We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Thomas to Nickles: Take Your Subpoena and Shove It Up … Pic: Obama and Gray Eating Food Mendo: The Judiciary Is All Mine! Vince Gray Pulls a Palin Gray: Obama Likes D.C.
Good morning sweet readers! Today is Thursday, and you know what that means: The City Paper runs a cover profile of a minor media celebrity. It’s also the day when you can pick up LL’s latest column, one you’ll not want to miss! In it, LL does his first book review since college on a new memoir by one of Mayor for Life Marion Barry‘s old flames. Rose Anding spent a month in jail for initially refusing to testify against Barry. She never did sit on the witness stand at trial, which Anding says is a good thing for Barry. Teaser quote: “If I had testified against Barry, Barry’d be in jail today.” Now go read it. News time:
No Really, I Can’t Find My Wallet: A nice get by Freeman Klopott at the Examiner: Almost Mayor Vince Gray left his wallet on the counter of a CVS near his house in Hillcrest on Thanksgiving around 2:30 p.m. A clerk went through it, and at about 5 p.m. used it buy cigarettes. The clerk then went to a liquor store and rang up $25 on liquor. Total damage, less than $40. The clerk has been arrested and charged with credit card fraud. But LL asks you, isn’t it a Thanksgiving tradition to leave behind your wallet at a drug store as a gift to the clerk who rings you up? The clerk who picked up LL’s billfold rang up nearly $200 in comic books and video games, but you don’t hear LL complaining. That’s Thanksgiving!
AFTER THE JUMP: The Big Lunch; Nickles and Thomas Back To Court; Saunders in Charge …
Was the Food Any Good?: Yesterday, Gray had a beef and broccoli stir-fry, along with a Gulf Coast seafood gumbo, that he will never forget. Why? Because he probably took home a doggy bag from his lunch with President Obama and left it in a corner of his fridge that will henceforth go untouched. There’ not much news to report from the big meal. Both Gray and the White House agree that the meal was productive, and they plan on working together in the future. Gray says the prez is a big supporter of voting rights for the District. Oh yeah? says the Post editorial page, prove it. “If that’s the case, Mr. Obama needs to do more than host a lunch … Prospects for the city getting full congressional representation with Republicans gaining control of the House and getting stronger in the Senate are slight, but that means the District more than ever needs the president’s backing. There are likely to be assaults on D.C. home rule, and Mr. Obama needs to make it clear that he won’t hesitate to use his veto power to protect the District’s interests in such important areas as gun control or same-sex marriage.“
Nickles and Thomas, 2.1: It’s back to court today for Attorney General Peter Nickles‘ office and Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., as they continue to wrangle over whether Thomas ought to be handing over detailed financial information about his youth sports non-profit, Team Thomas. Fox5 caught up with Thomas, who said he’s not complying with Nickles’ second subpoena because “this is the most politicizing of the attorney general’s office” he has ever seen. Nickles retorts: “You are not going to get out of this by showing a video of a lot of kids playing baseball.” Actually, Peter, the video Thomas showed at his news conference defending Team Thomas had kids playing golf.
Pony Up, Developers: Many developers who helped Still Mayor Adrian Fenty raise records amounts of moula have turned their cash sprinkers on for Gray, who has raised $180K for his transition and inauguration. Most of the cash is “coming from a slate of developers and corporate leaders, many of whom have business before the District government,” reports WBJ’s Michael Neibauer. Neibs has got details of some of the donors and what their interests are with city government, as does Mike DeBonis, who asks why Almost Chairman Kwame Brown doesn’t release his fundraising details like Gray. The reason, according to his spokeswoman: It’s more efficient to dump the names and figures at the end of the transition, when all is said and done. Neibauer concludes by going there: “The contributions—far exceeding the maximum $2,000 each candidate was allowed to raise from any one donor during the campaign—raise the usual questions about whether corporations may try to influence government decisions with their checkbooks. In Prince George’s County, allegations of a pervasive pay-to-play atmosphere between the development community and executive branch led to the November arrest of County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, Councilwoman-elect Leslie Johnson.” Yeah, that’s not the most favorable comparison.
Meet the New Boss: The new boss of the Washington Teachers Union, Nathan Saunders, sat down with the Post’s education writer Bill Turque. Saunders said he’s going to take Michelle Rhee’s IMPACT teacher ratings and find a way to drown it in a bathtub. LL jests, kinda. Saunders’ hard-line victory over George Parker has caused some heartburn among supports of Rhee’s version of education reform. Saunders says he doesn’t buy into Rhee and new Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s view that “the disadvantages produced by poverty, crime and family dysfunction can no longer be excuses for failing to raise academic achievement.” Money quote from Saunders: “Whenever confrontation will lead me to progress for the people I represent, I will engage in confrontation.” CM David Catania said he’d like to hear Saunders talking about what’s best for the children, and notes that the education reform effort is at an important crossroads right now. More important than what Catania says is the fact that he’s the only CM quoted in the Post piece. That’s a win for Catania, who is making a strong push to head the likely-to-be formed education committee while his rival for that gig, CM Mary Cheh, is staying silent. Meanwhile, Parker doesn’t blame Rhee for his ouster.
Speaking of Rhee, LL doesn’t have cable, but she was on Stephen Colbert’s show last night. Also, Baltimore Schools boss, Andre Alonso, gets his star turn in The New York Times. So is he the new superman? Also, you’ll remember from various town hall meetings that Gray is a big fan of Alonso.
Fenty asking Council to hand over four lots to developers before he leaves office.
Mom and Pops skeptical of Walmarts.
Fenty pal Chuck Brodsky, who organizes the Nation’s Triathlon and also heads the Alcoholic Beverage Control board, is asking the Georgetown ANC for support in closing a some streets for future triathlons. Some see conflict of interest problems, because Brodsky can rule on matters ANCs bring to him. Brodsky does not see a problem.
DC9 can reopen.
Should D.C. ditch the sales tax?
Puppy thieves were wards of DYRS, surprised?
On Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt: Pat Mara, Mike Panetta, and Harry Thomas Jr.
Fenty: no public schedule
Council: Working on too many bills to mention. Things kick off at 1 p.m. Bike parking bill hearing at 2 p.m. See here for deets.