Loose Lips Daily: Clash of the Titans Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! Are the Redskins actual contenders this year? Seriously, what is going on? How do they keep winning? News time:
No, You're Wrong! No, You're Wrong!: Interesting to see in the paper this weekend two of Still Mayor Adrian Fenty's advisors having a disagreement over the oft-ignored referendum D.C. is about to have over whether to have an elected attorney general. In one corner, wearing the red shorts, is Attorney General Peter Nickles, the man who managed to anger the D.C. Council with such determination and frequency that they put the referendum on the ballot with whispered oaths of "never again." Nickles says an elected A.G. is bad news and gives three reasons: 1) Politicans need to raise money and are therefore beholden to special interests; 2) an elected position costs taxpayers extra ($10 million a year, says Nickles); 3) an elected A.G. might be tempted to set his/her own policy rather than follow the mayor's. "When it comes to the law and the protection of the legal rights of our citizens, the attorney general should call the shots, and that’s the way it is now. For over 40 years, I represented citizens of this city in litigation against the District, so I know about the difference between policy and law. In my view, the balance achieved in the Fenty administration was just right—though there are obviously folks who disagree."
Why yes, Peter, there is someone who disagrees. It's Bill Lightfoot, Fenty's former campaign chairman, who says an elected A.G. would be more politically independent (not that he's naming names) from the mayor, and that's a good thing. He said the cost issue is bogus, and an elected A.G. would provide more stability for a job that's had plenty of turnover. "One last argument: Many competent lawyers who would ably represent the public interest are currently foreclosed from serving as attorney general because they lack political connections. Election will open the job to anyone who can mount a successful campaign. Elections promote selection by merit, not selection by the politically well connected." There goes your invite to Maine next summer, Bill.
AFTER THE JUMP: Thomas Asked for Papers, Teachers Turn Down Bonuses, Gray Camp Blackout?...
Papers, Please: Nickles is asking Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. to hand over voluntarily the financial records of a non-profit he operates, which his Republican challenger alleges is a city-funded slush fund. In a letter to Thomas, Nickles says Thomas would run risk of a subpoena if he doesn't hand over the documents, Tim Craig reports. Thomas and his lawyer say he's done nothing wrong, but as Craig notes, the timing of the investigation is pretty lousy. Thomas has his eye on the at-large seat soon to be vacated by Almost Council Chairman Kwame Brown. FOX5 puts the letter up online.
The Republicans Are Coming: Colby King has a grim prediction for D.C. if the GOP wins control of the House, and also the Senate: "And when those hurricane forces hit town, Washington's political landscape will be transformed into a sight unseen since 2006, when Republicans last controlled Congress." King says Republicans may try to meddle with the city's budget, and its gay marriage, medical marijuana and other laws. Hmm, seems like LL has read this story before.
Councilmember Hedgepeth?: The Georgetown Dish tells Post editorial board to "get over it" re: Fenty's loss and endorsing Republican Dave Hedgepeth: "In particular, The Post seems to be engaged in a transparent, hopeless re-fighting of the Democratic primary contest for mayor. Vincent Gray, endorsed by [Mary] Cheh, won decisively despite the Post’s strong, repeated, nearly hysterical support for incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty, because in the Post's view, Fenty is the only who could carry out school reform. ... The Post editorial page risks losing its credibility, built over years and years, as our newspaper of record and source of sound guidance on District politics." The Examiner's Jonetta Rose Barras beats up on Cheh, calling her an out-of-touch nannystater who showed "stunning arrogance in the Gray endorsement." Barras also has nice things to say about Hedgepeth.
Thanks, But No Thanks: The Post's Bill Turque reports that some "highly effective" DCPS teachers are turning away bonuses of up to $25,000 because they don't like the strings attached to taking the money that would weaken their benefits in the event they are "excessed" or let go. "Teachers have until 5 p.m. Friday to decide whether they will accept their bonus money. Hearst Elementary teacher Bill Rope says plenty are going to pass. "'Every 'Highly Effective' teacher I know is dumbfounded at the attachment, ex post facto, of conditions to the bonuses we were promised as compensation for earning our 'Highly Effective' ratings," Rope said in an Oct. 19 e-mail to DCPS evaluation czar Jason Kamras. 'Moreover, and sadly, many teachers and counselors whom I know are choosing to decline the bonuses rather than give up, in perpetuity, their rights under the three excessing options contained in our new collective bargaining agreement.'" This does seem to give some credence to critics of school Rhee-forms who think the whole deal was mostly a way to break the union, doesn't it? Also: 24 DCPS employees laid off as part of efforts to make special ed programs less costly. And see Turque's take on what the outcome of the Washington Teachers Union election could mean for education reform efforts.
Blackout?: D.C. Watch's Gary Imhoff and Dorothy Brizill say the Gray campaign is trying to keep the press in the dark about the Gray campaign's fundraising efforts. The Gray camp says they don't want a bunch of ill-tempered hacks hogging the cheese trays at swanky fundraisers. "Last week, because of negative press stories regarding Reuben Charles, the director of operations and principal fundraiser for the Gray campaign, and concerns about his apparent dealmaking at fundraising events, access to Mr. Gray’s daily campaign and fundraising schedule was denied to the press, the public, and all but the most senior managers of the Gray campaign. On Friday, when Dorothy made a formal request for Gray’s daily campaign and fundraising schedule through Traci Hughes, the campaign’s press secretary, she was rebuffed and told that, 'the town halls are the definitive campaign items on the calendar. The fundraisers are not typically open to media,' even though Gray had the day before sent an invitation to District clergy for a major campaign event on Tuesday, October 26. Moreover, on Friday night, Gray held a fundraising event that only a few of his top campaign officials were even informed of. It was attended by a number of out-of-town business people who flew in for the event. On Saturday night, Gray held an unannounced and unreported major fundraiser on K Street for his transition and inauguration that was aimed at developers and people with business connections with the District government, particularly under the Williams administration. Tony Williams and developer Jim Abdo attended. When I asked the campaign for a statement from Mr. Gray about why he and his campaign are not being transparent about his fundraising, Traci Hughes responded, “because many of the fundraisers are in someone’s home or place of business, the Gray campaign does not send out advisories/schedules of fundraisers.” Also, Williams vouches that write-in campaigns should be taken seriously.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier says City Paper got gang names wrong: it's the Jets and the Sharks.
Georgetown University Students busted for making drug LL has never even heard of.
Unemployment rate in D.C. plummets one tenth of one percent in September.
Gray reaches out, unlike Fenty, to religious leaders.
Post endorses Pat Mara (and others) for school board.
Don't Miss: Gray is in Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt at 10 a.m.
Council: "The Driver's License Amendement Act of 2010" 2 p.m., Wilson Building.
Fenty: Guess, what? No public schedule.