Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and his main opponent in the mayoral race, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, were going at it Thursday on a special election edition of the "Politics Hour with Jonetta Rose Barras" on WPFW. The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis is a guest panelist.
Fenty and Gray, who face each other in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, each accused each other of a lack of transparency and ethics.
Gray pointed to the awarding of contracts to Fenty's friends and fraternity brothers, while Fenty got more specific and pointed to what he described as Gray's meddling in a new lottery contract and his initial decision to strip money from a streetcar program without a public hearing. Gray later found a way to return funding for the streetcars.
During the show, Fenty was backed by a call from Peaceoholics co-founder Ron Moten, who has become a prominent figure in Fenty's reelection. Moten, upset that Gray referred to him as a crony in a news release this week and who likened Fenty to Jesus over the weekend, wanted to talk about the lottery contract before Barras cut him off because of time constraints.
Fenty and Gray also sparred over Gray's record as director of the Department of Human Services during the 1990s. Fenty attacked Gray, first saying, "We have a record of 3½ years of successful running of a city."
He said Gray had "3½ years of being a critic," and then said human services was "run over the cliff."
"That kind of management record shouldn't even be on the same table," Fenty said.
Gray denied mismanaging the agency and said he improved several areas of human services, including homelessness. "I'll put my record against everyone else," he said.
Earlier in the program, when Gray and Fenty were going back and forth, Gray said, "Jonetta's going to be the traffic cop. Start writing tickets."