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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Sekou Biddle Challenges His Own Signature
OCF Fines Jeff Smith
Good morning sweet readers! LL’s bean slept eight straight hours last night. LL celebrated by sleeping eight straight hours. News time:
When Will It End?: Mayor Vince Gray and Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown just can’t seem to turn the page on their recent troubles. Witness two more stories about their respective troubles in today’s paper of record. In the first, we learn a bit more about the vaunted Gray vetting machine that ran out of gas. “Speaking to reporters a day after he ordered new background checks for dozens of recent hires, Gray (D) said he takes responsibility for the hiring of a few members of his administration who had legal troubles in the past. ‘I’m the mayor, and the buck stops with me, and I wish we had known some of the information that has come out,’ Gray said. But a source close to the transition said at least one of the controversial hires—Sulaimon Brown—had been extensively investigated before he was offered the job, including a police background check. “Sulaimon Brown was vetted more thoroughly than a lot of people,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.” So for those of you keeping score at home, not only did Gray get a first row seat to Brown’s shenanigans on the campaign trail, but his team also knew of his legal problems. And he still hired the guy! (The Post article also implies that LL first reported on the explosive charges leveled against Brown in a 2007 protective order. For the record, the City Paper first reported on the order, but left out the details in them that’s got everyone talking. Why? Because Brown never had a chance to defend himself in court against them, and in fact, was never even served with the protective order. Every other media outlet, however, has run with the details.)
The next story that keeps Scandalgate going is a column by Mike DeBonis on Kwame Brown’s future. Though there are some bright spots in the column for Brown (like when DeBonis called him “one of the finest natural politicians the city has seen since [Marion] Barry“), there’s also plenty of things that Brown probably did not enjoy reading: “But for Brown especially, his scandalette has resonated in part because it confirmed what some have already believed. The rap on Brown is that he’s insecure, that being elected three times to citywide office by large margins isn’t enough for him to validate the power he’s earned and, moreover, that he’s sloppy with money.” BTW, here’s what Brown is driving to work these day.
AFTER THE JUMP: Wal-Mart Hiring Already; Jaffe Hearts Lopez; WaPo Hearts Gray…
Wal-Mart Already Hiring: The Washington Times reports that “two close advisers and a fundraiser for D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander are paid members of Wal-Mart’s local ‘consulting team’ now promoting a retail outlet in Ward 7.” The fundraiser is Brett Greene, who is also a childhood friend of Kwame Brown. Wal-Mart spokesman Steve Restivo said the P.R. firm “Walker Marchant joins Mr. Greene, fellow lobbyist David Wilmot and lawyer Claude Bailey as the core of Wal-Mart’s ‘D.C. consulting team.’ … adding that Wal-Mart is looking to bring in other local consultants to play a similar role in Wards 4, 5 and 6, where the company is proposing to build additional stores.”
You Complete Me: Jaded Examiner columnist Harry Jaffe has found “hope” and “solace” in at-large candidate Josh Lopez. “He’s worth a look—and more,” Jaffe writes. (Paging Erik Wemple: drama dash!) “In a city that’s had a rising Hispanic population for the past decade, Lopez is the first serious Latino candidate for public office. The Census Bureau reports Hispanics make up nearly 10 percent of the city’s 550,000 residents. That’s about 50,000 people who have never had an elected official who was a native speaker of their language, who could understand their predicament, who could advocate for them. ‘We have never mounted a strong effort to rally around our issues and get behind a candidate,’ Lopez says. ‘Now we are starting to focus.'”
Two Days in a Row: The Washington Post editorial board gives Gray an attaboy for the second day in a row, this time for trying to organize a summer jobs program that gives kids real, you know, jobs. “The administration of Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) is to be commended for taking needed – although perhaps unpopular—steps to reform a program that, if properly run, can do a lot of good.”
In Other News: Look, our breathalyzers don’t work, but you were probably drunk anyway, so just take a plea, ok? Non-at-large candidate Adam Clampitt does not like Brown’s communications strategy. Fox5 still reporting on UDC’s Sessoms. Warning, DC Watch‘s council salary list might make you question your career choice.
Gray Sked: Meeting with Hau Lung-bin, Mayor of Taipei at 3:30 p.m.
Council Sked: Hearings on Education and Movies were at 10 a.m.
Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells is on Kojo at noon.