Morning all. Late yesterday afternoon, the Board of Elections and Ethics held that the District law recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages is protected by the D.C. Human Rights Act, and hence not subject to referendum. LL humbly submits that his is the fullest and most trenchant analysis of the ruling and its aftermath; you will also want to read Tim Craig‘s WaPo piece, Gary Emerling‘s WaTimes piece, Michael Neibauer‘s Examiner piece, and Lou Chibbaro Jr. in the Blade. AP, NC8, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV, GLAA, too. Bishop Harry Jackson vows that suit will be filed in Superior Court today challenging the decision.
AFTER THE JUMP—-Crime bills come to a head today; WaPo editorializes against city financing for convention hotel; and PROCUREMENT REFORM!
From Craig: ‘Jackson, a same-sex-marriage opponent who is pushing for the vote, called the ruling an “insult.”…”The real human rights issue at stake in this decision is whether the people of D.C. will be given their right to vote,” Jackson said. “We are not going to sit still for allowing an unelected board of bureaucrats to deny voters their rightful say on this issue and, by their action, allow the institution of marriage to be radically redefined.” If the court declines to intervene, the bill that the D.C. Council approved in May recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions will become law in early July, after the required congressional review period has ended. [FAMOUS LAST WORDS:] It does not appear that Congress plans to intervene.’
FULL MARRIAGE PROSPECTS—-‘David A. Catania (I-At Large) said he plans to introduce the legislation in the fall….”I don’t want to speak for what the board will do in the future, but it does look like their decision is fairly sweeping,” Catania said. “It will be hard going forward for opponents of same-sex marriage to be successful using either the initiative or the referendum process.” D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said he agrees with yesterday’s ruling but cautions that it might not apply to a vote on same-sex marriages performed in the District. “I haven’t made up my mind on that,” he said.’
Get ready for a confusing day in the council chambers: Legislators will likely be considering three different emergency crime bills, LL is told. The stuff that everyone agrees on; the liberal-weenie version of controversial stuff, favored by Phil Mendelson; and the reactionary-jackboot version, favored by Jack Evans and Peter Nickles. Warns Tom Sherwood in WRC-TV piece, ‘It’s not clear the council will agree to do anything.’ (As of Friday, Evans had eight votes—-he needs nine.) NC8 covers ACLU protest (attended by Marion Barry). WAMU-FM‘s Patrick Madden and WaPo‘s Paul Duggan get at some of the dynamics at play: ‘Supporters contend that civil [gang] injunctions have helped reduce gang activity in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and elsewhere…..But opponents argue that the measure could result in innocent people being wrongly labeled gang members and having their freedom threatened. “Gang injunctions are a triumph of tough rhetoric over real, evidence-based solutions,” Carl Takei, a staff lawyer with the Washington area chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said at a news conference yesterday….Asked about the concerns expressed by Takei and several other opponents of the provision…Nickles called them “a lot of baloney.”‘ Meanwhile, PDS head Avis
Lester Buchanan raises more liberal red flags to the Evans bill in WaPo letter.
YO, MR. A.G.—-Enough with the ‘baloney’ already! Perhaps something more in touch with your Greek roots? “A lot of taramasalata,” perhaps?
NOT SO FAST—-WaPo editorial board stomps the brakes on convention-center hotel financing: ‘There are compelling arguments that the hotel is needed and that this would be the fastest way to build it. Less certain, though, is whether this is the best use of public money. Officials would do well to explore other financing options, and by no means should they consider busting the District’s prudent limits on borrowing….The argument that public financing is needed because private financing isn’t available should give officials pause. What does that say about the viability of the project?…[I]f, indeed, public money is judged to be the only way to accomplish the project, they need to weigh the benefits of building this hotel against other capital projects the city has agreed to undertake but has yet to start.’
Another chapter in the lead-in-the-water saga: Panel convened by scientific journal determines that 2007 paper on D.C. lead crisis was not tainted by WASA involvement, Carol Leonnig reports in WaPo. However, it does confirm that researcher Tee Guidotti improperly included a conclusion due to “inattention to detail.” ‘The journal published his report — saying there had been no identifiable health impact from the unprecedented concentrations of lead in the city’s water from 2001 to 2004 — although experts reviewing the paper for publication demanded that the “dubious” claim be removed. At the panel’s recommendation, Guidotti, a former department chair at George Washington University’s school of public health, agreed to submit an apology and a correction.’
In one of those stories that probably deserves to be higher in LLD than it is, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty moves to overhaul the District’s procurement system. Biz Journal’s Tierney Plumb on the changes: ‘Under the bill, parts of D.C.’s Procurement Practices Act of 1985 — the authorizing legislation for D.C.’s procurement process — would be tweaked. The act currently requires the Office of Contract and Procurement to perform open negotiations of contract proposals, which requires an extensive award process. The new bill would cut down on administrative and judicial review. Before issuing an RFP, the office can issue a request for qualifications from prospective vendors to identify vendor credentials upon which to award the contract. The RFP would then be issued to two or more prospects.’
WTTG-TV covers the continuing controversy over Trinidad police killing of Trey Joyner: ‘Police officials have said a task force was acting on a tip that Joyner had a weapon. One was later found in the alley where he was shot. Witnesses say the young man never fired….Sources close to the investigation tell FOX 5 Joyner was shot seven times— twice in the front and five times in the back. Investigators won’t confirm the details, because it’s an open case.’
EHN: GOLFER’S BEST FRIEND?—-Eleanor Holmes Norton submits legislation to allow private contractors to operate the District’s three federally owned public golf courses, Hayley Peterson reports in Examiner. ‘“The courses have been in hands of the federal government for more than 80 years, and they have allowed them to deteriorate,” said Norton, who introduced the bill to the House of Representatives on Wednesday….Under a contractual agreement, the developer chosen for the job “would have to create a state-of-the-art golf course at East Potomac and use funds to improve Langston and Rock Creek,” Norton said.’ CAN WE PLEASE KEEP THE $12 RED COURSE ROUNDS, THOUGH?
At D.C. Wire, Bill Turque has Michelle Rhee‘s end-of-school-year letter to teachers. And, compared to last year, she’s a lot more thankful. ‘Last year’s edition is nice enough, but the words “thank” or “thanks” are nowhere to be found. The pronoun “I” appears eight times….Here’s the 2009 letter. The pronoun “I” appears once. “Thank”: 20 times.’ DC Teacher Chic reacts.
ALSO—-Rhee to be honored tomorrow by the World Affairs Council.
Neibauer covers Dupont preservation fight, over the fate of the ’10-bedroom, circa-1900 home at 1841 16th St. NW, owned by George Washington University professor Amy Mazur and neurologist Dr. Joe Liberman….In June 2008 a portion of the second-floor interior brick wall fell in on itself, and the third floor started to topple. The six residents of the home at the time were forced to permanently evacuate, and neighbors were put out temporarily. Past tenants of 1841 reported that the building suffered from obvious defects such as cracking walls and exposed wires. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has declared the home an imminent public safety threat.’ BUT IT’S HISTORIC! ‘“You should not reward these millionaires for demolition by neglect,” said Rebecca Miller, executive director of the D.C. Preservation League. “These are people who have clearly just flouted the law, and they should not be rewarded for it.”’ Also Biz Journal, with better pics!
Yesterday evening was Harry Thomas Jr.‘s State of Ward 5 address, at McKinley Tech. Also host to a Save the Bloomingdale Farmers Market demonstration!
Craig: Mary Cheh and committee colleagues vote out PERB nominees Johnine P. Barnes, Jennifer E. Chung, John P. Isa, Mary Oates Walker, and Donald Wasserman. They are liked to be confirmed by the full council today.
Your James von Brunn update: The racist jagoff will not have to appear before a federal judge for at least a week, seeing as he was, as of noontime yesterday, still in critical condition. Writes Del Wilber in WaPo, ‘Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Waid declined to elaborate on von Brunn’s condition during a brief hearing in the District’s federal court. Von Brunn’s attorney, federal public defender A.J. Kramer, said after the hearing that he met with his client Sunday at the hospital. He declined to elaborate on the meeting or von Brunn’s condition.’ Magistrate Judge John Facciola continued the hearing to Monday. Also Scott McCabe in Examiner, WaTimes, AP.
ALSO—-Watch von Brunn’s son disown his father on Good Morning America.
The name of Stephen T. Johns will not be allowed on the National Law Enforcement Memorial, NC8 reports. And his mom tells WUSA-TV that she forgives von Brunn. WUSA and WTTG-TV also score interviews with the surviving guards.
JOHNS FUNERAL—-10 a.m. Friday at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2409 Ainger Place SE.
Bruce Johnson revisits the Garrison brothers case: ‘Howard University grads, Lawrence and Lamont Garrison were convicted and sent to prison-despite theirs and others claim of innocence after a convicted Cocaine dealer named them and eighteen others as part of his drug conspiracy….The Garrisons refused to accept a plea and a federal judge in Alexandria federal court refused to separate their cases from the others. In the end a jury convicted all twenty co-conspirators. ‘ Now Lawrence Garrison has been released.
Attention local speed hump aficionados: MoCo is reviewing its community-approval processes for the lumps of asphalt, Ann E. Marimow reports in WaPo. ‘Who should have a say when your neighbors propose new humps for a community?…Montgomery residents who live along the street in question are the primary decision makers, under current practice. Others who travel the road or live nearby usually do not get a vote. But some residents of Cromwell Drive’s side streets say the practice is unfair and contrary to the county’s written guidelines. ‘
Kytja Weir has more in Examiner about weekend Metro suicides. ‘[T]he suicides affect more than just the person’s family, according to the transit agency. “The second unknown victim is usually the train operator,” Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said.’ WaTimes names one of the victims.
NC8 does a parking ticket story. OMG—-they’re cracking down on zoned spaces!!! ‘Non-residents of specific zones get two hours free parking. In the past, motorists could avoid a ticket by moving their cars from one side of the street to another, or just over a couple blocks. That’s not the case anymore.’ (BTW: Who is ‘Bill Holland‘?)
Man, 37, killed Friday night in Columbia Heights ID’d as Raheim Moore.
WaPo reader encapsulates the LL attitude on DCHRVA: ‘Once again, the perfect has become the enemy of the good….Congress [will] interfere with the city’s gun laws…whether as part of a voting rights act, our annual appropriations bill or some other legislative vehicle. It increasingly appears that we will end up with no gun laws and no vote, thanks to the “my way or the highway” attitude of our local leaders.’
“Executive coach” and “leadership strategist” has some “Unsolicited Leadership Advice for DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.”
D.C. Bar turnover: On June 25, Kim Keenan will replace Robert Spagnoletti as the group’s head, Legal Times writes, with Ronald Flagg of Sidley & Austin to take over a year hence.
why.i.hate.dc on the Fenty parade Hummer: ‘I suppose there must be a law that would prevent him from using his Smartcar, since this is obviously a campaign event. [LL NOTE: Didn’t stop him last year.] But a Hummer? Really? Oh the irony of the “green” Fenty signs all over this thing.’
Music program opens in Browne MS.
FROM CHEAP SEATS DAILY—-Read Thom Loverro‘s brutal and brilliant WaTimes takedown of numbskull Nats broadcaster Rob Dibble.
CORPORATE SYNERGY—-Win tickets to the ‘Nine Lives of Marion Barry’ documentary, premiering Saturday night at Silverdocs.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee of the Whole meeting, to be immediately followed by the 11th legislative meeting, JAWB 500; 2 p.m.: Committee on Housing and Workforce Development roundtable on the FY2009 Summer Youth Employment Program, JAWB 500.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9:15 a.m.: remarks, Summer Meals Program kickoff, Fort Davis Recreation Center, 1400 41st St. SE.