Loose Lips Daily: Buy Out the Vote Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! LL gave birth to his first column today. Thesis statement: "One of the first things apparent to a new reporter in the Wilson Building is how spectacularly dysfunctional Mayor Adrian Fenty’s press shop is." 'Nuff said. Pick up the paper.
AFTER THE JUMP: Test Scores; Where's Adrian; Uncle Sam Pays the Rent...
Dear Lord, Please Veto This Bill, Amen: Fenty ally Ron Moten is back in the news after getting national attention for comparing Fenty to Jesus. Moten called on the Post's Tim Craig to denounce the D.C. Council's approval of a bill that "would make it a local crime to pay someone to vote. ... The bill, sponsored by council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), enshrines in the local code the federal prohibitions against paying someone to vote or register to vote, or accepting payment to vote or register to vote. It also makes it a local crime to use a false name to register to vote. Violators could be fined as much as $10,000 and face five years in prison. 'Now the District is going to have a parallel law to the federal law," Cheh said. "We do this in a lot of areas because it provides a backstop.' But Moten reached out to the D.C. Wire today to say he wants Fenty to veto the legislation. Moten worries that the council, led by Fenty rival Vincent C. Gray (D), is trying to quash the mayor's go-go concerts, which are designed to get low-income African American residents registered to vote. At the concerts, the Fenty campaign encourages participants to register to vote in exchange for entrance, free food and T-shirts featuring the mayor pictured with go-go artists." The Gray campaign couldn't resist blasting a response: “It's beyond disappointing that one of the mayor's top campaign cronies would oppose a measure to stop vote-buying. But I'm not surprised. The mayor and his cronies have had no problem bringing pay to play politics to city government. Now it looks like they want to bring it to the voting booth,” said campaign spokeswoman Traci Hughes. LL, like a sucker, has been voting his whole life for free.
Fail-o-lizer 5000: The Examiner's Freeman Klopott covered yesterday's hearing on MPD's faulty breath analyzers, and reports that the District is now facing nearly $1 million in civil suits from a dozen drivers who say their civil rights were violated. "The 12 drivers were among 400 who were convicted of driving while intoxicated in the District since October 2008, when city officials say police Officer Kelvin King inaccurately calibrated three of the police department's 13 Intoxylizer 5000s. An outside contractor discovered the improper adjustments on Feb. 4, 2010, officials said during a D.C. Council hearing on Wednesday. Since then, the District has replaced the 15-year-old Intoxylizer 5000s with a newer version that's deemed more accurate."
Let's Not Freak Out Here, People: A WaPo editorial attempts to administer some balm to the this week's news of dipping test scores for D.C. elementary school students. "District schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee knows better than anyone the value of data, so she's not discounting this year's disappointing dip in elementary math and reading scores. 'We have to own this and figure out how to move forward' she said in a forthright admission of the need to redouble efforts. But, by the same token, Ms. Rhee is right to note and celebrate — the undeniable improvement of the public schools in the past three years. Despite the latest results, the larger trend in achievement is upward." (Please note: most of what LL says is a "forthright admission of the need to redouble efforts.") D.C. Watch's Gary Imhoff called out the Post even before they wrote their editorial. Says Imhoff: "Within a day or two I expect to see a Washington Post editorial contradicting all its previous editorials that claimed that small gains on the standardized test scores proved Rhee’s genius, admonishing readers that standardized text don’t prove anything, and that they should not pay any attention to them." Gee, it's almost like the Post editorial board has some kind of well-known soft spot for Rhee!
Whither Adrian?: In a piece called "Mayor Fenty plays hide-and-seek with voters," the Washington Times' Deborah Simmons has more on Fenty's recent no shows to candidate forums. "Mr. Fenty was a no-show for at least three public forums in the past week and a half, including the most recent debate on Tuesday night at Israel Baptist Church in Northeast. Whatever the reason for his absences, the mayor has offered no explanation and voters are starting to notice." The Georgetown Dish airs a note of concern from the Citizens Association of Georgetown that Fenty won't come to their upcoming forum. Uh dude, you might wanna, like, I don't know, go to these things.
Uncle Sam Saves the Day: WBJ's Jeff Clabaugh reports that commercial real estate vacancy rates in the District are falling, largely thanks to the federal government that "continues to propel the District's recovery."
Educated Doesn't Equal Smart: The Washington region is the best-educated region in the entire universe, Daniel de Vise reports for WaPo. Money quote: "'To put it crudely, Washington, D.C., is parasitic on the rest of the country,' said Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning and demography at the University of Southern California. 'Most of those people were educated somewhere else.'" Yes, like zombies (and LL's editors), D.C. feeds on brains.
Anger at Pepco [News8]
Wanted: Grocery Ambassador [WBJ]
More on D.C.'s Statues in Congress [WAMU]
More Toilets for the Mall [WTOP]
MPD Back in Mosque Controversy [Examiner]
A Look At D.C.'s Newest Pediatric ER [NBC4]
NTSB Confirms Meeting on Last Summer's Metro crash [Post]
Premature affirmation [Capital Land]
Fenty dissing charter schools? [D.C. Schools Insider]
DON'T MISS: Fenty and Gray on Jonetta Rose Barras's radio show. 11 a.m. to noon, 89.3 FM or WPFW.org. (Or, if you work at City Paper, just downstairs.) Leo Alexander is on at 10 a.m.
Mayor's schedule: Nada.
Council's schedule: Nothing.