Loose Lips

Vincent Gray’s First TV Ad Hits Adrian Fenty

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray is launching the first TV ads in his campaign against Mayor Adrian Fenty today—and the ads don't waste any time with niceties before ripping into Fenty.

Watch here:

"Times are tough for many in D.C.," the narrator says, "but not for Adrian Fenty's cronies." The commercial talks up Sinclair Skinner and Omar Karim, Fenty fraternity brothers who got millions in city contracts the council is investigating, as well as Ron Moten, the Peaceoholics founder who has been one of Fenty's closest allies and whose group also got millions from the District. A mailing that Gray has been sending voters this week focuses on Skinner, too.

After ripping Fenty, there's only a few seconds left in the spot for Gray to pivot to a positive message about himself, which feels a little grafted on. "Vince Gray—he'll end the cronyism," the commercial says. "And he's the only candidate with a real plan to create jobs—for all of us." The Washington Post, which first reported on the ad, says it's only running on cable, not broadcast TV.

As Gray's only TV commercial so far, the ad has a lot of work to do—Fenty, by contrast, has a 60-second and a 30-second version of a positive spot apologizing for his brusque manner, as well as some negative ads attacking Gray. The conventional wisdom in politics is that candidates shouldn't go negative before they've introduced themselves positively. But Gray doesn't have time, or money, to roll out multiple ad campaigns.

What this all means is a little hard to figure out. Public polls show Gray leading, but within the margin of error. Conventional wisdom, again, would usually argue that the barrage of attacks from Gray might show his own advisors think Fenty's ahead; why else risk a backlash from voters? But since conventional wisdom would also say that a mayor who most voters agree with on most actual policies shouldn't be facing a fight for his political life three weeks before an election, maybe it's not much of a guide to what's happening in D.C. this summer.

  • foldingtime

    Crony crony crony crony crony crony crony crony crony crony
    OH YEAH!

    Reporter: "What do you plan to do as mayor?"

    Vince Gray: "I don't like cronies."

    Reporter: "What do you like?"

    Vince Gray: "Not cronies. I like the opposite of cronies."

    Reporter: "What is your favorite word?"

    Vince Gray: "'Cronies.' Or, 'Cronyism.' But I don't like cronies. Just the word."

    Reporter: "What about phonies?"

    Vince Gray: "I don't like cronies. I already said that."

    Reporter: "No, I said, 'phonies.'"

    Vince Gray: "Phonies are not as bad as cronies. Cronies are the worst. I don't like cronies. Did you know that?"

  • blacktoschool

    Now is the time to drive out Fenty's cronies and replace them with Gray's


    When will the FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT agencies - FBI, IRS, USAO come off their 3 1/2 years vacation and not stand "STEAL" while blatant corrupt acts are being committed in the NATION'S CAPITOL by the current administration in DC GOVERNMENT?


    ...while blatant corrupt acts are "STEAL" being committed in the NATION'S CAPITOL by the curent administration in DC GOVERNMENT?

  • Mary Ward 4

    Mr. Fenty, we trusted you before and here is what we got:

    -After 10 years of increasing school test scores, scores declined last year

    -Only 15 schools in the District of Columbia this year met the annual goals of No Child Left Behind, down from 54 in 2009

    -Public Relations stunts around teacher firings and overtstating results

    -Crime- specifically robbery, thefts, sexual assaults are up for 3 years!

    -Your police department lost DNA crime evidence in more than 200 cases

    -DC now has the highest city-wide unemployment in it’s history (30% in some areas)

    -You awarded your fraternity brothers $82 MILLION in illegal contracts that they were unqualified for. Your frat buddy Sinclair Skinner got a engineering contract. His qualification was being a failed dry cleaner.

    -You JUST vetoed a bill passed by 10 Councilmembers that made it illegal for a candidate to pay someone for their vote

    -You arrived into office with a huge budget surplus that he has turned into a large deficit. You depleted our Rainy Day Funds so he could open $400k dog parks and heat his favorite swimming pool.

    -Over the last few years, you dipped into the city's rainy day fund to the tune of $840 million, bringing the balance in the savings account down from $1.5 billion in 2007 to just over $650 million for 2011.

    -You risk the city’s bond rating

    -You leave the country (to Jamiaca and Dubai) without telling anyone or leaving any one as custodian of the DC government

    -You have your police escorts close down roads so he and his friends can bike on them.

    -You are unwilling to hear any different opinion and anyone that doesn’t agree with you.

    -You don’t consult with the community on ANYTHING.

    -You have not held ONE news conference since becoming Mayor. Not one.

    -You miss community meetings and simply say you “couldn’t make it happen”

    -You refuses to hand over any government records- has worst record of responding to Freedom of Information Act requests

    -You are simply unable to play well with others- another example is when you refused to give City Council tickets to Nationals game

    -You led a sketchy donation of firetrucks to the Dominican Republic

    All I'm going to say is that we gave you a chance. For nearly 4 years. And you failed. Your only supporters are people you have paid or are in danger of losing their jobs: Nickles, Rhee, and Moten. You are in over your head and we need someone new that is competent, can deliver, and includes citizens in his decision-making process.

    I am going to vote for VINCE GRAY because WE CAN HAVE INCLUSIVE, TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT THAT GETS RESULTS. It doesn't have to be a choice between listening/thinking and getting results. We can have someone do BOTH.

    Let's let Vince Gray lead the city in a way that brings us progress and things are done the right way! Without cronyism or corruption.

  • Dracula and Marion Return from the Grave!

    The 82-million dollar figure really gets your attention, until you realize that also included the cost of the new rec centers, parks, dog parks, pools, and whatever.

    The question is whether the finished products came in on time and anywhere near budget, and I haven't heard either side talk about that....even though that's the real bottom line.

  • Indeed


    No, unfortunately, that's not the only question. This ends justify the means bullshit has really got to stop. Come on. Do all of those things you just listed really have to be done in a shady, if not downright illegal way? Of course not. Stop pretending like you have to do illegal things to get "good" things done. You're hurting your own cause.

  • larry

    "a mayor who most voters agree with"??? What the hell are you talking about? Elaborate on this, please. I only know of one person who is possibly voting for Fenty. Everyone else I know and speak with is voting against him based on his decisions and actions as mayor. The "personality and image" issues are a very small footnote.

  • Mike Madden


    Don't take my word for it, the Post has polling data to back that line up: "The numbers stand in stark contrast to how people feel about their city: District residents give higher ratings for their neighborhoods and the quality of key city services than they have at any point in Post polling over the past 20 years.

    Residents give broadly positive marks to the police department and the quality of parks and recreation facilities. Most parents continue to see major problems in the city's public schools, but those views have eased noticeably. More than half of residents see the city as heading in the right direction, a significantly more bullish view than before Fenty's 2006 election."



    Did the Peaceoholics file IRS Form 990s for tax years 2008 and 2009? Why did the FENTY administration "STEAL" continued to give non-competitive earmarks to this
    "NON-PROFIT" conglomerate?

    I can't seem to find public records of such filings for tax years 2008 and 2009.

    Please can someone from Mayor Fenty's administration enlighten the voters of DC?

    It is OUR tax dollars!

    Again, when will the COMATOSE FEDS wake up and investigate?


    Is there a member of the "Peaceoholics" as an informant for the FBI?

    Maybe that explains why there hasn't been any investigations by the FEDS on this.


    People watch this ghetto video produced featuring Ron Moten. I hope all D.C. voters watch this video and especially white D.C. voters. This is enough to turn off D.C. voters.


  • capitolhilllawyer

    What there is no time to explore in detail is the fact that Fenty's ultimate henchman, Peter Nickles, has manipulated and abused the Office of Attorney General to ensure that Fenty's political allies -- and only Fenty's political allies -- benefit from the OAG's policies and procedures. Nickles is the ultimate crony who answers only to his client Fenty and ignores the legitimate interests of the District and its citizens. That's how Fenty gets away with this.

  • Carol

    All Vincent Gray can do is attack Fenty, as he has no agenda IF elected to the office of Mayor. The written ad I saw today Gray is only talking about schools. How will he get more jobs for DC workers? Will he hire back all the teachers and people Fenty has fired? How will he get more done in the city as the economy declines? Will he be so freindly with the City Council that the Council will run the City? What are his priorities, not Fenty's priorities but what are Gray's priorities? We may never know.

  • Indeed


    Gray has, and continues to put out, his stance on issues. Please take the time to inform yourself instead of coming here and complaining that you don't know what they are. Go to the Gray website and look at them and stop with the b.s.

  • downtown rez

    Gray's position papers don't actually spell out positions so much as they outline vague principals. Oh, there is an idea or two in there, but one needs to wade through pages and pages of crap to find it.
    These aren't position papers so much as they are a bunch of papers that enable Gray to pretend he holds fast any positions at all.
    But if you don't believe me, go to the Gray website and look at them and stop with the b.s.

  • Really?

    And where is Fenty's detailed plan? It's just like the one in he ran on in 2006....nothing.

  • downtown rez

    With Fenty it's a classic right track/wrong track choice. With Gray it's trading Fenty for an untested uncommitted unknown.

  • etta

    The present Mayor thinks its okay to go around the city laws to illicit contracts thru another department. Yes they built recreations center. They did not hire blacks to work on those sites even thought the district laws said they should. There are black men on corner with no jobs and he things thats okay. It isn't okay. Those projects could have been done but the legal way and this community would not be as divide along color lines. I will not vote for Fenty again.Now he wants to change who can vote in the primary. I am a Independent that change my party to the Democratic party just to vote him out. Any one who is interested in making a change would have already have done that. He now wants to buy the election. I pray the people show him you can not be unethical nasty and rude and then thing people will vote for you.

  • larry

    Well, thanks Mr. Madden for giving me the information to back up the statement. I cannot argue with that. But, I also cannot say that those positives are attributed to Adrian Fenty. I think they've happened in spite of him. Thanks.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    DRez- my biggest problem with you is that you are quick to judge others when they support Gray and demand that Gray do things a certain way, yet you cannot apply the same standard to Fenty. Why is that?

    I really am just baffled by this.

  • http://bing.com Anothernative

    Why is it that so many of you Fenty supporters think people that have been here, don't know that he merged right into a transitioning city, and took advantage of all that was happening from the previous administration, which is okay, but at least admitt it.

  • downtown rez

    It's because I've seen the change in DC governement and on the streets since Fenty has been in office. And, yes, it started before then- with Tony Williams
    But, Tony Williams focused on big picture economic issues- the health of DC's financial base- and didn't drill down and focus on quality of life in neighborhoods. That was my main reason for not being particularly fond of him.
    I believe Fenty improved on Williams. He kept Williams big picture focus on economics (Williams has endorsed him Fenty) but Fenty has also done a lot to improve quality of life in the neighborhoods. On the side streets, block by block. I've seen this. Not just where I live, work, and play, but all over the city.
    And it's not that I demand civil servants do things a "certain way", I just expect them to do what is within the government's power to serve. I think Fenty has done this.

  • major g.pearson

    Dear Mr. fenty during your tenure as Mayor of D.C.
    We the people of D.C.have witness your blatened disregard
    for the residents of se,sw,ne your concerned for upper northwest washington, has showed us that certain income
    and where yor from count the most you said you would repair schools,better public housing for low income
    you throw us leftovers and other wards you forget about will support you and forget that you forgot that we the majority who put you in should have been counted , next Mayor should rebuild all wards, Get these lazy women who abuse the welfare system keep having babies immigrants who never paid taxes get welfare people on drugs abuse the system and get public assitance to take care of thier habits i honestly think camera should be installed on streets to deter crimes these public housing residents parent shoul be penalize or lose thier housing knowing thier children are commiting crimes in dc too many carjackings,Stop the photo ops and care the whole cityu and do whats right for all people,hire dc residents for jobs and use some of our federal dollars to clean our dc rivers and rebuild our water front like National harbour.

  • major g.pearson

    Dear;Mr. Next Mayor of D.C. When are we gonna care what happends to our city Rebuild the the whole city not just
    Your favorite ward or upscale neighborhoods, When is dc government is gonna stop people from abusing the system keep having babies dont wanna work, Living in public housing allowing thier children to get into questionable activity,Immigrants never paid taxes keep having babies and were paying taxes for them to live high on the hog and they dont attempt to get up and better themselves these young girls on public assistance are using P.A. to take care of incarcerated indivisuals living in thier public housing not working. Our schools have been closed turnde into condos,Carjacking domestic violence is on the rise these young people are out hanging corners late, parents should be held responsible for thier kids housing especially if Paying DC residents are paying taxes for safe streets,better policing.

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