- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Who is going to replace Harry Thomas Jr. as the Ward 5 D.C. Council member?

There are several reasons why it’s simply impossible to mount an objective case even at this late date, but this much is certain: Whoever rises to the top on May 15 will be a black man and a liberal, because that is the way the ward rolls.

The Republican in the overcrowded race, Tim Day, helped bring Thomas to his knees in the continuing federal investigation of public corruption. And while Mr. Day is neither fiscally nor socially conservative, his role in the Thomas probe was cited by the Other Paper in its endorsement of Mr. Day.

The five leading Democrats — Kenyan McDuffie, Delano Hunter, Frank Wilds, Ron Magnus and Drew Hubbard — are typical true-blue party loyalists who draw typical endorsements from left-leaning groups, such as Greater Greater Washington, the Gertrude Stein Club and organized labor.

But it’s what ward stakeholders haven’t heard advertised that speaks as loudly as any endorsement.

Who stands against tax increases and unchecked spending of public dollars?

Who will marshal forces for traditional marriage?

Who has the backbone to say publicly that parents need to grab hold of their unruly children and whip them into shape?

The ward needs a grownup to fill the Thomas seat, but it won’t get one if, in the waning days until May 15, the candidates continue to stumble over themselves trying to prove themselves clones of council member David A. Catania.

RINOs and donkeys

Mr. Catania used to be a Republican, but he became a “middle-man” after conservatives played their defense-of-marriage hand during the Bush administration.

But Mr. Catania, a Republican-in-name-only (RINO), couldn’t hide his true colors for long.

Abolish the elected school board. Check.

Establish same-sex marriage law. Check.

Establish medical marijuana facilities and programs (although some complainants are crying foul). Check.

Create government data banks on youths and families. Check.

Reinforce entitlements for illegal immigrants. Check.

Indeed, that latter issue gives Mr. Catania, a far-left independent, a spanking new title.

As the chief, cook and bottle washer for everything health-related for several years, Mr. Catania has now earned the nickname “Golden Boy,” having found $20.5 million in the city’s budget for immigrant health care programs.

Announcing his discovery last week, Mr. Catania said the health care government funds would ensure the city “would not turn back the clock on caring for one of our most vulnerable populations.”

That’s kind of disingenuous, because 1) the city already has very generous entitlement programs; 2) all city programs — even incarceration and legal services — are available to indigent residents, including those who cannot speak English or are here illegally; and 3) the nation’s capital is a “sanctuary city.”

Of course, this is not to say an illegal alien should, say, be left to her own devices as the baby is making his way into this world. No way.

But brown-noser politics is a staple of Democratic politics, and Mr. Catania, by the way, told me many years ago he supported a move for voters to select their own attorney general, and that, yes, he would be interested in such an elective office.

And guess what? The AG post was on his checklist, too.

After approving a referendum in 2010 to amend the D.C. Home Rule Charter, voters will get to elect an attorney general in 2014, when Mr. Catania’s seat is up for re-election.

If the studious Mr. Catania has a true knack for finding missing money, let’s sic him on the school system and see what he can mine.

• Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.