Loose Lips

Campaign Finance Round-Up: Orange Leads At-Large Race Fundraising

At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange likes his houses tiny and his campaign treasuries large. Orange, who has more cash on hand than any other at-large candidate, turned in his December and January campaign finance totals Monday along with the rest of this year's declared candidates. Read on for the results.

(For now, LL won't be posting Ward 2 and Ward 4 breakdowns, since Jack Evans and Brandon Todd aren't facing any significant challengers yet).

Read more Campaign Finance Round-Up: Orange Leads At-Large Race Fundraising

Vince Gray on WAMU Tomorrow to Talk About… Something

Programming alert for LL readers: ex-mayor and maybe D.C. Council candidate Vince Gray is going on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show tomorrow at noon.

Exactly what Gray will discuss isn't clear. Still, with nominating petitions already available for the Ward 7 and at-large D.C. Council seats, Gray either has to start running or bow out soon.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

LL Links

Vince Gray mulls a return to politics. [Post]

Council backs off permanent pot club ban. [City DeskTimes, DCistPost]

Activists want FreshPAC chairman's lobbying report investigated. [LL]

Council passes anti-crime bill that pays people not to commit crimes. [NBC4]

Artists protest New York Ave. displacement at zoning hearing. [Arts Desk, WAMU] Read more LL Links

Activists Question FreshPAC Chairman’s Lobbying Report

Former FreshPAC chairman Chico Horton didn't lobby Muriel Bowser's administration on Exelon's takeover of Pepco—or so he says. Some activists aren't convinced so convinced.

In a letter to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, Public Citizen asks the board to look into why Horton, whose control of FreshPAC made him one of the mayor's most powerful supporters, registered as an Exelon lobbyist while also not reporting any lobbying with the District.

"The activity reports show a number of inconsistencies," the letter reads.

The letter also asks why a pair of other Exelon lobbyists—Tina Ang and former councilmember John Ray—reported several thousand dollars worth of lobbying activity in 2014, only to report little lobbying on Exelon's behalf in a critical stage of the merger debate. In October, Bowser settled with Exelon and Pepco and agreed to support their merger. Read more Activists Question FreshPAC Chairman’s Lobbying Report

Former Mayoral Candidate Files for Bankruptcy

Maybe getting a bus with a huge picture his face on it wasn't the soundest financial move for Carlos Allen after all. Late last month, the failed mayoral candidate filed for bankruptcy, citing as much as $1 million in debts.

Allen, a former White House gate-crasher, couldn't turn his "Mayor Allen" rap moniker into an actual mayoralty in 2014 and won only 0.12 percent of the primary vote. Allen did succeed, though, at making his tour bus ubiquitous at political events. Allen didn't respond to LL's request for comment.

In his bankruptcy filing, Allen says his debts and liabilities fall somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. Allen's court papers cite two lawsuits against him over alleged bad debts that, combined, seek more than $200,000, including one suit filed by former Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton challenger Doug Sloan.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

LL Links

Vincent Orange talks tiny houses for millennials. [City Desk]

Police officer shoots and kills man purportedly carrying a BB gun. [City DeskTimes]

More trouble with the streetcar. No, not that streetcar. [Post]

Development threatens to push out artists. [Arts Desk]

More on the family leave bill. [Times] Read more LL Links

LL Links

Auditor Kathy Patterson: MPD shows reform can work... [Post]

But the Post ed board wants to know why shooting investigation took so long. [Post]

Vince Gray-tied PAC shuts down. [LL]

New rules boost medical pot surplus. [Post]

Council divided on marijuana clubs. [Post] Read more LL Links

Vince Gray-Tied PAC Shuts Down

The Vince Gray political action committee is no more. After funding a poll on the ex-mayor's chances in D.C. Council races, the PAC shut down today.

That was always the plan for "Higher Ground PAC," which former Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies organized in December with contributions from Gray administration staffers and supporters. More than $7,000 of the PAC's contributions went to the poll, which turned in encouraging numbers for Gray in both the at-large and Ward 7 races.

The PAC's remaining $139.28, according to its final campaign finance filing, will go to the Washington Humane Society.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

LL Links

Muriel Bowser picks and chooses snow laws to enforce. [LL]

New Metro chairman Jack Evans on The Politics Hour today. [WAMU, WAMU]

Audit considers "deficiencies" in use-of-force policies. [City Desk]

The homeless families living in District hotels. [Post]

Metro board gets testy. [Post]

D.C. Hospital Association chairman announces his retirement. [WBJ]

LL talks Real Housewives—and learns about "thots." [Arts Desk] Read more LL Links

Muriel Bowser’s Laissez-Faire Approach to Enforcing Snow Laws

The snow from last weekend's blizzard is melting away, and so are the parking tickets. This afternoon, Muriel Bowser announced that she'll void parking tickets issued during Friday's snow emergency.

According to Bowser's administration, 2,829 tickets were issued on Friday for cars parked illicitly on snow emergency routes. But now, saying that some parking scofflaws might not have known about the snow emergency or could have been running pre-blizzard errands, Bowser says she's waiving them.

All that has LL wondering: What's even the point of having these laws if the mayor isn't going to enforce them? Read more Muriel Bowser’s Laissez-Faire Approach to Enforcing Snow Laws