Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Edupothole 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!


  • Why Was Webb Fired?
  • New DOES Director is Out (Updated)
  • Local Girl Makes Good
  • Good morning sweet readers! How do you tell the difference between a dogwood and a cherry blossom? News time:

    Education Pothole: The weekend's talker is courtesy of the Post's Bill Turque, who reports that some DCPS parents are wondering whether "school reform" (whatever that is) has hit a pothole or a roadblock. Concerns stem from the USA Today report on possible cheating, as well as the departure of many top aides to former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Turque says there are "whispers of concern that the momentum of change under Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson may be slowing. 'The sense is that the foot is off the gas,' said one vet­eran administrator."

    AFTER THE JUMP: Budget Out; Alexander Investigation Request; H.R. Fail ...

    Budget Reaction: By now you know that Mayor Vince Gray has released his budget proposal. No. 1 on the media's list is the fact that Gray's proposing raising taxes on the 14,000 or so District households that earn more than $200,000 a year, angering Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, who stands to pay an extra $660 a year due to the increase. Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown may be on a "collision course" over tax increases. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells likes the budget. And the Georgetown Dish wonders if this month's special election will determine tax hike fight outcome.

    Investigate Alexander Please: The Times reports that a group of Ward 7 residents want the Office of Campaign Finance to investigate whether Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander "commingled campaign and constituent service funds, failed to report in-kind contributions, exceeded in-kind donation limits, accepted reduced rents on a campaign and constituent service office in exchange for introducing legislation to benefit her landlord, and benefited personally from funds raised for constituents."

    You Did What?: The Examiner's Jonetta Rose Barras takes out her whacking stick on Gray's former interim H.R. director Judy Banks. "Mayor Vincent C. Gray sent Judy Banks to the D.C. Department of Human Resources to serve as interim director and ensure his people were put on the payroll posthaste. That's what she did, according to government sources, who said she forced workers to violate rules—sometimes threatening them when they resisted her orders." According to Barras, Banks' replacement Angelia Rowe-Garner "has been described as the 'goddaughter' of Lorraine Green, the former chairwoman of Gray's 2010 campaign who is at the center of current mayoral scandals."

    Barry and the Budget: Post columnist Colby King calls out Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry for playing budget games. "Last week brought a preview of coming attractions from D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). While Gray and others have been scrubbing the budget for reductions, Barry has been busy composing a letter to the mayor demanding millions of dollars in additional spending to support programs 'that really need to be expanded during an economic downturn.' It was vintage Barry: staking out a position that makes him the champion of, as he put it in his letter, 'those who need it the most: the young and the old.'" (King wonders where Barry would find the money to pay for all that stuff.)

    Highway to the Trouble Zone: The Examiner reports that even with the 120 new cops Gray's proposed budget would add to the force, MPD is likely still headed into trouble. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says she doesn't want to see the force drop below 3,800. FOP boss Kris Baumann says the force could dip below 3,700 by the time the new recruits hit the streets.

    In Other News: McKinley principal reinstated. Skinner and Segraves, together at last. At-large councilmember and candidate Sekou Biddle picks up Wells' endorsement.

    Gray sked: Center City Project Groundbreaking (financed by Qatar!), 11th and H Streets NW. 11 p.m.

    Council sked: 1 p.m. hearing on pension protection act.

    Ron Moten's rebuttal to Gray's SOTD speech is tonight at 6 p.m. at Bar 7. LL has an embargoed copy of the 12-page speech and will sell it to the highest bidder.

    • TheAngryVoter

      Sounds like the days are numbered for a lot of the councilmembers. Alexander the latest on the chopping block, I know that OCF is starting to get a headache from all these requests for investigations.

      If raising taxes will be a huge consideration as to what the special election results will be, thats going to be huge because a lot of those candidates are for raising taxes on higher income citizens.

      Barry must dance around his house to the J.G Wentworth commercial because he cannot refrain from "It's my money and I want it NOW"

      The DCPS situation will take time because there are so many problems there really is not one focus you can have. They will have to tackle everything in small incruments.


    • Don’t forget about…

      The analogies of potholes, navi-gate, driving seat and others only makes one want to say "are we there yet?"

      I know that the City Council is saying to themselves that the July recess is not coming fast enough.

      One thing for sure the group that Kaya will start-off with should be fully in place by the time school start. If all who are on notice to peacefully resign within the coming months do so, then SY2010 will be a smooth operation.

      I haven't seen a swagger in the DCPS hiearchy since Arlene Ackerman and Eloise Brooks were at the helm. It's almost like a televison sitcom, where the sassy black woman is in charge. Henderson is our Nell Carter in disguise "gimme a break" or "ain't miss be'havin."

    • Ward 8 Rez

      Sinclair Skinner is a lying sack of pig waste....I see his mouth moving, but nothing coherent, meaningful, or useful is coming out!

    • Hypocrite Much?

      According to Barras, Banks' replacement Angelia Rowe-Garner "has been described as the 'goddaughter' of Lorraine Green, the former chairwoman of Gray's 2010 campaign who is at the center of current mayoral scandals."

      Is anyone surprised by this revelation...Let the blackballing of qualified DC residents who don't toe the Lorraine Green party line or kiss her pinky ring, and cronyism continue.

      The shoulder-pad briggade of Sharon-Pratt-Dixon-Kelley Administration is alive and kicking in DC local politics and DC government hiring practices. So let me be clear, in order to obtain employment in the Gray Administration you have to have slept a Councilmember or several Councilmembers, kissed Lorraine Green's a$$, been related to Ms. Green, worked with Ms. Green in the past, or slept with Ms. Green past or present. Now, let's count how many DC residents that leaves out of the equation.

      This is a basket full of yellow jacks, wasps, and hornets waiting to descend on the heads and bodies of DC residents, compliments of the Queen B, Ms. Lorraine Green.

      Oh, and in another note, does no one wonder why the DOES CFO , Chief of Staff (Stephanie Reich) and Special Assisant to the Director (LeRoy Ellis) are not on the termination chopping block considering that each of these people should have be able to counsel their Director on the correct methods and protocol for making purchases and hiring practices.

      Looks like Stephanie Reich has continued her reign of terror on DC residents by inserting herself into an agency that she has no experience with nor interest in returning DC residents back to work. How many people remember how disrespectful and clueless she was when she worked for Chairman Linda Cropp.

    • Sekou Brown

      There's no getting around it: Sekou Biddle = Kwame Brown.

      Kwame Brown's fomer campaign manager is Sekou Biddle's current campaign manager.

      Kwame Brown's former DC Council staff is Sekou Biddle's current DC Council staff.

      Kwame Brown's former spokesman is Sekou Biddle's current spokesman.

      Kwame's Brown's father, Marshall Brown, is on Sekou Biddle's campaign payroll.

      Sekou Biddle was nobody until Kwame Brown endorsed him and twisted the arms of Democratic Party officials to appoint Biddle to the Council.

    • Really

      Sekou Brown....if anybody spent 5 mins with Benedict Biddle they will see that he is more Fenty then Brown.

    • Rake

      I am amazed that the anti Cherita Whiting crew hasn't weighed in on the fact that she's out of her appointed position... figured it would be cause for lots of comments.

    • Rick Mangus

      Crooks All!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Black Swan

      So, cynics, we have a choice: Grouse among ourselves or exercise our democratic right to vote bums out of office and good folks in their place. This contrarian plans to vote for someone with a solid track record of public service in an area that counts a lot for our communities and future: public education. Sekou Biddle has served Wards 3 & 4 well on the school board. He's nobody's pawn - and nobody's fool.

    • TheAngryVoter

      @Black Swan Don't paint Skittle Biddle to be anything but a fool. I listened to the audio from the Ward 5 forum and someone asked him why he is breaking the law under the Hatch Act, which states if your on the State Board of Education, you are not allowed to pursuit a position on the city council. Biddle the Skittle head could not provide a legit answer to why he is in violation of this law.

      He was spoonfed the At-Large seat. And why did he take his family off his campaign literature? Damn Skittle there is no need to hide your family from the community if you want to serve the citizens. But then again this is Biddle so he will do whatever Kwame & His Father tells him to do to win!