City Desk

District Line Daily: Politics Gone Wild

A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from Washington City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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Jeff Thompson, the financier of Vince Gray's 2010 mayoral shadow campaign, pleaded guilty Monday to two conspiracy charges. The most immediate impact of these charges will be felt in the mayoral race, with prosecutors saying that Gray knew about the shadow campaign all along. Gray denies these claims. But it could still get worse for Gray; U.S. Attorney Ron Machen said after the plea hearing that "what you learned about today is only the tip of the iceberg."

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • But Gray isn't the only one to accept donations from Thompson. All the mayoral candidates currently sitting on the council—except Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells—have received campaign contributions from Thompson. [Loose Lips]
  • This could get awkward: Gray will deliver a "State of the District" speech, which had been postponed because of weather, tonight.
  • Independent At-Large Councilmember David Catania will run for mayor, which means that whoever wins the Democratic primary April 1 will face Catania in the general election. [Loose Lips]
  • District police are looking for a man who they think sexually assaulted a woman and tried to attack two others outside the Minnesota Avenue Metro station. [Post]
  • GWU received an $80 million gift for its public health school, the largest in university history.  [Hatchet]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

Mappers' Delight: The Korean population in Northern Virginia has finally gotten politically organized. So why did they choose an obscure cartography issue as their first real battle? Read our latest cover story to find out.

Arts Czar: The Smithsonian tapped Cornell University President David Skorton to be its next leader.

Not Friends: What do the other mayoral candidates think of Jeff Thompson? They're strongly saying, or at least their campaigns are, that they really don't like him.

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Will Sommer. (tips? wsommer@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Shadow campaign mastermind Jeff Thompson pleads guilty, implicates Vince Gray. [LLPostTimes, AP, WAMUPostLL]
  • David Catania will run for mayor. [LL, WAMU]
  • U.S. Attorney Ron Machen: it's "just the tip of the iceberg." [LL]
  • Gray: It's all "lies." [Post]
  • Thompson straw donations spread widely around District politics. [LL]
  • Thompson's shadow campaigns in three charts. [LL]
  • Colby King: Gray will have to say more than that. [Post]
  • Investigation upends mayoral race. [Post]
  • Jim Graham says he's been "serially victimized" by Thompson-backed 2010 opponent Jeff Smith. [LL]
  • Jack Evans: Gray should do what's best for the city if he's charged. [LL]
  • Post ed board: Voters will have to weigh the evidence against Gray, since he won't drop out. [Post]
  • Petula Dvorak on "Uncle Earl": "It's always a bad uncle who messes it all up, right?" [Post]
  • D.C. Council won't have to approve the Digital D.C. plan. [WBJ]

HOUSING COMPLEX, by Aaron Wiener. (tips awiener@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The new trend in D.C. architecture: hackable buildings. [Post]
  • St. Elizabeths water tower wins approval, but enclosure won't fly. [WBJ]
  • The rental construction market continues to boom. [UrbanTurf]
  • In housing production, there's not much correlation between supply and demand. [Next City]
  • Metro's bus ridership grew between 2012 and 2013 as rail ridership shrank. [DCist]
  • Under Armour founder drops more than $20 million on Georgetown real estate. [Post]
  • American transit ridership is at its highest level since the 1950s. [Streetsblog]
  • Today on the market: Renovated Eckington rowhouse—$749,900

ARTS LINKS, by Jonathan L. Fischer. (tips? jfischer@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Meet David Skorton, the Smithsonian's next secretary. [Arts Desk]
  • How Skorton could—and ought to—transform the Smithsonian [Post]
  • Banksy-designed Syria-themed posters appear in Capitol Hill. [Washingtonian]
  • Forum Theatre's play Pluto actually made an audience member puke. [Going Out Guide]
  • The embryonic Museum of Science Fiction hits fundraising hurdles, presses on. [Express]
  • Ubiquitous local hip-hop artist Christylzes Bacon, profiled. [NPR]

FOOD LINKS, by Jessica Sidman. (tips? jsidman@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Where to eat lots and lots of meat [Zagat]
  • Why all chefs apparently hate all food writers [VICE]
  • Buddha statue from closed Buddha Bar is for sale. [Eater]
  • New pizza spot coming to Chinatown. [PoPville]
  • More details on Baltimore's Parts & Labor from the Woodberry Kitchen crew. [Washingtonian]
  • Try The Red Hen's Roman-style gnocchi. [Post]
  • Noodles & Company coming to former Ri Ra Irish Pub space in Bethesda. [Bethesda Mag]
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