Monday, September 17, 2012

Pick and Choose

I started writing this blog post in Korea. Since then, I've sailed out to Saipan. And I've gone for two weeks or so without most of the internet, though I've been able to access wikipedia aboard the ship (and spent quite a few hours on that informative website). I have not been around blogging much, but I've been thinking about politics at home. Here are some of my picks and explainations for those choices in the upcoming election in DC. Charter Amendments Expulsion by council on 5/6 vote (or 11 of 13 members) for gross misconduct. I voted Against, since “gross misconduct” does not appear to be defined, at least as presented in the proposed amendment. Although unlikely today, 20 years ago, it might have been a possibility that such an amendment would be used to expel members who “didn’t fit in” with the group. On barring councilmembers convicted of a felony while in office from holding that position again. On barring Mayors convicted of a felony while in office from holding that position again. I am For these amendments. Talk about crooks in government, DC has had its share over the years. Passing such an amendment could make it easier for minor party or independent candidates to take office. Some of the larger names in DC politics have had their share of legal troubles, to mention the least, Marion Barry (he might have been charged with a misdemeanor only, though). Chairman of the Council Phil Mendelson, Democrat He is competent in his current job as chairman of the DC council. While much of the city's political power lies east of downtown, he fares from the Northwest part of the city (where I live). He was elected from within the council to fill in for Kwame Brown, who resigned over the all-too-common-in-DC ethics scandal. At-large Councilmember Mary Brooks Beatty, Republican Her major opponent in this election is Vincent Orange, who has been on and off the DC political scene for at least the past decade. Orange most recently ran in an April 2011 open-ticket special election to fill a vacancy in the city council left by the newly-elected mayor. His major opponents, resulting in a 3-way split of the vote, were Patrick Mara, Republican, and Sekou Biddle, the placeholder and a Democratic candidate. Mara lost by about 1,200 votes (4%) and attributed it to Biddle competing for the same demographic of voters. But Orange was not a shoe-in. He had lost his past three campaigns in the city, but I recall him being quoted in a newspaper saying (this is not verbatim): “I was discouraged, but God told me to run again”. Given Orange’s recent indecisive victory, without a strong third name on the ballot, Beatty might stand a chance in a city where only 2 or 3 Republicans have won elections in the past 40 years. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, Democrat Without him on the DC Council, the City might have looked as bleak and blighted as it did 20 years ago, when he was first elected to this position. Since then, he has raised a family with three children in Georgetown; sadly, he lost his wife to cancer, and then remarried to have a large stepfamily. He has been reported by newspapers such as the DC Examiner and the City Paper as being the most fiscally conservative member of the DC council, and being very enthusiastic about new development projects, including getting a stadium built in the Chinatown area. His district includes downtown DC, and he seems to be a good match for this special duty. He also happens to go to the same barbershop as I do, and works at Patton Boggs, a legal firm just across the avenue from my place. US Senate (Shadow Seat) Nelson Rimensnyder, Republican His view on things? No taxes. That’s right, no federal taxes on DC residents until we get two voting senators and a voting representative. He is running against the incumbent Michael Brown, Democrat. While on an insiders’ tour of the Capitol, my classmates and I got to see what DC’s shadow senators do: When in the Senate chamber, they sit in chairs alongside the wall (without desks), and make comments when welcomed to. It happens that the Rimensnyder family was present at the Congresswoman’s Service Academy Send-off this past June; they have a child attending a Service Academy in the Class of 2016 (didn’t hear which Academy). US Representative G Lee Aikin, Statehood Green Party She hits out some clear points on what she would improve with the DC tax code. From the Washington Post: "My son, District-born, now in special forces, said it best: 'Mom, you have two important things. You are honest and you care." ( State Board of Education At Large Mary Lord Should research more. Ward 2 Jack Jacobson He has no opponent on the ticket.