WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign somehow gained access to a database of public housing residents that may have been used to maximize get-out-the-vote efforts, information that it should not have had, The Washington Post reported Sunday night.
From the Post:
It is unclear who assembled the list or how the campaign got it, but two campaign workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of an ongoing federal investigation, said it was used in the final week before the Democratic primary election to register residents and get voters to the polls. The workers said the tenant roster was a tool used to target people the Gray campaign thought would support him over then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
The D.C. Housing Authority told the Post it did not release the information and would not release it even if it came through a public records request. Gray (D) told the Post that he did not know his campaign had such a list. The mayor's son, Carlos, who works for the Housing Authority, denied knowledge of the database.
As the Examiner notes, the embattled mayor "is beginning another week on defense," a familiar spot for a man who has faced calls to step down, cratering poll numbers all amid an ongoing federal investigation where three people connected to the campaign have been charged and pleaded guilty.
Gray has not been charged with a crime and has resisted calls to resign in recent weeks, saying that the federal investigation should run its course. The D.C. Council's interim chairman, Phil Mendelson (D), has said that calls for the mayor to resign are at this point premature. If Gray were to leave office early, Mendelson would become mayor.
In the meantime, the mayor's public schedule has been jam-packed with official city business, trumpeted by numerous press releases from his office.
But as The New York Times noted this weekend:
Even as he proceeds with ribbon-cuttings and official announcements, however, Mr. Gray’s 18-month-old administration has all but come undone under the weight of criminal charges against supporters who helped him get elected, leaving this scandal-weary city in political limbo.
The mayor has not publicly discussed the ongoing scandal in any great detail, citing the sensitivities of the federal investigation.
On Monday, the mayor is scheduled to offer remarks at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as part of the International AIDS Conference's Global Village.