The staff of the Alvin C. Frost for Mayor campaign consists of:
Alvin C. Frost.
The spending of the Alvin C. Frost for Mayor campaign consists of:
About $50, and slowly counting.
But what Frost's Statehood Party campaign lacks in bodies and bucks, it hopes to make up in memories. Specifically, Frost would like every D.C. voter to remember the time when the candidate got fired.
It was 4 1/2 years ago. Frost, then a senior cash-management analyst for the city, wrote an internal memo about the Barry administration's "incompetence, mismanagement, negligence, political favoritism, intimidation, indifference."
The memo was leaked to the media. During the ensuing uproar, Frost changed one of the city's computer passwords to keep officials from destroying documents that would prove his points, he said. What really made him famous is that he then said he forgot what the new password was -- it had something to do with the Declaration of Independence, he said -- and he invited people across the country to guess what it might be.
Frost was then invited to leave the city's payroll.
Now he's running for the Statehood Party mayoral nomination. And while he is unopposed in the Sept. 11 primary, he's still campaigning, preparing for the November showdown with Maurice T. Turner Jr., the former D.C. police chief who will be the Republican Party nominee, with whoever emerges from the pack of five Democrats seeking their party's nomination, and with other independent candidates.
Frost's pitch is that he is a candidate to trust. After all, he says, he got canned for his beliefs.
"People want to see an example of honesty and integrity," Frost said in an interview the other day. "They know I actually put something on the line . . . . "
Frost, 41, a native Washingtonian and the divorced father of a 13-year-old daughter, is a slight, soft-spoken man who has spent the time since his dismissal operating his own business consulting firm, researching a book on D.C. government and writing poetry.
Though he has a degree from the Harvard Business School, he has been unable to find a job because, he said, he is known now as a troublemaker. "It's been extremely difficult financially," he said. "I have more debt than I can pay."
He ran for mayor once before, shortly after his dismissal, and for delegate to Congress in 1988. His message went nowhere with voters in the 1986 mayoral election, he said, because "the things I talked about -- the incompetence, the mismanagement -- that was new to them."
Now, after the long investigation and trial of Mayor Marion Barry and after recent independent reports about excessive numbers of city workers, "everybody's talking about too many people in the government bureaucracy, everybody's talking about government that isn't working as it should, morally and ethically."
In that climate, he said, his message finds an audience and his lack of a political track record becomes an asset: "People have looked at what they get for their dollars and they're tired of the politicization of their government and are therefore not impressed by someone who's held political office."
Frost has other issues. He's for rent control, against new taxes and for statehood, and has a detailed program for curing the drug problem. But, he said in response to a Washington Post questionnaire, "The D.C. government's most serious problem is its own performance."