A Recall That Needs to Happen

Monday, July 16, AD 2012

Last week I mentioned my change of heart on secession. Now I have to backtrack on another long-standing principle: my opposition to recalls.

Actually, I still think that recall elections are absurd and even anti-democratic. Attempting to cast out an elected politician halfway through his term because you disagree with his policies is worse than bad sportsmanship. The threat of recall could prevent leaders from making serious attempts at reform. No, you just have to suffer through the term and hope to vote the sonofagun out.

On the other hand, recall efforts to oust corrupt politicians who refuse to give up their office even in the face of growing evidence that they are borderline (or not even borderline) criminals: I’ve got no problem with that.

So I am all aboard the DC Recall movement to get rid of Mayor Vincent Gray. For those who have not been following this story (and I suppose that entails just about everyone outside of the metro DC area), this story provides a succinct rundown of why Gray needs to go.

Three of the 12 members of the city council on Wednesday called for Gray to resign after it was revealed that supporters ran a shadow campaign on his behalf during the 2010 Democratic primary race against then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, and did not properly report financial contributions.

Then on Thursday, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Nikita Stewart reported that Gray knew about unreported expenditures as far back as January — before federal law enforcement officials raided the homes and offices of consultant Jeanne Clarke Harris and businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson, who is accused of spending $650,000 on the shadow campaign.

In addition, Harris pleaded guilty Tuesdayto spearheading the scheme and now faces three years in prison. She is the third person from Gray’s campaign to plead guilty.

We’ve known for a while that Gray was in trouble; now he’s fighting to keep his job.

By all means, please follow the links in the story if you have the time.

Gray is clinging to the argument that he had absolutely no knowledge of the shadow campaign. The mayor is also attacking those City Council members that are demanding his resignation.

Gray (D) appeared Friday morning on NewsChannel 8’s NewsTalk. HostBruce DePuyt asked Gray to respond to the resignation calls, which came Wednesday afternoon from David A. Catania (I-At Large), Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4).

“I think it depends on which of the three you’re talking about,” Gray said.

Gray dismissed Catania’s critique as politically motivated: “Let’s be honest, David Catania is a Republican who became an independent. We forget that we have partisan politics in the District of Columbia. … He never supported me; he certainly didn’t support me in the election.”

Catania departed the GOP due to President Bush’s push for a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, so that gives you an idea of what kind of partisan hound he is. It’s true that Catania is the closest thing that comes to being a Republican on the City Council, but that simply shows how far left the Council has become.

That there are only three Council members seeking Gray’s ouster is an indictment of the rest of the Council. This was hammered home as I listened to at-large Council member Michael Brown spinning for Vincent Gray this morning on the radio. Instead of addressing the allegations, Brown decided to tapdance around the issue while waxing poetic about all the improvements the city has made. Not only was this beside the point, any credit for the city’s improvement must go to the previous two mayors, Anthony Williams and Adrian Fenty, who have been about the only elected officials in the city who have had any sense of fiscal sanity. Listening to Brown inarticulately ramble for ten minutes caused me to quip on twitter that perhaps it’s time end home-rule for the District. I was only half-kidding.

So if the City Council is unwilling to do its job, it might be up to the citizens of the nation’s capital to throw Gray out on his behind. Then again, this is the same city that re-elected Marion Barry after he had been busted for possession of crack cocaine. Perhaps Washington isn’t the same city it was two decades ago, and maybe they are willing to finally let go of their corrupt elected officials.

Hmmm. I wonder what City Council member Marion Barry thinks about that?

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3 Responses to A Recall That Needs to Happen

  • Home rule for DC was, is and always will be an absurdity – the only reason the city exists is because the federal government is there; it is not a real city – not an organic growth from people striving to build, but just the nesting place of bureaucrats, elected officials and hangers-on. Terminate the whole, sorry experiment in home rule and have the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint a manager for the city…and have the entire budget for the city voted on by Congress. End this farce.

  • Washington D. C. a sovereign city-state, like every other sovereign state, must be outside the grasp of corruption. This was the frame of mind of the founding fathers. As bad as it is, it can become worse.
    Mark Noonan: You will have Obama run the city with the consent of Congress? Another czar?

  • Mary – yep, because at least it would not be absurd and Romney would replace him in January.

Reveille in Washington

Thursday, June 23, AD 2011

It is easy to forget that Washington in Lincoln’s day bore little relationship to the Washington of our day. In many ways the Washington of Lincoln’s time was still a small town, ill-prepared for the avalanche of rapid growth forced on it by the War. The classic account of Washington during the Civil War is Margaret Leech’s Reveille in Washington, published, ironically, in 1941, just as Washington was about to undergo another rapid period of expansion during World War II.

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3 Responses to Reveille in Washington

D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church Poll

Sunday, November 15, AD 2009

The Washington Post has a poll out on whether or not Washington D.C. should require the Church to follow a law it considers immoral?

This is in regards to whether Catholic Charities should be forced to go against the Catholic Church teachings because they receive funding from the Washington D.C. city council.

In previous TAC posts we wrote about DC Bigotry and about Setting the Record Straight on the Church in D.C. (by Donald R. McClarey and Joe Hargrave respectively).

Of course not, but the Know-Nothings are in force and are skewing the numbers so go to the poll to vote!

To vote click here.

So far as of November 15, 6:15pm CST:

D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church

The D.C. Council is considering a law forbidding discrimination against those in gay marriages. The law would apply to all groups that have contracts with the District, including Catholic Charities, one of the city’s largest social services providers. The Archdiocese of Washington says that because of the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, it would have to suspend its social services to the poor, the homeless and others rather than provide employee benefits to same-sex married couples or allow them to adopt.

Should the city require the Church to follow a law it considers immoral?

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Father John Zuhlsdorf and I voted “NO”.

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11 Responses to D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church Poll

  • I voted no. Surprise!

  • The presiding Priest at the 10:00 Mass this morning at St. Matthew’s Cathedral (Fr. Knestout) preached on the controversy surrounding Catholic Charities as it relates to this bill. Fr. Knestout is very reserved, but you can feel the force of his disgust with the media coverage of the situation. He suggested that after all the emails he received from irate individuals, perhaps those emails should now be sent to the people on the City Council responsible for this unconstitutional abomination.

  • Sadly we can expect this sort of mess when the Church accepts terms and missions from pagan governments. We should stay clear. The Church is not a welfare agency. Before you bleeding hearts jump on me for being callous and unCatholic, I am not suggesting that we do not have a commandment to feed, clothe, etc. and take care of the poor and infirm; I am saying that it is more important for the Church to help get their souls saved than to feed them.

    Ideally the Church will do both; however, when the Church begins to take money and queues from pagan governments the worshipers of the spirit of the present darkeness will seek to silence the Church (no proselytizing). DC has decided to bunt the Church – good. Do the work anyway and preach the Gospel while doing it.

    BTW – I voted no! Did you read the misinformed venom in the comments? This is scary stuff – its not funny and it should not be taken lightly. Hating Catholics that aren’t with the program, nudge, nudge, wink, wink is cool. Bring it on!

  • Thanks guys for voting.

    It seems to be helping a little. The ‘No’ are now 26% instead of 25%.

    There must be a lot of bigoted people in DC for the numbers to be skewed that way.

  • Tito,

    That comes as no surprise to those of us trapped behind enemy lines in enemy-occupied Northern Virginia (Greater Washington, DC).

    Pray, pray, pray.

    St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. . .

  • So much for democracy, the best form of government?

  • I voted “no” – It is an act of charity to give those with same-sex attraction a united Catholic face- that stays with the truth/mercy of our Catholic teaching. Those who enable sin may be even more accountable for that sin than those who ignorantly engage in the sinful act itself. The sin of misleading the little ones- with the image of the millstone tied around one’s waist and being cast into a deep Sea- should be sobering for any Catholic who seeks to re-write the Catechism.

  • the father z approach to online witness! way to go!

  • Here’s another lesson in the difference between charity and government. Would that our bishops learn from these lessons and lose their habit of plumping for government spending labeled ‘welfare.’

  • P.Z. Myers has posted this poll on his blog and has asked his readers to skew the results.

  • While I agree with Fr Z on the question the poll asks, I’m not sure starting a poll skewing war with the sundry inhabitants of cyberspace is .. a worthwhile pursuit.

DC Bigotry

Friday, November 13, AD 2009

No Catholic Bashing

As Joe in his brilliant post here notes, various organs of the Left are in a tizzy because the Archdiocese of Washington has stood up to the attempt by secular bigots to force the Archdiocese to act contrary to Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality.  Here is the statement of the Archdiocese:

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3 Responses to DC Bigotry

  • There seems to me a lack of understanding of the nature of charitable giving. If the council of the District of Columbia wishes to cut back on what is given for the poor, why then that council may do so. That it is a foul and disgusting thing to do so is evident. Who pays the piper calls the tune.

    This is always the danger of the Church taking dubious money.

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  • As a result, religious organizations and individuals are at risk of legal action for refusing to promote and support same-sex marriages in a host of settings where it would compromise their religious beliefs. This includes employee benefits…

    WRONG. A point missed by both sides (Doesn’t the Archdiocese have competent Counsel that reviews tehse things?), employee benefits are regulated under federal law with a state pre-emption. The proposed DC marriage law would make no change for any employer (relgious or secular) as far as employee health & welfare benefits.