- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 10, 2002

Yesterday's forum of Democratic primary candidates for D.C. mayor featured one singing, "We are D.C., we're getting shafted" to the tune of "We Are the World," while another critiqued the Bush administration's foreign policy.
A third called incumbent Mayor Anthony A. Williams a "skunk," and the fourth is a former D.C. Council member known for once having bitten a tow truck driver.
In their first joint appearance, on WTOP Radio's "Political Hour," the four Democratic candidates James W. Clark, Osie L. Thorpe, the Rev. Douglas E. Moore and Faith were asked about their platforms and their reasons for running for mayor.
"[President George W.] Bush and [Vice President Richard B.] Cheney are running around telling Iraq what to do," Mr. Clark, an 18-year veteran of the D.C. Department of Corrections, said in response to a question about his platform. "I'm running because God said, 'Take this city back for poor working blacks.'"
Mr. Thorpe chastised Mr. Williams, calling him a "skunk."
"Send him to jail," he said, reflecting on the mayor's nominating-petitions scandal that has kept Mr. Williams' name off the Sept. 10 Democratic primary ballot.
"Fine him, like he's doing to everybody else with his ticketing policy," Mr. Thorpe said, referring to the city's increased enforcement of parking regulations.
When she wasn't singing or blowing her bugle, Faith, an arts coordinator and former ballet dancer who goes by just one name and has run for mayor six times, said her goal is to "free D.C." and make arts education free for everyone. Faith, who appeared in the 1962 musical "Gypsy" as a stripper, disputed reports that she had actually worked as an exotic dancer.
Mr. Moore, the former council member, said his most important concerns were opening Klingle Road NW, putting "education and children first" and protecting the city's apartment renters.
The four candidates' names will appear on the Democratic primary ballot because they submitted at least 2,000 nominating petition signatures to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics by the June 3 deadline. Mr. Williams has been forced to mount a write-in campaign because of hundreds of forgeries among his petition signatures.
Nonetheless, the mayor appears to be the leading primary candidate. Yesterday, Mr. Williams picked up endorsements from labor unions and business groups.
Meanwhile, the elections board is scheduled to decide next week how much it will fine the Williams campaign for the forged signatures. It could fine the mayor's campaign more than $1.1 million.
Board Chairman Benjamin F. Wilson yesterday said his panel will not factor in Mr. Williams' political problems in determining the fine. The mayor had said any fine against his campaign should be within reason and in consideration of the damage his campaign has suffered.
But in an interview on WAMU radio, Mr. Wilson said that being denied access to the primary ballot and paying fines for misconduct are completely different issues.

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