Morning Roundup: May 23

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D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray attended a meeting of frustrated campaign supporters on a recent Thursday night, Nikita Stewart at The Washington Post reports. The supporters “are frustrated by what they perceive as a directionless administration caught flat-footed by accusations of nepotism and cronyism and one that is unable to repay last year’s get-out-the-vote efforts.” The Post says Gray played down the concerns but the fact “that some of his supporters thought the meeting, coordinated by D.C. insider Lloyd Jordan, was necessary underscores the mayor’s political distress.” Also interesting: “Some who helped with Gray’s campaign and transition are urging him to hire Jordan, a former director of the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. … ‘He knows the city,’ one adviser said.” The Post says Gray confirmed he is also considering Christopher Murphy, deputy chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for the post.

Metro is considering simplifying some of the names of its rail stations. “Station names are supposed to be no more than 19 characters long — or just 13 characters long for transfer stations such as Gallery Pl-Chinatown where the Yellow, Green and Red lines converge,” the Washington Examiner reports. The changes require some 2,600 new station signs and 5,000 updated maps, according to Metro. “It’s not clear how much changing names of stations costs. The report said its policy cites $100,000 as the approximate cost of a station sign change but said those figures are out of date and often vary widely station to station.”

Former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is making plans for life after Maryland, Joseph Weber reports in The Washington Times. Mr. Ehrlich is “diving enthusiastically into plans for his second act — as a major influence on national politics and conservative causes through a book, a proposed syndicated radio show and his new job at a high-profile international Washington law firm. ‘My [work] will be a blueprint for the party and for the country going forward,’ said Mr. Ehrlich, adding that he loves the view but hopes his efforts will help bring a new occupant to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

Metro Transit Police in a stuggle with a disabled man: WJLA-TV (Channel 7) in a report on its website features a video posted to YouTube that “shows two officers and a man in a wheelchair outside the U Street Station Thursday afternoon. You see the officers apparently lift the man, then the trio plunge to the ground. Metro says the man stood up and pulled the officers down.” The report goes on: “A spokesperson says the officers ordered the man to leave because he was drinking an alcoholic beverage. Metro maintains he refused to go or to provide identification. The man was charged with assault and possession of an open container.”

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is scheduled to make what his office describes as a “major economic development announcement” in Staunton, Va., on Monday, adding to what has been a series of positive business developments in the state this month, Paige Winfield Cunningham reports in The Washington Times. The announcement earlier this month that Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic will film in Virginia, combined with trade agreements that emerged from Mr. McDonnell’s recent Asia junket to declining unemployment figures make May a good month for the Republican governor.

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown is steadfast on what will happen to Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s proposal to raise the income tax on wealthier households: No way, no how, reports Tom Howell Jr. in The Washington Times. Mr. Brown is facing his first true test of leadership as he fine-tunes the fiscal year 2012 budget, as he seeks balance between unpopular tax increases and equally unpopular cuts to city services. Mr. Brown says his budget will restore funding for homeless services and fund Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Interim Disability Assistance with some restrictions, while killing the income tax increase and a proposed tax on live theater tickets.

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