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Taking note . . .

Observations about public affairs in the nation’s capital
by the editor of The Common Denominator

MISGUIDED POLITICS: In a city filled with political talent, it's unfortunate that the District's local political party organizations — and we use that term lightly — can never seem to get their act together. The disorganization and lack of leadership within the District's dominant Democratic Party is especially apparent in this major election year, as party leaders again pit Democrat vs. Democrat in a mad quest to anoint favorites and influence the party faithful's primary vote.

Few among the local Democratic leadership seem to understand that the party is supposed to provide education, mentoring and support to all of its candidates equally. The party's registered members then can make an informed choice on primary election day to nominate their party's candidates for elective office in the general election.

A party primary is supposed to be the alternative to holding a party nominating convention. In the District, some factions of the Democratic Party seem to think it's a good idea to divide and conquer within one's own organization by holding both. Why else would local ward organizations endorse one Democrat over another before the party's own primary?

In other places, political party leaders would be spending much of their pre-primary time recruiting precinct workers to sign up new voters for their party's candidates and working on get-out-the-vote efforts for election day. In D.C., the nuts and bolts of the democratic process — with a lowercase "D" — don't seem to be a priority for political leaders.

Perhaps that void in educating the public about the importance of their participation in the political process — and the failure of local political leaders to recognize that function as part of their role — is one of the reasons that Congress continues to think that D.C.'s brand of democracy is not ready for prime time.

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES: Some of our readers have expressed concern about The Common Denominator's failure to publish its previous two scheduled print editions. The paper's chronic undercapitalization and growing debt continue to make publication a struggle. While almost daily publication has continued on our web site ( in the interim, our online edition fails to produce significant income to support The Common Denominator's business operations. We are seeking investors to help restructure the company's debt and provide working capital to both survive and build on our eight-year history of award-winning reporting and community service. Interested parties may get details by contacting Editor and Publisher Kathy Sinzinger at (202) 722-6397 or

Copyright 2006 The Common Denominator