Loose Lips Daily: New Overlord Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! How about those Dallas Cowboys? Despite the mayor-elect's vote of no confidence in Rex Grossman, the hapless back-up did pretty well—until it mattered. News time:
New Overlord: News broke Friday that the football-kicking beauty-product selling Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz will, officially, not be the District's congressional overlord after all (thanks for punking us, Dave Weigel). Instead, the District gets, drumroll please: Brian Bilbray, a Republican from California who can't believe that politics would stand in the way of a freeway. Housing Complex has some memorable lines from Bilbray on his thoughts about District autonomy, including this hysterical (not in the good way) rant: "But I see the effect of the lack of appropriate control of the jurisdiction. I have staffers who resign and go home because they have been attacked, they have been threatened, or they have almost been murdered." Ooooh, sounds like fun times ahead. The Post ran its version of the "conservative Congress is coming to mess with the District" story over the weekend. Former Ward 7 CM Kevin Chavous says that President Obama can win some points with the incoming Republicans by resurrecting the school voucher program. D.C. Appleseed's Walter Smith says he doubts Republicans will want to spend their limited time meddling with local issues, and D.C. GOP Chairman Bob Kabel's message to the new Congress is: leave us alone.
AFTER THE JUMP: Cheh Breaks Arm; Gandhi says Pass the Damn Bill; No More Tacos?...
Feel Better: Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh's office put out a statement this morning, saying Cheh fell while running this weekend and "sustained a severe break and dislocation of her arm and wrist." She's set to undergo a second surgery tomorrow.
Graham Out at Metro: The Post's Bob McCartney reports that sources close to Almost Council Chairman Kwame Brown are reporting that CM Jim Graham is gone from his post on the Metro board and will be replaced by CM Tommy Wells. (Might that mean that Wells will be taking over the transpo committee? Seems like it.) McCartney says that when Brown sat on a blue-ribbon task force to recommend changes to Metro, he heard frequent complaints about Graham. Graham, meanwhile, defends his record and says he wants to keep his job. Expect an announcement tomorrow. Meanwhile, Brown announced his new staff Friday.
Can You Pay My Bills: CFO Natwar Gandhi is urging the D.C. Council to pass legislation that would allow the city to collect taxes on the profits multi-state corporations make in the District, rather than seeing those corporations shift those profits to more tax-friendly jurisdictions, reports the Examiner's Freeman Klopott. City Desk put up the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute's grainy video primer on the measure, known as combined reporting. Ward 2 CM Jack Evans says he'll likely support the measure, but it's all up to Almost Mayor Vince Gray. Word on the street is that there's been some hefty lobbying going on at the Wilson Building by big businesses trying to kill the measure. Of note: 23 of the 45 states that have corporate income taxes have passed similar legislation.
Lottery Problems: The Times' Jeffery Anderson reports on technical problems with the District's new lottery system. Best part of the story is the stream of no comments Anderson gets. "David J. Umansky, a spokesman for the D.C. office of the chief financial officer, which oversees the lottery, declined to comment, saying he has decided not to talk to The Times because of its negative bias on previous lottery stories. Mr. [Emamuel] Bailey, DC09 president and chief executive officer, also declined to comment and threatened to file a police report alleging unauthorized entry after The Times visited his offices on Dec. 10. Mr. Bailey followed the threat with a letter to The Times titled 'Cease and Desist unlawful and fraudulent entry upon premises.' Intralot spokesman Byron E. Boothe did not return a call for comment, and Intralot's general counsel Jay M. Lapine did not respond to questions sent by e-mail."
Open Up: The Post's editorial board takes another whack at the D.C. Council for exempting themselves from new open meetings rules. The council, minus CMs Muriel Bowser and Jim Graham, are "unwilling "to abide by the rules they think others should follow," according to the Post.
Please don't take away LL's Friday lunch options: On Fridays, LL sometimes enjoys walking up the street to the outdoor Latino food market in Adams Morgan and getting tasty $5 tacos. Naturally, someone wants to take this small bit of pleasure away from LL.
DCist's Martin Austermuhle interviews CM Tommy "Tax and Spend" Wells and CM Jack "Screw the Poor" Evans about what to do with the District's budget woes. His conclusion: they both deserve cuts to their own budgets.
Klopott offers some analysis on Gray's recent re-appointment of Fenty officials, saying they show he's not in the pocket of unions.
The Post reminds Gray that the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services is in turmoil, and needs a lot of attention. Gray says he knows this.
D.C. Watch's Gary Imhoff accuses Office of Planning boss Harriet Tregoning of being in the pocket of developers.
Jonetta doesn't think Gray needs a deputy mayor for public safety.
Council wants Orbitz to start paying taxes.
D.C. has a red-light district? In Ward 5?
Council: Workforce development hearing at 9 a.m.; Report on Human Services at 4 p.m. Tomorrow, Council set to vote on tax breaks for Starbucks at Union Station, relaxing affordable development requirements in SW.