DeMorning DeBonis: July 14, 2011

TODAY IS JULY 14, 2011 — DAY 192 OF THE GRAY ADMINISTRATION

PREVIOUSLY — Cheh: D.C. taxi medallion bill will stay deadD.C. Council to vote on designation of ‘Martin Luther King Drive’

Fallout continues from D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown’s takedown Tuesday of Tommy Wells. Brown went on Bruce DePuyt’s NewsChannel 8 show and again gave a weak-as-tea non-political explanation for his power move, while taking a shot at Greater Greater Washington for misinterpreting his actions. GGW fought back, with David Alpert writing that “his explanations continue to simply not hold water.” Meanwhile, Gary Imhoff, writing in themail, revels in the reversal dealt to the “myopic little twits” and adds: “What this event revealed was that the council has become fragmented. There are no caucuses, no alliances; there aren’t even any friendships. It’s every councilmember for himself or herself, and with so many councilmembers under suspicion and investigation, it will remain that way for years to come.” And at the Georgetown Dish, Beth Solomon speaks up in support of Mary Cheh, saying the shuffle “not only cements her already strong relationship with the now more powerful Chairman Brown, it further enhances her overall position as a council leader” at the expense of “boy-scoutish” Wells. Cheh, incidentally, has already started building bridges to progressive transportation types, dropping in at a meeting of the city Bicycle Advisory Council last night, “signaling interest in biking at an unprecedented level,” in the words of the Washington Area Bicycle Association. Karen Gray Houston also follows up at WTTG-TV.

AFTER THE JUMP — Christopher Barry’s drug arrest — Yvette’s got her work cut out for her — FEMS scarecrows — OIG says celebrity police escorts are par for the course — Adrian Fenty, trial lawyer

*** MAIN COURSE ***

FAMILY MATTERS — Christopher Barry, son of Marion and Effi, is back in drug-related trouble. Alan Suderman was first to report Wednesday that the younger Barry was arrested in late May on charges of possession with intent to distribute PCP. “In the court documents, police say they arrived at the younger Barry’s apartment on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SW after being alerted to what sounded like a fight. When a police officer knocked on the door, a man answered but would not open the door, court records say. Police then called the fire department to have the door opened. Once inside the apartment, the officers saw blood on the floor and drugs in ‘plain sight,’ according to court records. Court documents say that Barry fled the apartment by jumping out a window, but later returned and sought medical treatment for a bloody foot. He was arrested at the scene, court records say.” The Post’s Keith Alexander reports from Moultrie Courthouse that Barry initially failed to appear for a hearing on the charges. “But the warrant was quickly canceled after the judge overseeing the hearing learned that [Barry] was taking a drug test in the D.C. Superior Court building. Barry subsequently showed up, and his next hearing was scheduled for July 27.” He is also facing eviction. Fred Cooke is representing him; Scott Bolden had repped him in his previous run-in. WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson tweets: “I talked to Christopher Barry by phone about his felony drug arrest. He insists he’s no drug dealer.” Also the Examiner, WUSA-TV, WJLA-TV, DCist.

YVETTE’S FIGHT AHEAD — In this week’s Loose Lips column, Suderman looks at Yvette Alexander’s precarious position less than 10 months before the primary election: “Parts of Ward 7’s old political guard, located mostly in the Hillcrest and Penn Branch neighborhoods, has already gone public with their desires for a new candidate. A younger and more progressive group, both inside and outside the ward, also wants somebody besides Alexander. And then there’s Ron Moten, the ubiquitous D.C. political gadfly who has all but launched his campaign to unseat one of his biggest political enemies. At the core, all three camps share similar complaints with Alexander: She’s a nice enough person, but she’s not getting the job done.” Says Hillcrest political maven Paul Savage: “By any measure, when you look across this ward, we can do better. We can do better. A lot better.” Suderman reports that the Hillcrest/Penn Branch brahmins are coordinating with the young progressives to find a mutually acceptable candidate. “Two potential candidates who might fit the bill that LL hears mentioned frequently are Veronica Davis, a civil engineer, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C04 commissioner Sylvia Brown. ... The big unanswered question for the race is how much support Gray will give Alexander if an old guard–backed candidate enters the race.” Also: Do read on for Moten’s comments on the conditions of his tumescence. In a related piece, John Muller ponders at Greater Greater Washington whether Marion Barry should be concerned about a challenge next year. Short answer: There’s still no viable candidate.

FIREFIGHTERS AS SCARECROWS? — The Gray administration wants firefighters to deter crime at a dozen intersections in city neighborhoods, starting with summer jobs paydays. June Wu reports in The Post: “For the past three weeks, firefighters have parked their trucks at various locations across the District to deter criminals, said Paul Quander, deputy mayor of public safety and justice. Wednesday’s deployment coincided with the first payday for participants of the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program. In past years, youths in the program have been mugged on payday, city officials said. ‘You don’t have to wear a badge and uniform and gun to have an impact on safety,’ Quander said. ‘Public safety is not just the responsibility of the police department.’ ” Only one SYEP participant was mugged yesterday, which appears to be an improvement over past years. The Examiner’s Freeman Klopott, who first reported that FEMS personnel were acting as summer jobs sentinels, has union reaction: “‘We’re not trained for these matters,’ [fire union chief Ed Smith] said. ‘When we respond to violent crimes that involve medical emergencies, we stage a block away until the police say it’s safe. We never get involved in police matters.’ ... Police union chief Kris Baumann ... added that putting firefighters in police work could harm relationships with the community. ‘Firefighters and police have very different relationships with people,’ Baumann said. ‘You don’t want the perceptions that come with being a police officer to get mixed up with the image of firefighters.’ ” Also WTTG-TV, WaTimes.

OIG IS #WINNING — Inspector General Charles Willoughby, in what must be record time by his standards, has issued a report on the police escort of Charlie Sheen. It found that the celebrity escort was “not extraordinary” for MPD, which “appears to conflict with statements from Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who has said the 27-mile escort from Dulles International Airport to a performance in Washington on April 19 broke with police protocol,” an AP report notes. “But it faults the overall process for carrying out the details, saying the casual manner in which they’re done and documented opens the department to liability if something goes wrong. The report makes 11 recommendations for escorts of non-dignitaries. It includes ensuring that Washington’s police department collaborates with neighboring law-enforcement agencies — which was not done in Sheen’s case — and creating a clear, department-wide directive for escorts and reimbursable details.” Lanier stands by her statements. Read the full report. Also the Examiner, WaTimes, City Paper, WAMU-FM, WaTimes.

D.C. BUDGET MOVES TO HOUSE FLOOR — As the District’s spending bill moves to the House floor, the White House is criticizing the inclusion of a ban on local abortion funding, saying it “undermines the principle of states’ rights and of D.C. home rule.” Ben Pershing reports at D.C. Wire: “The administration also complained about a provision preventing the use of federal (but not local) funds for the District’s needle-exchange programs. ‘This is contrary to current practice and the Administration’s policy to allow funds to be used in locations where local authorities deem needle exchange programs to be effective and appropriate,’ the White House said. Notably, the SAP did not say Obama might veto the bill over either of those items, though he did threaten a veto over separate provisions related to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, the health-care reform bill and Cuba policy.” Also WAMU-FM.

FENTY’S LAW — Former mayor Adrian Fenty has yet another gig ... as a trial lawyer? The Klores Perry Mitchell firm announced today: “Fenty has joined the firm as Special Counsel. Fenty ... will draw on his vast knowledge, experience and trusted relationships to contribute to the continued expansion of the firm and its practice areas. ... ‘KPM’s commitment to advocating on behalf of their clients, combined with their emphasis on winning – not billing – was of great interest to me,’ Fenty explained. ‘The firm is also dedicated to values I believe are extremely important — fostering a high quality of life for its employees and for those who live in the Washington, D.C. area.’ ” Founding KPM partner Bruce Klores, close observers of city politics might know, was well known as the first donor to Fenty’s council and mayoral campaigns — as in, he’d write the initial check. Also Legal Times.

*** SMALL PLATES ***

The case for professional council committee staff hiring (Loose Lips)

Jim Graham, residents of Mount Pleasant and Park View object to police redistricting plan (The Post)

“Carrot” approach to First Source seems to be working (WAMU-FM)

A first look at the St. Elizabeths east campus (The Post)

People’s Counsel calls Pepco rate hike “horrendous and shameless” (the Examiner)

All of the District’s Metro board members live in Ward 4 (the Examiner)

Antonio Hunter leaving DSLBD to work for Magic Johnson (WBJ)

In smart growth era, Capitol complex remains swollen with parking (Housing Complex)

Council fixes foreclosure law problem (The Post)

Jack Evans names the city’s “native cocktail” (AP)

Wrapping up the Ward 8 community summit: Everyone’s excited! (Informer)

Kaya Henderson says being chancellor “means I have to go to the grocery store looking halfway decent” (WaTimes)

Tax breaks for H Street businesses finally come through (the Examiner)

Protester Keith Silver wants Vince Gray as a witness at his trial (DCist, WTTG-TV)

East of the river residents weigh in on Circulator (The Post)

Why the Old Georgetown Board? Blame Congress. (Housing Complex)

*** ON THE MENU ***

No public schedule for Gray — D.C. Council hearing on fire hydrants, 10 a.m. in JAWB 412; brief legislative meeting at 5:15 p.m.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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