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Good morning sweet readers! Happy Emancipation Day. LL will be keeping this round-up short and sweet, since it’s a holiday and no one is at work. News time:
Star Turn: Mayor Vince Gray held a news conference yesterday to decry Congress’ funding of the school voucher program. But it was Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown who got the most prominent ink. Probably because Brown supports the voucher program. From a front (web) page story in the New York Times on the rebirth of the voucher program: “‘When I walk into a Safeway and talk to a mother who had a child who was already part of the voucher program and had another one she wanted to sign up, how could I deny her the opportunity?’ said Kwame R. Brown, the Democratic chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, who supports the city’s voucher program.” Brown also talks about his rocky start with the Washington Business Journal, but LL doesn’t know what he says because the story is behind a firewall and LL refuses to pay for news.
AFTER THE JUMP: Smack Down; School Blues; Wynning…
Voucher Flip-Flop?: At his presser, Gray made the case that his opposition to the voucher program is an ideological opposition to Congress trying to impose its views on the District: “It could be vouchers today, abortions for low-income women, needle exchange programs, marriage equality, guns — all of those things are decided elsewhere by those states and those jurisdictions. That’s the same rights that should be afforded to the people of this city.” But the WaPo editorial board ain’t buying it: “Mr. Gray is right that Congress has no business telling city officials how to spend local taxpayer dollars. [Del. Eleanor Holmes] Norton is right that the District needs true representation in Congress. But their professed anger at a program that directs more federal dollars to education in the city, gives poor children more choices and is desperately sought by District families only undermines their campaign for home rule.” This is only a little awkward, in light of the editorial the Post ran earlier in the week bashing the interference by Congress, but hey! They agree with Congress on the voucher issue.
School Blues: Some D.C. schools may be taking a budget hit next fiscal year because of “rising teacher salaries, increased special education spending and a move toward more equitable funding,” the Post reports. “Some schools would face significant hits. Amidon-Bowen, an elementary school in Ward 6, for example, would lose about $800 per student. School Without Walls, a magnet high school on the George Washington University campus that is projected to add 63 students this fall, would face a per-pupil spending reduction of nearly $2,000. Parent leaders said the cuts would seriously harm one of the city’s highest-performing schools.”
Wynning: Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins won’t be staying at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas when he tries to lure multi-billion retailers to open stores in the District, according to the WBJ. Gray will be staying at the Wynn, but will cover the difference between the $93 government rate and the $270 Wynn rate.
Late Night Texts: Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh issues subpoena’s to those involved in l’affaire Sulaimon, the Times reports. Sulaimon Brown sends text messages to reporters at 1 a.m. to say it’s not true. “Before Mary Cheh’s lies begin. I have not received a subpoena from her or anyone else, as reported by the Washington Times,” the first text read. “This is Sulaimon Brown,” the second said. “Ww,” went the third.
You’re Doing It Wrong: Postie Mike DeBonis calls up Randall Terry, “the firebrand antiabortion activist who has been on an unceasing, in-your-face crusade for more than 20 years” for a critique of D.C.’s current home rule advocates, including Hizzoner. The takeaway from Terry, Monday’s arrests aren’t going to lead to legitimate protest movement: “It’s like trying to use a match against a water cannon.”
Gray sked: Mayor to address students protesters at Stewart R. Mott House, 122 Maryland Avenue NE. 11 a.m.