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I am sure although that it will be officially denied) that this flyer is coded language that Fenty overly supports "white" issues like bike lanes and gentification.

Exactly. This is race-baiting on the part of Gray and his campaign, pure and simple. Unfortunately, it's likely to work among his target audience.

you beat me to the scanner...

"I actually prefer to see the traffic -- that's just me," Corbett says.

This implies that he rides against traffic all (or at least most) of the time. That's just so not right.

It's a dog whistle. The dog park flier is next.

I assume that this is Gray's campaign literature? From what i've heard the election could turn on undecideds. In spite of what Gray has said about supporting bike lanes chances are Klein and Tregoning will be gone, so from the standpoint of bicyclists Gray would not likely be the best choice. I'm considering starting a FB group called Bikers for Fenty. Any thoughts?

It's a dog whistle. Gray should be ashamed of himself.

That's pretty disturbing, not only for the obvious reason, but because anyone who hates Fenty and drives is going to see cyclists as extensions of him...add into that fantasy the frustration that is part of everyday driving and what do you get? A recipe for aggressive car-against-cyclist behavior.

God what a spineless, uncentered cretin Gray is turning out to be. He reminds me of McCain in the last election: there's not a single deeply held position he's not willing to discard in pursuit of the mayorship.

DC has been a poster child for the politics of race for many years. Like everyone else, I see the bike lane as a code for whites.

However, I also see it as anti-cyclist stereotyping by equating cyclists with lawbreakers. It also seems to tie into the idea that bike lanes provide an unfair benefit to cyclists by allowing them to pass stopped traffic and jump to the head of the line.

What is on the other side of the mailer? Does it say who paid for it? The Gray campaign is denying it is theirs.

What did the rest of the flyer say? When I looked at the graphic I was expecting an accusation that cronies are getting permits without going through the normal procesures. Surely Gray is not referring to cyclists or bus riders as the people who are getting around the law with special lanes. Frankly referring to the Fenty police escorts seems odd for Gray who was caught driving in his own illegal lane (shoulder I think) to get to the arena formerly known as Jack Kent Cook stadium.

It was paid for by the "Community Labor Coalition for Change Committee and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committe. Jos Williams chairman. John A. Boardman, Treasurer."

I did not notice this before and I'm sorry if I misled anyone. I'll correct the post.

Jim, the back side has two accusations that he ignored the rules and gave $82 million in city contracts to his "buddies" and that he broke his promise to make govt more accountable. It cites three WaPo stories - "Fenty friend denies any misconduct on contracts", "Housing Authority contracts illegal" and "Parks contract awarded to friend of Fenty's had unusual extra fee."

Who is the "Community Labor Coalition for Change Committee"? I didn't find them on Google.

Looking at the picture, it is not clear that it is a bike lane. There are no cues as to the scale or width. Could be a HOT lane.

Looking at the picture, it is not clear that it is a bike lane. There are no cues as to the scale or width. Could be a HOT lane.

Here we go again - back to the bad old days of DC politics where the old guard used race-baiting to maintain their strangle hold on power. Throughout this campaign, Gray has been using bike lanes and dog parks as code for "white people", all the while portraying himself as the candidate with "integrity." What's really sad is that these kind of tactics end up motivating people to vote against their own interests. "Who cares if our kids have good schools and safe streets? Those uptown white folks are getting bike lanes and dog parks!"

This is also not the first time the Gray campaign has used surrogates to attack Fenty. They did the same thing with their brief "Slap the Brat" campaign, until the Post exposed them.

If this doesn't motivate you to get out and vote for Fenty, I don't know what will.

Gray is benefiting from 3rd party- organized labor- support and money. Naturally, proxies such as this are the ones doing the race and class baiting. It allows Gray to keep repeating his "One City" mantra.

Colbert King had a very interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post today, about how deaf Fenty has been to the black community in hiring a lot of white managers and not looking to the expertise in the local black community. I was struck that the argument focused on issues of race, and not whether the current administration did a good job or not.

I didn't see this flyer as an anti-bike lane flyer or having anything to do with race. It's about cronyism and privilege, which is what Fenty is about.

Now, it IS true that Fenty has used police escorts on bike rides. I understand that there was technically no laws broken, but like the rest of his administration, there was certainly some pushing of ethical boundaries - using a police escort to ride on a road where bikes are off-limits, for instance.

Perhaps it's a subtle distinction for some, but I see a big difference between Fenty using the police on bike rides in the same arrogant way he's always behaved (when he was my councilmember too...) and an out-right attack on bike lanes or cyclists.

He had a police escort on his bike rides, but he didn't "use" them to clear traffic. He had them because he's always supposed to have a police escort. If we don't want him to have a security detail, then we should take that requirement away. But it's unfair to have a security detail for him and then criticize him for having them around him. If he jogged with a security detail it would have been a non-story. I don't see which ethical boundaries he pushed (most people don't know that biking is illegal on Clara Barton Parkway, and it wasn't always so - he's guilty of breaking the law there, and being ignorant of it, but not of an ethical lapse - unless you think he rode there knowing it was illegal to do so).

Well, I think he rode there knowing it was illegal to do so - moreso, he had a bunch of teammates with DC Velo with him who ought to have known better. Because he had a police escort, it may or may not have been illegal, which is why I contend that it's pushing ethical boundaries.

When the mayor rides at Hains Point, I can tell you it's fun because we can ride through the stop signs. On a regular basis, the park police stake out those areas and give us a hard time, but not when the mayor's there. I'm of two minds on this, of course, because I'd rather run the stop signs - but I still think that's pushing ethical boundaries.

All of this, however, is missing the point - it's not the bike riding, it's the fact that it makes a great metaphor for the larger issues of his administration. To a regular observer, this stuff comes across as arrogant, as does his personality. Add to that the kick-backs to the frat brothers - arrogant, plus corrupt.

The bike stuff is a side-issue that helps paint a larger picture - it could have been jogging, to use your example. As cyclists, we look at this as an anti-cycling rant; but, in reality, it's a larger political picture being painted.

Well, I think he rode there knowing it was illegal to do so - moreso, he had a bunch of teammates with DC Velo with him who ought to have known better. Because he had a police escort, it may or may not have been illegal, which is why I contend that it's pushing ethical boundaries.

First, Clara Barton is not posted as being closed to cyclists. Under both Maryland law and NPS rules a road has to be posted to be closed. So technically it's not really closed and Fenty broke no law.

Second, it always amazes me that people think that cyclists have some sort of psychic sense about what roads are closed to cyclists. How on earth would anyone know that this road was closed? It didn't used to be, but in 2007 the NPS added one sentence to their Compendium and never told anyone -- violating their duty for public notice. It was only after this "scandal" erupted that anyone even realized what the NPS had done.

a regular observer, this stuff comes across as arrogant, as does his personality. The Mayor may be arrogant, but if someone sees his riding with a police escort as a sign of arrogance, they're misreading it in my opinion. And if you have to use falsehoods to make your point, you must not have a very strong point. If people want to say the Mayor is arrogant or corrupt, then they should just say that. But I think this ad is a way to pull in things that aren't true ("The mayor arrogantly uses the police to help him break the law on his bike rides") without saying them so as to not be guilty of outright lying. It's clever, but unfortunately it works against bike lanes, as it makes bike lanes seem like something an arrogant mayor corruptly builds for his freinds.

And on a related note...I always find the "arrogant" claim odd. Of course he's arrogant, he ran for Mayor. Isn't running for Mayor, or any executive office, kind of arrogant? Isn't it the equivalent of stating "having looked around here, I feel like I should be running the place"? How do you decouple arrogance from running for office? The difference may be that Fenty is genuine enough 9(r dumb enough) to not pretend he's humble.

Washcycle, you allowed that you may be reading too much into it - and I think you are. I think you're too close to the issue to see the possibility that railing against bike lanes is not what an average person sees in the ad. But, then again, I'm willing to admit I could be wrong about that too - I mean, both sides have certainly had their fair share of obnoxious mud-slinging at each other.

I still stand by my earlier point though: Running a stop sign is illegal. Using the police to do it comes across as arrogant. Fenty's done this - I know, I've been there and benefitted from it. It's nice and all, but it does raise a few ethical questions when, as a normal cyclist there, I would get a ticket from the Park Police. I don't know why that's such a complicated notion.

Off-topic a bit, but I don't at all find the arrogant claim odd. That's politics. As a fairly succesful politician, I would think Fenty would have had a better sense of how perception - whether fair or not - shapes public opinion. He's come this far playing that game, after all.

As for Clara Barton Parkway, like I said, the mayor had teammates with him who should have known better. I quite confident about this because there have been frequent discussions on the local racing listservs that about that stretch of road - and, unless members of his team comment but don't read, they should be well-aware. In any case, it's well beyond expecting a psychic sense on the part of his teammates.

Interestingly, Clara Barton is closed to commercial vehicles (and properly posted for them). So what was the WTOP van doing there anyway?

Don't you know all cyclists are "arrogant"? It's our nature.

Somehow those folks in cars laying on the horn so you'll get the hell out of their way (because, y'know, they're in a hurry!) are never arrogant.

Not in the least.

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