Vincent Gray supporters start website

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's supporters have taken their backing of the embattled mayor to the Internet.

A group of "D.C. residents from all walks of life" said in a statement Tuesday that they launched a website -- www.onedc.us -- "in an effort to balance the discourse and to show the mayor our mayor has in this city."

The website includes descriptions of Gray's successes during his nearly 19-month tenure -- most, if not all, appear to be taken from publicly available news releases the mayor's office issued -- and urges visitors to sign a petition supporting the mayor.

The group said it is not affiliated with the District government or Gray's 2010 campaign. Told of the website, Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Gray, said, "The mayor is thankful for the support of the residents of the District of Columbia."

Gray has been under fire amid a steady drip of revelations about his 2010 campaign for mayor, including a disclosure from federal prosecutors that he benefited from an illegal shadow campaign. Gray has denied wrongdoing, but three people linked to his campaign have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

With those guilty pleas have come demands that Gray resign. A recent Washington Post poll showed that 54 percent of D.C. residents surveyed want Gray to leave office, and three city council members have also pressed the mayor to quit.

Gray has repeatedly said he has no plans to leave office before his term expires in January 2015 (he has not said whether he will seek re-election), and he has sought to shore up support from his base in private. In a series of conversations, mayoral aides and political activists say, Gray has sought to reassure his closest supporters that he knew of no illegal activity in his campaign.

The website is the biggest public show of support for Gray since a group of politically active pastors organized a July 18 rally outside the John A. Wilson Building. Gray did not sanction or attend that gathering.

The new website is also a counterpunch to www.mayorgray.com. The person behind that page told The Washington Examiner's Yeas and Nays team that the domain name could be had for $653,800 - the amount of money D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson allegedly funneled to the shadow campaign that benefited Gray.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Alan Blinder

Staff Reporter, D.C. City Hall
The Washington Examiner