Why Patrick Mara IS the Best Choice

Photo by patrickmara.com

My friend Peter Rosenstein wrote in The Dish about why he opposes Patrick Mara in the April 23rd special election for At-Large D.C. Council.

Peter and I agree more often than we disagree. When we disagree, it is always respectfully.

Like Peter, I am a Democrat.

Before I met Patrick Mara, I had never voted for a Republican.

In 2008, Mara earned my vote when he was running against Kwame Brown and Michael Brown. They won that election; a result that didn’t really turn out to be a good thing for the District.

Mara is a socially progressive Republican. He supports marriage equality, the right of women to make their own health care and reproductive decisions, and the District’s gun control laws.

Maybe social issues are not high on your list of priorities for the D.C. Council.

How about education?

Mara is one of the most active, hardest working School Board members in the District.  

But don’t believe me. Here is what The Current Newspaper said when it endorsed him: “Mara is the best choice -- sure to bring the diligent work ethic he has shown on the State Board of Education to the job of legislator. We heartily endorse his candidacy.”

Not sold on the Current? No problem. Here is what the Washington Post wrote when it endorsed Mara: “Patrick Mara, in our judgment, is the best choice, offering a record of energetic service to the community marked by a thoughtful approach to the issues and a willingness to speak his own mind.”


OK, so we know Mara is good on schools, works hard and is thoughtful.  

 

How about ethics and honest government?

Mara speaks passionately about the need to protect our tax dollars from crooks and cronies. Just today he issued a statement about a corruption scandal that seems likely to get messy as more facts become known.


The environment?

The Sierra Club endorsed Mara.

The economy?

The Chamber of Commerce endorsed Mara.

Quite a coalition.

And that is why Mara’s opponents are hammering away on him. Because he can win, and because he will shake up the Council.

Some of Mara’s opponents are doing worse things than hammering: they are nefarious.

Peter wrote that he is concerned about a Washington Post story the focus of which is a contract Mara signed. In 2009, Mara agreed to raise money for a non-profit organization. The agreement said he would contact prior campaign donors to seek their support. That could be a violation of rules, but is likely not. It seems to be an honest mistake or lack of knowledge about an esoteric rule. Indeed, Mara says the contract was not properly worded and the work he did amounted to nothing more than a hill of beans.

But here is the nefarious part: the contract cited in the Post story may have been stolen from Mara. I spoke with Mara about the issue. He says that only two people ever had proper access to the contract. He believes it was improperly obtained.

Watergate!

Not really. But you get the picture.

And how convenient ... That picture gets developed in the closing days of the election. All the signs of smear campaign.

I doubt many voters were rattled by the Post story. We've seen this kind of eleventh-hour mud-flinging before.

I am voting for Patrick Mara. He is still the only Republican for whom this Democrat has ever voted. I am confident the D.C. Council will be a better legislative body with Mara on it.

I made my case at NBC Washington and I appreciate The Dish for allowing me to make it here, too.

 

Written by Chuck Thies, political consultant and NBC Washington columnist

 

6 Comments For This Article

Beth S.

Bravo Chuck. You are right and reasoned as usual. We all need to take the time to vote April 23 or before.

Beth Solomon

ES

I'm less interested in Mara's statements about other people's corruption scandals, and more interested in a statement about his own ethics issues! I haven't seen anything from Mr. Mara addressing this issue head-on, and while I'd hoped to ask him about it myself, he seems to have stopped attending public forums since this story came out.

If Mr. Thies had the opportunity to talk Mr. Mara about this issue, he should have asked him for an explanation of this apparent violation of election law for personal gain - I care about that more than how this violation came to light. An "ethics" candidate has to do better than "an honest mistake or lack of knowledge about an esoteric rule." This is the same excuse we've been hearing for years from District politicians who are only out to make a buck!

Peter D. Rosenstein

While we disagree on the issues with regard to Mara I completely agree with Chuck that we continue to respect each other and when we disagree we do so respectfully.

As to the issue of the contract being stolen that would be wrong and if true the person who stole it should be punished to the full extend of the law.

But two wrongs don't make a right and Mara is responsible for the contract which he signed and which clearly appears to be at the least unethical and possibly criminal.

Republican not happy

"the contract cited in the Post story may have been stolen from Mara. I spoke with Mara about the issue. He says that only two people ever had proper access to the contract. He believes it was improperly obtained."
So this is supposed to make it better? He got caught. Stop with the two face hypocrisy, we’re sick of it.

Kurt

It is not surprising that those Democrats who are members of the Party because of cultural issues but sympathize with the GOP on economic issues find Mara an attractive candidate. I received a mailing for Mara yesterday from the building landlords and certain they are ecstatic about him. Chuck cites the business lobby his lodestar on economic issues, which is his right.

Others of us are Democrats because of our beliefs in economic justice. For example, we think workers who are giving their all to their boss deserve sick leave -- the number of days best decided not by government but by collective bargaining, but that there be a de minimis floor set into law. Those of us who embrace the Democratic Party’s vision of economic justice find Mara to be an unacceptable candidate. Everyone, of course, is entitled to their opinion.

@ShawingtonTimes

Wasn't sure who I'd vote for till now, but this helps more than all the #capitalistinfotainmentmedia, inbred DeeCee political insiders, and anonymous chatter:

View graphic: https://twitter.com/ShawingtonTimes/status/324874555803971584
h/t
http://sunlightfoundation.com/feature/dc-campaign-finance/