Morning Read: What Did Mayor Gray Know? - NBC4 Washington
First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Morning Read: What Did Mayor Gray Know?



    It’s impossible to tell at this point what Mayor Vincent Gray knew of the illegal happenings within his 2010 mayoral campaign, but, as his colleagues ask for his resignation, it’s clear that pressure is mounting for him to divulge his exact involvement. 

    Gray maintains that he knew nothing of the illegal shadow campaign his staff ran during his 2010 mayoral race, but people with knowledge of the investigation told the Washington Post that Gray knew in at least January that associates spent money on behalf of his campaign that was not properly reported.

    Gray reportedly had a private meeting in January with his campaign's public relations consultant Jeane Clarke Harris—who pled guilty to helping run this shadow campaign—about the campaign spending.

    This meeting, according to the Post, is the first indication that Gray knew of the illegal funds prior to the federal raids in March at the homes of Harris and businessman Jeffrey Thompson.

    Many of Gray’s colleagues aren’t buying that the mayor knew nothing of what was going on within his own campaign.

    Three council members—Muriel Bowser, Mary Cheh and David Catania—want Gray to resign

    Via Post:

    “How could all this go on and you don’t know?” Cheh asked.

    Does any reasonable person believe that Jeff Thompson invested $653,000 in a shadow campaign and didn’t tell the beneficiary? That makes no sense. None,” Catania said.

    A new report from the AP shows that Gray’s 2010 campaign routinely paid day laborers $100 in cash -- twice the legal limit -- to campaign for Gray outside polling places. The payments were later marked as "consulting fees" paid to campaign staff members and volunteers on campaign finance reports.

    This money is separate from the illegal $650,000 in campaign money being investigated, but, nonetheless, puts another sore on the campaign.

    * Democrat Tim Kaine has a narrow 46 to 44 percent lead over Republican George Allen, according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling firm.

    The poll has a 3.9 percent margin of error.

    Kaine has a favorability rating of +5 (43/38) while Allen’s is -3 (39/42).

    * Politico writes about Gov. Bob McDonnell’s rough 2012.

    The governor, reporter Alexander Burns writes, has a record that other governors would kill for.

    Unemployment has dropped 2 percent since he assumed his post, he’s balanced the budget without raising taxes, pumped money into higher education and transportation and has an approval rating over 50 percent.


    In 2012, all of that could get buried under a single word: ultrasound.

    A year ago, it looked like McDonnell might spend this year on a glide path to the No. 2 slot on Mitt Romney’s ticket. That was before he spent the past few months grappling with a series of state-level crises: a leadership battle at the University of Virginia, a destructive storm that knocked out power for millions in the Washington area and — most significantly — an attempt by conservative legislators to mandate an invasive ultrasound procedure for women seeking abortions.

    Read more.

    * Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's campaign for governor raised nearly $1 million in contributions during the most recent six-month fundraising period, leaving him with nearly $1.5 million in cash, according to The RTD.

    In the GOP primary, he faces Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has not yet disclosed his finances.

    * Casino proponents aren’t giving up in Maryland to try and get the government to expand gambling in the state.

    The latest tactic: a new website featuring a continuously updated, national-debt-style clock that shows how much tax revenue is being lost each second the legislature doesn't pass a gambling expansion plan.

    Read more at the Post.