Loose Lips Daily: Kwame and the Feds Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! There's going to be a football season this year, right? News time:
Kwame and the Feds: In the second time in as many months, a District agency has requested the U.S. Attorney's Office investigate a councilmember's conduct only to have the feds says, thanks, but we're already looking. Yesterday was Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown's turn in the spotlight, as the Board of Elections and Ethics said bluntly that it thinks there was "criminal activity" afoot in Brown's 2008 unopposed re-election campaign. Brown says no way, and he's thrilled that federal investigators will be all up in his business so that they can clear his name. You want reactions? Well, Councilmember Vincent Orange, whose complaint with the Office of Campaign Finance got the ball rolling, says he's not surprised: "It always appeared that the U.S. attorney was going to be the final arbiter." Former U.S. Attorney for D.C. Joe diGenova says "The U.S. Attorney's Office would not be investigating unless there were felonies involved ... Once money is involved in any transaction, then you can get involved in all kinds of problems with financial institutions and taxes. ... This is not good news for Kwame Brown." No kidding? A. Scott Bolden, who is now representing Browns' brother, Che Brown, says his client is "cooperating with the investigation and has nothing to hide.” Che Brown's company received a healthy chunk of Kwame Brown's overall campaign spending, according to an OCF audit. OCF has made multiple requests for Che Brown's bank records, but he hasn't turned them over, said an OCF attorney yesterday.
AFTER THE JUMP: More Kwame; Guns!; Settlement on Hold ...
This Town Needs an Enema: The Post editorial board says we've now reached a crisis level and the burden is squarely on U.S. Attorney Ron Machen Jr.'s shoulders to get to the bottom of it all. "The city needs to know there is an end in sight; it needs answers." On the matter of Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s Hooters et al. spending, the Post says: "we can’t help wondering how he can stay in public office." Over at the G-Town Dish, political consultant Chuck Thies says Brown should take a page out of Thomas' book and temporarily step aside from his powerful position as head of the city's legislature and give the reins to Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh. Yeah, that'll happen.
Settlement On Hold: Word from the Wilson Building yesterday was that the District $10 million settlement with Medicaid managed care provider Chartered Health, owned by big-time political donor Jeff Thompson, is on hold pending a review by the attorney general's office. This makes Councilmember David Catania happy.
District Gun Show: The gun-shy District government may soon be a firearms dealer. Meanwhile, Police Chief Cathy Lanier says she would be okay if Walmart sold guns, an idea Walmart has already said it won't do.
In Other News:
- Where Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton got the idea to ask for $1 million for toxic study.
- Lots of competition for Zipcar.
- Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham is hiring a new "Media Director," send resumes to jim (at) grahamwone.com—he'll pay you $50,000 if you get the gig.
- Feds, in the form of the Department of Education's OIG, also join in on test-score-erasure investigation.
Gray sked: Standardized test score results released at 10 a.m., Meeting with crimestoppers at noon, then desk work.
Council sked: nada
On Kojo: Ron Moten, yep, you read that right.