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Which One of These Is Worse than the Other?

No one wins in the fight between Sulaimon Brown and Vincent Gray.

It’s hard to know which is worse — a politician accused of playing dirty to reach the top, or a wannabe politician willing to slime his way to a government appointment. It’s pathetic, really.

Whether D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s campaign broke ethics rules by paying Sulaimon Brown thousands in cash to levy political attacks against Adrian Fenty is a matter that is now up to the Inspector General's office.  The IG will also determine whether Gray promised Brown a job for his actions during last year’s campaign.

The mayor made the right move, strategically, by calling a press conference on the same day the allegations were published. He called the charges against him “surprising, shocking and appalling.” Gray’s defense is simple: “I was not in the business of giving out jobs, and I went on to indicate that should we win, that we would give him fair consideration.” Go ahead, read his statement again. It’s no secret that politicians often hook up the ones who help them win elections. Gray’s statements, however, still leave him with clean hands.

What still isn’t clear, however, are the exact actions of Gray campaign aides Lorraine Green and Howard Brooks. Ultimately, they’re the fall guys. For her part in helping Gray win the election, Lorraine Green was nominated to become the next chair of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority. Even the children of Gray's campaign aides got jobs in the new administration. Such is the way of the world, though it doesn't necessarily make it right. 

As for Sulaimon Brown, it’s doubly pathetic. Here we have a man who has gone out of his way to create a media spectacle after he was fired from his high-ranking position in the Gray administration. He has said he won't quit until Vincent Gray resigns and has no problem whatsoever with continuing to call the mayor a bold-faced liar. Brown even provided cell phone records to the Washington Post in an attempt to prove his sheisty communications with Gray and his campaign aides during the mayoral race.

Sulaimon Brown has gone from being a mayoral candidate (who never stood a chance) to making a $110,000 yearly salary working for the man who defeated him, to now being a wannabe whistle-blower. The truth is, there is no honor in his actions, or rather what he claims his actions were. He also says he’s willing to face the consequences after an investigation is complete. So congratulations, Mr. Brown. You’re a martyr to your own stupidity.

Perhaps these two men equal each other out with their actions, or alleged actions. For now, the mayor is still in the clear. It’s entirely possible no wrongdoing will be found on his part, though the damage to his image has already been done. It’s just too bad we’re stuck with these images. One, of a man accused of cronyism and who very well may be untouchable at this point. The other, of a man snivelling and conniving for whatever crumbs fall his way.

Neither reflects well on the District.

oldskoolcat March 12, 2011 at 08:24 PM
Remember this media, Pastor Eddie Long hired great lawyers. He is no longer in the spotlight- Great lawyers don't lie, nor do great lawyers lose? Great lawyers can make these dime a dozen, daily news detectives stories dull in interest. If you let it this controversy, scandals will fade away much like I suspect..... Mayor for Strife... Sulaimon Brown will . Let's see how the legal mediation goes or just how deep the FBI probes these allegations. Did Brown get paid or fail to get laid ? Will Brown claim insanity after the fact and say well it was actually not Gray but his crony, phony staff ? Is he (Brown) simply having illusions of grandeur ? Wishing he was Mayor ? This REALLY makes for great reality TV . Perhaps there are rights to a movie or a miniseries. Let's call it the Chronicles of the District. We all know that no one in positions of authority-- will ever pay to play ? Why are we reading this his scandalous tabloid water-cooler gossip...written in black and white with hints of Gray? Because we need to feed our families and finding faults or facing facts makes us feel more right than wrong. You decide!
Doug Parrish March 13, 2011 at 12:11 AM
I'm loving it, and I appreciate it. Keep it coming. In stories like these, with characters like these, the worst can come out in folks, and sometimes the best. The allegations and the facts are there. Who's gonna decide?
Doug Parrish March 13, 2011 at 12:24 AM
...nor do I cast stones. Instead, let's hear more. More dialogue. More.
Barca fan March 13, 2011 at 03:15 AM
This is all ridiculous. Fenty was an egomaniac and an idiot - no doubt about it. But his idiocy was mainly manifested in his lack of sensitivity to various parties in the city rather than his ability to get things done. Rhee, for all of her appeal in certain ways, reflected this insensitivity through her domineering approach to deal with the schools. Still, both Fenty and Rhee kept the city pointed in the right direction despite their collective arrogance. But when Fenty, as the arrogant idiot that he is, managed to lose the election last year, despite the fact that the city was doing reasonably well, we ended up with Gray. I hoped that Gray would be like Williams - a boring technocrat who didn't do much to tip things one way or the other. Now, even if this Sulaimon Brown stuff isn't true, Gray is revealing, through his patronage jobs for his supporters (and their kids), that he isn't any different from any other DC politician. And if the Sulaimon Brown stuff is true, even remotely true, then we learn that we lost a good mayor, albeit an idiot in certain dimensions, and replaced him with business as usual in DC. I hoped this wouldn't be the case when Fenty lost the primary, and I hope that it's not true now. The problem is that Gray's current travails seem to confirm all of the concerns held by Fenty supporters after the election.
dcgovsucks March 13, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Why are people even surprised with all the drama? The author is on point with his portrayal. Only time will tell.

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