Loose Lips

VO Goes Loco

Vincent Orange

The D.C. Council has spoken: Phil Mendelson is the new chairman, and Michael Brown now has the near-meaningless second-in-command title of Chairman Pro Tempore.

The council voted this morning after a lively, angry debate over whether who was more qualified for the No. 2 job: Brown or Vincent Orange.

It was clear from the onset that Orange didn't have the votes, but that didn't stop him from taking a scorched earth approach and attacking Brown with relish. According to Orange, Brown should be disqualified from the post because of a past criminal conviction on a campaign-finance charge, his past tax troubles, and his strong advocacy of a failed bid to legalize online gambling in the District.

"This is a moment that requires goodness, folks," Orange yelled at his colleagues from the dais.

"I'm the best. I'm the best," Orange said a bit later, comparing himself to recently defeated boxer Manny Pacquiao. "Today, Vincent Bernard Orange Senior is the best candidate for chairman pro tem. The best."

Orange repeatedly touted what he said was a crystal clean record, but he failed to mention his close ties to D.C. contractor Jeff Thompson, whose house was raided by federal agents earlier this year in a move believed to be related to the investigation of Mayor Vince Gray's campaign. Orange is one of the city's top receipients of campaign funds from Thompson, including several money order donations that even Orange himself calls "suspicious." Bowing to media pressure after the raid on Thompson's house, Orange asked for the Office of Campaign Finance to review his 2011 at-large campaign. A spokesman for the agency says the review is "ongoing."

Orange also harangued his fellow Democrats for supporting someone not from their party. Brown, you'll recall, switched from being a Democrat to an independent in order to win one of the reserved minority party at-large seats on the council, even though he's the son of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown. Orange appears to believe that when he goes to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this year, his fellow delegates will be consumed by who the D.C. Council voted as their ceremonial second-in-command for the five months before a special election for chairman.

"How dare you send me to Charlotte, North Carolina, with Phil Mendelson, and strip me of my ability to move forward and serve this city," Orange asked, adding that the council was going to "make me look like an idiot" for siding with an independent over a Democrat.

Orange was joined by his loyal sidekick, Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, who said the city needed "two clean leaders" and that Orange had a "higher moral ethical standard" because he's both a lawyer and an accountant. Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells also came out for Orange, saying he was the best pick in light of the District's current ethical crisis.

Brown, secure in the knowledge that he wasn't going to lose, handled the attacks rather well. He joked that when he attends this year's convention, he'll be selective with which colleagues he helps get tickets to sought-after events.

Today's real winner was Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, who gave a heartfelt lecture to her colleagues to knock off the attacks. She made a particularly poignant jab at Orange and Barry for being frequent critics of the media when negative stories surface about them, but then turning around and using recent columns criticizing Brown as a launch pad for their own attacks.

Here's audio of one of VO's rants:

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Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • rezOfward4

    Although he doesn't impress me much, VO has not convinced me that he is this worst either, but damn he sounds foolish and juvenile.

  • Sick of slick

    Stay tuned guys.... Up next VO has lost his marbles. Smdh! HE'S the real embarrassment. Without the head title he can no longer "move forward and serve this city?!" THAT just corroborates what I've been saying all along. Forget the actual work... He just wants a title... Any title will do.

  • Terry Miller

    That Council meeting was riviting!

  • truth hurts

    Anyone know why Cheh lost her Pro tem slot? Seems to me it would've alleviated a lot of name calling if she would've just remained in her former position.

  • dcgovcorruption

    This elevation of Councilmember Brown will become a commercial for republicans to use against democrats in Washington. DC. Did the idiots who voted for a convicted felon realize that President Obama staff will not allow Brown anywhere near the President.

  • Ward 5

    Are you serious?! Obamas doesn't fraternize with ANY of our local Govt anyway. MB won't help or hurt that.

  • capitol hill

    Vincent Orange. Yuk. Refers to himself as Vincent Orange Senior??? So fricking creepy.

  • John

    Disappointment by the city council picking Brown after he did not pay his real estate nor his personal taxes in DC until he got late notices and it appeared in the press. He is not an upstanding council member and they should have picked Orange a lawyer and an accountant. Ethics are still not important to this city council.

  • Throw The Book

    Once again the council embraces a crook and paints a picture to the media and citizens that Orange is crazy......

    Why would you send an independent and a democrat to a Democratic National Committee summit.....

    Why?

  • The Real Urban Spin

    Leave it to VO to try to steal the limelight for himself. Congrats Mendo! The silver lining to the endless dark clouds that have been hanging over the Council.

  • Drez

    Not a huge fan of Orange- I've voted for and against him depending on his opponent- but I have no respect at all for Michael Brown.
    Orange is the better man.

  • Mark

    I can't believe this buffoon is back on the council.

  • noodlez

    IM SICK OF THIS DUDE TOUTING THAT LAWYER AND ACCOUNTANT BULLSHIT LIKE THAT SHOULD AUTOMATICALLY GIVE HIM PREFERENCE.

    ONE THING DC FOLK CAN SPOT FROM A MILE AWAY IS A BAMMA. VINCENT ORANGE IS ONE IN EVERY SINCE OF THE WORD. THIS FOOL SHOULD TAKE SOLACE THAT HE IS EVEN ON THE COUNCIL.

    MENDO AND BROWN IS THA ILLEST, ORANGE STYLE IS PLAYED OUT LIKE, WHATCHA TALKIN 'BOUT WILLIS!

    YO VINNY DONT BE MAD PGCO IS HIRIN'!

  • Fed up

    Vincent Orange is all about Vincent Barnard Orange Senior! This man doesn't care about serving us - the residents. He needs to be removed from the Council. Complete bafoonery. Big ups to Yvette Alexander for checking everyone!!! It was refreshing to hear her remarks. Btw - Vincent Orange supported by Jeff Thompson in 2010 and each election thereafter. He shouldnt claim to be clean. Investigation not complete.

  • The Java Master

    Vincent is at it again, ranting and raving about--well, mostly about himself, truth be told, and how we all need his services. No thanks. What a self-aggrandizing jerk. At least Mendo grew up and stopped standing in front of bulldozers once he got on the council.

  • candycane1

    "How dare you send me to Charlotte, North Carolina, with Phil Mendelson, and strip me of my ability to move forward and serve this city," Orange asked, adding that the council was going to "make me look like an idiot" for siding with an independent over a Democrat.

    What a statement! No one can make you look like an idiot. That is self created. Secondly, VO is being sent to Charlotte in the capacity of National Committeeman. So it doesn't matter who the Chair or Chair Tempore is at all. Michael Brown's name is not listed as a member of the DC delegation. So no one is stoppping VO from "moving forward" in the capacity he is to serve. Like I said, "self created".

  • Mr.Remember

    It's almost over. Part of this temporary term will be on vacation. Then when it starts up again, all eyes will be on the Presidential election. Only thing we have to look forward too, is to see who will actually run for the Chairman position.

  • KeepInItReal

    In November, Mendelson loses to Robert Bobb.

  • cutthecrap

    @Noodlez...Vince Gray, Kwame Brown, Harry "Tommy" Thomas, and Vincent Orange are all "BAMA". Since this is the case, DC is full of "BAMA" wack azz politicians.

    @KeepInItReal...Robert Bobb, another "BAMA". Legislation needs to be enacted to keep "BAMA's" out of city government.

  • KeepInItReal

    It is the epitome of gall for any D.C. resident to call anyone a "bama". Pot meet kettle.

  • Fact or Fiction

    This is funny and typical DC non sense. I am not an Orange supporter. Everybody wants to jump on Orange and judge him. But the fact of the matter is he is no better or worse than everybody else on the council. Except for Wells, they ALL got Jeff Thompson money including Fenty. Orange is right on Brown, not paying your taxes and committing campaign crimes is REAL! Orange was the first person to expose Kwame Brown's shenigans, and nobody wanted to believe him but Kwame should have NEVER been the chair!!

    Mendelson is terrible on so many levels. I guess being average is the new good. He has sat quiet in a corner for 14 years and now he wants to lead this group of dysfunctional pols. Give me a break, what has Mendelson DONE? Please check his pulse, is he breathing? This is like making the C student the head of the class. No the C student should not be the Valedictorian!

    End of the day, this is the worse council, ever. Not just one, but they all need to go away.

  • Ward 4 Voter

    Vincent Orange's behavior was very bizaarre at yesterday's D.C. Council meeting. I would never cast a vote for this former Pepco pimp. He should seek some mental health counseling very soon.

  • Mr.Remember

    I don't know if we can handle Robert Bobb another flashy dresser. We might need to embrace mundane Mendo as the chairman.

  • noodlez

    @SHIT SLICER-HOMEY IF YOU ARE GOING TO OFFER UP A DEBATE ABOUT WHO/WHAT IS A BAMMA AT LEAST USE THE TERM IN ITS PROPER FORM.

    I AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENT #19 TO A DEGREE.
    HOWEVA MAYOR GRAY AND DESPITE HJT FUCK UPS THEY ARE NOT BAMMAS! EVERYONE ELSE, BOOK IT.

  • RealDC

    Go VO! Kick a$$.

    All of these council members keep trying to get rid of you and you keep punching them in the mouth.... and winning.

    Last year, Harry Thomas, Kwame Brown and Vincent Gray did everything possible to keep you off of the council. Those 3 dudes even backed a real loser in Beddle, Bididle, Biddle or whatever he calls himself. Fast forward to today, Orange has beaten Bididle, twice!! Brown and Thomas are convicted felons. Gray is fumbling all over himself trying to stay one step ahead of the US Attorney. Orange is on his way to being re-elected for his at-large seat. Pondering a Council Chair run and a Mayoral run in 2014! As my grandmother used to say, "Damn, how you like them apples"? Whatever you think about Orange or feel about him, he is a FIGHTER and he is whipping a$$! Orange has won me over, I have never voted for him before but I will support him now.

    Orange is the only council member that will actual fight for something!!

  • truth hurts

    noodlez: you oughta link to Rend's Bamma primer when explicating on DC Bammas. Lotta folks don't understand the term's origin or its place in DC's culture.

    educate these peeps, my whack brother!

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