Opinion

Examiner Local Editorial: Examiner endorses Patrick Mara for D.C. Council

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Opinion,Local Editorial,D.C. Council

Only the most rosy eyed optimist (or pessimist, as the case may be) could believe that electing a lone Republican to the Democratic-controlled D.C. Council will change much of anything, let alone transform that chronically inept, scandal-plagued legislative body into some sort of right-wing bastion. This is especially true because that lone Republican is at-large candidate Patrick Mara, who describes himself as "very, very moderate."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, criticized last year for thanking President Obama for sending federal aid during Hurricane Sandy, acknowledged that Mara is his kind of Republican when he recorded a robocall urging 10,000 of the District's 35,000 registered Republicans to vote for Mara in Tuesday's at-large special election.

In fact, Mara -- who supports same-sex marriage, D.C. statehood and even returned a $1,000 donation from a "conservative, pro-freedom" political action committee -- would be considered a Republican-in-Name-Only practically anywhere else. But in the District, he's maliciously portrayed as a rabid right-winger who (gasp!) supported his party's presidential candidate.

Get real. Mara has already been vetted by voters. They elected him to represent Ward 1 on the State Board of Education. He came in a close second to Councilman Vincent Orange in the council's 2011 special election. He's best compared to well-known former Councilwoman Carol Schwartz, another moderate Republican he defeated in the 2008 GOP primary.

At least Mara is honest about his party affiliation, unlike former Councilman Michael Brown, son of former Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who changed his political identification from a Democrat to an independent to take advantage of a provision in the law that requires at least two of the 13 seats on the council to be held by members of the nonmajority party.

Congress inserted that provision into the Home Rule Charter, knowing that one-party rule inevitably leads to a monopolistic strangulation of new ideas and political corruption. The Council's recent turbulent past is prima facie evidence that Congress knew what it was doing.

None of the four Democrats in the race, including interim incumbent Anita Bonds -- who is shamefully playing the race card to distract voters from her close ties to former Mayor Marion Barry -- will stand up to the ruling Democratic establishment. Only Mara and Statehood Green candidate Perry Redd can credibly make that claim.

And Mara is the only one championing school vouchers and free enterprise zones for District residents who have been repeatedly let down by decades of all-Democratic rule, which is why he gets The Washington Examiner's endorsement.

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