Batchelor Defends Brown
Markus Batchelor, the first vice president of the Ward 8 Democratic Committee, didn't agree with a Sat., June 16 resolution passed by his organization criticizing the D.C. Council regarding his boss, D.C. Council member and Chairman Pro Tempore Michael Brown (I-At-Large).
Brown, 46, received the thumbs up from D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D). The brouhaha ensued when D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At-Large) contested Brown's selection as second in-command, on the grounds that a Democrat should hold the pro tempore's position. Brown happens to be an independent even though his father, the late Ronald Brown, served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and is the only black to have led the U.S. Commerce Department.
"I think who I work for is irrelevant to the Ward 8 Democrats," said Batchelor, who works as an intern in Brown's office. "I work hard for the party and when I am in the [John A.] Wilson Building, I work for the government."
The defining section of the resolution states "that the Ward Eight Democrats, Inc., request that the D.C. Democratic State Committee convenes as soon as possible a convocation of Democratic Party grassroots registrants, organizational leaders and public elected officials to answer the question 'What is a Democrat?'"
Batchelor, 19, served as a former youth mayor of the District and currently attends George Washington University in Northwest. He's a political science major. Batchelor's considered a rising political star in Ward 8 Democratic circles and his election as first vice president on the ticket with the Rev. Joyce Scott as president and former D.C. Council member Sandy Allen as the second vice president in September 2011 is viewed by political observers as a first step toward the start of his political career.
However, Batchelor was out-voted by his running mates Scott and Allen, who both supported the resolution condemning the D.C. Council's vote for Brown. D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) supported the resolution along with other Ward 8 Democratic heavyweights such as Philip Pannell, James Bunn, Mary Cuthbert, Anthony Muhammad and Charles Wilson.
Batchelor, however, remains undeterred.
"My loyalty is to the Democratic Party and where I work is irrelevant," he said.
Barry Hires Veteran Media Personality
D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has hired Ward 5 resident LaToya Foster as his press secretary. Foster's no stranger to D.C. politics and said she's excited about working with the former four-term mayor.
"Who doesn't want to work for the 'mayor for life'," Foster asked. "He is a champion for the people."
Foster has had several shows on WOL-AM radio, including "Handle Your Business," that aired from May 2006-August 2008 on Sunday evenings, with Washington Informer reporter James Wright as a political contributor and analyst.
She also served as the lead host of the television show "In the Know," a weekly program that was broadcast on cable television on Saturday evenings and on WJLA-Channel 7 on Sunday afternoons. The program featured interviews with the city and nation's top political and business leaders, along with a spirited political discussion with journalists Hamil Harris of The Washington Post and former Washington Informer editor Sonsyrea Tate-Montgomery.
She has also hosted "Live at 5" and "Washington Insider" radio shows on WOL-AM. Foster is a graduate of Eastern High School in Northeast and has worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation as an international trade specialist.
Barry's controversial comments don't present a problem for Foster.
"It is an honor and a privilege to work for such an extraordinary human being," she said. "He is the best D.C. council member."