<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Politics]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:01:59 -0400 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:01:59 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Obama Taking 4 Letter Writers to Dinner]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:51:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-29_1650.jpg Carrie Dann joins Eun Yang in the studio to discuss President Obama's trip to Kansas City as well as what Congress has slated before the August recess. By Eun Yang, Carrie Dan]]> <![CDATA[House and Senate Reach VA Deal]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:11:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007318269_1200x675_312965699721.jpg Carrie Dann has details about a $15 billion deal to reform the VA that will be unveiled Monday.You can also hear about about Sarah Palin's new channel.]]> <![CDATA[[DC] 3 Central American Presidents Meet Over Border Crisis]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:10:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007299339_1200x675_312433731591.jpg The White House is considering refugee status for some children trying to escape drug violence in their home countries.]]> <![CDATA[Va. Gov. McAuliffe to Tour Tornado Damage]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:58:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Credit+Jordan+Bertok3.jpg

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will tour a campground on the Eastern Shore where two people were killed and dozens were injured after a tornado hit.

McAuliffe is scheduled to visit the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort on Friday.

A married couple from Jersey City, New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent Thursday. Their 13-year-old son was severely injured when the same tree fell on his neighboring tent.

State police say another 35 people were injured in the tornado.

McAuliffe was scheduled to visit with the Northampton County Sheriff's Office and local politicians before touring the damage Friday. The governor canceled a fundraiser in Aspen, Colorado, for his political action committee, and a planned visit to the Colorado Springs headquarters of the United States Olympic Committee, where he had planned to lobby in favor of Washington, D.C.'s bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics, said his spokesman Brian Coy.

More than 1,300 people were at the campground in tents, campers and cottages when the storm hit, knocking down trees and flipping over some campers. A tractor-trailer driving on U.S. 13 was also knocked over during the storm.

<![CDATA[Lawmakers Criticize President's Travel Plans]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:19:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-24_1125.jpg NBC's Senior Political Editor Mark Murray talks about Obama's trip to the West Coast and explains why some lawmakers have criticized the president for it. He also discusses Paul Ryan's latest speech on social safety nets.]]> <![CDATA[O'Malley Holds 'Buy Local' Cookout]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:37:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cookout+generic.jpg

Gov. Martin O'Malley is urging Maryland residents to buy locally produced food.

The governor and the first lady will host a buy local cookout at the governor's residence in Annapolis on Thursday.

It is the seventh annual cookout that is being hosted at the residence.

The cookout highlights healthy recipes made with locally grown foods. It also aims to help farmers to calling attention to food produced in Maryland.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: Fussin’ and Fightin’!]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:06:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/177*120/1228943357mLL1.jpg

A group of city leaders joined D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Capitol Hill last week.

They were there to denounce Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie for successfully getting the House to pass a bill that effectively would kill the city’s gun control laws.

To everyone’s surprise, as reported by NBC4’s Mark Segraves, Massie showed up at the news conference to listen.

But only one speaker singled him out.

“And seeing the face of Mr. Massie as he participated in this press conference has been quite sickening to me,” said Kimberly Perry, a look of disgust on her face. Perry is executive director of DC Vote, the lobby group seeking voting rights in Congress for the city’s 650,000 residents.

Massie told reporters afterward that violent crime had gone down in the District since six years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s absolute ban on private handguns.

Several participants on the Hill, including Massie, said they were confident the Senate would kill the House measure. But Norton wasn’t so sure in this midterm election year. “I’m not confident of anything. I’m not confident that the Senate is going to do the right thing.”

■ You want fries with that? President Obama, who’s best known locally among some for dining in the city’s various restaurants or grabbing a quick lunch at our more popular carryouts, commented on the District’s lack of statehood this week.

“I’m in D.C., so I’m for it,” Obama replied to a question during an event Monday. “I’ve long believed that folks in D.C. pay taxes like everybody else. They contribute to the overall well-being of the country like everybody else. They should be represented like everybody else,” The Hill newspaper quoted the president as saying.

Obama noted that national politics makes any real effort for D.C. statehood “difficult.”
Nonetheless, the president’s comments won praise from DC Vote’s Perry, who was much happier to talk about Obama than Massie.

“President Obama’s support ... shows that he understands the injustice we face every day,” she said in a statement. “The President has repeatedly proposed greater autonomy for DC, only to see those proposals die because of partisan squabbling in Congress. We hope the administration will now request that its Senate allies hold a hearing on the DC statehood bill.”

■ More praise? Obama also was praised this week by Norton for signing the executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no federal law on this subject.

■ Hobby Lobby high-five? Well, kinda. The owners of Hobby Lobby craft stores won national attention when they won their Supreme Court battle to limit contraception insurance coverage for their employees because of the owners’ religious beliefs.

That recently prompted Wayne Bensen of the advocacy group Truth Wins Out to “strongly urge” District officials to make it as difficult as possible for Hobby Lobby to get all the permits it needs to build a private National Bible Museum in Southwest D.C. (the old site of the Washington Design Center).

Bensen wrote that the project near the National Mall “would make a mockery of surrounding museums, which are based on research, history and scholarship.”

Well, throwing up administrative hurdles didn’t go over so well with local activist Rick Rosendall, who is president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.

“There is no legitimate basis to block it,” Rosendall wrote this week in the Daily Kos. “GLAA has a long history of defending our opponents’ First Amendment rights. This allows us to hold the moral high ground. … We are much better off in the long run by respecting the rights of all, not just those who agree with us.”

Goodness, we better not let that kind of high-mindedness catch on. Maybe even the warring members of Congress might start working together. And then, what would the mean ol’ media report?

■ Bowser’s rough week. The Washington Post has run a series of stories on what some see as Ward 4 D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser’s tepid — or political — response to physical and financial mismanagement at the 700-tenant Park Southern apartment building in Southeast on Southern Avenue.

The Post stories leave the impression that Bowser, chair of the council’s housing committee and the Democratic mayoral nominee, was more interested in the rights of private managers (her political supporters) who were displaced than those of the low-income or no-income tenants.

Bower disputed the media reports and characterizations. She said she called for an Inspector General investigation once she learned more details. Still, that report likely would come long after the Nov. 4 general election.

Bowser asked to be on the Kojo Nnamdi “Politics Hour” Friday on WAMU 88.5 FM to discuss the incident and her campaign for mayor, but her explanations didn’t seem to dissuade host Nnamdi.

“It seems to me,” Nnamdi said near the end of the interview, “there are 700 people who are living in this property who need help and attention now!”

And Post columnist Colbert I. King also wrote about the controversy on Saturday, noting aggressive criticism of Bowser by rival mayoral candidate David Catania. King’s headline and final sentence on Saturday were stinging.

“Is Muriel Bowser going to bat for the taxpayers or her backers?”

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

Photo Credit: Washington City Paper]]>
<![CDATA[Senate Democrats Unveil Their Border Bill]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:21:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007271045_1200x675_311657027727.jpg NBC News political reporter Mark Murray discusses the latest border plan from Democrats in the Senate, and the new legal battle over President Obama's Affordable Care Act]]> <![CDATA[Primary Voter Turnout Hits Historic Low]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:06:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007255966_1200x675_311159875867.jpg Mark Murray joins Aaron Gilchrist in the studio to discuss why voter turnout for primary elections has fallen in 25 states. Murray suggests that American voters are tuning out.]]> <![CDATA[President Faces 'Delicate Diplomatic Situation']]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:14:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-18_1312.jpg NBC News political reporter Carrie Dann discusses President Obama's approach to the crash of MH17 in the Ukraine, specifically how the delicate diplomatic situation between the U.S. and Russia will effect his next moves.]]> <![CDATA[First Lady to Host 2014 Kids' State Dinner ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:03:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/michelle+obama9.jpg

First lady Michelle Obama will hold the 2014 Kids' State Dinner Friday.

The event, which is in its third year, will recognize 54 winners from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

Contestants were asked to create a healthy, affordable and tasty original lunchtime recipe using the nutritional guidelines of "My Plate". Some of the winning recipes will be served at the event.

Ten-year-old Maxwell Wix, 10-year-old Ester Matheny and 12-year-old Sophie Haga will represent D.C., Maryland and Virginia, respectively.

You can check out their recipes, along with the other winners, here.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Not Everyone Is Ready for Hillary Clinton: Poll]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 07:26:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007201704_1200x675_306662979988.jpg Hillary Clinton would crush Vice President Joe Biden among Democrats in a hypothetical presidential match up in 2016 but not everyone is sold on her potential candidacy, according to a NBC News/Marist poll of Iowa and New Hampshire voters. S]]> <![CDATA[House Democrats Unveil 100-Day Action Plan]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:26:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007190686_1200x675_305961539800.jpg NBC News Political Reporter Carrie Dann explains the House Democrats' newly unveiled action plan, as well as some of the issues that matter to the Democratic base.]]> <![CDATA[D.C. Apt. Complex Financial Dealings Probed]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:24:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-16_1555.jpg

Several government agencies, including the IRS, are looking into allegations of financial wrongdoing at a Southeast D.C. apartment complex, the office of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray confirmed Wednesday.

The Park Southern apartment complex has been in the news recently after complaints from residents about living conditions -- and reports of missing money.

Until the spring, the building was run by Joyce Scott and Phinis Jones, Ward 8 political supporters of Muriel Bowser, who chairs the Council's housing committee that oversees government housing.

Park Southern is one of the District's largest affordable housing complexes. The city seized control of the property this spring, but Park Southern owes the District about $628,000 in mortgage payments and interest, according to the Post.

The Post reported:

Tenants... allege in a lawsuit filed in April that [Park Southern board president Rowena Joyce] Scott and the board racked up tens of thousands of dollars in unexplained travel expenses, salaries to nearly 100 people even as residents saw only two or three at the property, and let herself, her daughter and close associates she helped win seats on the board live rent-free.

Gray's office announced Wednesday that the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development has reported concerns over Park Southern to the inspector general and attorney general, the Internal Revenue Service, and D.C.'s chief financial officer.

"The level of default around both the administration of the finances as well as the physical property created this unusual situation," said Michael Kelly of DC Housing.

The attorney general is still assessing whether to report to federal prosecutors, according to Gray's office.

Bowser denied Wednesday the Post's allegations she tried to help the former managers regain control of the building, News4's Tom Sherwood reported. The Washington Post reported that Bowser, D.C.'s Democratic candidate for mayor, had asked the inspector general to look into problems at Park Southern.

"The facts are the facts, and if there's anybody who's been accused of wrongdoing, I'm quite sure that the inspector general will get to the bottom of it," she said.

But Council member David Catania, who is running as an independent against Bowser in the mayoral race, says she's just trying to save face after protecting her political ally.

Scott had initially backed Gray in the Democratic mayoral primary this spring before throwing her support to Bowser, the Post reported.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Gray's office initially announced that the U.S. attorney's office was investigating. It then issued a correction.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more.

<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: A No Sale at Eastern Market]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:42:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/shutterstock_14633161.jpg

Eastern Market almost lost the Notebook as a customer this past weekend.

No more buying colorful raviolis.

No more roasted chicken or fresh flowers.

No more unique bars of soap or Amish goat cheese.

No more summer tomatoes that really taste like tomatoes.

No more impulse purchases from a variety of vendors.

We considered this boycott Saturday when, arriving on 7th Street, we found police chasing away citizens who were out collecting signatures on petitions to get various candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Eastern Market, by the way, is operated by the city government’s Department of General Services.

Your Notebook attempted to take a cellphone photo of one officer who kept turning away from us. Petitioners, some of whom have collected signatures here for many, many elections, were perplexed and, in your Notebook’s view, too passive about this assault on the District’s limited democracy.

The police finally showed us a mayor’s order declaring 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania avenues to be a special events zone for the street market and adjacent properties. The order forbids any unapproved vending.

Astonishingly, police decided that political petition gathering was “vending.” And although 7th Street was fully open to the public, whether visiting as customers or simply walking through, the police were chasing away citizens engaging in our local politics.

We immediately tweeted the blunt police action. A bit of a furor erupted online. A call was made to the mayor’s office. Surely Vincent Gray didn’t intend this (he didn’t, we’re told). Others got involved, and we were told the policy wouldn’t be enforced.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

Tim Krepp, an independent candidate for D.C. delegate in November against Eleanor Holmes Norton, got an email from the market management saying the policy wouldn’t be enforced, but only while the management comes up with new, clearer rules.

And, more astonishingly, another email said those potential decrees might include “rules to allow one campaigner at a time at Eastern Market, for a fee.”

Many would say all this was no less egregious — maybe more so — than Maryland Rep. Andy Harris’ blunt assault on the city’s marijuana decriminalization legislation and our limited democracy. We have enough limitations without creating more. Ward 6 D.C. Council member Tommy Wells told the Notebook on Monday that he was looking into this curb on democracy, especially the “fee” that might be charged of those doing civic political work. “Ridiculous,” said Wells.

If anyone succeeded in imposing unreasonable limits and a fee on 7th Street for political campaigners, the only option would be just to avoid going there.

None of this should have happened. But at least there is a good-news ending to all of this.

On Monday, we contacted the General Services Department and were happily told that there won’t be restrictions of political petitioners and there won’t be any fee imposed.

“We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to sign petitions,” said agency spokesperson Kenneth Diggs. “The word has already has gone out” to police and Eastern Market employees, he said.

A formal policy will be written and available soon.

Your Notebook really likes the offerings at Eastern Market. But none is worth the loss we would have suffered.

■ Evil cigarettes. Wayne Curry is dead at 63. A three-term, forward-looking county executive of Prince George’s County, Curry succumbed to lung cancer earlier this month. In his dying days, after learning of his fatal illness, Curry joined the movement against smoking. But it was too late for him.
At his “going home” services last week, people sang sweet gospel songs and praised his leadership. The pews were filled with both regular citizens and the powerful from throughout the Washington region. Many eyes were filled with tears, and some lamented that they couldn’t get just one more day with this kind and decent man.

But it all went up in smoke. Those who interviewed him said he thought he’d be one of the lucky ones, not one of the 480,000 who die every year from smoking-related illnesses.

The mortality of smokers is three times higher than that of non-smokers, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. Smoking has been a known cause of human cancer since the 1960s.

It shouldn’t make us sad that Curry and others die from smoking; it should make us mad. And weeping seems far from sufficient to mark such deaths.

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

<![CDATA[Md. Gov. O'Malley Reports $796K Raised for PAC]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:08:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Martin_OMalley.jpg

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is considering running for president in 2016, reported Tuesday that his political action committee raised about $796,000 in the second quarter of this year.

The second-quarter amount, which represents funds raised from April through June, is significantly higher than the $104,200 O'Malley reported raising for his PAC in the first three months of the year. He did not solicit money during Maryland's 90-day legislative session, which ended April 7.

O'Malley, a Democrat, now reports having about $894,830 cash on hand in the PAC, which is called O' Say Can You See.

O'Malley has a federal account as well as a non-federal one for his PAC. He reported raising about $258,670 for his federal account and about $537,360 in his non-federal account in the second quarter.

He raised a total of about $1.7 million last year.

In addition to his own fundraising efforts, O'Malley hosted fundraising events for some Democratic candidates outside of Maryland and for the Democratic Governors Association, which he chaired for two terms while governor.

O'Malley hosted a fundraising event for New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan in May. He also hosted fundraisers in June for three Democratic gubernatorial candidates: Vincent Sheheen in South Carolina, Mark Schauer in Michigan and Jack Hatch in Iowa, home to the lead-off presidential caucuses.

O'Malley is scheduled to host a fundraiser later this month with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Maryland's Eastern Shore for five Democratic congressional candidates.

O'Malley is term limited. His second term as governor ends in January.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Officials Hope to Locate Undocumented Children Living in the State]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:34:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0715-corey-stewart.jpg

The chairman of the Prince William County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors is hoping to put enough pressure on the county's executive to find out how many undocumented immigrant children are living in the county and what kind of financial impact they could have.

Board Supervisor Chairman Corey Stewart said some undocumented children who showed up at the U.S. border have been transferred to Prince William County, and are possibly being housed at "Youth for Tomorrow," a home for troubled teens in Bristow, as well as other locations. 

"The facility told us they entered into a federal contract and that they were going to be housing these children," Stewart said. "They wouldn't say much more than that."

The county board agreed Tuesday to urge executive Melissa Peacor to find out where these children are living, how many there are and if the county has any authority in the situation. 

He's convinced the children will be a major strain to the community. 

“They should be sent back home," Stewart said. "And the reason they should be sent back home is to send the message that if you make that journey to the United States, you’re just going to be sent back home."

Some county residents agree with Stewart, though others do not.

"They are as human as you or I and they probably have the right to live anywhere and especially in this country, the United States of America," Nancy Vancoverden said. 

Federal facilities, many of them in Texas, have been swamped by more than 50,000 unaccompanied children who have poured across the border since October, according to NBC News.

"We have a process for people to come to this country, and it's not swimming across it and introducing yourself to federal agents," Prince William County resident David Baker said.  

News4 tried contacting the "Youth for Tomorrow" facility, but they did not respond to our calls.
Health and Human Services tell us they do not identify shelters for unaccompanied immigrant minors for security reasons.

<![CDATA[Obama's Fight to Fund Road Repair]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:45:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-16_0844.jpg The White House is getting behind a Republican-backed bill to fix the highway funding problem in the short term. NBC political reporter Carrie Dann has more.]]> <![CDATA[How Would GOP Suit Vs. Obama Affect Both Parties?]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:17:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-11_1310.jpg NBC News Political Editor Carrie Dann joins Angie Goff in the studio to discuss what the impact of the GOP lawsuit against President Obama would be for both parties.]]>