No one could ever accuse Borderstan resident and iconoclastic journalist Harry Jaffe of holding his tongue. (See Harry Jaffe Unfiltered (Isn’t He Usually?) In his last column for Washingtonian magazine, he essentially calls for a do-over off the 2010 Democratic primary between former Mayor Adrian Fenty and incumbent DC Mayor Vincent Gray.
With rumors swirling about a possible indictment of Gray, and the mayor saying he won’t resign, Jaffe penned a piece, “Mayor Gray’s Elaborate, Illegal Scheme to Steal the Election.” Jaffe details how he believes campaign operations were conducted and money was illegally exchanged with the goal of creating a downward spiral of public opinion against Fenty.
Jaffe admits that Fenty’s all-too-often dismissive attitude toward old-school DC politicians and community organizations played into the hands of those seeking to oust Fenty. But, at the end of the day Jaffe says corruption and old-style DC machine politics were at work.
Jaffe’s column’s illustrates the power of hidden money in the Gray campaign and in his usual blunt style writes, “Gray and his crew stole the election, plain and simple. If not for the $653,000 that paid for a fundamental and effective get-out-the-vote operation, might Fenty have won?”
The article raises some very good questions about how local politics work — but more than anything else leaves you with a feeling of hopeless dissatisfaction just when you thought DC was on its way to become a better place.