Wilson Hammers Williams on ethics.(METROPOLITAN)

Article excerpt


The Rev. Willie Wilson yesterday attacked the character and credibility of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, talking tough about the incumbent's record and lack of attention to the needs of poor residents in the District.

Mr. Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church at 1225 W St. SE, said he wants to make Mr. Williams' ethics and integrity a major issue of the campaign. He said he also will draw attention to the mayor's apparent "lack of sensitivity" for residents living east of the Anacostia River.

"The mayor may have a solid record of financial accomplishments in the city, but he's forgotten about the people, especially the poor people," Mr. Wilson told WTTG-TV (FOX 5) in a morning interview.

Mr. Wilson on Monday announced his decision to run for mayor as a write-in candidate in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. He demonized the mayor for his close ties to business and affluent residents in the District.

And he hammered Mr. Williams at a press conference on the closure of D.C. General Hospital, the proposal to move the University of the District of Columbia to Southeast, and on countermanding a D.C. Council decision to put more police on the street.

Meanwhile, Mr. Williams continued his weeks-long effort to win support for his write-in campaign, glad-handing with local businessmen and attending meet-and-greets with city residents. He met with seniors in the Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase neighborhoods and at UDC.

He defended his record of financial security for the city, downtown investment, and investment in neighborhoods throughout the District. He also discussed his view of the new hot topic in the election since Mr. Wilson announced his candidacy - race relations.

"This whole thing about 'is the mayor black enough' has gone on long enough. The last time I checked I was black," Mr. Williams said on WAMU (89.3 FM).

"If I wasn't the mayor and wearing a bow tie, I would have trouble getting a cab and starting my own business," he said.

The mayor has declined to debate solely with Mr. Wilson, but he told WAMU he would debate if all other candidates were involved.

The mayor also addressed unemployment disparities between Wards 3 and 8. He said during the next four years - if elected - he will work to develop a "job production trust fund" much like the housing trust fund the city started earlier this year. …