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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

Redskins, celebrities get behind D.C. rights

A trio of Washington Redskins players and actress Della Reese of "Touched by an Angel" TV fame are among the celebrities who taped pro-D.C. rights segments as part of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's push this month for city autonomy. Published October 6, 2011

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Why are Maryland, Virginia students in D.C. schools?

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown wants to find out why students from Maryland and Virginia are attending the District's public schools illegally, forcing city taxpayers to subsidize their education and potentially robbing students of a "quality seat" in their own schools. Published October 5, 2011

Ward 4 D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser has promised to deliver a comprehensive ethics reform bill for consideration by the end of the year. "I recognize the urgency we're dealing with. But I also recognize the need to follow our process," she said on Tuesday. (The Washington Times)

Orange's ethics reform effort defeated; Bowser to offer bill

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser on Tuesday promised to deliver a comprehensive ethics reform bill by the end of the year, positioning herself as a sobering voice on a hot-button issue that at times has descended into political theater. Published October 4, 2011

D.C. lawn-mowing contracts come under scrutiny

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh wants to "clear the air" concerning a pair of city lawn-mowing contracts that raise questions about political influence and what it means to be a District-based business. Published October 4, 2011

Peaceoholics co-founder Ronald Moten testifies Monday before the D.C. Council about an audit of his anti-gang nonprofit, Peaceoholics. The D.C. auditor found grant-compliance mistakes. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Graham requests new audit on Peaceoholics

D.C. Council member Jim Graham requested a supplemental audit Monday on the nonprofit Peaceoholics, reigniting political controversy around the group as its co-founders prepare to run for office. Published October 3, 2011

LANDMARK: Entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong performed at the Lincoln Theatre during a time when segregation barred patrons from downtown theaters. The venue faces a financial crisis. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Lincoln Theatre seeks cash infusion

The historic Lincoln Theatre, the 1920s-era stage often described as the heart of the District's "Black Broadway," will close before the end of the year if it does not get a cash infusion from the city, its board members said Thursday. Published September 29, 2011


Gray lauds language in plan for D.C. spending

Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Wednesday praised the insertion of language into a short-term federal spending plan that allows the District to use local funds for the fiscal year that begins on Saturday while Congress continues to debate its financial plan for 2012. Published September 28, 2011

D.C. officials to meet on police funding

D.C. officials will meet Tuesday to make sure spending pressures do not trip up plans to keep at least 3,800 Metropolitan Police Department officers on the street — a goal that was established during budget talks for the fiscal year that begins Saturday. Published September 26, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. tax hike on top earners took tortuous route to passage

A contentious and unexpected vote to raise taxes on the District's highest-income earners took shape largely behind the scenes, as council members revived an old proposal, wrangled votes and found common ground with reluctant colleagues. Published September 25, 2011

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Mayor strengthens nominee process to avoid surprises

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray says his administration will alter its policy for reviewing nominees for city oversight bodies by sending them through the city's Office of the Attorney General before they are announced to the public. Published September 25, 2011

Gray withdraws Mallett nomination

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has withdrawn the nomination of Robert L. Mallett to be chairman of the Board of Elections and Ethics because he does not meet a residency requirement — an embarrassing conclusion to an incident that mirrored a string of missteps by the administration. Published September 23, 2011

Kenneth Ellerbe

D.C. freezes fire, EMS Twitter account

The D.C. government has temporarily halted use of one of its most popular Twitter accounts in order to get a tighter handle on information disseminated about emergency operations. Published September 21, 2011

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Residency issue arises for nominee to D.C. elections board

Mayor Vincent C. Gray's pick to head the increasingly vital D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics faces an uphill route to confirmation because of his residency status, an issue that derailed another mayoral pick mere weeks ago. Published September 21, 2011

A TAXING MOVE: D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh confers with fellow council member Phil Mendelson on Tuesday. Mr. Mendelson led the charge in a push to increase the city's income-tax rate on high-income earners. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council passes tax hike

The D.C. Council approved an income-tax increase on the city's highest earners on Tuesday, after a proposal dismissed in the spring was revived during closed-door negotiations and hotly debated by council members returning from summer recess. Published September 20, 2011