City Desk

Loose Lips Daily: As Much Local Politics as Humanly Possible

Today, LL debuts his absolutely indispensable daily roundup of all D.C. political news. Send tips, press releases, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com!

Nikita Stewart and Hamil Harris follow up on LL's late Friday scoop, reporting that Sequoia Voting Systems may have sent out as many as 126 faulty ballots to District voters. Says Mayor Adrian M. Fenty: "We just urge the Board of Elections to do as many tests as humanly possible....We take nothing for granted, but if you do enough tests, then you put yourself in a position where you don't have to worry on Election Day."

Yesterday from Bill Myers: D.C. Auditor finds that OCFO "did not check the backgrounds of job applicants who later stole from taxpayers." Click through for gratuitous Mary Cheh quote! And a longer Post story today from Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil.

Fenty files for 2010 bid, David Nakamura reports on Saturday (with Sunday followup). Fenty tells him "it's always good to start as early as humanly possible." But what about what's robotly possible? Dorothy Brizill reports that, "As in 2006, the co-chairs of Fenty’s campaign are William Lightfoot and James Hudson. Again as in 2006, Ben Soto, a Fenty friend, developer, and member of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, will serve as the committee’s treasurer." Oh, and an LL memo to Johnny Business: Where's my two-paragraph announcement??

MPD Merry-Go-Round: Commander Mark Carter is out at 2D, Bill Myers reports in the Examiner, following up on a July report. Matthew Klein replaces him as acting commander.

Michael Neibauer captures a glimpse of the city's rapidly disappearing seedy downtown for the Examiner, via a story about an F Street newsstand owner arrested for selling stun guns. Walter Francis Riggin, 81, was nailed last week "for allegedly retailing dozens of stun guns behind a glass display case" at K& B News Stand, 1001 F St. NW. "Stun guns are deemed a “destructive device” and generally banned under D.C. law....There was no attempt to hide the illicit merchandise, police said. Quite the opposite. Riggin, nicknamed Buster, promoted it with an advertisement for “STUN GUNS” in the storefront window."

Gary Imhoff gets all satirical in themail: "Bill 17-988, the 'Halloween Safety Promotion Act,' makes it a crime to carve a pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern, or to display a jack-o’-lantern. 'Carving a pumpkin is inherently a dangerous act,' says the press release, 'and Mayor Fenty’s administration is serious about protecting the people and preventing them from engaging in activities that could harm them.'"

D.C. has to return $11 million in federal education funds, Myers reports. "The grants refund will sap programs for the coming school year. The refunded grants covered an array of programs, ranging from initiatives for neglected or delinquent children to special education services, finance office e-mails show." Click through for another gratuitous Mary Cheh quote!

On Saturday, LL had a wonderful time moderating at Ward 7 school board candidate forum in Deanwood. Unfortunately, he had to miss the local Obama rally that afternoon at DNC headquarters on South Capitol Street. Nakamura was there, along with "Mayor Adrian Fenty, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Shadow Senator Paul Strauss and D.C. Council members Marion Barry, Harry Thomas, Kwame Brown and Muriel Bowser"—and Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas, who "surprised the crowd by delivering an impassioned speech that touched on foreign policy and at times sounded like spoken word poetry." Sorry LL missed that.

"Some Voters Doubt New State School Board's Value," reports Timothy Wilson in the Post yesterday. Included scenes from a Ward 5 candidates forum last Tuesday. Buried on C5!

In CLOSE TO HOME: D.C. Appleseed's Walter Smith responds to WaPo editorial last Saturday slapping him, Cheh, et al. on CareFirst; new CYITC head Millicent D. Williams (read more about her ascension) talks up the good news from Trinidad.

From Saturday: Bill Turque reports in the Post about how the national American Federation of Teachers is inserting themselves into the lcal teachers contract fight: "In an August interview, AFT President Randi Weingarten said the national union was "not involved" in the Washington contract. But it has actually played a significant behind-the-scenes role, driven by the potential national impact of Rhee's salary plan — especially its targeting of teacher tenure." (Read LL's reporting on the subject.)

Washington Times mourns the end of the Hilton Washington pool.

In baffling non-D.C. news, the Examiner becomes the only newspaper on the planet to endorse Jim Gilmore over Mark Warner. Due to his "veracity."

ADRIAN FENTY TODAY: 10:30 a.m.—Fenty, with Michelle Rhee, to "give details on a DC Public Schools (DCPS) budget reprogramming aimed at designating additional funds directly for school use," at Eliot Middle School.

TONIGHT—The myriad at-large council debates creep toward a close, with a "panel discussion on education reform" hosted by D.C. School Reform Now, from 6:30 to 8 at Francis Stevens Education Campus, 2425 N St. NW. Kwame Brown, Michael Brown, Dee Hunter, Patrick Mara, Carol Schwartz, and David Schwartzman are confirmed. The Examiner's Leah Fabel will be moderating. Also the Ward 5 Dems meet from 7 to 9 p.m. at Michigan Park Christian Church, Taylor Street and South Dakota Avenue NE. On the agenda: D.C. Dems chair Anita Bonds.

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