Megaphone-Wielding Vince Gray Admirer To Help D.C. Remember 9/11 (For $37,000)
Robert Vinson Brannum, sworn enemy of The Washington Post editorial board and the District's omnipresent activist, has landed a new gig in the Gray administration.
Brannum has a temporary assignment with the Office of Veterans Affairs, where he'll help organize a commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to Gray staffer Steve Glaude. Brannum, who started last week and will work through the end of the year, will be paid about $37,000, with no benefits, Glaude says.
If you've ever attended a news conference, ANC meeting, ground breaking ceremony, D.C. Council hearing, or some other event involving District politics, then you've likely met Brannum, who has a near-perfect attendance record at such events. Brannum's also a regular on a variety of digital platforms, where he's been a vocal critic of former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and a loud cheerleader for Gray.
But where Brannum really gets attention points is his absolute loathing of the Post editorial board, which was a strong supporter of Rhee and has been a frequent critic of the mayor. So strong was Brannum's passion against the Post that he once attached loudspeakers to his car, parked next to the Post, and blasted his message of displeasure for all those downtown to hear.
More recently, Brannum wrote in a post for Examiner.com (not to be confused with the actual newspaper, The Examiner, though both entities are owned by the same reclusive Colorado-based billionaire, Phil Anschutz) slamming the Post and its editorial writer Jo-Ann Armao for calling on Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. to resign.
"The residents of Ward 5 should not go without Ward representation to heighten or to renew Ms. Armao and The Washington Post's political orgasms left unfulfilled by previous political relationships and current secret dalliances," wrote Brannum.
Glaude says Brannum wasn't rewarded with a city job because of his "media activities" nor solely because of Brannum's support of the mayor's campaign. Brannum was hired, Glaude says, because he's been an avid advocate for veteran's affairs (Brannum is himself a veteran, and frequently wears his medals) and has the skills necessary to help the Office of Veteran's Affairs prepare for the Sept. 11th commemoration.
Brannum declined to comment, but records show it's been long road to getting a city gig. In one email Glaude sent to former H.R. director Judy Banks in January, Glaude wrote that Gray confidante Lorraine Green "suggested I not hire [Brannum] to work in the Wilson building but he insists on a job in the Administration. I believe Lorraine would say we should find him something."
Glaude says the line about Brannum not working at the Wilson Building was made in jest (though the Office of Veteran's Affairs is not, in fact, located at the Wilson Building) and adds that "if you know anything about Robert, he can be quite animated in his request for employment."