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Mayor Bowser Just Got Good News About Her Re-election Prospects; Still Not a Slam-Dunk

As we were starting to think about a topic for this month’s commentary, we learned that the District’s impressively competent and appropriately aggressive Attorney General, Karl Racine, has decided not to get into next year’s Democratic Party mayoral primary race. He has told his supporters that he feels it imperative to seek a second term as AG so as to be able to see to conclusion many prosecutorial and policy tracks he has initiated.

While he didn’t mention that the outlook for him to beat out Bowser is not encouraging, based on a Washington Post poll a couple of months ago, his stated motive for continuing his service as our AG seems genuine, and for that we are grateful.

He has been hugely effective in seeking and obtaining redress from the big players which have been regularly seeking to take advantage of all of us otherwise vulnerable citizens through outright fraud and other shady practices –- and doing so both singly and in concert with other attorneys general in the region and nationally. We need Racine to stay on the job!

As for Mayor Bowser, the voters will have an opportunity to decide whether or not she should stay on the job. Clearly, with Racine now out of the picture and no other truly realistic opponent in the picture (at least as of now), it would seem that her track to a second term is greased. Nevertheless, we urge that neither she nor her admiring loyalists settle into comfy complacency.

It is true that there have been some highly publicized and much criticized questionable actions and dealings of a political nature and unseemly outreach to friends and contributors, but those do not appear to have generated sufficient outrage to bring her down. In fact, based on our following of things and talking with many residents, we are of the opinion —  and we believe shared by a substantial majority –- that her performance as mayor has been OK overall. Nothing highly memorable or astonishingly fabulous to generate great excitement, but reasonably competent with many good-to-excellent appointments to head up departments, agencies, and (somewhat less so) boards.

However, having expressed what might be construed as a grade of ‘B’ we do note some special failures that ought to have been rectified starting in her first months in office. Specifically, we noted two truly egregious examples recently reported by the Washington Post — the headlines of which raised major red flags: “D.C. has essentially lost track of the real estate it owns, new report finds” (Aug. 17th)  and “A man died at D.C.’s only public hospital. It took his family a week to find out” (Sep. 1st).

The headlines pretty much state the outrage, and rather than us summarizing the outlandish details, simply clicking the quoted headlines everything will be revealed.

All we can add is our disgust with what has been reported, especially in the lost dead body saga about how the hospital administrator washed his hands of any responsibility over the incident, having decided that his only role was to commiserate but not investigate or attempt to make sure something like that won’t happen again –- basically implying the favorite excuse of bureaucrats for not doing anything: “not my department.” Why hasn’t the dire mis-management of this public hospital been an issue front and center from the get-go and why was that administrator hired in the first place and why hasn’t he been fired?

These are but two examples of matters that the mayor ought to have been on top of and we urge the voters to monitor developments and if nothing seems to be happening to correct these deficiencies then they should not be forgotten come election day.