Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tom Knott on August 10, 2006

Theresa Conroy is a member of an endangered species in local politics -- a Republican who is seeking to represent Ward 3 on the D.C. Council.
Her challenge is daunting, if only because the city eschews the two-party system and considers Republicans to be the bane of all ills, including psoriasis.
At least Mrs. Conroy is being spared the sharp analysis of Thelma Roque, the political pundit who devotes her attention to the nine Democrats crowding the Ward 3 field.
Mrs. Conroy also has not been linked to the vast number of conspiracies lurking on the Internet, many of which cite as the cause of all the problems in Ward 3, including psoriasis.
Mrs. Conroy claims not to feel like the loneliest person in the city, if not the political version of "The Last of the Mohicans."
"You don't do this unless you think you can win," she said by telephone yesterday. "I think the message of positive resolutions could resonate with voters [in November]."
Until then, the fiercest struggle is taking place among the Democratic candidates.
Eight of the nine Democratic candidates came out against psoriasis in a debate that aired on NewsChannel 8 this week.
Each plans to fix the city's public-school system, lower property taxes and extend the life span of each resident by 10 years.
Mary Cheh also plans to maintain her teaching position at George Washington University because being a council member is merely a part-time job.
Sam Brooks, who appears to have just graduated from high school, is touting "25 ideas to move us forward," one of which is to urge council members to eat healthier food during their "Tuesday breakfasts" on the first Tuesday of each month.
As the city's shadow senator for the press 10 years, Paul Strauss is coming out of what amounts to the Witness Protection Program. As low as his profile is, he might as well be a congressional aide.
Mr. Strauss suggests that his experience as a shadow senator would be useful to the D.C. Council. As a council member with real voting rights, he no longer would have to hold his breath until he turned purple in the face to get the attention of lawmakers.
Erik Gaull is positioning himself as the Rambo-with-a-brain entrant.
He thinks he is the only candidate who has ridden on the back of a trash truck and collected garbage in the city. He also thinks he is the only candidate who has "arrested a drunk driver and chased down a bad guy" in a scary alley.
As a council member, Mr. Gaull undoubtedly would feel compelled to fix the D.C. trash hot line. The number is: 202/727-1000. Go ahead, call the hot line. Someone will give you a tracking number and get back to you one of these years.
Cathy Wiss vows to be a human shield any time developers pull a bulldozer into Ward 3, as she has demonstrated as a commissioner with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Tenleytown. She is pro-tree year-round and pro-heat in the winter. Her tireless work prompted the now-defunct federal control board to bring heat to the Tenley Library.
Robert Gordon saved the Avalon Theatre.
Eric Goulet, no relation to Robert, has 21 progressive initiatives, plus a picture of himself and a nice-looking dog on his Web site.
Bill Rice promises to fix the public schools, improve city services, provide tax relief to property owners and help all the residents of Ward 3 reach their full potential as human beings.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Rice is earning his share of endorsements, starting with the D.C. Tenants Advocacy Coalition.
Most of the candidates are actively seeking the endorsement of the Ward 3 Obesity Tolerance Association, which is said to be one of the two most critical endorsements in the race.
Thelma Roque, of course, is the other.
Jonathan Rees sees no need to debate the issues with the other eight candidates.

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