Loose Lips Daily: Howling at the Moon Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! Once upon a time LL was falling in love, now LL is only falling apart. Nothing LL can do, it's a total (lunar) eclipse of the heart! Did anyone besides LL get up to see it last night? It was okay. News time:
Howling at the Crazy: Need proof that a lunar eclipse coupled with a full moon can make people do crazy things? Look no further than the WaPo's editorial page this morning, where the Post gets itself itself wound up over the fact that the D.C. Democratic State Committee held a candidate forum in a government building. What's that? You don't care? Neither does anyone else. (The best line in the editorial is: "What's most troubling is that no one seems to bat an eye at the practice." That's a big hint!) LL considers himself a pretty big fan of good government practices, but can't seem to muster any level of outrage over the fact that the Dems had a public candidate debate at One Judiciary Square. Who is harmed by that? There's plenty wrong with the fact that the DCDSC gets to pick a councilmember, but this ain't one of them. When the D.C. GOP's Paul Craney tried to gin up interest over this last week among local journos, LL thought Craney was wasting his time and needed to learn to pick his battles a bit better. Wrong! Craney gets the journalists with the biggest megaphone in the city to join his lonely crusade. The Post also mentions that the DCDSC has a picture on its website of Dems sitting around a table at the Wilson Building stuffing invitations to a yearly fundraiser, but fails to mention that the DCDSC has been holdings its regular meetings (which are open to the public) at the Wilson Building since the '80s. But the editorial's biggest failure is that it doesn't mention just how insignificant the DCDSC is in city politics. This isn't Tammany Hall or Richard J. Daley's Chicago. This is a political party whose headquarters is in the basement of its director's house and has no say in District politics save for this one appointment. Should the DCDSC hold its meetings in a non-government building? Well, maybe. Should the Post learn to hunt moose and not mice? Definitely.
AFTER THE JUMP: Kwame Keeping Education; Ward 5 Dems Party at Lesbian Night Club; Vince Gray: Process Hater ...
Earthquake!: Almost Chairman Kwame Brown announced today that he will be keeping education as the committee of the whole, meaning LL was totally off in this column reporting on the battle between CM's Mary Cheh and David Catania for the ed committee. Brown hired Lisa J. Raymond, Ward 6 State Board of Education member, as his senior adviser.
Today's a Busy Day: First, there's the last legislative meeting of the year, in which the council will consider whether to give tax breaks to the hard-working corporate chains at Union Station, a tax abatement deal for the Adams Morgan Hotel, and finalize the $188 million budget gap closing measures. Then, at night, there's a Ward 8 fundraiser for Almost Mayor Vince Gray at Georgena's Restaurant (The $25 admission covers the buffet and karaoke costs). There's also a Ward 5 Democrats holiday part at a lesbian nightclub called "Lace" ("Where every night is ladies night") co-sponsored by Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas Jr. and former Ward 5 CM Vincent Orange.
On the legislative front, WBJ's Michael Neibauer has more on how CM Jack Evans may try again to get a tax break for businesses at Union Station, while getting them to pay an alternate, temporary tax. Evans says that if his proposal doesn't pass, there will be legal battles and the Feds might interfere and the city could wind up with nothing. The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute says there's a lot of unanswered questions about these deals and the council needs to pass legislation that would make the potential costs and benefits of tax abatements a lot clearer. The council will also finalize a plan that curbs welfare benefits for long-term recipients. The Post's Ian Shapira talks to some of those recipients. And Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh will agree to have a homeless shelter placed in her ward in exchange for Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells dropping his proposal to limit aid to homeless families to District residents, tweets Wells.
Vince Gray, Process Hater: The Examiner's Freeman Klopott tries to stir the pot over Gray's pick for a fire chief by reporting that the normal process entails a nationwide search for the best candidate, not picking a guy with baggage. Gray said he wasn't crazy about conducting a national search and feels good about his pick, Kenneth Ellerbe. The fire union says Gray "circumvented the process and ... kept everybody from having input." Ouch, Gray dissing "process?" That's like accusing Still Mayor Adrian Fenty of not moving as fast as humanly possible.
And I'll Remember, The Strength That You Gave Me: Examiner's Harry Jaffe has a goodbye chat with outgoing mayor Attorney General Peter Nickles, who says he's had a "blast" in his tumultuous tenure. On his way out the door, Nickles is being countersued by megadeveloper Don Peebles, the Post reports, over rent payment and defamation of character.
Yvette Alexander guarantees she'll be healthier in three months.
Sekou Biddle, who wants the DCDSC to appoint him to the vacant at-large seat, has won the endorsement of the young Democrats.
Metro bus driver was on leave for 13 years gets holiday pay, and an allowance to clean his uniform. Well done, Metro.
"Brutalist" Church of Christ, Scientist, settlement.
The rent is, indeed, too damn high.
Census numbers out today, will D.C. crack 600,000?
FBI says violent crime is up in the District. MPD Chief Cathy Lanier says don't trust the numbers.
Council: Last legislative meeting for Vince Gray, Council Chairman.