Morning Read: An Amendment to Help D.C. Councilmembers Share - NBC4 Washington
First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Morning Read: An Amendment to Help D.C. Councilmembers Share



    It seems D.C. Council members are only human and they, like so many of us, never learned to share.

    Councilman Jack Evans is tired of the drama and fights surrounding the distribution of free tickets to D.C. politicians. So he is taking a stand and proposing to put a plan of how to divvy these tickets into the law books.

    According to the Washington Post, Evans sent out a budget amendment Monday proposing to split the tickets to National Park and Verizon Center evenly between the mayor and council members.

    Mike DeBonis of the Post explains the details of the plan:

    “For instance, at Nationals Park, the 38 box tickets available per event will be split as follows: eight for the mayor, four for the council chairman and two each for the other 12 council members. Of the 25 lower bowl seats, 11 would go to the mayor, two to the chairman and two to alternating groups of six council members.”

    These sports tickets have been at the root of some tension between D.C. politicians in recent years.

    In April, according to The Post, things got tense when the mayor and council members were forced to share a Nationals Park box after having two separate boxes the previous two seasons. And last year, some councilmembers were upset with how Chairman Kwame Brown distributed tickets to the Verizon Center.

    The Council will consider the amendment Tuesday and DeBonis points out that it will likely be discussed alongside issues like economic development funding and homeless service cuts.

     * Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ruled that the size limit of campaign signs could not be more restrictive than those for other kinds of temporary signs, like signs advertising new housing developments, according to The Washington Examiner.

    Del. David Ramadan, R-South Riding, brought the issue up and said Loudoun County officials were trying to prevent a resident from placing a large political sign outside his home.

    While Cuccinelli’s opinions are non-binding, they usually carry enough weight to spur action.

    * Washington City Paper asks what, if any, council committee new D.C. Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie should be assigned to chair.

    D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has scheduled a meeting Tuesday to make committee assignments and as of 4 p.m. Monday, McDuffie said he doesn’t know to which committees he’ll be assigned or whether he’ll be given a chairmanship.

    There are currently no chairmanship vacancies but Brown previously said during the 2010 chairman’s race that he thought every council member should chair a committee, according to WCP.

    Brown took over former Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr.’s position chairing the economic development committee and isn’t likely to give that prominent role up to McDuffie.

    * Maryland Live! casino will open its doors tomorrow at 10 p.m. Watch more here.

    * Loudoun County had a packed meeting Monday night where residents voiced their opinions about the proposed Metro project that would extend the Silver Line from Reston to Ashburn.

    According to Reston Patch, more than 150 people, who represented views from both sides of the debate, signed up to speak at the meeting.

    VIA Patch:

    The pro-rail advocacy group, Loudoun Rail Now, rallied outside of the government center. Among them was Brambleton resident Candy Murphy who said that everyone she talks to seems to be in support.

    “We live in a part of the Ashburn area that is already traffic choked and its just going to get worse,” Murphy said, adding that when she moved to Brambleton in 2003 Metro seemed like it was a done deal at the time.

    “It’s surprising now that it’s not,” she said. “I think as a taxpayer it’s important for the whole county. I think the growth that will come as a result of Metro will help bring the business tax base that we need, which will help us get closer to where Fairfax is by taking more of the tax burden off of the individual homeowner.”

    Purcellville resident Ben Belrose disagreed. He believes that Loudoun should opt out of the project and move on to something that makes more sense.

    “This is a ridiculous thing for what it gives us,” he said. “In Purcellville, I can drive all the way to the Metro stop that will be at the airport, 25 miles, or pay a toll and go to the nearest metro stop 23 miles away.

    Why would I ever want to do that? And then to be paying say 3 or 4 cents more in property tax for life … that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

    The Loudoun Board of Supervisors must decide by July 4 whether the county will participate in the project.

    * The lead spokesman of George Allen’s Senate campaign, Bill Riggs, departed quietly from his position last week, according to The Post.

    Riggs served as a regional spokesman for the Republican National Committee in 2008 and director of regional media in 2010.

    Emily Davis, who was hired as deputy communications director last month, has replaced him.

    Katie Wright still leads the press team.