Speakers Table

Fiona Greig withdraws

November 9, 2011

I am not surprised that Ward 2 City Council candidate Fiona Greig decided to withdraw.

I am only surprised at the excuses she and her supporters are using.

Politics is the same all over and D.C. is no different. Whether you are running for President of the United States or City Council you must be prepared to deal with people looking into your past and scrutinizing your personal and business history. After all, you are asking people to take a leap of faith and vote for you to represent them on important issues.

Apparently Greig wasn’t prepared for the scrutiny. I never met her but was looking forward to the campaign. I haven’t always agreed with current Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans. In fact, I have supported those running against him in the past. I think that Evans has done much good for the people he represents, but I always have an issue with those who want to stay in local office for a lifetime.

Many were surprised when the person who challenged Evans this time was someone with very little community background or involvement in the issues of Ward 2. From her announcement Greig sounded more like someone running at-large rather than someone who was going to get involved in the issues facing the people of Ward 2. These include parking, liquor licenses, town and gown issues and zoning issues, among others. Of course, the people of Ward 2 want an ethical representative.  I and many others have publicly called for ethics reform, abolishment of the Constituent Service Funds, and a more open government. I would like to see someone become a full-time councilmember for Ward 2, not just have it as their secondary income.

The reality is that the person who will run and win against Evans needs to have the understanding of the city that he does. They need to understand politics or they will never be successful as a council person. It appears from both her announcement and then withdrawal statement that Greig wasn’t that person.

She seems to lack the basic understanding that filings with the Board of Elections are open to the public and there are many political junkies who look at those filings regularly. You don’t need a private detective to see them. Her reference to a fellow employee at McKinsey as homosexual wasn’t tragic, but it did show a lack of what is happening in the world today. That is an antiquated term.  Also the issue of her marriage and whether her husband was divorced or not when they married may be interesting to some but I don’t believe it would ever have been an issue in the campaign. Those two issues surely weren’t reasons to withdraw.

I actually believe that Greig withdrew for lack of support and because she found it hard to raise money. Raising campaign funds in today’s climate is difficult. I would hope that if she is really interested in serving the people of Ward 2 that she will spend the next few years becoming active in the ward, getting to know people, maybe running for the ANC Commission, and then trying again.

We need new people in D.C. government, but just announcing you are new and want to run isn’t enough.

By Peter D. Rosenstein 


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Horton's Kids comes to Georgetown

November 7, 2011

Donors and supporters of Horton’s Kids, the 20 year old non-profit that provides services to children living in Anacostia, convened in Georgetown last night at the organization’s fourth annual fundraiser, “Cocktails & Crooners.”

Janine Schoonover of GBA; Spike Mendelsohn, Top Chef; John Pappas, Board Member of Horton’s Kids. (Photo by: Tom Quiggle) Janine Schoonover of GBA; Spike Mendelsohn, Top Chef; John Pappas, Board Member of Horton’s Kids.

Approximately 200 lobbyists, lawyers and locals wined and dined at the House of Sweden, enjoying hors d'oeuvres served by hostesses with ‘cigarette’ trays reminiscent of the 1940’s with live Big Band music by Radio King Orchestra. Special guest Emcee Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame, a long-time supporter of Horton’s Kids, mingled with the crowd and offered special thanks to individual and corporate donors.

Despite a brief, false-alarm fire drill which sent the crowd onto the balmy, moon-lit back terrace overlooking a tributary of Rock Creek, the audience enjoyed poached salmon, desserts by Serendipity 3, and a silent auction featuring some iconic black-and-white photos of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.  

Germonique Ulmer, Dan Walsh and Hannah Simone – all on the Horton’s Kids board of directors. (Photo by: Tom Quiggle) Germonique Ulmer, Dan Walsh and Hannah Simone – all on the Horton’s Kids board of directors.

Written by Liz Sara


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Cissy Patterson: Newspaper Titan

October 31, 2011

Cissy would have loved it. A big party in her grand house at 15 Dupont Circle, everybody talking about her, well dressed Washingtonians raising glasses of wine.  Cissy Patterson is the subject of Amanda Smith's new book, "Newspaper Titan."

Carter Hood and Jon Molot (Photo by: Alison Schafer) Carter Hood and Jon Molot
Patterson was the 20th century's first female publisher and first female editor in chief of a metropolitan daily newspaper. She came from an illustrious newspaper family and fortune; her grandfather, Joseph Medill, was a former mayor of Chicago and principal owner of the Chicago Tribune. Her brother, Joe Medill Patterson, founded New York's Daily News. Cissy Patterson lived a glamorous and sad life, complete with European aristocrats, kidnappings, snarky comments and piles of cash.

At a party thrown by Smith's aunt, Vicki Kennedy, Amanda read a passage from her new book, just published by Knopf, and sold signed copies. She is touring the country promoting the book, doing interviews and readings from Chicago to California.

Ingola Hodges and Edie Schafer (Photo by: Alison Schafer) Ingola Hodges and Edie Schafer

 


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