Marion Barry, former four term mayor of Washington DC, is dead at the age of 78.
We suspect that only the passing of Barack Obama will occasion as many half-truths and outright lies as we’re seeing today from the major media. Needless to say, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN will devote hours to Barry’s life and career as a Democratic politician. Those same networks have devoted exactly zero minutes to coverage of Jonathan Gruber’s remarks about the creation of ObamaCare. But right now they’ve got a President to protect and a criminal prominent Democratic politician to lionize.
Here’s what the Democratic House Organ has to say about Mayor Barry.
Marion Barry Jr., the Mississippi sharecropper’s son and civil rights activist who served three terms as mayor of the District of Columbia, survived a drug arrest and jail sentence, and then came back to win a fourth term as the city’s chief executive, died early Sunday at United Medical Center in Washington. He was 78. …
The most influential and savvy local politician of his generation, Mr. Barry dominated the city’s political landscape in the final quarter of the 20th century, also serving for 15 years on the D.C. Council, whose Ward 8 seat he held until his death. Before his first stint on the council, he was president of the city’s old Board of Education. …
He came to Washington as a champion of the downtrodden and the dispossessed and rose to the pinnacle of power and prestige. As mayor of the District, Mr. Barry became a national symbol of self-governance for urban blacks.
Blah, blah, blah.
We would save up money to put out a contract on any writer who wrote that last sentence and referenced “urban whites.” The very idea that Marion Barry is a symbol of anything but corruption and incompetence is beyond words. Here’s the real Marion Barry.
That’s the evidence video of Mayor Barry being arrested for smoking crack with a hooker.
Here’s the real legacy of Marion Barry, from Washingtonian Magazine.
“As an elected official, Marion often misconstrued the mission of his government as one to provide reparations to black Americans,” says Jarvis. “Somehow he came to believe the government was the employer of first resort. He hired without much criteria. His greatest failure was in not training city workers for their jobs. It would have helped the government and in their own lives.”
Barry made sure that African-American companies got their share of city contracts, though he did a poor job of holding them accountable. In the process, he enriched many political allies.
Along the way, his management of the government suffered even more. In the halls of the District Building, aides had to deal with a chief executive who was losing control. In 1986, former city administrator Tom Downs stopped into the office of Herb Reid, then Barry’s political adviser.
“How’s Marion?” Downs asked.
“If it walks, he f***s it,” Reid responded. “If it doesn’t, he ingests it.”
A real role model.
After leaving the mayor’s office, he had quit paying taxes. Federal prosecutors went to court to force him to pay back taxes, and in 2005 he pleaded guilty to not filing federal or D.C. returns after 1999. A judge gave Barry three years’ probation. When he continued to ignore his tax bills, federal prosecutors asked a judge to give him jail time, but she declined. Prosectors brought Barry back to court in 2009 for failing to file his 2007 return. The federal government garnished his council paychecks to collect nearly $200,000 in taxes, penalties, and interest. The District put him on a voluntary payment plan to pay back about $50,000 in back taxes.
Meanwhile, Barry got caught twice crossing ethical lines as a council member.
In February 2010, he admitted to awarding a $15,000 contract to a girlfriend. “I apologize for my actions and lack of sound judgment and for causing great embarrassment to the city and the city council,” he said. His girlfriend had paid him “several thousand dollars,” he said, which he claimed was repayment of a loan. His council colleagues saw it as a kickback, censured Barry, and stripped him of his chairmanship.
In September 2013, the council censured Barry again, this time for accepting $6,800 in cash from two city contractors.
A non-black politician would be in jail. This is the same shield from accountability that Rev. Al Sharpton enjoys with his $4.5 million tax bill.
Oh, and Marion Barry was a racist.
As his health began to fail, Barry’s prejudices went on display. In April 2012, he lashed out at Chinese merchants in his ward: “We’ve got to do something about these Asians coming in, opening up businesses, those dirty shops.” His comments were caught on camera the night he won another Ward 8 council primary. He suggested African-American “businesspeople” take their places.
Robert Mugabe would be proud of Mayor Barry. As for civilized people, not so much. But then again Democrats and those who lionize them aren’t civilized people.