Harry Thomas, Jr. awaits sentencing
A federal judge is scheduled to sentence embattled former D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. Thursday morning.
Thomas admitted to stealing more than $350,000 in taxpayer money from a government funded non-profit intended to aid children in the District.
Thomas is expected to receive jail time, but how much is still unclear.
Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Thomas to the maximum 46 months imprisonment time allowed by law, plus three years of probation.
Defense attorneys have requested that Thomas serve 18 months.
NBC’s Tom Sherwood reported that political and court insiders say Thomas will get at least three years.
* There is still $200,000 of a Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation drug prevention grant connected to Harry Thomas Jr. unaccounted for, Washington City Paper reports.
Residents filling out their income tax forms have an option to donate money to the Public Fund for Drug Prevention and Children at Risk. Court records show, according to WCP, that in early 2008 Thomas lobbied to have the fund’s management transferred from the Department of Parks and Recreation to Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation—the city funded nonprofit the former councilman Thomas is charged with embezzling money from.
The chairwoman of the non-profit confirmed to WCP that the money is indeed missing.
* Mitt Romney blasted Obama Wednesday for trying to shutdown a federally backed voucher program in D.C. that has sent thousands of students to private schools.
According to The Washington Times, the Opportunity Scholarship Program—which falls under the jurisdiction of Congress—was always politically contentious, with powerful teacher unions opposing them and parents overwhelmingly backing them.
The program was established a decade ago and uses federal taxpayer money to help parents in the District send their kids to private schools.
Obama tried to shutter the program when he assumed office, but reached a compromise that let students already in the program remain in it.
Then when Republicans took control of the House last year, Speaker John Boehner reinstituted the program in the budget.
Now, Obama’s latest budget includes only enough money to cover students in the program for the next year.
VIA Washington Times:
“The president shut that down, his party shut that down,” said Mr. Romney while campaigning at a small business in Chantilly, Va.
* CNN has an article on the importance of “swingy” D.C. Virginia suburbs in the presidential election, particularly Chantilly, VA.
* Mitt Romney continues campaigning in Virginia Thursday and will spend the afternoon with Gov. McDonnell at Crofton Industries in Portsmouth.
The Post points out that Virginia Democrats have questioned why U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, who said he supported Romney last week, was not campaigning with Romney.
“As Mitt Romney makes his case to Virginians today and tomorrow he will be joined by Governor Bob McDonnell, but not former Senator George Allen, who is refusing to campaign with him this week,’’ said Brian Moran, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “That refusal is a surprise considering their mutual appreciation for Paul Ryan’s budget plan, the anti-middle class cut, cap and balance pledge and federal ‘personhood’ legislation that could ban birth control.”
* Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and legislative leaders agreed to a special session to revisit the state’s budget on May 14.
The budget in its current form does not have an income tax increase but instead relies on $500 million in cuts.
* Two Maryland state senators filed suit to overturn the state’s newly enacted redistricting map in the state Court of Appeals.
Both from Baltimore, Democratic Senators Jim Brochin and Delores Kelley argued that the new district lines violate Maryland law by unfairly protecting the city’s political power in Annapolis while diluting the county’s representation, according to Patch.
"For some reason, the people who drew the map felt it was OK to take 20 precincts from Delores Kelley's district and put them into a city district and then contort the rest of the districts in the county to make it all work," Brochin said.
The suit also accuses the map of violating constitutional requirements that require the legislative districts be compact.
* The Washington Post editorial board weighs in on Gov. McDonnell’s quandary with the voter ID bill.
Faced with Voter ID legislation that would disenfranchise thousands of Virginians, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is in a quandary. He can veto the bill and incur the wrath of fellow Republicans, or sign it and reinforce the GOP’s image of hostility toward young, poor and black voters.
Mr. McDonnell is all too aware that the bill, passed by Republican lawmakers despite his warning about legislative overreach, is gratuitous at best. That’s why he sent it back to the General Assembly with amendments that would eliminate its most obnoxious feature: a requirement that ballots cast by voters who lack identification be thrown out unless the voters make a separate trek to local electoral offices to prove their identity.
But the General Assembly restored that provision and sent the bill back to Mr. McDonnell, who now faces a decision: Does he want to be known as a partisan street brawler, or as a grown-up who governs with restraint?