Marion Barry: Council Is ‘Laughingstock of the Nation’

Ben Nuckols, WTOP (Washington), June 14, 2012

Phil Mendelson was selected Wednesday as interim chairman of the scandal-plagued D.C. Council, pledging to restore trust in a legislative body that’s lost two members this year to criminal convictions.

But while Mendelson’s colleagues voted unanimously to install him in the interim post, the fight over interim chairman pro tempore, a largely ceremonial position, was contentious and exposed deep divisions in the 12-member council.

Michael A. Brown, an at-large independent who is not related to ex-Council Chairman Kwame Brown, was ultimately tapped for the position after a vigorous challenge from Vincent Orange, an at-large Democrat who brought up Brown’s past failures to pay his taxes and his 1997 guilty plea to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation. Orange was backed by Councilmember Marion Barry, the former four-term mayor who called this year’s turmoil the most serious crisis the District government has faced since the beginning of home rule in 1973.

“The city’s in serious trouble, credibility trouble,” Barry said. “We are the laughingstock of the nation.”

Councilmember Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, said then-mayor Barry’s 1990 arrest for smoking crack in a hotel room, among other crises in the 1990s, were worse than the current problems.

Orange said he was better-suited to the role of chairman pro tempore because of Michael Brown’s past and compared himself to welterweight boxer Manny Pacquiao, who lost over the weekend in a widely criticized split decision.

“I’m the best! I’m the best!” he shouted. “Right now, Vincent Bernard Orange Sr. is the best candidate for chairman pro tempore.”

Michael Brown said voters were well aware of his record and elected him anyway. Ultimately, the council voted 8-4 in Brown’s favor, and then 11-1 on a resolution installing both Mendelson and Brown.

Councilmember Yvette Alexander chided Orange for his tactics, saying they reflected poorly on the council.

“When we’re so self-righteous, tomorrow we could be in handcuffs,” Alexander said, drawing laughter.


Mendelson replaces Kwame Brown, who resigned last week after he was charged with lying on bank loan applications. Brown pleaded guilty to that bank fraud charge along with a misdemeanor campaign finance violation.


The D.C. Council is a unique body that serves the functions of a local, municipal and state legislature. Council chairman is the District’s second-highest local elected office, and Mendelson will wield considerable influence over the city’s spending and legislative agenda. Should Mayor Vincent Gray leave office, Mendelson would succeed him, which would make him the first white mayor in the city’s history.

Gray, a Democrat, is the subject of a federal investigation for activities during his 2010 campaign, and two aides have already pleaded guilty to funneling payments to a minor mayoral candidate and trying to cover it up. Gray has denied knowledge of the payments and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.


In addition to Kwame Brown, former councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. stepped down this year after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 from the city. {snip}



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  • Rocky Bass,

    After reading that spiel, all I can say, is that my head hurts.  ” first white mayor in the city’s history”, and there are street lights and roads ? Where are the white tax dollars flowing into this “black hole” coming from? Covering up this level of “black incompetence” would have to cost tsunamis of money.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx


  • xxxtonygunsxxx


  • Antidote

    Years ago Spike Lee publicly denounced Hollywood for having brought out “racist stereotype” films. The leader of the pack in this category, according to Lee, was a film called “The Birth of a Nation.” Well, I rented this movie and watched it , and then afterwards read the long historical/social explanation, and the critique.  One part explained the “Statehouse scene” in which the emancipated slaves make a mockery of civil government through their stupidity, greed, laziness, and corruption; goes without saying this was pointed out as a rayciz device to depict Blacks as wholly incapable of self government.
            In later years I came to see the Statehouse scene was eerily similar to the City Council Meetings of Detroit—-and many other unhappy locations, so I now realize “Birth of a Nation” was more of a documentary than a work of fiction.
            I would guess Marion Barry agrees with me.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    video link chicago blk mobs attacking humans

  • Joke I heard last week:

    What’s the difference between a DC Council meeting and a police lineup?

    In a police lineup, only one person is guilty of a crime.

    • WhitesRdumb

      I like it, but it wasn’t a joke. It was the truth

      • haroldcrews

        The best kind of joke are the true ones.  You might as well laugh as cry.

  • frmore

    A circus of congoloids. Pretending to job or ape the institutions of whites. Like the Zambian Space Program, helmets, capes and wishing doesn’t make it so, yet a white taxpayer base allows it to hobble forward.

    • MekongDelta69

      You mean Zambia DOESN’T HAVE a space program?!?!?!?!
      Wow – Boy, did I get fooled by the MSM.

  • WhitesRdumb

    Is Marion “crack head” Berry still
    around? I thought he and Whitney Huston would be sharing a pipe in
    that crack house in the sky.

  • We see these same corrupt city administrations under black rule over and over again. Yes, whites can be corrupt managers of city finances as well but corruption under black majority rule appears to be standard operating procedure and not the exception. The youtube videos of the Detroit City Council meetings would be comical, if it were not for the fact they, and the black council members who preceded them,  have  destroyed a once great city.

    • IstvanIN

      Matter of degree. We have corrupt officials. They have a much higher percentage. We denounce and prosecute our crooks. They defend their crooks. We put our crooks in jail. They reelect their crooks.

      • Exhibit A – Alcee Hastings, a corrupt Bantu judge in Florida, was elected to the U.S. House, some years ago, AFTER he was impeached and removed from the bench.

  • The U.S. Constitution gives Congress control over D.C. Home Rule was a bone they tossed D.C. since it has no direct representation in Congress.

    The mayor used to be appointed by the President, until the Home Rule statutes allowed for direct election of the mayor.

  • occam24

    Off topic but of great interest to AmReners:  A mainstream liberal historian finally tells the truth about Reconstruction.  It was a time when millions of “freed” slaves died in extreme misery.

    Even after telling this rarely heard truth, the historian still insanely reaches the standard murderous Yankee Marxist conclusion:  Genocide was necessary to establish the Correct Moral Argument.

    A more logical and humane conclusion would be:  Forcing cultures to change is always wrong.  If a culture or government doesn’t work, don’t overthrow it; just let it collapse and adjust.  If a different Yankee President had let the South secede, its peculiar system of slavery would have adjusted gradually and naturally, because it was failing economically anyway.

    • Kurt Plummer


      Actually, this may be one of the reasons why the ‘let it collapse and fail’ argument cannot work in the modern scenario that most white realist’s preferred as backing off and letting the blacks and hispanics have X percentage of the old U.S. in a peaceful separation.

      Going from the article-

      Downs reconstructed the experiences of one freed slave, Joseph Miller, who had come with his wife and four children to a makeshift freed slave refugee camp within the union stronghold of Camp Nelson in Kentucky. In return for food and shelter for his family Miller joined the army. Yet union soldiers in 1864 still cleared the ex-slaves out of Camp Nelson, effectively abandoning them to scavenge in a war-ravaged and disease-ridden landscape. One of Miller’s young sons quickly sickened and died. Three weeks later, his wife and another son died. Ten days after that, his daughter perished too. Finally, his last surviving child also fell terminally ill. By early 1865 Miller himself was dead. For Downs such tales are heartbreaking. “So many of these people are dying of starvation and that is such a slow death,” he said.

      This isn’t starvation, this is a disease with an exposure:incubation:contagion:terminus interval, rated in weeks.  Cholera?  Smallpox?  I’m not an epidemiologist.

      I’m sure malnutrition didn’t help.

      But the point is that abandonment in place is not merely benign neglect.  It is the assurance (in a population of some 36 milion blacks and as many as 60 million hispanics), that you are creating conditions where mass-casualties becomes an excuse for sudden outbreak.

      And good luck containing that without become rather more overt in your use of force.

    • hillcp


      What is interesting to me is why didn’t the US push the Liberia option more forcefully in 1865? It would been much easily to accomplish since the number of Africans was much lower than the current population.


  • Capt Quelch

    Boy, talk about stating the obvious…”We are the laughingstock of the nation” – he’s JUST NOW noticing that? I live in MD and the DC City Council has been the laughingstock of the Metro area for at least 30 years. The only other entity that comes close to dethroning the DC City Council from being the champion laughingstock is the DC Police force.