Embattled Ward 8 Councilmember Marion S. Barry Jr. is on the D.C. Council dais right now, fighting for his political life.
He just blasted the Bennett Report for “inconsistencies.”
Now: He’s mumbling about a process that “singled me out.” “I’m sure, Mr. Chairman, that don’t want your legacy that you” punished Marion Barry.
“You don’t want to be known as the person who took Mr. Barry’s due process away.”
Barry just said how much he loves Chairman Vince Gray. Ended by saying this whole thing is “unfortunate.”
Gray asks what Barry meant when referring to “double standard.” Barry responds that the council took a different action toward Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham when he landed in hot water via the troubles of his chief of staff, Ted Loza. Barry’s complaining that he’s getting harsher treatment.
Barry says issue of conflict of interest has “not been resolved.” Can’t base conclusions based on something that hasn’t been resolved.
Gray asks for further discussion.
Vote on resolution: Unanimous. Barry recused himself.
Now they’re talking about a resolution about policies on censuring councilmembers. Procedural stuff.
Ooo, now it’s getting a bit interesting. Gray just outlined some procedures for censuring councilmembers, and Barry’s asking some prickly questions about the whole thing. Barry’s talking about his “reading of Robert’s Rules” of Order and how it’s situated vis-a-vis due process and so on. Getting a bit tense here. Gray is saying that there’s a high degree of “congruence” between what they did in censuring Barry and what the new policies would outline. So Gray’s saying that the censure of Barry proceeded very fairly today.
Barry is seizing upon this discussion to launch into another defense of his record and his place on the council. Here are some great little moments:
“I think I’ve been done a big injustice….[Despite being stripped of a committee chair], I’m still gonna work. I’m the jobs czar in this town….I’m going to every meeting,” he said, going into an explanation of how hard he’ll work to make sure that jobs are created, that employers are working on projects and so on. “In fact, I might be more effective at that than I was….I’m not at all down or dismayed about it. I’ve fought injustice all my life….The people of Ward 8 are going to get more out of me than ever before.”
Yvette Alexander: Says she’s excited and happy that Barry is still “motivated.”