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Who’s leaving whom? D.C. political class plans to paint the town white

10 Oct
Published last week at Breitbart .

This week newly elected D.C. city council members, David Grosso and Elissa Silverman, proposed what they take to be a model of progressive legislation, a mandatory 16 week paid leave for maternity, paternity, transexual surgery,  death of a parent, returning from military service, and other major life events believed to make returning to work difficult.  The program would be paid for by a new tax on employment, a new local FICA-like tax, which proponents claim will be under 1%.  As Silverman notes, extensive government imposed paid leave is on President Obama’s wish list for a transformed and government controlled America.

In it’s favorable coverage The Washington Post quotes Silverman as arguing that the law will strengthen D.C.’s local economy: “D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman said paid family leave would make the District more competitive regionally by making it easier for women to reenter the workforce. ‘There is a big problem with keeping women in the workplace and making it feel like you can come back.’”

Silverman lacks a grasp of economics of course.  When companies want to retain specific employees, including new moms, they offer these benefits already.

Or perhaps Silverman’s statements aren’t as straight forward as they appear.

Grosso and Silverman, both white, were technically elected to the city council as Independents, kind of the D.C. equivalents of Senator Bernie Sanders, particularly in Silverman’s case.  Each found it convenient to run as Independents rather than as Democrats because of D.C.’s local idiosyncratic election laws, where at least one city council seat must be held by someone not in whatever party (i.e., in D.C., the Democrats) is in the majority.

David Grosso

Grosso is obviously a Democrat, having served for years as a staffer to D.C.’s Democratic Delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, simply using the election law loophole to more easily be elected.

While the hippie-ish Grosso, with a mane of long wavy brown hair, rode the popular movement to decriminalize marijuana in the District to his electoral victory, Silverman is more of an old line socialist, who will adopt any guise that will get her into power.

In 2013 she ran as a Democrat in a crowded field, with her surrogates challenging the petition signatures of other left-leaning candidates to eliminate them from the ballot.  But Silverman lost, with 28% of the vote, to a more establishment Democrat, Anita Bonds, who was part of the city’s older African American establishment, dating back to when Bonds ran Marion Barry’s first campaign in 1971, the city’s African American population having peaked, at 71%, in 1970. 

In 2014 Silverman switched registrations to run as an Independent (the then current holder of the set-aside, non-Democrat, seat, David Catania, was leaving the city council to make a failed bid for mayor).  Silverman was elected – with only 12% of the vote, all she needed in a crowded field in the special, set aside, race.

So D.C. is about to become the first city in the country to enact European-style welfare state labor policies, because of candidates elected with 12% of the vote.

Elissa Silverman

Supporters of the law, like Silverman, are already discussing how the new paid family leave policy will be a model that can be copied by other cities.  This is unlikely.  Like Silverman’s (and to a lesser degree Grosso’s) shifting political masks and guises, the paid family leave policy is not what it seems.

This is because D.C. is a deeply weird city, very unlike most American cities, with an almost apartheid like economy.

On the one hand, west of the Anacostia River, are mainly non-black, law and graduate school educated bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists, who for over two decades have been moving into D.C. at a rate of 1,000 new residents a month.  These people have almost no unemployment – indeed they move here only after accepting jobs with government agencies or law firms.  Their neighborhoods have almost no foreclosures.  Their property values, and rents, have never fallen, even during the real estate crash back in 2008.

And then there are the two of the city’s eight wards, wards 7 and 8,  east of the Anacostia River, where incomes are much lower and unemployment rates much higher.  Black unemployment for those between 16 and 24 in D.C. is 38%, while for whites it is 5%.

But it’s actually people 24 and up who will be hurt by paid family leave.  D.C.’s new residents, who elected Silverman and Grosso, are mainly white (or non-black) lawyers and other graduate degree holders, who work for governments – federal, District, or even many international government agencies or state government offices that maintain a presence in D.C.  According to Gallup, 38% of D.C. workers are employed by governments, the highest percentage in the nation.

Additional sections of D.C.’s urban elite are employed by government contractors.  It’s hard to find the number of D.C. residents who work for a government contractors or the number of people (including people from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs) employed at a location inside D.C. by a government contractor.    But that it’s another huge section of D.C.’s workforce is obvious.  D.C. comes in at 5th place with $18 billion in revenue from government contracts (behind first place Virginia with $51 billion and 4th place Maryland at $27 billion).  That’s about $29,000 for each of D.C.’s 650,000 residents, though of course the point is, for those in Anacostia, it isn’t creating employment opportunities for everyone.  People born in D.C. whose education consisted of graduating from D.C.’s failed public school system rarely end up with the law degrees or the master’s degrees in cybersecurity, urban planning, economics, or environmental science, that are needed for lucrative federal jobs.

And then there are lobbyists, who may not be paid directly by a government but are paid because of government to influence government policies.  They are paid more than the highly paid government employees.  From 2000-2010, the D.C. metropolitan area added 21,000 families in the top 1% of income, reportedly more than any other metropolitan area in the country.

So when these people’s employers – government agencies, contractors billing the government, and lawyers and lobbyists billing people who receive the government contracts and other benefits – pay a new tax to give D.C. yuppies expanded paid leave, the American taxpayer will be paying for it.  Most other cities wouldn’t be able to shift the cost of paid leave off onto American taxpayers generally.

It’s essentially a pay raise (an increase in benefits) for government employees in D.C. that will be covered by the American taxpayer, much as their collapsing subway system, Metro, is paid for in part by funds diverted from the gas tax that is supposed to maintain American highways.

Some purely private sector companies will leave D.C., or choose not to locate there.  It’s easy enough to locate one or two subway stops outside D.C. in Maryland or Virginia, and make your employees come to you.  That’s been happening for years because of crime, traffic, and other problems.  It doesn’t hurt D.C. yuppies much, who can easily shop in Bethesda, Maryland or McLean, Virginia.  And it won’t hurt Grosso or Silverman with their base.  In 2014 Silverman voters were as white as…the people at a Bernie Sanders rally.  Anacostia Wards 7 and 8 gave her 3% and 2% of their votes respectively.

Anita Bonds

It mainly just means that once again businesses will not be offering jobs in Anacostia and other poorer parts of D.C., to the chronically unemployed long-term residents who don’t have law degrees.  If they have to pay extra taxes to operate in D.C. they’ll just operate in Maryland or Virginia.  And poor black residents in D.C. will eventually move to neighboring Prince George’s County, or to North or South Carolina or some state where they have family.  And they won’t be voting for Anita Bonds or other holdovers from the old Marion Barry machine.  Many will never be eligible for paid family leave because they won’t have a job to take leave from.

Decades ago Lillian Wiggins, a columnist at the Washington Afro American, proposed that there was a conspiracy to wrest political control of D.C. away from its African American majority, and install a white dominated government and make the Capitol City a white city.  She called it The Plan.

Today in D.C. failed public schools and minimum wage laws conspire to make it so many D.C. yuppies don’t have to meet many black people in a city that is 50% African American.  Most of the jobs someone with a high school education could get are being replaced by self-check out kiosks.  D.C. “progressives” no longer have to see those whose lives and futures were stolen by the regulatory state’s eradication of opportunities or the government sector teacher’s unions elimination of quality education.  They don’t have to experience any guilt or be pricked by thoughts about why trillions of dollars of welfare statism haven’t made things much better.

“Paid family leave” amounts to paying black people to leave.

The Democrats have enacted The Plan.

Libertarians call on Delegate Norton to offer Amendment eliminating Harris Amendment

16 Jul
Marijuana becomes decriminalized in DC, somewhat, tonight.

But Maryland Congressman Andy Harris has offered an amendment to the Financial Services Appropriation bill voted on today to overturn that. Harris’s amendment to the Financial Services Appropriation Bill comes to the floor for a vote today.

Delegate Norton should offer an amendment to eliminate his amendment interfering with DC’s autonomy.

If she can’t do that, what good is the DC Democratic Party?

This is why the D.C. Libertarian Party is recruiting and running a full slate of candidates, to offer an alternative the DC’s one party state and protect the autonomy of DC residents.

You can contact Delegate Norton at one of her 3 Congressional offices

Capitol Hill Office

2136 Rayburn HOB
WashingtonDC 20515
phone: (202) 225-8050
fax: 202) 225-3002
hours: M-F 9-5:30pm

Main District Office

90 K Street, NE
Suite 100
WashingtonDC 20001
phone: (202) 408-9041
fax: (202) 408-9048
hours: M-F 9-5:30pm

S.E. District Office

2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., S.E.
Suite 238
WashingtonDC 20020
phone: (202) 678-8900
fax: (202) 678-8844
hours: M-F 9-5:30pm

Delegate Norton has such a low opinion of Congressional Democrats, maybe she should switch parties!

4 Sep
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says Democrats may vote for war just to save face for the Obama regime.

Her excellent questions about intervention in Syria after Obama presented his case were on C-Span:

Delegate Norton has such a low opinion of Congressional Democrats we may invite her to switch parties!

3 Sep

Her excellent questions about intervention in Syria after Obama presented his case were on C-Span today

NSA violates DC residents rights and Eleanor Holmes Norton says nothing!

18 Aug
Yes, the NSA Violated Surveillance Privacy Rules – at Least 2,776 Times

Innocent DC residents spied on by NSA “mistake” about 202 area code; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton does nothing.
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton defended the GSA during its scandals, since her campaign PAC is funded by government contractors and unions, as well as developers. So don’t expect her to stand up for the DC/202 area code residents “mistakenly” spied on.

NSA violates DC residents rights and Eleanor Holmes Norton says nothing!

16 Aug

Yes, the NSA Violated Surveillance Privacy Rules – at Least 2,776 Times

Innocent DC residents spied on by NSA “mistake” about 202 area code; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton does nothing.

  • Eleanor Holmes Norton defended the GSA during its scandals, since her campaign PAC is funded by government contractors and unions, as well as developers. So don’t expect her to stand up for the DC/202 area code residents “mistakenly” spied on.

Virgin Islands Delegate Will Return Jeff Thompson-Tied Donations – but NOT DC Delegate Norton!

17 Jun
Virgin Islands Delegate Will Return Jeff Thompson-Tied Donations

But not DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Sequestration is a bitch!

20 Mar
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton opens yet another office, all within one city.  With your federal tax dollars.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton NoMa-bound

 Staff Reporter-Washington Business Journal
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is bound for NoMa.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton plans to open a new District office at 
Sentinel Square I in NoMa.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton plans to open a new District office at Sentinel Square I in NoMa.

The District’s representative to Congress has reached a deal to open 
a new office inTrammell Crow Co.’s Sentinel Square I at 90 K St. 
NE. The General Services Administration negotiated the 1,778-
square-foot lease on the delegate’s behalf, and Trammell Crow 
announced the deal Wednesday.

Norton’s new office will be open by May 1 under a lease that goes 
out six years, according to Trammell Crow.
Norton was represented by Larry Suttonand David Mead of the GSA
and by Bill Craig and Rob Carey of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Trammell 
Crow’s Tom Finanrepresented Sentinel Square, which Trammell Crow 
is jointly developing with Crow Holdings Realty Partners IV LP and 
Cottonwood Partners Management Ltd.
Representatives from Norton’s office were not immediately able to say 
whether the new office will replace or be in addition to two other 
District offices. The delegate also has space in the National Press 
Building at 529 14th St. NW and at 2041 Martin Luther King Jr. 
Ave. SE.
With Norton’s lease, the 12-story building at First and K streets NE is
about 85 percent leased.

Delegate Norton fails again; barely 6,000 gun prohibition goose steppers march to hear her speak

27 Jan
Thousands Attend Gun Control Rally in D.C.

A “national” goose stepping of barely 6,000 (which included dozens of pro 2nd Amendment counter protestors), the day after 400,000 people marched against abortion.  And other media, from the UK Daily Mail to the local NPR affiliate WAMU simply report over a thousand, not 6,000.  I suspect the pathetically small 6,000 figure is an inflated guesstimate from the anti-self-defense/disarmament goose stepper groups. And it was a warmer day and a weekend!

Here’s a hint for the prohibition fascists – if you had just gone the day before and found 15% of the pro-lifers who also supported gun control you could have doubled your numbers!

Local NPR affiliate WAMU interviewed one of the Bill of  Rights supporters:

Thousands of gun control advocates from across the nation rallied on the National Mall Saturday, demanding Congress and President Obama to pass gun legislation while the issue is still in the national spotlight.
Demonstrators came from across the country, including a busload of people from Newtown, Conn. One of the protesters, Eddy Sourby, is a freshman at Newtown High School.
Sourby was at the high school on Dec. 14, when, about a mile away, Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 elementary school students.
“We went into lockdown for like two hours, and everybody was like really confused,” says Sourby. “Then, when it went on for too long, our teacher, he told us there was a shooting.”
Sourby came to protest in D.C. with her mom, and about 80 others from Newtown, who say they were galvanized by the tragedy.
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton was among the roster of local and national leaders who fired up the crowd. At one point, she asked all of the Newtown residents at the demonstration to stand up to be recognized.
“Today we join the great majority of Americans who want to move this country off of the outskirts of civilization, into the civilized world of nations who protect their children,” says Norton in a speech to the crowd.
The silent march was interrupted by a handful of counter-protestors (photo) Including Victoria Bingham, of Alexandria.
“I really believe in the second amendment because I know that living in the state of Virginia, there are so many people that do own guns, I am very safe,” says Bingham.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray spoke at the rally, saying cities need federal action to stop gun violence.
“This is a city that has worked hard to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” says Gray.
The District already bans high-capacity ammunition magazines, but the city’s handgun ban was struck down in 2008.
The gun control debate will be front and center on Capitol Hill next week: on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing called “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”


I helped organize a small group of Bill of Rights supporters to educate these anti-self defense goose steppers.  They report far fewer than the measly 6,000 claimed by New York magazine:

bruce – i think bridget already made a correction on this – there weren’t thousands of anti gun protesters… there was maybe 500 at most…. and half of them were grandmothers and children whose parents dragged them with to hold signs…. it was rather sad to tell the truth   – can you update your blog?”

Beating that old head against the wall

27 Jan

Norton introduces these bills every session and they are ignored, so where is there any news here? The news would seem to be that Congressmen Issa might consider one.  The stories journalists never cover include:
1) Norton used to also introduce a bill giving DC parity with Puerto Rico, that is, saying we should be exempt from all federal taxation until or unless we have the vote. She dropped this after a few terms in her 12 term sinecure. What tax and spend Power That Be twisted her arm?
2) Eleanor raises $400,000 every election to run opposed. It comes mainly from real estate developers, construction unions, and PACs. How does it correlate with her committee votes to decide who gets federal leases, contracts and pieces of desirable property along the SW waterfront?
3) Norton buys virtually no advertising, signs, buttons etc with the $400,000. Instead she uses it to buy influence by donating it to other politicians and spends a lot of it on two or three people who are accountants, lawyers and webmasters in Prince George’s county. Why would one pay an accountant over a thousand dollars every few days to essentially do little more than deposit PAC checks and then pay himself? Is this person a cousin? Who are these people being paid to not run a campaign since she really doesn’t ever run one?

Norton Introduces Bill That Would Grant D.C. Representation in Congress


Photo by Tim Gibbon

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton today introduced two bills that would grant D.C. varying degrees of representation in Congress.
One bill would give D.C. the full panoply of congressional representation: two senators and one voting member of the House. The other bill would be more limited, offering D.C. only a voting member of the House. Last week Norton introduced a bill that would make D.C. the union’s 51st state.
The bills represent yet another push on Capitol Hill to change the city’s longstanding second-class status. Still, they face tough odds. The House recently voted to again deny Norton voting privileges in the Committee of the Whole, and many Republicans remain wary of any measure that would grant D.C. statehood or any of the benefits of statehood—namely, full representation in Congress. Additionally, the proposal to only give D.C. a single voting seat in the House reached its nadir before the 2010 Census, when it was connected to an additional House seat for Utah.
Yesterday Norton also re-introduced a measure that may have legs, though: a bill granting D.C. enhanced budget autonomy. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has said that he’s in favor of allowing city officials to use their own money with fewer restrictions, though a bill he introduced in late 2011 would have codified the prohibition of the use of local funds for abortions. City officials and Norton rejected that option, and have since been fighting for a clean budget autonomy bill.
Whether or not the budget autonomy bill goes anywhere might end up being irrelevant, though: D.C. residents will vote on a budget autonomy referendum on April 23.