Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Closure 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!


Good morning sweet readers! It's too nice outside for work. LL hereby gives you the day off. News time:

Budget Closure: The D.C. Council finalized its vote on the fiscal 2012 budget yesterday. Most of the action dealt with how the city should spend potentially higher-than-projected revenues. The winner: the two managed care companies that handle the District's Medicaid population. The two companies, one of which had to pay the District $12 million not too long ago after being accused of fraud, flexed their political muscle yesterday when the council voted 7-6 to put them at the front of the line to get an additional $32 million. The loser, according to Councilmember Phil Mendelson and FOP boss Kris Baumann, is the safety of the city's streets. The District will have to pull in $135 million more than what's current projected next year to be able to hire more police officers. Meanwhile, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells takes a slight dig at Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown by waxing nostalgic for the last chairman, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham eked out a 7-6 win on his beloved "Green Teams," and the multistate corporations, despite their "best lobbying efforts," will have to pay more in taxes thanks to combined reporting. Also, has anyone explained Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans' bizarre and failed attempt to pass an amendement just to save Pepco some cheese  by exempting it from combined reporting? When Evans told LL back in March he was for combined reporting, he didn't add "except for Pepco!"

AFTER THE JUMP: Kwame Closure; Columnists Wag Fingers; Seriously, is there even going to be a debate about confirming Kaya Henderson?...

Kwame Closure: The elusive Chairman Brown must have been reading from a script yesterday when he spoke to the Post's Mike DeBonis and later to the Examiner's Freeman Klopott about the recent complaint filed against him by the Office of Campaign Finance. "'It brought it one step closer to closure,' Brown said of the complaint. 'I’m looking forward to having closure to this. ... This four-year-old campaign issue is one step closer to being closed,'" write DeBonis. "It's close to a four-year-old campaign,' Brown said. 'We've come one step closer to closure." He stuck by that when pressed. 'I'm looking forward to closing a close to four-year-old campaign,' he said. 'We're one step closer to closure. I'm looking forward to closure,'" writes Klopott. Note: the campaign may be nearly four years old, but the OCF didn't start investigating until last year. Also, still no answers on why he hasn't provided adequate records of how $175,000 that went to his brother's sales-coaching firm was spent. The OCF says it's made repeated requests.
I Got Your Ethics Law Right Here: NBC 4's Tom Sherwood writes things that won't make certain councilmembers very happy.  "What’s needed is clarity in the law, tougher enforcement, quicker enforcement and real consequences. But it’s hard to legislate what should be common sense. If you use government funds — attention Council member [Harry] Thomas — you ought to make certain they’re not used to your personal benefit. If someone offers you cash in an envelope — attention Council member Jim Graham — you might say you prefer a check so you can properly report it as a donation to your constituent service fund or campaign. And that goes for cash that’s not in an envelope, too. (You have to be pretty specific in these instructions, sad to say.) If someone in your campaign offers cash or checks to another candidate — attention Mayor Vincent Gray — you should dismiss that campaign staffer no matter what the reason, and have authorities make sure no law was broken." Meanwhile, Jonetta asks why no elected officials have called on Thomas to resign.

Chancellor For Life: The Post editorial board says there's a perfectly good explanation why Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson put Gray's twin children in an out-of-boundary school. Wait, we're not at that stage yet. The Post says Henderson should be confirmed by the council. But really, what else are they going to do?

In Other News: Graham upset over proposed police redistricting. Transportation for America says D.C. is lacking in transit options for baby boomers, and it’s only going to get worse. Cue the crappy service jokes: a Brown Line may be in Metro’s future. Montgomery County police have released two 911 calls about Monday’s Red Line scary bomb scare. Pedicab drivers are complaining about unfair ticketing. A 45 year-old man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbing victims at several D.C. ATMs. Parenting Magazine: DC is No. 1 for families.

Gray sked: 10 a.m. presser.

Council sked: Bunch of hearings on alleys.

With additional reporting by Nick DeSantis.

  • Wendy Washington


    There has to be a typo in here, "Chancellor For Life: The Post editorial board says there's a perfectly good explanation why Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson put Gray's twin children in an out-of-boundary school."

    That should read Fenty not Gray. WCP ought to employ human proofreaders, it takes more than spellcheck to ensure copy is accurate.

  • Truth Hurts

    Jonetta's exactly right. Why haven't any elected CM's or the Mayor publicly called on Thomas to step down?

    I'd been pointing out for months that not a single CM had publicly criticized Thomas before Nathan filed suit. Their public silence is pathetic. That goes for Gray as well.


    Mr. Brown, Closure will be here quicker than you can imagine, here is a clue when it is coming:

    WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury today returned a four-count indictment against DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown for allegedly participating in a scheme to violate District of Columbia campaign finance laws and for violating the Public Official Corruption Act, announced U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
    The indictment, returned in the District of Columbia federal court, also charges Che Brown, 38, of Washington, DC., with one count of conspiracy to violate the District of Columbia campaign finance laws, embezzlement of campaign funds and to making false statements to the DC Office of Campaign Finance (OCF); four counts of accepting and receiving illegal campaign contributions from two donors in 2008; and one count of concealing those illegal donations from the OCF. The Browns are scheduled to make their initial appearance in federal court in the District of Columbia., at 2:30 p.m. EDT before U.S. Magistrate Judge Fully Loaded Jail Time.

    “Democracy demands that our election system be protected, and without vigorously enforced campaign finance laws, the people of this country lose their voice,” said the Attorney General. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice are committed to the prosecution of individuals who abuse the very system of which they seek to become a part.”

  • noodlez


  • Brown

    Ms. Washington, I believe LL was making a joke. I had to reread it myself. Perhaps your post is a joke, too. We're in the circle of joke/tongue-in-cheek hell.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ noodlez: No. I addressed that a few minutes ago in a comment on the LL Graham blog following this one. Hadn't read your #4 until now, or I would've made the same comment here. He should go.

  • Truth Hurts

    Hey CP, release my #6.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ noodlez: I agree and pointed that out in comments inexplicably stuck in CP's M...land.