If the Guinness Book of World Records ever comes up with a category of "City Council Member Most Often Confused with Someone He Is Not," the Rev. Jerry A. Moore Jr., the lone Republican on the D.C. City Council, might well be a top contender for the honor.
It's not a case of the obvious. Few people confuse the Rev. Moore with his son, Jerry A. Moore III, who's registered lobbyist for the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade and tries to influence the legislative panel on which the elder Moore serves.
The problem is Douglas E. Moore - also an at-large member of the City Council, also a minister. But Douglas Moore is a man with a political philosphy quite different from that of Councilman Jerry A. Moore Jr.
First there was the 1974 general election, when Douglas Moore was the top vote-getter among at-large candidates, a phenomenon many of Douglas Moore's opponents say resulted from confusion of Douglas Moore with Jerry Moore. Jerry Moore came in last among the four winning candidates.
Then there was the 1976 election. Douglas Moore wasn't running then, but Jerry was and he had to print special campaign signs emphasizing the Jerry and de-emphasizing the Moore, because some voters thought he was the Rev. Moore on the City Council who had bitten a tow truck driver during a fracas on the parking lot behind the District Building. Douglas Moore did the chomping.
Now comes the April edition of The Blade, the city's gay community newspaper, which carried an articles saying that Douglas Moore's current candidacy for City Council chairman "must be defeated at all costs." Accompanying the article is a full column picture captioned, "Doug Moore."
The only problem is, it's actually a picture of the Rev. Jerry A. Moore, who's not even running this time. Douglas Moore has promised, if elected, to try to removed homosexuals from the protection of the city's human rights ordinance.
Poor Jerry Moore. And he was the one who voted for Gay Pride Week in 1977, although, he said at the time, he had been hassled by some constituents because the year before he had voted with the council majority to declare. Gay Pride Day on the same day that Father's Day happened to occur. (Last year, Gay Pride Week began on the same day that some celebrate as Children's Day.)
Jerry Moore, who like Dougles is also black, said the whole thing was indicative of the white-controlled news media's insensitivity to the black community.
"That just shows that so far as whoever was doing that," he said of the newspaper's production staff, "we all look alike."
"I don't think it was that at all," responded Don Michaels, managing editor of The Blade. "We have new production people and they didn't even know what Douglas Moore looked alike. Somebody just grabbed the wrong photo and sent it over to the printer."
Michaels said the paper plans to run both pictures in its May issue and correct the error. Moore - the Rev. Jerry A. - said that will be all right with him.
Usually, Mayor Walter E. Washington's town hall meetings are well-orchestrated events. But something must have been overlooked in the planning for the latest session, which was held last week in the politically important 4th Ward in upper northwest Washington.
Not only did the mayor appear right down the hall from where some of his opponents were making their pitch for endorsement from the 4th Ward Democratic Club. But as soon as the mayor finished his opening remarks and began to introduce members of his cabinet, about half his audience walked out.
This time it was Dorothy Maultsby, one of the announced contendors for Washington's job, who had done the orchestrating. Most of those leaving were her supporters, and embarrassment of the major was apparently only one of their political objectives for the evening, Maultsby said afterwards.
The group then proceed to the Democratic club meeting, registered as new members and helped make up the overwhelming margin of victory when the club voted to endorse someone for mayor at its July 18 meeting.
No one appeared to know immediately after the meeting if Maultsby would get that endorsement. Maybe she wouldn't want it. The last two endorsements the club has made have gone to eventual losers.
Still the occasion appeared to give Maultsby, a relative newcomer to the mayor's race, a chance to show that her politics are a bit above the bush league level. And she also took a shot at the mayor, saying he had brought his meeting to Peoples Congregational Church on that particular night to "deliberately sabotage" the Democratic Club session.
"This was not nor will there ever be an effort to sabotage anyone's meeting," responded Lacy Streeter, the mayor's general assistant, as he left the church. "That's not the purpose of the government."