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Mayor Who?: Challenging electoral petitions is always a nasty business, since the whole point of the exercise is to keep potential competitors off the ballot—lest they get more votes than you. But even by the usual standards, Sekou Biddle‘s challenges against various D.C. Council at-large candidates look like they could get ugly. Biddle is challenging whether election officials should count the signatures of Maria Cardona (candidate Bryan Weaver‘s wife), former Mayors Tony Williams and Adrian Fenty, D.C. Councilmembers Jim Graham and Phil Mendelson, and Council Chairman Kwame Brown‘s brother. Politics really is war by other means. -1
Cherry Blossom Bomb: Forget global warming; at this point, the biggest threat to D.C.’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival may be miscommunication. Reports ran rampant today that the festival would cost money. Yes, that’s true—sort of. The Sakura Matsuri Japanese cultural fair will charge $5 to get in this year, for the first time ever. But the usual “walk around the Tidal Basin looking at the pretty trees” part of the season will remain free. +1
College Debt: $8,000 one-way tickets to Egypt aren’t the only perk you get for being president of the University of the District of Columbia, after all. Another scoop out of Fox 5 reveals that UDC boss Allen Sessoms, already under fire for expensive travel, also got a $60,000 “car allowance” from the school, which he used to buy a Lincoln Navigator. Because, apparently, anyone who lives in D.C. who’s being criticized for spending too much money is required to drive a Lincoln Navigator. -2
More Cupcakes: Yet another cupcake shop will soon open in D.C. This should be bad for D.C. quality of life, but at this point, we’re experiencing a sort of Stockholm Syndrome toward the sugary beasts. Also, the arrival of more cupcake purveyors just puts the city that much closer to the inevitable moment when the population revolts, en masse, against the snacks. Heighten the contradictions! And the calorie counts. +3
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 29 Today’s score: +1 Today’s Needle rating: 30