Ron Machen feels the heat


U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., seen in 2012, is facing a public opinion backlash as the election approaches. (Matt McClain – For The Washington Post)

For the better part of two years, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. has put plenty of pressure on the District’s political establishment — especially Mayor Vincent C. Gray. But with serious allegations against Gray on the table, no indictment forthcoming, and an election just a week away, it’s Machen who is now feeling some pressure. Start with Colby King’s weekend column, which says Machen & Co. have “gone public in a forum that denies Gray the opportunity to confront his accusers, to examine the government’s evidence or to cross-examine prosecution witnesses. … [T]he investigative steps Machen is taking in pursuit of Gray may be procedurally correct. But are they fair?” Add to that the opinions of two legal ethics scholars, who say in a Post op-ed that Machen “failed to respect the code of ethics that all lawyers must comply with” by calling out Gray (if not by name) at a news conference. And for good measure, consider this macro critique from Post editor Hilary Krieger: “Should a little corruption matter to voters?”

In other news:

Vince Gray “has expanded city services for ex-offenders like no mayor before him” — but will they vote? (Post)

What does Chuck Thies believe in? Bigfoot and Billy Jack (Post)

Family of Relisha Rudd was under child-welfare monitoring (PostWRC-TVAP)

Her mother, Shamika Young, pleads for help (PostWTTG-TVDCist)

Kahlil Tatum, the shelter employee sought in Relisha’s disappearance, was known for showering gifts on residents (Post)

A deeper look at Muriel Bowser, emerging as Gray’s leading challenger (Post)

Jesse Jones, 83, missing for days, is found dead near Joint Base Bolling (PostWJLA-TV)

Fire lieutenant expresses “heartfelt and deepest condolences” to Cecil Mills family; still no verdict in trial board proceeding (PostWJLA-TVWAMU-FMWTOPWAMU-FM)

Five myths about Vince Gray (Post Outlook)

“There’s no evidence that Washington, D.C., is more corrupt than other major American cities,” but corruption opens us to “mockery once again” (AP)

A trial of a sitting mayor would sure not be good for the city (Post column)

But it has happened before (The Fix)

More questions yet to be answered about Jeff Thompson’s other payments (Post editorial)

The mayoral race from 50,000 feet (Economist)

In Ward 6 council race, a leading question is: Who was the boss? (Post)

Paul Strauss defends the dignity of his office: “We’re not pretend senators” (NYT)

The mayoral endorsements, at a glance (DCist)

“Neither foggy-eyed nostalgia for a skyline frozen in 1910 nor cynical NIMBYism can justify” opposing a taller, denser city (Post editorial)

Anita Bonds doesn’t want bike lanes on narrow streets (GGWCity Desk)

Mary Cheh is not necessarily committed to the Democratic nominee (WJLA-TV)

Tommy Wells will spend part of the day before Election Day doing a Reddit AMA (DCist)

Post staff are “rigid, complacent, self righteous, petty and vindictive,” says key Gray backer (MetroDiversity.com)

Which mayoral candidate will move fastest on school reform — specifically, by recruiting top charter operators to run failing DCPS schools? (Post op-ed)

Muriel Bowser leads the LL power rankings (Loose Lips)

Hill Republicans remain skeptical of moving Homeland Security to St. Elizabeths (WaTimes)

Vincent Orange plays hardball on film incentive fund (Washingtonian)

FOP takes aim at Phil Mendelson (MendelsonMustGo.com)

Woman says she jumped out of ambulance because EMTs were arguing (WRC-TV)

Suburbanites go to war against DMV ticket policy (Post)

Georgetown sophomore is charged with federal felony over alleged ricin production (PostWTOP)

University administrators were warned about student said to have made ricin (Post)

Scratch-off lottery ticket fans lose their patience amid contracting woes (Post)

Jim Graham goes to bat for non-alcoholic businesses near 14th and U (WBJ)

Chris Brown’s lawyers want a judge of their own choosing, prosecutors say (Post)

Peter Rosenstein endorses Phil Mendelson and Anita Bonds. Oh, and Vince Gray. (Blade)

Judge expected to rule today on using rec centers as homeless shelters (PostHousing Complex)

Two killed Saturday in wrong-way crash (Post)

Tow truck driver charged with murder rejects plea deal (Post)

Should social and economic equity factor into Metro fare hikes? (Dr. Gridlock)

Connecticut Avenue gets Clean Teams (WJLA-TV)

Conservative media goes nuts over D.C. Abortion Fund’s coat hanger necklaces (HuffPo)

A piece (or a piece of the piece) of the Channel Inn could be yours (WBJ)

Travel and Leisure has it out for D.C. (Post)

U Street gets its Trader Joe’s (GOG)

Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods: the chart (Post Style)

Finally, a vape lounge! (PoPville)

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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