City Council member Douglas E. Moore seems to have some of his best rhetorical moments on the dance floor, and such was the case when Moore appeared along with Mayor Walter E. Washington last week at a "Youth for Washington" rally at the Casablanca disco at 1420 16th St. NW.
Moore, who is running for council chairman, took the opportunity to respond in his own way to suggestions by the wife of his principal opponent that Moore is an embarassment to some older Washingtonians. Sharon Dixon, wife of City Council member Arrington Dixon, said senior city residents aren't going to support someone who would not behave properly and speak clearly in the presence of foreign dignitaries - someone, for example, who would be "soft on their d's and t's in front of Queen Elizabeth."
In less public circles, Moore and some of his associates have been embittered by that remark. But last week's youth rally for the mayor was a chance for Moore to respond more lightly.
"I. Want. To. Make. Sure. You. Understand. Every. B. D. And. T," Moore began slowly. After about 20 seconds of this, during which he mentioned that a boyhood teacher had warned him that such consonants had to be pronounced carefully because they were "explosives," Moore quickly proclaimed, "Now, I'm through with it. Y'all want me to do some French?"
They did, so Moore, who has frequently reserved his French for visiting West African dignitaries, persistent reporters and school superintendents who propose eliminating foreign language programs in the city's public schools, spat out a French-sounding-phrase that was greeted with an occassional "ooh" and "ah" from the young disco crowd.
"I said, 'You are the most beautiful women throughout the world,' "he offered immediately in translation.
After that, Moore couldn't help patting himself on the back and declaring a proletarian victory. "Douglas Moore has mastered it," he told the crowd. "A 'bama (country boy) from North Carolina."
The first time the District of Columbia government applied for some Urban Development Action Grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development the proposals were not submitted before the deadline, HUD Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris said then that the city was better at putting out press releases than at writing proposals.
Last month, the city's second effort to obtain UDAG grants was also rejected, but the reasons were not immediately clear.
It turns out that one of the major problems with the city applications, a HUD spokesman confirmed this week, was that administrative costs were too high - a frequent criticism of Washington requests for federal housing aid.
"D.C. has one of the highest, if not the highest, administrative costs in the nation, "the spokesman said.
In one instance, the city asked for $3.96 million for a second mortgage on the proposed 300,000-square-foot shopping center proposed by hardware store executive John W. Hechinger on land owner by his company at H Street, Benning Road and Bladensburg Road NE, the spokesman said. The city then asked for $200,000 more in administrative costs.
"It doesn't take $200,000 worth of people," the HUD spokesman said, "to administer a second mortgage."
David Hall, who's running for City Council while serving time in the D.C. Jail for writing bad checks, has got to have heart. His own campaign is $200 in debt and has received no contributions, according to reports on file with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.
But that didn't stop Hall from donating $120 to City Council member Marion Barry's campaign for mayor early last March - just about four weeks before Hall began serving a one-year term for writing $1200 in bad checks.
The donation to the Barry organization was made in two separate checks. According to Barry's campaign staff, both checks bounced.