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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.

This Week’s Leftover Smear Merchantry – WaPo’s Paul Waldman

15 Aug
That Mr. Bezos is so nice to offer jobs to so many retarded Americans.  A gimp named Paul Waldman complained that Rand Paul had not spoken on the Ferguson, MO killing of an innocent (African American) man. [ Senator Paul did later speak out about it before President Obama did, and also wrote a piece for TIME magazine.]

The presumption is that Rand or Ron Paul are the sum total of libertarian voices, and that the libertarian twittersphere and blogosphere that Waldman and other stalinoids are ignorant of doesn’t exist.  Sean Malone took him to task.

  • Sean Malone 

    “Dear Mr. Waldman,

    You’re kidding with this, right? You’re just here to troll the Washington Post readership with some satire, yes? 

    You claim that ‘libertarians” aren’t talking about Ferguson… But Radley Balko, a libertarian journalist who has spent about 20 years fighting police abuses and who’s work actually contributed directly to freeing Cory Maye from death row ( and who has absolutely talked about it at length, works for the Washington Post! 

    In case you weren’t aware, that’s the same newspaper that published your stunted excuse for an article.

    Also, Reason, the widely circulated print & online libertarian news magazine (where Balko used to work, by the way) has covered the events as they’ve unfolded in Ferguson extensively. Read this for example:…/officer-who-shot-mike-brown-might…. Likewise, “The Independents”, a libertarian news show on Fox Business with which you’re obviously unfamiliar, is also covering the story and I believe will have guests on to talk about it tonight.

    As an active libertarian myself, I can say anecdotally that my entire social-media sphere is blowing up with posts about Ferguson, MO as well since Michael Brown was shot. All, by the way, decrying the state of police violence in the country and supporting the feelings and ultimate aims (if not the specific violent/damaging actions) of the rioters and outraged people of the town.

    But I guess doing the 5 minutes of Googling it would have taken to find out any of this was too difficult?

    Perhaps next time you should try and find a shred of journalistic integrity and – oh, I don’t know – actually learn a little bit about your subject matter before posting such idiotic tripe… Not that you will. Better yet, you and your editors should simply never be employed in the news business by anyone.

    Good day, you mentally incompetent hack.”

    A cop is dead, an innocent man may be on death row, and drug warriors keep knocking down doors.

  • Sean Malone Waldman:

    “I’d encourage you to read the actual piece, and to read Balko’s blog. If you do those two things, you’ll find out that I mentioned Reason’s coverage of the Ferguson case, and you’ll also find that Balko hasn’t actually written about the Ferguson case yet, though I’m sure he will eventually.”

  • Sean Malone Me again:

    “Thanks. I did read the actual piece. Balko hasn’t written a piece for WaPo yet, but he’s written several things on social media (where he has a sizeable following) about it. That doesn’t count? 

    Your article slanders a massive group of people whose actual work in this area has far outpaced that of basically any major progressive/liberal group in this country, and instead of focusing on the libertarian community’s lengthy history of excellent work on police militarization, police abuse, and specifically the way in which police power is used more aggressively against minority communities, you try to paint us all as hypocrites and insinuate a disdain for the poor and possibly minority communities instead. And all because two politicians wouldn’t immediately get back to you with a public statement about something that is extremely politically sensitive. 

    Surely you realize how utterly disingenuous your article is. It’s some of the shittiest, most underhanded journalism I’ve ever read and as a libertarian, I’m pretty used to smear-campaigns from ignorant partisan blowhards at this point.”

Mama, I want to grow up to be a Libertarian…

26 Feb
The Real Estalker: Jeff Bezos Buys Some Real Estate Pornography: BUYER: Jeff Bezos LOCATION: N. Alpine Drive, Beverly Hills, CA PRICE: $30,000,000 plus or minus SIZE: 11,891 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 bath…

Washington Post angers gay community by Potemkin Village "news"

18 Oct
Perhaps this will get blamed on Jeff Bezos’ “libertarianism,” which is not noticeable yet in the editorial or opinion pages, but the Post seems to be in bed with the Russian government.

But then, according to Diane West’s new book on communist infiltration of the federal government, that may not be new.

Washington Post publishes pro-Russia supplement

By  on October 16, 2013
Washington Post, Russia, Kremlin, gay news, Washington Blade

The Washington Post on October 9 ran a paid supplement from a Kremlin-backed Russian newspaper.
The Washington Post’s Oct. 9 print edition included a paid supplement produced by a Kremlin-backed newspaper that lacked any references to the ongoing controversy over Russia’s LGBT rights record.
Rossiyskaya Gazetá produced the insert – Russia Beyond the Headlines – that contained, among other things, an op-ed from Jeffrey Mankoff of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in D.C. He cited portions of the speech that Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered during a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, a Russian think tank, that took place last month.
“Discussing his own view of Russian identity, Putin criticized the West for abandoning its Christian roots and ‘placing on the same level families with many children and single-sex partnerships, belief in God and belief in Satan,’” Putin said, according to Mankoff. “This cultural relativity, according to Putin, is ‘a direct path to degradation and primitivization, to a deep demographic and ethical crisis.’”
The Oct. 9 supplement is not the first time the Washington Post has published a Russia-specific insert.
The newspaper first published a Russia-themed supplement – Russia Now – in 2007.
Russia Beyond the Headlines said in a press release last month it decided earlier this year to redesign and revamp the supplement. It reappeared under the aforementioned name in the Washington Post’s Sept. 11 issue with a lead story that focused on the controversy surrounding the Russian law that bans gay propaganda to minors.
The article quoted Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group, an organization that monitors human rights in Russia, as describing the statute that Putin signed in June as “a step toward the Middle Ages.” The Sept. 11 supplement reported Kirill Kobrin of Radio Free Europe’s Russia Service said he feels “it was unthinkable to even discuss these issues 20 years ago in Russia.”
“Under the Kremlin’s lead, LGBT rights are the focus of public attention and debate in Russia – albeit censored debate,” the Russia Beyond the Headlines article reads.
The New York Times on Sept. 18 published an eight-page Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement that contained articles about the gay propaganda law and coming out in the country. Putin reiterated his opposition to air strikes in Syria in an op-ed that ran in the newspaper less than a week earlier.
Ketchum PR, a public relations firm that represents Putin, placed it in the New York Times. Pro Publica reported the New York-based company received more than $1.9 million in fees and expense reimbursements from the Russian government from December 2012 through May.
The New York Times included another Russia supplement in its Oct. 16 print edition that contained an article on the arrest of 30 Greenpeace members last month who tried to board a Russian oil platform. The insert also contained a reference to the LGBT advocates who protested Russia’s gay rights record during the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night gala in New York last month.
Washington Post spokesperson Jennifer Lee declined to tell the Washington Blade how much the Russia Beyond the Headlines insert cost, but she confirmed it was a paid supplement and the advertiser provided the content. It contained a disclosure on the front page that said “it did not involve the news or editorial departments of the Washington Post.”
The top margin of each subsequent page contained a disclosure that stated the insert was “a paid supplement to the Washington Post.”
Observers and even journalists themselves have questioned the way Russian media outlets have covered the gay propaganda law, Russia’s LGBT rights record and the controversy surrounding it.
Gay American journalist Jamie Kirchick on Aug. 21 challenged Russia’s LGBT rights recordduring an interview with the Kremlin-backed television network RT on the sentencing of former U.S. Army private Chelsea Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.
“Being here on a Kremlin-funded propaganda network I’m going to wear my gay pride suspenders and I’m going to speak out against the horrific anti-gay legislation that Vladimir Putin has signed into law, that passed unanimously by the Russian Duma that criminalizes homosexual propaganda,” Kirchick told anchor Yulia Shapovalova. “It effectively makes it illegal to talk about homosexuality in public. We’ve seen a spate of violent attacks on gay people in Russia.”
RT aired a segment on calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in response to the country’s LGBT rights record less than two weeks before Kirchick appeared on the network to discuss Manning. The journalist further criticized Shapovalova and her colleagues before RT took him off the air.
Anton Krasovsky, the former editor-in-chief of the pro-Kremlin Kontr TV, said the television station fired him in January after he came out as gay during a segment on the gay propaganda law.
The Washington Post in recent weeks has published a number of stories on the controversy over Russia’s LGBT rights record and how it threatens to overshadow the Sochi games. These include a Sept. 26 article on the International Olympic Committee’s position that it has no authority to challenge the gay propaganda law and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals’ response to a question about it during the lighting of the Olympic torch in Greece late last month. founder Jeff Bezos, who bought the Washington Post in August and contributed $2.5 million to a group that backed a successful 2012 ballot measure that secured marriage rights for same-sex couples in Washington State, did not return the Blade’s request for comment.
Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute, a media ethics watchdog, told the Blade that paid supplements and advertorials have become common in newspapers. She noted the Washington Post’s use of different fonts throughout the Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement is “common practice” and “is amazingly effective at cueing regular readers to advertising content.”
“Combined with the disclosures, it looks to me the [Washington Post] is within the standard practice of the industry,” McBride said.

DC corruption more widespread than known

15 Aug

From WaPo (Michael Debonis and other authors):
Thompson boosted the mayoral campaign of Linda W. Cropp, a Democrat, seven years ago with more than $100,000 in alleged illegal spending, the people said. He allegedly spent smaller amounts on behalf of former council member Michael A. Brown and the insurgent council candidacies of Patrick D. Mara, a Republican, and Mark H. Long, an independent, in 2008. And he allegedly spent still more in 2010 for council hopefuls Jeff Smith and Kelvin Robinson, both Democrats, and in 2011 for council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large).
Though the sums of money were significantly smaller than the amount that went into what has become known as the“shadow campaign” for Gray in 2010, such expenditures could reveal a pattern in which Thompson appears to have wielded vast influence for years over the District’s political process.
Cropp and Mara denied any knowledge of the payments, as Gray has done regarding the alleged secret effort to help him in 2010. The other candidates either couldn’t be reached or, through attorneys, declined to comment.
That keeps the focus of a
21 / 2-year investigation into political corruption in the District, for now, on Thompson.
Prosecutors appear to be methodically building a case against Thompson, who was for years one of the District’s largest contractors and who, court records suggest, is the subject of a grand jury investigation.
An individual matching Thompson’s description has been mentioned on numerous occasions in court documents as allegedly funding the “shadow campaign” for Gray (D) as well as arranging illegal “straw” donations made with his own money but disclosed as coming from employees and other associates.
While declining to comment on any particular allegations of wrongdoing, Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, issued a statement Friday that said: “It is clear from our office’s public corruption prosecutions over the past several years that we will not excuse criminal activity as business as usual. We plan to continue vigorously investigating and prosecuting crimes that deprive D.C. voters of the fair and transparent elections that they deserve.”
Most recently, Thompson secretly paid for T-shirts, campaign signs and field workers in 2011 to help return Orange to office, the individuals asserted. In that campaign, Orange relied on some of the same players implicated in the parallel campaign for Gray the prior year.

Terry McAuliffe corruption cover up by Washington Post

15 Aug


On Saturday, The Washington Post ran 

a lengthy article on Virginia Democratic 

gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s 

controversial ties with the failed green car 

company GreenTech. For the story, the Post 

interviewed a bevy of individuals associated 

with GreenTech, including four interviewed in 

Citizens United’s documentary on McAuliffe, 

Fast Terry: Barbara Tuchel, local activist and 

former candidate for Tunica County’s Board 

of Supervisors; Charles Overstreet, former 

GreenTech employee; Melvin Griffen, former 

GreenTech employee; and Rev. McKinely Daley, 

of the Tunica Coujnty’s Board of Supervisors.

The Post’s story did admit that “a review of 
hundreds of public records and interviews with
 former employees and public officials in 
Virginia and Mississippi indicate that 
McAuliffe’s promises to create thousands 
of American jobs and millions of American-made
 cars have fallen short.”
But the story comes up short of calling GreenTech 
what it was: a crony capitalist deal between local 
authorities and high-ranking friends of high-ranking 
Democrats. The story also ignores Fast Terry itself, 
which has raised the issue of GreenTech on a national
 scale, even though the story interviews many of the 
same subjects as Fast Terry. 

Lost in Translation – Borowitz on Bezos

7 Aug
Andy Borotwitz, the leftover comic who helped retread The Beverly Hillbillies into The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, had a funnier than usual line yesterday:

Jeff Bezos, the founder of, told reporters today that his reported purchase of the Washington Post was a “gigantic mix-up,” explaining that he had clicked on the newspaper by mistake.
“I guess I was just kind of browsing through their website and not paying close attention to what I was doing,” he said. “No way did I intend to buy anything.”
Mr. Bezos said he had been oblivious to his online shopping error until earlier today, when he saw an unusual charge for two hundred and fifty million dollars on his American Express statement.

Apparently, Borowitz renown as a humorist is not worldwide:

Heng Shao

Heng Shao, Forbes Staff
I cover Chinese business news and social phenomenon.



8/07/2013 @ 5:25PM |11 views

Bezos’ ‘Accidental’ Purchase of the Washington Post? It’s Just a Joke, Xinhua


Xinhua News Agency Translated The New Yorker’s Satire On Jeff Bezos’ Purchase of The Washington Post As Serious News
Apparently China’s state-owned newspapers have a difficult time getting American satire. Amid all the buzz about Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government’s mouthpiece, translated verbatim a New Yorker magazine satire and published it as real news on its International News Online section. The New Yorker piece, written by satire columnist Andy Borowitz, says Bezos’ purchase resulted from an unintentional click of the mouse, and that he has been negotiating with the Post’s customer service department to retract it. Not realizing the news’ satirical nature, People’s Website, operated by another Chinese state newspaper, People’s Daily, also reprinted  the Xinhua translation.
This is not the first time that Chinese government-run newspapers fall prey to American humor. Last year the People’s Website openly congratulated Kim Jong-un for winning The Onion’s Sexist Man Alive For 2012. Below a picture of the handsome Kim Jong-un, the website translated the words of the Onion editor, Marissa Blake-Zweibel, that “he has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time.” Although the content was removed quickly, the incident went viral in the Chinese online community, where netizens had a good laugh.
My advice for avoiding these mistakes in the future? Chill out, Xinhua, it’s just a joke.