DMV Daily: Gray Sacks Fenty

Gray pokes at Fenty, Redskins

Mayor-elect Vincent Gray inadvertently dissed Adrian Fenty at a Tuesday event, according to the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis.

Appearing at the unveiling of design plans for the new Dunbar High School, Gray, who went to Dunbar, mentioned that several graduates are currently playing in the NFL. Among them, Tampa Bay’s Arrelious Benn, “who Gray said ‘contributed’ to the Skins’ 17-16 loss Sunday.”

Fenty chimed in, “The Redskins beat themselves.”

Gray innocently added, “That happens often, doesn’t it, Mr. Mayor?”


Elsewhere in the DMV:

* The Post reports the District “would get $11 million less from the federal government in 2011 than it did in 2010” if a Senate version of a massive appropriations bill is approved. While D.C. would get $741.3 million fiscal 2011, “a decrease of 1.4 percent from the 2010 level of $752.1 million,” that’s still more than $10 million more than President Obama, an erstwhile friend of the District, initially requested.

* The Washington Examiner’s Freeman Klopott reports that the “controversial, youth-violence-fighting Peaceoholics is here to stay, the group’s co-founders said during an interview on TBD.” Fenty booster Ron Moten “said the city needs the group to keep the peace on the streets of the nation’s capital,” and claimed “crime has ‘skyrocketed’” since a funding shortage forced Peaceoholics to lay off 50 people. The group’s current leader, Jauhar Abraham, optimistically said he expects Peaceoholics to get city funding under Gray. Abraham said, “We’ll take the campaign to the community. We’re not going anywhere.” But during the mayoral primary campaign, Gray suggested he would cut off the group.

* The Examiner reports that interim D.C. schools chief Kaya Henderson says this year “will be a trial period” to see if she and Gray “can work together to reform schools.” Henderson said, “The worst possible thing is you commit to a high-level position like this one, and then you decide 15 minutes in, ‘Oh my God, this was not the right person.’ We both have a very unique opportunity in that nobody has to make a decision either way until we are actually finished with the trial period.”
Henderson says she was initially reluctant to step in for Michelle Rhee, but saw her colleagues threatening to quit along with Rhee’s resignation, and feared an exodus of talented reformers. Henderson said, “People keep asking me how I’m different from Michelle Rhee. I’m different than her because she’s a petite Asian woman and I’m a large black girl.”

* Washington City Paper’s Rend Smith reports Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry is “facing a wage garnishment connected to campaign materials he purchased in June 2008.” In 2009, advertising firm Charles G. Brown Inc. sued Barry for failing to pay more than $9,000 he owed. Smith notes that “the IRS is first in line” for money Barry also owes the federal government. Perhaps Barry’s reality show will get picked up by some network, helping to ease Barry’s pain.

* The Examiner reports the Virginia Employment Commission, “which ran out of money needed to pay unemployment benefits, improperly paid $166 million in 2009 to residents who didn’t meet eligibility requirements.” Independent auditor Walter Kucharski said the figures “may be exaggerated” because the “criteria used to constitute a legitimate search for work” -- a requirement for getting aid -- is vague. But there’s no doubt that overpayments were made.

* The Examiner reports ex-Rep. Tom Davis says it is unlikely he will run for U.S. Senate in Virginia in 2012. Ex-Sen. George Allen is expected to run, and the Washington Times says things look good for him. While Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, who took the seat from Allen in 2006, has slim leads over Allen in two recent polls, Webb “could not crack the 50 percent mark,” which “sent red flags flying” among worried Democrats. Webb is said to be conflicted over whether to seek re-election at all.

* Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2014, told the Maryland Association of CPAs Tuesday that the state should not raise taxes while the economy remains weak. Baltimore Business Journal reports that “Instead of treating the business community as ‘a bottomless pit’ for higher tax levies, or imposing ‘draconian’ spending cuts,” Franchot “said he wants Maryland to make greater use of what he called results-based ‘performance accounting.’”

* Capital News Service says a new Maryland law that changes how prisoners are counted in political districts could lead to big changes in the next round of state redistricting. Maryland will now “use prisoners’ last known addresses, instead of their prison’s addresses, to determine congressional and legislative district populations and redraw the state’s political map.”

* WTOP reports Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker has named ex-Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke and retired judge William Missouri to head his County Government Accountability and Integrity Task Force.

* The federal Justice Department “has closed an investigation into allegations of discrimination and disparate treatment within the Hyattsville Police Department, and is taking no action,” the Gazette reports. Regional NAACP chapters requested the probe “based on allegations from African-American officers of harassment and unfair treatment.”

* D.C.’s representative on the Republican National Committee Tony Parker, a small business owner, is running for RNC treasurer. The RNC is currently headed by Maryland’s Michael Steele -- a native of D.C.’s Petworth neighborhood.

* Bikes in the news: BicycleSPACE interviewed cycling advocate Tommy Wells, who represents Ward 6 on the D.C. Council, while the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and others are hosting what could be called a valedictory “bike ride and happy hour” for recently fired D.C. transportation chief and Capital Bikeshare patron Gabe Klein.

* Prince of Petworth notes that “an absolute fringe group” called Uhuru has plastered signs all along Georgia Avenue reading, “Keep D.C. a Chocolate City!” 

Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC

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