- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 30, 2011

Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett was recently the victim of mistaken identity, and it was an experience he’d like to forget.

Mr. Leggett, a Democrat, attended a national Democratic rally last week in Silver Spring and told attendees how he was recently spotted in public by two women, one of whom found him vaguely familiar but could not recall exactly who he was.

The elderly woman dug deep into her memory — ignoring the other woman’s confirmation that they were, in fact, meeting the two-term county executive — before arriving at her own conclusion.
“I know who you are,” Mr. Leggett recounted her saying. “You’re Herman Cain!”

The story drew roaring laughter from attendees at the rally, hundreds of whom packed a high school auditorium to hear Mr. Leggett and other state Democrats urge support for President Obama over Republican presidential hopefuls including Mr. Cain. Mr. Leggett wrapped up the anecdote after the laughs eventually died down.

“That is the lowest blow I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said.

Freudian slip?

The ethics crisis among D.C. officials might be worse than we ever imagined!

Well, not really, but an innocent slip-up by D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange had us going for a couple seconds Wednesday, when he spoke about having “the tools for reprimand, public and private censure, suspension with or without pay, expulsion, fines, restitution and referral to the U.S. attorney’s office for prostitution.”

Mr. Orange, at-large Democrat, quickly corrected himself — thankfully, he meant “prosecution” — but it didn’t stop the audience at the John A. Wilson Building from laughing for a rather long time.

The moment of levity arrived toward the beginning of a marathon session before the Committee on Government Operations. Its chairman, Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, has the serious task of consolidating 10 separate ethics bills into one comprehensive piece of reform legislation by December in response to a series of ethical lapses at city hall in recent years.

Council member David A. Catania, at-large independent, referenced Mr. Orange’s faux pas later in the hearing, when he started to describe Connecticut’s approach to ethics enforcement as “seductive,” before amending his chosen adjective to “captivating.”

Big money

Millions of dollars are flying fast and furious in Virginia as elections for all 140 General Assembly seats loom Nov. 8.

Fifty-thousand dollars from House Speaker William J. Howell’s Dominion Leadership Trust PAC to the Republican Party of Virginia here, $25,000 from the campaign of Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. to the Senate Republican Caucus there, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Then there was a recent $7,500 donation for House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong, Henry Democrat, from novelist John Grisham, a longtime Democrat supporter. The author has donated more than half a million dollars to candidates in the state since 1997, including a total of $100,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Tim Kaine, who is now running for Senate.

Mr. Grisham, author of blockbuster legal novels such as “The Client” and “The Chamber,” lives in Albemarle County. He notably brought in fellow author Stephen King in 2006 for a fundraiser for Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat. Mr. Grisham also endorsed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2008.

But he’s cast his gaze to statehouse races this year. Mr. Grisham has given $51,000 thus far this election cycle to House and Senate candidates, including the donations to Mr. Armstrong, who is in the fight of his political career against Delegate Charles D. Poindexter, Franklin Republican.

Mr. Grisham has also given $10,000 to incumbent Sen. Mark Herring, Loudoun Democrat; $5,000 to Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, Bath Democrat; $5,000 to Delegate David J. Toscano, Charlottesville Democrat; $5,000 to R. Edward Houck, who is fending off a hard charge from former Army Ranger and police detective Bryce Reeves; and $1,000 to Wm. Roscoe Reynolds, Henry Democrat, who is squaring off against Sen. Bill Stanley, Franklin Republican, and independent Jeff Evans.

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