A few things that got left out in the cold:
- Two forums tonight: The Lamond-Riggs Civic Association (LaSalle Elementary School, 501 Riggs Road, NE, 7 p.m.) and Chevy Chase Citizens Association (5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 7 p.m.).
- The Georgetown Dish has a good article on how the April 26 At-Large Special Election may impact negotiations over the budget unveiled by Mayor Vince Gray last Friday. The issue of how to close the $322 million budget gap has been front-and-center at many debates, with Josh Lopez, Bryan Weaver and Alan Page speaking most forcefully for targeted tax hikes and Patrick Mara and Vincent Orange arguing passionately for spending cuts. Sekou Biddle, a frontrunner in the race, has been somewhat wishy-washy in his stance on whether or not taxes should go up, but in a statement issued last week, he laid out his opposition to Gray's proposal for tax hikes on households making $200,000 or more: "New taxes should be a last resort, not a starting point for the budget discussion. I believe additional savings can be identified in the Mayor's proposed budget to offset some of the proposed cuts to human services." The next few candidate forums should be a little more interesting, seeing as the candidates now have a proposal to respond to.
- On March 28 Biddle's campaign was cleared of any wrongdoing in a complaint filed by the D.C. GOP that it improperly used school grounds and a school employee during an endorsement announcement in early March. The complaint alleged that the endorsement event, where SEIU announced it was siding with Biddle, took place at Brent Elementary School and used a D.C. public school security officer as a "campaign spokesperson for the event." The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance disagreed, noting that the officer was off-duty and that the event did not take place on school grounds. Given OCF's somewhat inconsistent decisions in recent years, it's doubtful that local Republicans will be happy.
- Late last week I was able to witness the last day of testing of the city's voting machines. Voting in and of itself is such a simple process, but there's a complex set of processes that occurs behind the scenes to ensure that votes are tallied accurately.
- This Thursday I'll be joining Chuck Thies on "The D.C. Politics Hour" on WPFW to talk special election news and pick Bryan Weaver's brain. Give a listen -- the show starts at 11 a.m. on 89.3FM.