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OPINION

The home of democracy?

Visitors to Washington for the IMF/World Bank meetings might be perplexed by the recurrent mention by their hosts of one Anthony Williams. Williams is DC's mayor but perhaps not for much longer.


He's up for re-election but an electoral scandal has seriously endangered his chances.


Anyone wanting to participate in the election for a particular party must collect sufficient signatures from voters registered for that party. Two of Williams' workers, father-and-son team Scott Bishops senior and junior, evidently weren't too happy at the prospect of seeking out the 2,000 required. So it seems they improvised, apparently fabricating signatures - thousands of them. The two men have been referred for prosecution.


The forgeries came to light when checkers noticed that page after page of signatures appeared to have been written in the same handwriting. On closer inspection they noticed that Williams enjoyed support from a wide range of individuals. Kelsey Grammer, star of TV comedy series Frasier, had his name on the petition. Another apparently offering support for Democrat Williams was ultra-conservative secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld.


UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and UK prime minister Tony Blair also pledged support.





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