Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Shakeup of One 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!


Good morning sweet readers! Laces out, Gano! News time:

A Shakeup of One: Mayor Vince Gray's spokeswoman is out. The Post reported yesterday that Linda Wharton Boyd is being moved to the Department of Health to make way for a new top flack. Some of Gray's supporters say Boyd wasn't up to the task of managing the District's press corps, especially during the rough sledding of l'affaire Sulaimon. And Wilson Building chatter of Hizzoner dumping Boyd is almost as old as LL's bean. The mayor's new spokesman is Pedro Ribeiro, whose most recent gig was with Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat who represents San Jose and Silicon Valley. Welcome Pedro, let's hope your voting records are in order, you don't plan on getting family members city gigs, and you have a working knowledge of Excel. And, as LL reported eons ago, Gray is also bringing on Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's chief of staff, Sheila Bunn, to be his deputy chief of staff. From the Post: "Though Bunn will help run the mayor’s executive office, her duties will include mending and developing relationships outside the government, said an aide who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. Ribeiro is expected to take a more fast-paced approach to the news of the day and to be more strategic and focused than Boyd, an aide said. 'The metabolism of the Hill is sort of more what we need,' the aide said." Ah yes, because they get so much accomplished up on the Hill. The mayor has a presser scheduled at 10 a.m. to announce the changes.

AFTER THE JUMP:  The $5 Million Question; Bowser's Law; Ceiling Backtrack...

The $5 Million Question: Why did Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. recently request $5 million in public funding to help rebuild a privately owned farmers market that only sustained $80,000 worth of fire damage? The Post editorial board asks the question, but gets no anwsers from Thomas—an occasion that gives the ed board another chance to ding the crooked Thomas. "His continued service on the D.C. Council is a liability that should spur the city’s political leadership to unite behind a call for his resignation. It also underscores the need for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to complete its probe." Thomas, however, did respond via the Twitter. In his words: "Get facts straight the city should assist merchants at Florida market who are out of business due to fire no dollar amount determined yet" and "No dollar amout has been determined Florida ave market deserves support task force created to determine plan."

Bowser's Law: Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser released her ethics bill into the wild Friday afternoon. The bill wouldn't impose term limits, ban outside employment, or staunch the flow of campaign cash, but would limit constituent service fundraising and spending, require stricker disclosures of outside incomes, and place limits lobbyists as defense attorneys. Predicably, not everyone is a fan.

Ceiling Backtrack: On Friday, the WBJ's Michael Neibauer reported that Gray is considering relaxing the debt ceiling he voted for in order to spur development (in one of the hottest commercial real estate markets in the world). But Jonetta Rose Barras reports today that the mayor's budget boss, Eric Goulet, is singing a different tune. ""The mayor has said in no uncertain terms he is not seriously entertaining amending the debt cap." Neibauer, your response?

In Other News:

  • Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry hung out with Don King and Samuel L. Jackson over the weekend.
  • Post humorist Gene Weingarten won over by Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells.
  • Occupiers take over Franklin School and protest costs D.C. $1 million so far.
  • D.C. Republicans to host meet and greet for Ward 7 challenger Ron Moten tonight at M Street Bar and Grill at 7:30 p.m.
  • Kaya Henderson tries to be the standard bearer for "a more nuanced, second-generation brand of education reform."

Gray sked: 1o a.m. presser;  11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: NBC 4 & WKYS 93.9-FM Food 4 Families Thanksgiving Donation Drive at the Verizon Center.

Council sked: Green building compliance at 11 a.m.; Fire dept. overtime at noon; Judicial Nomination Commission Reverend Dr. Morris L. Shearin Sr. Confirmation Resolution of 2011; PR19-448: Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure Michael Williams Confirmation Resolution of 2011 at 1 p.m.

  • One that cares

    So how did HTJ come to ask for $5M if there is no "dollar amount determined yet". Did he just pull this amount out of his rear-end? This guy is as incompentent as they come.

  • skinsfan83

    Bowser is done. The opportunity she had to solidify her next term based off this ethics bill is damaged. I am pissed off at the fact that the ethics bill only tackles the constituent services fund.

    Did Orange propose term limits, to cancel outside employment, and implement a task force to stop this foolishness? Everyone complained he was trying to get attention, but now everyone is pissed at this WEAK ethics bill....

  • Brahmin

    Very good job Vince Gray! You needed a sharper, more edgier DOC, one who will actively cultivate a relationship with reporters. But it was equally impressive that you not treat Ms. Boyd badly and give her role she is more capable to serve in.

    I am starting to feel you may turn public perception around just yet.

  • Southeast Ken

    skinsfan83, I think, Muriel Bowser will get re-elected to her Ward 4 Council seat.

  • skinsfan83

    @SEKen I honestly think she has not done anything in Ward 4 other than the summer event she throws every year at Lafayette (spell check). If a formidable candidate stepped up to the plate, I think he/she could win..

  • 8709ham

    Muriel Bowser is doing a great job. Some people need to take the time to read her bill. If it had been the law months we might not be in the mess we are in now.

  • skinsfan83

    @8709ham nothing in her bill really stresses ethics to the council. The issues that would make the council get their operations in check are non-existent. That ethics bill needed term limits and full time occupancy.

  • One that cares