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Send Me To Jail!: Merely getting arrested for D.C. voting rights doesn’t really get you that far in a local election anymore; these days, it’s more like the cost of doing business in politics. But Pete Ross, a candidate for D.C. shadow senator, took things a bit further by demanding jail time for a civil disobedience arrest that’s only supposed to draw the offender probation. Incumbent Michael D. Brown, meanwhile, reportedly tried to lobby the judge not to give Ross what he wanted. Ross seems to want to win; he’s put six figures worth of his own money into his campaign. The job, for the record, is unpaid. +1
¡Impuestos Sin Representación!: Republican presidential candidates aren’t fans of D.C. voting rights, no matter how many wealthy Washingtonians go to jail for the cause. First, Newt Gingrich suggested a hypothetical Moon colony could become a state by simply petitioning for it; now Rick Santorum says Puerto Rico should get statehood (which it’s not even clear the island commonwealth wants), as long as it makes English, not Spanish, its only official language. That’s not actually a requirement under any law but the Law of Santorum. But someone ought to tell him we speak English reasonably well here in D.C. (even if this blog post is chock full of other languages). -2
Triste Noel: The new rule in the District appears to be that you’re either with powerful corporations or against them. And if you’re against them, you’re in some trouble. A move by Mayor Vince Gray to nominate former people’s counsel Betty Noel to the utility-regulating Public Service Commission was voted down by a D.C. Council committee today, 3-2, on the grounds that anyone who’s taken positions advocating against big utilities like Pepco can’t be trusted to oversee them. Silver lining: The Post wrote no less than four editorials opposing Noel’s nomination, which means the fact they got their wish might at least mean people still read print newspapers. -2
Mayoral Madness: Even Mayor Vince Gray has come down with a case of bracketitis today, as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament gets rolling in earnest (we don’t count those play-in games). Gray tweeted this morning, just before the first games tipped off, that he’s picking Kentucky to win the whole thing, beating the University of North Carolina in the final; Mizzou and Ohio State University would also make Gray’s Final Four. No word on how far he thinks his constituents at Georgetown will go, but if UNC advances, that means the Hoyas would have to lose no later than the Sweet 16. -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 69 Today’s score: -4 Today’s Needle rating: 65