Bryan Weaver Decides to Run

Twitter is chock full o’ nuts and news that a candidate who is popular among D.C. bloggers has decided– along with a few others– to run for the City Council’s at-large seat. WAMU’s Patrick Madden has more:

The race for a D.C. council at-large seat is getting crowded. Wednesday, two more candidates threw their hats in the ring.

One is Republican School Board Member Patrick Mara, who announced via YouTube that he’ll seek the at-large seat. The other is Bryan Weaver, a Democrat who lives in Ward 1. Both have unsuccessfully run for council seats in the past…

The biggest challenge at this point for any of the candidates is getting on the ballot. Candidates have less than one month to pick up 3,000 signatures.

I have a feeling Weaver will be able to get those signatures, especially if he asks everyone who tweets about him to help out. And speaking of YouTube, like the City Paper, when I think of Bryan Weaver, I think of his excellent use of the video site. See one of his campaign ads, after the jump– it’s so nice, Wonkette blogged about it:

Continue reading

Gray Off to Not-So-Inclusive Start

Flickr: thisisbossi

"Gray Pride" at the Gay Pride Parade, this year.

The social web is buzzing about Mayor-elect Gray’s broken campaign promise to the LGBT community; while campaigning, one of Gray’s answers to the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance questionnaire included a promise to include LGBT community members in a search for the new police and fire chiefs. That didn’t happen:

The key point is that Mr. Gray did not invite anyone from the LGBT community in the search process. It isn’t clear that he checked with anyone outside of his transition team’s inner circle. Arguably, Chief Lanier is not “new” but that’s really being Clintonesque.

Chief Lanier essentially disbanded the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) at a time when anti-LGBT hate crimes are on the rise. The true value of the GLLU was community involvement. There was a time when the GLLU would visit community groups, bars, and social events just to introduce themselves and say hello. That was a time when the community started to trust the police. Lanier squandered that good will. I don’t recall the last time that I saw someone from the GLLU at any event. I did see them at a couple of the Pride events where they were not talking to anyone in the community. It was quite a waste of an opportunity. Unlike Chief Ramsey, Chief Lanier does not meet with us regularly, and would only do so if she had no other choice. It would be nice to have a police chief that treated us like a welcome part of the community. Mayor-Elect Gray says that she is an advocate of community policing. My experience is that she opposes that policy.

Continue reading

More on Why Fenty Lost

Just finished reading Mike DeBonis’ column, “Consultant’s postmortem: Fenty became ‘flawed and expendable’”:

Bill Knapp — the veteran political communications consultant, whose business partner Anita Dunn consulted for both Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee — has come forward to explain to Democratic operatives that this was more about Fenty’s preternaturally bad communications instinct than a latent anti-incumbent mood…

Fenty lost, Knapp writes, because he “neglected a critical base” and “symbolic of that was the Sunday before the election when he participated in a triathlon in DC instead of visiting African American churches, as his opponent did.”

Ugh. That’s brutal. Triathlons are impressive, but he needed to focus on some church-going folks at that point, not his fitness. Continue reading

Saqib Ali Loses in State Senate Primary

Quick follow-up about Maryland Delegate Saqib Ali, whom we posted about last week after his opponent, State Senator Nancy King sent out campaign mail which featured an altered image of him with a darker complexion; he lost by 227 votes.

“We fought the best race we possibly could,” Ali said. “We spent nearly a quarter million dollars, knocked on thousands of doors. We tried to concentrate on the issues.”

Ali said King’s negative campaign mailers – one of which featured a photo of Ali with darkened skin – did not help her gain ground with voters…

Ali, whose term as delegate ends in January, would not comment on his future in politics. “I’m going to go home, take a nap, rest and see what tomorrow brings,” he said. “We’re going to hold our heads high.”

Special Roundup: the Five Best Explanations for Adrian Fenty’s Loss

We usually serve links in the morning, but after yesterday’s historic primary, we’d be remiss if we didn’t round up the best post-mortems we’ve seen. Today, all anyone can talk about is, “What happened to Adrian Fenty?” The five features below have answers. The first article, from the Washington Post, is excellent– if you can only read one, that’s my pick.

How Adrian Fenty lost his reelection bid for D.C. mayor “…the story of a mayor who misread an electorate he was sure he knew better than anyone, who ignored advisers’ early warnings that key constituencies were abandoning him, who shut out confidantes who told him what he did not want to hear and who began to listen only when the race was all but lost.” (The Washington Post)

Adrian Fenty loses D.C. mayoral primary: Why his re-election bid failed “The price that Fenty was paying for all of those recreation centers, for all of the ribbon-cuttings, for all of the education initiatives, was the most powerful block of voters in town.No one could argue that he’d neglected black neighborhoods, but in the end, that was almost the point: Black neighborhoods, in many instances, didn’t want to see the brand of change Fenty was providing. Asked about the sparkling Deanwood Recreation Center, a Ward 7 resident quoted in the Washington Examiner said, “Fenty is getting ready for white people moving into the community.”" (

Post-Election Analysis: It’s Not The End of The District “Finally, reform just doesn’t turn back on itself, as Fenty tried to say it would. Over the last 12 years, each mayor has left a foundation upon which his successor has built. We can all marvel at what Fenty has done in four years, but not much of it would have been possible without Mayor Anthony Williams. Gray will enter office in uncertain economic times — but also with many of the toughest decisions already made for him. Reforms gain momentum and evolve — and even if he wanted to, Gray wouldn’t simply be able to stop the city and throw it into reverse. ” (DCist) Continue reading

Nancy King Denies Darker “Direction” to WaPo

In a Washington Post article about the challenges of being a Muslim candidate for office right now (fasting for Ramadan on a campaign schedule? Difficult.), we find an update to the Saqib Ali/Nancy King story we blogged about this week.  On the question of whether her campaign materials used an image of her opponent, State Delegate Saqib Ali, which had been altered to make his complexion darker, Maryland State Senator Nancy King elaborated on the denial her campaign provided to us on Wednesday:

…there was “absolutely no offense meant by it.”

“I’m not sure what happened with it. It could have been an error in our proofing. It could have been a printing error,” King said. “He infers that I did that to make his skin look dark. That’s not what this campaign has been about from the get-go. We live in a very diverse district and we don’t even need to go in that direction.”

Continue reading

Saqib Ali: “It’s plain for anyone to see.”

This afternoon, I wrote about a piece of campaign literature from Maryland State Senator Nancy King, which featured a picture of King’s opponent, State Delegate Saqib Ali sporting a noticeably darker complexion. I wondered if the picture had been photoshopped, but the King campaign denied editing the image in any way.

I called Ali to tell him about his opponent’s denial. This was his response:

It’s plain for anyone to see, if you put them next to each other. It’s very obvious. I don’t know why they did it, it doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t expect this kind of behavior from any Montgomery County Democrat. I think she owes everyone a real explanation, not just an evasion. Voters should wonder why they are doctoring photos in this way and why she won’t come clean.

King Campaign Denies Darkening Ali

The questionable image I asked about...

Earlier today, I wrote about a piece of campaign literature currently circulating in Maryland from State Senator Nancy King, featuring what looks like a photoshopped picture of her opponent, State Delegate Saqib Ali. In it, Ali’s skin looks visibly darker. I contacted the King campaign to ask about it and this is what they had to say:

First off, at no time, in any way whatsoever, did we, or would we, alter photos or attempt to insinuate anything about Delegate Saqib Ali other than the verified facts we have consistently laid out through this campaign — the fact that he fell asleep and missed a crucial vote on education funding, and the fact that he broke his promise to reject special interest funding and then accepted $50,000 in corporate and PAC money.

That’s interesting, and I’m grateful they took the time to respond, but if they didn’t alter photos, then why does the picture of Ali look like it’s a recolored, mirror-image of the other photograph in the mailer? Curiouser and curiouser…

The Color of Campaigns

I spy, with my brown eye…some photoshopping.

UPDATE: We reached out to both campaigns for their reactions. Here is a statement from the King campaign and here’s a response from Saqib Ali.


We’re in the thick of campaign season and while I tend to focus on the Mayoral race or candidates with confusing names here in the District, last night I saw something eye-catching from Maryland, where State Delegate Saqib Ali is challenging State Senator Nancy King to represent the 39th district.

What you see to the right is a mailer that King sent out to potential voters about Ali. I saw it and had flashbacks to O.J. Simpson’s infamous mug shot, on the cover of Time magazine. I thought of that moment in magazine history because of the striking change in Ali’s complexion. Now, it is entirely possible that in four years, Saqib Ali got some sun. Also possible? That whoever designed this flier used the same photograph, but flipped it directionally, recolored the suit…and Saqib’s face. There’s only one way to find out– I just reached out to the King campaign for comment. Continue reading

Vince Gray’s Fans who were Formerly Fenty’s

Have you seen “Formerly Fenty“? It’s an offshoot of Vince Gray’s campaign site featuring voters who were once fans of our current Mayor. Most interesting/potentially damning? The videos from two ex-Fenty staffers, who describe their issues with their erstwhile boss. Here’s his quondam Deputy Chief of Staff, Neil Richardson:

Continue reading