D.C. Council member Marion Barry, at times slumped in his seat, pleaded with fellow Democrat Muriel Bowser, reminding her that he had known her since she was 7 years old. He appealed to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, recalling their 35-year friendship, filled with intimate conversations.
Once the city's most powerful politician, Barry dropped his usual defiant tone in Tuesday's council meeting, where he was reduced to calling on longtime friends to save what's left of his stature. "You don't want to be known as the person who took Mr. Barry's due process away from him," Barry told Gray. "You're too good a person. I know you better than that. I love you. You're my friend. You got caught up."
But his pleas and his argument that he was being unfairly "singled out" did not persuade Gray or any other council members, who voted 12 to 0 to censure Barry, strip him of his committee chairmanship and refer allegations of public corruption to the U.S. attorney's office for possible prosecution.
The unprecedented sanctions stemmed from an investigation by Washington lawyer Robert S. Bennett, who concluded that Barry took a cut of a $15,000 contract he awarded to his then-girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt. Barry violated conflict-of-interest rules and impeded the investigation, the report said.
Perhaps Pelosi should learn a lesson from this and do the right thing with Charlie Rangel.
Any bets on that actually happening?