Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Epic News 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:

  • Kwame Brown Doubles Down
  • Good morning sweet readers! There's no time for any inane observations from LL today because today is going to be an epic news day. First and foremost, Sulaimon Brown will finally testify in public. What will he say? Who knows! But it's going to be awesome. So awesome, in fact, that the Post's design staff had to get in on the action.

    Second, last night at 8:35 p.m. the attorney general's office sent out an alert that today at 11 a.m., there will be an announcement made regarding Team Thomas, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s non/for-profit group that's been under investigation since allegations surfaced last year that it was an unregulated "slush fund." This is a big moment for new Attorney General Irv Nathan, who is guaranteed to royally piss off somebody today. Will he bring the hammer on TT, or has he got nuthin'? Gary Imhoff asks at D.C. Watch: "how often does a prosecutor send out a press release or hold a press conference open to the public to announce that an investigation didn’t turn up anything and led to a dead end?" Also, Sulaimon and Team Thomas on the same day? That's crazy!! At least ol' Irv didn't schedule his presser for the exact same time Sulaimon is set to testify. Follow LL (@alansuderman) on the Twitter for random snippets of the day's craziness. More news time:

    Did You Really Leave a Paper Trail!?!: Just in the nick of time for today's hearing on whether Mayor Vince Gray's campaign improperly promised Brown a job and gave him cash in order to stay on the campaign trail and bash former Mayor Adrian Fenty (who may just allow himself a little giggle today), the Post's Nikita Stewart adds some more fuel to the fire by finding a potential paper trail that backs up Brown's story. The evidence: five money orders with links to Gray campaign mystery Howard "I'm taking the fifth for everything" Brooks. "After researching the documents, The Post found the following apparent links: a $225 donation from Brooks’s son, Peyton; $100 from Litonya Livingston, who said she is Peyton’s girlfriend; and $335 from Aundrea Naylor, a cousin to Howard Brooks’s wife," says the Post. Oh lord, how bush league does this look? "Three MoneyGram money orders purchased on June 28 from Safeway — one for $25 and two for $100 each — have a signature that appear to contain  'P. Mike' and then a last name that appears to begin with 'Br.' Peyton Brooks’s middle name is Michael, and city government sources say he is known as Mike. A Silver Spring address of a home he purchased in 2005 appears on the money order." Brown says he recently found the money orders while preparing for today's testimony. Believe him? In any event, Brown gets a front page of the Sunday Metro section story and stokes even more interest in his testimony today. Crazy like a fox?

    AFTER THE JUMP: Where Councilmembers Send Their Kids; Online Gambling; More Navigator news...

    Where Have You Gone, Amy Carter?: Are councilmember's kids off limits? No, says the Washington Examiner, which reports that only Councilmember Phil Mendelson sends his child to his in-boundary neighborhood DCPS school, albeit a well-performing school in Cleveland Park. "D.C. Council members are sending their kids to pricey private schools instead of putting them in the city's troubled public system that they urge other parents to invest in," says the lede, inviting us to begrudge councilmembers for sending their kids to the best schools they can afford. Kinda tacky, no? (Especially since some of them get dinged for sending kids to out-of-boundary DCPS schools, which is an option for many residents.) The 'Zaminer's list of shame includes: Councilmembers Jack Evans, Harry Thomas Jr., Vincent Orange, and Michael Brown. Of that group, only Thomas would speak to reporter Lisa Gartner, saying that his son goes to private school because they have more pitchers in rotation on their baseball team and his son's arm would get worn out at public school. "He's one of six pitchers in his school in a rotation, so he doesn't get burnt out ... If I send him to a school like Springarn and he's a baseball kid, he's pitching half the game," says Thomas, who maybe shouldn't have talked to Gartner after all. Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown gives this cryptic answer when asked why he sends his kids to an out-of-boundary DCPS school. "My wife was just not into that discussion," says Brown. At the bottom of the story, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh says she finds it "surprising" that other councilmembers don't enroll their kids in DCPS. Cheh says she didn't send her kids to her neighborhood school because it was trashy back in the day, but it's all better now and she would totally send them there these days. Sheesh, Mary. Did you really want to go on record second-guessing your colleague's parental decisions?

    This is the Longest Editorial Ever Written: The Post editorial board brings the pain to at-large Councilmember Michael A. Brown, asking, "Hey MAB, how come you never disclosed that potential conflict of interest between your old lobbying firm and that goofy on-line gambling bill you snuck through last year?" (LL's phrasing, not Jo-Ann Armao's.) Money part: "In our discussions with Mr. Brown, he stressed his care in keeping his private duties separate from his public responsibilities. Initially he told us that he had not consulted with any D.C. officials about the ethics of sponsoring the gaming legislation but had cleared the activity internally with [Brown's old firm] Edwards Angell. After we called the firm, a spokesman gave us this statement: 'With respect to Michael Brown’s activities as a member of the DC Council, we maintained a strict boundary between the firm’s professional endeavors and Mr. Brown’s activities — as is the case with all of our professionals’ outside activities. Firm management was thus unaware in 2010 of Mr. Brown’s intent to sponsor legislation legalizing online gaming in the District.' Mr. Brown called us back and said that, after consulting with his former colleagues at Edwards Angell, he realized he had 'misspoken' on that question."

    Lincoln News of the Day: The only problem with Kwame Brown's explanation that he wanted an SUV with a black interior because his kids eat in the car and are messy?: His second Navigator had tan seats.

    In Other News: The Post’s Colbert King doesn’t think highly of DYRS’ New Beginnings facility, “where striking a guard might get you confined to your dorm room, where the locks don’t work, for a couple of days at most. You might also be asked to write a note of apology.” Jackmandering expert Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans says Jackmandering isn’t so bad, and gives the “hell no, we won’t go to Ward 7” crowd a sliver of hope. Michelle Rhee’s advocacy group is up and running in Sacramento. Rhee also hired the DNC’s flack, Hari Sevugan, to be StudentsFirst’s flack. In the Times, Kristopher Baumann of the FOP disputes police chief Cathy Lanier’s comment that discipline is down during her tenure. Speaking of Lanier, Freeman Klopott says she wins the prize for the region’s highest-paid police chief at $253,000 per year. Hey, that’s even more than what LL makes. Jonetta continues her jihad against Nat Gandhi. Circulator to Ward 8? Trash to energy in D.C.? Meh. According to MPD, Charlie Sheen > Sarah Palin.

    Gray sked: Post chat at 1 p.m.; Dinner with the "ambassador of Rome," which LL figures must mean the Italian ambassador, since it's at his official residence.

    Council sked: Committee of the Whole hearings on closure of public alleys, Room 412, JAWB, 10 a.m., Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs hearing, Room 500, JAWB, noon, Sulaimon Brown meets the council, Room 412, JAWB, 1:00 p.m.

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