Loose Lips Daily: A New Dawn? Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Video: Marion Barry "Reality" Show
Is Team Thomas Investigation Politically Motivated? Gray Says Yes, Sorta
Good morning sweet readers! Congratulations to City Paper's Michael Schaffer, who performed a near-perfect worm last night at the holiday party. Who knew the bossman could dance like that? News time:
All of You Are Hired, Except Dawn?: LL heard from multiple reliable sources yesterday that Almost Mayor Vince Gray abruptly canned his long-time council chief of staff Dawn Slonneger around closin' time. Not true, says Gray spokeswoman Doxie McCoy, Slonneger is still working for Vince. LL's got a call into Dawn and will try and get this sorted out. Anywho, Gray announced yesterday that most of his council staff would be joining him in similar positions in the mayor's office. The Times has more on staffing, as well Gray defending the pace of his transition. "I don't think anybody is hanging in the wind," Gray said at a news conference yesterday in response to questions about whether Police Chief Cathy Lanier was sticking around. FYI: Schools boss Kaya Henderson was not named permanent chancellor yesterday, not that that means anything. TBD has something to say about his film and TV office pick, Crystal Palmer.
AFTER THE JUMP: Parking Taxes; Fire Department Problems; New Beginnings at Walter Reed ...
Park It Up Your ...: Mike DeBonis' column deals with the influence of the parking lobby, even after Leonard B. "Bud" Doggett's death. "What the National Rifle Association and the AARP is to federal Washington, the parking lobby has been to city hall ... Through his willingness to gather and judiciously wield the political clout of the parking lot operators, he created a third-rail issue every bit as nettlesome as Social Security reform. It's through a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot: Since 1998, according to campaign finance records, the Doggetts and their companies have donated about $85,000 to city political candidates. That doesn't account for the tens of thousands more from other companies that have bundled contributions to many members of the council. The stick: In 2008, parking operators were among the prime financiers of a successful challenge to longtime council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large). 'They've been very effective in convincing members of the council and others to not increase that tax,' said D.C. Council member Jim Graham, who has been one of the few to advocate for a hike in recent years." You'll remember that Gray mentioned a few weeks ago that he was considering raising parking taxes.
Fire Department Problems: Fox5 has a deep throat source who is saying that the case of the firefighter on 3-year paid leave could open "a can of worms" that would implicate a lot of top fire department brass. Whether that's true or not, it's pretty pathetic that the city has been paying Natalie Overton $72,000 a year since May 2007 while investigating allegations that she was trying to get paid for performing CPR classes that were part of her normal duties. LL's going to out on a limb and predict that no one will be held accountable for that mess.
Maryland's junior senator, Ben Cardin, wants to move the District's new juvie facility, New Beginnings, out of P.G. County and into Walter Reed. As WBJ's Michael Neibauer, points out, that's "probably not what the District, or Walter Reed's neighbors, had in mind when they pondered the transformational project on upper Georgia Avenue." Cardin tells the Post that he doesn't think his colleagues wanna consider his proposal, but he thought he'd put it out there anyway. CM Tommy Wells' money quote: "It sounds like politics. It doesn't sound practical. That said, I like Ben Cardin."
Petula Dvorak says cutting child-care subsidies for working moms is madness, offers no alternative on what to cut or what revenues to raise.
Bad Cop, Worse Cop: Examiner's Harry Jaffe likes the potential he sees in the Gray-Allen Lew tag team. Gray, Jaffe predicts, will be the city's bureaucracy's nurturing mother figure, while Lew plays the stern father who demands results. Jaffe also has more on Lew.
C'mon Post, no video of Gray hand-dancing with Jo-Ann Armao?
Would you ever pay $897 per square foot? The World Bank would.
How do developers up their chances of getting scare public assistance? Get the neighbors on board.