Today, the D.C. City Council unanimously censured Council Member Marion Barry which strips him of his committee chairmanship. The Council also voted to refer allegations of his wrongdoing to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This is the first time the Council has ever condemned one of its own. And it doesn’t help that a team of investigators hired by the Council concluded in their report that Barry steered public funds to a girlfriend and other associates, shared in the proceeds and tried to impede the investigation. Now granted, he did not technically break any laws, but he breached ethical codes and standards. However, what is amazing, if he runs for Council Member of Ward 8, he will be re-elected. There is a Facebook page with 2,854 fans called “MAYOR MARION BARRY WILL ALWAYS BE MY MAYOR!!! FENTY WHO????” When I talk to the people of Ward 8 who love Barry to try to understand their love for him, the first thing they say is that he gave them a summer job as a teenager. Umm, ok, that’s great. So what has he done lately?
Let’s get real.
I hear all the accusations about how Barry is unfairly scrutinized compared to other elected officials. He is intelligent and politically savvy. How he helped create the black middle and upper class in the District. This is ALL true. However, his personal issues continue to overshadow his accomplishments and impede his work. Instead of focusing on safe streets, better schools, economic growth and development, he has to spend his time dealing with tax evasion, parole violations, substance abuse, girlfriends and unethical contracts. Between scandals and prayer services for the “Mayor for Life”, when is the real work getting done?
In many ways, I think Marion Barry is actually a republican. How else could he get his own constituents to vote against their own interests?