Pag­ing D.C. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Karl Racine

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - DEB­O­RAH SIMMONS Deb­o­rah Simmons can be con­tacted at dsim­mons@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

Dear Karl Racine, The city needs you to turn your in­de­pen­dent prob­ing at­ten­tion to­ward two mat­ters. Peo­ple act­ing on be­half of Muriel Bowser dur­ing her suc­cess­ful run for mayor in 2014 broke the law. Within months, in 2015, peo­ple work­ing on be­half of Bran­don Todd, her suc­ces­sor to fill her Ward 4 seat on the D.C. Coun­cil, did the same.

Co­in­ci­dence or not, as vot­ers pre­pare for what’s shap­ing up to be ear­lier-than-usual pri­maries in 2018, vot­ers need re­as­sur­ance.

They need re­as­sur­ance from you, Mr. Racine.

There are many mov­ing parts to the Bowser vi­o­la­tions. The least of them, ac­cord­ing to the D.C. Of­fice of Cam­paign Fi­nance:

1) The Bowser cam­paign ac­cepted 13 con­tri­bu­tions that ex­ceeded the le­gal limit of $2,000 to a may­oral can­di­date.

2) Two of the 13 con­tri­bu­tions were from Keystone Plus Con­struc­tion Corp. and San­ford Cap­i­tal.

In­ter­est­ing, the D.C. gov­ern­ment has tar­geted Keystone for short-shrift­ing the city on a nurs­ing-home ren­o­va­tion pro­ject and San­ford for vi­o­lat­ing hous­ing reg­u­la­tions and short­shrift­ing ten­ants.

Mr. Racine, for­get, if you will, the politics of the Bowser and Todd vi­o­la­tions (both pols are Democrats) and, mo­men­tar­ily, your own po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions.

You are the Dis­trict’s last (un­teth­ered) line of civil­ian de­fense be­tween the good guys and the bad — and sup­port­ers re­spect as much.

Surely, there’s some way you can cast more than a pass­ing glance at the Of­fice of Cam­paign Fi­nance and de­ter­mine whether the Bowser and Todd vi­o­la­tions were mere over­sights or whether some­thing ne­far­i­ous is at work and the laws and reg­u­la­tions on the books are more bark than bite.

For­mer coun­cil mem­ber Bill Light­foot, ex-Bowser cam­paign chair­man whose le­gal and po­lit­i­cal mind I’ve al­ways re­spected, wants vot­ers to be­lieve tech­nol­ogy was at fault.

That’s like blam­ing the dog for eat­ing the Bowser camp’s list of do­na­tions.

Mr. Racine, the Bowser vi­o­la­tions oc­curred three years ago and the Todd vi­o­la­tions in 2015, yet nei­ther case hit the Of­fice of Cam­paign Fi­nance’s radar screen un­til 2017?

And as a re­fresher from the au­thor­i­ties’ own web­site: “The mis­sion of the Of­fice of Cam­paign Fi­nance (OCF) is to reg­u­late and pro­vide pub­lic dis­clo­sure of the con­duct, ac­tiv­i­ties, and fi­nan­cial op­er­a­tions of can­di­dates, po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tees, ex­ploratory com­mit­tees, tran­si­tion, in­au­gu­ral, le­gal de­fense com­mit­tees, and con­stituent ser­vice and state­hood fund pro­grams to en­sure pub­lic trust in the in­tegrity of the elec­tion process and gov­ern­ment ser­vice.”

In other words, the Of­fice of Cam­paign Fi­nance is the self-pro­claimed watch­dog.

The ques­tion then is this: Who is watch­ing the dogs?

Thanks for your time and con­sid­er­a­tion, Mr. Racine.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

D.C. res­i­dents are ask­ing for D.C. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Karl Racine to in­ves­ti­gate charges against the mayor.

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