The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Kwame Brown’s Navigator, and Vincent Gray’s Deep Pockets

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courtesy of ‘lazzarello’

It’s been a bad weekend for Mayor Vince Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown. The former, it was revealed by the Post’s Nikita Stewart, has been spending quite a lot of money on senior staff.

Vincent Gray has hired a number of senior advisors at significantly higher dollar values than Adrian Fenty, with several salaries approaching, or meeting, $200,000 per year. Most of the people in these positions are getting paid significantly more than their predecessors. Gerri Mason Hall, the mayor’s chief of staff, is being paid over the bracketed salary for the position at $200,000, which is about what the mayor himself draws from city coffers. For comparison, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at the White House made $172,000 per year. While it’s certain that the White House also pays people in prestige and notoriety, it’s a difficult pill to swallow for many city workers facing furlough and layoffs.

And then there’s Kwame Brown’s “fully loaded” Lincoln Navigators. Yes, he has two of them. Mike DeBonis of the Post did some excellent digging into the circumstances around the council chairman’s ride, and boy is this one ugly. The city has now leased a pair of Navigators – yes, that’s plural on purpose – for the Council Chairman, due to the requirement that the vehicle be black-on-black. The city will pay close to $3,600/mo for these two vehicles, which is, with insurance, about double my mortgage payment in Brookland.

Council Chairman Brown was uncharacteristically silent on Twitter yesterday, but that didn’t stop the rise of a new hashtag: #whatshouldkwamedo. Personally? Cancel the contract of the spare unit, and trade the Navigator for the Mayor’s old Smart car. At least that one’s already paid for.

News, The Daily Feed

A Return to Vouchers?

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courtesy of ‘springwools’

Retiring Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will be introducing a bill to bring private school vouchers back to the District. The program first started under Mayor Williams in 2004, under the orders of the then-Republican-leaning 108th Congress. Shortly after the 2008 elections, when the Democrats retook not just the Senate and House, but the White House as well, the Congress put a stop to the program that for four years sent students from DCPS to private schools.

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News, The Daily Feed

Departures & Arrivals at City Paper

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‘____ _______ __ _’
courtesy of ‘Sexy Fitsum’

Some big news in little china for the City Paper in the last twenty-four hours. First, as of this morning, they’re under new management. New editor Michael Schaffer has taken the helm of the Wemple-less weekly after stints with the Philadelphia Inquirer and U.S. News and World Report. Before that, he was a City Paper writer and senior editor, so this marks a homecoming for Schaffer. His first job is the second piece of news: Mike “Loose Lips” DeBonis is headed for the Washington Post, according to Bruce DuPuyt of Channel 8 News. DeBonis will write his last column for the City Paper on May 10th before starting at the Washington Post on May 15th.

Details of DeBonis’ deal are not yet clear, so it’s not apparent whether he’ll be doing the same style daily reporting for WaPo, or if he’ll be covering a more traditional desk job at the Post. Here’s hoping they give Loose Lips a blank work order and let him figure out what’s best to do.