CITIZEN JOURNALISM: D.C.’s race for mayor in spotlight

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Mr. Nickles is drawing the spotlight for other reasons, too. He rejected a subpoena from D.C. Auditor Deborah K. Nichols to review real estate transactions involving the Anacostia waterfront. A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Mr. Nickles to grant access earlier this month. The auditor is an investigative arm of the council and does not report to Mr. Nickles.

Also, there seems to be a running feud between Mr. Nickles and Council member Mary Cheh, who has called the Fenty administration lawless and has said Mr. Nickles should step down. For his part, Mr. Nickles has called Ms. Cheh an “angry woman.”

“What struck me was Nickles’ blatant sexism (which DCist picked up on),” City Paper reporter Jason Cherkis wrote Monday. “Nickles’ comment that ‘she’s an angry woman’ feels like he’s channeling Mad Men. It’s made all the more ironic considering that Nickles had played the race and gender card over the very topic he and Cheh are fighting about: Ximena Hartsock.”

Who is Ximena Hartsock?

She is the Fenty administration parks and recreation appointee to whom the council gave a 7-5 thumbs-down confirmation vote. To poke his own thumb, the mayor named her interim department chief on Friday.

The checks and balance system is seemingly alive and well in City Hall as the run for the races draws near. Besides the run for mayor, several council seats will be in play, and chief among them are the chairman and two at-large seats.

In her piece, Ms. Pearson-West not only begs the question regarding the 2010 race for mayor, but points out that it will take “one strong candidate” to beat the incumbent.

“Only one viable candidate needs to get out there to challenge the mayor and humble him before the voters,” she said. “Only one strong candidate should be in the race against the mayor to be able to beat him and send him packing after the election.”

About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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