Douglas Moore was at it again last week, running up and down the long lines of motorists waiting to renew their auto license tags at sky-high rates and passing out little leaflets.
"Councilman DOUGLAS MOORE DID NOT VOTE to increase your car tags or personal income tax to 9 per cent," read a small piece of paper Moore was distributing. The mini-flier then extended an invitation to "The people's hours with Douglas Moore. Mondays from 2 o'clock p.m. to 5 o'clock p.m. Call 724-8052 to be scheduled."
It was the same brand of personal politicking Moore used last fall when city residents waited in long lines to register their hand guns under the city's controversial gun registration law. Moore had fought hard against passage of the law.
The problem this time was that Moore did vote - at least in the first instance - to increase the auto tag fees. In fact, according to the official record of the finance and revenue committee meeting at which the increases were approved, it was Moore who joined Marion Barry and Polly Shackleton to get the measure approved on a 3-2 vote.
Later, when the revenue package came before the full Council, Moore voted against it. But had it not been for his affirmative vote in committee, the increase would never gotten to the Council floor in the first place.
Moore said this week that he had voted for the increased tags in committee only in lieu of a 1 per cent gross receipts business tax that he preferred but that other Council members opposed, and because he did not believe legislation should be bottled up in committee.
"It's always been my policy to vote to bring things out of committee. But my main vote is on the floor where I voted against it," Moore said.
"If one or more of your relatives . . . is employed by the D.C. Government (as an official) pleast list below the names, occupation, and work locations and your relationship to each person listed. If none, so indicate."
That's the new anti-nepotism clause that has been added to applications for employment with the city government following the Yeldell affair. In the month since the clause has been used, says personnel director George Harrod, not one would-be nepotee has been found.
"I think Willie's crazy myself. She's got the men down there making closets," Council member Nadine Winter was telling one of her colleagues Monday, not knowing that her microphone on the Council dais was open and her words could be heard on the press room monitor.
Winter was talking about Willie J. Hardy, the Council's chairman pro tempore, who has been in charge of lining up new Council office space. What had Winter so upset was that she had gotten some draperies and other furniture for her new office - on the first floor where part of the economic development department used to be - and then Hardy apparently changed the floor plan.
"Sometimes she treats us like we're children," Winter said later.
For months, Winter has wanted to move out of her present quarters on the fifth floor, contending they are a firetrap and hard to get to. "I have so many constituents coming in and out, I'd like to be someplace where I'm more accessible," she said.
So Winter should be moving any day now to the first floor, where she will become the only Council member to have not only her personal staff but the staff from her committee - housing and urban development - all together.
The remoteness of Winter's old office was highlighted during the recent takeover of the District Building by Hanafi Muslims. It was only a few feet from her office door that most of the 28 persons were barricaded during the siege, unable to leave because the only way out would have been down two long hallways - and right past the gunman.
The building has no fire escapes, and asks Winter, what would happen if there was a fire half a block down the hall - in front of the only exit door?
Last week's article in The Washington Post reporting allegations of widespread mismanagement in the D.C. recreation department headed by director William Rumsey does not appear to have lowered Rumsey's standing in city government. But some of the top officers in the U.S. Army Reserve also read the article, and that's where the trouble may be.
Rumsey, a colonel in the reserve, had been nominated for promotion to brigadier general just before the article appeared. Army superiors in Richmond told him last week, Rumsey said, that the bad publicity could affect his chances for promotion, Rumsey's upset.
"It's not at all the money," he said. "But I've been a commander on the staff, I've been to war college. I prepared so many years to be considered."
The Board of Elections and Ethics would dearly like to get its hands on a book of those "I'd Like Marion Barry as Mayor" matches. With either the matches or a complaint, the board could investigate whether Barry has, in effect, declared himself a candidate for mayor by not trying to stop distribution of the campaign literature. If Barry is a candidate for mayor, he would have to resign his seat on the Council, the board believes. But it appears that none of the board members are travelling in the right political circles, so at this point they know the matches exist only "according to reliable sources."