Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Andi, We Hardly Knew Ye 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!


  • Being the Mayor's Chief of Staff is Like Being Spinal Tap's Drummer
  • Andi Pringle: The Ten-Day Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Is David Catania a Chivalrous Sell Out?
  • Good afternoon sweet readers! It's Thursday, and you all know that means that Washington City Paper's bosses are likely to be found all over cable news plugging this week's dead tree edition. In some alternate reality. This week's cover story is a tale of woe about how spray painting graffiti isn't as as cool as it once was. The most interesting thing you'll read all week is LDP's filthy exposé of what happens with all that dirt builders have to move before they can build parking garages 95 feet below the surface. "In order to find places to put all that dirt, the companies employ brokers who buy and sell the stuff, cutting deals at whatever price they can negotiate. 'We have three guys now that all their job is to find out where dirt can go,' says John Strittmatter, owner of Strittmatter, noting that his company expects to move more than a million cubic yards of dirt this year. 'You could get nothing for a load of dirt, or you could get $100. There’s really no system to it.'" That sounds like a pretty good gig. Dave McKenna wonders if fewer people are interested in going to Redskin games because football on TV has gotten so good (LL's wife hates those dancing robots, for what it's worth).  And LL's column this week takes a look at one of the worst jobs in District government: the mayor's chief of staff. News time:

    AFTER THE JUMP: Andi, We Hardly Knew Ye; Walter Fauntroy, D.C.'s Gaddafi Propagandist; Cornell Jones Sues D.C...

    Andi, We Hardly Knew Ye:  How bad does this look? Mayor Vince Gray's new deputy chief of staff Andi Pringle resigned yesterday after it was disclosed that she'd killed a man in Tennessee, er, LL means possibly violated local voting laws and had out-of-date business license records. Pringle, you'll recall, was brought on last week to help the mayor reshape his image. The news comes a mere day after Paul Quander, the mayor's deputy chief of staff for public safety, went on TV to say that new deputy chief of staff Pringle's job was safe. What a difference a Washington Post editorial makes. TWT's Tom Howell Jr. wins the gold star for including this quote from the mayor: "Do I wish this had not happened? Of course I wish this had not happened,” Mr. Gray said. “Do I wish we did not have to deal with this? Of course, especially since this is something we were hoping to get past from the early days of this administration, to have questions raised about the people we have hired and if their backgrounds were properly reviewed." The big irony: the Pringle resignation overshadows Gray's new job creation initiatives, you know, the thing that was his entire campaign platform. (Of course, no one really would have paid attention to that story anyway, because a giant crane fell!)

    That's Quite a Tale: The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, D.C.'s former congressional representative and a former candidate for mayor, has quite a story to tell about his recent trip to Libya. Per the Afro: "In an interview inside his Northwest D.C. home last week, the noted civil rights leader, told the Afro that he watched French and Danish troops storm small villages late at night beheading, maiming and killing rebels and loyalists to show them who was in control. 'What the hell' I'm thinking to myself. I'm getting out of here. So I went in hiding,' Fauntroy said. The rebels told Fauntroy they had been told by the European forces to stay inside. According to Fauntroy, the European forces would tell the rebels, 'Look at what you did.' In other words, the French and Danish were ordering the bombings and killings, and giving credit to the rebels." Fauntroy adds that "90 percent of the Libyan people love [Muammar] Gaddafi" and "the true mission of the attacks on Gaddafi is to prevent all efforts by African leaders to stop the recolonization of Africa." Fauntroy then goes to on to say that his trip to Libya was part of a "continuous mission that started under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." to restore Africa to its "pre-colonial status."

    Take That: Miracle Hands, the non-profit run by former drug kingpin Cornell Jones that's being sued by the city for allegedly using city AIDS funding and renovating a warehouse that became a strip club, is suing the city back, saying they didn't do anything wrong and were discriminated against, says WCP's Rend Smith. The Post has a primer on Jones' background.

    In Other News:

    • Lot more security in town since 9/11.
    • Georgetown Dish's Chuck Thies says Gray spokeswoman Linda Wharton Boyd needs to go, Gray's campaign communications guru Mo Elleithee seems to agree.
    • Post ed board says a certain Redskins owner should not be challenging the District's anti-SLAPP law (you know, that anti-SLAPP law)

    Gray sked: One City One Hire initiative launch at 10 a.m.; Various radio interview throughout the day in regards to 9/11; Welcome dinner for ATT Nation's Football Classic.

    Council sked: recess.

    • LTR


      I read your column that comes to my email nearly every day. Alot of your writing/reporting is witty (sometimes snarky), accurate and enjoyable/informative to read.

      HOWEVER, sometimes your write-ups, like the one on Walter Fauntroy is dismissive and reeks of an unnecessary bias. Labeling it s a "tale" sends an immediate message that it lacks credibility, which is far from the truth. The information found in the Afro's article is substantially eye-opening, and you dismissed it like folklore. I'm sure you're somewhat knowledgeable about the western media's often inaccurate depictions and reporting of Asian, Middle Eastern and African Affairs. please don't fall prey to that machine.

      Unappreciated by one of your long-time readers.

    • Jes’ sayin’

      L'il Walter: Still crazy, after all these years.

    • Skipper

      Fauntroy's "tale" is exactly that: Total bullshit. French & danish troops beheading people? Everyone loved Gaddafi? Gaddafi was trying to stop the recolonization of Africa?

      Come on!

      Walter's utterly full of shit on this. I'm curious to know how much he thought he was going to make on whatever deal he was trying to make while he was in Libya.

      And, oh yeah, he's still a flaming homophobe!

    • Drez

      If WF had any truth to his tale he could have taken it to more context-appropriate outlets than The Afro.
      There are many.

    • Really?

      Now your story only has cred if it's published by certain media outlets....geez.

    • Keith B.

      Really?, that's actually how it works. Do you believe everything you read on the internet? I mean every other day seDCdude claims he stopped sucking dick for dippers a long time ago, but if you follow the money trail you'll find otherwise.

    • Drez

      Read the story. He said he sheltered with the Red Cross.
      Why isn't this being reported by them? Or by the Red Crescent? Or by Amnisty International? Or Doctors Without Boarders? Or Al Jazeera? Or any other source besides him?

    • cminus

      "Do I wish this had not happened? Of course I wish this had not happened,” Mr. Gray said. “Do I wish we did not have to deal with this? Of course..."

      Has Vincent Gray picked up the annoying habit of answering his own rhetorical questions? Apparently. Does it make him sound like Donald Rumsfeld or Peter Nickles? Well, yes.

    • Anothernative

      @Drez, If WF had any truth to his tale he could have taken it to more context-appropriate outlets than The Afro.
      There are many. You exemplify the very reason Reverend Fautroy made the decision he did, by your level of bias. Most people of color don't trust the western media to have the fortitude to go against the status quo and tell the truth, in fear of a backlash from preconditioned minds.

    • Drez

      By most people of color, you mean yourself and those of like mind. Right?
      You certainly shouldnt presume to speak for "most people of color", and especially shouldnt speak for anyone in my family, which spans 3 continents including Africa.

    • Typical DC BS

      I want to smoke what Walter Fauntroy was smoking over there.

    • LTR

      while the statement "most people of color" may have been somewhat of a generalization, the fact that western media has dulled the minds of millions of American of all colors is an accurate generalization. Consumption trends and patterns tell all. that fact is not discounted whether you live or have family in all seven of the continents.

      and having family in Africa- a huge and extremely diverse continent- doesn't mean that there is an immediate sense of solidarity with the nations, cities, rural areas, communities, ethnic populations, polarized marginalized people of color who are still feeling the effects of colonization....clearly the Afro often is the voice of such a people here in DC, and as such is not a "credible" source of information?chile please.

    • Drez

      The Afro is Western media. Western media is as diverse as the the people of the West.
      And your comment shows a very parochial point of view.

    • Really?

      Comment has been is still awaiting moderation...all today when will it be release.

    • NU78

      I don't think anybody in the D.C. government understands what an open and transparent government really is, which is the root of Gray's communications problem. Much of the public gets it, but the political folks aren't operating on the same page of the dictionary.

    • seDCdude

      Keith Lomax..oh um I meant Keith B = BITCH made, look'a here fukboy, refrain from name dropping me less you are prepared to deal with me "leaning" on your coward, greedy GUMP ass up Run N Shoot, you ain't hard to touch.....ol flunky U

      As far as the article, such a high level of disrespect on the parts of the melanin challenged here!

      Crakkkas like skipper questioning AFRIKAN affairs and motives, WOW!