The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

D.C. autonomy push gets April Fools treatment

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Monday, activists led by D.C. Vote are running Internet ads on Facebook and local blogs offering residents reasons to “say no to D.C. budget autonomy” on April 23 — the day a controversial referendum will appear on city ballots.

D.C. Vote, of course, wants residents to say yes to Referendum 8, which would modify the District charter to allow the city to spend locally raised funds prior to a congressional appropriation.

To make that point, the ads promote some questionable arguments against budget autonomy: “We can trust Congress with our money,” for one. That ad features the bipartisan floating heads of House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The ads are part of a broader marketing campaign in support of the referendum, one that has included yard signs, community speaking engagements and happy hours.