D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) told D.C. Wire that if Peter J. Nickles is not confirmed as the District's Attorney General this afternoon "It will be the equivalent to political nuclear war between the mayor and the D.C. Council."
But Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-large) rebuffed Graham's dooms day prediction.
"That is a very unfortunate way of looking at this," Mendelson said. "The council's right to confirm or reject a nominee is fundamental. Mr Nickles needs to be viewed in terms of his qualifications and record."
Mendelson and Graham commented during a lunch break of the council where lawmakers, lobbyist and aides to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty were all trying to have a word with the council members about the vote.
At this point, those in support of Nickles include council members Graham, Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), David Catania (I-At Large) and Carol Schwartz (R-At- Large). Those opposed are Mendelson, Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), Kwame Brown (D-At Large) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7).
D.C. Council Chairman Vince C. Gray is poised to be the dealmaker, but during the break Gray wouldn't say which way he was leaning. An aide to the mayor, who spoke on the condition that their name not be used because they were speaking without authorization, said the administration is optimistic that Gray would vote for Nickles. If that happens, several council members will likely change their vote and jump on the Nickles bandwagon.
Gray declined to tip his hand about which way he was leaning regarding Nickles.
Hamil R. Harris