Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Gray Wins the Morning 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:

  • Jim Graham: Let He Without Sin
  • Good morning sweet readers! Still looking for the perfect for the D.C. politics junkie in your life? Here it is. News time:

    Gray Turns The Page: Mayor Vince Gray wins this morning's news cycle with word that he's found a new job for every person in the District. Well, not quite, but Gray announced yesterday that a "new ink-jet manufacturing plant will bring 300 new jobs to Ward 8 and that several new restaurants and shops will give a boost to a waterfront development near Nationals Park," reports the Post. Gray is also planning on rebuilding Ballou High School with a focus on vocational classes, says the Examiner. And Gray's new economic development plan will make the long neglected Ward 8 the "epicenter" of new growth in the city, reports TWT. Gray laid out his plans in a 26-page speech at the Yards yesterday. To deliver the good news he used, gasp, a teleprompter, which you know signifies a big deal. The Post has anonymous Gray administration officials confirm what you are all thinking: Gray's trying to push the reset button on his scandal-plagued administration. Not true, says the mayor. "In an interview, Gray denied that there were any political considerations in his speech. He said his remarks were meant to let businesses know the city is taking steps to help generate jobs. 'We’re trying to stay on course,' he said. 'It was planned to roll it out at this stage. You know I like sports metaphors. This is like having a game plan.'"

    AFTER THE JUMP: Summer Jobs Starts; Kwame Brown, Jokester; Loza Sentencing...

    Speaking of Jobs: In what's becoming an annual tradition, the District's mayor added more money to the summer jobs program at the last minute yesterday. The Post reports that Gray is looking to add another 4,000 jobs to the program so that any kid who wants a job can have a job. Wait a second, why does this sound so familiar? In any event, the program got started yesterday without too many hitches, says the Post, which is impressive considering the turmoil there's been over at the Department of Employment Services so far this year.

    Own It: Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, or at least his staff, is now owning the fully loaded moniker, the Examiner reports. Still not owned: who exactly requested the fully loaded Navigators in the first place. Was it Brown, as emails suggest, or his staff, as Brown says?

    Who Doesn't Want to Sue Their Boss?: Examiner columnist Harry Jaffe reports that MPD Cmdr. Hilton Burton is considering suing his boss, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, after she basically called him a liar at a council hearing regarding the police escort of Men at Work star Charlie Sheen. Burton also basically called Lanier a liar too, so, offsetting fouls?

    It's No Big Deal: LL still awaits word from federal court about the outcome of the sentencing of Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham's former chief of staff Ted Loza, who plead guilty to corruption charges. Loza, who federal prosecutors say made a regular habit of taking cash, trips and other gifts from the Ethiopian cab community that was lobbying his boss, sent a letter to supporters last night downplaying his misdeeds. The Post has a copy of the note, which reads in part: "This is essentially about two gratuities. I made an error in judgment in a specific time and place, which has cost me dearly.  That action alone, however, does not define my whole character and an entire life of dedication to those in need." Loza is asked his supporters to show at the hearing this morning and thanked those who sent letters of support to the judge. Those who sent letters include Graham, former Councilmember Harold Brazil, and Chairman Brown's former chief of staff. Loza is facing up to 14 months in prison.

    In Other News:

    • Post editorial board wonders why Gray and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton can't get on board with the school voucher program when most of the city is for it.
    • Teen arrested in post-parade shooting case.
    • Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans doesn't really have a conflict of interest with online gambling effort.
    • Metro union seeks public support in bus safety campaign.
    • MetroAccess riders exposed to tuberculosis sue transit agency.
    • Debut dates planned for D.C. online gambling.

    Gray sked: Press event on summer safety initiatives, Barry Farm Rec Center, 10 a.m., Visit with the Minister of Brussels, JAWB ceremonial office, noon, desk work and staff meetings, 1 p.m., Biotechnology Industry Organization’s convention reception, Mellon Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.

    Council sked: Committee of the Whole hearing on land transfers, Room 500 JAWB, 10 a.m., Committee on Public Works and Transportation hearing, Room 120 JAWB, 11 a.m., Committee on Human Services meeting on confirmation for Department of Human Services head, Room 120 JAWB, noon, Committee on Housing and Workforce Development round table on confirmations of Housing Authority board commissioners, Room 412 JAWB, 3 p.m.

    With additional reporting by Nick DeSantis

    Comments

    1. #1

      Jim Graham will burn in hell for what he has done to Ted Loza. I guess we could have expected nothing less from someone who would loot AIDS charities during an epidemic.
      Keep dancing as fast as you can Jim! There are those who will get the last laugh from beyond the grave.

    2. #2

      Graham didn't force Loza to accept a bribe. Loza's responsible for Loza's incarceration. Graham may have faults, but he's not responsible for Loza's guilty plea. Loza is responsible for Loza's guilty plea.

      People speak of Ted Loza like he was some kind of hero. Let's be real. He was a guy with a penchant for adultery, a knack for controversy (he once threatened a bar's ABC license because they refused him service after he'd caused a scene-an event that was written about here in LL), and who would frequently act as if he were himself a Councilmember.

      For all the scandals the Wilson Building has known, Loza's the only person I ever heard of who was ever taken out of the building in handcuffs while working a regular work day. That's not by coincidence.

      Not to say the man was a devil, because I know people Loza helped out. But more often I witnessed Loza buck his cases off to other people, only to claim credit for the work once the case was resolved. Multiple sides exist to every story, and not everyone in the Latino community is sad to see him go.

    3. #3

      So Graham wrote a letter of support for his former top aide, now a convicted felon. Now that's special!!

      How low can he go?

    4. Wendy Washington
      #4

      Fully-loaded -- the question is what is Kwame driving these days? There was a citing of his old mail truck at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill. Yes, the Council Chairman tags confirmed it was Kwame's. Does baby need a new pair of brake shoes?

    5. #5

      @WW - if Kwame does need new brakes, I hope the station gets cash up front before performing the work!

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