Loose Lips

LL Links

Why did Pepco pay so much for naming rights near the D.C. United stadium? [WAMU]

AG Karl Racine sues Congress Heights landlord accused of letting properties deteriorate. [Post]

Muriel Bowser bets half-smokes on Packers game. [DCist]

InTownerVince Gray got hosed, so did voters. [InTowner]

More development ahead for Buzzard Point. [WBJ]

Don't worry about $1,000 traffic fines, probably. [Post] Read more LL Links

LL Links

Muriel Bowser: Police headquarters is probably the worst city-owned building. [WBJ]

Kathy Patterson plans an ambitious 2016 as D.C. auditor. [LL]

New fire department rules after man's death. [Post]

Kenyan McDuffie on Kojo Show today. [WAMU]

Blade: Activists predict Vince Gray would win plurality of gay vote in D.C. Council run. [Blade] Read more LL Links

Shock and Audit: Kathy Patterson Puts Some Muscle Into the D.C. Auditor’s Office

Kathy Paterson, Auditor

When former Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson joined the D.C. Council in 1995, the city government was in shambles, with a projected $700 million deficit and a federal control board that eventually seized power over most of the District’s governing functions. But at least there was an upside: Because the District had so little money, it had less to waste.

“When you are near bankruptcy, it really forces you to make tough decisions,” Patterson says.

Patterson gave up the Ward 3 seat in 2006 to launch an unsuccessful run for Council chair. Since the start of 2015, though, she’s been back working for the Council, this time as the D.C. auditor. After a year of revelatory audits, Patterson is aiming her pen in 2016 at the District’s boom—and the waste that comes with it.

“It’s nice to have good times,” Patterson says. “But I think there’s less pressure to make sure each dollar is spent effectively.” Read more Shock and Audit: Kathy Patterson Puts Some Muscle Into the D.C. Auditor’s Office

LL Links

Vince Gray-tied PAC polls on his chances. [LL]

NFL team gets an architect, but not a location yet. [City DeskWBJ]

Ex-D.C. Chamber chief Harry Wingo is out of a job, but not out of a lawsuit. [WBJ]

Post ed board: after pot club flip-flop, are councilmembers folding to activists? [Post]

Muriel Bowser could pardon crooks, if Eleanor Holmes Norton gets her way. [Times] Read more LL Links

LL Links

Vince Gray supporters launch PAC to poll 2016. [LL]

Streetcar officials look for late February launch. [WAMU]

Firefighters miss stop, heart attack victim dies. [Post]

Councilmembers flip-flop on marijuana clubs. [WBJ, City Desk, WAMUPost]

Andy Shallal talks workforce development on Kojo. [WAMU] Read more LL Links

Gray-Tied PAC Polls His Chances, Treatment by Media and Prosecutors

After the FreshPAC debacle, it's not an auspicious time to launch a political action commitee devoted to a District mayor. To avoid comparisons to FreshPAC, new Vince Gray-linked Higher Ground PAC has capped donations, planned to shut down soon—and handed over the questions treasurer Chuck Thies says the PAC polled on last night.

True to form, the PAC's poll of likely Democratic voters focused on Gray. One question paired a hypothetical Gray against declared Democratic D.C. Council at-large candidates David Garber, incumbent Vincent Orange, and Robert White. Another compared his chances in Ward 7 against Ed Potillo or incumbent Yvette Alexander.

Interestingly, a third question in the poll substitutes Gray for restaurateur Andy Shallal in the at-large race. Other questions in the poll focused on Muriel Bowser's job performance and whether respondents think Gray was treated fairly by the media and federal investigators. Read more Gray-Tied PAC Polls His Chances, Treatment by Media and Prosecutors

Gray Supporters Launch PAC to Poll 2016 Races

Chuck Thies

Ex-Mayor Vince Gray's potential comeback will have some numbers behind it. With Gray a contender in multiple D.C. Council races, his supporters have bankrolled a political action committee aimed at polling this year's elections.

"Higher Ground PAC", created last month by Gray 2014 campaign manager Chuck Thies, has raised nearly $8,000. Thies says he plans to spend the money on a poll, then shut it down. Unlike Muriel Bowser-affiliated FreshPAC, Thies has limited individual donations to $500.

“The sole purpose of this PAC is to conduct a city-wide poll, looking into the 2016 council elections and testing the favorability and unfavorability of a handful of local elected officials and potential candidates," Thies says.  Read more Gray Supporters Launch PAC to Poll 2016 Races

LL Links

Muriel Bowser pressures Council on crime bill. [LLPost]

Bowser, surprisingly, says she supports closing FreshPAC loophole. [LL]

Sorry, potsters: Council will likely uphold ban on marijuana clubs. [WBJ]

Another death involving special police ruled a homicide. [City Desk]

More on Eleanor HolmesNorton and Metro's finances. [WAMU] Read more LL Links

Bowser Barnstorms to Pressure Council on Crime Bill

IMG_4508Unhappy with her anti-crime package's progress at the D.C. Council and facing a 54-percent yearly spike in homicides, Muriel Bowser covered the city today to talk up parts of the legislation (although not the most controversial portions).

At the Department of Forensic Sciences, Bowser promoted more funding for crime scene investigators. At a frequently robbed gas station, Bowser promoted incentives for businesses to buy security cameras (and faced Black Lives Matter activists unhappy with the legislation).

At the D.C. Jail, Bowser told inmates that her anti-crime bill offers them more time off their sentences for good behavior—but only if her legislation passes.

"We've asked the Council to do that," she said. Read more Bowser Barnstorms to Pressure Council on Crime Bill

Bowser Supports Closing FreshPAC Loophole

Here's a head-scratcher for you: After helping ideologically simpatico political action committee FreshPAC last year, Muriel Bowser now says she supports closing the campaign finance loophole that FreshPAC used to raise huge amounts of money.

In an appearance today on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show, a caller asked Bowser whether she would support changing the campaign finance rules that allows PAC's like FreshPAC to raise unlimited amounts of money in years in which they don't support candidates. A majority of councilmembers have backed legislation that would close the loophole.

"Yes, I would support that," Bowser said.  Read more Bowser Supports Closing FreshPAC Loophole