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Good morning sweet readers! Remember folks, it’s never too late to follow your dreams. You, too, can be an astronaut. Wait, what’s that? Never mind. News time:
L’Affaire Sulaimon Keeps Going and Going and Going: That decision to hire Sulaimon Brown as a $110,000-a-year auditor keeps looking worse and worse for the Gray administration. On Friday the mayor’s closest confidante, Lorraine Green, went before a council committee and called Brown “delusional,” but said he was never promised a job, only an interview. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh found Green’s testimony “implausible,” and Councilmember David Catania is wondering why Green ordered up a $1,500 background check on Brown before he even interviewed for a job. As for the hearings, Post columnist Robert McCarthy says the 20-plus hours of testimony so far into Brown and other hiring mistakes “have been distasteful for anyone who’d like public servants to be straightforward and transparent, especially when speaking under oath” and WAMU’s Patrick Madden muses that “the public might never know the real story.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Combined Whining; Tough Love for Juvies; HUD waste …
Combined Whining:The Examiner has more on Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans‘ apparent flip-flop over combined reporting, which would net the District $22 million by rewriting the corporate tax code to prevent “multistate companies like Home Depot, CVS and Starbucks from hiding profits earned in the District in states that won’t tax them.” “Evans said he supports combined reporting, but ‘the business community is up in arms about it. If we don’t have to do it, we can prevent what they’re saying is something that would be a burden.’ In recent weeks, lobbyists have visited council members with an information sheet obtained by The Washington Examiner that raises questions about combined reporting. The sheet describes it as a ‘fundamental change’ to the tax structure that could be damaging ‘at a time when the economy is struggling to recover from the recent recession.'” Confidential to Evans: The business community will always be up in arms about anything that changes their tax situation, except tax cuts.
Tough Love: Juvie crime stats are up this year, reports the Examiner, and Councilmember Jim Graham says it’s because they city has gone soft. “We’ve moved too far toward permissiveness,” says Graham. Councilmember Phil Mendelson reminds everyone not to freak out. “I don’t see anything in these numbers that’s extraordinary compared to previous years other than that, overall, the numbers are down … The juvenile numbers tell us that there needs to be more focus on juveniles.”
Post Investigates: The Post has a lengthy investigative look at how three real estate speculators scored bank while the city misspent millions of federal HUD money on a plan to build affordable housing east of the river. Special guess appearance by shadow Sen. Paul Strauss. The conclusion, provided by LDP: “it’s a case for going only with the most reputable developers with the greatest capacity and the longest track records–not the politically connected community organizations that the District just wants to help stay alive.”
In Other News: Jonetta likes City Administrator Allen Lew‘s plan to give incentives to developers who employ District residents. About 54,000 low-income residents can no longer go to Washington Hospital Center or Georgetown University Hospital. Two former DCPS teachers talk about their experience being excessed. Wisconsin Avenue Giant: causing problems. Post editorial essentially tells Attorney General Irv Nathan to get a freakin’ move on in the Team Thomas investigation. Also calling Post ombudsman, please write a piece explaining this photo selection. Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. teams up with Chicago alderman to defend Wal-Mart. Police Union Boss Kris Baumann says there may not be a magic number for how many police the District needs, but less cops equals more crime. Austermuhle: take Issa’s deal. Cherita Whiting’s old salary: maybe not so high. And finally, Michael E. Grass notes that today is the 3rd anniversary of the magic day when former Attorney General Peter Nickles finally handed over the baseball tickets that Adrian Fenty had been keeping from the D.C. Council. Gray sked: desk work, all day. Council sked: The D.C. Council will spend today hammering out details of the city’s fiscal 2012 budget at the Wilson Building. In the spirit of transparency, the meeting will be televised, meaning that councilmembers will be on their best behavior and save their arm-twisting, cajoling, whining, threatening and other hallmarks of budget negotiations until after the cameras are off.