Loose Lips Daily: Gray Goes to Whiteville Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! Was it just LL, or was this Friday a long time coming? News time:
Welcome to Whiteville: Last night Almost Mayor Vince Gray took his traveling listening show to Ward 3, or "Whiteville" as a certain TV reporter called it, to try and win over the folks in a ward that voted almost 4 to 1 for his opponent, Mayor Adrian Fenty. But the packed house at St. Columba's Episcopal Church seemed like a pretty pro-Gray crowd, save for a handful of people wearing Fenty stickers (seriously, who keeps those things a month after the election?) and Fenty's superfan Ron Moten. LL will cop to being a bit surprised (and maybe let down) that fans of Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee didn't turn out to pepper Gray with questions about her future—thought there didn't seem to be too many parents of school-aged kids in the crowd. Many of the speakers sought to assure the crowd that the city will be in good hands with Gray. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh gave her personal testimonial about how she became a Gray fan ("a leader free from vanity and boastfulness"), and drew big cheers when she trotted out the story of Gray breaking the color barrier by rushing a Jewish fraternity at GW. Annapolis super lobbyist and ex-con, Bruce Bereano, stood to the side of the crowd beaming for part of the night. "My little brother," he said when Cheh mentioned the frat story. For his part, Gray again said the "onus" was on him to help heal the city's divides, and stuck to his talking points about his commitment to school reform (but with collaboration) and getting D.C. residents back to work.
As for actual news: Gray said Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, and former Mayor Anthony Williams are going to help Gray's transition team on budget issues. And Gray seemed more bullish to increasing taxes to deal with the city's financial problems than LL has seem him previously. Tim Craig at the Post has a recap here, and includes this: "Gray drew the loudest applause when he vowed to make city contractors hire more District residents and when he spoke about renewing the push on Capitol Hill for voting rights and the ability to tax the incomes of Maryland and Virginia residents who work in the city. 'Will I go up there? Absolutely,' Gray said. 'But I don't want to go up there and see nobody behind me. I want to be able to go up there and say, 'Senator, look out your window, do you see all those people? They are angry as heck.' Yep, he said heck. (Want more, check out the G'Town Dish here, the Examiner here, WAMU here, FoxDC here).
AFTER THE JUMP: Mendo's Revenge; Rhee's Manifesto,Charles in Charge...
Speaking of Angry as Heck: Councilmember Phil Mendelson is still holding a grudge against shadow Sen. Michael D. Brown, Freeman Klopott reports in the Examiner. "A bill introduced to the D.C. Council would cut in half the city's two-week early voting period, part of an effort by at-large Councilman Phil Mendelson to attack the name confusion that nearly sunk his re-election. Called the 'Confusion in Election Amendment Act of 2010,' the bill would also require the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to clarify on the ballot a candidate's identify when there is the potential 'for confusion among voters about the identity of a candidate because of the similarity of his or her name to another candidate, elected, or well-known individual.'" Speaking of people still holding grudges, Klopott also reports that Moten is going to testify today before the Board of Elections and Ethics that the primary election was "stolen." The University of Michigan prof whose students hacked the BOEE's website is also set to testify.
A Manifesto: Rhee and several other education leaders around the country, including NYC's Chancellor Joel Klein, have a new manifesto out this morning on how to improve public education. "A 7-year-old girl won't make it to college someday because her teacher has two decades of experience or a master's degree—she will make it to college if her teacher is effective and engaging and compels her to reach for success. By contrast, a poorly performing teacher can hold back hundreds, maybe thousands, of students over the course of a career. Each day that we ignore this reality is precious time lost for children preparing for the challenges of adulthood. The glacial process for removing an incompetent teacher—and our discomfort as a society with criticizing anyone who chooses this noble and difficult profession—has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future." Speaking of Rhee, Bill Turque has a story on her next possible career move.
Charles in Charge: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes notice of Reuben Charles, Gray's fundraiser and rumored chief of staff who LL wrote about a couple of weeks ago. So have revelations of Charles' outstanding debts and business setbacks in St. Louis worried the Gray camp? Nope, says Gray's spokeswoman Traci Hughes. "Many of us who have been around the block at least once understand it's all part of doing business. There certainly isn't anything in his character or his background that would keep him from contributing the way he has." ... Hughes noted that the well-spoken Charles has served as Gray's 'ambassador' in a campaign that split the nation's capital along racial lines. Fenty, an African-American with a reputation for aloofness, won Washington's predominately white wards; Gray built his winning coalition by capturing the city's mostly black areas. 'He (Charles) is so comfortable in most settings ... He's a bit of a phenom,' Hughes said, noting Charles's ability to carry on conversations on a host of topics, including art."
Carol Joynt considers canceling her Post subscription.
Kojo and Tom talk to Marion Barry at noon.
DCFPI's Jenny Reed says both cuts and revenues raisers are needed.
Bruce DePuyt has Fenty write-in czar John Hlinko on Newstalk.