Douglas E. Moore launched a $7,600 radio advertising campaign yesterday to help bring together the coalition of housing and tenant activists, unionized workers and hard-core Moore supporters the former City Council member hopes will propel him to victory in the May 1 council election.
Moore's advertising campaign also aims to remove as a political obstacle the cloud of alleged personal misconduct, ineffectiveness in office and pre-occuption with fringe issues, such as gay rights and legalized gambling, which Moore's advisers believe have alienated many of his potential supporters.
"Doug has always been good on the economic issues in the city and a lot of the emotional issues ran away with his politics in the last campaign," said Moore's campaign cochairman, Marie Nahikian, refering to Moore's embarrassing loss in last year's Democratic primary for City Council chairman."He learned something."
"There were a lot of people who would support him but did'nt think the emotional issues are that important," Nahikian said.
The ads, which are being broadcast on seven area radio stations, offer the latest glimpse into the strategy that Moore and his advisers have developed for his attempt at a political comeback.
Moore's major opponent in the race for an at-large council seat, interim sharply contrasting strategy, and the race between the two men is shaping up as a contest not only between two personalities, but two different political game plans as well.
Ray, a newcomer to local politics, sought the Democratic nomination for mayor but withdrew from the race and endorsed Marion Barry, who eventually won. Ray is mounting his first serious contest for election to public office.
Moore won more votes than any other candidate in the 1974 elections for City Council at large.But last year, after being branded by his opponents as an ineffective political maverick, Moore was resoundingly defeated in the contest for the Democratic nomination for City Council chairman.
Moore, former chairman of the city's activist Black United Front, is hoping to solidify a base of rock-ribbed supporters in the poor and middle-income areas of northeast and southeast Washington. This includes voters in such neighborhoods as Brookland, Anacostia, Fort Dupont Park, Capitol View and Benning Heights.
At the same time, Moore strategist David Chatman said yesterday, Moore hopes to attract supporters in the black upper-income neighborhoods off upper 16th Street, and among housing tenant activists in such areas as Adams-Morgan, Dupont Circle and North Cleveland Park.
Moore is relying heavily on the city's organized labor groups for campaign volunteers. According to some campaign sources, he also is getting active support from political opponents of Mayor Marion Barry, who has enthusiastically endorsed Ray.
"The essence of John Ray is Marion Barry," Chatman said. "We are not running against Marion Barry. But in light of the fact that he is Ray's essence, we have to keep that in mind."
Ray, a 35-year-old lawyer, calls himself an underdog and, according to his own poll, has four times less name recognition than Moore, 50. "If the election were held four weeks ago," Ray said recently, "Doug would have won."
With a significant boost from the Barry organization, however, Ray has raised nearly $70,000 in a campaign that is forming the first real test of the new, minority-elected mayor's political strength.
Ray expects considerable support from the coalition of recently settled, middle-class professionals in the resurging areas of Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, new Southwest and Foggy Bottom as well as the affluent whites in Cleveland Park and Georgetown.
Ray also believes , however, that he can win enough votes in precints east of the Anacostic River to neutralize Moore's strength there. He is a southern-born man in a town where many blacks also hail from the South, and he has won some support among the city's influential black clergymen.
"I certainly think I'm going to do well in areas where Marion did well," Ray said yesterday. "Many of the people who supported him will probably support me. But I'm also going to do well in areas where he didn't do well."
In an effort to minimize Ray's possible inheritance of the Barry base, Moore has toned down his vigorous opposition to gay rights (gays were among Barry's strongest supporters). Moore has actively appealed to persons in precincts with large numbers of gay voters, such as the Dupont Circle area-to support him on issues that affect those areas, such as condomininium conversions, Chatman said.
Moore also expects to win the endorsement of the three major labor unions that supported Barry-those representing the city's teachers, police and firemen.
And, Chatman said, Moore strategists believe the presence in the race of a Latino candidate, Hector Rodriguez, and the endorsement of Moore by a Latino member of the school board, Frank Shaffer-Corona, should minimize support for Ray among Latinos, who strongly supported Barry.
Ray and Moore are relatively close in their positions on some issues. Last week, however, Ray began a $10,000-$15,000 radio advertising campaign in which he asserted that only Ray could get the job done on the City Council because, Ray said, "Doug is basically lazy."
One of the two 60-second radio spots that Moore began airing yesterday lists the legislative efforts that Moore considered the most significant during his four years on the Council. Not all became law.
They included measures limiting increases in property tax payments, settin g a moratorium on condominium conversions, urging the city to depostit its money in local banks instead of the U.S. Treasury, providing more funds for the city's school system, and ending the fuel adjustment fee on some utility bills.
The other advertisement was intended to show some of the "boardbased" support for Moore and to counter Moore's image as a City Council member whose personal conduct was unbefitting someone in public office. While on the council, Moore has several scrapes with the law, including one that resulted in his conviction for assault on a tow truck driver outside the District Building.
In the ad, the Rev. Franklin Williams, pastor of Asbury Methodist Church, says of Moore, "I believe completely in the integrity of the man."
Chatman said the Williams endorsement was done because, "We had to get people of known integrity to endorse his [Moore's] integrity. We had to zero out that issue because it it not a major issue."
Moore also is supported in the advertisement by Lillian Huff, former Democratic national committeewoman for the District and a strong supporter of former mayor Walter E. Washington, and Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Sophia Menatos.
Ray yesterday released a list of some 70 ministers of various faiths who he said had endorsed his candidacy, but by the end of the day the authenticity of as many as 15 to 20 of those endorsements was uncertain, according to Ray campaign officials.
The original list included the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, the city's nonvoting delegates in Congress, and the Rev. James E. McCoy of St. Paul Baptist Church, president of the 200-member Baptist Ministers Conference of Washington, D.C.% andvicinity. Aides to Fauntroy said he had not endorsed Ray and McCoy told a reporter he had not endorsed him, either.
Ted Gay, Ray's campaign manager, said that some of the endorsements were uncertain because a volunteer assigned to get final approval of the ministers had done unreliable work. Gay said a complete and accaurate list probably would be available next week.
Besides Rodriguez, Ray and Moore, the candidates in the race are Stuart D. Rosenblatt, David G. Harris, Lincovington, Richard Blanks sr., Frannie Goldman, Warren A. Hemphill sr., H. Chris Brown and Jackson R. Champion. CAPTION: Picture, MARIE NAHIKIAN . . . Moore "learned something"