- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2002

Dead men do not tell tales, except the ones who rose from the dead to support the re-election campaign of Mayor Anthony A. Williams.
Their tale is incredibly tall, no doubt taller than Dudley Moore, the pint-sized British actor who apparently dispatched his support of the mayor by seance.
Communicating with the dead is usually left to Miss Cleo. Only in the greatest city in the world could the dead become a tricky political issue.
As a matter of official policy, the city normally limits its dealings with the dead to parking tickets, nasty letters, collection agencies and threats of legal action if the dead ever again show their faces around town.
This is no way to run a city, either with the dead or the living, but it is the way of Washington.
It is a Washington thing. You have to spend a sweltering day waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles' lone inspection station to understand.
Understandably, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has objected to the names of the dead on the petitions, plus thousands of other questionable names, including actor Kelsey Grammer's.
The objection resulted in the mayor's name being removed from the Democratic primary ballot, which seemed reasonable enough until Mr. Williams decided to appeal with the help of Vincent Mark J. Policy.
Mr. Policy, of course, is a lawyer, and all too many lawyers have a funny way of looking at the law. A number of them could argue the sun does not rise from the east, so long as the money was sufficient and airtime on the daily news was available.
Mr. Policy says the three-member board "acted lazily" and "was simply too general in its reasoning" after it decided the Democratic Party could do without Mr. Williams in September.
Mr. Policy has adopted an interesting position, considering "lazy" was the first word out of some mouths after the names of the dead, famous and foreigners appeared on the mayor's petitions.
No one questioned the mayor's ability to garner the prescribed number of valid signatures. The question, as always, concerned those who labor in the employ of the city and Mr. Williams. He has developed a bad habit of allowing frauds to hurt the city.
In this case, the cloud of suspicion has fallen on Scott Bishop Sr., Scott Bishop Jr. and Crystal Bishop, the wife of junior, after the father and son invoked the Fifth Amendment at a hearing designed to learn the real hand behind Tony Blair's signature. Was it the Prime Minister Tony Blair, or is there another Tony Blair standing in line at a DMV center?
The Bishops, father and son, elected not to discuss the petition, which might lead the average person to be a teensy-weensy bit suspicious.
The average person is not Mr. Policy, a book-smart lawyer.
As he sees it, the reticence of the Bishops does not necessarily mean they have anything to hide or fear from the U.S. attorney and the D.C. corporation counsel.
They could have been suffering from laryngitis on the day their vocal chords were out of commission.
Or maybe they felt the strong sense of skepticism about them. Or maybe their crystal ball was out of order. You never know in these affairs.
All you know is the Bishops have not explained their involvement, if any, with the dead.
That makes it tough.
When it comes to securing signatures from the dead, you either are a believer or a nonbeliever. There is no middle ground.
The city could warm up an independent crystal ball.
After all, Mr. Moore, the dead actor who supports the mayor, has some powerful explaining to do. There is the question of his citizenship, plus the residency requirement.
Mr. Moore, a funny guy who played a good drunk on the big screen, is possibly in a better position to be more talkative than the Bishops.
So many are hard at work trying to resolve this colossal credibility gap: lawyers, investigators, prosecutors and various city agencies.
They could do worse than to conduct a seance with Mr. Moore.

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