City Desk

Loose Lips Daily

As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Good morning, all. And HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAYS to Phil Mendelson and Vincent Gray, both of whom marked another year on Saturday. The chairman celebrated his 66th Friday evening at F. Scott's in Georgetown. Put party reports in the comments!

"What D.C. should expect from Obama administration?" asks Michael Neibauer in the Examiner. Voting rights? Budget autonomy? Federal payment? All of the above?

David Nakamura writes up the latest voting-rights feud in the WaPo. With a solid Democratic congressional majority and a Democratic president, should we be aiming for a House vote (likely) or full statehood (not so likely)? Don't look to Hizzoner for answers: "Fenty declined to take a position on what route the city should pursue, saying he wants to work with the Obama administration, congressional leaders and other city officials to develop a game plan that has the best chance for success."

Hart Middle School, in Congress Heights, is overrun with violence, reports Bill Turque in the WaPo. "D.C. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has dispatched a team of administrators and extra security to an Anacostia middle school where three teachers have been assaulted, a 14-year-old was charged with carrying a shotgun and students have run the hallways discharging fire extinguishers."

HERE'S THE MONEY SENTENCE: "While Woodard was speaking, he and a Washington Post reporter observed a security guard stand by and watch as a boy with a bandage on his left ear was pummeled on the head by a larger girl swinging her book bag."

Council looks to go $50 million deeper with cuts than Mayor Fenty's proposal, reports WaPo. And "the Examiner has learned" that it was all Vince Gray's idea! The protesters are out at the Wilson Building.

MALIA AND SASHA WATCH—From Gotham Schools; RedState.com; from Jay Mathews in the WaPo; and a fab piece from Gabriel Sherman in the Atlantic

Fred Hiatt in the WaPo: Rhee "may not be able to succeed without at least the tacit support of Barack Obama."

LEAP grants are late, reports Bill Myers in the Examiner.

WaTimes runs down local Dems' advancement prospects.

Proportional representation on the D.C. Council!

Marc Fisher keeps the pressure on regarding the lottery contract.

Hamil Harris runs down Friday PSJ hearing on prostitution.

AND...D.C. cops arrest uniformed Secret Service officer for solicitation. Next time, buddy, try not to use your patrol car. Not that you'll ever have one again. Also NC8/WJLA-TV video.

Jonetta Rose Barras thinks Hizzoner needs to chill for a second. "The Fenty administration could use some reflection time. It may have assessed highly publicized mistakes, but it hasn't shared with the public if changes have been incorporated throughout the government. And, if a macro vision has evolved in the past two years, it hasn't shared that either."

National Post of Canda delivers a little post-Election Day scene piece from east of the river. Starring Marion Barry electoral foe Darrell Gaston.

AND...the Guardian does much of the same.

Nov. 4 turnout not historic, Examiner reports. "D.C. elections spokesman Dan Murphy said officials were predicting about 63 percent turnout once all absentee votes were counted. The District had 77 percent turnout in the 1984 election." What this country needs is another Mondale!

D.C. to angry tenants: We're on it!

Homeless advocate: "'Housing First' program is...about to become the Fenty administration's biggest embarrassment."

WaPo scoop: Inauguration visitors looking for places to crash!

15-year-old Dunbar freshman shot dead behind apartment building on the 1200 block of Brentwood Road NE last Monday.

"Is Metro selling SmarTrip at a profit?" asks GGW.

Apply for a taxi license! Finally!

Jersey City, N.J., city councilmember Steven Lipski pisses from balcony onto 9:30 Club crowd. And here's the somewhat less circumspent story in the NY Daily News. AP story, too.

Make sure your vote counted, reminds Karen Szulgit: "All persons who cast an Absentee or Provisional ballot should now verify that the DC Board of Elections and Ethics counted their votes in this historic election. DC voters are able to check the status of their own Absentee and Special ballots online at http://www.dcboee.org/voter_info/special_ballot/...or by calling 1-866-DC VOTES (1-866-328-6837). If the Board did not count your ballot, you have the right to appeal."

Lots more voting issues in themail.

IN CLOSE TO HOME—Ingrid Specht wants folks to "Think Green About Parking in D.C."

D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—10 a.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing on Bill 17-988, "Disclosure of Information to the Council Amendment Act of 2008," JAWB 500; 11 a.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing on Bill 17-987, "Timely Transmission of Compensation Agreements Amendment Act of 2008," JAWB 500; 1 p.m.: Special legislative meeting to vote on budget gap closing plan, JAWB 500.

ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—No public events scheduled.

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  • Reid

    Wow, that proportional representation article read my mind.

    The biggest step DC could take for electoral reform would be to eliminate primaries. They do nothing but outsize the voice of the dedicated few. To maximize democratic participation, we ought to hold all elections on election day. Ranked voting would eliminate the need for primaries, while at the same time produce results more reflective of the whole electorate's actual preferences.

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    I agree, Reid. But as I wrote to the author I know, Jack Santucci, I do have a couple of quibbles. First, I seriously doubt that all of Schwartz's vote would have gone to Mara if she hadn't been running. She was much more popular among non-Republicans than he would have been.

    Second, there's nothing new about a Republican-free council. We had one from 1989 to 1997, when Bill Lightfoot had that seat as a Democrat turned independent just like Michael Brown. Since we still have Republican-turned-independent David Catania, the council is no more single-party than it was then, when the other non-Democratic at-large member was Hilda Mason of the Statehood Party.

    You can see a table I created of the council members from the beginning here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Council_of_the_District_of_Columbia#Table

  • Reid

    Ah, yes. The Council's Halcyon Days of 1989 to 1997...

    But I do agree that the article makes some unjustified assumptions. There's the one you pointed out. Then there's the assumption that voters didn't vote for both of them (as I did).

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    Hey, I'm not saying the council was better then, just that I don't think Democrats turned independents are anything new or the real cause of our problems. Michael Brown would've been pretty far down my rankings if we had a better system, though he'd still have been above the Norquist follower Mara.

  • Reid

    Michael Brown is far, far more regressive than Mara. His policies are better suited for 1950's Levittown.

    You're partisan, and that's fine, but to say signing Norquist's pledge is worse than having absolutely the wrong views on urban planning is just short-sighted. The reason is that supply-side economics is nowhere near the official policy of the Council, and Mara's vote wouldn't make it so. However, the suburbanization of DC does have strong backing on the Council, and Brown's regressive views will matter.

    But whoopee for the DCDL, one less Republican in office. I hope that makes it better for you once Brown starts fighting smart ideas like performance parking or transit-oriented development.

  • http://www.democraticpiece.com Jack S.

    In a world (largely) without second-choice polls, we're unfortunately left speculating. Do those happen in advance of Council elections?

  • http://dcdl.org KCinDC

    In a ranked system, I would probably have put Schwartz above Michael Brown, but in our current system voting for candidates who have no chance of winning tends to lead to the worse of two evils. Yes, I expect Brown to be terrible, but those are the choices we have.

    A Norquista is not going to get my vote unless he's running against a Nazi or something, regardless of how successful he's been in convincing people that he's magically undergone a complete transformation since the Republican primary.

    As I've said before, this at-large race made me sick. I expect its results will continue to do so.

  • http://www.fireextinguisher.org.uk/ Mark

    All persons who cast an Absentee or Provisional ballot should now verify that the DC Board of Elections and Ethics counted their votes in this historic election.

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