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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Read: Cheh’s Report on Gray’s Hiring
D.C. Auditor Faults Office of Risk Management
Good morning sweet readers! If you set your DVR to record House Hunters, then you might as well not bother trying to record anything else. That show is always on. News time:
Vincent Orange Is Rich: Campaign finance reports were due last night and former Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange cleaned up, bringing in $190,000 in a month and a half. LL’s just had time for a quick glance, but noticed that Orange received $6,500 in donations from staff at the very connected accounting firm of Jeffrey Thompson.Hmmm. In any event, Orange blows the rest of the field away in the all important cash race. In a demonstration of the limited power of appointed, temporary incumbency, At-Large Councilmember Sekou Biddle raised nearly $50,000, bringing his total up to nearly $100,000—less than Orange, though you’d usually expect the guy in the job to have the easiest time raising money. Bizarrely, Biddle’s report says he’s spent $62,000 already on the election, but he only has $16,000 cash on hand. (Which became fodder for some Twitter jokes this morning.) See Martin Austermuhle’s hoppin’ website for more details.
AFTER THE JUMP: Council Cracks… Sulaimania!… TBD Mocks Marion…
Council Cracks: The strain of the mounting scandals at the Wilson Building is taking a toll on the council’s public civility. Witness the airing of grievances yesterday at hearing on Councilmember Mary Cheh‘s draft report on Mayor Vince Gray‘s hiring practices. Councilmember David Catania and Cheh got into a spat over whether the report was a “whitewash” or not, while Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. kept jabbing Councilmember Tommy Wells, who was sitting right next to him, for releasing his report on Navigatorgate to the public without giving the council a heads up. It appears a separate hearing on Gray’s hiring is upcoming. Meanwhile, here’s what Cheh told the Post about her feelings for Catania: “Cheh, afterward, said she was ‘flabbergasted’ by Catania’s objections to her ‘earnest’ report. ‘I don’t know what he wants to be, but he’s trying to do it at my expense,’ Cheh said. She questioned whether he was motivated by her pursuit of a potential council education committee, which Catania also sought. ‘Maybe this is one manifestation of his pettiness and bitterness,’ she said” (not at all bitterly or pettily, a snarkier paper than the Post might have added).
Sulaimania: There wasn’t much in the way of Sulaimongate news yesterday, but that didn’t stop the media from forging ahead anyway. The Examiner put a roundup story on its cover. TV crews staked out Gray’s appearance at the “Wharf” in Southwest to get a sound bite on why Gray hired superlawyer Bob Bennett. (LL’s free advice of the day: It’s always a good idea to have a lawyer.) The Post editorial page says Gray needs to do some “real soul-searching” about why his administration has taken such a sharp nosedive so early. ABC7’s Sam Ford tracks down the woman who filed a protective order against Sulaimon Brown. She confirms that yes, she thought Brown was creepy and stalking her then 13-year-old daughter. The daughter said Brown used to take her to Fuddruckers. The mom said her complaints led to Brown being fired from his job as a security guard in 2007. Brown has denied any wrongdoing. Who could have known that less than four short years later, Brown would be the District’s favorite character in the melodrama of D.C. politics? TBD reports that Brown said his $1,800 bike was stolen while he was meeting with FBI agents. Mike DeBonis profiles a depressed Gray supporter. Meanwhile, Gray got lots of love in Ward 8 last night. And Sulaimon’s scheduled to be on the Mark Plotkin show at 11 a.m.
In Other News: The Times reports that City Administrator Allen Lew‘s chief of staff Warren Graves was a contract worker when he was at the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization. Mystery Gray aide/accused giver of cash Howard Brooks hires former P.G. State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey as his personal lawyer. TBD calls Harry Jaffe a sexist, then makes fun of a Marion Barry for being old. Councilmembers hold training events aimed at preventing child abuse.
Gray sked: Meeting with leaders of Angola, going to Mardi Gras party for seniors, and attending check-giving ceremony to his old non-profit. Just another day-in-the-life of a big city mayor.
Council sked: 10 a.m. hearing on Rights for Ex-Offenders Act of 2011.