did this by helping mediate a Marriott legal dispute with another firm that was preventing the hotel project from going forward. I should also point out that in July 2009 leaders of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City and the Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia wrote Evans and Gray seeking an explanation of Evans’s recusal on the convention center hotel legislation. The federation confirmed to me this week that they received no response to their letter. It is discouraging that our supposed watchdogs, our supposed enforcers of our conflict of interest laws, are remaining mute on this matter of vital public interest under which a private entity stands to benefit to the tune of $272 million from the city government’s largesse. And I remain dismayed, as I wrote here in June, that the city’s mainstream press, of which I was for many years a member, continues to give Jack Evans a free pass when his private law firm work becomes intertwined with his public duties.



National Building Museum Events, October 30
Johanna Weber,

October 30, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m., Haunted Halloween. Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you build and design your very own haunted house; fun for the whole family! The festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages six and up. All children must be accompanied by an adult. $10 per children of members; $15 per children of nonmembers. Prepaid registration required. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square Metro station. Register for events at


Restore Sanity by Letting DC Vote, October 30
Ilir Zherka,

Planning to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this Saturday? So is DC Vote. People across the nation will be watching DC — we need to make sure they know the most insane/scary thing about American democracy: taxation without representation in our nation’s capital. That’s why we’ve created rally signs with a simple, direct message: “Be sane. Let DC Vote.” Attending the rally? Meet DC Vote, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and the old Hypocrisy Hippos to pick up posters and share our message with all the potential new supporters:

Meet on October 30, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, at the corner of 6th Avenue, NW, and Constitution Avenue, NW. Pick up “Be sane. Let DC Vote” signs and head to the rally with DC Vote. If you can volunteer to help us distribute signs, please RSVP with Jen Matson at or 462-6000 x18. Watching the rally from home? You can still help keep DC voting rights in the spotlight. Colbert has covered DC voting rights in the past — tell him we need the “Colbert bump” now more than ever! On Twitter, tell @StephenAtHome (Stephen Colbert on Twitter) to keep supporting the cause, and add the hashtags #rally4sanity, #march4fear, #DC and #DemandDemocracy to your tweets. Or, write on his Facebook page. Have your own web site or blog? Download or link to our rally sign. And on October 30, be sure to follow us on Twitter live from the rally: @DC_Vote.


Citizen Rauh at UDC
Joe Libertelli,

Join Dean Shelley Broderick and Michael Rauh, Chair of the DCSL Foundation. in welcoming Michael E. Parrish, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Citizen Rauh: An American Liberal’s Life in Law and Politics, for a reading, discussion, and reception on Friday, November 5, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Building 38, second floor Window Lounge. Metro Red Line, Van Ness/UDC station. Metered parking is available on Van Ness Street, NW. On-campus parking is available. The garage entrance is located on Van Ness Street, west of Connecticut Avenue. For more information, contact Jaye M. Lopez at or 274-5401. RSVP online at


Christ United Methodist Church Jazz Vespers, November 7
Terri Stroud,

1) Christ United Methodist Church (CUMC) will be holding its annual Mildred B. Twitty Jazz Vespers on Sunday, November 7, at 4:00 p.m. The featured artist will be Joe Coleman, former lead singer of The Platters. The band will include Vince Evans (piano), Lorenzo Sands (bass), and Jay Jefferson (drums). The Jazz Vespers will be held at CUMC, located at 900 4th Street, SW (on the corner of 4th and I Streets, SW). Tickets cost $15, and can be purchased by contacting Beverly Jackson at 488-8306, or Beverly Taylor Mack at 904-982-7511.

2) From October through June, the CUMC chapter of United Methodist Men serves breakfast to the public on the third Saturday of each month from 9:00-11:00 a.m. The cost of the breakfast is $5. Eggs, bacon, sausage, quiche, fried potatoes, baked apples, and other items are served. The breakfast is held at CUMC, located at 900 4th Street, SW (on the corner of 4th and I Streets, SW).


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