GLAA releases ratings of 2002 DC primary candidates

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013

Six Primary Candidates Excel in the
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance Ratings

For Immediate release, August 31, 2002
Contact: Bob Summersgill, GLAA President, 202-265-8425
summersgill@yahoo.com
Full questionnaires and rating breakdowns are online at www.glaa.org.

Ambrose, Catania, Donkin, Graham, Mendelson, and Patterson Dominate Field

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC has announced its ratings for candidates in the September 10 primary election for DC Council and Mayor. Six candidates earned high ratings, well above the rest. Incumbent Councilmembers David Catania (R-At Large) and Sharon Ambrose (D-Ward 6) topped the list with perfect scores of 10 on a scale of -10 to +10. Kathy Patterson (D--Ward 3) was close behind at 9. Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and mayoral candidate Steve Donkin (Statehood Green) each earned 7.5.

"David Catania, Sharon Ambrose, Kathy Patterson, Jim Graham and Phil Mendelson are among our best friends on the DC Council, and their ratings and questionnaires reflect their commitments to our community and issues," said GLAA President Bob Summersgill.

"It is also important to note that four Democrats, a Republican, and a Statehood Green candidate were all rated very highly," said Summersgill, "Incumbents and challengers alike rated very well."

Candidates are rated on a scale of -10 to +10, based on their answers to GLAA's questionnaire and their record on behalf of the gay and lesbian community. GLAA has rated candidates for office in every DC primary and general election since 1971. Independent candidates will be rated prior to the general election.

In addition to the questionnaire, candidate ratings include points for how substantive their answers are and on their record on gay issues. One point, plus or minus, is also given to candidates who champion an issue by taking on a crucial issue and exerting a major leadership role. Ambrose, Catania, Graham and Patterson received positive championship points and Mendelson received a ˝ championship point. No candidate earned a negative championship point.

President Bob Summersgill said, "GLAA looks beyond simple yes and no answers to see if the candidates are able to demonstrate an understanding of the issues, and whether or not their actions live up to their positions."

GLAA was disappointed by Mayor Williams' lackluster questionnaire and performance as Mayor. Williams earned a 3.5 rating. "While Williams often says the right things, his administration often takes positions in direct opposition to his public statements," said Summersgill. For example, despite the Mayor's statements in favor of open and transparent accounting, the Department of Health refused for more than a year to comply fully with a Freedom of Information Act request for AIDS services contract information. Similarly, Williams took credit for the recently implemented domestic partnership law but failed to lobby for it, refused to meet with activists working to end the congressional funding ban, denied the legal significance of prior registrations that his administration destroyed, and misrepresented the law before the US Congress.

GLAA has been fighting the Fire Department's grooming policy, which violates both the first amendment and the DC Human Rights Act. The Williams administration has vigorously defended the policy in court and in public forums. Neither Mayor Williams nor the Fire Department has responded to any of GLAA's many letters on the issue. The Fire Department also eliminated sensitivity training related to gay and transgender people, despite the poor record of professionalism and the $1.75 million dollar settlement in the Tyra Hunter case.

The Corporation Counsel, under the Williams administration has pursued numerous legal loopholes in order to undermine the Human Rights Act. While Mayor Williams ignored our concerns, the DC Council unanimously passed legislation to eliminate the loopholes. Mayor Williams finally signed the legislation on the last possible day without any public comment.

"Williams' lack of administrative ability has resulted in his dismal performance on our issues as well as illegal fundraising schemes and fraudulent petitions which have resulted in his loss of ballot access," said Summersgill.

Only former councilmember Douglas E. Moore (D for mayor), James W. Clark (D for Mayor), Hector Rodriguez (D for Ward 1) and councilmember Vincent Orange (D-Ward 5) earned negative ratings. Rev. Willie Wilson earned 0. None of these candidates turned in a signed questionnaire. Moore's -3 rating reflects his past anti-gay leadership on the DC Council, especially his demagogic effort in 1977 to exclude gay men and lesbians from the protections of the D.C. Human Rights Law and his virulently homophobic campaign against then-Councilmember Arrington Dixon in 1978 for the post of Council Chairman.

The questionnaires address a variety of issues including same-sex marriage, recreating sensitivity training of police and firefighters, hiring a full time director of the HIV/AIDS Administration, support of legislation to strengthen the HIV Unique Identifier system, and opposition to further restrictions on nude dancing.

All candidates were provided with the detailed agenda on the range of issues of concern to GLAA. The GLAA agenda, questionnaire and complete candidate responses are available online at http://www.glaa.org. Ratings should not be interpreted as endorsements. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.

To see the full text of a candidate's questionnaire responses, click on his or her name below.
(NOTE: All questionnaires for which ratings have been posted have been signed by the candidates to verify their personal commitment to their answers.)

(We reserve the right to re-rate candidates based on additional information received during the campaign.)


Mayor

Candidate
Party
Rating
Steve Donkin
Statehood-Green
7 ½
Anthony A. Williams (Incumbent)
Democrat
3 ½
Faith
Democrat
0 *
Osie L. Thorpe
Democrat
0 *
Willie F. Wilson
Democrat
0 *
James W. Clark
Democrat
-1 *
Douglas E. Moore
Democrat
-3 *

DC Council Chair

Candidate
Party
Rating
Linda Cropp (Incumbent)
Democrat
6

At-Large DC Councilmember

Candidate
Party
Rating
David A. Catania (Incumbent)
Republican
10
Phil Mendelson (Incumbent)
Democrat
7 ½
Dwight E. Singleton
Democrat
2 ½
Al-Malik Farrakhan
Democrat
0 *
Mahdi M. Shabazz
Democrat
0 *
M. Tingling-Clemmons
Statehood-Green
0 *
Beverly Wilbourn
Democrat
0 *

Ward 1 DC Councilmember

Candidate
Party
Rating
Jim Graham (Incumbent)
Democrat
7 ½
Dee Hunter
Democrat
3 ½
Shelore A. C. Williams
Democrat
1 ½
Edward C. Troy
Statehood-Green
½ *
Tony De Pass
Democrat
0 *
Hector Rodriguez
Democrat
-½ *

Ward 3 DC Councilmember

Candidate
Party
Rating
Kathy Patterson (Incumbent)
Democrat
9
Erik S. Gaull
Democrat
4
Erik Rojo
Republican
0 *

Ward 5 DC Councilmember

Candidate
Party
Rating
Edward Henry Wolterbeek
Republican
1 *
Lawrence J. Mullin
Democrat
½
Harry Thomas, Jr.
Democrat
0 *
Vincent Orange (Incumbent)
Democrat
-1.5 *

Ward 6 DC Councilmember

Candidate
Party
Rating
Sharon Ambrose (Incumbent)
Democrat
10
Jenefer Ellingston
Statehood-Green
2
Keith Andrew Perry
Democrat
1

Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire and was therefore rated solely on his or her known record on GLAA’s issues.

Breakdown of available ratings points

Questionnaire: yes/no+/- 2 points
Questionnaire: substantive grasp of issues+/- 4 points
Record:+/- 3 points
Championship: taking the lead on an issue
of concern to gay men and lesbians
+/- 1 point
Total available:+/- 10 points

Click here to view a detailed breakdown of all candidates' ratings points.

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization, founded in 1971 to advance the equal rights of gay men and lesbians in Washington, DC. We are the nation’s oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.

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