Loose Lips

David Catania: Vince Gray is a “Joke,” Should Resign

At-large Councilmember David Catania says Mayor Vince Gray has become a "joke" who should resign from office if he loves the city as much as he says he does.

"The mayor has been reduced to a joke. He is a laugh line. He is an embarrassment," says Catania. He adds that the "heat" from an ongoing federal investigation, which has already secured three guilty pleas from aides associated with the Gray campaign, has made it impossible for Gray to govern effectively.

Catania's comments come a day after federal prosecutors said an illegal shadow campaign corrupted the 2010 mayoral election in Gray's favor. Catania, who was one of the first councilmembers to call for disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. to resign, is the first councilmember (and maybe the last) to call for Gray to leave office. Gray said today he has no plans to resign.

Prosecutors haven't said whether Gray, who has not been charged with a crime, knew anything about any illegal campaign activity. But Catania says Gray needs to go regardless of whether he knew or not.

"I can't say that enough: It does not matter," Catania says, adding that any notion that Gray was the unwitting victim of corrupt friends who operated an illegal campaign without his knowledge is a nonstarter.

"That logic would have had Watergate forgiven and expunged," he says.

Catania also took issue with a statement Gray made today at a news conference: "This is not the campaign that we intended to run," Gray said. That's the language of a victim, says Catania, not a leader taking responsibility for a messed up campaign. "For Christ's sake, that's the most ridiculous, ridiculous line....Who is 'we?'"

Catania has long been critical of a $7.5 million settlement the Gray administration agreed to with the health insurance company owned by Jeff Thompson, who prosecutors say (though not by name) funded the illegal shadow campaign. Catania speculated a few months ago that Thompson was highly motivated to put Gray in office in order to help with his city contracts. While pleading guilty to fraud and conspiracy in federal court yesterday, Thompson associate Jeanne Clarke Harris said Thompson backed Gray because he would have "serious contractual problems" if Adrian Fenty had won the election. Catania also initiated an audit of Thompson's healthcare contracting, which found several examples of Thompson overspending city money. After Fenty's pugnacious attorney general, Peter Nickles, sued Thompson, he agreed to pay the District back $12 million.

Catania, who has accepted thousands in campaign contributions from Thompson and his associates, says that when Thompson gives you money, he makes sure that you know he's given you money.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • gitchafaxstr8

    Hey Dave: When Thompson made sure you knew you got the money he gave you, did he also make sure you knew what he wanted for it? Or did you think he just thought you were a really nice guy who happenc to Chair the Committee... Well you're a bright guy, so know what I'm askin!!!!

  • gitchafaxstr8

    @#1: 'who happened to Chair the Committee?...Well..

  • truth hurts

    Good for Catania. Either Gray voluntarily will do the right thing, or he'll be forced out in disgrace when Machen's office reveals evidence the FBI/USATTY have assembled.

  • Bert

    Gray is done. Time to stick a fork in him. Say hello to Mayor Phil.

    Mendo's rise is a bit like Jerry Ford's (and I mean that in a good way). Remember how Ford became Vice President when Agnew was forced to resign? And then became President when Nixon resigned? Just like Ford who went from House member to the top job in less than a year, Mendo's gonna' have the corner office in the District building soon.

  • Wait, What?

    Cheh has also called for Gray to resign. All the shoes are dropping. Too bad Vince's closest allies on the council are already pled out or in jail...

  • Watchdog

    Three strikes for the Gray campaign -- Gore, Brooks and now Clarke Harris. And two for the City Council -- Harry Thomas Jr. and Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown.

    A bunch of shakedown artists, greedy folks who treated DC like their personal ATMs.

    Can't wait for another half-dozen to be brought down before Labor Day. DC voters need to purge the city electeds.....ALL OF THEM! Except Catania, who at least has the guts to stand up against this nasty wave of political skullduggery

  • free

    So why did Catania accept thousands from the same corrupt man? Shouldn't Catania step down too? Or is he claiming to not have known his backers were crooked and self interested.
    White people are getting a bit too eager to have a white mayor.
    Gray isn't Marion Barry and its not like he's been handing out free Xmas hams in the SE.
    Is Gray not white enough?

  • free

    White folks, calm down!
    This is not the way to get the white mayor you want.
    A white mayor is coming- don't be d*cks about it.

  • free

    Catania is not brave or a non-corrupt.
    He is self interested and has played along with the game for years (with select moments of " Oh yes...I am white, gay, and republican/independant....so I'm about to say something contrary..."

    Catania sees the demographics changing in DC, so his backbone is growing.

  • cutthecrap

    This is what you get when you give an independent bitch one of the most powerful committees on the Council. Catania should have Parks and Rec, not health. Did Gray, and the rest ever take a Poli Sci class in college(or did he go to the Sharon Pratt School of Government)? DC has a bunch of jack leg politicos. Everyone says Vince is a smart politician. He's got to be one of the dumb, dumber, dumbest politicos (next to Kwame and Harry) we've ever had in his city. He needs to go just on GP. Smart politicians know how not to get caught; and know who to dole out power and important assignments to(whether in campaign mode, or in office). I guess all of you who didn't vote for Linda Cropp or Marie Johns are choking yourselves...lol

  • John NE

    lol free. white folks have nothing to do (as a group) about this.

  • wardsixer

    @ free. My brother... Why are you bringing race into this? The Mayor dug this hole on his own. And when you start bringing race into the conversation you make yourself, and the rest of us look stupid.

    From now on just try to stick to the facts.

  • http://www.rwwdc.org Patty Brosmer

    What a mess. There's real work to be done here!

  • noodlez

    THIS COCKSUCKER IS THE ONE WHO SHOULD RESIGN!

    FUCK HIM.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    For once in a very long time I agree with David. Vince needs to spend time in jail so he can reflect on what he has done.

    I have never witnessed one as mean and CRAZY as Vince!!

    Yall need to check on the type of medicine he is on... Rumors has it he has been crazy for a VERY long time.

  • capitol hill

    @limpnoodle you are such a sad little racist. dont let the door hit you on the way out to ward 9

  • cutthecrap

    @wardsixer...he only makes himself look stupid. There are a lot of "the rest of us" who didn't vote for Vince Gray and tried to tell "the rest of you" not to vote for him. Leave us out of the equation. What "free" (with a small f) doesn't understand is that Vince loves white folks and would do anything to remain in their good graces. He hasn't done anything for the communities who elected him...it's called "self hatred".

  • Old People

    If he hasn't been charged with anything, then wht resign? Lord, help y'all if you come across someone sleeping while on life support. You freaking murderers.

    White on white crime is more vicious, so wait until they assume the position of power. There's nothing worse than to see whites view each others as white trash. Remember that is what made television shows like Dallas and Dynasty so popular.

  • capitol hill

    @old people....huh? say WHAT? white on white crime is more vicious than what? please dont vote, for the love of god.

  • noodlez

    CAPHILL=TYPICAL GAY HONKY WHO IS SCARED OF A BLACK PLANET!

    YOUR COMMENT GAVE YOU AWAY PUNK:
    LIMPNOODLE=I'M A HOMOSEXUAL
    SAD LITTLE RACIST=WHITE MALE
    WARD 9 REFERENCE=MYOPIC LIL TWIT

    SLIM THIS IS MY CITY AND YOU WILL PRY IT FROM MY COLD DEAD BLACK HANDS. GO HOME AND COME OUT TO YOUR PARENTS. CHUMP!

    ONE CITY
    ONE MAYOR

  • RealDC

    Catania should RESIGN from his BRIBE of a job with MC Dean!!

    Gray has done nothing wrong but hire a bunch of old school crooks who took advantage of an opportunity. These bamas have been mobbing since the days of Walter Washington, Gray has done nothing wrong. Gray's only fault was not having a goto rolodex, he had to bring this crooked-ass bunch on board.

    Catania, under your watch The Greater Southeast Hospital has gotten worse. What has happen with the money? What about Healthcare Finance, can we get audit on this outfit?

    In short Catania, Cheh and Bowser are out of line, again. These 3 emotional heifers need to get a grip.

  • Mary-Austin

    @noodlez

    why don't you go back to prison where you belong and suck kwame's, harry's and soon to be vince's cocks while you're at it!

  • umis habit hummm

    It is amazing what crawls out of the woodwork when the real common sense truth is espoused. Makes me wanna make my Mama and them happy by not 'cussin' anymore.

    But Damnnnnn, cussin' is so much more fun than fightin'.
    .........Especially when you can't. Never did like getting into fisticuffs.

    Seems like that might just be my boy Vince's problem also. I'll bet he never had to fight his way through while growing up. He doesn't seem to have the Street creds he wants you to believe he has. The poor guy didn't stand a chance against gangster bitches (sorry Mama and ya'll) like Lorraine, Judy, Gerri, and the Queen of gangster politics herself.....ta daaaa: Mrs. Eugenia Clarke-Harris who learned at her late husbands knee. She cut her political teeth on the backroom deals spawned when Massa decided to throw us n......(practiced a little restraint there, Mama)a bone to mke it look as if Washington DC wasn't the sleepy little racist town it always will be.

    When you really look at it you'll see these poor dumb ass
    Black politicians don't run a damn thing but ther mouths in front of a mike. Hell, the White politicians don't run a damn thing either. Jeanne Clarke-Harris and Jeffrey Thompson came close, but got a little too big for their britches (both literally and figuratively speaking in her case) and got 'FrankWillsed' without the taped door. It was only a matter of time for Jeff Thompson to get slapped down. When you read between the lines you'll find he wasn't as wealthy as he and others want you to believe. The really powerful wealthy brokers' names NEVER get press. They operate like ghosts and they are just as evasive.

    It's not Gray, people, it's not even Jack Evans, the king of the get-over-artists. It's all about da game of politics and you know who knew more about it than anybody else in Gray's campaign? REUBEN O. CHARLES, III.

    Won't surprise me to find out he's the mastermind of the ill-fated Gray "Plan." Bet he took Thompson's offer to move to Brazil, Peru, Argentina, maybe even back to Guyana
    or some damn where. But wait, he didn't have to do that, did he? He beat all of the shysters to the Feds' front office door, after getting his cut from Harris/Thompson/Green, et all, he laid out the case for Machem and headed for the hills or someplace he can hide until he finds his next gang of suckers.

  • Native

    Gray didn't get to be chair of the council because he was naive and easily manipulated. He will be charged and resign, maybe not in that order. Anyone who believes that there was no quid pro quo with Thompson is truly naive. Thompson will be indicted too. They are all going down as they deserve.

  • noodlez

    YO MARY-AUSTIN YOU WANT MY ATTENTION OR YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE? THAT COMMENT YOU GOT AT ME WIT SIGNALED SOME DEEP UNDERTONES THAT LIES IN YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS.

    F.Y.I.-DON'T COMMENT IN ANGER. YOU START REVEALING SHIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE PORN YOU WATCH!

  • watchingtoo

    Encountering the HOMOSEXUALS that were running the DC schools and parts of the health field was disgusting. They are very sick and criminal minded. They will harm civil rights. Mark my word. Too damn bad that black men turned to skirts and ladies panties. So sick.
    Destruction in inevitable.

  • seDCdude

    These whiteys have lost their damn minds!!

    Please explain to me how this latest UNCOVERING has anything to do with the mayor's ability to govern, lead and delegate....

    All this fake ass posturing and political correctness is cover for white power interests and agendas! Unbelievable at these Krakkkas pissN on the city and calling it LEMONADE, ie #11 and 12, dumbasses!

  • capitol hill

    We do NOT need any more politicians from wards 7 or 8. And for that matter, we could do without election participation from wards 7 and 8 as well next election

  • KeepInItReal

    @Capital Hill. There are enough corrupt politicians in the District to saturate all four wards. Just speak your mind. Say what you REALLY wanna say.

  • Pancho

    The M A N who act like he did not get money too

  • Pancho

    Why Catania don't like Thompson LL?

  • umis habit hummm

    @ capitol hill: Man, that sense of entitlement is really chewing at your ass. You think you can just change the whole stystem to suit your needs. Check yourself Dude.
    Your DIRTY WHITE SHEET IS SHOWING.

  • james

    Gray,
    If you resign over this you were never man enough to hold the office. Grow a "pair!". The arrogance of these people to ask you to resign is impressive as well. Man up Mayor and call these hypocrites out!! These newspapers did not support you anyway!!!!
    J

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