Loose Lips

House Oversight Committee Does Gray a Big Favor

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said today that his committee has launched a "full investigation" into allegations made by the District's favorite 209-vote getting mayoral candidate, Sulaimon Brown, that Mayor Vince Gray's campaign illegally gave him money and promised him a city job.

Issa, a Republican from California, said in a statement that he'd instructed his staff to determine if the District "would be able to swiftly and fairly evaluate the merit of these charges and take necessary action if appropriate."

But the lack of cooperation from Gray's aides, Issa said, led him to believe that the District can't properly investigating l'affaire Sulaimon. "The initial findings of these efforts do not give me confidence that the District government can make this evaluation. As such, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has begun a full investigation to determine the facts and will report its findings,” says Issa.

House oversight committee investigators will now join staff from the Office of Campaign Finance and federal investigators (the U.S. Attorney's Office says it's assessing Brown's allegations) in looking into Brown's claims.

While on its face this may look like more bad news for Gray, it's probably one of the better things that could happen to the mayor in this whole Sulaimon mess.

After Gray won the September primary, he held a series of town hall meetings in each ward where he'd begin the forums with long and kinda boring stump speeches. It seemed to LL that early on Gray stumbled upon the fact that the audience really responded to any mention of the District being treated unfairly by Congress, and how he was going to stand up and fight against those injustices. By the last town hall forum, the District v. Congress was a major part of the stump speech.

Now Issa, who probably should have been content to let the U.S. Attorney's Office do its thing before jumping in, has given Gray a near-perfect foil. In Robert McCartney's Post column today, former Mayor-for-life Marion Barry advises the mayor on how to handle the current scandal. Barry's advice essentially boils down to this: create an us v. them dynamic between Gray and the media and some councilmembers who were friendly to former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

That strategy might work in some parts of the city, but it wouldn't allow Gray to be the "one city" type mayor he wants to be.

But with Issa, it's a whole different dynamic. This is a town that voted 92 percent for President Obama, and Issa is the congressman who declared that Obama is "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." Gray hardly has to even do anything to win sympathy from his constituents, even those west of the park, with Issa as his chief persecutor.

In a statement, Gray's office essientially said, "bring it on" in response to Issa's announcement.

"Mayor Vincent C. Gray reiterated his position that he welcomes any investigation into the matter ... Mayor Gray believes that there are sufficient investigative bodies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, addressing and responding to Mr. Brown's allegations. Congressional involvement is not likely to illuminate any additional issues or information."

LL asked Issa's spokesman if any type of political considerations were discussed before making the decision to investigate. He said they were not. That's not surprising, but it's good news for Gray.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Rick Mangus

    'Really', you sound like an uneducated typical DC BIGOTT!

  • Que Puppy

    There is nothing that would get me to love Mayor Fenty. I was a huge supporter in the beginning. I spent hours of my time campaigning for him, getting people to donate and advocating for him. I absolutely adored Fenty as a councilmember. That love is loss.

    And equally with Gray, although I will try to afford Gray some more time before I pass final judgement.

    But Gray's downfall does not make me love Fenty. And that appears to be the general sentiment. People can simultaneous be disappointed in two people. It is indeed possible.

    Fenty was bad all on his own. He had the love of the people and squandered their good will.
    And when they were voting him out he had the nerve to invent the reason why they did not like him. CRAZY. If he should attrition on his way out the door things might possibly be different.

    If Fenty had invested time in a decent constituent team and paid attention to trying to boast local economic concerns--he would still be in office despite the level of arrongance. He would not have had everyone's vote but enough of his original base would have stayed with him. His people like Gray's people failed him. All politicians are arrogant --a loft belief in your own self important is a requisit of the job-but some have better staff. They return phone calls, facilitate constituents, our beacons of confidence in absence of the mayor--Fenty had none of that.

    Mayor Williams please, oh I beg of you please consider public office at some level.

  • deedle

    http://www.legistorm.com/person/Frederick_Raine_Hill/13888.html

    Boy, Mr. Hill doubled his salary in the last 2 years. Not a bad bump in the middle of a recession. You only got that kind of pay increase when orchestrate some quality publicity stunts for your boss.

  • Que Puppy

    I saw Mr. Sulaimon Brown last night on Fox5 DC. The guy seem to have some type of mental health disorder. He need to seek some mental health counseling. Oops, I forgot, former Mayor Adrian Fenty and At-Large DC Councilmember David Catania closed the Department of Mental Health and privitized this agency.

  • Terry Miller

    I thought Adrian Fenty's administration was inefficient, unethical and self-absorbed. As much as I came to absolutely despise him, I would never have asked for the control board to be back. I was here during the control board and basically, us citizens had absolutely no control over what happened in our city.

    I don't know why anyone would want to give up their rights just because they don't like the current administration.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Terry- that seems to be the the push by Fentites. I guarantee you that most of them were not here during the control board period and as a result, don't know what the fuck they are talking about. It just baffles me that people could be this stupid. Do they really want Gray to fail so badly that they'll be willing to give up the very little rights that we do have as DC Citizens. Just crazy to me.

  • Rick Mangus

    The best mayor this city ever had was Antony Williams!

  • HRHJCG

    @Rick Mangus - Absolutely!

  • tony

    Sulaimon Brown is a complete fool. He is man who tells a "story" of being part of a sleazy arrangement where he "say" he didn't get his piece of the pie. So he decides to run and snitch to the FBI. Sulaimon Brown is a snitch who can't stand on his own two feet, period.

  • itsjustamess

    @tony - It has been officially declared "Snitch Season." Just watch all the snitch maggots come running out of the termite-infested woodwork. Snitch over here, snitch over there, a burned b---- snitching everywhere.

  • Really?

    Hey Ron....I have a hole that you can lick.

  • Southeast Ken

    isjustamess; thank you for that information about Cherita Whiting in the Washington Times. I too am baffled to why the Washington City Paper hasn't done an article on Cherita Whiting? Reading the article, Ms. Whiting might be losing her job. itjustamess, dam you are on top of the Cherita Whiting story. LOL LOL

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/18/gray-campaign-worker-comes-missing-dc-probe/print/#

  • Ward 4 Resident

    Many Ward 4 residents that know Cherita Whiting wasn't aware, she's a former convicted ex felon. Emails had been circulating around Ward 4 regarding vicious comments coming from Ms. Whiting. Ms. Whiting doesn't care for Ward 4 Muriel Bowser. They both are former 4B ANC Commissioners from the Lamond-Riggs area of Northeast. Bowser doesn't care for Cherita Whiting either.

    Ms. Whiting personal attacks against others is now coming back to haunt her. She should have remained silent during the election, but she continue with her rhetoric and personal attacks against Bowser and Fenty. Now, her skeletons are coming out of the closet. When I first seen Ms. Whiting, she appeared to be a little rough around the edges (ghetto). After seeing her dam finger nails, she answered my question in my mind regarding her being ghetto.

  • itsjustamess

    @Ward 4 Resident - Maya Angelou says, "If a person shows you who they are...believe them!"

  • Southeast Ken

    LOL LOL@isjustamess

    These woman must be related to Ms. Whiting. Ghetto as hell! LOL LOL

    http://gothamist.com/2011/03/18/video_subway_spaghetti_spat_sparks.php

  • Anothernative

    @Rick Mangus, you are a complete idiot and definately could not have been around during the year's of the control board dictatorship or, you have absolutely no belief in the constitution of our great nation. Which ever catagory you fall under you couldn't be as well versed in civil rights as you think.

  • http://citypaper Tony

    Anothernative, i have been working with Rick's wife to help his mental state but progress has not rush out of the starting gate.

  • Dr. Van Helsing

    Tony, Rick Mangus is gay. He's stated this many times. How on earth can he have a wife?. People should have a right to voice their opinions without personal attacks or being called names. This is what you liberals do when things get too hot in the kitchen.

    On another issue, why haven't the Washington City Paper written about Cherita Whiting? The woman is a liar and ex-felon hired by Vince Gray in a $65,000 position. What is this woman's qualifications to get this position?

    The Washington Examiner and Washington Times have only written about Chertia Whiting, not even the liberal Washington Post rag.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/03/human-resources-director-says-hire-was-mistake#

  • Rick Mangus

    'Anothernative' when you all stop acting like children who are out of control then maybe you will have a seat in Congress. I was a citizen in this city during the Control Board and then we got the best mayor that this city EVER HAD, Tony Williams. Washington, DC is the brunt of jokes even in London. Stop running this city like Catfish Row and stop playing the race card every time, it getting annoying and tiresome and it shows your lack of education!

    'Tony', sticks and stones baby, sticks and stones!

  • http://citypaper Tony

    Hey Rickie, i am not into whips,tongue ties.handcuffs, sticks and stones. SORRY!

  • 4OURFUTURE

    @DVHelsing, It's liberal minds that pulled this country out of Vietnam and that is struggling to get us out of Iraq and this other sh@t, as opposed to idlely standing by like lambs being led to slaughter listening to conservative rhetoric using the veil of patriotism sprun by drug addict talking heads.@Rick Mangus, I agree that AW was an excellent Mayor but please explain to me what catfish have to do with any of this?

  • Rick Mangus

    '4OURFUTURE' This town had respectability under Williams before we had Walter Washington who was a yes man for Congress and Lyndon Johnson then we had Mo Barry aka (Crackatowa) who ran this city straight out of a script from 'Amos and Andy'! We had Sharron Pratt Kelly Dixon, WTF who lied about how bad this city finances were! Fenty who had no leadership abilities. Now we have Gray who hasn't been in office for four months and need I say more!

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