Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Full Ginsberg Edition

A deliberative roundup of one city's local politics. 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:

  • Vince Gray Loves the IG Who Will Investigate Him
  • Good morning sweet readers! What is best in life? Is it really the open steppe, a fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair? LL's not convinced. News time:

    Sulaimon Pulls Off a Full Ginsberg: The news cycle continues to be dominated by Mayor Vince Gray and his former BFF, Sulaimon Brown. Yesterday, Brown talked with virtually every TV reporter in town, and seemingly had a bet with himself to try and up the ante with each appearance. At WUSA 9, Brown alleged that Gray stole the election by paying precinct captains "to with hold the ballot count in areas where incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty was expected to win." Not true, says just about everyone. He told NBC 4 that the public needs to know that Gray is an "organized criminal." (Hey, at least he's organized!) He met ABC 7 over at Union Station, where he alleges he got his first cash payment from Gray aide Lorraine Green. Over at Fox 5, Brown says he will not rest until Gray joins him in the unemployment line: "I want to bring this to the point that Mayor Gray will have to resign." Brown also told the TV station that there's much more he did for the Gray campaign that hasn't come out yet. He also said he kept the envelopes he claims were given to him filled with cash by Gray's campaign aides, which he said could have fingerprint evidence on them. Oh boy, will it get to that? And the Post reports that the Office of Campaign Finance is looking into Brown's allegations and the U.S. Attorney Office isn't commenting whether it is or not—but that it takes all allegations of public corruption seriously.

    Meanwhile, over in opinionland, the WaPo editorial board makes a pretty strong case that the claims Brown is making, despite the fact that he's a little off, should be taken seriously. Best line: "What are we to make of the fact that [campaign aide Howard] Brooks initially told The Post he didn't remember calling Mr. Brown, and then, when confronted with cellphone records, declined to comment further without an attorney present?" LL doesn't know about you, but LL makes of that fact that Brooks isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. (Mark Plotkin has more on Brooks.) The Examiner's Harry Jaffe says that Gray's surrounded himself with a team that doesn't have the political chops to make people like Brown go away quietly. "Mayors need savvy, calculating political knife-fighters to protect them from minefields, and to make sure people stay bought. Gray has no such lieutenant. He lacks a smart, tough, trusted fixer. ... Gray has four women running his political and personnel shop. They are adviser Lorraine Green; press chief Linda Wharton Boyd; chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall; and Judy Banks, who served as personnel chief until last week. All are veterans of the Marion Barry or Sharon Pratt Kelly regimes. They represent exactly what Gray's critics feared: a return to the musty old ways of the do-nothing District government, where friends hired friends to cash paychecks and not deliver services." And Petula Dvorak says it's not time to get all crazy nostalgic for Fenty. "Remember, Fenty had a Lincoln Navigator, too, and it was fully loaded with its own scandals. Maybe Gray is just front-loading his debacles, getting his screwups out of the way in his first 100 days and moving on."

    AFTER THE JUMP: Free Ride, No Parking Tickets; Search For Kaya; Good Budget News Not So Good?...

    Wanna Go For a Ride: Nearly half the city's agency heads have city-funded rides, and a bunch of them aren't paying their parking tickets, reports the Examiner's Freeman Klopott. Especially interesting is the fact that City Administrator Allen Lew is driving a brand spanking new 2011 Chevy Tahoe while the city is looking to bridge a $322 million budget gap. But Mr. Lew, city law forbids the purchase or lease of SUVs, right? "A spokesman for Lew said in a statement that the Tahoe was procured legally because it fits an exception allowing SUVs to be purchased for emergency purposes. 'As the City Administrator, all public safety agencies and emergency services, including snow removal fall under his purview,' the statement said. 'He must move around the city, often during inclement weather or during other operational responsibilities.'" That excuse smells a little fishy. There are plenty of cars with four-wheel drive that'll do much better in bad weather than a hulking Tahoe, which might not even have all-wheel drive. LL should know, having lived in the frozen tundra of Alaska. Subaru all the way!

    Gray Comfortable With Chancellor Search Process That Left Out the Search Part: Gray's search process for a permanent schools chancellor that looked at exactly one candidate, interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson, didn't impress everyone. "If you're going to do the process, do it and do it right. Otherwise, it's window dressing and make-work," said Terry Lynch. Likewise, Washington Teachers Union President Nathan Saunders is steamed. But process-fan Gray says he's comfortable with the process and adds that "the best vetting process is watching someone serve in the position," reports the Post. Meanwhile, Gray pledged extra cash to DCPS yesterday.

    Patterson Out? Mara In? Weaver Maybe?: The preliminary results of petition challenges in the special election are back, and it doesn't look good for Ward 8's Jacque Patterson, who is short more than 700 valid signatures. Republican Pat Mara just barely had enough valid signatures of the ones he turned in, and Ward 1's Bryan Weaver should be able to stay on the ballot if he can get 52 people to update their addresses. But these are just the preliminary findings of the Board of Elections and Ethics' staff, and there still needs to be a public hearing. Patterson tells LL he's going to fight Sekou Biddle's challenge, and feels like he's got a good shot of staying on the ballot. Meanwhile, he, Mara and Weaver all seem to continue to be upset at Biddle's petition challenges. For the best coverage of the race, go here.

    Good Budget News Not So Good?: Seems there's some sort of disagreement among the District's math nerds over CFO Nat Gandhi's latest revenue forecast which has the District pulling in $105 million more mostly because of rising commercial property values, reports Washington Business Journal's Michael Neibauer. "The second-in-command of the District's property assessment appeals panel told a D.C. Council committee Monday that the Office of Tax and Revenue's assessments are often wrong and many will be chopped on one of three levels of appeal." Gandhi says he's confident in his number.

    Apparently Flying Coach Can Kill You: Embattled UDC President Allen Sessoms said yesterday that he has circulatory problems in his legs that won't let him fly coach. "Yeah, I'm going to fly first-class ... I'm not going to die for any job." (LL's editor's wife, who had a pulmonary embolism after a flight a few years ago but still flies coach, actually laughed out loud this morning when WAMU reported that line.)

    In other news: Pepco's reliability plan looks unreliable. D.C. cop charged with stealing. DC Appleseed Center for Law report dings Fenty for "lack of leadership" in fighting HIV/AIDS.

    Gray sked: 10 a.m. meeting on HIV/AIDS. Noon appearance at Metropolitan Club.

    Council sked: 10 a.m. hearing on UDC. Sessoms, prepare thyself for a grilling.

    • Don’t Forget

      SEKOU BIDDLE = KWAME BROWN

    • NU78

      Who is getting all the tax money we're paying out for these city-owned and city-leased luxury cars??

      Is this focus on the "charges" Sulaimon Brown is making against Mayor Gray and his campaign aides really just a smokescreen to keep anyone from looking at REAL ILLEGALITIES that have been committed within the D.C. government??

    • Ward 4

      Howard Brooks -- is this the Dr. Howard Brooks, Dermatologist with a practice on Wisconsin Avenue? Wow. I knew that he was a supporter of Gray's but I hope he wasn't this dumb to get caught up in this scandal!

    • TK

      Jaffe has a good point, especially about Gray's top staffers. They come from an era of incompetence and corruption. What did he expect from them this time around? I mean, seriously.

      I'm not calling for Fenty's return, but all the Fenty people must be laughing their fucking asses off at this situation.

      Why does Cherita Whiting, who lied about her felony conviction, still have a job? Gray needs to grow some fucking balls, and deal with the mess he has allowed to happen.

      DC government needs an independent ethics investigator that can open cases without the hacks in DC government asking for an investigation.

    • Richard notRich

      TK is right on! at least in the first 1/2 of the fenty administration, he had good people who were on the train to really help solve some problems. new blood came in, at almost every department. the cap stat program, the first 100 days goals agenda, the youthfulness was all there. NOW we have these Marion Barry era administrators again. very few people stuck around. look who else is back.. Neil somebody who had a falling out with Fenty, Eric somebody who couldn't get a job. meanwhile the republicans on the hill are going to jump all over this. what a bunch of low life amateurs at the wilson building.

    • NU78

      Allen Lew's attitude appears to be a major problem at the top of the Gray administration. With a $300,000 annual salary, Mr. Lew needs to be driving his own car to and from work -- and using a car from the city's carpool whenever he needs to travel somewhere on the job. His justification of his own city-owned/city-leased vehicle is ridiculous.

    • OmarBaby

      sounds like Gray is pussywhipped.

    • Adrian Bent-Me

      WTF Vince! You're no better than Fenty. What happened to these extraordinarily high standards you had claimed to abide by. It's all bullshit. I would understand if you had one or two "misunderstandings", but everything you've done thus far, and I mean everything, is tinged if not laden with corruption of some sort. Get it together man. You're better than this. All of these sharks around you aren't there to defend you, they're there anticipating the frenzy, chomping at the bits as they circle.

    • Typical DC BS

      Sessoms contention that he needs to travel first-class because of "circulation problems" in his legs is ridiculous. I doubt very much he needs to travel all over the world on behalf of UDC. UDC? Give me a break. He's way overpaid to begin with. Tell him to buy his own car. He's also living rent-free in a 1.6 million dollar house.

      Just another over-paid DC leach.

    • Concerned Citizen

      #
      OmarBaby March 8th, 2011
      11:48 am
      #7 wrote:

      sounds like Gray is pussywhipped.
      ______________________________________________

      That pretty much sums it up! They had to dig pretty far deep under the dung heap of complete and utter failure to find Crystal Palmer to resurrect. That represents an active intent to retrograde. Who's next? Barbara Bullock?
      We are talking one sick sorority and one dude with no balls.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Vince Gray is pussy whipped, pass it around!

    • SEis4ME

      Adrian, right. Having been in office less than 2 months. Gray has shown that he is no better than Fenty.

      Four years vs. 2mos.

      And I'm sure you wrote that with a straight face.

      when will the lunacy end? I guess in 2014.

    • ………..

      Listening to the counsel of the 'Joy Luck Club' is not doing Vince any favors. Send them 'heffas' back to the farm, and send them soon!

    • Rake

      Where, oh where, have the one citidots gone? Not coming out in droves to defend Vince and his crew of incompetents this week, I see...

    • NewsJunkie

      @Ward 4 - Dr. Howard Brooks, a DC-based dermatologist, is not the same Howard Brooks who is referenced as part of Sulaimon Brown's allegations.

    • itsjustamess

      Lorraine Green simply can not get it through her Barbara Bullock wig. The gig is up. Game over! You no longer occupy the honeymoon suite. DC taxpayers are seeking an annulment. Your Gray-V train ride with the Mayor and Amtrak has been derailed but you are more than welcomed to reserve yourself a one-way ticket in the coach section or caboose on the next thing smoking. Accommodations can easily be made for Howard Brooks, your traveling companion, providing he consults his attorney prior to your unscheduled but timely departure. You may leave on the morning train 'cause the evening train may be too late but I definitely wouldn't wait 'til the midnight hour when your love (of power) comes tumbling down. Oh, by the way, Mr. Western Union Man has a message especially for you - "The Feds are coming! The Feds are coming!" Lorraine Green, Uncle Sam Wants You!

    • Adrian Bent-Me

      SEis4me- whether shady behavior arises 2 months, 2 years, or hell, 2 hours after elected Mayor, there is no defending it or utilizing your logic, justifying its effect relative to the past actions, though drawn out, of someone equally as shady. Shady is shady. Fenty was an asshole who did a whole lot of shady things. I can't ever sympathize with that man simply because our new mayor is doing the same. The actions of both are inexcusable. I don't think blindingly following anyone will get us anywhere. Transparency and accountability is as important to me as any policy reform.
      When will others in the City see this. We have douchebags aplenty leading us all astray.

    • TK

      Nice move by Evans to postpone (read: kill) Green's nomination. That dirty biatch should be nowhere near DC government. Shit, Amtrak is a mess, too.

    • Full Ginsberg?

      okay i'll cop to it: i don't get what a "full ginsberg" means. is it a reference to allen ginsberg?

    • candycane1

      Roll the video tape please. It was Vince Gray who asked Fenty to cooperate and to be collaborative. Fenty hired Rhee and Gray was quite incensed that he dared to name a chancellor without allowing other viable candidates to be vetted.

      This is a bunch of BS. Watching someone work and watching someone he knows is not a vetting process and to make statements to that effect is an outright insult to taxpayers. Forming a search panel as a formality is an outright insult to the taxpayers.

      What I know is that I didn't need Gray to give me a job. I wanted Fenty gone and I volunteered to help. I had petitions filled out, I supported Gray at ward forums, I worked the polls on primary day and on election day which was cold as "he//", I was out there. Since Jan 2, the only thing I have received in return is embarrassment after embarrassment and while I am so glad that Fenty is gone, this is not what I expect from the public servant named Gray. Whose interests are you really working for? Henderson's interim period doesn't end until June. There is plenty of time to search for several qualified applicants to determine who is best suited for such a position.

      This is an outrage!!!!

    • itsjustamess

      So you thought Sulaimon Brown was the dullest knife in the drawer? Well, that butter knife is performing laser surgery on the Gray administration's cataracts and I believe shortly they will begin see him in a very different light. Folk always said hindsight is 20/20. Pretty soon, I bet Gray will be singing, "I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone!" Too bad though, he more than likely won't see another four years. Yet something told me it was over, when I saw Sulaimon and her talking (at Union Station). Something deep down in my soul said, "Cry Gray!" (cry cry) I'll be willing to bet Gray would rather go blind than to see what Sulaimon Brown is doing to him right now. It's so bloody, I'm closing "my" eyes to keep from seeing it.

    • Lazy is what lazy does

      Okay who's gonna craft the vacancy announcement for this Chancellor? Surely, you're not going to leave it up to anyone on the Mayor's staff. Remember, Fenty did not have a vacancy announcement for Rhee, they chased her down and appointed her to the job. So in actuality there hasn't been a search for a Superintendent since Janey and we all know that he was not our first choice. Therefore back to the question who's gonna craft the vacancy announcement for the Chancellor's position? If the last vacancy announcement done only garnered you the fourth candidate of which you fired in the middle of the night. Then do I need to say anymore. Let Kaya and DeShawn have their time in the limelight...that should be enough to have the white people shudder in their living rooms. You will know when whites become uncomfortable with Kaya and DeShawn they will refer to them by initials of K and D. As it's already starting with Mayor Vee.

    • Truth Hurts

      ONE CITY, BABY!!!!

      Character, Integrity, Leadership = empty slogan. Cronyism, Nepotism, Hypocrisy = real life.

      @ drez: March Madness is here. Remember my Trout report prediction?

      Speaking of investigations, hear anything re status of the IG's lottery contract investigation? Wonder if they're looking at the Brooks/Gray connection and Interlot. Hint hint.

    • Brahmin

      Yeah I agree with Jaffe--Suliamon has no credibility but the fact that this guy was who you he time with while Harvard educated volunteers wait by the phone is crazy.

      Short of Jesus, Budha, Mohammed and David endorsing you do not expect a second term.

      I don't like Biddle--I need another person to vote for.

    • TK

      @Brahmin - Vote Josh Lopez - no taint and will stand up to the Gray/Brown regime.

    • OMG
    • candycane

      Candycane, you have work hard and should be proud of yourself. This is very sad for many people. I hope the investigation is well done and not by IG are AG, both totally unreliable.

    • candycane
    • @candycane

      candycane, sorry, I didnt mean to steal your name, I was just trying to address stuff to you:)

    • DCRez

      I am disappointed in Mayor Gray. He has surrounded himself with self serving leeches who could care less about public service. I really cannot discern who is worse Gray or Fenty. Both have the same nasty characteristics.

      What is it about native Washingtonian politicians. Are they just prone to corruption?

    • candycane1

      @???? Thanks for clearing that up and thanks for your comments. I didn't post that for grandstanding but my point is that Gray only had 5 months to announce his candidacy and raise money and get people involved. That means a "lot" of people had to get out there and beat the pavement for that to happen and in just 60 damn days, all of this. I have no regrets working to get Fenty out of office because I believed he was not the man for the job and after "Morning Joe", I believe it even more. I'm still hoping this one is going to pull it together. But if first impressions mean anything, you have to ask yourself what the hell was it all for? I'm just too disappointed but again thanks for your comments.

    • Rake

      The latest on Cheritia, and it is pretty funny now that email trails are starting to come forward...

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/8/aware-of-felony-gray-gave-dc-job-to-campaign-worke/?page=1#

      ONE CITY, down the tubes...

    • noodlez

      IT AMAZES ME WHEN I SEE SEE FOLK ADHERE TO THIS NEW WAVE OF 30 SECOND NEWS CYCLE TABLOID BULLSHIT. THEN ACKNOWLEDGE MOST OF THE CRAP AS GOSPEL.

      I FULLY SUPPORT MAYOR GRAY AND THE WAY HE IS UPHOLDING THE OFFICE. IT IS FAR BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD THE PAST FOUR YEARS AND WILL ONLY GET BETTER. IF ALL YOU SHIPJUMPERS ARE BAILING NOW YOU WERE REALLY NEVER ON BOARD TO BEGIN WITH.

      IF ALL YALL GOT IS SOME QUESTIONABLE HIRES TO HANG YOUR HAT ON THEN HAVE AT IT.

      HOLLA AT ME WHEN SOME REAL SHIT HIT THE FAN. I'LL BE SURE TO DUCK BEHIND GAYTANIA THE OXY-MORON, GRAHAM'S GREEDY GRUBBY GRAB BAG OF CASH, THE FAGGIE FENTY CONTRACT SELLOUT, THE RHEE-SON THAT DCPS IS STILL A MESS, THE BAMMA ASS BALD-HEADED BUDGET BLUNDERS, MR MAYOR'S MURKY MISSING IN ACTION MAYHEM, PEACEAHOLIC PAYOUTS, NICKLES NEIN ON PUBLIC INFO AND JACK EVANS.

      ONE CITY IN FULL EFFECT 3 MONTHS IN!

    • tformation

      @NOODLEZ... you haven't failed me yet! Lol

      @Candycane... I think he really needs to surround himself with better people. I do not believe any of this Sulaimon stuff AT ALL... I KNOW he is crazy and this isnt his first time making allegations against a Mayor.... This is just the first time THE MEDIA have given him the time of day reporting it. (Things that make you go hmmm.) I think the Kaya issue a result of advisors who are looking out for self. He needs to clean his own house and start all over again before its too late.

      @DCRez.... Fenty has nasty characteristics all day long, Grays lack of nasty characteristics is whats getting him in hot water when he needs to start whooping ass and taking names at the District Building. While I dont think it is how Gray is, he doesnt know that he has hired a group of people who are all for self, not one city.

    • tformation

      The first thing he needs to do is get rid of his press person, or communications office or whatever they are called because they certainly arent doing their jobs. The excuse of "I didnt know or I just found out" is getting real old real fast. He is the Mayor. HE HAS TO KNOW! His press staff is supposed to let him know of all grumblings, rumblings, comments, complaints going on in the WORLD that may have some negative effect on the City, DC Govt or THE MAYORS OFFICE. So far, it seems all they are doing is getting Govt jobs for their family members while the Mayor is getting thrown under the bus.

      CLEAN YOUR HOUSE VINCE. It can be done and it needs to be done swiftly.

    • candycane1

      @tinformation- How you doin and @Noodlez:HOW YOU DOIN?

      A problem real or perceived is still a problem. I haven't jumped ship but I want to feel confident that the captain understands how to float the boat! I agree that the Sulamon issue is more crap than truth but all that is being reported as cronyism and his other appointees is everything that Gray campaigned against. Being totally tuned in to what is perceived is his responsibility as well. I agree that he has surrounded himself with people who may not have the one city concept on their agendas. But when it is all said and done, it's Gray's ass on the line and he's responsible for those appointees. He doesn't have a choice but to step it up. To get a campaign together in 5 months, no money and win, there had to be some serious momentum because we wanted Fenty gone. That same momentum can shift just as fast if he doesn't get it together. I hope that he does. I don't want to see him fail. But I'm not going to pretend that this is OK with me. I want to hear about my taxes and my city services, the city's budget(If Ghandi can ever get it right). Give the circus back to Ringling Bros. and get down to business. That certainly is not to much to ask for.

    • Wendy Washington

      @Full Ginsberg the term describes a very unique form of spin doctoring.

      The term "full Ginsburg" (correct spelling) is a buzzword that refers to an appearance by one person on all five American major Sunday-morning interview shows on the same day: This Week on ABC, Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation on CBS, Meet the Press on NBC, and Late Edition on CNN.

      The term is named for William H. Ginsburg, the lawyer for Monica Lewinsky during the sexual conduct scandal involving President Bill Clinton. Ginsburg was the first person to accomplish this feat, on February 1, 1998.

      Just like Monica Lewinsky -- Sulaimon Brown is the one who should be held up to ridicule. SB has yet to realize there is no upside for him in all of this. He will still be unemployed and most likely, unemployable. What prospective employer would hire him -- even if he were qualified?

      @tformation -- I agree with your comments, Gray's persona is decidedly different from King Fenty's. That is a good thing. The bad thing is that Gray has not surrounded himself with the right people.

      @noodles -- thanks for reminding those who may have forgotten -- all of Fenty's foolishness.

    • Rake

      Ah, the One Citidiots return!

      Some questionable hires, eh?

      One woman convicted of wire fraud at her prior job, and who didn't disclose the conviction on her application (and as emails have proven, Vince knew about, despite pronouncements to the contrary)

      Howard Brooks' son in law and next door neighbor getting $100k jobs in the administration despite multiple conflicts of interest. Heck, Brooks in general - bankrupt, suing DC, conflict of interest with the lottery case.

      Lorraine Green - enough said.

      Oh, and lest us forget Sulaimon, who for all his crazy has brought forth some evidence.

      If this is one city in full effect, we are in trouble.

      Fenty isn't mayor any more. Gray is. Marion may say "to the victor go the spoils", but conventional wisdom says that fortune does not favor the unprepared, and that to the incompetent go the OIG investigations...

      One City, heading back to 1992, delorean style...

    • noodlez

      @Rake-YOUR WACK ASS BACK TO THE FUTURE REFERENCE IS PLAYED OUT LIKE THOSE EURO CUT CLOTHES THAT ATTRACT BANANA PEELERS SUCH AS YOUR SELF.

      SLIM IF SHE DID HER TIME THEN WHAT THE FUCK IS THE PROBLEM? SHE MADE A MISTAKE. AND??? IS SHE STEALING? IS SHE FUCKING UP? FROM THE GIST OF IT SOUNDS LIKE SHE WORKED HER WAY BACK UP FROM THE MISTAKE SHE MADE.

      THIS MOTHERCOUSINSISTERBROTHER CONFLICT OF INTEREST SHIT YOU BABBLIN ABOUT IS A SYMPTOM OF H.I.V.(HATING INVOLVEMENTSOF VINCE). YOU SHOULD PAUSE FOR A FEW BECAUSE YOUR COMMENTS ARE STARTING IT'S WAY TO CONTRACTING FULL BLOWN "SULAIMON"!

      THREE STARS. TWO STRIPES. ONE CITY.

    • drez

      THREE STARS. TWO STRIPES. ONE CITY.
      Zero standards.

      Seriously, he's barely two months in. He needs to make some serious changes, or he ain't gonna last.

      My advice: Green, Brooks, Karim, Brown, buh-bye! Stay away from crony-hires, medicare fraud, and lottery contracts.

    • Rake

      Drez, well said.

      On to another topic, I would also be interested in what the One Citidiots think about Gray's appointment of Kaya Henderson - for a process guy, he sure didn't follow his stated process, did he? And we know the One Citidots HATED Rhee...That said, appointing Kaya may be the only smart thing Vince has done since he was elected.

    • tformation

      @Candycane... How YOU doing?

      @Drez....
      Seriously, he's barely two months in. He needs to make some serious changes, or he ain't gonna last.
      My advice: Green, Brooks, Karim, Brown, buh-bye! Stay away from crony-hires, medicare fraud, and lottery contracts.

      I cant believe I'm saying this but.... I totally agree with you on that part but under no circumstances was/is Fenty the answer. So many people in this city felt more strongly about that than WHO they elected. Blame Fenty for that too. Lol

    • Pingback: Pacific.scoop.co.nz » Undernews For 13 March 2011

    ...