Why Patrick Mara is So Wrong for D.C.

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Patrick Mara
Patrick Mara

In less than a week people will go to the polls to choose a Councilmember at-large to fill the seat vacated when Phil Mendelson was elected Council Chair. There are six candidates running and each is still trying to convince the voters that they are the right person to sit on the Council. Many of them are making good points on their own behalf and would serve the District well.

But one, Patrick Mara, is showing clearly that he is the wrong person for the District. Many believe I oppose Mara because he is a Republican but that is not the case. I have supported Republicans in the past including Mara when he first ran in 2008. I thought then he meant what he said and would fight for the positions he took on social issues. But since that time I have realized it was all just pandering to voters. Something he continues to do today. I supported her and was a Co-chair of Carol Schwartz's issues committee in 1994 when she came closer than ever before to defeating Marion Barry for Mayor.

So my problem with Mara isn't that he is a Republican but rather what he supports, his apparent ethical lapses, and the total hypocrisy of his positions. This week we found out two new things about Mara. One is that he is opposed to raising the minimum wage and thinks $8.25 an hour is a living wage in the District. The second was reported in a Washington Post story and is that Mara made money by using his 2008 campaign donor list to raise money for the conservative group Think Progress, now renamed the R Street Institute. Mara claims that the work he did for the group involving his campaign list was actually different than what was called for in a contract he confirmed he signed. Either way the candidate who claims he will watch others ethics now clearly needs someone to watch his own. Ken McGhie, general counsel for the D.C. Board of Elections, said "He has never heard anything close" to the agreement Mara signed and added "Donor lists are not the property of the individual but rather the property of the campaign."

Joseph Sandler, who specializes in election law was quoted saying "Current or former candidates cannot benefit personally from a resource that belongs to the campaign."

The voters in the District are the most progressive voters in the nation. Polling on issues from women's rights to marriage-equality has shown that the people who live and vote in D.C. believe strongly in equality and individual rights. While Mara talks a good game and has appeared to fool many people the fact is that despite his talk he acts against these positions. While many moderate Republicans, among them Colin Powell, have stood up against their Party when they felt that it was going against their principles Mara hasn't. Not only hasn't he stood up within his Party for what he tells the voters he believes; instead he has supported as a delegate, with work and money, the most conservative candidates his Party has ever put forward. If Mara had his way, Mitt Romney would be President instead of Barack Obama and we would have the next Supreme Court Justice appointed vote against same-sex marriage and to overturn Roe v. Wade. Add to that while Mara sat on the board of D.C. Vote he supported a candidate who would have vetoed Statehood for the District and as a member of the State Board of Education he supports school vouchers (giving public funding to private schools) which in D.C are used 96% for sending children to parochial schools which actively discriminate against children, parents and teachers in the LGBT community.

Mara does not represent the views of the people of the District of Columbia which makes him wrong for the people of D.C.

11 Comments For This Article


To the contrary.....all good reasons to vote FOR Mara. Let's pray he wins and too bad Mitt Romney lost to the current guy who should go back to community organizing, his only strength.


This is truly an election where every vote counts.
Right now it is anybody's guess who will win because turnout is expected to be low as usual for these elections. What's great about that is you CAN change history.

At the moment the percentage of undecideds are more than twice the momentary frontrunner's percentage support (based on a recent poll.)

Learn their views/experience here (Kojo Nnamdi's show)

Or attend this forum tonight if you're willing to pay for some eats, and ask them your own questions.
DC Special Election At-large Candidates Meet and Greet
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Woman's National Democratic Club
1526 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC
6:00pm – 8:30pm | $20

WNDC will host a meet and greet event for the D.C. At-Large candidates on Wednesday April 17, from 6:00-8:30pm. Another election is coming on April 23 for D.C. residents to vote for the vacant at-large city council seat and the DC Charter Amendment for budget autonomy. The race is in full swing. Here is your chance to meet the candidates, ask questions and hear what their plans are and why they are running for the DC Council At-Large position.

Learn about the Amendment for budget autonomy and its importance for DC residents and our ability to use the monies from DC taxes, independently of Congress. The At-Large candidates who are running are Anita Bonds, Matthew Frumin, Patrick Mara, Perry Redd, Elissa Silverman, and Paul Zukerberg.

Check your voting location. Mine is changed to the Georgetown Library. To find yours go to http://www.dcboee.org/voter_info/find_pollingplace/

Louise Brodnitz

Peter D. Rosenstein

What I find sad is that people are so afraid to use their names when making a comment. Everyone's views are valid but when they are afraid to use their names and hide behind Anonymous they become less so.

Rosenstein's Corrupt Council Pitch

Rosenstein, shut the Hell up and admit that YOUR fellow Democratic Council was full of corrupt thugs. A great thing for this city would be more Republicans to finally produce check-and-balance oversight....


I am still trying to figure out WHO actually runs the city, The Mayor, The City Council or the ANC. It seems that none of them has to answer to one another. And let's be honest, DC will remain corrupt until we have term limits and can get rid of these people who have sucked the system for way too many years. We need to clean house of all of them and start over.


Mara is by far the best suited candidate - you are off base on this one, Peter. He has my vote and the votes of many in my Ward 4 neighborhood.

The Dems have nothing spectacular for this town so voting along party lines is ridiculous. I am a registered Dem and have had enough of the Wilson building antics.

Vote Mara.


Honestly Gtown Dish if you're going to publish this stuff how about at least allowing some equal time to Patrick Mara, who I think could explain the reasons for supporting his candidacy far more eloquently. And if you're going to listen to liberal commentators on this, may I suggest the more authoritative and trustworthy voice of the Washington Post Editorial Board, which endorsed Mr. Mara in this election.


Abe Froman

Mara "supports school vouchers (giving public funding to private schools) which in D.C are used 96% for sending children to parochial schools which actively discriminate against children, parents and teachers in the LGBT community." Not surprising that a guy named Rosenstein would criticize parochial schools. "Actively discriminate"? This Rosenstein guy might be more obtuse and uninformed than Biden, which is pretty impressive. I suppose those poor black kids should just be happy with their underperforming public schools. As for the minimum wage, let's raise it to $50/hour, so we'll all be rich! This of course ignores the fundamental laws of economics, but let's not that get in the way of anything. Rosenstein should be forced to read F.A. Hayek. His boorish article is typical leftist tripe that's perfect for many in DC. -Abe Froman

Roger Mingo

Thank you, Peter, for this article. We progressives often try to prove how open-minded we are by embracing "moderate" Republicans when we agree with two or three of their talking points, conveniently ignoring how wrong they are on so many other issues.

I hope that enough voters learn more than about their candidates before they vote.

Peter D. Rosenstein

Suggesting that my last name may have something to do with my views makes it appear that the writer is anti-semetic. I hope that isn't the case.

As to the validity of suggesting that parochial schools discriminate against the LGBT community the writer should read the following article to see that it occurs and it occurs regularly; In this case a teacher was fired because her partners name was listed in her mother's obtituary and that was enough for the school to fire her after 19 years of service.


Yeah much better we got Barry endorsed candidate eh Peter ? It's Dem dinosaurs like you that are responsible for keeping the District mired in the slime it has been for the past 30 years. Congrats.