by Tim Regan October 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm 1 Comment

Dozens of people gathered in West End this afternoon to rally in favor of letting Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson participate in the third presidential debate next Wednesday.

Supporters waving signs and cutouts of Johnson’s head met outside of the Commission on Presidential Debates office at 1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW to chant “let Gary debate!”

Some attendees, like Dustan Bower, came in part to protest the system by which we choose our president.

“I think that the two old parties… basically are completely detached from the reality of most voters,” Bowser said. “They try to force them into one of these positions.”

For brothers Scott and Tyler Nielson, the rally was a way to show support for the candidate they thought would do the best job in office.

“I legitimately believe Gary Johnson is a better choice. He’s more qualified than either of the major party candidates,” Tyler said. “Gary Johnson and Bill Weld could do a better job of governing by consensus,” added his brother, Scott.

Reese Sadler, who lives in Lynchburg, Va., said he drove hours to attend today’s event.

“We need a third party among Hillary and Donald,” Sadler said while clutching a massive Johnson head. “There’s two scandalous nominees who are running, so we need a sensible candidate.”

And it wasn’t just staunch Libertarians that rallied for Johnson, either. Amber Kasbeer said she thought current U.S. President Barack Obama “did a great job,” given the circumstances. But she stressed that the country needed another calm, collected leader at the helm.

“Given the choices this year, it’s really hard for me to press any sort of vote button other than for someone I feel is a decent human being,” Kasbeer said. “It’s almost becoming kind of like religious sects, in a way. Neither one is listening to each other anymore. That’s kind of disturbing.”

by Tim Regan March 1, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Duffys pubIs there a connection between Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the chicken wings at Duffy’s Irish Pub?

Not at all, according to Duffy’s general manager Andy Duffy. But that didn’t stop him from buying a Bernie Sanders-related web domain last week.

“I was just sitting around having beers when I thought of it,” Duffy said. “I actually got the idea because of when Trump bought Jeb Bush’s domain.”


by Tim Regan November 18, 2015 at 10:30 am 2 Comments

David Garber, photo courtesy of David GarberD.C. Council at-large candidate David Garber had some strong words for Councilmember Vincent Orange over his proposed bill to regulate the way D.C. residents can rent out their homes, apartments and condos on Airbnb.

As Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert wrote, Orange’s bill would “make it illegal to rent a unit on Airbnb except for renting out a room inside one’s own house, in a single-family (detached or row) house, with a special permit, and after notifying all nearby neighbors and the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission.”

D.C. has more Airbnb listings per capita than New York and Los Angeles, according to a recent Washingtonian article, and many of those listings are in Dupont Circle, Shaw and Adams Morgan.

In a press release sent out yesterday evening, Garber said Orange’s bill was “closely tailored to industry special interests” and would have “a broad, negative impact on local homeowners and visitors” in D.C.

The candidate also accused Orange of appeasing “industry stakeholders” instead of representing his constituents.

“As Mr. Orange plays politics from the Wilson Building, residents in neighborhoods across every ward of the District of Columbia could face the harmful consequences of a bill that curtails their rights and ability to earn extra income as homeowners, and restricts consumer choice,” Garber said in the release.

“We need to continue the momentum for fresh leadership on Council that puts the priorities of District residents ahead of the priorities of special interests,” Garber added.

 Photo courtesy of David Garber

by Tim Regan October 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm 5 Comments

Vincent Orange during committee meetingA number of D.C. bars, restaurants and clubs have organized to fight back against D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange’s proposed Nightlife Regulation Noise Act.

The group, which is called the D.C. Nightlife Hospitality Association and includes 11 representatives from more than two dozen local bars, clubs and restaurants, vows to get loud against the proposed “anti-noise” bill first introduced by Orange earlier this year.

If passed in its current form, Orange’s bill would prohibit D.C.’s restaurants and bars from playing amplified or recorded music in outdoor spaces such as summer gardens and rooftop decks after midnight. The bill would also enact a new “plainly audible” standard for noise measurement that could change the way noise complaints from nearby residents are investigated.

Some residents — particularly those in the D.C. Nightlife Noise Coalition — say the proposed legislation is needed to curb nighttime noise disturbances from local bars and restaurants.

But according to the new association, the bill would set a “standard with which few businesses will be able to comply.” The association’s executive director, Washington Blade columnist Mark Lee, said today in a press release that Orange’s bill is like using a “gigantic oversized flyswatter” to swat a “tiny fly.”

Several members of the association testified before the D.C. Council’s committee on business, consumer and regulatory affairs this afternoon.

“I believe this legislation would take us backwards from the progress our business has spearheaded,” said Matt Weiss, owner of 201 Bar, Union Pub, Barrel, and McClellan’s Retreat. “People understand they live in a city, and being close proximity to open nightlife businesses is part of the deal.”

Will Eastman, co-owner of U Street Music Hall, said, “the overwhelming majority of D.C. residents support local nightlife establishments.”

“The proposed noise bill legislation risks putting our culture and nightlife back a step,” Eastman added. “While there may be a small number of noise problems in the city, the proposed rules are not the best approach.”

“In short, please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” concluded Eastman.

Photo via D.C. Council webstream

by Tim Regan October 15, 2015 at 10:55 am 0

Dupont Circle residents, meet your newest ANC Commissioner.

Locals overwhelmingly voted in favor of candidate John Kupcinski during a special election at ANC 2B’s general meeting at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW) last night.

The meeting started with a ceremonial ballot box unveiling from Director of the Office of ANCs, Gottlieb Simon. The director, with help from Mike Silverstein, 2B-06, then sealed the box with tape and officially opened the voting period. Neighbors who live in the ANC’s 2B-07 single member district — including Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert — filed in throughout the night to cast their votes.

In the end, Kupcinski won 31 votes. His opponent, Holly Biglow, received seven. In the hallway after the election, defeated candidate Biglow was all smiles.

“I’m really happy to have been apart of this process,” she said. “This is my very first time running for something. I was glad to be apart of it.”

Moving forward, Kupcinski said the St. Thomas Church renovation, traffic issues and local development will be at the top of his agenda after he’s sworn in.

“I would need to sit down with the other ANC commissioners first, but … the traffic situation at 18th and P [streets NW] is just horrendous,” he said. “There’s also a lot of development that’s going on, especially at the Patterson Mansion … and Dupont Underground is going to be more and more important as we move forward with that project.”

by Tim Regan September 28, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

Candidate Holly Biglow touched upon the St. Thomas Church development project in her speech

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated in August when Underhill moved to New York City. Earlier this month, you heard from Kupcinski. Now, here’s your chance to hear from Biglow:

Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for the 2B-07 seat.

I’ve been in the neighborhood for six years. I love the neighborhood. I love my community. I love the diversity. I love what my neighborhood stands for. I want to be apart of it. I am apart of my condominium association, so I do like being involved however I can, especially regarding where I live.

You previously thought about running for this seat, didn’t you?

When Justine [Underhill] ran, I was also interested, but I met and I spoke to her and I didn’t go through with getting signatures or anything like that.

So you didn’t run, but you were thinking about it.

Exactly. I was just interested, but I met with her and she was very passionate about it, so I sort of stepped back.

If you are elected, what will be one of your first priorities?

I know the St. Thomas Church project is a very large project. It’s very important to the community, so that will be the number one issue that will have to be addressed.

After that, I would like to work closely or continue to work with the surrounding businesses, such as the restaurants. I know there’s a lot more competition in D.C., which is driving a lot of patrons to go to different parts of D.C. I want to try to keep our area vibrant and as active as it currently it. I would definitely like to work more to try to keep the businesses in our area.

I think congestion will be addressed eventually. Traffic congestion. I’m not sure about people congestion, but I know that is a concern, especially considering the St. Thomas street project and some of the other condos that are being developed in the neighborhood, such as the Patterson House. That’s one of the things I would definitely like to keep an eye out on.

In what ways would you work with the businesses to keep patrons here?

I know that normally the businesses come to the ANC to get approval on their patios or what they can and can’t do in terms of their liquor license, or can they play music or not? I think just sort of working in that regard and being open-minded and looking in a business sense to make sure that I’m helping them to thrive and keep customers coming into our neighborhood.

I do know that the ANC scope is limited, but when they approach the ANC with things they might want to do to boost their business, instead of saying no, [I want to] look at it more like, we do want to keep people coming into the neighborhood, how can we work together and keep the neighborhood thriving?

How do you plan to interact with other neighborhood associations, if elected?

Like I said in my speech at the last ANC meeting, I’m a very open-minded person. I like working with different organizations and coalitions. That would continue with any association if I were elected to the ANC.

How would you use social media to engage with your potential future constituents?

I’m a Facebook user. I would probably use Facebook and keep people updated through Facebook. That would be my route.

Is there anything you’d want to change in the way ANC 2B operates?

Nothing that I can pinpoint right now. But I feel like the commissioners are easy to work with and they’re very nice people. I’m sure if something did come about, they would probably consider my suggestions if there’s anything that I think would need to be changed. The meetings run pretty smoothly.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

This interview was edited for length and clarity

by Tim Regan September 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm 4 Comments

John Kupcinski at anc2b meeting

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated last month when Underhill moved to New York City. Now, here’s your chance to hear from one of them.

We spoke with Kupcinski about some of the local issues he feels strongly about:

Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for the 2B-07 seat.

John Kupcinski: I’ve been involved in neighborhood politics, I purchased my property about a year and a half ago or so. I made a fairly big investment. It’s the biggest purchase I’ll probably ever make in my entire life So I wanted to make a big investment in the community as well. I got involved with Church Street Neighbors. Meeting the people who are my neighbors, I’m a proponent of trying to make things better. I felt like this is one of the ways I could contribute to the community.

If you are elected, what will be one of your first priorities?

First and foremost, … I’d like to try to [figure out] how the construction is going to happen [at the St. Thomas’ Parish], how the operations will work, how the pre-construction, construction will work. Just make sure there aren’t any misunderstandings. It’s going to be one of the biggest developments happening in 2B-07.

How do you plan to interact with other neighborhood associations, if elected?

It’s important to have people’s voices heard. One of the things we’re blessed with in 2B-07 is that we have a lot of very active and engaged community members who have decided to participate in the political process. So that, I think, is a fantastic benefit and also something that can help whoever the ANC commissioner is in October. I would see those organizations as a conduit for ideas and to help out with initiatives and to be able to provide communication back and forth between constituent groups within the neighborhood.

Is there anything you’d want to change in the way ANC 2B operates?

This is kind of a non-answer, but my perception has been on the other side of the microphone. So, I would need to get in and see the workings of how things are happening. I don’t know yet. But I am looking forward to working with everybody. I think that everybody in the ANC has a significant amount to give and contribute. They’ve made the neighborhood a better place to live in. I’m excited about working with everybody.

You said previously that, even if you don’t win the election, you’ll still be involved in the community. Are there specific things you’d undertake?

I’ve been very fortunate to, through this process, to meet a number of the different neighbors and develop a lot of close friendships. I would get involved in [Dupont Circle Citizens Association] or Church Street Neighbors or even work with a message board that people are active on within the community.

How will you use social media to engage with your potential future constituents?

My Twitter is very professional. Mostly articles that I think are interesting with respect to information security. One of the things that I would like to do is find a way to engage people on social media, whether that be on Twitter, create a 2B-07 media account. Using other blogs. I know the ANC has a blog. But I’d try to find as many ways to reach out to people.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

by Tim Regan September 10, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated last month when Underhill moved to New York City.

The two candidates introduced themselves and touched upon community issues during “stump speeches” at last night’s ANC 2B meeting at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW) near Dupont Circle.

Holly Biglow, who said she’s lived in P Street NW for six years, touched upon the hotly debated issue of the St. Thomas Church development project.

“I am aware of the St. Thomas Church development project, which I know has been a major issue. I’m also aware that a neighborhood group has developed work on some of the issues they have regarding this project,” Biglow said. “I definitely commend them on all the work that they’ve done and all the things that they’ve accomplished.”

“I really look forward to working with the group if possible to continue to address the neighbor’s needs,” she added.

“This neighborhood has various issues that need to be addressed,” Biglow concluded. “I’m a very open-minded person. I really look forward to working on a vast number of issues that ANC 2B-07 and the rest of the ANC will be working on.”

Kupcinski, who owns a consulting firm in the area, then stepped in front of the microphone to introduce himself.

“I’ve been involved in the community ever since I purchased [my home] about a year and a half ago,” said Kupcinski. “I got involved in the Church Street neighbors. I got to meet lots of our wonderful neighbors and our ANC.”

“I’ve been to a lot of ANC meetings,” he added. “I’m excited about Dupont, both what it was and what it’s growing into be. I think that we’re at a very interesting point in terms of the changing dynamics and shifts as other parts of the city continue to develop.”

“Regardless of the outcome of the election, I’m still going to be involved,” he said. “You’ll still see my face on a monthly basis. You’ll still see me walking my dog around the neighborhood.”

Newly revived ANC blog Short Articles About Long Meetings recorded both speeches and uploaded them to Youtube earlier this morning.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

by Tim Regan August 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm 0

David Garber, photo courtesy of David Garber

David Garber has a strategy: Hit incumbent at-large D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange where he’s vulnerable. In a campaign announcement video, Garber grabbed the attention of some voters by scolding Orange’s ethics. “We simply deserve better,” Garber said. But Garber acknowledges it takes more than shaming an incumbent to win an election.

Borderstan spoke with the challenger and former Navy Yard ANC commissioner about his upcoming campaign:

Borderstan: Tell me why you’re running for Vincent Orange’s at-large D.C. Councilmember seat.

David Garber: I’m running for this seat because I want to be the advocate for communities across the District. What that’s meant for me in the past, both as an engaged citizen and as a two-term elected ANC Commissioner, has been a lot about learning the value of listening to residents as anything is happening within neighborhoods and District-wide. Making sure that, in the way the city grows and in the decisions that are being made and what’s being prioritized across the District, we’re taking a lot of our feedback from the people in these actual communities.

What will be your first priority or new initiative, and why?

The three top issues for me right now are education, public safety, and housing. I’ve had a fair amount of experience within the education sphere, whether as a substitute teacher or advocating for a new public elementary school in the neighborhood where I was ANC commissioner. That school is opening this fall.

With regards to the growth of the city, I’ve lived in three very different neighborhoods in my time in the District. I’ve lived in Anacostia, east of the river, I’ve lived in Navy Yard and I’ve lived in the Logan Circle/Shaw neighborhood. I feel like those are all pretty distinct, and have given me a pretty unique perspective for understanding how certain parts of the city have been overlooked and haven’t been served well in the past and wanting to make sure that, as we go forward, we’re being equitable about our development and our investments across the city.

Which parts of the city do you think have been overlooked?

A lot of people, especially east of the river, are concerned that real investment hasn’t been made in a lot of those communities over the years in the way that it has been other places. As a resident there, myself, what I was seeing at the time was that it was coming down to the decisions of political leadership. That was my first crash course in realizing that, if I want to see something change with regards to how the communities were being prioritized I needed to get involved, myself.

But you could point to other communities. Kennedy Street NW in Ward 4. Places in Ward 5. Fortunately, we’re in a time where there is a lot of investment in D.C. and different areas are being brought up in different ways. Hopefully we’re doing that while taking care of all of the existing residents that are in these communities. But I do think that more could still be done.

What did you learn from your time as an ANC commissioner in Navy Yard that you could apply to serving on the D.C. Council?

One of my first lessons was in the absolute importance of listening to residents at every step of the way, both in my decision making and with regard to any issues that were coming through the neighborhood.

I started a citizens’ development advisory committee, for example, that was able to speak into a lot of development that was happening in the Navy Yard ballpark area, and I made sure that I was reaching out to the community both online and in-person on issues there were really important. A lot of these issues did relate to development.

Navy Yard is a neighborhood where a lot of the people there were really excited about a lot of the changes that were happening. … But they wanted to make sure it was done in a right way and in a way that we’re really proud of 10 years from now and 20 years from now.

The other lesson I learned was just about the importance of working with my colleagues to make our work on the ANC as effective as possible. I think it’s easy to come into an elected position feeling very black-and-white on issues and not wanting to work with others who might disagree with you. One of the things that I enjoyed the most during my time on the ANC was working with people who we might not have lined up 100 percent on issues, but we had to work together and we had to find a common solution. As a councilmember, it’s important to be effective.

As you know, crime is a big topic in D.C. right now. Last night, you went on a ride-along with police. What did you learn?

My biggest priority right now is making sure that I’m doing everything I can to learn about what possible changes need to be made or what actions can be taken right now to improve the safety situation around the District.

I live in Shaw, and me and my neighbors feel like there’s a lot of violent crimes taking place almost daily. There has been an uptick in violent crime, it absolutely feels like there has been. I know people are looking to leadership right now to both make changes, whether it’s within the policies of the Metropolitan Police Department or how they’re doing their beats around the District. I’m trying to both listen to as many neighbors as possible, listen to police officers, try to get a sense for what’s working and what’s not working, so that we can move forward in a way that everybody feels safe in their communities, regardless of where they are.

Based on what you saw last night, is there anything that you’d want to change?

One thing that kept coming up was the need for more police officers in the District. There was a hiring boom in the ’80s and ’90s that is now turning into a retirement boom. Unfortunately, the new hires and police academy graduates aren’t catching up to the people leaving the force.

We need to make sure that we are providing the best place for these police officers to be when they’re choosing where to work. Whether that is offering incentives for living within the District or what have you, I think there are absolutely ways to making this a city where officers want to live because they feel supported and they’re able to get their work done.

Orange is the incumbent, so he most likely has an advantage. How do you feel about the upcoming race?

I feel really great about this upcoming race. I’ve felt really humbled over the last couple of weeks by the incredible amount of support that I’ve felt from people around the District, both in the encouragement and in their financial support, which at the end of the day, is going to mean a great deal in this election.

I’ve got an awesome team behind me. … I’m excited to start some of the more visible elements of my campaign, like door-knocking, meet-and-greets and introducing myself to voters and listening to issues that they care about.

This interview has been edited slightly for clarity and length

Image courtesy of David Garber

by Tim Regan August 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm 0


ANC 1B needs another new commissioner.

The latest position opened when former commissioner Allyson Carpenter, 1B-10, said she planned to resign from the position because she is moving. The D.C. Board of Elections published the position opening on its website today.

The neighborhood commission last sought a new commissioner in June and July with the departure of Mitchel Herckis, 1B-04.

Want to be an ANC commissioner? To qualify for the election, candidates must live in 1B-10, which sits at the northeast corner of the ANC’s boundary.

Potential candidates must also solicit signatures from local residents.

If no one applies for candidacy, the D.C. Board of Elections will continue to declare the vacancy until a candidate steps forward.

Locals can pick up nominating petitions at the D.C. Board of Elections office located at 441 4th Street NW.

Image via

by September 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm 1,588 0

From Mary Burgan. Email her at mary[AT]

"Satire"This  Amazingly Political, Who-Can-Tell-the-Truth-from So-Many-Lies, summer has brought  forth a movie about politics that is far too childish to warrant actually going to a theater to watch. You can see better satire for free on the nightly news.

Nevertheless, The Campaign is worth a few lines on Borderstan, just a few.

There are some people who appreciate the gross-out vulgarity of Will Farrell more than I do — which is never, not at all. Maybe there was some day in the 1999 when  I laughed at his take-off of W. I’ve  read that Farrell was supposed to be bringing this W take-off into and adding allusions to John Edwards’s hair in The Campaign, but I couldn’t  see those niceties on my own. All I saw was a big old, cross-eyed buffoon with bad lower teeth and an insatiable libido, doing stupid on the screen.

Good political satire? Check out Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), although I like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) better; The Great Dictator (1940); Born Yesterday (1950); Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964); Being There (1979);  and Election (1999).

Zack Galifianakis’s more gentle form of satire is a minor antidote to Farrell’s over-playing in The Candidate, though the loveable “little guy” Zack also gets submerged in the same kind of tactless humor that infects Will Farrell and his movies.

American political comedy at its best depends on changes of heart. Galifianakis’s character is designed to show  this, but he has waded too deep in the cesspool to come back clean enough. Meanwhile, some fine actors, such as John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd prance in to launch obvious pokes at the Koch brothers.

And the female characters are left with little to do but flash their boobs. Ladies! With Nancy and Ann and Michelle/Michele and Sarah?  Get to work here.

Such over-the-top political satire as The Candidate shows that in mass it media doesn’t matter whether a film is well and convincingly made, or a sheerly opportunistic grabber for the moment’s notice. A lot of people will buy a ticket, go to see, and rejoice at buffoonery.

We’ve been reminding one another recently that such cinematic seizures of politics for dissemination are matters of free speech and should therefore be left alone to die out — to be killed off by genuine political discourse.  I wouldn’t go against our important First Amendment safeguards, but as a reviewer, I say “Don’t pay your money for such dreck. Don’t encourage its production by becoming one of the numbers that get counted by the box office mavens to measure movie popularity.  Stay home!”

But if you have to see a really good political satire to shake off the mood of this insane season, check out one of the following from the freebies available on TV or through Netflix: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), although I like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) better; The Great Dictator (1940); Born Yesterday (1950); Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964); Being There (1979); and Election (1999).

And then get ready to go out and VOTE!

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by October 19, 2008 at 8:33 am 1,998 0

Western view of the U.S. Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Photo by Luis Gomez, One Photograph a Day.)

Esquire magazine has made its own list of the “10 Worst Members of Congress” and “10 Best Members of Congress.” 

I’m posting these links because we live in Washington and… well, many of us in Borderstan are political geeks even if we don’t work on The Hill or for lobbying firms.

But, not to worry: is NOT going into political advocacy. There are plenty of Democrats and Republicans on both lists.

by August 20, 2008 at 8:38 am 1,413 0

Found this over at the DC City Desk blog (Sam Smith). It ran in the Star Tribune (Minnesota).

Twin Cities bartenders working when the GOP holds its national convention in St. Paul next month should listen up: Republicans like their drinks straight up, and they arrive early for happy hour. A survey of Washington, D.C., bartenders commissioned by a leading liquor company broke down Democrats and Republicans when it comes to their drink selection and bar behavior. Here’s what it found:

Read the article.


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