Editorial: Post should "Get over it" re Gray, Cheh
October 24, 2010 | by G'town Saucer
Photo by Office of D.C. Councilmember Mary ChehSome people seem out of sorts following the election results of Sept. 14. But The Washington Post's endorsement of the unknown, untested, newcomer Republican David Hedgepeth for Ward 3 D.C. Councilmember over popular incumbent Mary Cheh is a puzzle, if not a shock.
In 1994 Marion Barry, Jr., told white voters to “get over it” referring to his return as mayor for a fourth term after his arrest and drug conviction.
The Washington Post editorial page, chiefly lead by local writer Jo-Ann Armao, would do well to take this rather direct advice and catch up with reality when writing on District issues and candidates.
In particular, The Post seems to be engaged in a transparent, hopeless re-fighting of the Democratic primary contest for mayor. Vincent Gray, endorsed by Ms. Cheh, won decisively despite the Post’s strong, repeated, nearly hysterical support for incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty, because in the Post's view, Fenty is the only who could carry out school reform.
Ms. Cheh has been a thoughtful, responsive, principled legislator who has stayed in touch with her constituents (more so than her predecessor). She has been active with parents on school reform. She has fought for good and open government, taken on overly-aggressive, anti-democratic Attorney General Peter Nickles and worked hard to improve our government and our city. She has even had the temerity, from time to time, to disagree publicly with The Post.
We disagree with some of Ms. Cheh’s stands for more government regulation and her too-fast push for changes in how we run our elections.
But Ms. Cheh is more than well-qualified to continue to represent Ward 3 on the Council, and virtually certain to win the general election in the overwhelmingly Democratic ward. Thus, the Post editorial page risks losing its credibility, built over years and years, as our newspaper of record and source of sound guidance on District politics. Just as Marion Barry said in context in 1984 that he was going to be mayor for four years and would be one for the whole city, the Post should accept that both Mr. Gray and Ms. Cheh are going to be win on November and will be among our leaders for the next four years.
Mr. Hedgepeth is a serious candidate and is another step in the rise of the Republican party as an alternative political force in the District. However, he is not even in the same universe as Ms. Cheh when it comes to proven public service. We therefore, without equivocation, endorse Mary Cheh for reelection as Ward 3 Councilmember.