City Paper is not for tourists
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- Dan Snyder bragged his wealth came from diabetes and cancer victims?
- Feeding the homeless has never been so sexy
- Best Bond movie
Good morning D.C.! How about “The Bachelorette” last night? Crazy, right? Well, don’t spoil it for LL—who was stuck at a mayoral forum in Ward 6, hosted by the Public Interest Civic Association Forum. If LL had to guess who would have been sent home without a rose based on their performance at the forum, he’d pick Mayor Adrian Fenty. Why? Because Hizzoner didn’t show up. Or maybe he was there, maybe he’s everywhere, in our hearts, like somebody else we all know…
So is Vince Gray Buddha? Fenty pal, giver of firetrucks and quote machine Ron Moten compared Fenty to Jesus Saturday at a “Go-Go 4 Fenty” event held at in a parking lot at RFK stadium, reports Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post. Said Moten: “If you understand what they did to Jesus, on Monday, everybody was praising him. Wednesday, he went to court, and all the people who he helped, nobody came to court for him… On Friday, they crucified him… The reason why we’re here today is to get the facts out to you so history don’t repeat itself again.” Just a tad over the top? LL can only imagine what history might look like if Peter Nickles had been Jesus’ attorney. DeBonis also explained why Anwan “Big G” Glover, of “The Wire” and Backyard fame, is such a strong Fenty supporter. “Glover explained that his ties to Fenty were bound after Fenty, as a councilmember, wrote a letter to a Superior Court judge ruling on a 2004 gun charge. If Glover, then nearing the height of his ‘Wire’ fame, had been jailed, it would have been a serious blow to his career. He ended up getting probation.” The whole post is a must-read, but one other tidbit LL found worth sharing is was Moten’s channeling of his inner Karl Rove when talking about Fenty challenger Vincent Gray: “He’s a flip-flopper, y’all. He’s gonna tell everybody what they need to hear.”
Taxes Schmaxes: At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown owes owed Uncle Sam more than $50,000 in back taxes, according to Jim McElhatton of the Washington Times. “A copy of the lien filed against Mr. Brown at the D.C. Office of the Recorder of Deeds shows tax debts of $7,128.22 for 2004, $28,625.11 for 2005, $5,176.17 for 2007 and $11,951.18 for 2008. Mr. Brown said he is close to paying off the tax debts. He said he has been on a scheduled installment plan with the IRS for about two years and that he’s never missed a payment. He said his last payment is scheduled for August. ‘Nothing has been done wrong, zero,’ he said, adding that his situation is no different from those of millions of Americans working to pay off taxes through installment plans with the IRS.” First Marion Barry, then Kwame Brown, and now Michael Brown. Memo to all councilmembers with money problems: there’s blood in the water, and the sharks are circling. It might be better to come clean now rather than let an enterprising reporter uncover your misdeeds. (Though LL’s editors wouldn’t mind if an enterprising City Paper reporter did the uncovering!) (NOTE: This item had the tense wrong originally; Brown has paid off much of the debt already.)
When at First You Don’t Succeed: Remember last week when the Examiner‘s Billy Myers reported that Abdullahi Barrow, a key figured into the D.C. Council’s investigation of how the Fenty administration awarded park contracts, failed the engineering licensing test seven times before a Fenty-approved board game him license anyway? Well, turns out, as Myers reports, the special investigator is now looking into that matter as well. “Veteran lawyer Robert Trout, who is leading the council’s investigation, briefed members Monday morning. He told them he wants to know how Abdullahi Barrow obtained his license just months before his company was made a subcontractor in several parks and recreation contracts, multiple sources told The Examiner.” What’s even more interesting, on the political side of things: “Trout told council members Monday that his investigation is like ‘peeling an onion,’ and his report won’t be finished until late September at the earliest—after this year’s Democratic primaries.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Metro bus shenanigans; Orange manifesto; H Street cash…
If Pretending to be a Metrobus Driver is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right: The Examiner’s Kytja Weir finds Metro is closing doors for would-be poseurs. “Metro says it is working to enhance security at its facilities, just days after a bus was stolen from a garage and reportedly driven on its regular route by a teen in a Metro uniform. The agency already has taken some action, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel, but plans to increase security further this week, including adding security checks of employees entering and exiting each of its bus facilities. In the long term, the agency is considering adding more fencing, lighting and security cameras, plus new technology to verify driver identification and disable buses remotely, he said.” Forget disabling buses remotely; LL dreams of the day when Metro can un-disable them remotely.
Orange You Glad I Have a Plan: WaPo’s Ann Marimow breaks down D.C. Council chairman candidate Vincent Orange’s “manifesto.” “Orange’s five-point plan calls for expanding pre-K programs for toddlers and vocational and employment training for young adults, reducing energy costs for residents and enforcing employment measures designed to ensure better wages and more jobs for District residents. But much of the document—replete with attractive photos and pull quotes—is repetitive, listing the elements of a sustainable energy initiative three times; the 13 highlights from his tenure on the council twice; and his compelling personal story several times. Orange draws on a theme from his unsuccessful 2006 mayoral bid, pointing to what he calls the ‘connection between education, employment and economic development.'”
Bacon Spreading: WBJ’s Michael Neibauer reports that Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells is looking to spend some of the $25 million the council set aside for H Street in 2007. “Wells is expected to introduced legislation Tuesday that would allocate $5 million for small businesses on H Street NE and another $5 million for Guy Steuart‘s mixed-use project at Third and H.”
Easy Work if You Can Get It: Neibauer also reports on an investigation of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer that finds plenty to be concerned about. “The District’s technology office is overly reliant on contractors, too eager to award jobs to under-qualified local businesses and not nearly aggressive enough in its monitoring of their work, setting up a system that is easily defrauded and wastes piles of taxpayer dollars, a new report finds.” … “Of larger concern, perhaps, is the District’s certified business enterprise program, which requires the government to direct ‘significant amounts of procurement’ to D.C. businesses. In the technology field, the report states, CBEs often do little more than find applicants to fill open jobs. The District pays the CBE, and the CBE pays the contractor.”
I Got a Bad Feeling About This: Harry Jaffe’s take in the Examiner on the city’s latest purchase: “I was left with a queasy feeling when the hearing ended. The city got rooked—again—this time for more than $80 million. In the unraveling of the United Medical Center hospital deal, there is a loose string. Give it a tug and you can see the half-baked dreams, liberal guilt, bets on the come and the kind of funny money accounting that led the District to the financial control board and near bankruptcy 15 years ago.”
Speaking of hospitals, a potential buyer? [DeBonis]
Police brass and Council at odds over what to do with jailed illegal immigrants. [Examiner]
National Zoo vets headed to the Gulf to help nurse birds back to health. [WAMU]
Cindy Sheehan cleared. [AP]
Reagan statue maybe coming to Reagan Airport. [FOXDC]
Mayor’s schedule: Remarks at Microsoft’s 2010 Worldwide Partner Conference, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 306, 3:30 p.m.
Council schedule: Legislative meeting, Wilson Building, Room 500, 10 a.m.