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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Ethics Orgy: Which Councilmembers Are Posing and Which Are Posing A Little Less? Council Gets Too Cute By Half, Winds Up Passing Two New Taxes
Good morning sweet readers! It’s Thursday, and we all know what that means: Washington City Paper‘s weekly cockfighting tournament gets underway in a few hours. Oh, there’s also a new paper out. This week’s cover is by former defendant Dave McKenna, who writes about how the District government went to a lot of trouble to build very nice football fields for its high schools but never bothered to build actual football programs capable of fielding decent teams. LL, being from Texas, cannot fathom how a local government is not directing all its attention into creating winning football programs. Priorities, people! The story features a plea from DCPS’s former athletic director to Mayor Vince Gray to make some simple changes and fix things. “If somebody in authority would show him how to streamline the system to deal with the issues that are crippling it, I believe in short order he’d change what’s necessary.” LL’s column looks at the current overabundance of ethics bills and tries to sort out which politicians are posing and which are posing a little less. News time:
Another One?: Can somebody in the Gray administration hire D.C. Watch’s Dorothy Brizill to help with vetting? Brizill pointed out at the mayor’s news conference yesterday that his new pick to head the Board of Elections of Ethics, Robert Mallett, isn’t legally qualified to hold the position because he hasn’t lived in D.C. for the last three years, as D.C. law mandates. (Gray also appointed two others, including a Republican, to finally make the board whole.) Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh suggested that some sort of waiver might be possible for Mallett, a former city administrator who lived in the District for 17 years prior to moving to New York (he moved back to D.C. recently). But Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, whose committee will review the nominations, says she’s not about to make an exception for a guy who is going to be enforcing the city’s ethics laws. Bowser told LL there’s a “plethora” of qualified candidates in D.C. who would legally qualify for the position. Ron Collins, the mayor’s head the office of boards and commissions, is carrying the bag on this one. Not a huge mistake, but the bottom line is that Gray’s team let him down again on vetting issues.
AFTER THE JUMP: Press overboard; Sulaimon Wins, or Something; Pat Mara Media Saturation…
Tempest in a Teapot: LL fellow hacks went a little overboard yesterday chastising the mayor as some sort of evil Dick Cheney-type because the fire department has recently clamped down on its Twitter account and the police department is switching to encrypted radios. Not that the Gray administration handled it great, either. “Social media is for parties. We ain’t givin’ parties,” said one of LL’s favorite flacks, FEMS’ Lon Walls. D’oh!
In Other News: Council v. Sulaimon is over. Toles cartoon mocks council. Fire Chief Ken Ellerbe‘s brother is up for a fire department promotion. If you were a diplomate in a foreign country, would you pay your parking tickets? Even writing the words “government shutdown” makes LL annoyed. Gray’s appointee to Juvenile Justice Advisory Group once called gays “faggots,” says he’s since mellowed. VO isn’t really serious about creating jobs. Pat Mara says achieving full D.C. representation and cleaning up local ethics messes go hand in hand. Mara also films another Youtube video, and this time looks into the camera! (BTW, the DCGOP is set to meet with so-far benevolent overlord Rep. Trey Gowdy tonight.) DOES worker fired, fraud probe underway.
Gray sked: Urban Land Institute Governance in the Region Panel at 11 a.m.; National League of Cities Mayors’ Institute on Children and Families at 1 p.m.; Women Empowered Against Violence 15th Anniversary Gala at 6 p.m. Washington National Opera & Kennedy Center 4th Annual Opera in the Outfield at 7 p.m.
Council sked: Office of Planning’s city sustainability at 2:30 p.m.