Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
August 17, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Rick Rosendall, Political Vice President
Cropp, Patterson, Mendelson, and Graham
Dominate GLAA’s Candidate Ratings
Four candidates dominated the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. (GLAA) candidate ratings for the September 12 primaries.
Ward 3 Democratic Councilmember Kathy Patterson (seeking the Council chairmanship) and At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson (seeking re-election) earned perfect scores of +10. Council Chairman Linda Cropp (seeking the mayor’s post) earned +9.5. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham (seeking re-election) earned +9.
Ward 3 candidate Eric Goulet is the only non-councilmember to receive the full 3 possible record points or have a rating above 8. His +8.5 rating is unusually good for a non-incumbent. Mayoral hopeful Adrian Fenty also earned 8.5 with a very good showing. Only Goulet, Patterson, Mendelson, and Graham earned the full 3 points on record.
Candidates are rated on a scale of -10 to +10, based on their answers to GLAA's questionnaire and their record on behalf of the gay and lesbian community. The questionnaires address a variety of issues including same-sex marriage, sensitivity training for firefighters, opposition to legislation which violates the civil rights of transgender people, support of legislation to strengthen the HIV privacy protections, and increased funding for the Office of Human Rights. The GLAA agenda, questionnaire, and complete candidate responses are available online at www.glaa.org.
Most candidates expressed support for same-sex marriage. Those that did not had other disagreements and/or no record and earned predictably low scores. Most candidates also voiced strong support for increased funding of the Office of Human Rights and publicizing the newly enacted prohibitions on discrimination against transgender people.
Linda Cropp earned a +9.5, a very high rating. She agrees with us on every issue. Her strong support on GLBT issues has been outstanding, including defending our concerns before Congress, even countering incorrect statements by the Mayor regarding the domestic partnership law. She fulfilled a longtime goal of GLAA in 2005 by creating a Committee on Health, separate from the Committee on Human Services, which has facilitated improved oversight of the Department of Health.
Adrian Fenty earned a +8.5. He has an excellent questionnaire. Although his support for our issues has been consistently strong, he hasn’t taken a strong leadership role on any legislation for our community. His pro-GLBT advocacy on numerous issues is consistent with his strong record of constituent service.
Michael A. Brown earned a +7 rating. Mr. Brown agreed with us on every issue. He showed a clear understanding of the issues, and we note that in addition to serving on the Whitman-Walker board, where he co-chaired the AIDS Walk, he has been a visible and active campaigner in our community.
Marie Johns earned a respectable +6.5. Her numerous maybes to our questions hurt her rating, as did her limited record on our issues. We note that she has been campaigning with a consistently pro-gay message, and has stood up for the GLBT community in front of hostile audiences.
Vincent Orange earned -2.5. He has never returned a GLAA questionnaire. While he has a generally positive voting record on GLBT issues, he has even more negative history than positive. Recently he fomented opposition to allowing relocation of gay businesses displaced by the baseball stadium, and stated that his opponents in the mayoral race were morally unfit to be mayor because of their support for same-sex civil marriage rights.
D.C. Council Chairman
Kathy Patterson earned a perfect +10. She has been our steadfast ally on every issue. She has the strongest human rights record on the council and has authored several important pieces of legislation to expand domestic partner rights and responsibilities. Her support of our community is unquestioned.
Vincent Gray earned +6. He has been consistently positive on GLBT issues, especially HIV/AIDS. His questionnaire was positive but weak on substance.
At-Large D.C. Councilmember
Phil Mendelson earned a perfect +10. Phil has been one of our champions on the Council, backing us time and time again. His Domestic Partnership Equality Act of 2005 was the most important gay-related legislation in the past decade, dramatically increasing the rights and responsibilities of registered domestic partners in D.C. He worked with us on strategy and timing for that bill and several others, all of which passed unanimously and generated no backlash from the Congress.
Scott Bolden earned +4.5. He had a generally positive questionnaire, but has run a dishonest campaign on some issues. He boasted to a group of ministers and reporters that he opposed same-sex marriage, then told the Stein Club that he favored it. This counted against points that he otherwise would have received for his pro-gay record as past chair of the D.C. Democratic State Committee.
Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember
Jim Graham earned +9. He has a very strong record going back decades. He has consistently fought for our issues. He did not get a perfect score because of shortcomings in his questionnaire, but there is no question that he is a strong leader of our community.
Chad Williams earned +5.5. His questionnaire was generally positive, and he had some positive record in working with gay people.
Ward 3 D.C. Councilmember
Ward 3 is remarkable for the strength of the field. It is unusual to have so many fine candidates in one race.
Eric Goulet earned a +8.5. He supports all of our issues and has a strong questionnaire. As the clerk of the Committee on Taxation and Revenue, he has been instrumental in getting a number of domestic partnership bills passed and funded. Thanks to Goulet, Domestic Partners of D.C. Government employees will have their health care paid for at the same rate as other family members. The Mayor’s budget neglected to fund that program, but Goulet found the oversight and quietly corrected it for the final budget.
Mary Cheh earned +7.5. She supports all of our issues. She has a strong record of support for gay and human rights. She took up the effort to add sexual orientation to the George Washington University’s non-discrimination policy in 1990. She serves on the board of the ACLU/National Capitol Area; and worked closely with Kathy Patterson in defending the rights of the 400 protesters and passers-by illegally arrested in Pershing Park in 2002.
Erik Gaull earned a +7.5. He supports all of our issues. He turned in a strong questionnaire and has been supportive of numerous gay groups.
Sam Brooks earned +7. He has a strong questionnaire, supporting all of our issues, and a good record on gay issues.
Paul Strauss earned a +7. He has a strong questionnaire.
Bill Rice earned a +6. He supports with all of our issues. His questionnaire is fairly good. And he has a record of support on our issues.
Jonathan Rees earned a -3. He refused to respond to GLAA’s questionnaire. During the campaign he has equated homosexuality with pedophilia, lobbied Congress to restrict home rule, and promoted a D.C. voter initiative to prohibit same-sex civil marriage.
Ward 5 D.C. Councilmember
Most of the candidates in Ward 5 did not return questionnaires, and have no record on our issues.
Steve Rynecki earned +2, all from his questionnaire, which was generally positive.
Harry Thomas, Jr., earned a +1.5. His late-received questionnaire had mostly positive answers but provided little substance. He has shown no record on GLBT issues, though we appreciate his outreach to gay voters during this campaign.
Rae Zapata earned +1.5, based on a weak questionnaire and no known record on GLBT issues.
Joe Harris earned +1. He did not return the questionnaire, but he has some record of working on HIV/AIDS issues.
Ward 6 D.C. Councilmember
Curtis Etherly earned a +5.5, based on his late-received questionnaire and his record of work on HIV/AIDS, including his board membership on the D.C. Appleseed Center, whose report on the HIV/AIDS Administration gave impetus to reform efforts.
Tommy Wells earned a +5.5. His questionnaire was short on substance, but his strong record includes his leadership as a member of the D.C. Board of Education in creating a student anti-harassment policy, and his work as director of the D.C. Consortium for Child Welfare to enable GLBT people to adopt children in the D.C. foster care system.
All candidates were provided with a copy of “Agenda: 2006,” GLAA’s comprehensive guide to GLBT issues in Washington, D.C.
Ratings should not be interpreted as endorsements. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.
GLAA has rated candidates for office in every D.C. primary and general election since 1971. Independent council candidates and school board candidates will be rated prior to the general election.
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization, founded in 1971 to advance the equal rights of gay men and lesbians in Washington, DC. We are the nation's oldest continuously active GLBT civil rights organization.
To see the full text of a candidate's questionnaire responses, click on his or her name below.
DC Council Chair
At-Large DC Councilmember
Ward 1 DC Councilmember
Ward 3 DC Councilmember
Ward 5 DC Councilmember
Ward 6 DC Councilmember
Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire
and was therefore rated solely on his or her known record on GLAA’s issues.
Breakdown of available ratings points
|Questionnaire: yes/no||+/- 2 points|
|Questionnaire: substantive grasp of issues||+/- 4 points|
|Record:||+/- 3 points|
|Championship: taking the lead on an issue|
of concern to gay men and lesbians
|+/- 1 point
|Total available:||+/- 10 points|
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization, founded in 1971 to advance the equal rights of gay men and lesbians in Washington, DC. We are the nation’s oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.