Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Grass Attack 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!


  • U.S. Attorney Ron Machen: I Live Here Too
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    Grass Attack: One of the big hazards of doing business with the D.C. government—having local elected officials (who have little to no idea of what it takes to operate a company) get all up in your business—was on full display Friday. Thanks to a couple editorials in the Washington Post, the D.C. Council held a marathon hearing in which we learned all about the grass cutting business (and in one bizarre moment, the sleeping arrangements of one married couple). By now we should all know the details: Baltimore-based Lorenz Lawn and Landscaping won city contracts to mow in Wards 3 through 8. That's bad news for some elected officials, including Mayor Vince Gray, who would like to see that business go to a local company that employs District residents. The bottom line issue: Should the District pay more, in some cases a lot more, to contractors that have offices in the District and may employ District residents? Apparently, the answer is yes.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Money Time; Gas Problems; New Teacher Contract...

    Money time: Campaign finance reports are due by the end of today. Last time around, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans won with something like $140,000 (from only five total donors. Kidding!). The only council candidate to submit their report so far is Ward 7 candidate Tom Brown, who has raised $2,850.45. It's gonna take a lot more than that for the council to have another member named Brown.

    Move Over Pepco: ABC7's Ben Eisler reports that Pepco may not be the worst utility after all.  Eisler says Washington Gas may be playing fast and loose when it comes to safety. "Three former employees describe leak evaluations as loose. They say while working for the company, they found a number of so-called Grade Ones—the most dangerous kind. But instead of immediately fixing them Washington Gas argued over the grade, and replaced them with someone who’d lower it."

    In Other News:

    • Post ed board likes gun ruling.
    • Wouldn't recommend eating at the Szechuan House Restaurant.
    • Office cleaners may strike.
    • Economic partnership lives to die another day.
    • New DCPS teacher contract in the works; does this mean billionaire edu-philanthropists should get ready for a phone call?
    • IDs at the polls?

    Gray sked: Nothing.

    Council sked: Nada.

    • truth hurts

      The competitive contract award process already gives extra points to "local" bidders. Gray, Thomas et al effectively are awarding contracts to "local"bidders even when they lose despite their bonus points. If DC voters want to pay more for inferior services because the provider is "local", that's a choice they can make (though it increases their tax burden). But it's not a decision that should be made haphazardly in secretive meetings between lobbyists and elected officials.

    • Anothernative

      Some times you need only to look in front of you and there lays the truth. This contract was awarded by DPW, so why are the guns always pointing at the Mayor, I doubt that he micro manages every agency. Speaking of DPW, why isn't anyone looking into that sweet heart deal that was given to Waste Management INC and their subsidiary (TAC) who monopolized the trash industry of our fair city killing all of the smaller minority owners. (Huh)