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Now Cropp Wants to Take on Fenty
Orange, by the way, says his position doesn't mean he doesn't love gay people. In fact, he said he supports District laws that recognize civil unions joining gay and lesbian couples.
Bobb's Who's Who
Last week's meeting to kick off City Administrator Robert C. Bobb 's campaign for school board president looked like a who's who of city government and political activism. The crowd of 40 included agency directors Carol Mitten of the Office of Property Management and Patrick J. Canavan of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Dee Hunter from Ward 1 and Sandra Seegars from Ward 8; and Mary Cuthbert of the Ward 8 Democrats.
But no teachers, principals or other education officials showed up for the meeting at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. And when folks in attendance raised questions about the schools, Bobb didn't answer them directly, according to those present. For example, Bobb declined to state a position on the proliferation of charter schools, saying he would poll residents for their opinions.
Bobb is pressing on nonetheless, telling supporters that he plans to challenge his rivals to debates, open two campaign offices and collect more than 3,000 signatures by the Aug. 30 deadline -- three times more than required by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. He also introduced campaign manager Paula Nickens , the former chairman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee.
His competition includes school board Vice President Carolyn Graham , once a deputy mayor under Mayor Anthony A. Williams; Timothy Jenkins , a technology consultant who was interim president of the University of the District of Columbia; school activist Sunday Abraham ; Laurent Ross , the first director of the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program; and E dward Henry Wolterbeek , a real estate broker and financial planner.
The E-Mail Loophole
In the at-large council race, challenger A. Scott Bolden is complaining that incumbent Phil Mendelson recently distributed a newsletter in violation of D.C. law. It seems elected officials can't send newsletters to constituents -- who may also be voters -- in the 90 days before an election.
But there's a loophole: e-mail.
The law "applies to first-class postage," said Charlotte Brookins-Hudson , general counsel to the council. "There's no law that expressly addresses e-mail."
The August newsletter, which Mendelson shipped electronically, outlines 10 measures Mendelson recently moved through the council and features a brief story about an award he received from the American Cancer Society. Bolden spokesman Chuck Thies said Mendelson shouldn't have sent it. "The spirit of the law is to curtail electioneering activities," he said.
Mendelson campaign manager Jason Shedlock dismissed Bolden's complaint, calling it "a desperate effort on our opponent's part to make news."
Gray's Successful Fundraising
In the race for council chairman, Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) waited until the last minute last Thursday to submit his campaign finance reports. He must have been busy counting the day's take: At three fundraisers, Gray raked in $66,027 -- more than a quarter of the total he raised over the past two months.
Gray is outpacing rival Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3) in the race for cash, with about $433,000 compared with Patterson's $276,000. He raised more than a third of his money from corporations, whereas only 22 percent of Patterson's have come from business. Patterson, you will recall, ticked off the city's hotel and restaurant industry last year when she proposed funding a $1 billion plan to modernize schools by raising the city's hotel and parking tax.
Staff writer Nikita Stewart contributed to this report.