OK, it’s on.
Phil Mendelson laid out why Peter Nickles should be voted down, and now Jack Evans has moved to amend, changing the disapproval resolution to an approval resolution.
5:11 PM: Amended bill passes by same tally. Tommy Wells passed on his vote at first, probably to see if Kwame would take a stand. He didn’t; Wells voted yes.
5:09 PM: Kwame votes “present.” Wuss. The tally is 7-5-1 for the Evans amendment.
5:06 PM: “I’m going to be voting in favor of his nomination,” sez Carol. That’s seven. Big party in Great Falls tonight!
5:03 PM: Strong words, but no last-minute nuttiness from Carol: “I do think he is qualified. I do think he is an aggressive advocate, an effective advocate.” She has a suggestion, though: “He should try to be more independent.”
5:02 PM: Carol: “I agree with everything everyone has said today.”
5:01 PM: Vince: “I have laid awake a couple of nights weighing this situation.”
4:59 PM: Gray says Nickles is “eminently qualified, an excellent attorney.” And the personal touch helps: “He’s actually come around to my office.” And let’s not forget the Nats ticket incident: “It was resolved because Peter Nickles picked up the box of tickets, wherever they were, and personally brought them around.”
4:57 PM: And here it is. He reaches back to his old mental-health advocate days, when Nickles was suing the District on behalf of mental patients. He also cites Greater Southeast. Unless Carol goes nutty, Nickles is gonna squeak through.
4:56 PM: Vince complains about the witnesses flouting subpoenas. “I don’t like the fact that the nominee doesn’t live in the District of Columbia.” But he sounds about ready to make a 180-degree turn.
4:53 PM: Debate is closed. Vince starts talking. It all comes down to him. He begins by complimenting Mendo on his committee report.
4:51 PM: Catania: Nickles “could be the Morgenthau of the District of Columbia,” attracting young, talented lawyers.
4:48 PM: Nickles is “not a Cheneyesque figure,” sez Catania.
4:47 PM: Cheh again, talks about the false dichotomy of keep Nickles or forego effective lawyering. “Do we support this nominee or do we vindicate the rule of law?” How’s that for a dichotomy?
4:45 PM: Sorry to leave there for a moment. Harry Thomas Jr. is up, and he’s talking like a no voter. His logic: I’m following the committee’s recommendation. It’s gonna come down to Vince.
4:33 PM: No comment from swing votes Kwame Brown, Vincent Gray, Carol Schwartz, Harry Thomas on first round.
4:32 PM: Barry acknowledges he was once a Nickles supporter. “Circumstances change. Sometimes people change their minds.”
4:29 PM: “He is qualified…but part of the qualifications is the matter of judgment and the matter of sensitivity.” He continues, “What bothers me is the line between policy and legal representation has been greatly blurred.” Definitely looks like a no.
4:27 PM: Barry reaches back to 1978, his first year as mayor: “I established the position of counsel to the mayor because I realized there may be a conflict” between the mayor ‘s interest and the District’s interest. Looks like a no vote.
4:25 PM: OK, Marion Barry is up. First real undecided voter to speak. “One thing that is missing is, what is the role of the attorney general?” Looking good today.
4:22 PM: Muriel Bowser gives Nickles kudos on the checkpoints, points out that residents “were literally being held hostage” criminals. Better to be held hostage by cops!
4:19 PM: Settle down, GLAA & Co. Your meetings with Nickles have been “somewhat productive.”
4:17 PM: Graham: Slumlord attorneys, pre-Nickles, “get away literally with murder!” Dealng with Nickles “not a day at the beach”—-cites Grayce Wiggins hearing.
4:15 PM: Jim Graham has two statements he’d like to make! OOH!
4:14 PM: “His legal expertise is not the only barometer,” says Yvette Alexander. He’s “rude, irascible and dismissive, and that behavior, temperament plays a big role in the attorney general,” she says. She wants “proper decorum and respect for everyone.”
4:10 PM: “We changed the name to attorney general,” Wells says, but he’s still basically corporation counsel who gets hired and fired by the mayor.
4:08 PM: Tommy Wells says he’s going to support, because the mayor gets to have his guy as long as he’s qualified. And he’s qualified.
4:06 PM: Catania lauds Nickles for Greater Southeast rescue: “This may be the only example of a deal in the history of the District of Columbia where the District actually makes money.” But…”sometimes he is his own worst enemy….He is not nearly as politically evolved as he is legally evolved.”
4:03 PM: David Catania smacks Mendo: “The characterization [that Nickles is not qualified] is the most absurd notion I have ever heard in my 11 years in the chamber. It has no equal.”
3:58 PM: Mendo cites a call he received from anonymous OAG employee yesterday after committee vote against Nickles, who said, “It was like he saw the American army in the distance.”
3:57 PM: Mendo also opposes Evans amendment—-surprise! It’s all about the qualifications, he says. “I have seen over the past two years…that the morale in that office and the top leadership has declined….That office is not rebuilding.”
3:55 PM: Hare and hounds? Huh?
3:53 PM: Cheh cites his “fierce personal loyalty, blinding conviction that one is right.” And there’s plenty of other folks: “We’re awash in lawyers in the District of Columbia would could build a law firm.” Gets into the residency thing.
3:50 PM: Mary Cheh rejects the Bobby Kennedy analogy. “The client is the District of Columbia and the people of the District.”
3:49 PM: Jack: People don’t respond to subpoenas all the time! Refers to his SEC lawyering days.
3:47 PM: Jack pulls out the Bobby Kennedy analogy.