Loose Lips Daily: Budget of Doom Edition
Good morning sweet readers! How bout those Nats? Only one game back. News time:
Here Comes the Budget: Today at 11:30 a.m., Mayor Vince Gray will unveil his proposed budget. The Examiner's Freeman Klopott reports that the budget will likely contain increase taxes on parking garages and on multi-state corporations that currently shift profits to jurisdictions with lower taxes. The Post's Mike DeBonis opines that "city’s poorest residents, the ones most dependent on government, could take the greatest hit," due in part to the recent scandals at the Wilson Building limiting Gray's ability to raise taxes. "Definitely, there’s the perception out there that we are spending money frivolously,” Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander tells DeBonis. “Until we clear that up . . . we have to be very careful." The budget will likely be more bad news for Gray. The cuts are going to be painful enough, but will look even worse contrasted with all the noise over his hiring practices.
AFTER THE JUMP: Show Me The Money, Vince and Reuben; Holder and Gray; Catania for Clean Up?...
Opposite of Transparent: A couple of weeks ago, D.C. Watch's Dorothy Brizill asked Gray at a news conference for details on how his transition and inauguration fund spent it's money. Gray said his team would get that info to Brizill. Right after the presser, LL asked Gray's spokeswoman Linda Wharton-Boyd for the same info. To date, three months after Gray's was sworn in, LL's gotten nothing. The Post has also made repeated requests for the same info, and recently Gray's transition director Reuben Charles provided them with a one-page summary that "does not itemize vendors, employees and businesses for several large expenses. The document is also out of balance. When its categories are added, the amount spent is $2,859 less than the total listed." This is pretty pathetic for Gray, who promised that he'd be open and transparent when he announced last year that he'd be taking private donations in lieu of public funds for his transition expenses. The Post also reports: "A senior official with the campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official is not authorized to speak for the transition team, said the expenditures are being audited internally. A full accounting will be released when the audit is complete, the official said." NB: Gray's inauguration was Jan 2. Today's date, April 1.
Holder and Gray: Interesting question posed by NPR's Carrie Johnson: Is there anything potentially messy about the fact that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder publicly declared his undying support of Gray after last year's election now that the U.S. Attorney's Office is "assessing" whether there's any merit to l'affaire Sulaimon? Asks Johnson: "Given the attorney general's public show of support for Gray, would Holder play a role in overseeing the assessment or recuse himself? Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller would not say one way or another, but he sent an e-mail reporting that 'the Attorney General follows the department's strict ethics rules in every matter.'" What a great flack response. Put yourself in for a raise, Miller.
Lede of the Day Goes To WaPo Editorial Page: "What is so distressing about D.C. Council member Marion Barry’s latest escapade is not his belief that he can live outside the law. That’s old news. What’s distressing is that he seems to be correct in his assessment." Hey-oh.
Elected Attorney General David Catania: Somewhere Attorney General Irv Nathan is huddled into a little ball, crying. Why? Because there are two (more) stories today suggesting that Councilmember David Catania is the only man who can clean up this town. First is Harry Jaffe's column that has Councilmember Jack Evans saying Catania would be a perfect Inspector General as opposed to the current guy, who Jaffe says is a no-account. Second is the Georgetown Dish, which reports on Catania being "open" to the idea of running for Attorney General in 2014. The Dish even designed Catania a poster.
In Other News: Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown not planning on holding hearings on DCPS cheating allegations after all. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson not too popular at Brown's roundtable in Southeast. Breweries want to offer tastings.Ward 3 Dems host at-large forum.
Gray sked: 11:30 presser on budget. Then tries to sell it to WaPo editorial board at 2 p.m.
FOP boss Kris Baumann's scheduled for Kojo.