Loose Lips

Gray Admin: Alright, The Mayor Went To Tampa

After a day of silly non-statements, Mayor Vince Gray's chief of staff Chris Murphy acknowledged Wednesday evening that yes, the mayor spent much of Friday flying to Florida, touring the fancy training facility of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and flying home.

And yes, the purpose of the trip was a scouting mission for a possible training facility for the Washington Redskins at Reservation 13, the sad plot of city-owned facilities next to RFK Stadium.

Murphy apologized for not making the trip public and said there was "certainly no intent to mislead anyone.” (Gray's public schedule for Friday indicated that he spent the day doing "desk work.")

Instead, Murphy says the intent of keeping the trip under wraps was keep D.C.'s Redskin fans' expectations in check. “We didn’t want to get people’s hopes up," says Murphy, stressing that talk of building a training facility for the Skins is in the earliest of stages.

Murphy also says the Gray administration didn't want Maryland or Virginia to know about the mayor's trip to Tampa, because that could somehow hurt the District's chances of luring the Skins to train in D.C. If that line of reasoning doesn't make sense to you, know that it doesn't make sense to LL either.

Murphy says former Redskin Brig Owens went to Tampa with the mayor, along with Councilmembers Jack Evans and Michael Brown. Owens, who is involved in plans to bring Wal-Mart to Ward 6, reached out to the Bucs for the tour of the facility, Murphy says.

The mayor, like the councilmembers, paid his own way for the trip, Murphy says. Asked why the mayor would pay for a trip that sounds a lot like official business, Murphy says the mayor didn't want to put taxpayers on the hook for a trip related to a project that might not come to pass.

“It just seemed like it was the right thing to do," he says.

Photo via Redskins.com

  • Drez

    Cool.
    But the 'skins suck and Snyder is all about the $$$, not the love.
    Speaking of love, this admin needs to show some to DC United.

  • Truth hurts

    Decent spin by Gray's COS. I'll give one city a pass on this one. Hopefully he learned not to deceive the public/press by posting fake official schedules.

  • GrayIsCorrupt

    Didn't Gray promise transparency?

    Didn't Gray promise integrity?

    Gray fooled the City and his supporters. Shame on Gray. He's a hoodlum in a suit.

  • GrayIsCorrupt

    Who paid for Gray's Florida trip?

    His mistress Lorraine? Howard Brooks?

  • DCCommish

    Make sense he'd keep the trip under wraps. But let's be clear abut the money. If DC taxpayers end up funding anything other than area transportation and infrastructure, then it's got to be shut down. Taxpayers can no longer afford to pay major sports leagues to bring their business to DC. It's does nothing for the economic development of the city, in fact studies show it decreases economic development by 2% or more. Thin it's a great idea to get them back in DC but not with public financing or tax breaks.

  • Mr. Remember

    That would just be the ticket. Gray brings back the Redskins and all is forgotten and forgiven and he is re-elected. We are a fickle town-folks. DC United, need to put the pressure on Mayor Hand-Dance and get some type of area for your team.

  • Tformation

    Damn! That's EXACTLY why he didn't hold a press conference announing it. You haters can't be satisfied. He pays his OWN money to go on a trip to possibly see if anything can be done to bring the skins practice facility to DC and all you can do is hate? Talk about why hes not doing this for someone else and speculation that he didnt really pay for himself. Go move to Maryland as you are always threatening (even though you probably already live there). Good riddance!

    Kudos to Drez and truth hurts for seeing it for what it is. And I agree TH/should have just left the schedule blank although I doubt he actually put out a schedule that said 8am to 10pm office work. I believe that was an assumption on the press part. I would have to see it to believe it with the way they have been lately.

    If only the press was so diligent during the last administration as they have been for this one, your boys ego might not have gotten so far out of hand and lost the second go around. Ponder that.

  • Laughing

    The only things "transparent" about this dude Vincent Gray are his complexion and his corruptness! The Skins is a losing team, period! Let them be where they are. Why shouldn't Maryland and Virginia know since it's not like any will fight to have a losing team on its premises. Vince is a loser so naturally he feeds on this motif.

    Gray ragged Fenty about not making the public privy to his schedule now he is doing the same. Gray is the salt calling the baking powder white. Why doesn't he just go sit in a phucking rocking chair, forever, in eternal sleep!

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