Loose Lips Daily: Edupothole Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! How do you tell the difference between a dogwood and a cherry blossom? News time:
Education Pothole: The weekend's talker is courtesy of the Post's Bill Turque, who reports that some DCPS parents are wondering whether "school reform" (whatever that is) has hit a pothole or a roadblock. Concerns stem from the USA Today report on possible cheating, as well as the departure of many top aides to former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Turque says there are "whispers of concern that the momentum of change under Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson may be slowing. 'The sense is that the foot is off the gas,' said one veteran administrator."
AFTER THE JUMP: Budget Out; Alexander Investigation Request; H.R. Fail ...
Budget Reaction: By now you know that Mayor Vince Gray has released his budget proposal. No. 1 on the media's list is the fact that Gray's proposing raising taxes on the 14,000 or so District households that earn more than $200,000 a year, angering Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, who stands to pay an extra $660 a year due to the increase. Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown may be on a "collision course" over tax increases. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells likes the budget. And the Georgetown Dish wonders if this month's special election will determine tax hike fight outcome.
Investigate Alexander Please: The Times reports that a group of Ward 7 residents want the Office of Campaign Finance to investigate whether Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander "commingled campaign and constituent service funds, failed to report in-kind contributions, exceeded in-kind donation limits, accepted reduced rents on a campaign and constituent service office in exchange for introducing legislation to benefit her landlord, and benefited personally from funds raised for constituents."
You Did What?: The Examiner's Jonetta Rose Barras takes out her whacking stick on Gray's former interim H.R. director Judy Banks. "Mayor Vincent C. Gray sent Judy Banks to the D.C. Department of Human Resources to serve as interim director and ensure his people were put on the payroll posthaste. That's what she did, according to government sources, who said she forced workers to violate rules—sometimes threatening them when they resisted her orders." According to Barras, Banks' replacement Angelia Rowe-Garner "has been described as the 'goddaughter' of Lorraine Green, the former chairwoman of Gray's 2010 campaign who is at the center of current mayoral scandals."
Barry and the Budget: Post columnist Colby King calls out Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry for playing budget games. "Last week brought a preview of coming attractions from D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). While Gray and others have been scrubbing the budget for reductions, Barry has been busy composing a letter to the mayor demanding millions of dollars in additional spending to support programs 'that really need to be expanded during an economic downturn.' It was vintage Barry: staking out a position that makes him the champion of, as he put it in his letter, 'those who need it the most: the young and the old.'" (King wonders where Barry would find the money to pay for all that stuff.)
Highway to the Trouble Zone: The Examiner reports that even with the 120 new cops Gray's proposed budget would add to the force, MPD is likely still headed into trouble. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says she doesn't want to see the force drop below 3,800. FOP boss Kris Baumann says the force could dip below 3,700 by the time the new recruits hit the streets.
Council sked: 1 p.m. hearing on pension protection act.
Ron Moten's rebuttal to Gray's SOTD speech is tonight at 6 p.m. at Bar 7. LL has an embargoed copy of the 12-page speech and will sell it to the highest bidder.