Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: We Can Report Too! Edition

As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • Union Yes! For David Wilmot's Nonprofit
  • Good morning sweet readers! It's Thursday, which means it's column day. This week, LL looks at the looming battle over redistricting the city's eight wards. The star of the show could be Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, who tells LL that he sees redistricting as a tool to bridge the economic and racial divisions in the city. "For his part, Barry says he’s going to let only cold hard census data guide his thinking (“I’m a scientist,” he says). He bristles at any notion that politics could be a motivating factor (“Absolutely not, that’s ridiculous,” he says) before adding that his political popularity is such that he could give any of his colleagues a run for their money, save for in Ward 3." News time:

    Release the Hounds: The Washington Post's editorial page flexes its investigative muscle this morning by delving a bit deeper into Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s non-profit, which his Republican challenger has described as a city-funded slush fund. Attorney General Peter Nickles is investigating the non-profit, called "Team Thomas," but Thomas says he's done nothing wrong and the non-profit has been dormant since he joining the council in 2007. Is that so? The Post asks:

    "How, then, to account for donations actively being solicited as late as 2008? There was a May 2008 news release from Mr. Thomas's office touting a golf tournament to benefit the group. And we have learned of at least two donations Team Thomas received in 2008. According to sources, there was a Jan. 8, 2008, contribution from Rhode Island Avenue Metro LLC, developer of a project near the Rhode Island Metro station in Ward 5, to Team Thomas for $2,000; and a $2,600 contribution on Jan. 29, 2008, from Capitol Paving of D.C. Inc., a Ward 5 business. A spokeswoman for the development group confirmed the donation; she said she didn't know how it came about, only that there was a belief that Team Thomas did good work in the community.

    The check from Capitol Paving, employees there confirmed to us, was marked 'C/O Vicky Leonard-Chambers, Office of CM Thomas Room 107.' 'CM' would be 'council member'; Room 107 refers to an office in the District Building; Victoria Leonard-Chambers is Mr. Thomas's director of policy and strategic communication. When we asked how she was involved with Team Thomas, she said, 'I'm not interested in speaking with you.' When we told Mr. Thomas that a Capitol Paving employee remembers being solicited by Ms. Leonard-Chambers, he said either it was a mistake or we were making it up. That employee, office manager Terry Woodfolk, said that the money went to print an annual publication and that they were glad to give because of the good work done by Mr. Thomas in Ward 5. Mr. Thomas previously told Post reporters that any money raised went to 'programming to sponsor young people's activities.' If there is nothing untoward, Mr. Thomas should welcome the opportunity to reveal who has donated to Team Thomas and how it has spent its funds. He should do so before Tuesday's election."

    Nice work by the Posties, but isn't it a little bit weird for the editorial side to be doing so much heavy lifting? Now we have an unidentified author (Jo-Ann Armao?) citing unidentified sources (Peter Nickles?) in an article attacking an elected official who the editorial page clearly doesn't like—somebody call the ombudsman!

    AFTER THE JUMP: Runoff in teachers' union vote; Kwame is now over the hill; Washington City Paper's guide to this weekend's rallies

    Everyone Attached to The Teachers Contract is Cursed: We'll have to wait a little longer to find out who the next prez of the Washington Teachers Union is, as a runoff election is needed reports Bill Turque.  "Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker, who negotiated a contract with Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee that triggered significant changes in how teachers are managed and paid, finished second in balloting for a third term Wednesday to his former running mate turned vocal critic. Parker, president of the union since 2005, was edged out by General Vice President Nathan Saunders, 334 to 313, in a contest in which only 881 mail-in ballots were cast by the 4,200-member union. Saunders fell short, however, of the 51 percent majority required to win outright."

    Kwame Turns 4-0: Almost Council Chairman Kwame Brown fêted his 40th b-day in style last night at Cuba Libre with many of the city's political bigwigs, reports the Post. "Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) purred 'Happy Birthday,' giving her best impression of Marilyn Monroe. 'Happy birthday, Mr. Council Chairman,' she sang to laughter and applause. Council member David A. Catania (I-At large), who is seeking re-election Tuesday, gave Brown a gift of a pair of boxing gloves to prepare him for the fight ahead." Also there, yep, Vincent Orange. The watchdogs at D.C. Watch add this: "Meanwhile, Kwame Brown and his campaign have not been forthcoming about how he will fund his transition and inauguration. Brown has asked Gregory McCarthy, vice president of Government and Municipal Affairs for the Washington Nations baseball team, to chair his transition committee."

    Dorothy Brizill has some dirt on another councilmember's b-day bash: "With the District fiscally in the red for $175 million, you would think that someone like Jack Evans, Chairman of the council’s Finance Committee, would be especially prudent about spending District funds. It was, therefore, especially troubling that Evans used four large Department of Parks and Recreation buses to transport guests to his birthday party Wednesday evening at the Homer Building on 13th Street. When I stopped City Administrator Neil Albert on the sidewalk as he was leaving the party and pointed to the buses, he first tried to deny that they were District government vehicles. When I pointed out the District logos on the buses and the District government license plates on them, he said that he would look into the matter. Then he turned around and went back inside the party to speak to Evans."

    UPDATE: Evans tells LL that Brizill's report is wrong. Evans said the buses were to transport seniors, and he paid the $968 dollar fee, not taxpayers.

    Have hard-to-please ironic friends in town for the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally? City Paper has got you covered.

    Nurses at Washington Hospital Center are still unhappy over pay.

    Benjamin Banneker not likely to get his props anytime soon.

    Gentrification not a sure thing around Metro stations.

    Republican Ward 1 Candidate Marc Morgan says the Republican Party needs to reach out more to gay and black residents.

    D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate Lino Stracuzzi says primary vote was flawed.

    Another drug bust at same Gtown dorm.

    Eleanor Holmes Norton will be on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt.

    Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee will spend part of her second-to-last day on the job on a panel led by NBC News' David Gregory discussing "College Completion." (Not to be confused with the panel she'll be on next week called "Collage Completion.") 12:15 p.m., Washington Hilton

    Council: Roundtable at noon on DYRS

    Mayor: Nothing.

    Comments

    1. #1

      IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!! WHITE FOLK WEST OF 16TH ST HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO SMOKE, POSSESS AND DISTRIBUTE WEED AND COKE WITH OUT FEAR AND PUNITIVE ACTION FOR YEARS.

      GW WAS HIT UP A FEW YRS AGO. GTOWN GETTING SMACKED BECAUSE DUMBASSES PUTTING THEIR YARD ON BLAST WITH FAKE ASS WEED. YO AU! YALL WONKY ASSES ARE NEXT!

      ARE WHITE FOLKS FEELING THE PRESSURE? LETS HOPE THE AUTORITIES INVOLVED KEEP IT UP AND STEP IT UP! SEE IF THEY CAN EQUAL OR SURPASS THE POCA VIOLATIONS THAT BLACK FOLK RACK UP ON A YEARLY BASIS. LETS SEE IF YOUNG BLACK BOYS CAN WALK ON WEED POSSESSION CHARGES SO THEY CAN BE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

      I HOPE THIS IS NOT JUST SOME QUOTA FILLING, STAT DRIVEN BULLSHIT TO SHOW BALANCE IN WHO THEY ARE ARRESTING FOR DRUG CRIMES.

    2. #2

      So Councilmember said he stop in 2007 and they said not so... we found two instances of your activities in January of 2008.

      HT would make a horrible accountant but does this make him a liar? If those are his only ones that may have came in after the dates that bolsters his assestment of things that he stopped fund raising activities.

      Everyone who has ever fundraise knows that checks could come in for an event weeks after your event.

      But if he was still active you would see checks all throughout 2008. WP just proved he was innocent to me.

    3. #3

      Let's see if they eventually get the charges dropped like the Columbia Rd sting.... I bet they wait for us to forget and then let them walk with nothing but a dismissal from school. SMH

    4. #4

      *HT would make a horrible accountant but does that make him a liar?

      If these two instances are his only activities for 2008 that proves his point. Anyone who has ever fundraised knows that if you have an event in 2007 checks will stagger in early 2008.

      But if he was truly active--there would have been activity from his accounts all the way into 2008 and there is not.

      WP proved to me (inadvertently) that HT is probably not guilty of what he is being charged with.

    5. #5

      Commenters who claim police haven't been arresting white Georgetown students and charging them with POCA and other petty violations for years either don't know or don't care about the facts. Hundreds of Gtown kids have been arrested, handcuffed, roughed up, and taunted by 2D cops who get off on showing students who's the boss.

    6. Southeast Resident
      #6

      Wow, only 881 members out of 4,200 voted by mail in ballot in the WTU election. I guess the members don't care about making sure that their interest are protected, instead of continuing to get sold down the river by the current leader. Hopefully, the runoff will have higher participation.

    7. #7

      @ Brahmin: You're right that two early '08 payments, standing alone, may not amount to much of anything.

      The question in my mind, though, is why Thomas hasn't yet produced the books. If, indeed, there's been no activity re "Team Thomas" for years, why is he stalling? I suspect there's something in the books that HT's concerned about.

    8. #8

      @Truth Hurts YOU ALWAYS BRING THAT "FACTS" SHIT UP. WHY LOOK UP THE FACTS WHEN IT DOESNT EVEN PAST THE EYE TEST.

      YOU PRESENT FACTS THAT HUNDREDS OF WHITE FOLK ARE ARRESTED AT THE SAME RATE BLACK FOLK ARE ARRESTED AND I WILL RETRACT THAT PORTION OF MY COMMENT. BESIDES I NEVER CLAIMED THEY ARENT ARRESTING WHITE FOLK FOR POCA VIOALTIONS. THE PROBLEM I HAVE IS WITH DRUG ARRESTS AND CONVICTION RATE AMOUNG WHITE FOLK HERE IN THIS CITY!

    9. #9

      LOL@NOODLEZ

    10. #10

      @noodlez
      The rate of drug use on college campuses doesn't equal the rate of drug use in some of our (lower income) black communities.
      Moreover, most of the white folk who are smoking pot (or whatever) aren't stupid enough to do it while hanging out in an alley or walking down a sidewalk. IMO it's just so ingrained in some parts of the black community that they lack discretion.
      What I'm saying is, the rate and the blatant nature of drug use is what is easiest to address, unless you think decriminalization is going to happen.

    Leave a Comment

    Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.
    ...