Loose Lips

Post HTJ Pep-Rally in Ward 5

What did we learn from At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange's "Ward 5 Leadership Meeting" last night held in the basement of Israel Baptist Church?

We learned that Orange, the former Ward 5 councilmember who was sporting a "5" pin last night that he'd used in previous campaigns, has effectively staked out his role as the ward's guardian and protector. Dozens of community leaders showed up to Orange's meeting last night, including former councilmembers William Spaulding, John Ray, and current councilmembers Michael Brown and Phil Mendelson. Their appearance was a testament to Orange's pull in the ward. It's not surprising that Orange would fill the vacuum left by disgraced former councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s resignation, but Orange's efforts to be Ward 5's great defender may create some tension with Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, who has scheduled his own meeting for Ward 5 residents tonight.

We learned that Ward 5 residents needed a place to vent. For the most part, talk of Thomas' misdeeds was off limits at the meeting. But several community reps at least referenced Thomas'  performance as a councilmember by warning potential candidates looking to replace HTJ that Ward 5 neighborhoods would not accept anything short of excellence in their political candidates. "Anything less will not do," said the Bloomingdale rep, a sentiment echoed by other community organization leaders. That may be pie-in-the-sky talk, but it did appear to have a cathartic effect last night from a ward that's obviously hurting.

We learned that Thomas' thieving is off limits. No one appeared interested in taking stock of all the crimes Thomas had committee since taking office. Instead talk centered on praying for Thomas' family. Ray, a lobbyist who represented Thomas when questions about his extracurriculars were first raised, said: "Mr. Thomas has stepped forward and admitted to his wrongdoing. We should not look back, but we should look forward." Delano Hunter, who ran against Thomas last election and is probably one of the favorites to win the special election, came up with this especially cheesy line: "We should let the court systems do the judging, but it's up to us to do the praying."

Finally, we learned that Ward 5 is not interested in a poll, thank you very much. One of the oddest parts of the night was when famed D.C. pollster Ron Lester gave a presentation about a the mechanics of polling. The idea of conducting a poll appears to be the brainchild of Orange, but the crowd last night showed little patience with doing a poll and badgered Lester about why he was even talking about a "snapshot in time"  when there aren't even official candidates at this point.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • DC4Life

    I don't think Delano Hunter's line was cheesy. That gentlemen gave a really good speech. This election will be interesting but I see Hunter edging out the rest.

  • Ward 1 Voter

    Good luck to Ward 5 voters. Their ward has been pretty stable in the last couple of decades, but the changes that have been afoot elsewhere in the District are now nibbling at their borders. I hope they can find a leader who is honest and independent and forward-thinking.

  • Barrie Daneker

    DC4Life--Hunter will have to really turn out his base to win. His positions in the past have caused his demise and I would think that will carry through on this election. Hunter will finish in the third place at this point in the race....will not prevail.

  • Barrie Daneker

    We'll also be looking to Ron Machen to ensure the Hatch Act is followed in this election. Those who have integrity do what they say they are going to do...other have excuses. Ward % will not hear excuses now!

  • Ward 5

    We do not need a poll in Ward Five. This issue was to premature to even consider at this point and Lester had not even discussed how much this would cost or who would pay for the poll. Personally, I don't have much faith in politicians.

    What would happen if all politicans were required to consent to a full background investigation (including a poly). I'm sure some would find a way to beat the system and full financial disclosure is required. Thoughts?

  • drez

    ...of all the crimes Thomas had committee...
    Surely a Freudian slip given that his committee was parks and recs, from which post he could exert the influence necessary to earmark and divert the funds he did!

  • seDCdude

    while TOMMY WELLS oversaw CYIF thru which $$sI were funneled!

  • drez

    Yeah... True.
    This whole thing could have been avoided had Tommy figured out back in 2007 that Harry was a thief.
    Excuse me while I go email Chief Lanier to let her know she's personally responsible for the pumpkin someone took off my front doorstep on or about last Halloween.

  • Southeast Ken

    Vincent Orange is an opportunist troll. This is the same man who was a pimp for PEPCO.

  • Ward5Kathy

    Are we still paying Harry Thomas Jr. a D.C. Council salary? Why hasn't he officially resigned with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics yet?

  • Tom

    The meeting was pointless, just a reason for so called leaders to stand behind a microphone and try to score some good one liners. What was accomplished? The only person who should have spoken was the guy from DCBOEE everyone else was worthless. Too make it more meaningless, they let anyone with any kind of title speak and then gave other residents 10 mins to say things. By then people were already leaving. Ward 5 leadership is a scam! There is no leadership

  • Keith B.

    @Tom: Politicians remind me of the WPFW DJs in the 90s... they just love to hear themselves speak!

  • tony

    @DC4Life, when you see brother Delano tell him to stay focus and ignore all the outside noise. Tell you to focus on getting his base out and he will become the next council member of Ward 5. Leave all the dirty work to people like me, I can handle it.GOOD LUCK, BROTHER.

  • tony


  • Southeast Ken

    Vincent Orange, Michael Brown, and Pigs Feet Alexander will not get my vote in April, 2012. They can all go to hell!

  • Anonymous

    Would every one lighten up on Vince Orange. I think what he did was valuable and appropriate. What does he gain politically in the near term here, he can already win city wide? Vince is his own man and not his daddie's ( or mommie's) boy. I have always known Vince to suit up and show up, all of which is, I am sure, off putting to show ponies like "Fully Loaded" and Harry Jr.

  • Honest Abe

    As a Ward 5 resident, I know for a fact Vincent Orange is a pure idiot. Out of the pool of candidates that ran against HTJ in 2010, I thought Kenyan McDuffie made the most sense. I hope he runs again. I voted for him. Some people might not like Kathy Henderson, but I would definitely consider voting for her. She is a community activist who has worked tirelessly to improve our Ward. I'm just relieved that once & for all HTJ and his staff is gone.

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  • na

    To me feel Kathy Henderson is hiding something. This lady wears a ton of make-up on her face and false eyelashes to boot. She seems uncomfortable.

    I give Delano Hunter great consideration.

  • skinsfan83

    @HonestAbe you claim Orange is an idiot, but your former councilmember is a crook.. VO and HTJ have handled Ward 5 since 1998. Therefore you to are an idiot for your vote has contributed to a crook, and to a person who you think is an "idiot" but is Ward 5's only shinning light outside the Harry Thomas Legacy years.

  • Southeast Ken

    I know, I will not be voting for bull frog looking Vincent Orange. This guy is an opportunist and he barely won the At-Large seat by a small margin. A majority of D.C. voters didn't vote in the special election for this bull frog.

  • NE John

    I fart in the vacuum lest by crook HTJ. Breath in deeply VO, William Spaulding, John Ray, and current councilmembers Michael Brown and Phil Mendelson. It's the least I could do for you.

  • NE John

    Hey, if you guys want me to run for Ward 5, please contact me. I will do this for half price and treat it as a business, with compassion fro the Ward I have lived my entire life in (except for brief periods of time in SE and NW after I got married in 1981). My property borders on VO's so I can give him an extra hard time too!

    I am an engineer-trained professional and will be hated by every council member because I am honest to the core.

  • NE John

    I also currently clean up the entire Ward 5 of all trash left by sign-posters. In my spare time, because I love you all.

  • NE John

    and because the stupidass cops won't enforce the law here

  • Artful Dodger

    The blind leading the blind.

    Just watch as those vultures decend upon Ward 5.

    It's not just a shame, it's a problem.

  • Southeast Ken

    LOL@ NE John; you and Charlie Sheen are the man. I would vote for you guys to become the Ward 5 Councilmember, if I lived in Ward 5.

  • Cat Like

    Me and my husband are currently looking for a house in Ward 5. The idea of some of these jokers being our council member is a laugh at best a wake at worst. Some have been involved with dirt that makes Thomas look like a school girl.

    And economic development in the ward has been sketchy. I hope my house closes in time to pick the most professional, credentials, no old school wash my back mentality, but someone who looks for the pride of service not the power of it.

  • Honest Abe


    First of all, where on earth did you get any notion that I voted or even suppoted HTJ you stupid cock sucker. Know your damn facts before you step out there with some ignorant ridiculous sh$t. As a matter of fact you sound like Vincent Orange. Maybe that's why you took my comments to heart you dumb@ss. I can't believe I even wasted energy responding to your punk @ss.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    I need help here. When did the wards designations start in dc?


  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    Honest abe: please clean up your language. My ears are burning.


  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    i am extremely disappointed in vincent gray and kwame brown. They are basically DC born and bred and that is what I wanted for my city, but what I got was a couple of clowns. However, I know that politics is a nasty business,but come on

  • Major G Brookland

    In 2010 and 2006, I voted for Wilds and D. Hunter. Why? Anyone but HTJ. Looking for honest candidate to do the people's business who can stand against too much personal use and stealing $ from us all. Money is needed for a middle-school in Ward 5, well-trained teachers, educational programs and the sports activities HTJ didn't deliver on. City Treasury under Gandhi needs automated disbursement and internal controls to protect against the collusion. Remember the $50 million in fake checks from the Property Tax office.