In Mayoral Forum, Candidates Clash Over Outside Income

The Democratic mayoral nominee in the District of Columbia says her closest challenger isn't suitable for the office because of his temperament and his former employment with a city contractor.

D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser went on the attack against independent D.C. Councilmember David Catania in a debate Wednesday hosted by The Washington Post and News4. 

Bowser said Catania is known for "belittling staff, belittling the public,'' and she said that reflects poor judgment rather than leadership. Catania said he ruffles feathers because he goes after entrenched interests.

Bowser also said Catania's former job with city contractor M.C. Dean gave the appearance of "pay to play.'' Catania said he recused himself from all votes involving his former employer and that his work gave him valuable private-sector experience that Bowser lacks.

"People think it’s a local vendor but it’s a multinational with 30 offices and 3,000 employees around the world and I was a senior executive and I never involved myself in city contracts nor did I participate in any discussions or pick up the phone on behalf of a client," Catania said. "What it did give me though is real-world experience something miss bowser lacks in terms of what it’s like to get up every day and keep 3,000 [people employed]."

Bowser then responded, saying she came to D.C. Council with 10 years experience in local government.

"I've worked hand in hand with communities, that’s why I’m known as working across lines to bring people together," she said.

As the argument settled down, Schwartz handed Catania a notecard and said, "I just have a thank you note here that I wanted to give you on behalf of the residents of D.C.  for making $240,000 a year for all those years working at M.C. Dean."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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