Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: But What a Tent It Was Edition

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Good morning sweet readers! Time sure flies. News time:

But What a Tent It Was: Just how mismanaged has the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation, the city-funded nonprofit that Harry Thomas Jr. used to do all of his stealing, been over the last few years? Take it away, The Washington Times' Jim McElhatton: "In early 2009, while facing a multimillion-dollar deficit, the group decided to pay more than $400,000 to a Kentucky company to rent a giant heated tent and other equipment for RFK Stadium during the week of President Obama’s swearing-in. ... With the tent rental, the trust paid more money to the Kentucky special-events company than it paid in annual rent for its own office space. What’s more, most of the dozens of community groups that have received funding from the trust to provide tutoring, employment training and summer programs throughout the District have received nowhere near the $404,729 paid to the company." A spokewoman for the trust's lame response: "The trust is looking into this matter and will respond at the appropriate time." The tent fiasco is just the latest in a long string of bad news for the trust, which under multiple investigations by city officials and presumably by the U.S. Attorney's Office as well.

AFTER THE JUMP: Alexander In Trouble; Surplus Money Unavailable; Issa a Hypocrite?

Alexander in Trouble: Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander is in a spot o' trouble at the Board of Elections and Ethics. The Post reports that a campaign aide "testified Thursday that he had signed ballot nominating petitions as a circulator when he did not himself circulate the petitions, a violation of District rules." But here's the rub: the same aide, Derek Ford, said he threw those petitions out. When "the board’s chairman, Deborah K. Nichols, asked Ford how the board could be assured that none of the bad petitions were submitted," lawyer/lobbyist/beloved group home leader David Wilmot, answered for him: “The only way you’re going to know is, he’s under oath, he’s testifying, and it’s the truth." (Wilmot lobbies for Wal-Mart, which wants to put a store in Alexander's ward.) The BOEE is set to make a ruling on Monday. Nichols noted that this a "very serious matter."

No Surplus: WAMU reports that "dozens of activists with the Washington Interfaith Network gathered on the steps of the Wilson Building Thursday to demand that District leaders spend the city's $240 million surplus on social services, housing programs and job training." No dice says the mayor's budget folks: "Legislation the Council passed a few years back mandating that extra funds go into building back the city's reserves, which had been drained during the recession, in order to preserve the District's bond rating." Speaking of bond ratings. Guess what Mayor Vince Gray, Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans are doing today? They're up in New York telling the three major bond rating agencies that the District deserves an upgrade.

In Other News:

  • The definitive write-up of the New Hampshire trip.
  • Post calls Rep. Darrell Issa a hypocrite for supporting new D.C.-only anti-abortion measure.
  • Domestic violence nonprofit WEAVE closes.
  • Harry Jaffe loves U.S. Attorney Ron Machen: Clearly, the council cannot police itself. The IG has no clout. The attorney general has limited resources.
  • Old fire houses' doors are too small.
  • Post gets on that prostitution-free zone story.

Gray sked: Moody's, S&P, Fitch's.

Council sked: VO tackles Khan-Peterson fight. Councilmember Michael Brown to talk online gambling on Kojo Nnamdi Show.

  • Green Eyeshade

    Great hat/tip to the WT story on the CYITC. The lede might have more than the "tent" story:

    "In early 2009, while facing a multimillion-dollar deficit ...."

    How did a grant pass-through trust like CYITC, which was supposed to do nothing but receive charitable donations & city grants and transfer them to programs, fall into a "multimillion-dollar deficit?" How did it obligate or spend more money than it brought in during 2009? That's the real story.

  • outtamoderationnow?

    Rumor has it the FentyRheeHartsock brigade also ran through that fund like Grant ran through Richmond. Wonder if da big nickel knew that when he opened the HJT can of worms.

    Many had a feeling Fenty didn't really want to win that election. We wondered why. Now its coming to light we may have been correct and if so, we're beginning to see why.

    Whatcha wanna bet West, Doleman, Lomax and a few other birds are singing acappella and in tune with HJT right about now?

  • Truth hurts

    Serious, honest people want all political graft severely punished. No matter who does/did it.

  • Holdadice

    @#3: Thats the most truthful hurt you've posted. Glad to hear you're one of us.

  • Holdadice

    @Th: Welcome to the club; #3 is the most truthful hurt you've posted.

  • truth hurts

    don't want or need membership in your club, whatever it is.

  • W Jordan

    You will probably find that the Tent was paid for with pass-thru money not CYITC operating/grant dollars. This was likely to allow folk to give private money to swearing-in events without having to give directy to the government. CYITC probably got an admin fee. No use in setting up a non-profit for a one time event. May not be a best practice but likely not illegal or a major scandal.