Loose Lips

Records Show Link Between Gray Campaign Driver And Thompson Associate

Here's another link between Mayor Vince Gray's 2010 campaign and Jeff Thompson, the Medicaid contractor at the center of a federal investigation into campaign finance issues. The link: Gray's campaign driver worked for a longtime associate of Thompson's around the same time he was driving candidate Gray, according to campaign finance records.

Mark Long, who has run unsuccessfully for a couple of D.C. Council seats and currently works for Councilmember Vincent Orange, is listed on a campaign finance report from late 2010 as working for a company owned by Jeanne Harris, Thompson's longtime associate. For much of that same year, Long was Gray's campaign driver. (Here's a video from primary day with Long driving Gray at a McDonald's drive-thru.)

Disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s Dec. 10, 2010, Office of Campaign Finance report indicates Long gave a $500 money order donation to the campaign in early November. The report lists Long as a consultant for Details International, the Harris-owned firm. Long's $500 donation came on the same period as several other $500 money order donations from contributors with ties to Thompson.

Gray's campaign records indicate that Long was not paid by the campaign for his long hours as a driver. Campaign records show Long was reimbursed $4,212.17 for "campaign materials" and "supplies."

Why is this of interest? Well, LL and the Post have previously reported that the federal investigation into Gray's campaign is looking into whether there was an an alleged off-the-books "shadow campaign." The Post has detailed how one paid consultant of the alleged shadow effort says he was paid by Details International, just as Long evidently was. Federal authorities raided the homes of Harris and Thompson last month. The feds have also blanketed the Wilson Building with subpoenas seeking records related to the pair, as well as related to Details International.

Long has not returned several calls or an email seeking comment on the Thomas campaign finance report. In a brief conversation last week at Orange's victory party, LL asked Long how he knew Harris. Long said Harris was a longtime family friend, but did not say whether he'd worked for her.

  • SEis4ME

    Alan, I don't get the significance of this one.

  • LOL’z

    Uhh...maybe read the second to last paragraph, where the significance is explained???

    You may not agree, but the rationale is there. If you disagree, how about some substance to go along with it?

  • get it straight

    Anyone remember the shadow campaign that ron moten ran for Fenty? Hope that one's getting investigated too.

  • StrangeFruit

    Alan,

    Don't you think Mike Debonis dating Biddles' PR Director and not disclosing it to prospective voters is an ethics breech and more interesting than this nonsensical piece?

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com KARMA

    This article is extremely important first it links Vince to the shadow campaign. Mark was never paid nor was it recorded as an expenditure on the books of the campaign. THATS ILLEGAL.

    Secondly- Vince can only say no comment from this point on... He can not state he did not know Mark Long!! LOL

    Wonder if Mark filed taxes on his income during the campaign? WOW-

  • Rob

    Apparently, the Post and the Citypaper are determined to have Gray removed from office especially since he defeated their choice, Fenty. There are more compelling stories they can write about but they aren't the same as bringing down (or putting in their place) a black elected official. If you dig deep as they are doing with Mayor Gray, you'll eventually find or be able to manufacture something that will serve your purpose or agenda. Where was all this investigative journalism when the city was getting ripped off by Fenty's cronies?

  • Truth hurts

    Karma is right. Why didn't Gray pay Long on the books? It'll all come out sooner or later. What a disaster.

  • Anonymous1984

    "(Here's a video from primary day with Long driving Gray at a McDonald's drive-thru.)"

    Actually, no it's not. It's a link to an old WaPo article from 2008 that mentions Mark Long. Are you spiking your oatmeal, LL???

    And, yeah, StrangeFruit, why isn't everybody in DC pitching a fit over very white Mike DeBonis' main squeeze, seemingly black Dena Iverson?

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    The level of exposure that Vince is receiving is his on doing. If he would have listened to his son and taken care of his volunteers NONE of this information would have been leaked.

    He made promises to volunteers that he did not keep. He NEVER demonstrated an ounce of loyalty to those that attempted to protect him.

    The ultimate sad part is if you were around the campaign and you saw how he treated his own son you knew early Vince is cold and heartless.

    Its taking longer to expose Fenty because he took care of his folks. At least Fenty knew that, if NOTHING else. Vince"s attitude that the world owes him is what will send him into being the disgrace of a Mayor that he has become.

  • cminus

    I don't think this particular revelation is likely to amount to anything serious. If I were Gray, I would just say that the campaign paid Long $4,212.17 for his service as a driver, but listed it as a reimbursement for campaign materials and supplies because the campaign's bookkeeper was dumber than a box of rocks. DOJ couldn't prove otherwise unless someone snitches, and OCF couldn't prove the sky was blue if you gave them 48 hours and a camera. Claim a bookkeeping error and face a couple of days embarrassment, maybe a slap on the wrist from OCF, but that's it.

  • Really?

    Susan....you spoke nothing but the truth

  • Terry Miller

    I think it is interesting that no media outlet has picked up on Mike Debonis relationship with a former Fenty PR person. That is a double standard to me. Do newspaper folk get a pass on these things? Newspapers still have some power and influence, although greatly weakened by the internet. I like Mike but he should have disclosed at the onset that he was dating a Fenty staffer. Most of the time, that is what reporters do.

  • http://letschange.org Respected Citizens

    THE RESPECTED CITIZENS DO NOT WANT, FENTY NOR GRAY. AND WITH THIS SHADOW CAMPAIGN MADNESS, GRAY NEEDS TO GO.

    HE IS EQUALLY INCOMPETENT AND UNTRUSTING AS FENTY. TO BIRDS OF A FEATHER SHOULD STICK TOGETHER.

    SINCE, FENTY IS LONG GONE, GRAY SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT.

  • Wrack

    Go back and read DeBonis's articles from when Fenty was still Mayor. DeBonis gave Fenty the same treatment he gave everyone else: pretty fair.

  • TrueDat

    @ Wrack,

    The Washington Post shouldn't get a pass--period! I also recall DeBonis writing articles in favor of Fenty; please justify this one:

    Mike DeBonis' tweeted on election day regarding Orange's Robo Call and, he linked an article to his tweet that criticized the Robo calls as being deceptive.

    I guess Mike DeBonis was doing some last minute get-out-the-vote (GOTV) for his girlfriend, Dena Iverson's employer--Sekou Biddle. Here's the link and read the full article:

    http://www.twylah.com/mikedebonis/tweets/187235231496015872

  • Really?

    @wrack...that was a joke right!

  • Tim

    Ron Moten's "Go Go for Fenty" was hardly a shadow campaign. Especially when the shirts said, "Paid for by Fenty 2010..."

    Please don't compare that to giving people gift cards to vote for a candidate. Remember this: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2010/09/fenty_campaign_gray_supporters.html

    Regardless of the messenger, it seems pretty credible now.

    Don't blame me...

  • OutKast

    @ Susan,

    You are absolutely correct and Vince Gray's PR folks were the first to start passing on info to the media.

    If you don't take care of your base, you are doomed.

  • SEis4ME

    @Tim, if that's what you consider credible, I imagine you are also the lone soldier who believes Harry Thomas.

  • Really?

    @ Tim...Come again son!

    When you have folks like God Daddy Nickles protecting you then your able to get away with things.

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips/2010/09/07/does-ocf-want-to-stop-the-music/

    What ever happen to the investigagtion?

  • Kingman Park Resident

    @Anonymous1984...my good friend Dena is white. So what if she was black anyway! Mind your own business.

  • Tim

    @SEis4ME & @Really? - Does it matter the source if the information is correct? What if I failed every math test known to man and then tell you, "2 + 2 = 4"? Even with my flaws, I'm still right. You are shooting the messenger and recent events have proven he was correct in his assertions.

    You both are operating like defense attorneys when facts don't back up their arguments. Fenty is gone. Stop using him as a crutch to deflect away from the obvious failures of Mayor Gray.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Pretty

    Now all jokes aside- EVERYBODY KNOWS Jeff Thompson is too PRETTY for JAIL! He is singing like the temptations.

    Jeanne Clark Harris you AINT NO SUPREME!!! LOL I believe Vince signed a proclamation honoring Jeanne!!

  • Glocklady

    what do you think now?

  • Glocklady

    hmmm. well, seems like even his driver is talking. perhaps he should have treated him better too.

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