DMV Daily: D.C. Council Now Accepting Applications

Committee taking applications for vacancy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A help wanted sign hangs on a store as a truck drives by.

    If you’re looking for three months of temp work and you want a cushy gig that comes with its own special license plate, the D.C. Democratic State Committee has just the job for you.

    A peculiarity in D.C. law permits that party committee to select someone to fill the At-Large Council vacancy that will be created when Kwame Brown resigns to become Council chair. That will happen just after New Year’s, with a special election expected for mid-March. And the Democratic committee is taking applications.

    To be considered, a contender must have been a registered D.C. Democrat since at least the start of 2010, and get signatures from 1,000 D.C. Democrats as well as a bunch of members of the Democratic committee itself. Candidates also have to submit a bio and a statement on why they should be picked -- and neither of these can run more than 150 words. (Sound-bite politics for the age of Twitter.) Applications are due Dec. 6, with the committee vote currently scheduled for Jan. 6.

    The top contenders for the appointment are Vincent Orange, the former Ward 5 councilmember who lost the Chair race to Brown in September, and Ward 8 Democratic activist Jacque Patterson. Like the earlier Orange-Brown race, this could mirror the Fenty-Gray fight between the city’s haves and have-nots -- Orange is a longtime business booster, and Patterson is, well, from Ward 8. State Board of Education member Sekou Biddle and defeated Ward 6 Council candidate Kelvin Robinson are also in the mix.

    As for Brown, he announced his transition team at a Monday news conference. It will be headed by Washington Nationals executive Gregory McCarthy, and includes former D.C. Housing Finance Agency attorney Jeffery Humber and Brown aide Irma Esparza Diggs.

    Elsewhere in the DMV:

    * Keith Fimian is out. Fimian, the two-time Republican candidate in Virginia’s 11th Congressional district, will announce plans to concede to Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly rather than pursue a recount. Connolly topped Fimian by 981 votes out of more than 225,000 cast, in the region’s only close U.S. House race. (Three other Democratic incumbents were defeated elsewhere in the state.) Brian Schoeneman of the conservative blog Common Sense calls it “a tough loss for Republicans in Virginia.” Connolly was hospitalized late last week, and his campaign said Monday night that it was for a blood clot in an artery. Connolly is now back home.

    * Could Virginia Sen. Jim Webb be one and done? Though Webb is a rising star in the party who has been mentioned as a national candidate for 2016, he tells RealClearPolitics that he isn’t sure he’ll seek a second term in 2012, which will be a tough year for Democrats in the state. He’s also quite critical of his party’s leadership. On a bid for a second term, he simply says, “Still sorting that out. I’m not saying I’m not.”

    * The Baltimore Sun thinks someone should go to jail in the Election Day robocalling caper. In an editorial, the Sun notes that a state law “makes it unlawful for any person to ‘willfully and knowingly influence or attempt to influence a voter’s decision whether to go to the polls to cast a vote through the use of force, fraud, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, reward, or offer of reward.’” The Sun says the incident “goes beyond the usual in dirty politics, and it demands more than the usual post-election investigation.” In its own editorial, the Washington Post calls it “a sleazy Election Day ruse to suppress African American votes in Baltimore city and Prince George’s County.”

    Meanwhile, WBAL says Bob Ehrlich and Gov. Martin O’Malley weren’t the only people to get votes for Maryland governor last week. Write-ins included Elvis Presley, Mickey Mouse, both Homer and Bart Simpson, and of course Cal Ripken Jr.

    * The Post says Jennifer Lowery-Bell, a write-in candidate for Maryland state senate in Prince George’s County, is seeking a state investigation over handling of write-in votes. She claims local election officials “failed to inform voters at two polling places about the procedures for casting a write-in ballot.”

    * Maryland Politics Watch says Montgomery County hasn’t gotten around to counting absentee ballots yet.

    * D.C. Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray has his transition website up and running, and it includes instructions on how to apply for a job. At the same time, Washington Business Journal reports the District Department of Human Resources has sent out instructions to Adrian Fenty appointees on how to resign from their posts.

    * In her Examiner column, Jonetta Rose Barras says Gray faces “several challenges: a looming fiscal crisis, a divided city, and associations with individuals and businesses with questionable ethics. Unless addressed promptly and forthrightly, they could severely damage his mayoralty -- even before he’s inaugurated.” Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert says the District government “should create a ‘menu’ of possible fixes” to the budget deficit “and let residents choose among them, like WMATA did for the FY2011 budget.”

    * Georgetown Patch has a piece with the headline “What Can We Expect from Councilmember Jack Evans?” -- odd, given that Evans has been on the D.C. Council since 1991.

    * The GW Hatchet notes that the only member of the D.C. Council who isn’t co-sponsoring an anti-bullying bill is Marion Barry.

    * The Falls Church News-Press reports Falls Church is moving forward with the repeal of November elections, which would move local voting back to May.

    * ARLnow says Ballston is looking to step up its image.

    * East German cars in downtown D.C.!

    * Sunday booze in MoCo!

    Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC