Loose Lips

D.C. Chamber Defends Its Defense of Vince Gray

LL's forthcoming column takes a look at how Mayor Vince Gray is putting legal considerations before political ones by keeping quiet on the recent guilty pleas of some of his top campaign aides. Gray's lawyer says he's ordered the mayor to keep quiet, which may make for sound legal advice but is hardly reassuring to Gray's supporters.

So what is the Gray administration to do if it can't say anything about the confirmed corruption near the core of the 2010 campaign? One option is to hope for (or even ask) your friends to come to your defense.

Abracadabra! Along comes a statement posted on the D.C. Chamber of Commerce's website from President and CEO Barbara Lang saying that while "it is natural that people are questioning the business community’s continued support" for Gray, Hizzoner deserves that support because his "leadership has proven beneficial for the city and the business community in numerous ways."

Continues Lang:

While we are very concerned about recent actions by the U.S. Attorney, it is evident that despite the turbulence, Mayor Gray is staying focused on doing his job—improving the city and lives of District residents. It is of the utmost importance that our Mayor be able to remain focused on his duty, and Mayor Gray has proven his ability to do so.

Man, the Gray administration probably could not have said it better itself. So what prompted Lang to sing the mayor's praises? For the record, she says no one in the Wilson Building's executive suite asked her to write it. She says the motivation was to issue a blanket response to the numerous media calls she's been getting about the Chamber's relationship with Gray.

It's also worth noting the personal connections at work here. Lang's husband, Gerald Lang, was a fundraiser for the Gray campaign and a member of the campaign's finance committee. Lang is also close with campaign chairwoman Lorraine Green, and even attended the D.C. Council hearing where Green denied knowing anything about illegal payments the Gray campaign gave to  Sulaimon Brown.

You can read Lang's post here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

leadership has proven beneficial for the city and the business community in numerous waysleadership has proven beneficial for the city and the business community in numerous ways
  • Wait, What?

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    It's also worth noting the personal connections at work here. Lang's husband, Gerald Lang, was a fundraiser for the Gray campaign and a member of the campaign's finance committee. Lang is also close with campaign chairwoman Lorraine Green, and even attended the D.C. Council hearing where Green denied knowing anything about illegal payments the Gray campaign gave to Sulaimon Brown.

    Pure comedy. Birds of a feather, and all.

  • DC Employee

    She should resign from her position just for writing that!

  • Gold Coast Kid

    ROTFLMAO. it gets better and better each day

  • Crooks

    Eff You, Barbara Lang! One Proctor Supporting Another's Corruption!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not surprising coming from someone who walks a crooked country road herself. ?

  • tony

    Mrs. Lang has done a good and brave thing in supporting a long time friend. This is what friends suppose to do. It's time for the mayor's black supporters to stand up and rally around him. It's time for some real black men to follow Mrs. Lang's lead.

  • Really?

    Tony...there were no words when God Daddy Pete did the same thang.

  • Ward 4

    @tony...what a joke. Barber Lang endorsed Gray for mayor. It's more probable than not that she is more of a crook than gray, because she was in the decision making circle.She served on his transition team when Gray beat Fenty. She also was a major part of the Shadow Campaign.She's not protecting Gray, she is protecting her husband...who like Gray, Thomas,Gore, Lorraine, and Brooks, will be going to jail soon.

  • tony

    @Ward 4...SO WHAT!

    The fact that she came out and defended the man in the midst of the crazy and racist attacks against him speaks volumes about her good character. The notion that Mayor Gray is going to jail is completely insane.

    Again, Mrs. Lang is a very smart and courageous woman and she is to be respected and applauded.

  • DC5

    Even if all true, this silly man election campaign BS pales in comparison to Anthony Williams' petition scandal (truly "corrupt"), where he completely escaped any personal accountability and the Powers That Be never hung it like an albatross on one of their own.

  • Drez

    "Powers that be"?
    You mean like the DC Chamber of Commerce?

  • Sally

    Land and her multitude of silly costumes is an utter hack.

    And Lang's former chief lobbyist is Gray's chief political advisor.

  • Astonished

    Amazed at the level of vitriol and outrage displayed by commenters here... If you read Lang's blog post, all she says is, the Mayor has done good things for business in DC, and therefor the business community supports him. (District businesses pay a lot of tax revenue into the city, keeping our social services running, and making DC an attractive place to live.)

    The columnist who spun that into implications that Lang is a puppet for the Mayor and/or somehow involved in the Sulaimon Brown thing should be *ashamed* of himself. As should a number of the commenters who took this to a personal level. The woman's just doing her job--speaking for business in DC.

  • W. Rubenstein

    It's hard to separate the white from the rice. Lang and Gray are so intertwined, there is no way anything she says good or bad about Gray will ever be excepted as objective.According to the article her husband served on Gray's finance committee which is directly tied to the ongoing federal investigation by the FBI and US Attorney's office, so who in there right mind will believe, "she's just speaking for the business community"?

  • um hummm

    @ Astonished: DON'T BE!!!! It is amazing how these commenters think. You are as right as rain. Hopefully a little of it (a lot would be required) will wash away the unmitigated rancor displayed by haters who probably wouldn't have the guts to make their statements in the open and to the faces of those they castigate for no sound reasons. They're either upset about the candidate they supported losing; or on the other hand uspset because the one who won the election didn't go out of the way to do something for them personally. The fact that The Man is in hot water because it is alleged he tried to do something for another unworthy individual is lost on that faction.

    The saddest part about all of this is that citizens of the District of Columbia would actually want to see the city torn apart because some overzealous, poorly selected campaign leaders took advantage of the candidate's trust and gave a person like S. Brown a chance to cause this mess in the first place. The S. Brown MESS is nothing compared to what Adrian Fenty and Peter Nickles master-minded with someone like Sinclair Skinner who was probably no more qualified to do his job than S. Brown was, but who was paid a whole lot more money.

    Re Ms. Lang: I think she is a credit to this city in the articulate, stylish and classy way she carries herself. Her husband is a very lucky man.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    wait a DAMN MINUTE- Didn't I read recently that the DC Chamber of Commerce has no money? Barbara Lang has run it financially into the ground?

    Half of the staff works for Vince now...

    I don't think her integrity will allow her to visit Lorraine and Judy in jail.

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