A year and a day ago, Mayor Vince Gray said that if anything shady went down on his 2010 mayoral campaign, he didn’t know about it. A year later, Gray’s still facing slightly different questions—and giving the same answers.
Gray’s campaign, as we all know, is currently under federal investigation. What started as a probe into the bizarro relationship between Gray and minor mayoral candidate/briefly employed $110,000-a-year city auditor Sulaimon Brown blossomed a long time ago into a much broader investigation into the campaign’s entire fundraising apparatus. A year ago, Gray denied promising Brown a job and giving him cash in return for attacking then-Mayor Adrian Fenty at primary debates.
Speaking at his bi-weekly presser today, Gray fended off questions from reporters about his relationship to Jeff Thompson, one of the city’s biggest political campaign contributors, whose office and home were raided by the feds Friday in apparent connection to campaign finance issues. Thompson’s network of donors gave heavily to the Gray campaign; questions have been raised about donations in the form of money orders.
Gray said that he asked Thompson to give to his campaign, just like he did with a lot of other donors, but not in any improper way. Gray says it’s been a least a “couple months” since he last saw Thompson at an unspecified social event.
Gray also said he never touched any cash or money orders, and never witnessed any improper handling of cash or money order donations.
All-in-all, Gray’s narrative hasn’t changed: It was a complicated, rushed campaign with many moving parts. If there was any criminal behavior, he didn’t know about it.
Photo by Matt Dunn