D.C. Council Head Quits For Boat-Related Misdeeds

  bad loans ruining america again

Unfortunately not iceberg proofHere is a true fact about city councils everywhere: they are notoriously full of time-servers and small-time crooks! This is because most of the world’s actually politically ambitious and/or competent and/or truly evil people tend to head for state legislatures as their stepping stone to Congress and world domination. City council provides the opportunity for the kind of low-level graft and sleaze that at worst gets you on the front page of your city’s newspaper’s local section, assuming your city newspaper isn’t entirely made up of wire copy and tire ads at this point. Unfortunately for D.C. City Council members, our Founding Fathers were under the impression that our nation’s capital would be some kind of uninhabited American Vatican that shouldn’t be part of any state, which means that the D.C. City Council is kind of like a state legislature (only with lots less power), which means that it’s national news when the president of the D.C. Council quits because he … lied about his income on his application for a boat loan? Oh, come on.

Hey, did you know that if you lie about the amount of money you make when you’re applying for a boat loan, technically this is “bank fraud”? Because your loan is therefore not as sure a thing to be repaid as the bank believes, you see. You might think that the feds have bigger instances of bank fraud to go after, like when the banks committed fraud by lying about their balance sheets and sold lots of synthetic debt instruments that turned out to be junk and ruined the world’s economy but ANYHOO it turns out that’s all hard, while it’s pretty easy to prove that an apparently not especially bright scion of a Washington political family lied about how much money he made, when he got a HELOC and loan to buy a sweet powerboat.

For extra hilarity, Brown (or maybe his wife?) named his boat “Bullet Proof,” not because he’s into shooting bullets at people, but as a reference to a 1999 SNL sketch where a post-impeachment Bill Clinton boasted that nobody could stop him, which seems pretty ironic now.

Brown had previously survived another transportation-themed scandal in which he had demanded a fancy SUV from the city, then felt bad about it later but was all like, hey, we’re locked into the lease now, whaddya gonna do? Also, in his defense, he did not openly steal money from poor children, so this isn’t even close to the worse D.C. council scandal of the last 12 months. Nevertheless, he has now resigned in disgrace, the end. [WP]

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Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

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83 comments

    1. actor212

      I'd like to submit my application for Science Officer, a post I will fill admirably. Among my experiments will be to test the buoyancy of various breast sizes in order to optimize the crew's safety. My bathtub, say around midnight?

    2. BaldarTFlagass

      I'd like to volunteer for the position of Rear Admiral, in charge of Stern Shots.

  1. BaldarTFlagass

    "if you lie about the amount of money you make when you’re applying for a boat loan, technically this is “bank fraud”?"

    What is it called when you lie about the amount of money you make when you're trying to get laid?

    1. actor212

      More to the point, what is it called when the BANK lies about how much money it made to the GOVERNMENT to secure a loan?

      (beating the crowd to the punch: TARP)

  2. flamingpdog

    Kwame made the great American mistake of cheating a bank rather than cheating while employed by a bank.

    1. Negropolis

      Also, of having the name of Kwame. Also. Too. You may not get away with cheating a bank if you're name is Bill; you won't get away with cheating a bank if your name is Kwame.

  3. MrFizzy

    I think Citigroup may be looking for just such a person to head its Honest Consumer Relations Division.

  4. Goonemeritus

    I’m pretty sure this last dip in the world economy was totally the fault of dishonest consumers trying to buy boats. When will Washington step in and protect our brave banking industry from these monsters?

  5. BaldarTFlagass

    Why would anyone want to buy a boat? If it floats, flies, or fucks, it's cheaper to rent it, is a good rule of thumb.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      So they can say: "I'm on a Boat!" and, uh, not be fudging the truth *as* much when repiping their great status across the socialwebz.

      (Personally I've never understood the meme. I'm more inclined to want to shout out to the world "I'm on a motorcycle!" — as a passenger mind you, I don't foresee mastering how to drive one — when that sort of Kodak moment arises. But as soon as I'd remove my helmet to do so for the camera, sure enough would be the moment I and cycle and driver got greased by a passing ice cream truck or something.)

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      I had the great good fortune to grow up on a lake. I found boats come in handy there, sometimes. River people notice this, too.

      1. James Michael Curley

        I learned to fly fixed wings and helicopters and have owned MC's from a small Honda up to a booming 4 cylinder Moto Guzzi (that had more cc's than the MG I owned). Yet I have been on the ocean only three times. Twice the boat sank and once it had to steam back to Pearl Harbor on fire. Now I live next to the ocean. Still, no boat. Maybe, a viking funeral, but that's about it.

    3. CthuNHu

      Why would anyone want to rent a duck?

      Wait — this is DC we're talking about… please don't answer that.

  6. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    Maybe he got the loan from J. P. Morgan / Chase

    <reading recent headlines about losses>

    How big was that fucking boat?!

  7. noodlesalad

    Clever boat names are few and far between. Much like city councilpersons, most boat names tend to be gaudy, pretentious, and at the intelligence level of a fourth-grader.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Our old Century runabout was named "Miss Ski Tow." Another guy down the lake had one with "Whiz Ski V" painted across the stern.

    2. James Michael Curley

      I pass three marinas on the way home from work each night. The boat name I like the best is the "Neversink" out of Navesink, NJ

  8. mavenmaven

    His wanting a boat is a scandal. So uppity! On the other hand, if he had so many boats that he needed a boat elevator built into his house, he could run for president.

  9. ManchuCandidate

    It's true what they say about boats… The two happiest days in a boat owner's life are the day he buys a boat, and the day he sells it not when he gets busted for lying to get a boat loan.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      My favorite is the definition in the boater's bible:

      boat (n) – A hole in the water, surrounded by wood or fiberglass, into which one pours money.

  10. flamingpdog

    The son of a well-known and sharp-knuckled D.C. political operative, Brown became the city’s youngest chairman in 2010 by defeating Vincent B. Orange by 15 percentage points.

    That must have been a sad day for John Boehner.

  11. OldWhiteLies

    meh. This almost counts as good news.

    As for clever boat names, I figured I'd someday outfit a dive boat, and base it outta Redondo WA, and call it Assumes Facts Not In Evidence.

    Prolly too wordy though, right?

      1. OldWhiteLies

        Big beams on dive boats are sorta SOP.

        But more importantly, I think I just created a new interwebznetztoobz acronym thingy: AFNIE

  12. boobookitteh

    So wait. Where are all these banks handing out money without income verification? I remember handing over 2 years worth of tax records and 2 months of paychecks and bank statements to get a mortgage.

    Are these banks in the same buidings as the doctors who hand out Vicodin like candy? Haven't found those guys either.

      1. not that Radio

        This guy gives a bad name to corrupt politicians named "Kwame" and perpetrators of political boating scandals alike.

        1. Mumbletypeg

          perpetrators of political boating scandals alike

          Let's not forget Governor Bill, also?
          At least one other political slouch made wonkette headlines with boat-ineptitude; if I'm half-remembering this correctly it is still missing the other half with essentials like name and date and how much fun we had at their expense..

          1. not that Radio

            I included Gov Bill ("Bloody Mary"), but I neglected to remember that wonket had covered it. That happened JUST 78 MILES FROM MY HOUSE. Two demerits for me.

  13. superdave

    What I want to know is why the hell the Wizards wasted the #1 over all pick on this dude. What?

  14. pinkocommi

    YAAAWWWNNNN! Wake me up when there's a real local DC political scandal involving crack and hookers.

  15. Terry

    "…it’s national news when the president of the D.C. Council quits because he … lied about his income on his application for a boat loan? Oh, come on."

    This is what the finally nailed Kwame on, but not the limit of his shenanigans. Sort of like when they sent Capone to jail for tax evasion.

  16. Chow Yun Flat

    When a loan applicant lies about his income it is bank fraud.

    When a bank speculates with federally insured deposits on collateralized garbage that implodes and tanks the economy it is managing risk.

    1. pdiddycornchips

      He should claim his loan application was robo-signed and all this would just go away

  17. undeadgoat

    I've never felt so . . . "lucky" that my city council representative is some Poli Sci who decided to run for office at 21 in order to have the most resume-buildingest year off possible before law school.

  18. TribecaMike

    As Commodore Sigmund "Keelhauler" Freud once famously quipped, "Sometimes a yacht is just a yacht."

  19. ttommyunger

    Since when is "disgrace" grounds for resignation from Office? This is 2012, my good man!

    1. flamingpdog

      That's because the D.C. government is actually run by Congress, and Congress would never stand for this kind of activity among their own members.

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