- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2005

D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp’s mayoral campaign is barely two days old, but she already has more signs peppering the District than any other candidate.

Yet Mrs. Cropp says neither she nor her staff is responsible for the “THINK CROPP” placards, which have dominated the cityscape from Capitol Hill to U Street since Saturday. They even appear in Spanish: “PIENSEN CROPP.”

“I don’t know [who posted the signs],” said the at-large Democrat, who officially announced her candidacy Wednesday. “Obviously, it’s a group of people who are thinking correctly.”

The man taking credit for the black-and-white posters is L. Maurice Daniel, chairman of Think DC Political Action Committee.

A communication and direct-mail consultant, Mr. Daniel says he has never met Mrs. Cropp. His only goal is to get voters to “think.”

“Choosing a leader for the city is a serious decision that has the potential to affect all of our lives,” said Mr. Daniel, a 41-year-old Ward 4 resident. “And we wanted to make sure the people take this seriously, and we want to advocate for the strongest candidate.”

Mr. Daniel has worked as a political consultant for Vice President Al Gore and as political director for former Rep. Dick Gephardt’s presidential campaign.

He said his political action committee has placed several hundred signs throughout the District and plans to launch a Web site soon. He said it is “unclear” whether his group will do any direct mailings for the Cropp camp, and he declined to divulge how much money his group has spent.

Spokesmen for the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and the D.C. Department of Public Works said they have no problems with the placement of the “THINK CROPP” signs.

The Think DC PAC — whose treasurer, S. Kathryn Allen, is a former superintendent of the Office of Banking and Financial Institutions under Mayor Anthony A. Williams — registered as a PAC on Aug. 19, according to the elections board. The group will have to disclose the source of its donations by Jan. 31.

Mrs. Allen did not return a call seeking comment.

“I am doing this as a citizen of the District,” Mr. Daniel said. “This [PAC] is not just about the mayor’s race, we are going to be looking at the council races as well.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Cropp isn’t asking any questions.

“I don’t know who’s involved in it,” she said. “But if I see them, I am going to say, ‘Thank you.’ ”

Mrs. Cropp has joined a growing field of Democratic contenders that includes council members Adrian M. Fenty of Ward 4 and Vincent B. Orange Sr. of Ward 5, and former Verizon Chief Executive Officer Marie Johns.

Mr. Fenty’s campaign already is strategizing how to get voters to “Think Fenty.”

We have got 1,500 signs in people’s yards, and we are going to continue the strategy of going door to door and putting signs on people’s property, as opposed to putting them in public space,” the campaign said yesterday.

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