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A deliberative roundup of one city’s local politics. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!


Good morning sweet readers! It’s Thursday, and you all know what that means: another dead tree edition of Washington City Paper is out and the paper’s staffers will be performing the musical Hair in the middle of Champlain Street at 4 p.m. This week’s cover is the Spring Arts guide. Alex Baca finds out why Counter Culture coffee is ubiquitous in the District. LDP exposes the seedy underbelly of the District’s construction recycling industry, which comes with this great quote: “This may come as a surprise to you, but there are people in the waste industry who will lie.” LL takes a look at the growing tensions between Fire Chief Ken Ellerbe and the fire union. LL’s lede: “The D.C. fire truck specifically designated to save the president and the first family from a White House blaze has been out of service for 500 out of the last 1,000 days, according to some of its operators, and is, in the words of one firefighter assigned to drive the truck, a ‘piece of crap.'” In related news, Lon Walls, the spokesman for the department, was suspended for calling a recent protest by union members “racist,” the Washington Times reports. More news time:

Deadbeat Dirty Harry: File this under news that is not in the least bit surprising. Disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. isn’t living up to the repayment terms he agreed to last summer in order to settle a civil suit with the District. Thomas was supposed to pay the city back $50,000 every six months, but Thomas has already skipped out on the second payment, which was due in December. WTOP’s Mark Segraves has the scoop: “D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan tells WTOP his office is aggressively working to recover the money Thomas owes. ‘He’s definitely in default,’ Nathan said. ‘We’re in discussions with his attorneys and we definitely want to get satisfaction for the full amount.'” The Post notes that even if Thomas were to declare bankruptcy, he’d still couldn’t escape his debt to the city. But in practical terms, it’s hard to see the District ever getting this money back. Thomas already has other debt problems, he’s almost certainly going to be spending time in prison, and his earning potential after he gets out looks extremely limited. He’s been he’s been dependent on the District government, either directly or indirectly, for a paycheck for almost all of professional life and that gravy train, LL’s pretty sure, has left the station.

AFTER THE JUMP: Muriel for Mayor?; New Hampshire Doesn’t Like D.C.; Ward 7 Candidates Looking For Attention…

Muriel for Mayor: Chuck Thies of the Georgetown Dish is first to put out a “Is Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser running for mayor,” story. “While Bowser may be sticking to the script, several politicos with whom I have spoken are helping to sew the seeds of Bowser buzz. One well-known operative went so far as to say she is unbeatable in 2014 and that anyone who even thinks Bowser can be beat had better enter the race no later than this summer.”

In Other News:

  • Anti-Occupy protest planned for Freedom Plaza.
  • New Hampshire state lawmakers soundly defeat statehood support measure. Says one rep: “They had a cocaine dealer as a mayor.”
  • DCPS still needs to explain the fall from grace of Michelle Rhee’s poster child.
  • Where was the housing talk in Gray’s $5,000 State of the District speech?
  • Many of the alleged unemployment District scammers are bus drivers. Prosecutions for most unlikely.
  • Protesting speed cameras: a great way for a Ward 7 challenger to get attention.
  • Speaking of Ward 7, Kevin Chavous the Younger still knocking on doors, still no talking about you know what.
  • Former at-large candidate Clark Ray is the new schools athletic director.

Gray sked: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Anti-Truancy Ad Campaign Kickoff; 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: Historic Anacostia Block Association Meeting.

Council sked: Office of Planning review at 10 a.m.; Destination DC at 11 a.m.; Boards and commission review at 1 p.m.