- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2018

You can fool all the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Sorry, Abe, but honesty is not always the best policy in politics.

The D.C. Council on Tuesday borrowed the title of Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” to broker legislation that is essentially veto-proof. The legislation, titled the Fair Elections Act of 2017, would require candidates running for city offices to accept either public money to finance their campaigns or business and corporate donations, but not both.

It also, among things, would lower the maximum donation to participating candidates.

If your pie hole is wide open, clamp it close ‘cause you ain’t read nothin’ yet.

The legislation also would match donations from D.C. residents on a 5-to-1 basis if the participating candidate is running for mayor, attorney general, the council or school board.

Eleanor Holmes Norton I mean, candidates for the city’s nonvoting congressional delegate seat remains unscathed.

Now, wipe your brow and shut your pie hole.

That the entire 13-member council approved the measure means it’ll become law, even if changes are made.

See, Mayor Muriel Bowser doesn’t approve of the legislation and said she won’t fund it, an interesting position for the sole elected chief executive of the District who must abide by the law. Moreover, she doesn’t have to fund the law, the council can and will.

The mayor’s hard-line position is understandable: Miss Bowser is a big-money draw, and she has her own ideas about how she wants to spend public dollars. Housing or elections? Job training or elections? Sports complexes or elections? Education or elections? Public safety? You can read her progressive thought process.

The biggest rub, though, is that public dollars could be used to finance an abortion-only candidate, or a candidate who advocates shutting down charter schools or, worse, a candidate who advocates D.C. as a police state.

Whether any of those candidates is cuckoo for more than Cocoa Puffs or simply grabs a megaphone and plops atop a soap box near Union State to articulate her point, the heart of the “Fair Elections” matter is your freedom of speech is hijacked.

Fair elections, in these United States, mean a candidate win fair and square. Someone wins, someone loses — even when that someone is Hillary Clinton or Roy Moore.

The council played its democracy-for-all fool card again, just as it did by titling its 2009 gay marriage measure, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Amendment Act.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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