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Orange fundraiser resigns, citing 'negative tenor' of campaign

Ann Marimow

Former Council member Vincent Orange has lost one of his chief fundraisers in his campaign to lead the D.C. Council. The resignation of finance chairman George Lowe, who cited the "negative tenor of this campaign," is the second departure by a top Orange aide.

Linda Mercado Greene, who was Orange's spokeswoman, resigned from the campaign last month because of her personal history with Orange's chief Democratic rival, council member Kwame Brown.

In an e-mail to Orange and other top advisers last week, Lowe wrote that he has "given this a significant amount of thought ... and continue to arrive at the same conclusion and that is that I no longer feel comfortable with the negative tenor of this campaign and will not be a part of such."

Lowe's message came two days after the Orange campaign sent a message to supporters questioning Brown's credibility to represent the council on Wall Street in light of his personal financial troubles.

The e-mail was subtitled, "Brown Mired in Lawsuits and Debt" and followed media reports that showed that Brown has been sued by three credit-card issuers for nonpayment of more than $55,000. A subsequent Post story found that Brown's personal debt -- in part from the purchase of a boat -- exceeds $700,000

Orange said Wednesday that his message was "absolutely not negative. Our campaign is factual."

"It's clear that I will make changes to the council and I will be looking at the committees and making us more efficient and more effective," he said.

When asked about the fiscal condition of his campaign, Orange downplayed the departure, saying that the money raised was through a "committee effort" and that the campaign was moving "full-speed ahead."

Orange's campaign co-chairman, former council member Kevin Chavous, also wrote letters this week to the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the political committee of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, asking leaders to reconsider their endorsements of Brown in the wake of the revelations about his finances.

Jim Dinegar, president of the Board of Trade, said the reports were troubling and that he had requested a meeting to discuss the findings with Brown. Dinegar said he was convinced by Brown's candor and acceptance of responsibility to stick with the endorsement.

"It is disappointing. We're not pleased, but we maintain our current endorsement," Dinegar said. "If there are other pieces of information, as he told us there would not be, we reserve the right revisit our decision."

By Ann Marimow  |  July 21, 2010; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Kwame Brown  
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Next: Fenty prevails in Ward 2 straw poll, but will it be enough on Election Day?


Sounds like Orange has borrowed a few pages from the Green Team playbook.

Chavous is a well known snake and Fenty supporter.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | July 21, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If candidates talked about what they were going to do instead of what their opponent is or is not doing - it would help us as voters know exactly why we should vote for them. Glad this finance chair wised up.

Posted by: 1tenforall | July 21, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! Campaign workers jumpin ship due to dirty campaign tactics isn't a good sign. It smells like there is something more. Just saying.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | July 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Fenty is planting his seeds with Chavous harvesting the fields for Vincent Orange.

Posted by: GoldCoast | July 22, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I like this guy. Mr. Lowe appears to have no need to compromise his integrity. I admire him walking away from the Chavous crap. BTW: Everytime I see my electric bill, I like it even more.

Posted by: candycane1 | July 22, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Brown's handling of his personal finances are an issue. Based on media reports, one could easily conclude that Mr. Brown behaved very irresponsibly and may have even been dishonest. Mr. Orange's treatment of this subject is one thing but it is certainly a legitimate campaign issue that he would be foolish to ignore.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | July 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This is why Vince Orange is, and will always be, a FORMER councilman.

Posted by: PepperDr | July 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

orange is a bama and he is almost on par with fenty and his fake as s

Posted by: nivla | July 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Where is all of the guts? If you sign on the a team and then decide "well I don't feel like playing anymore" then take your ball home with you. Loser. Nobody needs a coward. Stay in the race until the end. Real men can live with losing the good fight, but cowards run when the battle gets heavy. Connect with the Orange Crush. We need leadership. Vote Orange for Council Chair. At least we know he won't run. Shame on you Chavous.

Posted by: money124 | July 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Orange has nothing to campaign on when it comes to finances. After the last quarter financial reports came out, he trumpeted having a few dollars more cash on hand, but if you look at his report, that is because HIS campaign is $55,0000 dollars in debt--too funny that this is the same amount Kwame had on credit cards--and he raised a pittance compared to Kwame.

He sent out a "Mr Mistake" press release today about an education quote of Kwame's and it took him almost 6 hours to send out a corrected version that fixed all the spelling errors!!! This on an education issue. I was rolling on that one.

Go KWAME!!!!

Posted by: streff | July 25, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

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