Remembering George Herbert Walker Bush

Our 41st President George H W Bush passed away on November 30th, 2018 at the age of 94. We mourn the loss to this world and rejoice in his life. President Bush was a man devoted to the Lord, to his family, and to his country. And his commitment to public life was second to none: A war hero. A two-term congressman. Ambassador to the United Nations and China. Chairman of Our 41st President George H W Bush passed away last evening at the age of 94. We mourn the loss to this world and rejoice in his life. President Bush was a man devoted to the Lord, to his family, and to his country. And his commitment to public life was second to none: A war hero. A two-term congressman. Ambassador to the United Nations and China. Chairman of the Republican National Committee. CIA director. Vice president. President.

As a World War II naval aviator, he was the last combat veteran to hold the office of President. And as a skilled diplomat and world leader, Mr. Bush helped end four decades of Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a nuanced handling of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe.

The District of Columbia Republican Party offers our condolences to the entire Bush family, which has lost both their patriarch and their matriarch this year. Our prayers are with you.

We thank you, President Bush, for inspiring generations of Americans to ignite the thousand points of light you saw as illuminating American greatness, hope and opportunity. Thank you for a life of service to this country, Mr. President.the Republican National Committee. CIA director. Vice president. President.

As a World War II naval aviator, he was the last combat veteran to hold the office of President. And as a skilled diplomat and world leader, Mr. Bush helped end four decades of Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a nuanced handling of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe.

The District of Columbia Republican Party offers our condolences to the entire Bush family, which has lost both their patriarch and their matriarch this year. Our prayers are with you.

We thank you, President Bush, for inspiring generations of Americans to ignite the thousand points of light you saw as illuminating American greatness, hope and opportunity. Thank you for a life of service to this country, Mr. President.

DC GOP: Overturn Job-Killing Initiative 77

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 1, 2018

WASHINGTON - The DC Republican Committee issued the following statement on the eve of the DC Council's vote to repeal Initiative 77:

José Cunningham, Chairman of the DC Republican Committee, noted, "The DC GOP fiercely advocated against Initiative 77 well before the June 2018 partisan primary election. We listened to DC tipped workers and local restaurant owners and observed the extremely confusing language national special interest groups placed on the ballot. Today, we feel no different. Initiative 77 is a bad policy that hurts our workers and restaurants alike. If Initiative 77 takes effect, restaurants will undoubtedly close and workers will lose jobs."

Cunningham continued, "Unlike some members of the DC Council, we will not abandon the local employees and small businesses in the restaurant industry. The June vote on poorly worded Initiative 77 clearly does not reflect the will of people. It reflects the will of an extremely minuscule population of – predominately Democratic – voters. Of the 479,723 registered DC voters, less than 18% voted on the initiative. Of those voters, approximately 95% were registered Democrats. In a city where 24% of our registered voters are not Democrats, the numbers show that the voters during the partisan primary were not representative of DC. They were only representative of a small faction of the Democratic Party."

"Non-affiliated voters - who never vote in primaries - were most disenfranchised by this vote," added Cunningham. "The District of Columbia should never again place a ballot initiative on a primary ballot meant for the selection of party nominees. Because the District of Columbia is a continual laboratory for national special interest groups, there must be better checks on such initiatives that kill local jobs and crush small independent businesses. A vote not to overturn Initiative 77 will mean a continued path to national franchises, chains, and automation, while independent eateries only locate in more affluent parts of the city. Not everyone can afford a $9 beer paired with a $20 salad. Those prices will only go up unless Initiative 77 is halted."

"The DC Council should do the right thing on Tuesday and vote to repeal Initiative 77."

For further information, contact José Cunningham at José.Cunningham@DCGOP.com. The DC Republican Committee is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members.

DC GOP Responds to Washington Post Article on Trayon White

Washington, DC – Jose Cunningham, the Chairman of the District of Columbia Republican Party,  released the following statement in response to a May 6th story in the Washington Post detailing DC Democrats failure to take strong action against recent anti-Semitic remarks voiced by Councilmember Trayon White:

Washington residents continue to wait for meaningful action against Trayon White. Nowhere have we heard Democrats on the DC Council, or Democratic Party leadership, draw a firm line in the sand against bigotry and hated. Rather, we’ve only received lukewarm comments meant to ensure that one of their own is not held accountable. It’s wrong, but not surprising. 

The fact is that one party control of DC government means that the ruling Democratic Party doesn’t have to take action to protect citizens against people like Councilmember White because there is no one to hold them accountable. DC deserves better especially at a time when incidents of anti-Semitic activity have skyrocketed.  

Where is the Democratic chorus calling for White’s resignation? Where are the Democratic calls for tolerance? Where are the Democratic measures to reassure the Jewish community that they are safe from their own elected officials who preach hate and intolerance? The silence is deafening. 

Contact: John Fluharty, 202-251-9094

DC GOP to Congress: "Enforce DC Home Rule Charter"

The Honorable Trey Gowdy, Chairman

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U. S. House of Representatives

2157 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Gowdy,

The leadership of the Republican Party of the District of Columbia herewith formally petitions the U. S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate an oversight investigation regarding a major provision of the DC Home Rule Charter.

As enacted, the Charter reserves two at-large Council seats for nonmajority party candidates. The specific language holds that "At no time shall there be more than three members (including the Chairman) serving at-large on the Council who are affiliated with the same political party." D.C. Code § 1- 204.01 (d)(3).

It was the intent of Congress that this provision would enable candidates of various recognized political parties to run successfully for these at-large Council seats. Indeed, in the first years of Home Rule, D. C. Republicans held at least one of these seats and did actually hold two seats at one time.

However, in recent years this process has been perverted by Democrats changing their registration to "No Party" and running as "Independents" even though there is no recognized "Independent Party" in the District of Columbia.

See Jonetta Rose Barras, D.C.'s Democrats in 'independent' clothing, THE WASHINGTON POST (Apr. 17, 2014). The D.C. Courts have refused to intervene on the grounds that the Board of Elections should not "embark on a largely standardless quest to determine a candidate's 'actual' allegiance by examining his day-to-day 'associations' with one party or another." Kobe! v. D.C. Bd. of Elections & Ethics. 962 A.2d 919, 921-22 (D.C. 2008).

D.C. Democratic Party leaders maintain this provision was made a part of the Home Rule Charter solely on the insistence of U. S. House Republicans. NOT SO! Indeed, the strongest advocates for minority party representation were U. S. House District of Columbia Committee Democratic members Brock Adams (D-WA) and Donald Fraser (D-MN). The provision was supported by testimony from the League of Women Voters and numerous civil rights leaders, including Joseph Rauh of Americans for Democratic Action. Advocates cited one party rule as potentially fostering corrupt and inefficient government. Examples of corruption in big U. S. cities with one party governments were specifically mentioned at the time. During hearings on the Home Rule charter there was also discussion of how selected state legislatures, county commissions, and city councils have established electoral procedures that ensure minority party representation.

D.C. Democratic party leaders also contend that the provision is unconstitutional. NOT SO I The U. S. Supreme Court has held otherwise. See Hechinger v. Martin, 429 U.S. 1030 (1977).

Research and documentation on the Minority Party Representation provision of the D. C. Home Rule Charter legislation is available from Nelson Rimensnyder, of the New Columbia Archives. Mr. Rimensnyder is an active member of the D. C. Republican Party and served from 1971 - 1974 as a government analyst with the Congressional Research Service, providing research to the U. S. House Committee on the District of Columbia during the drafting of the Home Rule Charter. He has first-hand knowledge of the discussion, debate and adoption of the minority party representation provision and has written a legislative history of it.

As part of a Committee investigation of the matter, it might be helpful to request assistance from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the Congressional Research Service and the U. S. Office of Government Accountability to make recommendations on language amending the Home Rule Charter to ensure that the spirit and intent of the minority party representation provision is respected and observed. As stated in a plank from the 2016 National Republican Party Platform supporting the D. C. Republican Party's request: "We call for congressional action to enforce the spirit of the Home Rule Act, assuring minority (party) representation on the City Council."

 

Sincerely,

 

Jose Cunningham, Chairman of the District of Columbia Republican Party

Robert Kabel, District of Columbia Republican Party National Committeeman

Jill Homan, District of Columbia Republican Party National Committeewoman

cc: The Honorable Mark Meadows, Chairman, Subcommittee of the Government Operations Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Remembering Barbara Bush

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WASHINGTON - The DC Republican Party issued the following statement on the passing of former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush:

José Cunningham, Chairman of the DC Republican Party, noted, "The DC GOP joins the nation in mourning the loss of a national treasure.  Our prayers are with the entire Bush family at the passing of their beloved Barbara Bush, who dedicated her life to helping others.  Americans of all political persuasions were touched by Mrs. Bush's dignity, grace, and life of extraordinary public service.

In her now-famous address for the 1990 Commencement at Wellesley College, she reminded graduates to treasure their human connections above worldly concerns:  'At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.'

And at the end of her life, Barbara Bush had no cause for regret.  Indeed, she gave her family and all Americans a lifetime worth celebrating.

Rest in peace, Barbara Bush.  You leave a substantial legacy and you will be missed."

In Memoriam of Bulbul Howard

It is my lamentable duty to inform you that Bulbul Howard, our fellow active Republican, friend, and wife of now deceased stalwart DC GOP member, Bob, died on April 10, 2018.

Bulbul was born on November 21, 1932 in Calcutta and raised in Delhi, India.  After receiving degrees from the University of Delhi, she moved to England in the 1950s, where she received her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Oxford University, and where she met Bob.  They moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was on the faculty of The Winchester-Thurston School before they moved to the District of Columbia in 1960.  She was on the faculty of the National Cathedral School prior to raising her three children.  She was active in our local party for many years and she also worked in the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice.  Anyone who knew Bulbul knows she was devoted to her family and that her passions included cooking and gardening.

Bulbul served the DC GOP as Treasurer, on the Executive Committee and on the Budget Committee.  Ward 3 residents will remember Bulbul as a very active Ward Chair.  In 2010 Betsy Werronen, Tony Parker, and Bob Kabel awarded both Bulbul and Bob the DC GOP Lifetime Achievement Award.  Thiers, indeed, was a lifetime of achievements.  We will miss them both.

Bulbul and Bob were amazing people and a devoted couple.  I will never forget that they were always together; both fiercely independent, yet equal partners.  Bulbul and Bob were married for nearly 60 years and Bob died last year.  Bulbul is survived by her three children, Nina Regan (Bill) of McLean, VA, Nicholas Howard (Catherine) of London, UK and Sarah Howard (Dan Ezrow) of Washington, DC; and six grandchildren, Emma Regan of Berkeley, CA, Anna Regan of McLean, VA, Jonathan, William, and Sophia Howard of London, UK and Alexandra Ezrow of Washington, DC.

A joint memorial service for Bulbul and Bob will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Woodley House or the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys in Washington, DC.  Please go to www.woodleyhouse.org/ and www.bishopwalkerschool.org/ for further information.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Howard family.

DC Government Employees Ethics Class

WASHINGTON – The DC Republican Party issued the following statement in response to a Washington Post article reporting disgraced former Councilmember Michael Brown’s agreement to teach twelve ethics classes to DC Government Employees:

José Cunningham, Chairman of the DC Republican Party, noted, “While we applaud efforts to reform the criminal justice system, it is highly suspect that Michael Brown is teaching DC Government employees ethics classes. Surely, there must be some other way that Mr. Brown can finish serving his time. He has done much harm to the District of Columbia not only to its government, but as to how it is perceived by outsiders.”

He continued, “What’s next? Harriette Walters teaches bookkeeping to DC Office of Tax and Revenue Employees? Former Councilmember Harry Thomas provides Serve DC employees with best nonprofit management practices? Or how about about former DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown teams with the DC Office of Campaign Finance to teach candidates best practices in campaign expenditure filing and reporting?”

Former Councilmember Brown was only recently released from Federal custody. He admitted to accepting $55,000 in cash bribes from FBI agents in 2013.

Cunningham added, “Being DC, some things may never change, but we hope the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability reconsiders this troubling agreement. Sure, he did his time, but Michael Brown is not an appropriate ethics instructor of DC government employees given the great harm he has done to the District of Columbia government and its residents.”

For further information, contact Patrick Mara at Patrick.Mara@dcgop.com. The DC Republican Committee is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members.

DC GOP to Congress: "Provide Oversight"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2017

WASHINGTON – Last week, the D.C. Council released a report prepared by the Committee on Transportation and the Environment on its investigation into possible corruption, contract rigging, favoritism and wrongful terminations involving the Department of General Services, senior officials within the Executive Office of the Mayor and Mayor Muriel Bowser. The allegations involve a city contractor who is a political donor and has been previously barred from District contracting as a result of a bribery scandal.

The findings in the report are troubling, but so too are statements and actions by Council members and the mayor.

First, Councilmember Mary Cheh, who chairs the Committee on Transportation and the Environment and led the investigation, stated on the record that other Council members “materially diluted the findings” of the committee’s investigation. [1]

Second, D.C. City Administrator Rashad Young sought to have testimony about a contractor at the center of the investigation kept from the public. [2]

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Mayor Bowser said that her administration will not investigate any of the allegations raised in the report, including that a city official leaked confidential bidding information to a contractor who ultimately won a lucrative contract. [3]

The DC GOP has been a stalwart advocate for District autonomy and non-interference in local matters from Congress.

However, given the seriousness of the allegations raised in the report and, most significantly, actions taken by elected officials to dilute the findings of the report, the City Administrator’s attempted cover-up, and Mayor Bowser’s unwillingness to investigate these matters, the DC GOP is calling on Congress to do what too many of our elected officials have demonstrated that they will not do themselves: conduct proper, honest and thorough oversight of District government.

Specifically, the DC GOP is calling on Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to conduct a formal inquiry into this matter and bring District officials to Capitol Hill for testimony under oath.

At the same time, the DC GOP is calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia to immediately launch an investigation.

Timeliness is of the essence in that evidence of a coverup has already emerged.

The DC GOP is an advocate for honest and ethical government. We believe that District officials must conduct themselves with the utmost integrity and adherence to law.

The DC GOP has never before called on Congress or the Justice Department to investigate District government or our elected officials. We are greatly disappointed in and outraged at District officials who stymie investigative work, stonewall and refuse to investigate potential serious crimes.

[1] Cheh made this statement during a D.C. Council hearing on June 14, 2017. The subject of the hearing was a vote to determine whether or not the report would be released. Video: http://media-07.granicus.com:443/OnDemand/dc/dc_5b638f3a-b8df-48ce-ab94-9e2b5855d8c7.mp4 As reported by Patrick Madden, WAMU news: https://twitter.com/Patrick_Madden/status/875059861675016192

[2] As reported by Aaron Davis, Washington Post: https://twitter.com/byaaroncdavis/status/875353094602854401 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-council-report-bowser-administration-favored-top-donor-in-contracting/2017/06/14/5799a712-5134-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html

[3] Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/bowser-says-she-will-not-investigate-evidence-of-illegal-leak-in-contracting-process/2017/06/15/41ee2b56-51f5-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html

DC GOP Outraged at Rigging of DC School Lottery

WASHINGTON – The DC Republican Party issued the following statement in response to a Washington Postarticle on DC officials providing preferential treatment in the school lottery process:

José Cunningham, Chairman of the DC Republican Party, noted, “It is an outrage that officials in our local government are pulling strings to leapfrog others in what is supposed to be an impartial school lottery process. The Mayor and the various city officials involved must apologize to the residents of the District of Columbia immediately. Period.”

He continued, “Further, let’s release the full contents of the Inspector General’s report now. The report does not contain matters of national security and parents deserve to know what exactly went wrong. Obviously, this must never happen again and protections must be put in place to prevent unethical manipulation of the school lottery by those in power.”

“Finally, what is extremely disheartening here is that the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity chose to pull strings to get her child into a Capitol Hill School. This is exactly why residents East of the River and across the city deserve more opportunities and choices in their educational options.”

For further information, contact Patrick Mara at Patrick.Mara@dcgop.com. The DC Republican Party Committee is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members.

Testimony on the "Primary Date Alteration Act of 2017"

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 123

Washington, DC 20004

 

Lars H. Hydle

DC Republican Committee Member Chairman, 2016 DC Republican Party Platform Committee

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify before you today on this legislation to change the date of the 2018 District of Columbia Primary. I would like to thank Chairman Allen for holding this public hearing to listen to all sides. My name is Lars H. Hydle. I am here on behalf of the DC Republican Committee as a longtime member and as past Chairman of the 2016 DC Republican Party Platform Committee. Our Executive Director, Patrick Mara, is unable to attend today as he is tasked with picking up his child from a DC Public School.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am here today to voice the DC Republican Committee’s support for Bill 22-0197, the “Primary Date Alteration Amendment Act of 2017.” The legislation received the approval of both the Executive Committee and the General Membership of the DC Republican Committee. Members of our party agree that it is essential that those District of Columbia residents stationed overseas who are veterans, Foreign Service professionals or otherwise situated in a foreign country deserve the right to fully vote in our elections. As a former Foreign Service Officer often stationed overseas, I cannot stress enough the importance of allowing overseas District residents the opportunity to participate in our democracy.

I also want to take the opportunity to encourage the DC Council to reach out to the DC Republican Committee in advance of the 2020 election cycle. As you know, the late June 2016 city primary and the earlier than usual Republican National Convention (July 2016). forced DC Republicans to hold our own stand-alone primary separate from the city in March 2016. While we had thousands who participated in our primary we were forced to organize it at great expense. In addition, security concerns made us hold the event at a private venue. Obviously, elections held at individual precincts would increase participation.  A Presidential primary planned in a bipartisan fashion would allow us to maximize participation in the primaries and highlight the District of Columbia at a national level. Please reach out to us in advance of the 2020 election cycle so that we can work together.

As I mentioned earlier, I was the Chairman of the DC GOP 2016 Platform Committee. As part of our local Platform we called for nonpartisan elections in DC. Of the thirty most populous cities in the United States (DC is number 27), twenty-two hold nonpartisan elections. Only eight cities including DC hold partisan elections. The DC GOP hopes the DC Council, the Mayor and the U.S. Congress would consider nonpartisan elections in the District of Columbia. Nonpartisan elections would provide a greater diversity of viewpoints within our local government and would likely expedite any solution to DC’s lack of Congressional representation.

Our 2016 platform also called for transferring the power to redistrict Ward council seats from the Council itself to an independent body.

Again, thank you for holding this informative hearing. We support the bill.

Lars H. Hydle

larshhydle@aol.com

202-333-4970

Majority of DC Council Opposes Federal Funding for Disadvantaged DC Kids

WASHINGTON – Today the DC Republican Party commended the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for its passage of the SOAR Act. The program provides the District of Columbia with additional federal funding for DC children who attend DC Public Schools, DC Public Charter Schools and some private schools.

DC Republican Party Chairman José Cunningham stated, “On behalf of DC Republicans, I want to thank Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and members of the committee for their approval of SOAR. I also appreciate DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson for supporting SOAR and valuing DC kids over political ideology. I think this is a critical time for education reform in the District of Columbia and funding from the SOAR Act will continue to allow parents to choose the best school for their child regardless of their ability to pay.”

Meanwhile, a majority of members on the DC Council, the District of Columbia’s part-time legislative body, sent a factually inaccurate letter to Chairman Chaffetz asking him to oppose SOAR which includes more federal funding for DC Public Schools ($15 million), DC Public Charter Schools ($15 million) and economically disadvantaged private school students ($15 million). The program provides resources to disadvantaged DC students with a majority of the funds going to DC public schools and DC public charter schools.

DC GOP Executive Director Patrick Mara, noted, “As the parent of a student at a Title I DC public school and a board member at a DC public charter school, I find it highly offensive that a majority of DC councilmembers continually fight to deny additional federal education dollars to DC students. Unfortunately, these folks are focused on national “progressive” causes instead of meaningful education reform in District schools. They love their radical local protests and are willing to rob families of their only opportunity to avoid underperforming schools because they put politics ahead of principle.”

Cunningham added, “As a latino who did not grow up in an affluent household, it deeply troubles me that these eight members of the DC Council oppose funding for disadvantaged minority children. None of them must have a child in a DC Public or DC Public Charter School that could benefit from these additional funds. Obviously, with their six figure part-time DC Council salaries, none would qualify for the private school scholarships. Its infuriating that these politicians oppose a program that helps disadvantaged children avoid the so-called school to prison pipeline.”

For further information, contact Patrick Mara at patrick.mara@dcgop.com. The DC Republican Party Committee is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members.

The DC Republican Party Re-elects Chairman Jose Cunningham

WASHINGTON – The DC Republican Party re-elected José Cunningham as its Chairman at a vote held on Thursday, January 12, at the Capitol Hill Club.

Chairman Cunningham is the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Nixon Peabody LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms providing business and consulting professional services globally. He will serve his second consecutive two year term leading the DC GOP.

Cunningham noted, “Since my first election in January 2015, the DC Republican Party had its most successful election cycle in 12 years. I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past two years and hope to build on this momentum as we head into the 2018 election cycle.” During the 2016 cycle the DC GOP increased the number or Republican Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and elected the first At-Large Republican ever to the DC State Board of Education. Cunningham continued, “DC Republicans will champion small businesses and entrepreneurship; advocate for safer streets; support parental choice in education, and oppose taxes, fees and regulations that stifle growth in the District of Columbia.”

The DC Republican Party also elected a number of other officers to its executive committee. The newly elected officers are: Senior Vice Chairman, Darlene Glymph (Ward 5); Vice Chairman of Political Affairs, Phil Lepanto (Ward 4); Vice Chairman of Membership, Jessie Jane Duff, USMC, Retired (Ward 2); Treasurer, Marya Pickering (Ward 3); and Secretary, Cassandra Baker (Ward 6). Chairman Cunningham resides in Ward 2, between Dupont and Logan Circles.

Cunningham will appoint a number of other members to his executive committee to complement the party’s management team. Cunningham also reappointed Patrick Mara as Executive Director. For further information, contact Patrick Mara. Chairman Cunningham’s complete biography is available upon request.

DC GOP Urges Mayor Bowser to Veto Poorly Vetted Paid Sick Leave Legislation

WASHINGTON – Tuesday, December 6, the DC Council is scheduled to approve the so-called “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016.” The measure creates the most generous repayment program in the nation for those taking leave, with the majority of the benefits going to residents of Maryland and Virginia. Rather than actively overseeing the operation of city programs and services, the DC Council is focusing its efforts on taking revenge upon what they apparently regard as a scourge of the earth: DC small businesses. The DC Republican Party issued the following statement:

DC Republican Party Chairman José Cunningham noted, “This is a sad day for DC small business. The paid sick leave proposal is not grounded in reality and would end up hurting the District and its workers by driving up costs and moving jobs out of the District.The fact that the District’s Chief Financial Officer reported to the DC Council last week stating that ‘funds are not sufficient in the fiscal year 2017 through 2020 budgets and financial plans to implement the bill,’ and that ‘the tax is not sufficient in any given year to cover the start-up and system implementation costs,’ should be enough for the DC Council to pause and send the bill back to the drawing board.”

Of great significance, out-of-state workers will not be taxed. The program is funded by a tax on employers, based on payroll. Nonetheless, out of state workers represent an overwhelming majority of the beneficiaries.

The District’s largest employer, The Federal Government, would not be taxed. As such, the tax burden falls heavily on small businesses and nonprofit organizations. For local charitable organizations, overhead costs will rise but revenue will not. It is inevitable that charitable organizations will need to cut programs that, for example, feed low-income families, house victims of domestic violence, care for the elderly, etc.
The paid sick leave program would be administered by the D.C. government and there is no clear plan for preventing fraud or other forms of abuse, nor are there specific associated penalties.

This legislation is another fine example of the Council passing laws that are burdensome – both financially and logistically – on local businesses. With passage of each of these measures the Council members say “businesses will come to DC, everyone loves it here.” The cumulative effect; however, will eventually reach a critical mass and businesses will be forced to leave the District. Indeed, the Council recognized this by making an unenforceable promise to halt some –not all– new legislative proposals that burden businesses.

The paid sick leave bill was drafted and introduced by the Council’s two most far-left members, Elissa Silverman and David Grosso. They take their marching orders from left-wing think tanks and use Washington, DC as a laboratory for left-wing experiments. Even the left-leaning Washington Post agrees with this assessment. As Washington Post Columnist Colbert King recently noted in reference to the paid leave measure, “Architects of progressive ideas in think tanks are celebrating victories scored in their legislative laboratory, the DC Council.”

Coming at the outset of a new Republican-controlled term in Congress and the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump, the measure unnecessarily creates tension between DC and the 100% Republican controlled federal government. The timing could not be worse. This is the time for the District to work cooperatively with the federal government, while simultaneously maintaining its autonomy. Compromise will not come about by catering to the extreme left and rushing proposals through the Council before the new President and new Congress are sworn in. The Council, as well as Mayor Bowser if she signs this bill, are putting future relations with Congress and President Donald Trump at risk.

DC Republican Party executive Director Patrick Mara, added, “Unfortunately, the DC Council views the District as their social laboratory to test massive social programs. The stakeholder input they receive apart from labor unions and national social policy groups is minimal. They simply do not care what others think. Sadly, this boondoggle will impose great cost and unduly burden on small businesses and the average DC resident.”
The DC GOP urges Mayor Bowser to veto the poorly vetted Paid Sick Leave legislation and commits to working with her to build a cooperative relationship with the new Congress and President-elect Trump.

For further information or comments, contact Patrick Mara at Patrick.Mara@dcgop.com.

DC GOP Marks Most Successful Election Cycle in Over a Decade

WASHINGTON – Tuesday, November 8, marked the achievement of the most successful election cycle for the DC Republican Party in more than a decade. The DC Republican Party issued the following statement:

DC Republican Party Chairman José Cunningham noted, “We are very pleased our candidates performed so well at all levels in the District. When our current leadership took the reins of the DC GOP in early 2015 our profile in the District was poor and our financial condition unacceptable. The party was approximately $40,000 in debt and our only elected Republican stepped down from the DC State Board of Education upon completion of his term. Over the last two years the DC GOP invested considerable time recruiting candidates and rebuilding our campaign infrastructure. With last night’s results we have laid the foundation for growth and future success.” A review of preliminary DC Board of Elections results confirms the following:

DC Council, At-Large, Candidate Carolina Celnik outperformed the previous Republican nominee by more than 200%. Cunningham added, “Carolina ran an outstanding and credible campaign during a very difficult election cycle.”

Ashley Carter became the second Republican ever elected to the DC State Board of Education and the first to win the citywide At-Large seat. Carter is also the second Republican to defeat a Democratic incumbent.

A cursory analysis of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) candidates indicates an increase in the number of elected Republicans by 20-30%

Cunningham stated, “We’re proud of these results and thank the voters of the District of Columbia for their confidence in and support of our candidates. On to 2018!”

For further information or comments, contact Patrick Mara at Patrick.Mara@dcgop.com.

The DC Republican Party Committee is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members.