- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Activists get last chance for referendum petitions
Activists hoping to bring Mayor Adrian M. Fenty“s school takeover plan before voters yesterday were granted a last-minute hearing, which could decide the fate of their challenge.
At issue was whether the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics should be forced to grant petitions to referendum supporters so they can attempt to gather enough signatures to place the takeover proposal on city ballots.
Officials with the D.C. Attorney General”s Office then withdrew a court challenge against the board“s initial ruling, and a hearing scheduled for yesterday morning was canceled.
But Matthew Watson, an attorney for the D.C. residents seeking the referendum, asked the court to order the board to issue petitions for signatures, saying the opinion was not reversed in a public meeting. Mr. Watson argued that D.C. law requires such decisions to be made before the public.
“There”s no question that the public interest is served by the petitions going forth as soon as possible,” Mr. Watson said. “We just don”t have something that says, ‘We can secretly change our view and we”re not going to tell you until it”s too late.” ”
City attorneys reiterated their view that Mr. Fenty“s plan, which was passed by the D.C. Council in April but required congressional approval, is not fit for a referendum because part of the plan was “legislatively accomplished” last week.
On Friday, President Bush signed a congressional bill repealing portions of the District”s Home Rule Charter so Mr. Fenty“s takeover plan can be put into effect. Robert Utiger with the attorney general”s office said that the presidential signing renders a referendum essentially useless.
“Congress has now passed a law that makes anything that goes forward with a referendum advisory,” Mr. Utiger said. It”s “not even advisory.”
Mr. Watson argued that the referendum would have no effect on the congressional bill. If the referendum is approved by voters, he said, it would essentially veto the council legislation that gives Mr. Fenty control of the 55,000-student school system and would leave authority to the city school board.
The judge is expected to rule today. If supporters of the referendum are granted petitions, they will have only until Monday to collect roughly 20,000 signatures.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!