Decision time for Vincent Gray

September 3, 2013

The transmittal of the Large Retailer Accountability Act sets up the highest-stakes veto decision of Vincent Gray’s mayoral tenure. (Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post)

Some 50 days after the D.C. Council voted to approve it, the Large Retailer Accountability Act passed to Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday for his signature or veto. A decision is likely to come this week, mayoral aides say, and there are still few indications that Gray will decide to sign the bill. But bill proponents are ramping up the pressure.

In a rare non-boilerplate transmittal letter, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) invoked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in urging Gray to sign. And a coalition of union, clergy and community supporters is promising to deliver petitions bearing tens of thousands of signatures to Gray this morning. Meanwhile, here is today’s e-mail reminder from Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo: “There is a difference between standards for all businesses (a minimum wage) and arbitrary costs that discriminate against just a handful of businesses (the LRAA).”

In other news:

Ethics czar issues new guidance to elected officials as investigators ask new questions about two council members (Post)

ANC commish accuses Jack Evans of reneging on alley closing deal to gain GWU campaign support; Evans and witness deny (APLoose LipsHatchet)

For DCPS parents, 15 or 20 minutes of recess a day isn’t cutting it (Post)

Paramedic warns lawmakers after five-year-old girl’s death, says staffing crisis “is only going to get worse” (WTTG-TV)

In weekly radio address, Gray touts FEMS improvements (WNEW-FM)

Josh Burdette, pierced-and-tattooed face of the 9:30 Club, is found dead at 36 (Post)

Cathy Lanier gets the full MoDo treatment (NYT column)

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, presiding at Kennedy Center, becomes the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding (Post)

Voteless Eleanor Holmes Norton is unsure how she’d vote on Syria (AP)

Norton says Secret Service “proved themselves to be absolute amateurs” in handling march anniversary security (WTOP)

Police boat strikes, sinks pleasure craft in Georgetown harbor (YouTubeWUSA-TV)

“It would have been nice if the current president had [cited] the shameful disenfranchisement of District residents as part of the unfinished business of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.” (Post editorial)

D.C. Vote and NAACP honchos: “[W]e cannot seem to shake our position as a footnote in the struggle for equal rights” (Post letter)

Colby King: Dunbar laptop robbery another example of everyday betrayal of MLK’s vision (Post column)

Against the city’s latest lawsuit targeting Joe Mamo (Post editorial)

The $3 million effort to sell the world on D.C.’s “VIP experience” (Capital Business)

Call it whatever you want, but east-of-the-river neighborhoods are on the path toward gentrification (WBJ)

Health regulators ask whether MedStar’s insurance program is meant to funnel residents to MedStar facilities (WBJ)

Weekend violence: Shooting deaths in Congress Heights and Columbia Heights; body found in Rock Creek Park (PostPostWTOP)

Ex-teacher’s attempt to subdue unruly Adams Morgan bar patron leaves both hospitalized with serious head injuries (Post)

U-Va. student collapses at nightclub, dies (WRC-TV)

IRS delays threaten Anacostia Playhouse fundraising (DCist)

Surprise: St. Elizabeths gateway pavilion will not meet ambitious construction goal (WBJ)

Parents push big expansion plans for Petworth’s Powell Elementary (WAMU-FM)

Are charter schools moving too quickly toward more testing for their youngest students? (WAMU-FM)

Intense charter interest in former Winston Elementary campus (GGW)

Twenty-five years ago, FEMS heroism transcended a prior era of controversy (STATter911)

Hey, why not just privatize the fire department? (Post letter)

If university police department are granted greater powers, will they be required to be more transparent? (Hatchet)

Gray says statehood support is at high-water mark (WTOP)

“Rapid rehousing” is no permanent fix for homelessness (Post letter)

Mayors who hosted the Olympics say it’s great to host the Olympics (Post Outlook)

Indian embassy is latest owner for former U Street post office (WBJ)

D.C.’s “intentional communities” let you live by your principles (Post)

Gentrification politics hit Northeast butcher shops (GOG)

Is the MLK Library renovation process being “gamed”? (RPUS)

Ed Lazere would like you to “set aside your exuberance for just a minute” on the soccer stadium (Hill Rag)

New Georgetown Park mall anchors will open within weeks (G’town Metropolitan)

Bike-riding creepo in Bloomingdale (PoPville)

The Nose to Ron Machen: We want “the full monty” (Hill Rag)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | August 30, 2013