DMV Daily: Agassi Serves to Fenty

Tennis Star Praises D.C. Mayor

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It was a hyperactive bald guy summit.

Politico reports tennis star Andre Agassi "was the guest of honor at an intimate dinner party" in Tysons Corner Tuesday night, where he sat beside Mayor Adrian Fenty "and praised the mayor’s efforts on education. It was clear that Agassi was sad that Fenty would no longer be in office, and sadder still about the state of education in the District." Said Agassi: "If I lived in D.C., I’d move out, too!"

Fenty may be looking for work while his patron Michael Bloomberg is considering a presidential run yet again, but at least Bloomberg, who’s in D.C. this week, "is not as hot" as Fenty. That’s the conclusion of Glittarazzi’s Kelly Ann Collins, anyway. Maybe Bloomy needs a handsome running mate with time on his hands?

Elsewhere in the DMV:

  • Washington City Paper’s Alan Suderman slams the upcoming vote on a D.C. At-Large councilmember by the D.C. Democratic State Committee as "the hacks’ moment." Suderman rightly notes that D.C. "has never been much of a machine-politics city," even though it is dominated by a single party, and "the party organization reliably gets to flex its muscles at only one rare moment in the political cycle: Right now." While the right of a party panel to select a government representative has irked some observers, Suderman writes that even D.C. "is enough of a machine town that said party hacks aren’t going to let a bunch of good-government types ruin their moment in the sun."

    Of course, the candidates who want the panel’s support are defending the process. Earlier this week, frontrunner Vincent Orange warned darkly of "a movement to manipulate the DCDSC out of its power granted to us by the Home Rule Act." His chief rival Jacque Patterson now says the committee "was attacked" in the media "for beginning the process to fulfill its public duty.” Patterson compares the members of the party panel to elected members of the U.S. Congress, chosen "to serve as the voice of many." We can expect a lot more of this sort of talk between now and the Jan. 6 vote.
  • Metropolitan Washington Central Labor Council President Joslyn Williams, who approvingly said earlier this fall that D.C. is "owned by Democrats" and that Republicans, independents and others are "welcome to pay your taxes, but you’re not welcome to govern the city," has been named to Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray’s transition team. The Washington Examiner says Gray "was criticized for not initially including labor leaders on his transition team when he rolled it out earlier this month."

    In the Washington Post, Mike DeBonis says the pick "reflects the balance Gray has tried to strike between acknowledging the contributions of unions to his election and facing up to the governing decisions that await him in the months ahead. On one hand, unions gave his campaign a volunteer base that helped offset Fenty’s fundraising advantage. On the other, as mayor, he must tackle a budget deficit that could balloon to $500 million before his four-year term is up."
  • Gray will hold his jobs summit on Dec. 13, the Post reports. The Reeves Municipal Center event "will include ‘business owners, organized labor, government officials, job training providers, representatives of the higher education community, and other key stakeholders in the District’s economy,’'according a statement from Gray’s transition office."
  •  Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry is taking on the issues of the 1990s by tackling welfare reform, and now he’s repeating his lines from that decade too. Barry appeared on Fox Business to talk about welfare, but had to field a question about his past, when Barry was said to have "disgraced" himself in office. Echoing a famed earlier quote, Barry replied, "The FBI 20 years ago set me up."

    In an editorial this morning, the Post is kinder to Barry, saying "perhaps the most striking evidence of the failings of the District’s welfare system is that no less an advocate for generous social benefits" than Barry "sees the need for stringent new controls. His proposal to limit benefits comes from watching generations of families trapped in a cycle of poverty, joblessness and government assistance."
  • People’s District interviews D.C. Republican Party Executive Director Paul Craney. "When I started this job over three years ago and people asked me what I did, they would always say, 'I didn’t know there was even a Republican party in D.C.'," he said. "I have worked hard with our committee and staff to change that. ...While I think about how much easier my job would be if I worked in a red state like Texas, I like working for the Republican committee in D.C. because when you win, the victories are so much more meaningful."
  • In Maryland, WTOP reports "some members of the Prince George’s County Council are planning to urge Leslie Johnson not to take the oath of office next month," and that if she does, "council members will do what they can to lessen her power." The Post says some county residents have started an online petition calling on Johnson to give up the office.
  • The maneuvering over who will be the next chair of the Maryland Republican Party continues. Defeated U.S. Senate candidate Eric Wargotz says he is "certainly considering" a run, according to the Post. Defeated state Sen. Alex Mooney may also run. Brian Murphy, who lost the gubernatorial primary to Bob Ehrlich this year, had been mentioned as a possible candidate, but now says he has "no interest" in the job.
  • The Examiner reports Gov. Martin O’Malley, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel will visit Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring today.
  • In Virginia, the Post reports Gov. Bob McDonnell "applauded the results of a new report that recommends Virginia, Maryland and the District be given greater oversight of Metro and seats on its board of directors." Not surprisingly, Northern Virginia Reps. Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran oppose the idea, saying it would dilute local representation.
  • Buy a Thanksgiving pie, help a good cause. The Hill is Home tells you how.
  • ARLnow says "a kid involved in the theft of watches from a store in the Pentagon City Mall went to great lengths to try to avoid getting caught by police." He "fled to the Pentagon City Metro station and then ran through a Metro tunnel with police in hot pursuit" -- before being arrested at the other end of the tunnel.

Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC

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