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Monday, February 22, 2010

Mayor Adrian Fenty, His Disgrace May Be Catching Up With Him

Recently The Washington Post ran a report on how black folks in Washington, DC don't support Mayor Adrian Fenty. I agree with their analysis and data.

Now here is an great article, and about a man who may just run for Mayor of washington, DC. Don Peebles appears to be just what Washington, DC needs. Check out this article from The Washington, DC "City Paper" on how Non-Candidate Don Peebles Goes Deliciously Negative on Fenty

This much is clear: If developer R. Donahue Peebles runs for mayor (and it doesn't seem to be a very big if), that vein in Adrian Fenty's forehead will be doing a lot of popping.
Last night, as a guest of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, Peebles delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a mayoral stump speech. In his remarks before a friendly crowd, Peebles lambasted Fenty's record, attacking the incumbent on education, crime, and economic development. And, at times, he got rather personal.

Notably, Peebles delivered his strident remarks minutes after D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray occupied the podium inside the old council chambers at One Judiciary Square. While Gray decried divisions in the city and got quite animated about D.C. voting rights, he did not challenge the current leadership of the city as directly as Peebles did. (Keep in mind that Gray was there to deliver brief comments before installing the organization's new officers.)

It would be unfair to compare and contrast the would-be candidates, but one thing's clear to LL: Peebles has the taste for the political jugular that Gray does not.
Peebles read from a prepared text (available below). His particular spin on the rags-to-riches story---grandson of hotel doorman becomes hotel owner---won him applause and grunts of approval from the crowd. He got even more applause when he started his broadsides at the Fenty record---noting that murders went down last year, but only "for the first time...since Adrian Fenty walked into office" and playing down rises in school test scores as modest. Like Gray, he indulged in the old "tale of two cities" line, which launched him into the meat of his attack, skewering Fenty for "economic neglect" and closing social-service offices while unemployment is at an all-time high. In another ripped-from-the-headlines riff, Peebles decried the overcrowding at the city's youth detention center.

On the night of the State of the Union address, Pebbles also deployed a classic SotU tactic, quoting a resident named Renarda House to testify to the plight of the city. Her testimony: "Fenty is not in touch at all with this community." (House appeared not to be on the premises.)

That segued into another Peebles crowd-whipper---the recent CoStar tax-abatement deal: "I wonder how Adrian Fenty would feel, how he would explain to her and the hundreds of others, how he chose to close two service centers to save $1 million while at the same very time, he flew back from a junket from Las Vegas, Nevada, and sat in first-class next to the owner of a company called CoStar and cut a deal to give him $7 million to move his business from Bethesda, Maryland, to Washington, D.C.---a deal that would not create one new job, not spark any new economic development in our community."
After wrapping up his prepared comments, things got really interesting.

After one woman in the audience of several dozen rose to urge him to run, Peebles, citing his mother-in-law's terminal cancer, said he wasn't running "at this particular time." He added: "I do intend, whether I'm a candidate or someone else is, to help support change in the city."

With that, the Fenty slams notched into high gear. For one: "I don't dislike Adrian Fenty. I mean, you know, he's probably a good athlete. But I am angry at the job that he's done as mayor and the level of disrespect and the lack of compassion."

On his economic development record: "I, at 27 years old, with $20,000 in the bank have built more buildings in Ward 8 than Adrian Fenty with $9 billion in the bank."
Peebles went on to call him "vindictive" and retaliatory toward those who don't support his political campaigns. He pivoted to address a key ant-Peebles talking point: "People have been going around telling the media that I'm just trying to buy the mayor's race. But I want to answer that for those of the media that are here: I am. I'm gonna buy it back and give it to you." Big applause for that one.

And then things got personal, apropos of the Cora Masters Barry eviction saga. As predicted, the Fenty administration's attempt to oust the estranged wife of Marion Barry from her space at a city-funded tennis center became prime campaign fodder, prompting this vein-popper: "Does he think he's gonna be mayor forever? One day his wife will be the former first lady. Then I realized he probably doesn't have much respect for her." Yikes.
And that, of course, gave way to Fenty's related snub of civil rights icon Dorothy Height and poet Maya Angelou, who wanted a meeting with Hizzoner in order to stump for Cora. "Who the hell does he think he is?....If it weren't for Dorothy Height, he wouldn't be running the city; he'd probably be working at the cleaners."

In closing, Peebles alluded to the parks contracting mess and a well-worn reference to old Howard Beale: "The reality is, I hope you all understand, Adrian Fenty doesn't care....We have got to say enough is enough...stand up and say, 'I'm mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore!'" Read more here

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