“Mayor for Life” is on the air -- or on the web at least.
The pilot episode of the Marion Barry reality show has been posted on YouTube while creator Kirk Fraser seeks a network to air the series. As the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis writes, the first episode “features scenes with plenty of familiar faces, including council members Kwame R. Brown, Michael A. Brown and Harry Thomas Jr.; attorney Fred Cooke; radio host Donnie Simpson; and son Christopher Barry.”
DCist’s Aaron Morrissey says the show is “actually not half-bad, though I can’t remember anyone ever arguing that Barry wouldn’t make for a fantastic reality show subject.”
Elsewhere in the DMV:
* The Post reports Mayor-elect Vincent Gray has named D.C. Council secretary Cynthia Brock-Smith, general counsel Brian Flowers, and budget director Eric Goulet to similar posts in his mayoral administration. Stephen Glaude will head the Office of Community Affairs, Janene Jackson will be Gray’s liaison with the Council, and Roxana Olivas will become director of the Office on Latino Affairs.
Still, the Washington Times notes that Gray has “revealed no picks for key posts for city schools, the police department or other major agencies. Saying he would not be rushed, Mr. Gray told reporters he is being a deliberate chief executive who wants to have the ‘best possible people’ to help him lead the city.”
* DCist’s Morrissey says “the latest indication” is that Gray will not be making interim schools chief Kaya Henderson’s job permanent, “despite his admiration of her skills.” But Henderson is making the most of the time she has. She’s replaced the private operator of Dunbar High School, Friends of Bedford, which was tapped to run the school by Michelle Rhee in 2007. And she’s also brought back former Dunbar principal Stephen Jackson. Morrissey asks, “Could the departure from private sector management at one of the District’s most prominent high schools signal a departure from DCPS’ tendency under Rhee to treat the city’s schools like learning factories?”
* In his Washington Examiner column, Harry Jaffe praises Allen Lew, Gray’s pick for city administrator, saying “he has been an unqualified success” in running D.C.’s school modernization program. Jaffe calls Gray’s pick “inspired” and “brave,” adding, “There are those in Gray’s camp who would rather not keep any Fenty folks. Gray was smart to give the day-to-day running of his government over to Lew.” Jaffe suggests an “old-fashioned good cop-bad cop tag team. Lew plays the tough guy, Gray makes nice.”
* Washington City Paper’s Alan Suderman reports that when asked if exiting D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles’s investigation of Ward 5’s Thomas was politically motivated, Gray replied, “I happen to have been in one involving a fence. I’ve never seen an attorney general involve himself in a fence, Alan, so one can speculate that perhaps it’s politically motivated. And you may recall too that there was an investigation done that I was the only in four years to whom this law had been applied. So it’s speculation of course, but it’s informed speculation.”
Suderman writes, “Sounds like a yes.” Nickles “wasn’t amused, saying Gray’s comment’s about the fence and Team Thomas investigation ‘demean the office’ he’s about to take.” Nickles called the Thomas probe a “serious matter,” charging that the councilmember “solicited in excess of $200,000 illegally.”
* The Post reports, “Democratic Sen. Jim Webb still hasn’t said whether he is running for re-election in 2012, but it increasingly looks like Republican George Allen will jump into the race.” Allen criticized Webb, who beat him in 2006, Thursday for two recent votes -- against a proposed earmark ban, and for collective bargaining rights for public safety officers. Allen said Webb “sided with Washington liberals like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.”
* The Post reports Gov. Bob McDonnell will ask the Virginia legislature “to spend $400 million immediately on roads and bridges while borrowing an additional $2.9 billion over the next three years for transportation.” The Examiner says other McDonnell proposals “included having the General Assembly agree to accelerate the sale of transportation bonds” authorized three years ago.
* The Annapolis Capital reports Bob Ehrlich “is not interested in pursuing another state or federal office in Maryland but hopes to keep a voice in politics.” He told a Republican gathering this week that “he is looking at opportunities with trade associations in Washington, D.C., and to help a candidate in the 2012 presidential campaign” -- possibly Mitt Romney. Ehrlich called another run in Maryland “very highly unlikely.”
* In an editorial, the Post says Montgomery County is being crippled by “a structural deficit that has proved impervious to repeated tax increases.” Salaries and benefits currently “amount to 80 percent of county spending -- and almost 90 percent of school spending.” A Montgomery County Council bill “would provide officials with a lever to restore some balance.” Its sponsor, Council Chair Valerie Ervin, is “a product of years in the labor movement. That Ms. Ervin would sponsor legislation to trim the power of public-worker unions is a hopeful sign -- and a telling one of how tilted the field has become.”
* Defeated advisory neighborhood commission candidate Larry Pretlow seems to be moving toward taking on Ward 8’s Barry in 2012 -- as a Republican. Pretlow says if he runs, “I would not attack Marion Barry, for the person he is or for the work he’s done,” but would “address the lack of much-needed progress in Ward 8.”
Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC