Gray has not detailed his knowledge of the spending but has lamented the campaign scandals in general terms. “This is not the campaign that we intended to run,” he said July 11.
Louis Clark, 65, said his opinion that the mayor should resign is driven by evidence. “First of all, there’s more than the appearance of wrongdoing, in terms of campaign finance violations. These people were integral to the campaign itself,” said Clark, a lawyer who lives in Chevy Chase. “I don’t think it’s believable that he had no idea what was going on.”
Clark, who is white and voted for Gray, said that if the mayor didn’t know about the secret spending, “it raises doubts about his ability to run a campaign and subsequently the administration.”
Gray has called on residents to draw a distinction between his campaign and his administration. He pointed to his accomplishments, including a declining unemployment rate that at 9.1 percent is the lowest since April 2009. He attributed the rate partly to his “One City, One Hire” initiative, an ambitious effort to match 10,000 unemployed residents with private jobs.
But the poll, conducted Sunday to Tuesday via land-line and mobile phones, shows that the public gives little credit to the administration amid campaign scandals.
Only one in four respondents agree that Gray is running an ethical administration. Among those questioning the administration’s ethics are about half of those who said they voted for Gray in 2010.
In addition, more than six in 10 residents say Gray is doing a less-than-satisfactory job on his main policy priority — creating jobs for city residents — and over half say he is not doing well on improving schools or services.
Kelly said she had hoped Gray would counter his predecessors in getting more services to poor residents and those living east of the Anacostia River. But she said she still thinks that her community is not getting enough attention.
“When it’s time to vote . . . then they come around,” she said.
Wider problems seen
Meanwhile, there is a broad sense that the ethical questions and criminal investigations represent a challenge in city politics.
More than two-thirds of poll respondents say they have closely followed the recent scandals — including the federal pleas and resignations of D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) and council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5). Among registered voters, three-quarters say they are watching very closely or somewhat closely.
About three in four say the scandals represent wider problems in city politics rather than isolated incidents. Forty-four percent say they think corruption in D.C. government is getting worse.