Michael Bindner's DC Blog

In this blog, I discuss DC politics and other issues of import to local government. I have posted several essays from my book, Musings from the Christian Left, on blog entreies dated June 2004.

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Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Norton - Fenty Rift

There seems to be a rift forming between Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Adrian Fenty. The prior Mayor owed his job to his service to the Control Board, which passed the budgets he recommended as CFO. While he gutted District services and almost unilaterally shut the place down in the Blizzard of 1996, the citizens didn't get it so he remained popular. Most importantly, he knew not to bite the hand that fed him, so he did not challenge Eleanor publicly when she repudiated statehood.

The new Mayor has no such need for fealty to the Delegate who would be Emperess, although she seems a bit miffed at this. Here is the 411 on what's going on now.

Last year, several of us got together to talk about the Davis-Norton (now Norton-Davis) bill for voting rights and we roundly dissed it as providing 1/3 representation. Among our number, Sam Jordan (the once and future candidate for Council and past chair of the DC Statehood Party) suggested that the road to statehood is through the passage of an Organic Act by Congress. An Organic Act would give District citizens permission to organize a territorial government and submit a state constitution. Such a territorial government would be organized like a state, rather than a city - alleviating the perception that DC is just another city rather than a state in waiting. Now, guess who was on the Transition Task Force on Statehood? Without revealing our recommendations to the Mayor, you can guess from what is going on now that Norton and Fenty have different approaches to this issue.

Last week, I buttonholed once and future presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich. He is looking into an Organic Act. If Norton will not champion statehood, she might have to get out of the way while others do.


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