Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: You Can Party in Da Club, That Owes D.C. Back Taxes Edition

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  • Good morning sweet readers! Today is the day folks when all the big questions are answered: What will the D.C. Council look like with four Republicans? What's next for Vince Gray after the Fenty write-in campaign's almost assured victory? Can Michelle Rhee successfully run New Jersey and D.C.'s public schools at the same time? What will it be like watching TV without political ads? News time:

    My, That's A Lot Money You Owe The City. Wanna Have a Party?: NBC 4's Tom Sherwood strikes again, this time with the scoop that Almost Mayor Vince Gray is going to partay at the "Love" club, whose owner Marc Barnes, and his wife Ann, owe the city nearly $900,000 in business and personal taxes. "Several close associates of the Gray campaign privately worry that the financially troubled nightclub is the wrong image for Gray, who is trying to rally city ministers, community groups and business leaders to his leadership after Tuesday's elections, Sherwood reported. According to a statement released by the Gray campaign, the presumptive mayor-elect wasn't aware of the tax debt but expects to have a big party at Love Tuesday night." As a funnier journalist than LL has already remarked, the Gray campaign probably had to pick Love because DC9 wasn't available.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Royal Rumble; Fenty in 2014?: Rhee's Last Day...

    Royal Rumble: The saga of Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s non-profit, "Team Thomas," and exactly how it gets money and exactly how it spends that money, gets more interesting today. (And it's also HTJ's birthday today.) Attorney General Peter Nickles will be in court this morning to ask a judge to enforce a subpoena seeking Team Thomas's financial records, the Post's Tim Craig reports. "'Since he is not willing to do it voluntarily or by subpoena, we now need a court order, which is extraordinary,' Nickles said. 'This is a very unusual situation where a council member has refused to provide a single document.' Thomas's attorney, Frederick D. Cooke, said he plans to fight Nickles's subpoena, arguing that he does not have the "authority" to demand the documents from a council member. Cooke said Thomas plans to voluntarily release the information, but will not do so under pressure from Nickles. 'If it were not for this crazy litigation, he probably would have released it today,' Cooke said. 'We have never said to Peter and never said to anyone else, this is not information we did not want and did not believe should be public, but we do not believe Mr. Nickles has the authority to do this.'"

    Rhee Says Goodbye: Well, it turns out Monday, and not last Friday, was Michelle Rhee's last day as schools chancellor. Sherwood gets the last day interview (take that, Bill Turque!) where Rhee says that she thinks she helped make "the bureaucracy" less sedentary, and thinks that Gray is in good position, with her out of the way, to continue the reform effort. Rhee's last hurrah was a celebration at the Kennedy Center for the 600 plus "highly-effective" teachers, Turque reports.

    Fenty in 2014? The Examiner's Harry Jaffe, who has not taken LL on a promised no-holds-barred bender around town, laments the one-party rule in the District and has this bit of gossip: "Word in the back rooms of Upper Caucasia is that Boy Mayor Adrian is planning to spend the next few years reflecting and retooling for another mayoral run in 2014—as an adult! Wishful thinking, perhaps, but you heard it here first." That would be something, wouldn't it?

    Graham's Coattails: DeBonis reports on a funny mailer in Ward 1 that said: "Dotti Love Wade urges you to re-elect Jim Graham." Clever, Graham and Wade, clever—because it reminds people that Wade is the Democrat in the non-partisan race. As DeBonis notes: "The flier also highlights the fact that Wade is facing an energetic challenge from Patrick Mara, the 35-year-old consultant who made a splash two years ago by knocking off longtime at-large council member Carol Schwartz in the Republican primary. Mara has made a big push in the nonpartisan school board race, spending months knocking on doors and pressing flesh at community events—not to mention sending some mailers of his own. Meanwhile, Wade's campaign has been by most accounts listless—according to the most recent finance reports, she has raised the least money of any board incumbent facing a challenger, and Mara has accused Wade, 68, of skipping campaign forums and other community events." DeBonis also reports on last-minute lobbying on the elected AG-referendum.

    Washington Hospital Center, deathtrap?: Reports Lena Sun: "The largest nurses union in the United States asked the D.C. Health Department on Monday to investigate nurse understaffing at Washington Hospital Center that the union says is jeopardizing patient care. In a 19-page report filed with the department, National Nurses United documented 50 instances of what it described as unsafe patient care this year in all departments in the hospital. No deaths were reported. The reports describe instances of patients not receiving medication on time, newborn infants not being fed promptly and a patient who was rushed back to the operating room after the patient had stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest. The union did not know whether the patient survived." LL is glad his baby isn't being born there.

    Party time: Craig has a list of the locations of all the post-election bashes.

    Hundreds looking for city help with energy bills.

    TBD fact checks Taiwan cartoon of Fenty/Rhee's legacy, says the cartoon was not 100 percent accurate. Really, TBD?

    Shadow Rep. Mike Panetta is on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt.

    TBD also has 6 reasons to vote in D.C. today.

    • Pingback: Everyday Stuff - Loose Lips Daily: You Can Party in Da Club, That Owes DC Back Taxes Edition – Washington City Paper (blog)

    • Typical DC BS

      I guess soon-to-be Mayor "One City" Gray doesn't mind that his party place has no issues with not paying taxes and fees to a cash-starved city? Just like Mayor Barry doesn't mind not paying taxes to DC and the feds. We're going "Back to the Future" here.

      Hard to believe Mr. Gray doesn't see the issue here. Saw his remarks this morning that they went with the "low bidder" for the party tonite. Maybe Love nightclub can bid so low because they don't bother to pay any taxes?

    • downtown rez

      The best part IMO is that it's a combined Gray/Brown party, and that Brown is on the record stating that DC needs to collect the tax money it is owed, and that Brown, himself, is the target of various collection efforts by banks which he owes money to.
      Toss in Rueban Charles on Gray's team and the tag line character, leadership, integrity might just as well be replaced by arrogance, dishonesty, farce.

    • Truth Hurts

      What a tone deaf, boneheaded move. Add Harry ("I would've made Team Thomas records public if Nickles hadn't asked for them") to the party mix, and it'll be a shindig to remember.

    • DCDem

      Can't wait till tomorrow. NO MORE POLITICAL ADS!!!!!

      Marcus Barnes doesn't own Love anymore. It's sale was recently approved by the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Authority.

      What, ever, are we going to do when we wake up tomorrow morning with a GOP controlled house that must approve the yet to be approved D.C. Budget.

      Me thinks that the GOP is going to make it a mission to roll back many of what the Fenty fans are so proud of (i.e. Gay Marriage). I'm not against it, but instead of this write-in campaign, we would have been better served finding ways to limit GOP House victories.

    • Typical DC BS

      @DC Dem: Thanks for the info on the sale of Love nightclub. I also will be glad I don't have to see the political ads on TV for another 22 months.

    • downtown rez

      Barnes still owns it. Approval of sale does not = sale of club.
      Barnes needs to find a buyer and agree on a price.

    • SEis4ME

      So now we go after politicians over their relationships with those who owe taxes?

      Yes, the Obama'izing has begun. Thanks Fenty supporters.

    • Truth Hurts

      @ SEis4ME: Oh, please. Stop with the "Obama'izing" b.s. I worked on Obama's campaign and continue to support him. If Obama held his election party at a club owned by a guy who owed a million bucks to the feds, I'd criticize him too.

      The sad and inconvenient truth is that too many of DC's elected politicians, including several Gray allies/supporters, don't pay taxes or their debts. Gray would do well to distance himself from that crowd (and exclude similar deadbeats from his inner circle), because he'll be judged in part by the friends he keeps.

      Many Gray supporters recognize this reality and rightly are trying to nip it before it's too late. You, on the other hand, are in denial.

    • TheHermit

      @ Typical DC BS

      It's not just a Gray event.

      "WASHINGTON, DC -- To show unity with the city’s new administration, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will hold her election night watch party in an area provided to her at LOVE Nightclub, 1350 Okie Street NE, along with D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray and Council Chairman-elect Kwame Brown, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. She encourages her supporters to watch national and local election results with her."

    • downtown rez

      The "thud" you just heard was the "good government" folks dropping out of Gray's coalition.

      Re: Obama-
      Like 90% of the rest of DC I voted for him. And I also continue to support him. I find it the height of irony that Gray was elected in part on jobs creation and fiscal conservatism- just what the anti-Obama crowd is running on in DC and MD. Honestly, the passion of the anti-Fenty folks (who actually seem to outnumber the pro-Gray folks) reminds me in some ways of the Tea-Party.
      It's interesting to me that a Dem (Gray) would use the economy against another Dem (Fenty) in the same way that the Republicans are using it against Dems nation-wide.
      Then again, party is really meaningless in the one-horse town that is DC, and all politics are local.

    • SEis4ME

      @Truth, no maybe you need to "Oh Please" yourself. It is no secret that he is being Obamacized. Like Obama, everything that Gray does will be scrutinized to a level that no other mayor had to endure - namely Fenty. His rabid supporters will exagerrate stories involving those like Boreano and Charles while ignoring the obvious conflicts Fenty had with having his best friend as the city's AG and his lackey (Moten) as his Senior strategist.

      So whether you supported Obama is irrelevant. So did I. That does not change the facts as we know them.

      Like Obama, anti-Gray supporters will suddenly become fiscally astute, willingly ignoring how the outgoing administration spent, spent, and spent more. They will foam at the mouth with every mistep having disingenous interest in him giving him a real chance. Like the chance afforded to Fenty and 8 years of Bush.

      The parallels are there and striking.

      Personally, I could care less, and I mean not care at all if Fenty had an event at one of the largest clubs in DC whose owner owned taxes. I just wouldn't care. Why? Because I was just there this past weekend, paying my money to enter an establishment whose owner owes DC taxes. I didn't care then and certainly won't suddenly get concerned now that it's Gray, Thomas, Norton et. al.

      Remember, I didn't care about his association with Charles. The same way I didn't care about Fenty and Skinner.

    • Truth Hurts

      How you liking Charles now? Would you approve a loan to him? Wall Street wouldn't. Think about the consequences for DC's finances.

      You should care about Gray's association with Charles.