Loose Lips

Vincent Orange Sues to Get Into Debate, Doesn’t Succeed

Andy Shallal wasn't the only longshot candidate outraged after being left out of last night's televised debate on WUSA9. While the Busboys and Poets owners asked his supporters for help getting into last night's, at-large D.C. Councilmember and fellow excluded candidate Vincent Orange tried a different tactic, filing suit yesterday against WUSA9 owner Gannett for harassment.

Orange's arguments for being included in or delaying the debate are moot now that it's been over for nearly 24 hours. Since Legal TimesZoe Tillman dug up the lawsuit, though, they're worth a look anyway.

In his documents related to his request for a restraining order, Orange's arguments for inclusion include his endorsement by unions representing grocery store workers and unions, his support for the $11.50 minimum wage hike, and the assertion that debate-attending rivals Jack EvansMuriel Bowser, and Tommy Wells possess "significantly less impressive" legislative records than Orange.

Speaking of claims that Orange's Council colleagues might disagree with, Bowser will be surprised to learn that Orange is the only African-American councilmember in the race:

Plaintiff Orange is the only African American Councilmember challenging the incumbent mayor in the race. A such, his prospective [sic] as to the issues confronting the city is extremely important. It is in the public interest for would-be voters hear from the lone male, African/American city councilmember challenging the incumbent mayor.

In another court paper, Orange attorney Ronald C. Jessamy pushes back on the idea that Orange is polling too low—at 2 percent, in a recent Washington City Paper/Kojo Nnamdi Show poll—to be included.

“There is only one poll that matters, that is the one rendered on Election Day by the voters, not by citizens reached by robo calls,” Jessamy writes. (LL would note that Orange was at 3 percent in a Washington Post poll that came out this week and was conducted by live dialers.)

Gannett didn't respond to LL's request for comment. Orange and Jessamy also didn't respond to requests for comment about what's next for the lawsuit.

This isn't Orange's first attempt to use a trip to the courthouse to further his political aims. In 2005, he sued then-D.C. Council chairwoman Linda Cropp after Cropp blocked an attempt by Orange's government operations committee to hold a hearing on Nationals Park.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • YouDidRightOrange

    You fought for wages...YOU GOT MY VOTE!!! I was surprised to not see you part of the debate given all you've done for the citizens of the District.

    And to think that Muriel CERTAINLY demonstrated she SHOULD NOT be mayor by not pointing to anything she's done for this great city.

    Muriel's useless answers delivered in that nasal voice was a waste of a seat last night.

  • S.E.

    Save your time & money Vinny!!!

  • Marvin E. Adams

    This is N-O-T what democracy is supposed to look like. Shame on WUSA, at present, and The Current, past, for "determining" whose voices the residents of the District would hear.
    It is my hope that next Tuesday, the voters, irrespective of the aforementioned, and simlar machinations will vote for the best qualified candidate.

  • UNCvsDuke

    The Bull Frog is an idiot! Most D.C. voters don't take him serious and he should go back and hide under his lilly pad.

  • Orange is the new gray area

    Failure to state a claim. And he writes legislation?

  • Jes’ saying

    He's got two percent in the polls, with a margin of error of three percent. I guess that means he could actually be sitting there at minus one percent!

    How can that be, mama? He's the best!

  • petworthy

    ". . . the lone male, African/American city councilmember challenging the incumbent mayor."

    the action or capability of understanding something.
    "some won't have the least comprehension of what I'm trying to do"
    synonyms: understanding, grasp, conception, apprehension, cognition, ken, knowledge, awareness, perception; More
    antonyms: ignorance

  • NE John

    petworthy, that was a typo. Should read "the lone mule"

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  • Tight Lips

    lol @petworthy you must not be that bright my friend. Orange is the only African American male councilmember challenging the incumbent Mayor..

    Muriel Bowser is the only African American woman councilmember challenging the incumbent Mayor..

  • petworthy

    Tight Lips, stupidity shouldn't become you, but somehow you make it work.
    "Bowser will be surprised to learn that Orange is the only African-American councilmember in the race:"

    Back to your hole now. No more internet for you.

  • Tight Lips

    @Petworthy did you not enter this line in your comment that you initially left?

    ". . . the lone male, African/American city councilmember challenging the incumbent mayor."


    Did you not type that for your initial comment?

  • Southeast Ken

    I hate the term African American. I'm American and I never been to Africa in my life. African American is a foolish name Jesse Jackson made for black Americans. We were once called colored, Negro, black, and now African American. Why not just an American or someone belonging to the human race?

  • noodlez



  • Angelina, DC

    Souheast Ken, you are a big-mouth idiot. I've never been to Italy, but I'm an Italian-American. You won't even hear me say I'm not an Italian-American but just an American. You are the fool not Rev Jackson. By the way people from other enthic backgrounds will always list their native countries first. If you don't know what I mean here's some examples.
    Native-Americans, Japanese-Americans, German-American, Polish-Americans, Turksih-Americans and so forth! Keep your big mouth shut and your ignorance won't show.

  • Tight Lips

    @Noodlez take his nuts out your mouth will you?

  • HUAlum71

    @ Angelina,DC

    One of the reasons your and other ethnic people (Except for the Native-Americans from whom they stole America) came to America was to have freedom of speech.

    Southeast Ken has the right to freedom of speech in the country in which he was born. He also has the right to his opinion about how his ethnicity should be labeled.

    Ignorance is as ignorance does and yours is showing.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    @Southeast Ken:
    I must respectfully disagree with your take on the term "African-American. Your premise is eerily simailar to the stance taken by a couple I met recently. The couple were white; in their mid-50s; Republican, and fairly easy to speak with (not the Limbaugh type).

    I made the statement to them that most Italian-Americans (which they were)could readily draw upon their faimly's birthplace (Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, etc). The point I made was if you ask an African-American where he/she is from, the answer, more often than not, will be a state within the Union!

    African-Americans have consistently been plauged with what Dr. William E.B. Dubois called "double consciousness." And, I might add, therein lies a paradox. Because most AAs can not identify with a country in African, so a few seem to grudgingly accept the continent as our connection. Recently, Former Secretary of Satate, Colin Powell, was asked to give his perspective from an African-American point of View. General Powell's response was: "Why can't I just be an American."

    My answer to General Powell's query: Succinctly, because we A-R-E-N'T there yet.

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