IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Kwame to Vince: I’m Not Your Rubber Stamp, Now Let’s Party Councilmember Salaries, Back To The Future
Good morning sweet readers! LL did not watch the end of the Super Bowl last night, but recorded it. Can he make it all day without finding out who the winner was? Probably not. News time:
Jeff Coudriet, gay rights leader and aide to Councilmember Jack Evans, has died. He was 48.
Schools Without Money: The Post’s Bill Turque reports on a new study which calculated how much the District spends per school and finds the smaller, specialty schools are getting more moula than the larger run-of-the mill schools. For example, School Without Walls, a jewel of DCPS, gets $10,257 a year in District funds per student, while the not-so-glamorous Cardozo gets $7,453. See the story for discussion on the discussions about the complexities of school funding, but the authors of the study, Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators, say the disparities aren’t fair, while others say apples to apples comparisons don’t make sense. In any event, any story about big funding disparities in schools has the potential to be major talker in political circles.
AFTER THE JUMP: Alexander’s Landlord Issues; Evans Gives Advice; OTR Problems…
First of Every Month, Give or Take: The Washington Times‘ Jeffery Anderson reports that there may be some ethical problems with Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander paying a reduced rental rate to developer and former councilmember H.R. Crawford on her now-closed constituent services office. There’s also the matter that Alexander introduced legislation, (but later withdrew) that would have boosted Crawford’s property value.
Developers, Unions Give Big to Kwame: Council Chairman Kwame Brown finally released information on his transition donors last Friday. Tim Craig at the Post has the first write-up: “Brown, a former two-term council member, announced that a committee set up to pay for his transition as chairman had raised $91,800 between the November election and earlier this year. But Brown said he spent only $77,241, the bulk of which went to pay staff and media consultants. Brown has transferred his unspent funds to another account that will be used for charitable purposes.”
Listen Up, At-Large Hopefuls: Jack Evans spills his hard-won campaign secrets to the Georgetown Dish. His advice to the crowded field of at-large hopefuls: raise a lot money, target likely voters, and come up with a good message. “You have to figure out a way to distinguish yourself … I went out there as an anti-development candidate. I said developers were Great Satans. That was my approach at the time,” Evans recalled of his special election victory 20 years ago.
Control Deficiencies: The Examiner‘s Jonette Rose Barras has more on the problems facing the Office of Tax Revenues, which let Harriette Walters waltz away with $50 million. “Auditors with KMPG, LLP found conditions at OTR remain ripe for theft. There were no appropriate policies ‘to prevent a single employee from being able to prepare, review and approve [computerized] cash receipt vouchers.’ Further, management hadn’t restricted access ‘appropriately to prevent compliance division personnel from having inappropriate access.'” Barrass says, again, that it’s time for CFO Nat Gandhi to go, Gandhi’s spokesman says OTR’s systems “are replete with redundant controls,” but some fine-tuning wouldn’t hurt.
In other news: Michelle Rhee hagiographer Richard Whitmire talks to WAMU. Is the District’s red light camera system illegal, WAPO editorial page says they work? Mayor Vince Gray will also take furlough days. More info on recent Gray appointments. Can bikes co-exist with cars? No.
Gray schedule: United Negro College Fund kickoff and groundbreaking, 11 a.m. at Lincoln theater.
Council schedule: Roundtable on snow response at 10 a.m., Hearings on forensic science and HomeSaver program at 11 a.m.