D.C. mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser and Mayor Vincent Gray argue over why the funding scheme perpetrator used the alias 'Uncle Earl.' (WJLA)


Mayor Vincent C. Gray met his leading mayoral foes in front of NewsChannel 8’s cameras Thursday night for his first major campaign appearance since the Monday revelations from prosecutors that he personally asked for the bulk of the “shadow campaign” waged on his behalf in 2010. The challengers — two of them, anyway — were happy to press Gray and question his credibility in sharp, direct and often personal exchanges. Hizzoner’s response: If anyone has evidence I broke the law, “put it on the table.” In a particularly striking back-and-forth Gray suggested others referred to businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson as “uncle,” too, including rival Muriel Bowser. Said Bowser, “Don’t switch this to us. Muriel Bowser is not the subject of the U.S. attorney. You are the subject of the U.S. attorney.”

In other news:

The highlights and lowlights of the Gray mayoralty, in two minutes (PostTV)

The Gray education record: Reform “with a softer touch” (Post)

“D.C. school system’s gaping achievement gaps — in seven graphs” (Answer Sheet)

Cracks appear in the Gray base (Post)

DCFPI analysis: Only Atlanta, Boston and Miami have starker income disparities than D.C. (DofDHousing Complex)

City fields won’t have Adrian Fenty’s name on them any more (DofDPoPville)

Lanny Davis sticks up for Hizzoner: “Gray deserves the presumption of innocence” (The Hill)

No, the Gray campaign isn’t paying him (Loose Lips)

Gray loyalist Peter Rosenstein accuses Ron Machen of possible “prosecutorial misconduct” (HuffPo)

Chuck Thies would prefer you stopped referring to “Uncle Earl” (Washingtonian)

Pat Mara talks about getting jobbed by Jeff Thompson (Loose Lips)

Darrel Thompson to Charles Allen: “You can’t raise the Tommy Wells flag when it helps you and lower it when it doesn’t” (SALM)

New method for assessing commercial properties could mean much larger tax bills (WBJ)

Democrats in trouble means Republicans get to crow a bit (WaTimes)

Candidates get hyperlocal on abandoned Wisconsin Avenue median plan (GGW)

Firefighter is arrested in Capitol Heights for torching his own car for insurance money (PostWRC-TVWTTG-TVWJLA-TV)

Meanwhile, FEMS brass tussle with union over background checks (WaTimes)

Arrest made in sex assaults near Minnesota Avenue Metro footbridge (WRC-TV)

Arrest made in string of tree-carvings (Post)

New Hampshire House passes pro-D.C. voting rights resolution (APCity Desk)

Police shoot and kill two loose pit bulls on Capitol Hill (Post)

Here are the courses all DCPS middle schools will offer (Post)

No vote yet on Metro fare hikes (Dr. Gridlock)

In defense of the Frank Gehry design for the Ike memorial (Post letter)

Georgetown’s canal-fronters (UrbanTurf)

CFO’s plan for lottery contracts: combine them (APletter)

Federal judge Ellen S. Huvelle is taking senior status (Legal Times)

Congress Heights slowly reconnects to the St. Elizabeths east campus (GGW)

Dupont apartment house will have “staffer exclusively dedicated to helping residents get around and navigate alternative forms of transportation” (UrbanTurf)

Members of the Third Church of Christ, Scientist will not be missing their old church (Religion News Service)

Join the war on English ivy (Post letter)