Campaigning in the shadows

August 12, 2013

Vernon Hawkins appears to be next to be charged. When will it be Jeffrey Thompson’s turn? (Washington Post illustration)

Before there was a “shadow campaign” for Vincent Gray in 2010, there was plenty of other unreported spending from businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson on District political campaigns. Ann Marimow, Nikita Stewart and myself report in today’s Post that Thompson secretly spent more than $200,000 on seven additional candidates between 2006, when Linda Cropp sought the mayoralty, and 2011, when Vincent Orange mounted his special-election bid to return to the D.C. Council. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors plug slowly away at Thompson and his network of associates. Next to be charged, it appears, is Vernon E. Hawkins, who reportedly managed the Gray “shadow campaign” and payed a major role in Orange’s 2011 run. Charges could be filed, people close to the investigation say, as soon as this week.

In other news:

“Ex-gay” gospel singer Donnie McClurkin withdraws from city-sponsored concert under mayoral pressure (PostBlade)

D.C. Medicaid program has illegally dropped coverage for residents requiring home health aides, lawyers allege (Post)

Despite citywide gains, some DCPS schools have seen DC-CAS scores decline; the difference appears to be school leadership (Post)

Vincent Gray: “We need to double down on our hard-gained [education] reforms and speed up the pace” (Post)

Another school year starts at Howard University, amid growing anxieties about crime and finances (Post)

Judge rules Metro must disclose Red Line crash settlements amounts (Post)

By not sharing files with ethics board, “the inspector general risks creating the appearance of being more interested in guarding his own territory than promoting accountability” (Post editorial)

Children’s Hospital blames social worker for Thursday waiting-room abduction (Post)

The latest Vincent Gray funeral pronouncement: James Bunn will get a street renaming (Loose Lips)

The new DDOT visitor parking pass policy is “idiotic” (G’town Metropolitan)

Mary Cheh is certainly not a fan (PostWRC-TV)

Vincent Orange is not ruling out a mayoral run (Loose Lips)

Don Graham: “My personal philanthropic activities and those of the corporation won’t change” (Capital Business)

Steve Case, David Rubenstein, Mort Zuckerman and others react to Post sale (Capital Business)

Huge anime convention is moving to D.C. from Baltimore in 2017 (Sun)

One in five D.C. residents has used a car-sharing service (Post)

New outdoor smoking restrictions are “encouraging sign” of city’s renewed focus on secondhand smoke (Post)

Charter schools’ private fundraising varies considerably (Post)

So what exactly does Metro owe its customers? (Post)

Summer jobs program comes to an uneventful close (WRC-TV)

Schools’ roster-sharing aims to cut down on early-year “wait-list shuffle” (Post)

Cab drivers don’t appear to have filed promised petition asking for credit-card deadline extension (DCist)

Gray radio address: “Justice has been delayed and denied to the District of Columbia for decades” (WNEW-FM)

Twenty-five-year-old man shot dead Thursday night in Washington Highlands (Post)

Body found early Saturday in Anacostia River near Sousa Bridge (WTOP)

Prosecutors expect to call 15 witnesses in Michael Davis trial (WTOP)

The “Real Housewives of Benning Road” and the “culture of messy” (Post)

Georgetown Law School has a pretty clever/outrageous scheme to get the feds to pay for its students’ tuition (Wonkblog)

“Philanthropub” isn’t exactly proving to be a philanthropic powerhouse (Young & Hungry)

Laura Rinaldi, legal-aid attorney who died in pedestrian accident, sued the city on behalf of special-ed students (Post)

Can you encourage Bikeshare riders to “rebalance” bikes themselves? (Post letter)

Camera is deployed to catch oversize trucks on Van Ness Street (WJLA-TV)

The Westin City Center, formerly the Vista Hotel, is getting a $16 million renovation (WBJ)

More on the DCHA headquarters redevelopment (WBJ)

Uber launches cheaper “UberX” option (WBJ)

Columbia Heights is getting a TGI Friday’s across from the Ruby Tuesday’s (Young & Hungry)

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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