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Good morning sweet readers! Question: Which is the most exciting event of the coming week? The at-large election, Sulaimon Brown‘s possible testimony at a council hearing, or the royal wedding? Obviously, it’s the wedding. Right? Right? News time:
Take My Hand, We’ll Make It I Swear: One more day until the fate of the entire western world is decided by a few thousand voters in the at-large council race. The Post says the race “seems to be wide open,” but Vincent Orange, Pat Mara and Sekou Biddle appear to be the “candidates with the best chance to win.” In the top-of-the-Metro-section story (complete with mug shots of all nine candidates), the paper of record reports that Orange is going after the black vote that swept Mayor Vince Gray into office while Mara and Biddle “appear to be vying for many of the same types of voters,” (i.e. white people, especially west of the Park). Tim Craig writes that VO spent part of his weekend passing out fliers in Ward 8 that have a big picture of Orange and a caption that reads in part, “He walks like us. He talks like us.” Meanwhile, Bryan Weaver is mad at the Biddle campaign for calling his campaign “whitecentric,” and if you vote on Tuesday for Biddle, er, anyone, you can get a free cupcake. Political strategist Chuck Thies says the winner will be whichever candidates best locked down their base: “The strategy should’ve been identify your base: whether it’s regional, demographic, issue-based—and making sure those voters are locked-in on Tuesday and feel as though you are a change agent, because that’s what is important in D.C. right now.” The Examiner reports that Tuesday’s vote could well decide if there is a tax increase in next year’s budget, and the Times offers a recap. Georgetown Dish has pictures of candidates talking to voters (are Biddle and Weaver wearing the exact same clothes?). And finally, words of comfort to those who won’t win the race from Councilmember David Catania, who got top billing in the Post story: “In some ways, I’m personally viewing this election as a referendum on the city, more so than on the individual characters in the race.”
AFTER THE JUMP: No account IG; No Vouchers; Opinions Wrap-Up…
No Account IG?: The Examiner‘s Jonetta Rose Barras airs a complaint LL’s heard many times: Inspector General Charles Willoughby doesn’t tackle substantive issues facing the city, but busies his office going after petty crooks. “In 2010, the IG received 610 complaints, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act. Willoughby referred 308 of them back to agency directors; in 198 of those cases, he didn’t even require managers to provide any follow-up report. Willoughby’s process of allowing possible offenders to investigate themselves is troublesome and could have a chilling effect: Employees understandably could interpret the system as favoring agency directors and lose confidence in reporting waste, fraud or abuse. Residents, realizing the IG’s deep-sixing proclivities, could see the process as totally meaningless.”
No Vouchers: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton sounds off in a weekend Post op-ed, saying you can’t really support Home Rule if you support the school voucher program. “Mayor Gray opposes vouchers, and five council members wrote Congress opposing them, but six others wrote in support, perhaps fearful that Republicans would hold D.C. public and charter school funding hostage to voucher funding,” write Norton. Or perhaps because they genuinely support the program?
Everyone’s Got One: Colby King says Congress shouldn’t judge the District and lists congressional wrongdoers since Former Marion Barry got busted at the Vista (there were quite a few!). Courtland Milloy reports that white people aren’t as wholesome as they would have you believe. Deborah Simmons says liberals are lying to you about the school voucher program. The Post editorial board says D.C. needs to hit the brakes on this whole online gambling thingy.
In Other News: It’s still news if the Obama family attends a local church. Discussion on racism and home rule. Wanted: good charter school principals. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans does not wash his own car, is a friend to carwashers. Finally, Panera Bread to DC USA!
Council sked: 6 p.m. hearing on redistricting.
Gray sked: 7 p.m. Ward 8 budget talk.