Among the most recent political bedfellow in the November elections are Arthur A. Fletcher, Republican candidate for D.C. mayor, and John W. Warner, the candidate of the same party label, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.
Fletcher and Warner appeared together at a $50-per-person fundraiser for Warner recently in Arlington. In itself, that is not odd for two Republicans.
What makes the joint appearance noteworthy is that Fletcher, a former assistant secretary of labor in the Nixon administration, is known to have urged the hiring of more blacks in industry and actively worked to gain Senate approval of a constitutional amendment granting the District full voting representation in Congress.
Warner, a former secretary of the Navy in the Nixon administration, has acknowledged that he tried to moderate the pace of affirmative action programs in the Navy, is opposed to full congressional voting representation for the District and could support a proposal to give the city back to Maryland.
Politically, it was probably not an easy situation for Fletcher, considering Warner's views on District voting rights, his unpopular standing among blacks in Virginia and the fact that his campaign chairman is former Virgina Rep. Joel T. Broyhill, at one time of the strongest opponents of home rule for the city.
But when the question of his relationship to Warner was raised at a candidate's forum last week at Shepherd Elementary School in northwest Washington, Fletcher had an explanation. He had gone to the fundraiser, sponsored by physician Max Zung, to see if there were any D.C. Republicans giving to the Warner campaign who were not giving to his own, Fletcher said.
And, he added, don't forget that Art Fletcher was the one who helped deliver the 19 Republican votes that assured passage by the Senate of the full voting rights amendment. Dick Clark, co-chairman of National Coalition for Self-Determination, the group that lobbied the amendment through congress, says Fletcher did actively work for the amendment's passage and has as much right as anyone to claim partial credit for a victory which was really the result of many diverse efforts.
Still for Fletcher, a financially strapped politician campaigning against significant statistical odds, it's apparently difficult to decide whether to come out against Warner, and alienate potential donors and die-hard Republican voters, or to be a Republican team player at the risk of losing crucial Democratic crossover votes in a city where his party members are far outnumbered.
So, when asked after the forum whether he supported Warner, Fletcher said, "I'm going to answer that question because I don't want to. I'm not about to take a position on Warner and lose votes one way or another."
When the Ward 4 Democratic Club holds its $15-a-person reception Saturday for the party's nominee for mayor, Marion Barry, don't expect all the cocktail chatter to be about an avalanche Democratic victory over Republican Fletcher in the general election or the upcoming Washington Redskins- San Francisco 49er's game. Rather, trying to get that "healing feeling" may be more the order of the day.
Despite efforts by Barry and his supporters to patch up the ranks of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, some Ward 4 Democrats are still suspicious and think Barry's supporters on the state committee are trying to punish them for their lukewarm support of Barry in last month's sometimes bitter primary.
The suspicious were stirred by the outcome of a meeting last week, at which the state committee agreed to grant charters to the Democratic clubs from Wards 1 and 3 but postponed action on the charter of the Ward 4 committee.
Betty King, a Barry stalwart who heads the state committee's affirmative action committee, questioned the Ward 4 provision that would require 30 days' membership before being eligible to vote in endorsement proceedings. That, King said, is contrary to the national party's affirmative action guidelines.
"I suppose they have affirmative action in Ward 3 with their two black members," one Ward 4 club member, who supported City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker for mayor, complained privately.
Several Ward 4 Democrats grumbled that Barry supporters were just being vindictive because when the club attempted to endorse a candidate for the primary, Barry came in a distant third. Ultimately, no one was endorsed because neither of the two front-running candidates, Tucker and Mayor Walter E. Washington could muster the 60 percent majority necessary to gain the endorsement.
In the primary, Barry won Wards 1 and 3 and placed a close third in Ward 4.
Professional announcer Adolph Caesar, the bald-headed, goateed and resonant-voiced man who booms out "Gotcha!" on the television razor commercials, is a unique kind of switch hitter in the Nov. 7 general election for mayor.
It is actor Caesar's voice that Narrates the Marion Barry for mayor commericals, which, during the primary intoned, "Where was Sterling Tucker? Where was Walter Washington?" In Barry's new radio commercials, the "where was" refrain is gone, but not Caesar's deep voice.
Ironically, Caesar also provides the voice for the United Negro College Funds ads, which warn that, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." One of the people who helped coin that phrase is now running against Barry for mayor - Republican Arthur A. Fletcher, the former executive director of the fund.
After a flirtatious political affair in which he endorsed City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker's campaign in the primary, the Rev. David H. Eaton, senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Church and Marion Barry's pastor, is back with Barry. Eaton appeared at a press conference last week with other ministers supporting the Democratic nominee and said he considered it a bit odd that some of his Christian colleagues refuse to support Barry because of Barry's past radical ideas and his work with "street dudes" that some people considered "hoodlums."
"Most of us here," Eaton said. "Follow the spiritual teachings of a man born in Nazareth who was a street dude." The obvious reference was to Jesus Christ.