D.C. Could Rock The Vote In 2009

Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Delegate to U.S. House

Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Delegate to U.S. House

With the new Senate and a new President due to take office in January, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton feels confident that she will finally be able to win voting rights in Congress for the District of Columbia.

According to NBC Washington, Norton estimates that 65 Senators will support her Voting Rights Act of 2009 out of only 60 needed to pass the bill. According to Norton, President-Elect Obama personally told her that he would sign the bill if it reached his desk.

If DC does manage to get the vote, I would hope that it breaks from tradition and elects competent officials to serve in Congress. Eleanor Holmes Norton is a fine example, shadow Senator Paul Strauss is not. At all.

2 Comments so far

  1. dodger on November 14th, 2008 @ 10:54 am

    It’s not so cut and dry about Paul Strauss.


  2. Anthony Marenna (amarenna) on November 14th, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    I think it is pretty cut and dry. I’ve actually been meaning to respond about Tom’s post.

    1) Says Tom about whether Strauss should talk to the press: "Make a simple statement, and then make your defense in the courtroom where it actually matters. Leave the media out, and let the courts do their job."

    I agree completely, but Strauss has not made a simple statement other than No Comment. On the eve of an election, Strauss owed it to the voters to get them in the loop somehow. I’m not suggesting that he should have addressed the details of the case. That would have been foolish. He certainly should have apologized to the voters for the distraction and renewed his commitment to honesty and ethical practice in his elected office. But he did not, because he is an elected official in DC and can get away with ignoring the issue.

    2) Tom writes suggests that a recall election could be a good legal way to remove Strauss from office if he is convicted.

    As far as I’m concerned, even if the 10% of voters in DC could be convinced to sign a recall petition, I don’t think that anyone could realistically expect Strauss to be voted out in a recall election. Even with this election night scandal he was elected with his typical 80% of the vote. At the same time voters continue to elect the previously convicted Michael Brown and Marion Barry.

    3) Tom writes: "Does a political figure owe it to the public to explain what’s going on? Well, again, yes & no. Same reasons as in #1. Political figures have their personal liability to think about. Speaking to the press in that situation is highly unwise, and Strauss knows as much as a lawyer. Openness isn’t always your friend."

    Again, although we all seemingly agree that Strauss should not have discussed details of the case prior to his hearing, he certainly does owe it to the public to be open to a certain extent. Especially when the incident occurs the day before the election. Openness would not have been Strauss’s friend in this case, especially politically. Not talking and walking away with his 80% of the vote was a great political move, but ethically lacking in the least if you ask me.

    Thanks for the comment.

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