Rank still has its privileges for Mayor Marion Barry, whose limousine was parked in a most illegal manner one day last week on 15th Street NW -- but whose driver escaped with no warning or ticket.
A parking control aide happened upon Barry's car while it was parked last Wednesday afternoon in front of the Southern Building, the headquarters for the mayor's independent campaign for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
As a passing reporter stood within earshot, the civilian aide told Barry's driver, Walter W. Bracey, that the front of the car was jutting out into an alley and that it was parked directly in front of a fire hydrant, two offenses that might have cost other motorists parking tickets.
But when Bracey said to the aide, "This is the mayor's car," the aide went on about his business. Barry himself was nowhere to be seen; a couple of his staff members were loading boxes from the campaign office into the car.
Barry has said on numerous occasions that he is proud of the city's aggressive campaign against traffic scofflaws. Opponent Assails Dixon's "Token" Career
Brian Moore, an independent candidate for mayor, raised a few eyebrows at a candidates' forum last week when he suggested that Democratic nominee Sharon Pratt Dixon had been a "token black" at various stages of her career in private business and politics.
Moore, who is white, also assailed Dixon for portraying herself as an "outsider" to the District's political establishment despite her years as a local Democratic Party activist and a member of the Democratic National Committee.
"She's part of the system. She's part of the problem," Moore told the Far Northeast-Southeast Council, a coalition of 14 civic associations. "She did not clean house for 13 years."
Moore, who has run unsuccessfully for mayor and a D.C. Council seat, sat down beside Dixon after speaking and smiled at her. But Dixon remained stone-faced, and when her turn to speak came, she responded to nothing Moore had said.
In an unrelated development, Moore issued a statement earlier this week castigating local news organizations for anointing Dixon as their "media princess."
Vowing to "break the stranglehold" of special interests on city government, Moore also said, "I will not be a compassionate mayor." Mayor's Wife Warns Students of Media Bias
Effi Barry, the mayor's wife, also had a bone to pick with the news media, telling student leaders at Hampton University on Sunday that the media "no longer objectively and unbiasedly reports the news."
Barry, a 1967 Hampton graduate, said her husband suffered a "public castration" at the hands of the media and law enforcement officials. She also criticized federal authorities for "harassing black officials" and blamed the media for spreading "innuendo and distortions" and depicting only negative aspects of life in the black community.
The mayor is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 26 on his August conviction on a misdemeanor count of cocaine possession.
According to a United Press International account of Effi Barry's speech, she told the students at the predominantly black university they will have to persevere to overcome society's racial prejudices.
"You will first be judged by the color of your skin and then by the number of degrees you have." Flier Depicts Dixon Burying District
The independent mayoral campaign of Mary E. Cox has distributed literature depicting Sharon Pratt Dixon as a leering, grave-digging skeleton determined to bury District residents.
The Cox flier, which attempts to parody Dixon's campaign promise to "clean house" in D.C. government, shows the skeletal figure leaning against "Sharon's Shovel" and a headstone that reads "R.I.P. D.C." Voter Registration Hits Record High
Voter registration for the District's Nov. 6 elections cracked the magic 300,000 mark this week to break the previous record set during the 1988 presidential election season.
Even before registration closed officially at midnight Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics reported registration at well over 302,000 voters, breaking the 1988 level of 299,757.
Leona Agouridis, the board spokeswoman, said that while the old record had been shattered, officials had not detected a surge in registrants as large as the one before the Sept. 11 primaries.