So, I've registered to vote in Washington. Legislative representation is overrated anyways. I am trying really hard to look at all the candidates up for election and make a sound decision on who would best represent me as a mayor or council member. I've found out that I really don't care.
Washington, DC is so politically homogeneous that every candidate blurs together. It seems like there are a dozen people running to represent Ward 3 on the City Council. All of them (except for the insane Jonathan Rees) harp on the same issues. They all promise to fight crime and to fight for our schools. That's all well and good, but it doesn't distinguish one candidate from the others. I'm being asked to pick one name out of a dozen lookalikes. The only one that really stands out for me is Sam Brooks. And that's only because he is so freaking handsome. Mary Cheh and Paul Strauss also seem highly-qualified, but they don't have Sam Brooks's dimples.
The race for the at-large council seat is really no better. The Washington Post has a wonderful article today on how the race is evolving between Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) and Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3). Since both candidates are fighting for the same things (better education, less crime, no tax increases for the poor, etc.), people are choosing their preferred candidate based on race. Blacks are going to vote for Gray and whites are going to vote for Patterson. I guess it's as good of a distinguishing factor as you'll find between two otherwise indistinguishable candidates. That still seems a bit unsavory to me. I may leave my ballot blank on this one. I will not vote for someone based on the color of their skin.
The race for mayor isn't that different. At least the two front-runners, Council Chairwoman Linda Cropp and Adrian Fenty (D-Ward 4) are finally going at it. Cropp is attacking Fenty's "nay" vote to that poor excuse of a crime bill. Advantage Fenty. That crime bill was a joke and a waste of time. Unfortunately, Fenty's history of being a legislative climber and his reputation for not being the sharpest knife in the drawer have made me wary of his candidacy. And I'm a little pissed at him for debating mayoral candidate Marie Johns (D-Verizon) deep in the heart of Anacostia at nine in the morning on a Saturday. I wanted to go to that debate. Why put it somewhere that isn't Metro accessible? It's cool that people are trying to involve the political dead zone that is Ward 8, but the time and location allowed only hardcore supporters of Johns and Fenty to watch the candidates battle it out.
I guess I'm going to vote for Johns. The position of mayor should go to an administrator. Fenty, who has been blessed with great political skills, doesn't really fit that description. Cropp's negative attacks on Fenty and Johns haven't sat well with me. Also, I want electoral revenge against anyone who threw $600 million at Major League Baseball for a stupid baseball stadium. That leaves Johns. (Yes, I know there are two other candidates, but I can't be bothered with them since they're such longshots.) Johns has been aggressive and has the background that I think a Washington mayor needs. It wasn't that long ago that Washington was financially insolvent. Home-rule is still relatively young and the city is still recovering from the Barry years. Johns' history as an executive is what the city needs.
Also, there's no way she'll win. Voting for Johns gives me a four-year license to bitch and moan about DC government. The "Don't blame me, I voted for Johns" attitude should suit me well over the next few years. I apologize in advance.
I will tell you who I voted for after I cast my ballot. In the meantime, I've heard there's a ridiculous Metro article in today's Post regarding interns and happy hours. I'll tackle that over lunch. If it's as stupid as it sounds, expect a full write-up.