TODAY IS APRIL 20, 2011 — DAY 105 OF THE GRAY ADMINISTRATION
Oof. The Post editorial board just slams, slams Vincent Orange today for a rather brazen attempt at line-straddling: “Orange wouldn’t be the first politician running for something who tries to have it both ways. One would be hard-pressed, though, to find a more cynical display of political duality than Mr. Orange’s use of our words to promote his Democratic candidacy for an at-large seat on the council while simultaneously joining in a protest denouncing The Post. If Mr. Orange can’t seem to make up his mind about whether we should be believed or boycotted, what does that suggest about his ability to withstand pressure in governing the city?” The piece ends with a re-endorsement of Patrick Mara: “He says he won’t increase taxes, though that angers some voters worried about cuts to social programs; he tells teachers he thinks it is fair to use student test scores as a factor in evaluations. No one can have it both ways, and Mr. Mara is honest enough not to try.”
AFTER THE JUMP — who has the advantage in the at-large race? — Jonetta makes SBOE picks — Gabe Klein catches Rahm Emanuel’s eye — assaulted New Beginnings officer speaks — one more protest arrest
*** MAIN COURSE ***
LIVING AT-LARGE — More one-week-to-go coverage of the at-large council race: Tim Craig does a rundown for today’s Post, noting that Orange “has amassed a huge cash advantage over his opponents in the race to fill a council at-large seat,” with $134,000 banked. “In an interview, Orange said he will use the money for late mailings, ‘meals and transportation,’ as well as other staples of a District campaign. ‘We should come pretty close to spending it all,’ said Orange. ... Sekou Biddle (D-At Large), who was appointed by the D.C. Democratic State Committee in January to fill the council seat pending the special election, has out-fundraised Orange since March 11. Biddle reported taking in about $74,000, but high staff and consultant costs and an aggressive direct-mail campaign have left him with $25,000 in the bank. ... Orange’s cash advantage might pay dividends Tuesday. For example, Orange said he plans to have ‘two or three’ campaign workers at each of the 143 polling sites.” As of last night, 702 early ballots had been cast. And some city residents, including yours truly, received this striking BUD’SPAC mailer. Martin Austermuhle also runs through the numbers at Four26DC.com, and provides a general wrap-up at DCist.
SBOE PICKS — Jonetta Rose Barras offers her picks in the State Board of Education races to be decided Tuesday. In Ward 8: “Trayon White Sr. has been endorsed by the Washington Teacher’s Union and Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry. The 26-year-old nonprofit executive may have promise, but some of his policies conflict with the current reform agenda. The better choice in Ward 8 is between Philip Pannell and Eugene Dewitt Kinlow. ... Reducing truancy and dropout rates while increasing parental involvement are among [Kinlow’s] priorities. ... Pannell has promised to make reading a ‘community mission,’ engaging existing organizations to increase family literacy.” In
Ward 5 Ward 4, Jonetta sees an “embarrassment of riches” but opts for D. Kamili Anderson: “The former president of the Brightwood Community Association, Anderson has pledged to focus on graduation requirements, ensuring they will make District students more competitive in this global, 21st century environment. She also talked of borrowing innovative ideas from charter schools to institute in traditional schools.”
RAHM LOVES GABE — Gabe Klein is off to Chicago, where he will likely join Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral administration as transportation director. Writes Streetsblog: “Klein earned a reputation as a transportation star in the nation’s capital, helping put Washington on the national map as a leading bike- and transit-friendly city. ... The hiring decision signals Emanuel’s commitment to making Chicago a world-class biking city, one of his campaign promises. Emanuel has also made transit the centerpiece of his proposed transportation plan.” Notes Lydia DePillis at Housing Complex: “I’d say this’ll last until Emanuel manages to get thrown out, but that city is used to high-handed, forward thinking mayors.” Also DCist, Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, WRC-TV, Examiner.
ASSAULTED OFFICER SPEAKS — Sylvester Young, the New Beginnings officer injured in Monday morning’s escape attempt, tells his story to local media — including the Post’s Allison Klein: “Young was working the Sunday night shift ... when two teens picked the locks on their rooms, grabbed him from behind and beat him. The attack was swift, he said, and he quickly blacked out. When Young came to, swollen, bruised and dazed, he was locked in Room 10 and couldn’t get out. An 18-year-old who had attacked him — who was supposed to be locked in Room 10 — had stolen Young’s keys, scaled the facility’s fence and sped off in Young’s car. ... ‘I was shocked. It was like a bad dream,’ said Young, whose eye is swollen shut and who will have to undergo facial surgery. Like other officers on staff, he was by himself on a unit with nine or 10 inmates during the overnight shift, he said. ‘I wish we had more staffing on midnights,’ he said. ... Although the aim of the center is to rehabilitate the detainees, Young said the youths can be violent. ‘A lot of them are really dangerous. We have to treat these guys like it’s maximum security,’ Young said. ‘I know it’s supposed to be a treatment facility, but we have to be aware of what they’re capable of.’” Says Jim Graham: “We’re having an intense revelation of how insecure the facility is. ... We have got to take immediate steps to make sure it’s a secure facility.” Also WUSA-TV and WTTG-TV (”I couldn’t understand why. ... Me and the resident really had a pretty good relationship”).
BLOGGERS GET WISE — Andrew Sullivan is “way late on this” but here goes: “I don’t like my D.C. taxes going to fund abortions, but it seems to me this should be a debate for the inhabitants of Washington to resolve. I understand the strange historical contingencies that give the residents of the nation’s capital less representation in Congress than Mosul does in the Iraqi parliament. We are used to federal taxation without any representation, an outrage that seems strangely absent from Tea Party demands. But when a city council cannot even determine where its own funds are spent - because people from far away are playing culture war politics in a budget deal - it really does stick in one’s throat.” That leads Ta-Nahisi Coates to offer this thought: “I’m really curious how this will play out as the District’s demographics shift. Put bluntly, as the city grows whiter, and wealthier, will the issue of representation become more urgent to Congress?” Which leads to this Matthew Yglesias reaction: “The objection to giving DC’s 601,000+ residents the kind of congressional representation enjoyed by Wyoming’s 563,000+ residents is basically the same as the objection to splitting California’s 37,253,000+ residents into separate states of North California and South California—partisan politics. It’s true that DC’s black majority is one of the reasons that it’s so overwhelmingly Democratic, but white Washington is lopsidedly partisan too.”
NO. 44 — One more arrest in protest: Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Keith Silver (6C01) was cuffed Monday night on Capitol Hill, bringing the total arrests to 44. Writes DCist: “According to organizers, similar weekly protests are being planned. Though we have to be honest: it’s somewhat unlikely that demonstrations during which only one individual — who isn’t well-known outside of hyperlocal political circles — gets arrested are going to draw a whole lot of ink for the cause.” Also Loose Lips.
DAYENU, KWAME — City Paper’s Mike Madden imagines if Kwame Brown wrote a Passover hagaddah: “How many levels of favors has the D.C. Government bestowed upon us: If it had supplied our needs in the desert for 40 years, and had not fed us the manna—dayenu, it would have sufficed! If it had fed us the manna, and had not given us the Lincoln Navigator—dayenu, it would have sufficed! If it had given us the Lincoln Navigator, and the interior had not been black-on-black—dayenu, it would have sufficed! Actually, no, it would not have sufficed.” Meanwhile, Tom Sherwood covers the OCF investigation on WRC-TV.
IMPOSSIBLE DREAM — In the Washington Times, Tom Howell Jr. delves into the history of the “jock tax” — aka commuter tax for professional athletes — that will never be instituted in the District of Columbia. “Most sources trace the jock tax back to a tit-for-tat between California and Illinois in 1991, when the Golden State decided to tax Michael Jordan and company after the Chicago Bulls‘ victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. ‘Whether it had that kind of animosity, I don’t know, but there was a more-than-coincidental timing between the two,’ said Scott A. Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax research group based in Washington. Illinois instituted the tax as well, and the practice snowballed from there.” Virginians and Marylanders, of course, will see this as a slide down the slippery slope to a full commuter tax. But says Jack Evans: “We’ve gotten the raw end on so many other things. ... This is a bone that someone can throw us, to be honest.”
HAPPY 4/20 — On this hallowed day, take heed of this High Times report: “D.C. Mayor Vince Gray announced last week that the nation’s capital would finally establish their medical marijuana program based on legislation passed by the D.C. City Council in May 2010 – a decision some 13 years in the making. The rule-bound, restrictive program establishes ten growing centers and five dispensaries to be granted licenses by a five-member panel. Patients cannot grow their own medicine; they must obtain pot from a licensed dispensary. While all that seems reasonable, only a limited number of chronic diseases have been deemed acceptable for access to medicine; patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis can possess up to four ounces of cannabis.”
*** SMALL PLATES ***
Superb job by Aaron Morrissey figuring out where those booms were coming from (DCist)
City unemployment sticks at 9.5 percent (Post)
UDC needs deans! (Inside Higher Ed)
Council OKs Banneker Ventures settlement — but it could come back for more (Examiner)
”Homeless Families: not a part of Mayor Gray’s ‘One City’” (DCFPI)
What will the council do about the Housing Production Trust Fund? (Housing Complex)
Council delays vote on measure to require deputy mayor confirmations (Examiner)
Biddle wants businesses to help report truants (WAMU-FM)
Among FEMS fire inspectors, a “slight white majority” causes big headaches (City Desk)
”Big box” retail headed downtown? (WBJ)
”DC man found guilty of biting cop” (Examiner)
Eleanor Holmes Norton says St. E’s construction remains on track (Housing Complex)
Gray “Choosey About Choice: For Abortion, Against Vouchers” (NewsBusters)
Cary Silverman can’t escape D.C. politics by moving to Gaithersburg (Loose Lips)
Thanks to David Alpert, ward insecurity can now be ranked: 5, 7, 4, 8, 2, 1, 3 and 6 (GGW)
The “clean hands” law looks to be coming back (Patch)
Welcome to the “EcoDistrict” (Housing Complex)
Bloomingdale murder featured on “America’s Most Wanted” (TBD)
Fairfax man upset with D.C. leaders! (WaTimes)
*** ON THE MENU ***
Gray holds weekly news briefing, 10 a.m. in JAWB press room; attends Mayor’s Arts Awards, 5:45 p.m. in Kennedy Center Concert Hall — D.C. Council budget hearings on Office of the State Superintendent for Education and Office of Planning, 10 a.m. in JAWB 500; Office of People’s Counsel, Public Service Commission and Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, 10 a.m. in JAWB 412; Office of Inspector General, Contract Appeals Board, Office of Contracting and Procurement and Department of Real Estate Services, 10 a.m. in JAWB 123; Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, 2 p.m. in JAWB 120