- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2002

Elvis is possibly one of the signatures lurking on the petition forms of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, even though the King works at a Burger King in Kalamazoo, Mich.

The number of questionable signatures, out of an estimated 10,000, is to be determined by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics later this month.

City residency is one requirement to be judged a valid supporter of the mayor. Another is being able to breathe, which eliminates Dudley Moore, a dead giveaway if ever there was one.

Mr. Williams is not happy, predictably enough, if only because an attempt to resurrect the dead is different from a campaign promise to walk on water.

It is an unnecessary complication, best left to those who communicate with the dead.

A succession of one-liners is an awful thing to waste on a political formality, and nothing against Kelsey Grammer, a recovering town drunk in Hollywood who took time from his busy schedule to sign no doubt by mental telepathy the mayor's petition.

Who devised this political game plan anyway, Eddie Murphy or Robin Williams?

To the unsuspecting goes the urging to put your John Hancock right there. That could be John Hancock himself.

The campaign staffers must have been suffering from fatigue, the city's leading affliction. The staffers apparently were too tired to search out those present in the city and jotted down whatever names popped into their small minds.

Nero? Why not? He probably would feel good about the mayor if he were still around. Spike Lee? No. Too obvious. Abraham Lincoln? Maybe. The Palm Man of New York Avenue? Easy. Put his name down.

The fraud goes with the territory.

The frauds are running the asylum, assuming all the frauds in city government have not been uncovered.

Ronnie Few, the outgoing D.C. fire chief with a questionable past, plus an imaginary one, is awaiting to be feted at his going-away party. By his standards, a Man of the Year Award is in order, to be added to his resume.

The details are starting to add up on the mayor, especially when a connection is made between the unqualified and the inefficiency of city services.

Destiny goes down as another detail, one of the few printable names for the new computer system that has turned a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles into the bureaucratic version of "Cast Away."

Six frauds, counting the fire chief who is overstaying his welcome, have passed under the ever-watchful eye of Mr. Williams.

This is not a pattern. This is a way of life.

Need a high-paying job? Apply to the city. No resume, references and expertise required, just an interest in living off the taxpayers and the parking/speed camera industry.

The bogus signatures are a distant relative of the bogus resumes, a reflection of the sloth.

Dropping the name of an important person is a rite of Washington. Writing down the name of an important person puts the practice to paper.

Tony Blair, anyone?

How about Winston Churchill?

Mr. Williams is expected to recover from the name game and the political huffing and puffing that goes with it. There is no quit in him. His confidence is understandable in a one-party town. It is his party. It is his town.

The mayor inevitably means well, the initial attraction after the former mayor-for-life.

In a city stuffed with those who normally chirp off the record to push their agendas, the potential rivals of the mayor are starting to feel empowered by his missteps.

They are making a list and checking it twice.

The latest is a beauty.

Martha Stewart's signature on the petition provides the insult to the injury.

Martha Washington must have been too busy to throw her support behind the mayor.

Mr. Williams is excused if the amusement eludes him.

Some politicos have a bad sound-bite day. The mayor is having a bad sound-bite year.

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