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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! IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • Who is going to pay the $300,000 HTJ owes?
  • Megaphone-wielding Vince Gray supporter to help D.C. remember 9/11 for $37,000
  • Good afternoon sweet readers! It’s Thursday, and by now, you ought to know what that means.God took a rib from each Washington City Paper staffer last night while they were sleeping, and turned it into this week’s dead tree edition. If you’ve ever wondered why Police Chief Cathy Lanier‘s sky-high popularity never seems to take a hit, no matter how many times Charlie Sheen gets free rides to the airport, then read Rend Smith’s cover profile on the District’s top cop. Or if you are curious about why the Tourmobile is so protective of its turf, read LDP‘s dispatch from the Mall. And if you want to know who is going to pay Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.‘s debt and legal fees, well tough, you don’t get to know, but you should read LL’s column anyway. News time:

    Legal Fund Not So Legal?: D.C. Watch looks into whether it’s legal for lobbyists Fred Cooke Jr. and John Ray to set up and fundraise for a legal defense fund for Thomas. By law, lobbyists can’t give councilmembers gifts over $100 a year, wouldn’t you know. Something tells LL this won’t be the last we hear on the subject of the fund’s legality. The Post‘s Mike DeBonis also publishes part of an interview with Mayor Vince Gray where Hizzoner opens up somewhat about what his friend Thomas is going through. Says the mayor: “He to me seems a bit withdrawn at this stage. I don’t hear from him as much as I did. But I picked up the phone a couple of times and called him, because he is a friend. And I’m sorry that this happened, but he is somebody that I’ve known for a very long time, and I just don’t want to dump him out the window. …  the last time I saw him, he said, ‘I guess we all have our ways of compensating. It’s given me a lot of time to do some things around the house that I’ve been putting off; I cleaned up my whole basement today.’ But he never talked about the investigation. He never talked about what the allegations are.”

    Meet Terry Bellamy: The Post rolls out a bit of a snoozer profile of the new DDOT boss, Terry Bellamy, a practical man who walks to work most days. “Whether Bellamy will be a change agent like [Gabe] Klein, his old boss, or a more traditional department head as his 27 years of experience in the field hint at, may be dictated by budgets and differing mayoral philosophies.” Klein says Bellamy will do great things, as long as the mayor lets him. In more exciting news, Bellamy helped the mayor announce today that all 17,000 meters in the city can now be paid by cell phone.

    In Other News:

    • Parking ticket amnesty stories, like catnip for beat reporters.
    • Debt default could lead D.C. back to Control Board era, warns CFO Nat Gandhi.
    • Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans‘ new campaign HQ is on 14th Street.
    • Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry‘s son pleads guilty to drug charges, could go to prison.
    • Members of Omega Psi Phi are in town to celebrate their 100th anniversary.
    • Confessions of a Black Gentrifier, the Washington Post version.
    • Walter Reed packs up for the move to the burbs.
    • Chuck Thies, writing in his new column at the Georgetown Dish, says Councilmember Thomas has to go, Councilmember Tommy Wells is a wimp, and Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown is a “tyrant.”
    • Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to AG: investigate CVS.

    Gray sked: 11 a.m. news conference on paying parking meters by phone. 6:30 p.m., Boards and Commission swearing-in ceremonies.