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Loose Lips Daily: Meet the New Boss Edition

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Hello, sweet readers, and welcome to the first Loose Lips Daily of the Alan Suderman era. LL is eager to drag you along with him through the wonderful world of D.C. politics, and trusts you'll soon enough be asking yourself, "DeBonis who?"


How about that Paul the Octopus oracle, who correctly predicted eight out of eight World Cup games, including Spain becoming champs yesterday. LL has an idea: Let's pass the hat and pay for Paul to predict the winner of this year's mayoral race so the rest of us can relax until September? No? Okay, let's get to it then.

Trouble on the Home Front: The Post's Nikita Stewart takes the pulse of Mayor Adrian Fenty's home turf, Ward 4, and finds discontentment a'bloomin'. Stewarts talks to Ethel Delaney Lee, the "matriarch of modern Ward 4 politics," who has thrown her support behind D.C. Councilman Vince Gray, after feeling ignored by Fenty. "The cellphone that I had for him, someone always answered for him," said Delaney Lee, 84, of North Portal Estates. "I wrote a letter... I never heard a word. Now, the mayor says he never received the letter and says he wishes he had." Money grafs: "Nowhere does Fenty have more to lose than in Ward 4. Conventional wisdom and political tarot readers have wards 5, 7 and 8 potentially in Gray's column. Fenty would win wards 1, 2 and 3. They would split Ward 6. That clears they way for the mayor's former epicenter of popularity to become the battleground in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary." ... "The ward's word-of-mouth work helped Fenty become mayor almost four years ago. This time, it's hurting him. Former Fenty supporters who back Gray recount personal insults and lament laid-off or transferred city employees. The mayor's supporters apologize for their candidate."

AFTER THE JUMP:Vincent Gray fundraiser in Georgetown; Nickles fights back; school's in!

Show Me the Money: A Post editorial gives Gray a slight tap on the hiney for having an education platform that is so ambitious "that it is hard to discern what are his priorities and, more significant, how he would pay for them." The Posties give credit to Gray for his focus on charter schools but take him to task for past meddling and unilateral actions as council chairman. "Most disappointing is the absence of any detail on what his proposals would cost or how—other than a vague promise of savings in special education—he would pay for them. It's easy to promise comprehensive pre-natal-to-toddler programs for families with special-needs children, more resources for charter schools or a doubling of school guidance counselors. Coming up with money, particularly in these tough fiscal times, is an entirely different matter."

Shut Your Hole and Know Your Role: The Examiner's Jonetta Rose Barras takes the D.C. Council to task for their meddlesome ways, affirming Nickles' assessment that they act like "mini-mayors." Barras singles out At-Large Councilman Michael Brown for proposing legislation that would mandate field trips for public school students. "Rather than just gripe about the problem, I offer this cure for the mini-mayor-micromanaging syndrome: less time in the John A. Wilson Building. After all, the job of council member is, by law, part-time—except for the chairman. Many legislatures hold clearly defined legislative sessions—sometimes spanning just 90 or 120 days. The city could follow suit. If there was an emergency, the chairman could call a special meeting." LL doesn’t need an octopus to predict the odds of that happening.

Anger Makes the Money Flow: The Georgetown Dish's Molly Redden covered Gray's Georgetown fundraiser Friday. Redden's take: Even among many of the avid Gray supporters at the ornate reception hall of the City Tavern Club, there were bitter feelings about Fenty that were as strong as the feelings for the man of the hour. There can't be any doubt any more—this election seems more and more like a referendum on Fenty's (un)likableness. Admirable as he may be for his "maturity" and "character"—words many used to describe him—Gray, it seems, scores extra points simply because he isn't his despised opponent.

'Cause I Say So: Nickles has fired back against the complaint Robert Vinson Brannum filed against schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Refresher from The Examiner's Leah Fabel: "The complaint was filed with the city's Office of Campaign Finance in June by Robert Vinson Brannum, a reliable Rhee antagonist and president of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations. It charges that Rhee violated city law and standards of conduct when she "solicited or accepted private funding to support certain provisions of" the school system's contract, passed in late June by the D.C. Council. The $1.4 billion contract, which is partially funded by nearly $65 million in private donations from four foundations, grants teachers a 22 percent salary raise through 2012, retroactive to 2007. It also lays the foundation for teachers to be paid large bonuses depending on their successes in the classroom. The Office of Campaign Finance deemed Brannum's complaint worrisome enough to open an investigation in early June." Nickles called the complaint "baseless." Bill Turque reports that Rhee told the District's Office of Campaign Finance on Friday that she gained nothing financially from the private foundations that are underwriting part of the new teachers contract, nor did she have anything to do with a provision allowing donors to reconsider their support if DCPS leadership changed hands.

School's In: The Post's Stephanie Lee checks in with the District's new community college. The Community College of the District of Columbia, which split from UDC, has seen its enrollment jump from 960 in the fall to 2,335. Lee reports that the CCDC's growth is part of a national trend. "CCDC is starting as two-year colleges are enjoying a kind of renaissance. In the Washington region in the 2009-10 academic year, community college enrollment increased by 12,000 students, or 10 percent. Students are signing up in record numbers nationwide, though budget cuts make it impossible to accommodate them all."

Can Somebody Tell Me What the Crime is Here?: "The 19-year-old man suspected of impersonating a Metro driver and crashing a Route B2 bus carrying five adults and a baby before fleeing the scene initially drove so well that passenger Thomasena Thompson still thought he was a real Metro driver Sunday evening. "If he wasn't a driver for real," Thompson said, "he's been watching somebody for a real long time." William Jackson, the suspect, was polite and knew the bus's exact route, Thompson said. He stopped at Washington Hospital Center and even left the bus idling for her as she ran to it from the McDonald's she had stopped at after transferring from the X2 Friday afternoon." [Post]

It's Getting Hot in Here: The Examiner's Freeman Klopott reports that Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh has introduced emergency legislation "that would prevent power and gas companies from shutting off residents' utilities during extreme heat."

We Bought a Hospital: "The city now owns United Medical Center, the only hospital serving residents east of the Anacostia River, after bidding $20 million for the beleaguered facility at a five-minute foreclosure auction Friday that drew no other bidders." [Post] And Fenty named five to the hospital's board. [WBJ]

I'm Going to Disneyland! WBJ's Michael Neibauer finds that "rarely do D.C. staffers miss an opportunity to travel well."

Spare a Dime?: D.C. Wire reports that the fiscal note on a law making it a crime "for city employees to engage in politicking or electioneering while on duty or dressed in a city uniform or driving a taxpayer funded vehicle" would cost upwards of $100,000 in fiscal year 2011. CFO Natwar Gandhi said the city can't afford the price tag.

D.C. Council Schedule: 2 p.m. roundtable to discuss Peaceoholics' construction project at 1300 Congress St. SE

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  • candycane1

    Welcome Alan Suderman!:)

  • gordon

    Let the games begin!

  • IMGoph

    alan: welcome to the new gig.

    the wapo is wrong about the kid stopping the bus at the washington hospital center. the B2 goes nowhere near it. they must have been thinking about DC general, but the error is being perpetuated by everyone linking to this story (you and dcist amongst others). could you amend a note to that?

  • Truth Hurts

    Nikita Stewart's been Gray's cheerleader since arriving in DC in '05. My wife says -- half jokingly -- that Nikita's in love with Gray. Her "reporting" belongs on the op-ed page.

    Jonetta, as usual, didn't mince words. And, as usual, she hit the mark.

    Robert Vinson Brannum (Drez, correct me if I'm wrong) has zero credibility, having been involuntarily discharged from the armed forces and/or having been the subject of sexual harrassment charges (this was linked months ago on the CP site). Google him or search the CP site to read more.

    WAPO was dead on re Gray's "I'm not Fenty" education plan. It is "hard to discern his priorities" or "how he would pay for them".

    Molly Redden is right. Gray's supporters are far more anti-Fenty than pro-Gray. And that's precisely what Gray's counting on: staying under the radar. Thus far, he's been hugely successful, with assists from most media outlets in town.

    And Truth Hurts says: Bash Fenty at will, but devote equal time to examining Gray's donors, record, cronies, and frat bros.

    LL: If you want DeBonis to fade away, take a close, critical look at One City --- and report out.

  • S.E.

    "Nikita Stewart's been Gray's cheerleader since arriving in DC in '05."

    As you have been Fenty's

  • Truth Hurts

    @ S.E. -- Sorry to disappoint, but you are dead wrong. Prior to Fenty's election as mayor, I hadn't met the man. I did know Kathy Patterson and was intimately familiar with her legislative accomplishments on the city council -- a record unmatched in recent memory. In my view, she was head and shoulders the right person to chair the council in '06.

    Out of nowhere, Gray emerged with buckets of money and a subliminal race baiting "one city" mantra. So, I looked at his campaign finance reports. Where was his money coming from and why?

    Short answer: mainly non-DC residents, business/restaurant interests unhappy with Patterson's no-smoking initiatives, parking lot owners mad about her proposal to help finance public education improvements by raising taxes on parking lot proceeds, a secretive Baltimore fund raiser thrown by Gray's felon frat bro Bereano, etc.

    After thoroughly looking behind Gray's facade, I decided he was a fake. WAPO's Nikita helped Gray by stoking racial mistrust at every turn. So Gray won.

    Now he's following the same script. If he becomes the next mayor, which he probably will, I'll be comfortable knowing that I tried to tell voters about Gray. That's simply the truth.

  • S.E.

    Seems as though every time the subject is ABOUT FENTY, you bring someone else into the discussion, ie. Gray, Patterson, etc.

    Not long ago you defended his spending 400,000 on a dog park as it would prevent your "kids from stepping in dog shit."

    Whatever you claim to have found on Gray is a drop in the bucket compared to Fenty's corrupt ass. After thoroughly looking behind Frnt's facade, he's been exposed for what he is.......a crook.

    Your boy shot his wad to soon......just like the teen age virgin that he is.

  • larry

    Welcome. Can you look into "news" that Mark Schindler who has been in charge of DC DYRS since we were blessed with the departure of that charlatan Vinny Schiraldi is being asked to resign??? I would like to know if this is true asap so that I can thank god and then plan a party. Thanks.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ S.E.: For the edification of CP comment readers, please cite to where I, in your words, did the following: "Not long ago you defended his spending 400,000 on a dog park as it would prevent your 'kids from stepping in dog shit'"

    Here's the truth: You made up your fake quote. Didn't happen -- Gray style. Either back up your phony claims, realize you're flat wrong, or don't address comments to me. Your choice.

  • S.E.

    "Here's the truth: You made up your fake quote. Didn't happen -- Gray style. Either back up your phony claims, realize you're flat wrong, or don't address comments to me. Your choice"

    I stand corrected......I misquoted you. That was your other butt-boy, Downtown Rez.

    See how I can admit when I'm wrong?

  • Truth Hurts

    Make you feel good? the "other butt-boy" thing? You think you're intelligent, fair-minded, reasonable? Your simple minded name calling demonstrates otherwise. Sadly, you're rhetoric exemplifies that of many Fenty haters aka Gray supporters. One city full of S.E.'s.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Truth Hurts, you are fine on your own. But, man, siding with Jonetta --eesh. A new low.

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  • S.E.

    Not as intelligent as you "think you are." "Fair minded, reasonable?" Very much so. You weren't so touuchy 6 months ago when you thought your boy was a lock to win.

  • Robert Vinson Brannum

    "Truth Hurts", you and your fellow Fenty boot lickers like Jo-Ann Armao can try to fabricate facts all you want; however, at some point the TRUTH will slap your ugly faces. It is easy and cowardly to post lies under the safety of an e-mail address, rather than post your comments with your legal name as I ALWAYS DO. Your statement I was involuntarily discharged facing sexual harassment charges is a LIE. The fact I put on the uniform of my country and was willing to sacrifice my life so people like yourself can feel free to post lies and attempt to defame people you do not know and have never met comes with military service. The TRUTH is something you and your fellow "Fenty-ites" hypocrites do not know and will never understand.


    Robert Vinson Brannum


    You don’t get to dictate terms to this Coalition. Check out the definition of Coalition. You must realize there is more than one dude in this Coalition. Food for thought, our presence may be in the next room at 7thD. Let’s get started.

    Marion Barry it is highly recommended that you distance yourself from Jacques Chevalier. As you know, this man is noted for harassing women and denigrating people of prominence. Notice another female being torn down by Jacques Chevalier.

    On August 14, 2009 at 1:31 p.m., Jacques Chevalier, also known as “dcblackdaddy” wrote the following in an online article: “ShadyLady Cora Masters-Barry stole money from youth boxers and D.C. Government in teh 80's and 90's while she was an alleged Boxing Commisioner. That how she got tight with Rock Newman (Box Promoter and Riddick Bowe fame)and met the Williams Tennis sister-gals. Put that lying cheating beeitch on the street and watch she finds another sport to exploit Black youths. Why, you think Marion Barry loeft her, her weight gain is awful, her attitude wreak of sewage slut, will not mention her notorious bad breath well documented in SE. Peter Nickles,you my Negroe, uh Whitey this week, now go run and evict this slick gal Cora MB and do not allow her to rip off anymore youth of color in DC. Fenty, still cannot get my vote but if you evict this slut from SE I will send you a campaign contribution but promise retribution on Cora the Whora!”

    He has defrauded the DC government of thousands of tax payer dollars under the Homestead Deduction Act. The Coalition is calling for Mayor Fenty, Chairman Gray, the DC City Council, as well as the Internal Revenue, to make a thorough investigation of this man’s fraudulent activity. We are asking the Mayor and the DC government to make sure that any and all fees that have accrued in penalties and interests are paid back. Was this money defrauded from the DC Homestead Deduction Act used to pay for his son’s -- Jacques Chevalier, III -- tuition at Howard University? Is his wife, Carolyn, aware that he is a pervert as well as a thief?

    We are also going to contact States Attorney Glenn Ivey in Prince George’s County to investigate this MOCHA mom who ran for mayor in New Carrollton, MD this year and lost.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ Brannum: Have you ever googled yourself? I have. The results aren't pretty.