Archive | Watergate RSS feed for this section

Libertarian transgender precipitates one day government shutdown

20 Nov
A different, less snarky, version of this was published yesterday at Breitbart.

If Julia Roberts wants to play a transsexual in the middle of a conspiracy theorist’s dream I have a treatment ready for her.

Monday someone who was first reported as suicidal woman, and then rumored to be a man with a rifle, shut down a huge section of downtown DC.  Police refuse to comment on any questions and the mainstream media refused to mention that the culprit, Sophia Dalke, 31, was transgender, which was also left out of the police report.

The result is that people are free to speculate.

Initially I was as much of a mind to indulge in very black humor.  I came up with two jokes:

1) 2015 is the year transgender people became the new face of conservative politics.  First Caitlyn Jenner declared herself to be a Christian, constitutionalist, Republican, and now Sophia Dalke has engineered a one (transgender) woman government shut down.


2) Aerosmith releases a new single, “Trannies got a gun.

But investigating further, finding coincidences, and having the police refuse to answer simple questions makes one speculate about all kinds of things.

At 6:42 am Monday  the D.C. Police department tweeted out a picture of nine blocks of downtown Washington, D.C.. announcing they were under lockdown Monday morning.   From the World Bank at 18th and I Streets NW, near the White House, to the Social Security Administration at 21st and M Streets NW, two blocks from Senator Harry Reid’s Ritz Carlton condominium on 23rd Street, much of the K street lobbying corridor was closed to buses, cars, and pedestrians.

Monday there was almost no coverage of just what was involved, other than that it was a mentally ill woman, as both cars and pedestrians were denied the ability to enter the K street lobbying area.  Later in the day rumors were that it was a man with a rifle.

On Tuesday DC’s main gay newspaper, the Washington Blade, reported that nine city blocks were closed for 10 hours for a suicidal male to female transgender with a gun – so both stories, that it was a woman and that it was a man, were  correct.  Prior to that, Monday evening, when Dalke was arrested The Washington Post and other mainstream media – and the D.C. Police report – omitted the fact that the culprit was a transexual.  Local news radio station WTOP headlined its blog post “10-hour D.C. Standoff ends with woman’s arrest.” 

The PC prudery of the mainstream media is odd.  Ms. Dalke’s Google+ profile reads “I am a pansexual transgender woman who is obsessed with history, politics, booze, and erotica with no shame about any of it.”  I first became aware of this when two different conservative Republican lesbian friends told me I should write something on the coverup of the fact that Dalke was a transexual.

I now think there could be more interesting omissions in the story.

  Dalke’s latest social media post:  “Sorry everybody, I’m dead tonight.”

None of this explained why 9 blocks would be closed, making the conspiracy minded wonder if it was something more, in the wake of recent tragedies.  Especially since police and bomb sniffing dogs were reported on local radio to be out in full force Tuesday, on D.C.’s problem ridden subway system, Metro.

Dalke had barricaded herself at 1999 K Street, a new environmentally certified modern glass office building near the Peace Corp, law firms, and the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.  1999 K houses the Federal Agricultural Mortgage agency, which makes real estate loans to farmers and agribusiness, and the law offices of Mayer-Brown, where Richard Ben-Veniste, a Watergate special prosecuter, who also defended the Clinton’s in Whitewater, and who was also appointed to the 9/11 commission, is a partner. (Ben-Veniste’s examination of Condi Rice revealed that the government had conducted studies considering the possibility of a 9/11 style attack before it occurred).  I called the main switchboard at Mayer Brown and asked for Sophia Dalke, and instead of telling me off the nice British accented switchboard operator looked through her directory and told me Dalke worked for one of their sub tenants and gave me that phone number, whose voice mail answers “Tina Brown.”  Of course, the fact that Dalke works in a building with such unusually well connected people is probably merely a coincidence.

I contacted the public information office of the D.C. Police department Tuesday evening and asked four questions: 1) Is it standard operating procedure to shut down several blocks of downtown for one person barricaded in a building? 2) Were these extreme measures because of concerns about terrorism and the events in Paris?  3) Did Dalke work at 1999 K Street where she was apprehended, for a tenant of the Mayer Brown law firm?  And 4) Was there a reason Dalke’s being transgender was omitted from the police report.  The officer replied to each question with a firm “We have no comment on that at this time.”

I am currently contacting Dalke’s friends, who were on social media urging her to meet them or seek help after her last post, to see what information about her work at 1999 K Street they can supply.

According to Lou Chibarro, the Washington Blade reporter, a perusal of her Dalke’s FaceBook account showed that she opposed D.C. gun control, and thought transgender women experiencing violence on the streets should be armed.  I did not find that entry, but I did see that books she read included libertarian philosopher Rpbert Nozick and novelist Ayn Rand, and Dalke described her politics as “Well… I’d say I was secretly Republican… except that even beyond their onerous and animadversive religious/moralist bullshit where I’m philosophically aligned with smaller government and deregulation, Republicans are shitbag hypocrites who don’t walk the talk in office. So I’m openly Libertarian. Friendly to LGBT, business, and individuals, the best of all worlds.”  On Google+ one of the friends concerned about her is a staffer at the free market R Street Institute.  (I am often thought of us as one of the most connected D.C. libertarians, and I have never heard of Dalke until researching this story.)

According to Chibarro, with whom I compared notes tonight, Dalke has now disappeared from the court system, and has not been presented to a judge (I have not confirmed this yet.). It is possible she is in the system under a different (her original male) name.

For those interested in her legal defense a GoFundMe has been established.

(Libertarian) Women’s History month: Tonie Nathan

5 Mar

Tonie Nathan, R.I.P. (The First Woman to Receive an Electoral Vote for Vice President)

Tonie Nathan was the first woman and the first Jewish American to receive an Electoral College vote, decades before Geraldine Ferraro or Joseph Leiberman, when she was the (first) Vice Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 1972.  (I met her in 2012 at the Libertarian Party nominating convention, less than two years before she passed away in March last year.)

Dates: February 9, 1923 – March 20, 2014
Known for: First woman to receive an electoral vote (in a United States presidential election) — Libertarian Party candidate for vice president in 1972, with John Hospers
Occupation: political candidate, public relations consultant, freelance writer, insurance agent, music publisher, business manager, radio and television talk show host
Also known as: Theodora Nathalia Nathan
  • University of Oregon; B.A., Journalism, 1971
  • some graduate work
  • husband: Charles (Chuck) Nathan (composer)
About Tonie Nathan:
Tonie Nathan was born in New York, lived for a time in California, and moved to Oregon.
She ran several businesses and was a talk show host on KVAL-TV and several radio programs.
In 1972, Tonie Nathan was nominated by the Libertarian Party, which she had helped found, as candidate for vice president, with John Hospers nominated for president. The Libertarian Party was on the ballot in two states and received about 3,000 votes total. Roger L. MacBride, a Republican elector, cast his electoral vote for Hospers and Nathan rather than for the Nixon and Agnew ticket.
In 1976, Tonie Nathan ran for Congress as an independent and in 1980 she ran for the Senate as a Libertarian.
In 1977, Bella Abzug appointed Tonie Nathan as a delegate-at-large to the National Conference of Women.
Tonie Nathan remained politically active and worked as a public relations consultant and writer, including promoting her husband’s musicals.  Later she and her family owned a company that sold custom blinds and shutters
Organizations: Libertarian Party, Association of Libertarian Feminists

Pictured:  1972 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Tonie Nathan with 1980 Presidential candidate Ed Clark and wife Alicia Clark

A preview of the new Libertarian Party National Headquarters

2 Mar

The Libertarian Party has been planning to buy a building for its national headquarters for over a year now, having always rented office space at various locations in DC (and briefly, Houston, Texas) since the 1970s when it was founded.

The Libertarian National Committee is meeting this weekend in Alexandria, Virginia, a few blocks from the building it has under contract at 1444 Duke Street.  This video is the first time libertarians generally have been able to see it.

There was a little controversy and buzz at the LNC meeting because of the recent purchase, by the Marijuana Policy Project, of a co-op unit (a kind of condominium that is common in DC and Manhattan — where the owner owns a perpetual lease to a particular unit and shares of stock in the association that owns the building — with a very few in other states and cities including Florida, California, Virginia and Maryland), for the same price, at 2370 Champlain Street NW in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.  Many had felt that being forced out of D.C. proper by D.C.’s higher real estate prices was a shame for a national political organization, and some worried that the buyer agents working for the LNC may have neglected to show them D.C. properties, including the one MPP knew about and some on the LNC fear they did not.

Here’s the MPP building, where they have a large unit on the first floor.  And here’s a the interior.  (I actually sold a residential apartment in the same building a few years ago, for someone who is now an Obama/Hillary political appointee at the State Department.)  Both the MPP unit and the LNC HQ are selling for around $825,000.  The MPP building has a better location, many think, but it also has a high monthly fee.  It’s possible that some people also thought the Adams Morgan side street MPP bought on is too “transitional” or unsafe – a non-DC person would think that.  But in fact it is likely to appreciate faster than the Alexandria location.  Both are near a Metro (subway) and inside the Beltway, which means they will be the continued recipients of Federal Reserve inflation as all D.C. metropolitan real estate is (like the stock market, and unlike the real estate in much of the country.)  But the new LNC HQ is close to being a strip mall at the outer edge of exurbia, with a giant anchor of the area, the U.S. Patent Office, rumored to be moving away.  The MPP location is featured in a recent real estate blog article which crows “Is Adams Morgan Becoming Posh?”

(For full disclosure let me say that I am a realtor with licenses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and though everyone asked for my opinion this weekend, no one from either the LP or MPP asked for my advice or assistance in their property search.)

So this does raise the question of what else is on the market that the LP could be buying and what else was on the market in the past year that it could have bought.  In both cases I see some D.C. candidates I would want to have considered, aside from the MPP purchase.

There are a number of properties that closed in the past 12 months in DC that were commercial spaces over 2500 sq ft and under $1 million, two of which look like good candidates.  One is a 3000 sq ft ground floor space just around the corner from where MPP bought, 1745 Kalorama Road, that sold for $100,000 less than either MPP or the LP paid, and which has a very low condo fee (under $500).  It’s downside – it doesn’t own a parking space.  But it is in a condo that has a garage where one could buy or rent spaces as needed and one can park on the street (sometimes difficult in D.C.)

Even more exciting is a large townhouse on the Kalorama/Dupont Circle border, two blocks from the subway and a block from the offices of reason magazine, at 2121 R Street, in a row of art galleries, embassies, the Phillips Collection, restaurants, and $1-3 million houses.  It is also larger, 3000 sq ft, but it is also more expensive, selling for $998,000, and needing renovation.

There are also a number of properties for sale now in D.C. that might be better than the commercial townhouse under contract.  One intriguing one is a 3200 sq ft corner building with garage in LeDroit Park currently with a store with a beer and wine license on the ground floor, at 1901 4th Street.  It’s interesting because, besides being in one of the most rapidly appreciating neighborhoods, it’s diametrically across from the home of the Rev. and Mrs. Jesse Jackson.

Another interesting possibility is this commercial storefront townhouse on the commercial strip in Mount Pleasant, about 3 blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro stop on 14th Street.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any parking of its own.

The real contender however, is 921 12th Street NE, near Capitol Hill, Union Station (which has both a subway stop and Amtrak), National Public Radio’s gleaming new building, and the NoMa subway stop.  This is new construction in the most rapidly appreciating section of town, and it is over 4000 sq ft, much bigger than either the MPP purchase or the Alexandria unit the LNC has under contract.


By contrast, the Republican National Committee is housed at 300 First Street SE, in a building popularly called the Capitol Hill Club, in a building the tax assessor thinks is worth $6 million .  The Democratic National Committee is only a few blocks away (both behind the row of House of Representatives office buildings on Independence Avenue SE) at 430 South Capitol Street SE in a building assessed at $16 million.


Now for a little “shoulda, woulda, coulda” — history of the Libertarian Party national headquarters.  It has been at least four places before its current D.C. location as a tenant at the Watergate office complex in Foggy Bottom near the Potomac River:  1516 P Street NW in the 1970s, a little building in the early 1980s at 2300 Wisconsin Avenue  (the corner of Hall Place – which used to have a florist and a barbershop and now houses a Starbucks, with a current tax assessment of $4 million), briefly Houston, Texas, and  the (former) outskirts of Capitol Hill on Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

1516 P Street NW, in the 1970s, was a sketchy neighborhood where friends who worked at the old Young Libertarian Alliance (the defunct youth arm of the Libertarian Party) tell me everyone locked up at 5:00 pm and skeedaddled before sundown.  (Most D.C. newbies don’t remember when every other mansion on 16th Street NW in Dupont Circle was boarded up with broken windows and a front yard full of trash and broken glass, muggers abounding, even until the late 1980s, when I lived at 1832 16th Street NW near Swann Street.)  It’s now the border between Logan Circle and Dupont Circle, full of million dollar lofts, a Whole Foods, theaters, upscale bars, and restaurants.  1516 and the two adjoining town houses at 1514 and 1518 have most recently been for sale for around $8.5 million – though they were for sale back in 1999 for $331,000.  Currently it houses the National Congress of American Indians, one of the groups lobbying to get the Washington Redskins to change their name.