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My exchange with The Washington Post – Update

23 Sep
Update:  After the weekend she did follow through with the reference to pollsters:

From: Gardner, Amy E
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2014 11:08 AM
To: Craighill, Peyton M; Clement, Scott F
Subject: Fwd: Why was this forum limited to only 3 incumbent
 or formerly incumbent candidates?
You guys have anything to add to this? I told him I’d 
refer him to our polling folks.

Clement, Scott F <>

10:28 AM (22 hours ago)

to meAmy
Mr. Majors
I’m with the Post’s polling team, who helped conduct the poll 
in collaboration with our NBC and Marist College partners.
 Amy asked me to provide a little background on our practices about asking
 pre-election vote questions and why you were not named in this poll.
To clarify, while you were not explicitly named as a candidate 
in the poll, your name was included in the survey’s programming
 in case a respondent volunteered they support you. In other words, there 
was a “code” interviewers could enter if a respondent said
 “I support Bruce Majors;” there were also volunteer codes for Faith (Green) 
and Nestor Djonkam (Ind) – programming for the question is below. 
This allowed the poll capture when a less well known candidate 
has developed significant voter support.
It also seems that people you spoke with who took a poll were 
participating in a different survey, as all respondents in the 
NBC/Post/Marist poll were called by live interviewers; none were 
asked to press a number corresponding with the candidate they 
supported. The methodology for our poll is here.
There is a natural tension between the desire to name all candidates 
on a ballot and ensuring the question is comprehensible to 
respondents. While naming an extended list of candidates better
 mimics the ballot, naming a long list of candidates burdens
 respondents’ in understanding the question which can undermine 
data quality.
With minor-party candidates, we typically wait until a significant 
share of respondents (at least 3 percent) volunteer their name 
before including them as named candidates in a poll. We did not have a 
previous survey to go by in this instance, but given 0.09 percent
 of voters in D.C. are registered as libertarians we did not anticipate
 enough support to explicitly name you as a candidate. The poll 
showed that one percent of voters volunteered support for
 unnamed candidates.
If November’s election for mayor of the District were held today, 
whom would you support if the candidates are:
Muriel Bowser, the Democrat………………………………………………01
David Catania, an Independent …………………………………………..02
Carol Schwartz, an Independent………………………………………….03
GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE……………………………………………..04
DO NOT READ: UNDECIDED…………………………………………….98
DO NOT READ: OTHER…………………………………………………….97
DO NOT READ: REFUSED………………………………………………..99

Bruce Majors <>

Thanks for that info.

Since your reply below betrays that you may be unaware of other facts,
 I will provide them to you:
1) I ran for office as a Libertarian for Congress in 2012 and received 16,500 
votes or 5.9% in a three way race.  As usual with Libertarians, I spent less 
than a dollar per vote, while the major party incumbent spent $5 per vote.
  In the current mayoral race Catania and Bowser have already spent over
 $10 per vote.  I meet people all the time who tell me they voted for me in 2012.
2) The DC Libertarian Party is the fastest growing party in DC, growing at 
10% a month.  I think the only other category growing in DC are people who
 reject party affiliation.  One could only register as a Libertarian in DC for a 
little over a year, since  March 2013.  My race in 2012 is what earned people 
the legal right to finally do that, and the DC government did not print new 
registration forms until March 2013.  Since then the Libertarian registration 
has grown by 10% or more every month, even while the other parties lost 
60,000 registered voters in June-July 2013 (a story I believe no one 
reported, though it is plainly visible on the Board of Elections website) 
presumably as part of cleaning the voters rolls in advance of the April 
2014 primary.


Bruce Majors <>

You invited only the candidates who have held government posts for years, even
though one or perhaps two of them are so,low in the polls they cannot be elected.

And you excluded anyone from a party other than the Democrats.

Sent from my iPad

Gardner, Amy E <>

Sep 20 (2 days ago)

to me
Mr. Majors–

We certainly didn’t exclude non-Democrats. We included two independents
who are former Republicans.

Our decision was based on polling. It is pretty common to exclude candidates
polling below a certain threshold — 5 percent or 10 percent, say. The three
candidates posted 43, 26 and 16 percent in our poll, respectively. All other
choices registered a total of 1 percent combined.

I hope this helps. Thanks for your interest.


Amy Gardner
Local politics editor
The Washington Post

Sent from my iPad

Bruce Majors <>

You did a poll in which you included me?  You actually offered those
polled other names?  That hasn’t been reported.  Everyone I know who
was polled reports not being given any other options.

In polls I see 15% and up are not picking Catania, Bowser or Schwartz,
even after being given tons of free media and having spent over $4 million.
Did you actually see the polling you are speaking about being done?

Gardner, Amy E

9:54 AM (21 hours ago)

to me
​Yes I have seen the poll. And you’re correct that we didn’t offer
your name. That was an editorial decision based on several factors
including fundraising, campaign activity and name recognition. The
fact that just 1 percent of voters said they wanted to vote for
 anyone other than the three top candidates justifies that decision.
I understand your point that there’s an inherent disadvantage in not
being offered as a choice. But, with all due respect, if yours were a
viable candidacy you would have registered beyond
 these results even without your name in the question rotation.

I’m happy to refer you to our pollsters if you’d like to talk more
about our decision.

Bruce Majors <>

According to your own polls Ms. Schwartz and perhaps Mr. Catania are
not viable candidates.

Sure refer me to your pollsters.  It’s interesting to watch the gatekeepers
 explain themselves. It’s actually something a journalist would cover.
You are basically saying incumbents and people who get early corporate,
union and PAC money will be promoted by major media, and citizen
candidates will not, so that things are locked in place in perpetuity.

Gardner, Amy E

10:11 AM (21 hours ago)

to me
Mr. Majors —

26 and 16 percent are real numbers. They’re longshot numbers,
 but they’re real numbers that make them worth our attention. ​
If you don’t think Schwartz and Catania are viable candidates, how
 on earth do you justify coverage of your campaign?​ You didn’t even
 register in the poll — at all.

However, your view that we are here simply to perpetuate the
status quo in untrue. You may recall that your fellow Libertarian
Robert Sarvis registered in the low double digits last year in the
Virginia governor’s race, and we wrote a front-page story about
 him. We’re ready to cover viable campaigns that are making a
difference. Sarvis was a potential spoiler, as is Schwartz this year.
He registered with voters who were looking for something
other than what McAuliffe or Cuccinelli had to offer. We noticed,
and we wrote about it. With all due respect, your campaign has
had no parallel impact on the race this year.

There is no question the system is stacked against minor-party
 candidates. And we have to make editorial decisions every day
about how to deploy our ever-shrinking resources.  In a perfect
world, would we delve into every single campaign and
candidate? Of course.  But we can’t. And frankly, people wouldn’t
 read it all. I’m sorry it’s not the answer you want to hear. No
one’s trying to “explain themselves.” I’m telling you the truth about
 how we make our decisions.

Thanks for your time.

Bruce Majors

But you just told me you didn’t present me as an option in the poll in
your second reply, after implying that I had been presented in it and just
didn’t show up in your first reply, which you now seem to be reverting to
 in your third reply.

And I have been told by people who were polled that they couldn’t vote
for me so they simply pressed a number on their phone that corresponded
 to none of the choices offered.  Perhaps those responses were just tossed?
So for instance you don’t know how many Schwartz voters are simply
voting for someone other than Catania or Bowser (a pretty common
phenomenon in all elections).  From Post reporter Mike Debonis’s discussion
on WMAL radio I understand you asked Schwartz voters whether their
second choice was Catania or Bowser, again, not who there 2nd choice
was or which of all the choices on the ballot are the second choice.  So
 you are really just saying you aren’t in our poll so you didn’t
show up in our poll so we won’t be offering you as an option in forums
 or in our future poll.
It is commendable that in both the case of Schwartz and Sarvis you have
managed to count past two to three.  Your rebuttal with Sarvis is slightly
off topic – I am not accusing you of prejudice against Libertarians.  I’m
suggesting a much more systemic problem than that.

AU’s Potemkin Village Debate

19 Sep
American University sponsored a kind of Potemkin village debate among only three mayoral candidates.  The audience were only political hacks and campaign staff, mainly Bowser’s, who were bused in before tickets were given out and got all the tickets for the main hall (the event was cosponsored by Palisades and Ward 3 groups, but neighborhood people who showed up were shunted across the building to an overflow room),  the three candidates squabbled among themselves in a slightly childish fashion, and their supporters shouted and were rude.  Both the candidates and their cheerleaders were admonished to behave a number of times by moderator Tom Sherwood.

We also learned that all three candidates favor disarming DC citizens and all three favor increased spending on a variety of programs.  We also learned that all of them think the other two were incompetent and unproductive in the past while on the city council, and that they are less than truthful about their records.  Perhaps we should trust their assessments of their opponents?

Needless to say none of the candidates identified ANY metrics showing that their past legislation has had any positive effects, in a city they all admit has double digit unemployment in Wards 7 and 8, and among the highest dropout and truancy rates in the country (calling Dr. Freud: Carol Schwartz said the book she would require DC students to read would be “A Tale of Two Cities”). And Catania did not tell us what his many many proposed programs would cost, nor where he would extract the loot for them from the taxpayer. 
I am a little surprised AU didn’t invite David Pitts and Richard Berendzen to officiate.

  1. For Catania, Schwartz and Bowser:  $29,000 is budgeted per pupil for students attending traditional public schools, but only $17,000 for charter students and even less ($12,000) for students using a DC Opportunity Voucher to attend an independent school.  Will you end this discriminatory and unequal funding, and allow all students the same resources, no matter where they choose to learn?

  1.  For Catania: You propose to spend more on programs for failing schools, trees, immigrant healthcare, the homeless, college scholarships, daycare, paid family leave, affordable housing, and many other programs, and have suggested raising taxes to pay for this.  You also say you want to bring more and diverse businesses and jobs to DC.  How will you get business to move to DC when you raise their taxes for your new programs?  Follow up:  How much is the total budget for your new programs?

  1. For Catania, Schwartz and Bowser:  In 1996 the DC voters voted for a term limit referendum by a 2/3rds majority; it passed by a majority in every Ward.  The City Council then overturned it.  How is the DC government legitimate if it nullified a basic constituitive principle passed by the voters?  How would you vote today?  For Schwartz:  How did you vote?

  1. For Bowser, Catania and Schwartz:  It is widely discussed by the public that officials in the Metropolitan police department may have covered up domestic abuse in the past by DC politicians.  Would you investigate these stories?

  1. For Schwartz:  You have said charter schools should be more closely regulated because some have misused funds.  But the traditional public schools spend $29,000 per pupil to produce at best equal results to those of charters, which receive only $17,000 per pupil.  How would you investigate the misuse of funds by the DC public schools?  Where is the money going?

  1. For Catania:  You have called for subsidies for day care.  But independent providers of K-6 education and after school care in DC are regulated by different agencies from those that regulate public and charter schools, and are required to have more staff, more bathroom facilities, etc. per the same number of students, as well as other more costly amenities (e.g., cots off the floor instead of mats).  What have you done in the past to address this?

  1. For Catania, Schwartz, and Bowser:  Mr. Catania’s 126 page booklet details how he has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to programs he favored, Ms. Schwartz’s 15 page paper details her history working on education issues, and Ms. Bowser has served on the city council for several years.  Yet as Mr. Catania’s booklet shows in various graphs, Wards 7 and 8 have double digit unemployment, and DC schools have higher truancy and drop out rates than anywhere in the United States, while spending more per pupil.  What metrics show that your past activities and expenditures have produced results?

  1. For Catania:  You propose to expand facilities for the homeless in DC.  How will you ensure that DC does not end up absorbing the homeless from the entire region from Baltimore to Richmond, at taxpayer expense?

  1. For Schwartz, Catania, and Bowser:  DC residents convicted of federal crimes are dispersed through prisons around the country, so that their relatives cannot easily visit them, which may frustrate their reintegration into society.  What plans do you have to address this and have them housed closer to DC?

  1. For Catania, Schwartz, and Bowser:  DC has reduced its homicide rate, but has regular car and home theft and vandalism, as well as muggings, gay bashings etc.  Yet police resources are used on ticket traps and victimless crimes.  What have you done in the past to address the misallocation of police resources?


Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor, 1200 23rd Street NW, Washington DC 20037

Mayoral candidates multiply – Libertarian Bruce Majors "At least I am no longer the oldest candidate"

10 Jun
Carol Schwartz to run for DC mayor as independent |

Rumors began circulating at the end of May that the DC Republican Party had vetted a mayoral candidate, a well known small l libertarian who is a Justice Department attorney and GOP State Central Committee member who is a friend of Libertarian Party mayoral candidate Bruce Majors.  For some reason he has decided not to announce his candidacy until the end of June.

But before he could do so, the field became more crowded, with former Republican city council member Carol Schwartz announcing on June 9 that she will run as an independent.  (Ms. Schwartz is also a friend/acquaintance of Mr. Majors, who has supported her in previous races and attended her annual Christmas/Holiday party.). That means the mayoral race now has a Libertarian (Bruce Majors), a Green (“Faith”), a Democrat (Muriel Bowser), an unannounced Republican (supposedly Kris Hammond), an independent who was a Republican (David Catania), and another independent who was a Republican (Carol Schwartz).

Ms. Schwartz is identifying herself as a libertarian-lite without using that term, a “socially liberal fiscal hawk” as one reporter described her this week, though some have questioned her bona fides when in office as a fiscal hawk. Update: on June 11 on WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall show she came out for gun control and using more DC taxpayer money to absorb and house homeless people from the DelMarVa region, much like Catania and Bowser. She left DC politics in part because small l libertarianish Republican Patrick Mara fractured her support among independents and the gay community, when he came out for gay marriage in an earlier city council race where Ms. Schwartz did not support gay marriage but instead only supported civil unions.  Ms. Schwartz may well have more personality than Bowser or Catania, as well as deeper DC political roots, though many new voters who have moved to the city since 2008, when she was last in office, may be unaware of her.

Mr. Majors, 55, who is also recruiting some of the other Libertarian candidates and assisting with or managing their campaigns, quipped “At least I am no longer the oldest candidate.”  Libertarians are seeking to build a new party in DC, so voters will not be dependent on the incumbents of one or two parties who had for decades turned a blind eye to the corruption of their colleagues, or to newly independent politicians from the incumbent parties.

Here’s something potentially annoying for Libertarians….

6 Feb
Answering candidate questionnaires and surveys from conventional groups with state-centric blinders and assumptions, whether it be the Chamber of Commerce, Tenants’ rights groups, or gay organizations.  Here is my answer set for one such group.  (Email me your suggested changes to:


The DC Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance scores some local candidates in some local races using the questionnaire below.


Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor
1. Will you act to ensure that the District provides transgender-inclusive health insurance to all 
D.C. Government employees, to include coverage for sex affirmation surgery (also known as sex 
reassignment surgery)? 
As Mayor I will seek to increase all options for how District government employees can choose to use their own healthcare dollars, including increasing insurance options and reducing barriers to entry for insurance companies.  I would oppose attempts by any level of government to tell D.C. government employees (or anyone else) what treatments or procedures they can pursue.  I would not allow the government to define which reconstructive or cosmetic options are approved and which not, but would instead respect consumer sovereignty.  I would oppose a precedent of having the D.C. government design a one size fits all health care plan or insurance policy for all D.C. employees.
2. Will you submit budgets that target funds to address health disparities in the LGBT 
population, including in mental health and substance abuse treatment? 

I would ensure that funds budgeted for any area do not exclude or discriminate against any population.  I would seek to allow each individual more choice in how they use the funds budgeted.  Ideally where possible people eligible for these programs would have something like an EBT card or voucher and be able to choose their own care provider.  I think it’s also important for gay activist to recognize that traditionally a major source of discrimination is the state sector, whether it is bullying at the school a child is assigned to with no choice, or in the past teachers being fired for being gay when exposure to homosexuality was thought to be inappropriate for children.  Likewise today I think those incarcerated by the state, whether in government schools or in jail or prison, are among those most likely to be denied safe sex information, condoms, and freedom from bullying and sexual aggression.  I favor liberating the incarcerated who have not committed a crime or have committed a “victimless crime,” but while incarcerated in a government institution they should not be denied mental health or substance abuse treatment or information about STDs and safe sex.
3. Describe steps you will take to improve performance at the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and 
TB Administration (HAHSTA), including in HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS surveillance, and 
mental health services. 
I would seek to end the “War on Drugs” and incarceration of those using drugs, so that more people could come out into the open and seek treatment for addiction as needed, in part to reduce HIV transmission from needle sharing and in part to reduce HIV transmission from risky behavior undertaken while using drugs.  I think it’s also important for gay activists to recognize that traditionally a major source of discrimination is the state sector, whether it is bullying at the school a child is assigned to with no choice, or in the past teachers being fired for being gay when exposure to homosexuality was thought to be inappropriate for children.  Likewise today I think those incarcerated by the state, whether in government schools or in jail or prison, are among those most likely to be denied safe sex information, condoms, and freedom from bullying and sexual aggression.  I favor liberating the incarcerated who have not committed a crime or have committed a “victimless crime,” but while incarcerated in a government institution they should not be denied mental health or substance abuse treatment or information about STDs and safe sex.
I also believe the Mayor and his or her surrogates and staff should regularly address affected populations, including students, about HIV and other STD transmission and prevention.
4. Will you require the Metropolitan Police Department’s gathering and analysis of crime 
statistics to ensure greater comprehensiveness and objectivity, including on LGBT-related hate 
crimes and intimate partner violence? 

I do believe these statistics should be collected, and additionally statistics on bullying and types of bullying should be collected, by school and type of school (public, charter, parochial, private).
I also favor ending exclusive dependence on the MPD for protection — I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work.  I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership, and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm.  Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
5. What will you do to provide alternatives to incarceration for marginalized and at-risk 
populations like homeless youth and transgender people who resort to sex work for survival? 
I would legalize all drug use, decriminalize all drug production and exchange, free all those incarcerated for selling or using drugs, and expunge all criminal records related to these activities.  I would similarly decriminalize all “sex work,” free those incarcerated for being “sex workers,” and expunge criminal records related to these activities.
I would not create or fund special government programs targeted at these people, whose activities I would make no concern of the State.  I would also ensure that they were treated like everyone else when accessing any government program available to others.
6. Will you budget funds to hire qualified trainers to provide LGBT-inclusive cultural 
competency training to all police officers, including in the handling of intimate partner violence? 

I would ensure that the Metropolitan Police Department adequately trained its officers in all aspects of DC’s diverse populations and advertised job openings to and hired from all DC population groups.  This would include training as needed on LGTB issues.
Beyond that I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work.  I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm.  Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
7. Will you require that anyone you appoint as Director of the Office of Human Rights have 
professional training and experience in civil rights law enforcement? 

I would ensure that both the Director and the staff of any DC agency dealing with human rights have a commitment to human rights, individual freedom and civil liberties and a background and expertise to perform the job effectively.  Ideally I’d prefer someone with a background of working with the ACLU, NORML, MPP, or other groups critical of law enforcement abuses, over criminalization, the militarization of police departments, the expansion of the surveillance state, and not merely someone who has worked within a law enforcement bureaucracy where they handled EOE complaints.
8. Will you renew, enforce and update as necessary the Mayoral Order mandating explicit 
inclusion of every class protected under the D.C. Human Rights Act in all D.C. government 
agency nondiscrimination statements?
I would ensure that the DC government obey its own laws and treat all people equally without discrimination.  In some sense the expanding list of “protected classes” under DC law, which under DC fair housing law is now over 20 classes, including such things as “matriculation” and “political affiliation,” may tend to dilute and make light of serious violence and discrimination against women, LGTB people, racial minorities and other groups.  But the DC government should be required to obey its own laws, and Mayoral Orders mandating this should be issued.  If the DC government finds a law it has issued to difficult to obey, then it should consider its impact on citizens in general.
9. Given the limited results from trans-inclusive Project Empowerment training, will you 
establish a project at the Department of Employment Services to increase government hiring 
from under-represented populations, and will you hire trans persons in your own office?

I would conduct a study of D.C. government agencies, including the Metro system and the public school system, to see if there are patterns of extreme over- or under-representation in hiring, and if so if there are problems with nepotism or discrimination in any particular agencies.  As a Libertarian I am not surprised that a government program to help or promote trans persons did not work as intended.  When I ran for office in 2012 I was contacted by people using D.C. government employment training programs who would complain of their complete worthlessness and ask me to help or advise them in some way.  I would be happy to hire a trans person or persons who would be effective at a job, including a high profile job, and highlight the irrelevance of their sexual identity to their work.
10. Will you act to ensure improved services and treatment for LGBT homeless youth and 
seniors, including expanding transitional housing and emergency shelter space?  
I would  transfer title to unused D.C. properties (e.g. closed schools) to non-profits, including those working in this area, and allow them to sell off some of the assets to refurbish as needed or help run the programs.  I would prefer that both youth and seniors had choices among a variety of non-profit and for profit care providers, and not become wards or incarcerated in a state monopoly poor house.  One suspects among other issues, and given DC’s failure to police its own at the highest levels in the past few years, that DC regulatory agencies might be lax with a government shelter or government housing, and more pro-active in investigating a non-governmental one, for health and safety issues.
11. Will you support strengthening Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) reforms by eliminating 
license protests filed by citizens associations and ad hoc groups, requiring stakeholders to 
participate in the community process provided by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission?

I would eliminate the ABC and liquor licensing.  If McDonald’s wants to serve wine as it does abroad, it should be free to sell it and D.C. residents should be free to buy it, just as if they were in Quebec or Paris.  Until the ABC is eliminated I would take any step to end harassment of local businesses by competitors and people who want to interfere with private consensual activity of their neighbors.
12. Do you pledge to find a suitably located space for The DC Center when the Reeves Center 

We have all seen recently the downside of the politicized misuse of government infrastructure in the case of Governor Chris Christie’s office’s snarling traffic on a bridge under its control.  This highly publicized case happens daily around the country but simply gets less coverage, in part because no one suggests alternative ways of arranging things.  I would transfer title to closed or unused D.C. government properties to non-profit groups like the DC Center and allow them to function independently.  I do not favor a government controlled or managed gay community center, where the government or an incumbent administration will attempt to define the gay community.  Many other cities have managed to create and sustain gay community centers in the voluntary sector, and many of them have lower average incomes than D.C. and a smaller gay population than D.C.  Among other problems, as with all government property, a state-approved gay community center will encourage and politicize conflicts over who gets to use spaces, resources, or programs.  I think religious gay groups and anti-religious gay groups, radical feminist lesbians and transgender groups, and other parts of the gay community who have contradictory ideas about social issues should not be pitted against each other as protesters are on public sidewalks or parents are in public schools, but instead should be allowed to each freely associate and disassociate as they choose.
Your record is part of your rating. Please list any actions that you have taken that may 
help illustrate your record on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. 

I have been openly gay in DC since 1980.  In the early 80s my activism consisted mainly of working on libertarian causes and anti-draft registration causes, and very publicly kissing my then lover at airport terminals, when, in pre-TSA days, you could accompany a loved one right up to the door of the plane.  We also had a joint checking account and used a hyphenated last name on it, because again, in those pre-Patriot Act days, you could just do that, free of government restrictions.
In the late 80s, when I was both a staff and a graduate student at Georgetown University, and it was fighting over whether to legitimize its undergraduate gay student group, I conceived and started, with two other graduate students I recruited, a Gay and Lesbian Lunch Group for Staff, Faculty and Graduate Students.  It was a time when there were many news stories about self-segregated lunch tables in American high schools.  We produced clever flyers, usually depicting some famous person the average person did not realize was gay (Greta Garbo, Jodie Foster, etc.) announcing that there would be a gay lunch table in the Leavey Center and put them up all over campus.  Then we’d all pick a table and have lunch together bi-weekly.
In the early and mid 90s I attended a variety of DC gay group meetings, including GLAA, GLOV, Asians and Friends, the Lesbian Power Breakfast, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and the Potomac Executive Network.  I also did some gay community outreach for the initial campaign of Jack Evans for city council, recruited by his old staffer John Ralls, and I did gay community outreach for Nancy Lord, JD, MD, a (heterosexual) woman who ran for Mayor as a Libertarian candidate in the early 1990s.  I also supported both Carol Schwartz, and then Patrick Mara, in earlier elections, first for supporting civil unions (Schwartz) and then for supporting gay marriage (Mara) instead of civil unions.
In the mid and late 90s I became a regular attendee and eventually for a number of years a fairly major sponsor of Reel Affirmations, D.C.’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. (if you check any program from the years 1999-2007 you can see my listing as a sponsor, for anyone not old enough to remember.)
In the late 1990s and early 2000s I became a member of the Human Rights Campaign Fund’s Federal Club and donated to HRC at a silent auction, winning a spot as an extra on “Will and Grace.”  I also donated lesser amounts to other groups like the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.  From 2000 to 2002 I donated mainly through the Gay and Lesbian Interests group and gay and lesbian bundlers, to the Democratic Party, including the campaigns of Howard Dean, Al Gore, and John Kerry.  I also gave smaller amounts to Jim Kolbe and the Log Cabin Republicans.  (You can find most of my donations at OpenSecrets.Org by doing a search at
Last year I published an essay in support of gay marriage in the online magazine Doublethink, published by America’s Future Foundation, a group that networks young free market oriented interns and professionals in DC and other cities (

Pride? Are DC political groups defending corrupt political leaders who fund them?

9 Jun

D.C. Mayor Gray calls Catania remarks ‘nonsense’

By Phil Reese on June 7, 2012 

Mayor Vincent Gray spoke at the Pride week LGBT town hall on Thursday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray took a shot at gay Council member David Catania during a Pride town hall event Thursday.
A day earlier, Catania said in a televised interview that Gray should resign if he fails to tell all he knows about allegations of improprieties in his 2010 mayoral campaign.
He told Fox 5 news, ”The time has come … for the mayor to provide answers to the questions that people have regarding his campaign or return as a private citizen and address those issues,” said Catania.
“I don’t want to respond to that kind of nonsense,” the mayor said when asked by the Blade’s Lou Chibbaro Jr. about Catania’s remarks. ”David Catania makes comments at times that are ridiculous.”
The reception and town hall, which took place at the Charles Sumner School in Washington, D.C., also saw the swearing in of members of the Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Committee. The event was sponsored by Capital Pride, the Washington Blade, the Victory Fund and the Crew Club.
“We want to get them sworn in tonight,” Mayor Gray said in announcing the new members of the committee after an introduction by the mayor’s GLBT liaison, Jeffrey Richardson. “Because we want them to take this seriously. This is serious work.”
“People can step back for a minute,” the mayor said in response to a question about the resignation and indictment of City Council Chair Kwame Brown. “The city is doing extremely well.”
The mayor said he was shocked and saddened by the resignation but said the scandal would not impact city services. He rattled off a list of accomplishments during his tenure as mayor, including posting a budget surplus, lower unemployment and a reduced number of homicides.
“We are a resilient city,” the mayor said, saying the District is adding 1,000 new residents each month. “Our city is in great shape.”
“I was stunned and I was sad to learn what was revealed,” the mayor said of the resignation of his longtime friend, but assured residents the city was on the right track.
The mayor also answered questions from the Blade about President Obama’s support of marriage equality as well as the impending Maryland referendum on same-sex marriage.
The mayor also spoke extensively of his pride over the District playing host to the International AIDS Conference, being held in the United States for the first time in two decades. He also said he was not prepared to make any statements about running for mayor again in 2014.
“We will be able to showcase what we are doing in the District of Columbia itself,” the mayor said, saying the conference will be an opportunity for AIDS/HIV researchers and advocates to advance the science of HIV prevention and care. “We are doing a lot.”
The comments came after a line of questioning about the rising HIV rates among gay men in the District of Columbia.
During an audience question and answer session immediately following the interview, trans advocate Ruby Corado thanked the mayor for his support.
“Since you’ve been mayor a lot of LGBT activists can sleep a little better,” said Corado, whose Casa Ruby recently opened catering to the Latino LGBT community. “As a trans activist, I certainly sleep a lot better.”
The members of the committee sworn in Thursday night are:
  • Andrew Barnett – Executive Director Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League
  • Gregory A. Cendana – Executive Director of Asian American Labor Alliance
  • Wesley D. Thomas – Dentist, U.S. Department of Defense & board member, Whitman-Walker Health
  • Brittany E. Walsh – Program Manager, LIFT-DC
  • Ryan C. Wilson – Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
  • Lester Johnson – President, Team DC Executive Council
  • Kareem Murphy – Partner, Ferguson Group & Member, Metropolitan Community Church Public Policy Team
  • Megan Wallace – Principal, Wallace Law, LLC,
  • Matthew Leblanc – Program Coordinator, LGBTQ Resource Center, Georgetown University
  • Savanna Wanzer – Founder of Capital Trans Pride 2007 & Board member Whitman Walker Health
  • Iden McCollum – Founder and Executive Director of the Ida Mae Campbell Foundation
  • Ronald L. Swanda – Aging Advocate
  • Dr. Imani Woody – Chair, SAGE Metro DC
  • Khadijah Tribble – Director of Operations for the Not-for-Profit Hospital Corporation’s Infectious Diseases Care Center & Principal, of Trifecta Consulting Group
  • Julius Agers – Two-Spirited American Indian and Transgender Advocate
  • Courtney Snowden – Principal, Raben Group
  • David Perez – President, Board of the Latino GLBT History Project & Director of Development for the League of United Latin American Citizens
  • June Crenshaw – Chair of the Board of Rainbow Response Coalition (RRC)
  • Barbara Ann Helmick – Deputy Chief of Staff for Citizen Outreach for The Public Interest Network (appointed as Vice Chair of Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Committee)
  • Earl Fowlkes – President/CEO of the International Federation of Black Prides (IFBP) – Appointed as Chair of Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Committee

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)