Loose Lips Daily: Full Speed Ahead Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! It's Thursday, Thursday, Thursday, which means there's another dead tree issue of Washington City Paper being let loose around town. If you enjoy reading how parenthood makes people rich people crazy, you'll love our cover story. As for LL's contribution, this week he profiles your newest councilmember, Sekou Biddle. Biddle's an impressive dude, but does he have what it takes to hold on to his seat? Fun fact: one of Biddle's closest friends growing up was Carol Schwartz's son. News time:
The Ever Crowing List: Political consultant Chuck Thies correctly tweeted that yesterday was chocked full of candidate news for the at-large special election. Yesterday's round up had the news that Pat Mara and Bryan Weaver announced their intention to run. Then by the end of the day, former DDOT boss Gabe Klein took to his blog to announce that he isn't going to run. Plus, former long-shot mayoral hopeful Leo Alexander says he's no longer interested. "I have done a lot of soul-searching, and have come to the conclusion that my passion is not in a role on the Council. If you don’t have the passion for it, you shouldn’t do it," writes Klein. False—you should do it for the money and fame. Also of note, Former Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange told the Post he's running "full speed ahead," and dismisses talk that he's been angling for a city job. Orange also takes a swipe at Biddle, saying he's weak because so many people (can we get to 20?) are getting into the race. "Obviously, he can't keep people out," Orange says, who probably would have faced just as many if not more candidates if he'd won the temporary appointment.
AFTER THE JUMP: Team Thomas Bombshell; Professor Fenty, Cameras Everywhere...
You Call This Ethics?: There are some pretty heavy allegations about Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s questionable non-profit, Team Thomas, in today's Washington Times. Reporter Jeffery Anderson finds a confidential former campaign staffer who says that Team Thomas was used as a vehicle for developers to funnel money to Thomas' 2006 campaign and bypass the normal campaign fund contributions, which have to be made public. Also, we learn of yet another contributor to Team Thomas who had business before the city. This time, it's developer Keith Forney, whose Ward 5 strip club has residents upset about its legality and Thomas' "tacit approval of the club's [alleged] illegal relocation." Anderson says Thomas' attorney, Fred Cooke Jr., reports that Team Thomas doesn't have records of donors who gave less than $1,000. That'll make complying with the attorney general's office subpoena a tad difficult, since it asked for records of all donations of $250 and up. Question: how does a legitimate non-profit not keep a record of its donors? Thomas and Cooke say Forney's donations to Team Thomas were minimal. (But of course, if they were under $1,000, how would they know how much he gave?) Also of note: Anderson says both Thomas and Cooke Jr. say they do not currently have plans to publicly disclose the Team Thomas information, which is kind of odd, since Thomas told LL not too long ago that he had no problem releasing that information.
In a happy coincidence, the Washington Post editorial board returns from a break on Team Thomas reportage to criticize new Council Chairman Kwame Brown for not pressing Thomas to release those records and rewarding him with the "plum" economic development committee. "That Mr. Thomas has refused to disclose who donated to the group or to detail how the funds were used—despite repeated promises to do so—should have disqualified him from heading up this powerful committee. Surely the public has a stake in knowing who contributed to the pet project of the council member now playing a major role in directing the city's economic development?"
Prof. Fenty: Oberlin Hippy College of Ohio has a new professor who will try to fill his students' heads with as much political knowledge as humanly possible. Former Mayor Adrian Fenty will return to his old school to be a "distinguished visiting professor of politics, a featured lecturer and a career adviser in the Department of African American Studies," the Post reports. Fear not, Fenty isn't moving to Ohio; he'll be a commuter. But probably not a bike commuter.
I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me: A little bit of sensationalism today in the Examiner, which says we're headed for an Orwellian nightmare because the District's homeland security agency is considering adding security cameras from private businesses into its network.
School board member William Lockridge's funeral was today at 11 a.m. at the Temple of Praise.
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh wants all polling stations open during the special election.
Washington's road rage is on the rise.
D.C. Watch's Gary Imhoff isn't buying the narrative that at-large candidate Josh Lopez is an innocent victim when it comes to a $18,500 OCF fine for reusing Fenty signs for a write-in campaign. "It is only after Lopez and the Save DC Now committee continued to use the illegal campaign materials after they had been ordered not to, up to and including the day of the general election, and after the OCF gathered ample evidence of these deliberate and flagrant violations, that OCF issued a fine to the committee."
Harvard to evaluate IMPACT. Hope it works.
Pave not quite paradise to put up a parking lot?
Gray schedule: Noon meeting, the D.C. Hotel Association, at the Renaissance.
Council: 9 a.m. hearing on United Medical Center.