At yesterday’s D.C. Council committee hearing on a comprehensive ethics bill proposed by Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Max Skolnik aggressively criticized the legislation, saying that the “so-called reform bill” did nothing to limit corporate influence in local politics. If Bowser wasn’t willing to really take on the rot in local politics, he bellowed, then maybe she should clear the way for someone who could.
That person, coincidentally enough, would be Skolnik, who is challenging Bowser in the April 2012 Democratic primary.
Such was the tenor of yesterday’s hours-long debate (WAMU, WaPo, Times, Fox 5, DC Watch), in which a mix of council members, good government advocates, regular residents and candidates for office debated the merits of Bowser’s proposal.
Apart from Skolnik, three other 2012 candidates testified — Sekou Biddle and Mary Brooks Beatty, both running for an At Large seat, and Ward 7 candidate Tom Brown — while two others, Ron Moten and Peter Shapiro, appeared in the audience. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large), himself up for re-election next year, also sat through most of the hearing.
Either sensing a little political advantage or expressing honest disappointment with the bill’s provisions, few of the 2012 candidates had nice things to say about Bowser’s proposal, which would establish a new Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, increase reporting and disclosure requirements for candidates and elected officials, and hold legislators to a code of conduct that currently applies to all city employees.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]