Loose Lips

Council Passes Meter Contract, Despite Opposition from Orange and Campaign Donor

How much could $43,000 in political donations get Rockville's WorldWide Parking in its contract fight with Xerox over the District's parking meters? As it turns out, not much. The doomed attempt to stop Xerox from winning the District's $33 million parking meter contract went down 11-2 in the D.C. Council today, garnering nay votes only from Marion Barry and WorldWide stalwart Vincent Orange.

Orange insisted he was only trying to safeguard taxpayers' money by opposing the contract, which was upheld in a challenge to the Contract Appeals Board. Never mind the $20,000 in bundled contribution his mayoral campaign received from WorldWide last month.

"That's the collateral issue the media wants to get you caught up in, because that's sexy," Orange said.

Fellow mayoral candidates Muriel Bowser and Jack Evans, who took $5,000 and $18,000 in WorldWide bundles respectively, voted in favor of the contract. David Grosso, meanwhile, broke his practice of abstaining on contract approvals to vote in favor of the meter contract.

Barry, who inspired his own brouhaha over donations of a different sort when he accepted cash gifts from city contractors, used the ensuing debate over whether the Council should be able to vote on contracts to announce that he "resented" a group of councilmembers. The group—he only named Ward 6's Tommy Wells as a member—had earned Barry's ire for suggesting that the Council is for sale.

"You think that Marion Barry is going to sell his soul for a meager contracting contribution?" Barry asked. "Hell no."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • gloomingdale

    So blatantly corrupt

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  • Gordon

    Where are the thinkers? VO has been on the record for over a year with inquiry regarding the METER contract. So, VO would want the scrutiny and ridicule of being called insulting names by Will Sommer's fans? If he thought a wrong had been done a year ago has anything changed since? Ok, he should let a wrong go because he is running for office?

    Folks know that young writers like Sommer would not go after some council members because of fear of reprisal from their obvious influence in the business community. They don't dare tread.

    (DeBonis: Serious work on the tax lien story in the WP. The story is going to help so many people.)

    The real stories are in plain sight. No curiosity, no investigating by some. It's easy to follow everyone else's byline and lead instead of creating your own. You know what they say about people who sit on the dais and imply others are sooo corrupt? And should resign . Anybody Remember Harry?

  • Will Sommer


    In my last post on this, I brought up Orange's claim that his Aug 2012 letter proves that he wasn't influenced by WorldWide's November 2013 donations. That may still be true, but the letter doesn't prove Orange's disinterestedness like he says it does, since he received another couple thousand in donations from WorldWide right before writing it.


  • FunnyReports

    @WillSommer if Bowser and Evans both received contributions from Worldwide, what is the motivation for Orange? It doesn't benefit him to vouch for a company that donated to his opponents as well. There has to be an underlying reason for this move from Orange.

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  • stick2yourguns

    yeah lots of other members received funds but none ran all over the wilson building trying to get this contract to be given to a rockville maryland company, and I am sure most of you are smart that company received it's termination from the contract letter november 6th....the check started rolling into VO's account from november 22nd and beyond...and yes he was making noice back in 2012 and he alsso received payments back then too...no other member did.

  • noodlez


  • drez

    noodlez- agree.

  • Southern Ave

    I like Orange, I do not see him as being as corrupt as the other candidates. Everyone jumps of him and gives the other councilmembers a pass.

    Everyone who has been voted in over Orange has brought shame to this city: Fenty, Kwame Brown, Sekou Biddle.

    Don't worry about the other clowns, SE will be voting for Orange come Election Day!

    I can't roll with Vincent Gray because he shot down the minimum wage deal initially only to appease Wal-Mart. We will wind up having the same pay in 2016 that we have now.