Will Kwame Brown Scandal Hurt DC's Chances For Statehood

9:38 PM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)--Is the Kwame Brown scandal giving the District yet another black eye and creating a roadblock in its pursuit of statehood?

Earlier this week, a Utah Republican said it was hard for city leaders to ask for more autonomy when "so many people keep getting indicted."

But most people with whom we spoke feel like Congress can readily distinguish between alleged corruption involving one politician and a city of 600,000 residents.

"I have to tell you I had the most gratifying and relieving conversations yesterday with the two chairmen who have responsibility for the District of Columbia. They could not have been more gracious. Of course, they're friends of mine, but it turns out they're friends of the District too," said D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

She described her talks with the House committee and subcommittee chairmen with jurisdiction over the District of Columbia.

"They do not make that infamous link between elected officials who misbehave and the 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia. We've got a lot of problems. Don't make our problems worse by heaping on us the sins of others," said Norton.

"Beyond the Beltway, anything like this hurts. I wish I could say that this was the first time we had seen any sort of indictment in the District, but sadly, it isn't.  So any time any news like this hits, it obviously doesn't do anything to make our image better," said Nick Jeffress, of the DC Republican Party.

That being said, DC's Republican Party stops just short of supporting DC Statehood.

"We do support budget autonomy in the District as well as a vote in the House of Representatives," said Jeffress.

Delegate Norton pointed out that the District is in good shape financially and in the last census, DC's population actually grew by 50, 000 residents. A lot of American cities are staying the same or losing residents.

Written by Andrea McCarren



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