Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Fresh Eyes 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!


  • Gray Reset Now Official
  • Wanted: Bingo Chat Moderator
  • RIP: Nadine Winter
  • Good morning sweet readers! A certain Examiner reporter is moving to Albany to work for NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (it's complicated). So say congrats to Freeman Klopott before he leaves the nest. News time:

    My, Those Are Some Fresh-Looking Eyes: Mayor Vince Gray has lived up to LL's prediction, appointing Chris Murphy as his new chief of staff and Andi Pringle as his deputy chief of staff today to provide some fresh eyes for his administration. LL's written a brief brief of the presser. Meanwhile, the Post reports that Gray's former campaign advisers have been trying to help Hizonner get back on track. "[Steve] McMahon said that the mayor explained that he had been so focused on the city’s budget that he lost sight of the toll that negative coverage was having on his administration. But the mayor didn’t begin to lean on them heavily until a June poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which showed a dramatic decline in his popularity. Gray also turned to former mayor Sharon Pratt, who had seen her popularity plummet during her single term in office. Gray served as director of the Department of Human Services during Pratt’s tenure in the 1990s." Wait, what? Gray didn't know he was in trouble until the Post poll told him so in June? That seems highly unlikely.

    AFTER THE JUMP: No OIG Lotty Investigation; Dumb Story; The Kids Are All White...

    Lottery Won't Go Away: A few weeks back, LL asked Roger Burke of the Office of Inspector General if there was going to be a report issued on the lottery contract. Burke, LL could have sworn, said a report would be released shortly. But TWT's Jeff Anderson reports today that if the OIG has done an investigation into the lottery contract, then it hasn't interviewed key people. Former Chief Procurement Officer David Gragan says he hasn't been interviewed, nor as campaign guru Tom Lindenfeld, who was also all up in the lotto business. Former Attorney General Peter Nickles says that if the IG hasn't interviewed the lotto-related people Nickles referred to him last year, then the IG should be fired. Anderson also reports that attorney A. Scott Bolden accused Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham way back when of "bid rigging," an accusation Graham denies.

    This Is Dumb: National Journal just lost a few points for this ridiculous story soliticting reaction from various D.C. politicos and personalities over Texas Gov. Rick Perry's comment that D.C. is a "seedy" place. Are they going to do this story every time a Republican presidential hopeful poops on "Washington?"

    The Kids Are All White: Examiner columnist Harry Jaffe notes that there's an uptick in white kids at the District's public schools. "Some black parents are not pleased about the white influx. An unintended consequence of schools improving and drawing white students is that blacks are forced out in some cases. Take Brent Elementary on Capitol Hill. Black families drove their children across the river from Anacostia for a better education. They were out of boundary. Now white families near Brent are filling the classrooms. There's no room for the Anacostia kids, who have essentially been pushed out — after investing in the school."
    Gray sked: 7:30 p.m. interview with WHUR's Harold Fisher.

    • AMNeighbor

      LL --

      "Anderson also reports that attorney A. Scott Bolden accused Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham way back when of "bid rigging," an accusation Graham denies."

      As I read the Times article, Graham refered the reporter to the general counsel for the council, who stated that Graham hadn't done anything inappropriate. No where is there a quote of Graham denying the bid-rigging accusation.

      Has Graham personally denied Bolden's accusation in some other forum or to you?

    • StrangeFruit

      The Washington Examiner needs to bring back Bill Meyers! Of all the city beat reporters in DC, Meyers was top dog!

    • HH@WH

      David Gragan would not be a key person to interview regarding the lottery contract; it was awarded by the CFO, over which he had no authority.

    • Truth Hurts

      The OIG's failure to investigate the lottery contract, in my view, is a huge scandal, and may involve criminal conduct. DC's AG and its chief procurement officer wrote a detailed letter (accompanied by a thorough chronology of misdeeds) that formally requested an investigation regarding a contract involving hundreds of millions of public money. Nobody who has read those documents could reasonably argue they failed to lay out shady and irregular acts by several CM's, including the current mayor.

      Nathan, while having done some good thus far, whiffed badly on this one by saying inquiries should be directed to the IG, not him. After all, the AG's office REQUESTED the investigation. Nathan, as the current AG, has a duty to follow up on that request. I'm wondering if he's even read the detailed request ... doesn't seem like he has.