Loose Lips

Missing the Election Won’t Stop Orange’s Expulsion Bill

Councilmember Vincent Orange failed Monday in his attempt to make the general election ballot a little longer. After not convincing enough of his colleagues to back legislation that would give the D.C. Council more power over the mayor and attorney general, Orange will miss the July 18 deadline to put his measure on the ballot for November.

Orange's measure, which would allow the Council to expel the mayor or attorney general if 11 of the 13 councilmembers agreed, fell two votes short of the nine votes needed for an emergency bill. But future mayors and attorneys general shouldn't rest easy. Orange says he'll be back after the summer recess to push to put the new expulsion power on the ballot for a future election.

"Now is the time to address the issue while there is no pending action against anyone," Orange, a prolific texter, tells LL in a text message. "Why kick the can down the road?"

While Orange won a majority of the Council to his side, other members worried that allowing the body—which has regularly found itself at odds with Vince Gray—to expel the mayor and attorney general for breaking the law could lead to an out-of-control legislative branch. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who voted against Orange's legislation, feared that Orange's bill would create a separation-of-powers crisis if voters approved it.

At the Council breakfast, at-large councilmember David Catania, whom LL guesses would prefer not to face the threat of expulsion himself if he wins the mayor's office in November, pointed out that governments with impeachment processes have bicameral legislatures, not just 13 councilmembers who could oust the executive. Absent more discussion, Catania warned that Orange would give the Council powers to "take the government over by coup if the executive didn’t do exactly what it was told."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Comments

  1. #1

    What am I missing? There has to be more to this story than is written here. While I understand the intent of the proposed legislation, the power to expel should be solely under the purview of the voting residents, unless, of course, D.C. becomes a state.

    There are already mechanisms in-place to deal with a rouge or wayward mayor, or any politician for that matter. They are elections themselves and of course recalls. But then again the council seems to think that they, and only they knows what is best for the residents of the city (see council's rebuke of the citizens desire to enact term limits).

  2. #2

    This is such a good example of "SOUR GRAPES"!!!! orange will never, ever be the Mayor of Washington, DC. This realization just eats at him constantly!!!!

  3. #3

    To quote Ronald Reagan "THERE HE GOES AGAIN"! What happened to Vincent Orange? Ever since he had that Mary J Blige moment of "I'm not saying I am the Best but I am the Best" he has appeared to have lost his mind.

    one could only imagine the sheer anarchy that would take place if the council could expel the mayor. It would get even less done because there would be a constant effort to expel the Mayor when both branches were at odds.

  4. Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich
    #4

    Please go away, Bull Frog.

  5. #5

    This is not any different than Impeachment at presidential level

  6. #6

    The Council can't police themselves now they want the power to remove an elected mayor. Don't we already have impeachment procedures in the city?

  7. #7

    In the 2012 General Election, District voters resoundingly voted for three amendments aimed at bolstering the integrity of the District's elected officials and creating an impeachment process. An impeachment process was voted upon favorably for Councilmembers and a partial process for the Mayor. The three chartered amendments approved by District voters are as follows:

    1. 225,452 District voters approved Proposed Charter V, the "Charter Amendment: Expulsion for Gross Misconduct, D.C. Council".

    2. 204,986 District voters approved Proposed Charter VI, the "Charter Amendment: Disqualification from Office for Felony Conviction, D.C. Council".

    3. 206,813 District voters approved Proposed Charter VII, the "Charter Amendment: Disqualification from Office for Felony Conviction, Mayor".

    The Board of Elections (BOE) indicated that we could get the remaining Proposed Charter Amendments to complete the impeachment process on the November 4, 2014 District-wide ballot for District voters to approve or not approve, if we sent the legislation over to BOE by close of business, today, Friday, July 18, 2014.

    In June 2014, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the attorney general election must be held in 2014. The November 4, 2014 election is a city-wide election and would prove to be the most opportune and cost efficient opportunity (remember Ward 8 School Board Election cost $300,000)to vote for the Mayor, Attorney General and complete the impeachment process for elected officials.

    It appears certain Councilmembers would rather put an impeachment process in place when officials are in trouble as opposed to when the "waters are calm" and no matter what the cost will be to the citizens of the District of Columbia.

    VINCENT ORANGE
    DC COUNCIL MEMBER AT-LARGE

  8. DCPeopleWhoThink
    #8

    CM Orange:

    When will your office recruit more women than short men? Also, the majority of the men you've recruited in this At-Large public office, are shorter than you.

    Next, who can expel Councilmembers when they perform illegally. Truly, we understand how Legislators can seizure them w/ partial and impartiality consequences.

    Why have you not dealt w/ the downfalls of our city's Employment Services? How many employees that are working at-will, and earn more than our City Council members?

    Why was the Interim Director at Employment Service selected with a strong background in Information Technology and nothing w/ Labor relations? Tell us, who is really running DOES, Luperallo or Stephanie Reich? We know it's Reich, who can get Gray to do almost anything, with his DUM LAME Ass.

    Why has the Summer Youth Employment Program not ensured that EVERY youth in DC, wo desired summer employment get one?

    Are you aware that a lot of youth receive their first pay LATE, and some are still waiting on their checks?

    Tell us, how many In-school workforce contractors are not meeting Labor's performance based outcomes, but have been awarded their first option year contract?

    How may Out-of-School workforce contractors are not meeting their performance based outcomes, but have been awarded their second option year contract?

    So, are your waters calm?

  9. #9

    This is a complete waste of time!

    The council should NOT have the power to "impeach" the Mayor or AG!!

    Orange is and continues to be a disappointment to the DC Democratic Party by pushing "esoteric" legislation.

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