Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Ethicsmania 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!


  • Waiting for Sekou
  • Good morning sweet readers! It's Thursday, and we all know what that means: Washington City Paper staffers will be offering free mani-pedis to the first 100 people who stop by our offices. Also, WCP's weekly dead tree edition hits the streets. This week LDP pulls double duty with a cover story about D.C. most famous non-famous architect, Eric Colbert, whose designs you're probably looking at/living in right now without even knowing it. LDP also cheers the fact that the #occupydc movement means that some of D.C.'s downtown parks are getting some use. And Dave McKenna reports on former Mackin Catholic High School standout Jo Jo Hunter, "another Can’t Miss Kid who missed" who is currently trying to get out of federal prison. News time:

    Ethicsmania: Yesterday a council committee held an eight hour hearing on the multitude of ethics bills currently up for consideration. Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., who sits on the  committee and recently agreed to pay the city back $300,000 after a civil suit accused him of stealing city funds, for some strange reason wasn't there. "You'd think an ethics hearing would be his top priority," opined FOX 5's Brian Bolter. (Credit goes to Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, who like Thomas is also under federal investigation, for at least making an appearance.) Kenneth McGhie, the counsel for the Board of Elections and Ethics, had the day's money quote: "There is a growing sense among voters, as they have watched recent ethics investigations unfold, that the ethics laws of the District are not sufficient,” McGhie said. “That is because they are not.” Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans noted that many of the ideas being put forward are nothing new and real issue is that there aren't strong deterrents in place. Evans along with other proud citizen/legislators Councilmembers Mary Cheh and David Catania each gave strong defenses of their rights to have a second job outside of the council. "It sets me free," said Cheh. And DeBonis wonders where the sheriff is.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Popcorn Tax; DDOT Brain Gain; PSC Nominee Woes...

    Even More Reason To Sneak Your Snacks In: Mayor Vince Gray wants to tax your movie popcorn, sodas and other snacks in an effort to bring a major movie theater east of the river. Not terribly surprising, the National Association of Theater Owners, or NATO, opposes the move. Will air strikes follow?

    In Other News:

    • Alpert pleased with DDOT hire, says agency braindrain has stopped.
    • Gray taps former auditor Deborah Nichols to lead Board of Elections and Ethics.
    • Pepco, Jonetta and the Post really don't like Gray's nominee for Public Service Commission.
    • Census numbers prove it: D.C. is so hot right now.

    Gray sked: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: D.C. Housing Authority Elvans Court Ribbon Cutting; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Office on Aging Relocation and New Senior Wellness Center Ribbon Cutting; 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: D.C. Department of Health “All Hands” Meeting; 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools Meeting; 8:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.: “The Black List” Exhibition & Reception.

    Council sked: Roundtable on youth perspectives of District health programs at 3:30 p.m.

    • John

      How does having a job outside the council "set you free"? Free to spend less time, with a good excuse, paying attention to council business. Free to earn another salary so you will not be tempted to take a bribe? Free to care less about your constituents and their concerns in the city? What are these double employed council members giving to the city? Let's vote in some people who really want to do the job and care about the city.

    • Southeast Ken

      I wish D.C. Councilmembers Jack Evans and David Catania would disappear because both are racist rednecks. They both have no respect for black D.C. residents. They only look out for white gays and wealthy whites in the District. I don't know why Leroy Thorpe like Jack Evans. Maybe he see a side of him the majority of black voters don't see. I truly believe, if slavery existed, Jack Evans and David Catania would own slaves. Thank godness I was born in slavery because I would hate to have these 2 as my slave masters.

    • Typical DC BS

      As part of any ethics bill, the councilmembers MUST be required to give up their "full time" jobs outside of the DC Council. I've always thought it completely ridiculous that they get paid $126,000 PER YEAR FOR "PART TIME" work.

      If they make that kind of money from being on a city council, they have NO excuse for needing another job.

    • Truth Hurts

      See Colby King's op-ed today. Money line: DC Council of Corruption.