Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Emancipation Day 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:

  • What's Missing From Sekou Biddle's Mailer?
  • Good morning sweet readers! Happy Emancipation Day. LL will be keeping this round-up short and sweet, since it's a holiday and no one is at work. News time:

    Star Turn: Mayor Vince Gray held a news conference yesterday to decry Congress' funding of the school voucher program. But it was Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown who got the most prominent ink. Probably because Brown supports the voucher program. From a front (web) page story in the New York Times on the rebirth of the voucher program: "'When I walk into a Safeway and talk to a mother who had a child who was already part of the voucher program and had another one she wanted to sign up, how could I deny her the opportunity?' said Kwame R. Brown, the Democratic chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, who supports the city’s voucher program." Brown also talks about his rocky start with the Washington Business Journal, but LL doesn't know what he says because the story is behind a firewall and LL refuses to pay for news.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Smack Down; School Blues; Wynning...

    Voucher Flip-Flop?: At his presser, Gray made the case that his opposition to the voucher program is an ideological opposition to Congress trying to impose its views on the District: "It could be vouchers today, abortions for low-income women, needle exchange programs, marriage equality, guns — all of those things are decided elsewhere by those states and those jurisdictions. That's the same rights that should be afforded to the people of this city." But the WaPo editorial board ain't buying it: "Mr. Gray is right that Congress has no business telling city officials how to spend local taxpayer dollars. [Del. Eleanor Holmes] Norton is right that the District needs true representation in Congress. But their professed anger at a program that directs more federal dollars to education in the city, gives poor children more choices and is desperately sought by District families only undermines their campaign for home rule." This is only a little awkward, in light of the editorial the Post ran earlier in the week bashing the interference by Congress, but hey! They agree with Congress on the voucher issue.

    School Blues: Some D.C. schools may be taking a budget hit next fiscal year because of "rising teacher salaries, increased special education spending and a move toward more equitable funding," the Post reports. "Some schools would face significant hits. Amidon-Bowen, an elementary school in Ward 6, for example, would lose about $800 per student. School Without Walls, a magnet high school on the George Washington University campus that is projected to add 63 students this fall, would face a per-pupil spending reduction of nearly $2,000. Parent leaders said the cuts would seriously harm one of the city’s highest-performing schools."

    Wynning: Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins won't be staying at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas when he tries to lure multi-billion retailers to open stores in the District, according to the WBJ. Gray will be staying at the Wynn, but will cover the difference between the $93 government rate and the $270 Wynn rate.

    Late Night Texts: Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh issues subpoena's to those involved in l'affaire Sulaimon, the Times reportsSulaimon Brown sends text messages to reporters at 1 a.m. to say it's not true. "Before Mary Cheh's lies begin. I have not received a subpoena from her or anyone else, as reported by the Washington Times," the first text read. "This is Sulaimon Brown," the second said. "Ww," went the third.

    You're Doing It Wrong: Postie Mike DeBonis calls up Randall Terry, "the firebrand antiabortion activist who has been on an unceasing, in-your-face crusade for more than 20 years" for a critique of D.C.'s current home rule advocates, including Hizzoner. The takeaway from Terry, Monday's arrests aren't going to lead to legitimate protest movement: "It’s like trying to use a match against a water cannon."

    In Other News: Greater Greater Washington's instant runoff vote shows why Vincent Orange is probably going to win the special election. Home rule fight gets "racial."

    Gray sked: Mayor to address students protesters at Stewart R. Mott House, 122 Maryland Avenue NE. 11 a.m.

    • Sekou “Flip Flop” Biddle

      Vouchers. Sekou Biddle was for them before he was against them.

      Taxes. Sekou was for raising taxes before he was against it.

      Kwame Brown. Sekou was happy to have his support before he started running away from the Fully Loaded nightmare.

      Marshall Brown. Sekou had him on the payroll before Brown declared his contempt for white people in the Washington Post.

    • Really

      Sekou "Flip" Marshall didn't say anything about having contempt for White people. Stop lying.

    • RooseColt

      My vote is going to Orange, I heard that at the Black Cat forum Biddle lied about vouching for the Roosevelt Coolidge merge saying he did not say that & Orange recited an excerpt from the Current endorsement Biddle received which highlighted his support for the merge.

      I'll be damned if I vote for a republican or someone who wants to shatter the legacy of Roosevelt.

    • Sekou “Flip Flop” Biddle

      Dear Really,

      This isn't contempt?

      "new white voters [...] want doggie parks and bike lanes."

      "The new people believe more in their dogs than they do in people. They go into their little cafes, go out and throw their snowballs. This is not the District I knew. There's no relationship with the black community; they don't connect at church, they don't go to the same cafes, they don't volunteer in the neighborhood school, and a lot of longtime black residents feel threatened."

      Imagine of a white District resident said similar things about black residents.

      "old white voters [...] want Ben's Chili Bowl and Cadillacs."

      "The old people believe more in their Pit Bulls than they do in people. They go into their little barbershops, go out and fry their chicken. This is not the District I knew. There's no relationship with the white community; they don't connect at the golf club, they don't go to the same cafes, they don't volunteer in the organic gardens, and a lot of new white residents feel threatened."

    • Sekou “Flip Flop” Biddle

      **edited**

      Dear Really,

      This isn't contempt?

      "new white voters [...] want doggie parks and bike lanes."

      "The new people believe more in their dogs than they do in people. They go into their little cafes, go out and throw their snowballs. This is not the District I knew. There's no relationship with the black community; they don't connect at church, they don't go to the same cafes, they don't volunteer in the neighborhood school, and a lot of longtime black residents feel threatened."

      Imagine if a white District resident said similar things about black residents.

      "old black voters [...] want Ben's Chili Bowl and Cadillacs."

      "The old people believe more in their Pit Bulls than they do in people. They go into their little barbershops, go out and fry their chicken. This is not the District I knew. There's no relationship with the white community; they don't connect at the golf club, they don't go to the same cafes, they don't volunteer in the organic gardens, and a lot of new white residents feel threatened."

    • Typical DC BS

      Marshall Brown and his family of midgets all need multiple slaps upside the head.

    • Wendy Washington

      No surprise that Biddle Dee Dee flip-flops or lies. He just follows in the footsteps of his benefactor, Kwame. Kwame has been known to flip-flop on an issue or two. Other times, he has just said "present" to avoid voting on a controversial issue. Licking your finger, then holding it up to see which way the wind is blowing -- just won't serve you well when voters actually pay attention, then remember what position you took (or failed to take) on the issues.

      Kwame seems to have gotten over because of his "charisma" at least that is what some people have said. I hope Kwame does not think that boyish demeanor and Cheshire Cat grin will get him over the hump. Most likely, he does not fully grasp all the implications of the voucher system that Congress wants to impose on DC. He just believes grinning in a parent's face and saying what she wants to hear will win some points. He is in so far over his head, he should be calling for a lifeguard.

    • ADP

      I don't like any of the council candiates that much, but Orange, c'mon? The perpetual candidate, whose only vision for anything involves himself. The former PEPCO lobbyist well-schooled in the old, cozy go-along-to-get-along DC policical culture. I'm voting anybody but Orange.

    • Really

      Sekou "Flip Flop" Biddle.... Nice try. But no prize. See what your attempting to do is narrow the focus out of context, but if you read the whole article you will see that all those who were interviewed where doing was comparing and contrasting the old vs new white residents.

      Really cute how you left off the first part of the quote where Marshall started off with old white residents then in the paragraph showed the difference with the new white residents. In no where didn't he indicate that ALL WHITE PEOPLE were snow throwing twits.

      Oh and read Tom's comment which was the same as Marshall's. Tom is white worked for Fenty and now working for Sekou. Holla at me!

      "Marshall Brown, a longtime D.C. campaign strategist whose son Kwame is the council chairman, worries that the shift in population will result in a racially polarized electorate. “The longtime white population, the people who got involved in statehood, civil rights and environmental causes, thought of this as a black city,” said Brown, who is black. “But the new white voters aren’t involved like that. They want doggie parks and bike lanes. The result is a lot of tension."

      “The new people believe more in their dogs than they do in people. They go into their little cafes, go out and throw their snowballs. This is not the District I knew. There’s no relationship with the black community; they don’t connect at church, they don’t go to the same cafes, they don’t volunteer in the neighborhood school, and a lot of longtime black residents feel threatened.”

      But Tom Lindenfeld, chief strategist for Adrian M. Fenty’s successful 2006 mayoral campaign, isn’t so sure. The fact that the percentage of blacks is waning isn’t the issue, he says. It’s the attitude of the whites coming in.

    • Education2way

      Anyone but Orange is someone who can't do anything to solve the problems in the city. He provides the best solutions for the city's problems.

      I could give a damn about him working for Pepco, its a job. My lights have not gone out because I couldn't afford the bills, that's just a dumb excuse not to consider him.

      If he is the best, it doesn't matter what you personally like or who you think is a good guy. Hell who didn't think Kwame was a good guy before he committed those stupid acts of corruption?

      The city needs to bring people who can give DC the best opportunity to become a state, and get respect. None of those candidates come close to getting the respect Orange has and can bring to the city.

    • What the flocka???

      Wendy Washington...Gurl, stop it. You're on a roll. The vision of him with that cheshire cat grin and being shorter than 6ft is quite hilarious. As my grandmomma, used to call-it skinning and grinning. C-ya Sekou. Just maybe Sekou means "flip-flop" in Swahili and Kwame mean "fully loaded" in Japanese.

    • James Ward 2

      Emancipation Day marks the 100th day of the Gray administration. WTF has the new Mayor accomplished? Without making attacks on Fenty, can anyone state Gray's achievements? The public is well aware of his embarassments.

    • Really

      James how can he achieve anything with the consistant bombs thrown from the Media. Yup I'm going there again. Fenty had two and half years before folks started banging away and a billion dollar budget to blow.

    • Rake

      So Really, it's now the media's fault Gray hasn't accomplished anything? What's the next excuse going to be?

      Vince (and his inner circle) brought media attention on themselves by being inept, as did Fully Loaded. Were Vince a leader, and it's clear he isn't, he'd be able to execute according to plan (where IS that 200-day plan, anyway) while his minions dealt with the scandals they created.

      ONE CITY, too many One Citidiots.

    • Education2way

      All of you all are celebrating DC Emancipation Day, I hope you all know that Vincent Orange was the one who established the day, and made it an official holiday for the city....

    • Really

      Rake...impet? Fenty was allowed to bring in Gabe Klein who had no transportation background. Or Rhee who never ran school systems...who else do you want be to name, which were where unqualified oh and Kelly Valentine wasn't qualified. If these appointees were scrutinized and written over and over and over and over to the point of a distraction then I don’t think he would have been productive in his first 100 days. Oh and he had a billion dollars to blow.

      Rake have you picked up Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media? If not read it then get back at me.

      My only knock so far is S. Brown.

    • Sekou “Flip Flop” Biddle

      Really,

      So in your world it is OK to say divisive things and use generalizations to describe new white people.

      Nice.

      You and Marshall Brown...........

    • Lovelace

      Orange has been on the council already, and we've seen him operate. His previous tenure on the council was such a joke that it's not even worth it to list his deficiencies. We need leadership that will provide real solutions for how the city can grow and progress AND retain spaces for poor people and black folks to thrive. I don't know who that is, but I know who it's not!

      Poor people and black people in this city need to start supporting leaders who get things done for them, and stop backing these posers who shuck and jive and talk the talk and act like they're our friends, when they're really only in it for themselves.

      This isn't meant to let any of the other candidates off the hook. Poor people and Black people in this city have been so "dismissed" by everyone else that we give our vote in exchange for simple acknowledgement. Just like Orange shouldn't be running because he is as vacuous as he is presumptuous, you shouldn't be running for public office in this city if you know everything about dog parks and the streetcar, and nothing about housing, jobs, access to primary health care, and youth development. Until you stop ignoring us and our issues, I hold you just as responsible for the success of "Team Orange."

    • LewisJones

      @lovelace have the people you VOTE IN OFFICE done anything to enhance the city? NO

      Vince Gray, Kwame Brown, Marion Barry, Yvette Alexander, and Harry Thomas have all been on the council for a long time and have produced NOTHING for the city.

      Rhode Island avenue would not be where it is today without the things Orange put in place for it. McKinley Tech would not be a school right now if Orange did not make it happen.

      DC EMANCIPATION DAY would NOT be an established Holiday without Orange

      DCPS students would NOT have their books by the 2nd week of school without ORANGE

      So how could you say this man has not produced anything for the city? Stop living in a fantasy world and face reality. None of the other council members have done anything for the betterment of the people, so how is it that Orange does not have solid achievements to bring to the table?

      And for this whole "Black people being dismissed" thing is crazy. I get tired of the same ol story about how we as blacks feel like we should be "owed" something instead of working hard for it. Older generations bussed their ass for us to have opportunities to achieve, and we can be so lazy and competent that we blame "Broken Promises" & "Lack of resources" as a reason to sit back and watch as the world continues to turn.

      Get an education, or prepare yourself to get a job and work your ASS OFF, to get to the next level. Plain and simple. It does not matter how the world views us if we are on our A-game and so many times we see other people making advances and declare them "sell-outs" or say "we dont get treated fairly". It's passed our time to have a mentality where we should stop worrying about the next person and work hard to progress ourselves despite all odds.

      That's why people come from third world countries and do well in the US because they could give a damn about what the odds are, they will put in work and make it happen, and thats the same approach we need to take.

    • Anothernative

      Let's just get real for a sec,the demise of the black population in the city started with the Williams administration and intensified on through the Fenty years. When you really look at the systematic way that it's been done, you see the genius and the callousness all rapped in one. First you start the razing of all public housing, at the same time cffer the elderly folk vouchers to move to PG or where ever they can get excepted which 9 out of 10 times will be PG. You mask this move with the building of the recreation center and libruaries. What's overlooked is, the blind eye thats being cast on the existing youth and their lack of survival skills, job training, social programs etc... but who needs them, right, they should have gotten them like we got our's right. That attitude is why the bald headed one is where he is today, if you think people are going to allow they're kids to be thrown away, think again. Unless a politician is compassionate about real family values and stop trying to get on the band wagon of pushing us out of here, we don't need them, I'm not talking about Ozzie and Harriet stuff, I mean real today's family values.

    • Wendy Washington

      Rake, I do not have a benchmark for what a mayor should accomplish after 90 days in office. What is it that you feel the new administration should have accomplished in three months? Could you cite some specific accomplishments by either the Fenty or Williams administrations?

      As far as negative press, at this point, all we have are: 1)unfounded allegations by Sillymon Brown; and 2)excepted appointments by the mayor that gained unprecedented media coverage. This is fodder for all the embittered Fentyites who refuse to get over it.

      Excepted appointments are just that -- excepted. The mayor could have and should have appointed whomever he chose. That is the way it has been done since time immemorial--here and everywhere else. Some of those appointments may have been ill-advised, but who has not made appointments that proved not to be a good fit? That happens everyday in politics and the business world, too. For example, Fenty's appointment of Michelle Rhee, with negligible experience as an educator, was not a good fit. Chief Lanier's appointment turned out to be a fairly good fit, although some critics felt Lanier did not have enough experience to be chief.

      Out of all the media hype -- the only thing that would be a crime -- if it can be proved -- is Sillymon's baseless allegation. As I have said before, this scheme is too implausible and will not withstand close scrutiny. If the intrepid reporters at the WaPo have been unable to verify the allegations, it is probably because they false.

      The truth of the matter is the Washington Post and WCP have both pummeled this administration from day one -- where the Fenty administration was given a free pass for 2-3 years.

      As far as Kwame -- that is another post.

    • drez

      +1, James and Rake.
      -1, Gray apologists who blame everyone but themselves and accept no personal responsibility for this administrations obvious problems.

    • Sara Jane Moore

      The jury is still out....the voters are going to reject Sekou because he's all over the place for everybody. Mo is shifting to Orange and Marra. Anita Bonds loses this one big and that fiasco she orchestrated with the Mayor and "fully loaded" getting arrested looked stoopid. yeah, they should get arrested...arrested for being circus clowns!

    • Roscoe

      You think that Orange would help DC become a state?! Heck, Eleanor Holmes Norton would stand a better chance of getting DC statehood, and she's been really effective these past 22 years. And if Washington, DC became a state, what then? It still doesn't have the broad economic base to support the services demands without either sky high taxes or a continued, substantial Federal payment. The craziest idea I ever heard was to combine DC and PG county as a state. Now that would be great: Marion Barry as governor and Jack Johnson as lt. governor (and with the pardon power). One city, one state baby!

    • Sarah

      I guess Orange is making a pretty transparent ploy for the votes of DC government employees (the ones who haven't moved to PG, that is), as they are the only ones who benefit from Emancipation Day. Frankly, the city budget can't afford another paid holiday, and MLK Day is already (and deservedly) observed.

    • Really?

      @Sekou "Flip Flop" Biddle....Please add tom to that list of yours.

      Why did you give Tom a pass for saying that the " It’s the attitude of the whites coming in." ?

      Sorry but I didn't see any tears from you and many others when after the election those who voted for Gray were painted by the media as ignorant and only voting againist there interest, who were againist progress?

      It hurts I know when somebody slaps you back.

    • Really?

      Earth to Sarah....it was a furlough day!!!!!!! Noboday was paid and it was done to save the gov't money.

      Read!

    • Drez

      Earth to Really
      This year it was a furlough day.
      It never has been before and depending in budget may not be again.

    • Anothernative

      Earth to Drez, how about cutting Presidents day out instead, after all most of them that are recognized were slave owners anyway. What really gets me is the unmitigated gall that some of you people have to question any observance to the very people that built this country, free of charge you SOBs burn me up.

    • Really

      Earth to Drez Sarah said " Frankly, the city budget can't afford another paid holiday, and MLK Day is already (and deservedly) observed."

      Sarah didn't seem to know that the city didn't PAY for workers THIS HOLIDAY.

      @Anothernative thanks...guess MLK deserved not soooo much for the slaves who built the Capital Building free of charge.

    • Drez

      @anothernative
      Furlough days and paid holidays are entirely separate.
      On anothernote, have you managed to move back to DC yet?

    • PPVI

      "Furlough days and paid holidays are entirely separate."

      For many in the DC bureaucracy, most work days count as paid holidays.

    • Martha W

      I recently toured the "America I Am" exhibit at the National Geographic. Parts were impressive and other parts not very rigorously presented. One criticism is that, while abuses by slave owners are amply and justifiably pointed out, the explanation for the slave trade fails to point out that Africans were sold into slavery by other Africans. HIstory is complicated, I guess.

      "Earth to Drez, how about cutting Presidents day out instead, after all most of them that are recognized were slave owners anyway."

    • 4OURFUTURE

      @Martha W, what exactly does that have to do with America and its slavery practices, I think that this episode of our history is just so vicious and inhumane that it really hurts to except it, isn't it. Just like the atrocities of Hitler, we have similar sicknesses in our past and in some people to this day. Truth is a hard bitter pill some times, thats why keeping it out front narrows the chance of reoccurrence.

    ...