Sam Eastman, the press secretary for Mayor Walter E. Washington, may have pulled off the ultimate coup d'etat on the Hatch Act last week when a reelection fundraiser for his boss was held in Eastmen's Northwest Washington home.
Actually, it was Eastman's wife Betty who officially sponsored the affair, held at the huge 3-story, 49-year-old brick mansion with six working fireplaces in the Gold Coast neighborhood of upper Northwest.
In some spots, the guest book read like a Who's Who of D.C. city government: City Administrator Julian R. Dugas, fire Chief Jefferson W Lewis, former fire chief Burton W. Johnson, deputy budget directors William Krause and Gladys Mack and Clinton L. McDonald, executive director of the Board of Appeals and Review, to name a few.
Sam Eastman is one who claims to assiduously avoid violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits city employes from taking part in partisan political campaigns. So except for taking a few hours of annual leave to come home and cut the grass. Eastman said he had no part in this affair. His wife, the office manager for a U.S. Senate subcommittee and not covered by the Hatch Act, agreed.
"Sam has carried some pieces of furniture for me from upstairs to downstairs. He's mowed the lawn," Betty Eastman said. "But it's my party. He just loves here."
Whatever hard feelinga there may have been between CIty Council member Douglas E.Moore and fellow council member Marion Barry about Moore's attack on Barry in Moore's book, "The Buying and Selling of the D.C. City COuncil," the dictates of politics have apparently healed some wounds.
In the book, Moore accused Barry of "selling out" to the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade. At a forum for Democratic candidates for mayor last week, Barry offered backhanded praise for Moore as one who had produced "finely tuned" city budgets as chairman of the council budget committee in 1975 and 1976.
It was only when council Chairman Sterling Tucker, one of Barry's major opponents for the Democratic nomaination for mayor, took over the budget committee in 1977, Barry said, that things began to go wrong.
"Because the budget was so badly put together, six of us on the council said no" and voted against it, Barry said, in response to a question about the Senate District Appropriations Subcommittee's decision last week to chop payment request to support the fiscal year 1979 budget.
"I maintain that Sterling Tucker and the mayor are almost equally at fault for what has happened to our budget," Barry said.
Tucker labeled Barry's vote against the budget an "irresponsible" action.
Florence Tate, Barry's campaign press secretary, quicly pointed out that Barry's praise for Moore should not be taken as an indication of a new political alliance between Barry and Moore.
"Going on the basis of his experience on the City council," Tate said, "he simply called it as he saw it. Marion's not opposing anyone (for council chairman). He's not supporting anyone. He's simply campaigning for the mayor's seat."
Now to correct the record on some of the dubious "firsts" claimed recently in local political history:
City Council member Arrington Dixon has taken to introducing his campaign manager, Vivien Cunningham, as the first woman to run a citywide campaign in the District. The Rev. Lola Johnson Singletary ran Hilda Mason's campaign for an at-large city council seat in the July 19 special election last year. And won.
"Is there anybody else?" Cunningham asked when the matter was drawn to her attention. "Well, then that's wrong and we stand corrected. I don't mind being the second.
"I'm sorry it had to be even noted, but that's the way things are in a sexist world."
Republican Jackson R. Champion, who is making a second attempt at being elected mayor, claims that his won book, "Blacks in the Republican Party, The Story of a Revolutionary Conservative Black Republican," preceded Moore's "The Buying and Selling of the D.C. CIty COuncil" as the first treatise on local home rule politics.
Actually Champion's book, published in 1976, is mostly autobrigraphical. "Home in the beginning was Camden, South Carolina," Champion reminisces on the first page. The book's local angle is 24 pages of text on Champion's resounding loss to Washington in the 1974 general election by a margin of more than 22-1.
Moore's book is mostly a compendium pf public decuments interspered with editorial comment and political accusations. Most of Champion's chapter on "The Campaign and Present Adminstration of D.C." is made up of press releases, position papers and letters leftover from the unsuccessful 1974 campaign.
Former D.C. Corporation Counsel John R. Risher Jr., who resigned June 25, has found a new job and it should be no surprise. Risher is to begin next week with the same law firm that employed him before he joined Mayor Walter E. Wasgington's administration in 1977 - Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin and Kahn.
When Risher announced his resignation, he said he would be available if the mayor wanted him to help in this year's reelection campaign (Risher was general counsel to the 1974 campaign organization).Risher said this week that he has already received a first assignment from his former boss: to assess the campaign and report back to thechief executive.