Words I never thought I would say: “Marion Barry is right.” Barry says the D.C. government is the laughingstock of the country. No kidding. Two members of the council have had to resign over ethics issues and the majority of the members have been or are being investigated or adjudicated over same. There is a current probe by the feds right now that could implicate Mayor Vincent Gray in violations of D.C election finance laws. What a mess.
If Mayor Gray is eventually charged with any crime, he likely would have to resign. If he is going to be charged that could come as soon as this summer. If that happens, the new chairman of the council, Phil Mendelson, would become mayor.
But, under D.C. law, a special election would have to be called within 114 days to elect a new mayor. The problem is because so many of the elected officials in the city are now or have been under a cloud of nefarious behavior, there is no white knight, no unblemished public figure who could come to the city’s rescue.
Oh, wait, there is. What about Cathy Lanier, the city’s crackerjack police chief? Lanier has done a spectacular job in cutting crime despite having to deal with difficult budget issues. She has a spotless record of integrity and leadership. She is tough, vetted and battle-tested. And she is probably the single most-liked person on the city’s payroll.
I asked a friend of mine who covers city politics about the idea of Cathy Lanier running for mayor. “Too bad she’s not a politician,” I said. “Oh,” he told me “she IS a politician, make no mistake about that. The question is whether she wants the job. I think if she decided to run for mayor she might be unopposed because nobody could beat her.”
So there you have it. If we want to restore some sense of respect and dignity to the city of Washington, we need to convince Cathy Lanier to give up her current job and pursue the big office in the Wilson Building. I’m leading the bandwagon. Remember you read it here first.
Lanier to the rescue is a Core Value.