Loose Lips

Come to the Loose Lips Debates on Sunday and Tuesday

MIC-1 (1)

There is only one reasonable way to cap off this, the craziest week of D.C. politics in recent memory: more D.C. politics.

On Sunday, Loose Lips and Washington City Paper are hosting a debate between D.C.'s Democratic candidates for mayor at the Black Cat on 14th Street NW. It'll be moderated by City Paper's Will Sommer, NBC4's Tom Sherwood, and the Washington Informer's James Wright. Entry is free, the candidates (and you!) are encouraged to drink, and, well, we'll probably have a few questions for them about this and this and this. It should be fun. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Which of our would-be leaders will be there? So far, Muriel BowserJack Evans, Reta Jo LewisVincent Orange, Andy Shallal, and Tommy Wells are definitely in. Update: Mayor Vince Gray has a schedule conflict and won't be attending.

Hey, and there's more: On Tuesday, March 18, at the Black Cat we're hosting a debate between the Democratic candidates for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council. Sommer, DCist's Sarah Hughes, and the Washington Post's Clinton Yates are moderating. Doors open at 8 p.m., and it's free.

And on Tuesday, March 25 we're holding a debate between Darrel Thompson and Charles Allen, the Ward 6 Democratic candidates for D.C. Council, at the Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Sommer's moderating; the other two moderators are TBA. 8 p.m. start time; definitely free.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Chuck

    So what's the difference between what Jeffrey Thompson did and what a PAC does? Anyone?

    It like a drug dealer (Jeffrey Thompson PAC) telling on the buyers (Politicians).

    The Government cut a bad deal!

  • Ann Wilcox

    Please consider allowing the DC Statehood Green candidates for City Council At Large, to participate in the debate Mar 18. Eugene Puryear and G Lee Aiken are serious, well-informed candidates who bring value to the debate; they deserve a seat at the table!

  • Dave

    @ Chuck -

    I believe it's illegal for a PAC to coordinate its activities with that of a candidate. Jeffrey Thompson has admitted that he coordinated with Gray's campaign.

  • matt

    How are Bowser and Gray going to be at this http://www.law.udc.edu/events/event_details.asp?id=411066
    and the Black Cat?
    At least Gray acknowledges the schedule conflict.

  • Tight Lips

    @Matt when you have a Mayor that wants to cut back the programs and athletic teams at UDC, you shouldnt be surprised that they double booked the event.

  • Will Sommer


    We'll be doing an at-large debate for the general election. With Catania leaving the seat, it should be busy.

  • DCShadyBoots

    I get it Will, it is about the 'drama'. You related to Andy Cohen?

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    Muriel Bowser’s Record as Councilmember
    Dorothy Brizill,
    When Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney was preparing an article about Muriel Bowser, he asked me to give him my impression of her. I wrote him a long E-mail and told him that he could quote anything in it. In McCartney’s article, http://www.tinyurl.com/m7vuznp,rr he wrote that I “was one of a half-dozen people I interviewed who have observed Bowser’s work on the council and described it as lackluster. The others spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid offending a potential mayor.” Here’s an expanded version of what I wrote him.

    Muriel Bowser has been a member of the city council since 2007, when she won a special election to succeed Adrian Fenty as the Ward 4 representative on the council. As a legislator, Muriel doesn’t have an impressive record in the introduction of legislation or the use of the council to solve important public policy issues. The ethics bill, the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Amendment Act of 2011, is the one exception. It is an important bill, and it is identified as her signature legislation. But the public was clamoring for ethics reform, she was running for reelection, and she touted her work on the bill as the one example of her legislative accomplishments, The bill was largely pushed through the council by Council Chairman Kwame Brown. In the wake of the “fully loaded SUV” controversy that raised questions about Brown’s own ethical lapses and poor judgment, Brown wanted to use the ethics bill to redefine himself in the eyes of DC voters as an “ethics reformer,” and he used his influence in the council to ensure passage of Bowser’s bill. Because of the messy manner in which the bill was drafted, several verbal amendments were made on the council dais, The final text of the bill wasn’t ready for several months after council passage, and no draft text was made available during that time for public comment. Neither Muriel nor her staff consulted with experts or Washington citizens who were most familiar with the ethics issues that have plagued the city government over the years. It should also be noted that, as chair of the Government Operations Committee, Muriel wasn’t able to draft a campaign finance reform bill, although other councilmembers introduced multiple bills on campaign finance in 2011 and 2012. It wasn’t until 2013, when freshman councilmember Kenyon McDuffie became chair of the council’s Government Operations Committee, that a comprehensive campaign finance bill was drafted and adopted by the council.

    Muriel doesn’t work well with her council colleagues. She is not well liked or trusted by them, and many of them consider her a lightweight. Even before councilmembers all started running against each other to be mayor, you couldn’t find another councilmember who would speak well of her.

    Muriel has not demonstrated good judgment in hiring her staff. She has one of the worst staffs on the council. They are not informed, knowledgeable, or even pleasant, and she micromanages them. She insists that her legislative/committee director, Rob Hawkins, keep his office in her suite of offices rather than in the committee office. Her staffers, including her press director, claim never to know about legislative or issue matters, and they must get Bowser’s or her chief of staff’s permission to provide any information. All calls to her committee and staffers must go through her main office receptionist.

    As a Ward 4 councilmember, she provides very poor constituent services, and there are numerous complaints by residents of the ward about not being able to get service or assistance from her office. Her director of constituent services, Brandon Todd, has been working on her campaign full time for several months.

  • truth hurts

    The same Robert McCartney who wrote in his column today that he doesn't believe Gray, that Gray's no longer remotely credible?

  • SEis4ME

    I thought the email was from Brizill not McCartney and was about her impression of Bowser not Gray?

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    @SEis4ME; you are correct. Dorothy Brizill posted her comment in this week's DC Watch newletter dated March 12, 2014.

    All truth hurts need to do is a Google search on DC Watch and he will see the latest newsletter.

    I'm a Ward 4 resident in the 16th Street Heights neighborhood and I can tell you, Muriel Bowser and her staff's constituent services are horrible. I've encountered her Chief of Staff Joy Holland and her legislative director Robert Hawkins. Brandon Todd was Bowser's Constituent Services Director, however, he resigned to work on her mayoral campaign. I will not be voting for Muriel Bowser. I just don't like the lady and she lacks social skills.

  • Mike Madden

    @ Matt:

    Bowser will be arriving at our debate before it begins, after she's at the DCFPI event. My understanding is that Gray has a different schedule conflict and will not be at the DCFPI event at all.

  • Mike Madden

    @ Ann Wilcox:

    Voters don't face a choice between the four Democrats and the two Statehood Greens on April 1; you vote in the primary for the party you're registered with. Since more than 75 percent of D.C. voters are Democrats, we thought it made more sense to put on a Democratic primary debate. We intend to invite all general election candidates running for contested seats to debates this fall, as well.

  • Pachamama

    Bowser???? She voted against the Large Retailer Responsibility Act (LRRA), which would have required MalWart and other big box stores to pay their workers (most of whom are part-time employees) the hardly princely sum of $12.50 per hour instead of the $8.90 per hour them make now -- try providing a home and food for a family on such wages.

    The LRRA was passed by the council, and then vetoed by Gray, and Bowser voted against overturning Gray's veto.

    Looks to me like Bowser and Gray are on the take from MalWart.



    Ask each one of the candidates, if they have a significant other and what role their wife, husband or partner will play if elected.

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-will-dcs-next-mayor-tackle-inequality/2014/03/14/69256ee6-aae1-11e3-af5f-4c56b834c4bf_comment.html? @ShawingtonTimes

    Ask them about ending their DC #WarOnDrugs (ie: War on #BlackMenAndBoys, Latinos, et al) — not just the war on marijuana.

    Although not the entirety of the problem, many #BlackMenAndBoys et al who enter the astronomically expensive criminal justice vortex disingenuously claim they dropped out of high school because they "needed to make some money." But when the current liberal democratic administration's and democratic DC Council's #WarOnDrugs (they should own their local policies) perpetuates an illegal violent drug sales market (and gang turf wars) where a 1oz vial of PCP (used for dipping marijuana and cigarettes) sells for upwards of $1200 cash tax free, one can easily see how the lure of drug dealing a just a few hours per month, instead of staying in school to ultimately, if they overcome the last vestiges of employment/corporate racism, ideally work some 9-5 making much much less per hour (while paying taxes to a Federal govt that takes our hard earned but still refuses to treat us like full citizens), might be more attractive to these people than whatever their teachers are preaching to them in school (or pastors in church). These (mainly) boys and men, can use drugs sales to provide for their girl friends and baby mommas — at least when they feel the urge for sex — so, those girls and women don't feel the impetus to get a college education or do legitimate work either.

    One would think in a so called liberal democratic town filled with some of the brightest minds in the world, that real solutions could be put in place immediately after so many years of evidence and study of the problems. But these liberals demonstrate little urgency to create effective public schools and more job opportunities or provide sustainable affordable housing for the needy and middle class as they scuffle over each other panhandling and making secret deals to pocket dollars from corporations, developers, labor unions and the likes of Uncle Earl and continue to ignore the essential needs of residents — which include public safety.

  • http://youtu.be/u83ssfVfAG0 @ShawingtonTimes

    +1 Ann Wilcox, March 13th, 2014, 11:30 am

    Eugene and G Lee Aiken make the Green Party April 1 race competitive and make the overall At Large primary race more meaningful. They should be included in the debate.

    Hands down, Eugene has the best stump speech of anyone running: http://youtu.be/u83ssfVfAG0.