Patrick Mara, middle, and Perry Redd, left, take part in a candidate forum for the upcoming special election at Ballou High School on Monday evening. (Amanda Voisard/For The Washintgton Post)

What could be more essential to democracy than the candidates’ forum? What could be more central to a well-functioning body politic than giving the people the opportunity to eye their potential leaders, personally assessing their views and positions and hygiene and apparel? Well, in this city of 632,000, there just might be too much of a good thing, Tim Craig reports in the Post. Every night, a different forum — a different neighborhood association, a different political lobby, a different local affinity aims to gather the candidates for summits of varying utility. And the candidates in the upcoming D.C. Council special election are lightly grumbling. “I would rather be meeting voters on their doorstep,” says Elissa Silverman. “If something goes on two, three and four hours, that’s a problem,” says Anita Bonds. But the reality, political strategist Tom Lindenfeld explains, is this: “You cannot not go.”

In other news:

Leo Alexander says Vince Gray, urging him to quit 2010 race, had him speak to “shadow campaign” figure (Post)

On Tax Day in the land of taxation without representation, a question to ponder: Would you rather have representation or taxation? (Post)

In most recent DC-CAS round, cheating found in 18 classrooms out of 2,688 tested (Post)

Report notes allegations of longstanding cheating at Langdon Education Campus (Answer Sheet)

Council education committee will have hearing on test security next week … (Answer SheetNYT)

… But David Catania says he won’t be looking back in anger (Post)

Closure of public housing waitlist draw protests (WAMU-FMHousing ComplexWJLA-TV)

DPW looking at thicker, more secure lids and better hinges for new Supercans (Examiner)

Budget autonomy campaign gets belated endorsement from Hizzoner (WNEW-FMWaTimesWRC-TV)

Embattled Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe responds to his critics: “It hasn’t impacted me at all. … It’s just the nature of the job.”

Anita Bonds is “aghast” that anyone would interpret her recent comments as racial pandering (Post editorial)

Jim Vance: Bonds “blew herself up, if not out” with “indisputable signal of desperation” (WRC-TV)

Colby King: “This contest matters to the District. Race should not.” (Post column)

Patrick Mara says vote-splitting remarks aren’t racial (PostPartisan)

Memorial Bridge will get quarter-billion-dollar rehab (Post)

Restructuring proposal “would strengthen, not weaken” the attorney general’s office, Irv Nathan says (Post op-ed)

Even with University of Maryland partnership, Corcoran’s future remains unsettled (Post)

Can GWU get past its “rich kid” reputation? (Post Magazine)

“Ride-sharing” services will be subject to regulation, Taxi Commission says (City DeskDCist)

Gray budget plan inches up on 12 percent debt cap — big deal, or so what? (Examiner)

Sidwell Friends, the charter school (Post)

Much-lauded BASIS charter gets criticized for high mid-year losses, low special-ed population (Examiner)

What happens if Michael Brown wins? (Loose Lips)

Should smoking ban apply to hookah bars? (WJLA-TV)

How the streetcar might go from H Street to Georgetown (GGW)

The debate over neighborhood preference for charter schools defies traditional fault lines (GGW)

“Can government experiment?” (Post op-ed)

Another Capital Bikeshare ridership record (Dr. Gridlock)

New U Street development threatens forgettable mural (Arts Desk)

AFI Docs, formerly Silverdocs, will have a D.C. footprint for the first time (Post)

Guilty plea in killing of H Street shopkeeper Hae Soon Lim (PostHomicide Watch)

New trial set for man accused of beating Foggy Bottom vendor (Post)

Chicagoland tourist found dead in Tidal Basin (Post)

Friday night violence wounds four (Post)

Georgetown University chapel is vandalized (Post)

“Is Capitol Hill too Awesome?” (The Hill Is Home)