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Good Morning. So just how bad is Mayor Adrian Fenty doing against D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray? He lost the Ward 3 straw poll—the results of which were released late yesterday. If Fenty is to have any hope of keeping his job, he's got to dominate that ward. LL is stunned and thinks maybe this is some kinda joke. But it must be true since there's a Gray campaign press release in my inbox: "According to results released tonight, Gray was named the winner of the Ward Three Democratic Committee Straw Poll with 174 votes to 168 for Fenty. The straw poll was conducted one week ago as the candidates faced each other in a candidates’ forum sponsored by the committee, but ballots were not counted until this evening. The straw poll was open to any registered Democrat living in Ward Three. The Ward Three Democratic Committee also voted tonight on whether to endorse a candidate for Mayor. While no candidate received the required 75% needed for an endorsement, Gray handily beat Fenty among the delegates by a margin of 40-15 (or 64% of the vote to 24%)." More coverage via WaPo.
AFTER THE JUMP—Virginia at war with itself over Metro, Don Peebles rides the fence, bad record keeping found at Adult Protective Services agency, and much, much more!
METRO MESS: WaPo editorial board refers to Virginia's threat to withhold Metro funds as "blackmail." The board writes: "This is not a dispute between Virginia and Metro, or even between Virginia and the other two Metro jurisdictions, Maryland and the District. This is a dispute between Virginia and Northern Virginia. And resolving it would not require redrawing the rules governing Metro's board. As things have stood for years, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, a regional body representing Fairfax and Arlington counties and Alexandria, has named two voting members to the Metro board to match the two voting members named by the District and the state of Maryland. (Maryland's seats have for years been controlled not by suburban governing bodies but from Annapolis, which also provides the state's subsidy.) When Virginia was asked to pony up $50 million a year in funds to match the federal dollars, state officials started pressing the commission to allow them to name one of the two voting members (plus an alternate) for Virginia. The Northern Virginians declined.... State officials point out that they are chipping in about 52 percent of all Virginia dollars going to Metro; the remaining 48 percent comes from Northern Virginia localities. State officials are also right that the Metro board would be well served by having Virginia represented by a full-time transportation expert, not part-time politicians, no matter how conscientious and well-intentioned." Best line: "But Metro is not a political trophy to be squabbled over; it's one of the busiest and most critical transportation systems in the nation. Northern Virginia needs to recognize the state's legitimate interest and contribution, back down and allow Richmond a vote on the Metro board. Richmond should negotiate without holding the system hostage. This internecine skirmish must not be allowed to jeopardize funding for transit in the nation's capital."
IT'S NOVA VS. THE REST OF VA: Meanwhile, the Examiner's Kytja Weir reports that two Virginia Congressmen called the funds threat "budgetary blackmail." Weir writes: "Reps. Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran, both Democrats, wrote a letter to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell stressing 'serious concerns' about the proposal to give two of the four Virginia board slots to political appointees instead of elected officials from Northern Virginia. They specifically disputed the McDonnell administration's claim that the commonwealth deserved half the positions as it was contributing 52 percent of the overall $249 million in state and local subsidies for the pending $2.1 billion Metro budget, which starts July 1. They argue that Northern Virginia riders' fares and parking fees are not included in those numbers, thus underestimating how much local residents are contributing. Furthermore, Connolly told The Washington Examiner, that the $50 million the state is threatening to withhold comes from revenue paid by Northern Virginia drivers through the 2 percent gas tax. 'I know who pays the bills. It's local taxpayers, not Richmond, not the commonwealth,' Connolly said. 'This is our own money that Virginia is suddenly laying claim to.'"
HOPEFULLY, THE LAST DON PEEBLES LINK EVER: WaPo's Mike DeBonis writes that the developer has finally, sorta, maybe made up his mind on whether to run for mayor:
"The D.C.-born developer, based in Florida for more than a decade now, appeared on Jonetta Rose Barras's WPFW-FM show Thursday morning, promising to answer whether or not he'd challenge Mayor Adrian Fenty — a decision he's been openly pondering since last fall.
Not surprisingly, no hard answer came from Peebles, who has pledged to inject as much as $5 million of his own money into the race and has relished the attendant public attention. But it's clear the public's patience is nearing an end. Barras started by asking Peebles the big question: Will you or won't you?
'I continue to get an outpouring of support asking me to run for mayor,' he started, before launching into an extended monologue on the problems of Washington today — ranging from jobs to fiscal management.
Barras finally pressed him to answer the darn question. Even that didn't get a clear yes or no.
When he had agreed to come on the show, Peebles explained, he intended to announce he'd run for the mayoralty as an independent — that is, in the general election, after Fenty and Vincent Gray had duked it out. But Peebles said that earlier this week he'd learned that his mother-in-law's cancer had significantly worsened.
So, he said, 'at this point right now, I cannot be a candidate for mayor.'
Barras then asked if the 'door is closed' to a mayoral run. Said Peebles, 'You never say never.'"
Peebles has a great back story and can talk passionately on the subject of job creation. But why would anyone vote for this guy after all his indecision? More coverage via WBJ.
SHADY RECORD KEEPING: The Examiner's Alan Suderman reports that paperwork concerning some of the District's most vulnerable residents wasn't kept secure—the IG has found: "Sensitive information of some of the District's must vulnerable residents, including abused and neglected elderly and disabled citizens, was left in a haphazard and unsecured mess at a city office, the D.C. inspector general has found. The District's Adult Protective Services division is tasked with 'investigating reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of frail, elderly and disabled adults,' according to the inspector general's report. But the APS's case files — which include clients' statements, Social Security numbers, health records, and the names of those who reported abuse — were left 'unorganized lying on unattended desks, in open boxes, and in carts waiting to filed' in a storage room," the IG found. And the storage room was often left open and unlocked because it was used by city employees "as a thoroughfare" to reach exits and restrooms. City employees from a different department and who weren't authorized to look at the records had easy access to the files, according to the IG. The report is the third the inspector general has issued in little more than a year that details how a city agency has failed to safeguard city records."
9:30 CLUB VS. LIVE NATION: AP reports: "The owner of Washington's 9:30 Club has filed a lawsuit against Maryland to prevent the state from giving Montgomery County $4 million to build a music venue. The lawsuit was filed this week by the music club's parent company, IMP Inc., and that company's co-owner Seth Hurwitz. It says the county hasn't provided enough information about the project's costs as required by the General Assembly. The county is contributing $4 million to build the venue. A spokesman for the county executive says the county has met the assembly's conditions. The Live Nation venue would be built in downtown Silver Spring and serve about 2,000 standing patrons. Hurwitz has said his company could create a music venue in Silver Spring without public funds."
FENCED IN: WaPo's Ann Marimow updates on Vincent Gray's controversial fence: "The clock is ticking for Council Chairman Vincent Gray to do something about his fence. He has 30 days to relocate or lower the black aluminum fence that surrounds his Hillcrest home, according to a letter dated June 9 from the District's Public Space Committee. Last month, the committee ruled that Gray had not provided sufficient justification to exceed the District's height limit on fences built in the public right of way. The panel, charged with protecting the character of the city's neighborhoods, gave Gray two options to act by July 9: lower his 67-inch fence to the limit of 42 inches or move the fence back to the property line. Rulings by the obscure but powerful committee are final. Gray is consulting with his attorney, but has "not yet made a decision on whether he will move the fence or decrease the height," his campaign spokeswoman Traci Hughes said Thursday."
METRO MESS PART 2: Metro workers will be disciplined over ten-car train.
REQUIRED FATHER'S DAY READING: WaPo's Petula Dvorak profiles a father who adopted two neglected boys with the help of the Children's Law Center.
GRAY'S HEALTH: The Examiner's Bill Myers reports that Gray had a bit of "a sniffle" this week.
CRUISERS: Three cop cars were hit by an SUV.
EMAIL OF THE WEEK: From Keith Jarrell on campaign sign wars:
"For more than a month I have had a Vince Gray for Mayor sign in my yard. Proudly I might ad, and at my request. This evening after attending a CAC meeting at 4th District I came home only to find a Fenty for Mayor sign in the middle of my front yard, completely unauthorized!
Where does the dirty, over bearing side of Fenty STOP?
I am open to no excuses from the Campaign on this heinous act. If they even begin to suggest that the person that installed the Fenty sign maybe didn't see the Gray sign then I am going to suggest that they get their eyes checked. They would have to have practically walked over the first sign to put up the second one.
I have left a message for the Fenty Campaign manger giving him until 8Am tomorrow morning to have the sign removed.
9:30 a.m. Remarks
Ribbon Cutting for Marvin Gaye Park
Location: Marvin Gaye Park
Minnesota Avenue and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE
(Don't you feel like he's already cut a ribbon at Marvin Gaye Park?)
D.C. COUNCIL SCHEDULE:
Committee on Aging and Community Affairs (Hearing)
Bill 18-235, the "Veterans License Plates Establishment Act of 2010"
Location: John A. Wilson Building, Room 412