Loose Lips Daily: Home Front Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! It's Thursday? Already?! Well, you know this means that another edition of Washington City Paper is available to download on your Kindle for $39.99. In this week's edition, LL looks at why the FBI thought it could bribe Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham (who wants to make sure you know that he has never been charged with wrongdoing related to any taxi industry gift giving!). Perhaps one reason: Graham's former chief of staff Ted Loza says on tape that Graham took a Thanksgiving donation from an undercover FBI agent. Say what?! LL will have more on this on his blog later today. LDP profiles the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, a left-leaning "rapid-response wonk team" that's "knocking the socks" off the Chamber of Commerce and other business interest lobbying groups right now. For fans of an exasperated Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, it's a must read. News time:
View From the Home Front: So what do Ward 5 residents make of the news that their councilmember, Harry Thomas Jr., is being sued for allegedly redirecting city funds earmarked for youth baseball programs and using the money on a luxury SUV? The Informer's James Wright finds plenty of support for Thomas among some of his constituents. "Harry would not do anything to mess with something that is supposed to be for the kids and the community," says one supporter. Thomas is likely thankful for the support, as yesterday was another reminder of some of his legal troubles—a scheduled hearing on a federal case against Thomas over allegations he owes $16,000 in student loan-related debt. Fox5 goes deep on the story, with a nearly 3 minute piece summing up all his troubles.
AFTER THE JUMP: Yay Kaya! House Leaves DC (Mostly) Alone; Lotto Schmotto...
Credit Where Credit Is Due: Post columnist Robert McCartney says sure, Mayor Vince Gray may have screwed up the beginning of his administration with l'affaire Sulaimon, but give the dude credit for keeping it real where it counts: improving the city's schools. McCartney is the latest Postie to praise Gray's selection of Kaya Henderson to be the permanent schools chancellor. Henderson, he says, is like Rhee without the "heartburn." "She hasn't gone out of her way to publicly denigrate the people who work for her to make a splash nationally and build a reputation for toughness." Post education reporter Bill Turque, who, let's face it, has had a lot less interesting job this year, has the witness list on Henderson's confirmation hearing today (scheduled for 11 a.m.). Turque says the list is "chock-a-block with friendlies and critics."
So Far, So Good: "The new House appropriations bill for the District of Columbia contains no new restrictions on how D.C. can spend its local taxpayer funds, but advocates for D.C. autonomy said they would remain vigilant about future attempts by congressional Republicans to influence social policy," says the AP. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton says she'll be keeping an eye out for social policy riders (which she'll probably be powerless to do anything about). The bill would continue to limit local funding on abortion and funds the school voucher program, both of which make Gray angry.
Lotto Review: The Post editorial board is happy that the council will be taking a look at Councilmember Michael A. Brown's proposal to make D.C. the first jurisdiction in the country to legalize online gambling, but adds that there ought to be a review of Brown's "activities." Brown, you may recall from a previous editorial, used to work for a lobbying firm that does a bunch of gambling-related business. "Mr. Brown says that he has nothing to hide, so why not voluntarily seek review from the new ethics officer hired by the attorney general?"
SS v MB?: Sandra "SS" Seegars sends an alert via email that she's considering taking another run against Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry. Seegars says Ward 8 is lacking "leadership" and she has started an exploratory committee that has $6,000 to "test the water." She says she'll be sending out some literature this weekend.
In Other News: HIV/AIDS still an epidemic in D.C., but number of new cases is falling. Fenty's sons to go attend private on-line school. Decision on fate of 75 DCPS teachers delayed. Sulaimon Brown says he won't respond to council subpoena of his phone records. Gray flack Doxie McCoy says mayor is "moving the city forward."
Council sked: Mendo has hearing on minimum police levels at 10 a.m.; Henderson confirmation hearing at 11 a.m.; DYRS chief Neil Stanley confirmation hearing at 3 p.m.
Gray sked: Appearance at Deanwood library at 10 a.m.; some one-on-one with Hurriyet Turkish newspaper at 3:30 p.m.; WHUR Daily Drum with Harold Fisher interview at 6:45 p.m.