- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2018


Leave it to the Washington Blade’s Lou Chibbaro Jr. to broadcast the juiciest news on the D.C. postprimary elections front.

Former D.C. Mayor Tony Williams and former D.C. Council member David Catania are co-chairs of S. Kathryn Allen’s independent run for a citywide council seat, Mr. Chibbaro reported Tuesday.

Another contender is another businesswoman, Dionne Reeder, who owns the popular Cheers at the Big Chair restaurant in Anacostia.

Their No. 1 opponent is Elissa Silverman, the incumbent liberal who set herself up for a re-election battle by proposing a special tax on small businesses to cover some of the costs of employees who use family leave.

Family leave would be considered paid leave in instances such as the birth of a child or a family medical emergency.

Critics complain that D.C. workers who live in Maryland and Virginia would benefit from the program.

Both Mrs. Allen and Ms. Reeder, who worked as appointees when Mr. Williams served as mayor from 1999 to 2007, oppose the special tax.

Miss Silverman won an at-large seat on the council in 2014 after Mr. Catania, a Republican-turned-independent, decided to run for mayor. He lost.

Now, in the game of politics, the media sometimes portray contenders as being for and against some issue or another. And the media inside the Beltway, it is no different. Indeed, the juice in D.C. flows best when the fight is over spending money, a central issue in this at-large race.

Effectively, Miss Silverman wants Mrs. Allen and Ms. Reeder, who own D.C. businesses, to pay entitlements to workers who live outside of the city, perhaps even way outside the Beltway.

Readers, you can only imagine how annoying that is to business owners and residents who cannot tax residents of Virginia and Maryland. In short, that’s precisely the case since D.C. is forbidden from leveling a commuter tax.

What will be fun too is watching the three misses position themselves as the November election draws nearer. Will they support tax increases in general, for example, or propose to curb spending?

Mr. Williams is the closest thing the District has had to a fiscally conservative mayor and, hallelujah, look at the city now.

Social culturalism won’t be an issue this election and hasn’t been since Mr. Catania helped to usher in the D.C. gay marriage law. Oh, well.

Still, let’s hope no slings and arrows are ahead in the at-large race — especially since civility has taken a seat in the back of the bus this election cycle.

• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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