24 August 2006

Washington Post Endorses Thomas for Ward 5

From today's WaPo editorials:
Ward 5 has an especially attractive field of candidates. Three stand out as able potential successors to Mr. Orange: Frank Wilds, a businessman and Ward 5 Democratic Party vice chairman; Bruce Marshall, an attorney and former government administrator; and Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr., a community leader and director of a youth mentoring and learning program. Four years ago, when he captured 40 percent of the vote against Mr. Orange, we said that "Mr. Thomas is close to the Ward 5 community and makes a strong impression on those voters he seeks to win over" but that he would have to broaden his reach to be successful. Mr. Thomas has done that in the intervening years by deepening his service to Ward 5 residents, expanding his civic accomplishments, and earning the respect and support of civic and community leaders. He bears the name of his father, the late former council member Harry Thomas, and the strengths and attributes of his mother, former public school principal Romaine B. Thomas. But Harry Thomas Jr., through the services rendered and experience gained in Ward 5 activities, has earned the nomination of his party on his own.

I'm still undecided. I do know that Frank Wilds has disappointed me by leaving recent ANC-5A meetings midway through - if you're a commissioner, you know you have at least one two-hour committment every month, and this seems more obvious to me than to Wilds. Anyone else?


  1. I have been less than enthusiastic about Thomas in the past. His email and listserv posts are fraught with mispellings and poor grammar. This may be petty, but having a smart person would be a good start.

  2. There's that, and I wish Thomas's "Crime Blog" hadn't petered out after just two posts. Not saying you have to be a blogger to get my vote, but the lack of follow-through is a bit disconcerting.

  3. Saw him at the Woodridge Civic Assn meeting at the Library a few weeks ago. Impressed me somewhat; seems about as genuine as a DC politico could be. Bright and quick.

  4. What?! You went to a meeting without me? Where was I? :) Bummed that I still haven't made it to a WCA meeting....

    I saw him at a 5A meeting some time back, and his oratory is impressive. The other night I was at Café Sureía meeting with Abigail Padou, editor of the Brookland Heartbeat, when he walked in. For obvious reasons he chatted her up quite a bit, but had no interest in me other than a quick hello. Not sure what to infer from that - on the one hand it was refreshing not to press the flesh in an disingenuous way, but on the other hand, wouldn't he want to make a good/interested impression on a likely constituent in an informal setting?

    Okay - enough with my sensitivities. At the very least, I'm confident he'd be better than the big O, and I like his ongoing commitment to community youth.

    Recently, the City Paper, the Common Denominator and DC North have had recent articles addressing the issue of Hatch Act violations by ANC candidates. For example, ANC Commissioner Robert Brannum was a candidate for Council chair who complied with the law and stepped down after consulting with the Office of the Special Counsel. I raised the issue at a recent forum on Channel 8.
    Since then, you have done nothing to answer the question. Therefore, I hereby challenge you Frank Wilds to comply with the Hatch Act provisions which prohibit ANC commissioners from running for City Council without first resigning your ANC seat. The Hatch Act is very clear on its face. It prohibits anyone who is part of DC government, including ANC commissioners, from running for elective office. Under 5 USC Sec. 7322 (1)(c), the prohibition applies to everyone except the “Mayor, City Council members and the Recorder of Deeds.” I had to resign my seat as an Assistant Attorney General in DC to run and you should comply with the Hatch Act as well. I followed the law; do you consider yourself above the law. You can’t have it both ways. The paramount question is how you ask the voters to trust you to uphold the laws as a sworn councilmember is required to do, but you won’t uphold the law as a council candidate. That’s a double standard.
    This is the perfect example of why the public continues to lose faith in government and confidence in politics. To continue to run against the Hatch Act can only mean that you ethically challenged. Anyone who breaks the law doesn’t deserve to be elected to public office.
    Wilds should resign his ANC seat or resign as a council candidate. If you continue to refuse to comply with the law, I challenge you to a public debate so you can explain to the voters of Ward 5 why you feel you aren’t breaking the law, why you are not being disingenuous with the Ward and why you are opposed to ethics in government.
    Also, in the spirit of total transparency, a quick review of your financial contributions shows that you and your key sponsor, development lawyer and former city councilman John Ray are beholden to the development community and their special interests. I am running as an advocate of the people. I’m not bought or paid for by special interests and I will fight to restore ethical values to city government. Of course, I don’t expect you to accept my challenge to debate because you are content to try to buy this election with the help of John Ray. Well, I am running to tell you in no uncertain terms that Ward 5 is not for sale.
    The stakes in this election are too high to let you sweep your unethical conduct under the rug. I will always speak truth to power with the voters. To do anything less is an insult to the voters and to the integrity of our democratic process. It’s all about good government and the highest ethical standards. I am passionate about this because too many citizens think politics is fixed and that government is crooked. Your actions confirm the worst fears citizens have about their government. I await your response to my public challenge. You can reach me at www.RonMagnusforWard5.com

    Does anyone know anything about Ward 5 councilmember Independent candidate Miriam Moore and her Republican mayoral candidate husband Dennis Moore? The live in our ward.

    I Googled and found them at www.MooreForPeople.com

    Where has the media been on these two? What an interesting pair they would make for conversation!

    Can anyone give me their honest opinion about any one of them? I am really hesitant to vote based on the same old "front-runner" hype this year. - Thanks!


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