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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.

Users of some D.C. online services get malware warning

Local residents looking to pay parking tickets or use other online services from the D.C. government in the past week were greeted with an ominous message, saying their use of the city's website could expose them to malicious software. Published August 7, 2012

** FILE ** Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (Mary F. Calvert/The Washington Times)

Tax-reform panel aims to untie D.C. code’s ‘knot’

A newly seated edition of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission began wading through layers of the city's Byzantine tax structure on Monday and brainstorming ways to keep the city's finances in step with its flourishing population. Published August 6, 2012

New D.C. health director ready for challenges

Dr. Saul Levin left his native South Africa in 1984, a time when his country was still under the grip of a racially driven apartheid system and HIV/AIDS awareness was uncertain territory. Published August 5, 2012

Vouchers available to 1,788 D.C. students

More than 1,700 students from the District will get the chance to attend a private school this year through a federal voucher program, despite an ongoing debate among leaders in the city and on Capitol Hill about whether "school choice" should stay within the bounds of the public school system. Published August 2, 2012

Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, introduced the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in January. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Effort to restrict abortions in D.C. fails in House

House Republicans could not muster enough votes Tuesday to pass a bill that bans abortions in the District after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a closely watched measure that pitted Democrats 'claims of a "war on women" against pro-life advocates' state-by-state defense of the unborn. Published July 31, 2012

Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, introduced the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in January. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

House scheduled to vote on D.C. abortion ban

The House is scheduled to vote late Tuesday on a bill that prohibits abortions in the District after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a controversial move that has been heavily promoted by pro-life advocates and decried by city officials and Planned Parenthood. Published July 31, 2012

D.C. Council member Jack Evans (The Washington Times)

Issa gives commuter tax idea a big boost

A D.C. lawmaker in charge of local purse strings thinks an influential congressman's look at a tax on out-of-state residents who work in the District could be a "game changer" for the city's finances. Published July 30, 2012

Mayor, D.C. school officials cheer rise in test scores

D.C. school officials on Thursday praised overall gains in 2012 test scores as another baby step toward the ambitious, long-term goals for school reform — although less than half of the city's students were proficient in math and reading. Published July 26, 2012

After introducing his "One City Action Plan" on Wednesday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray got testy with reporters at the Wilson Building. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

In Gray’s defense, he’s getting good at defending himself

For the third time in as many days, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray stood at a podium on Wednesday to highlight the District's progress during his tenure — a defiant stand less than a week after his attorney rebuked the media's "rush to judgment" over a shadow-campaign scandal that has besmirched Mr. Gray's first 18 months in office. Published July 25, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray tries to offer his remarks to the crowd while being shouted down by activists seeking housing for people with HIV/AIDS as he tries to deliver his speech to the crowd at the XIX International AIDS Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Monday, July 23, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Gray's AIDS speech overshadowed

Eager to tout the District's progress on the HIV/AIDS epidemic at a worldwide summit on his home turf, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray took the stage at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Monday for a respite from the scandal that has dogged his days and nights since the 2010 campaign. Yet trouble found him. Published July 24, 2012

D.C. Council member Jack Evans said he will be ready to run either in 2014 or sooner than that should a special election be required. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Running for mayor on Evans’ to-do list

D.C. Council member Jack Evans is definitely running for mayor "the next time an opportunity comes up." But he is not looking to push embattled Mayor Vincent C. Gray out the door. Published July 22, 2012

McDuffie: Bloomingdale neighborhood needs help now

D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie is calling for an "all hands on deck" effort to stem too-frequent flooding in the Bloomingdale neighborhood after a string of devastating rainstorms this month. Published July 22, 2012

Delegation for D.C. hits the roof in search for more space, revenue

Building out space on city rooftops for work and play is a common-sense and potentially lucrative tweak to a century-old law that restricts the height of buildings in the District, D.C. officials and analysts told federal lawmakers Thursday. Published July 19, 2012

** FILE ** Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, reads from a book on June 20, 2012, at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, quoting the president's right to assert executive privilege after learning that President Obama has done so in the "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking case, refusing to turn over related documents to Congress. The committee proceeded with its markup to vote on whether to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for his failure to produce those documents. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Issa open to discussion of D.C. commuter tax

A year after he suddenly proposed greater fiscal freedoms for the District, Rep. Darrell Issa dangled yet another enticing plan in front of D.C. officials on Thursday. Published July 19, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Gray attorney accuses media of 'rush to judgment'

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's attorney accused members of the media and critics on Thursday of engaging in a "rush to judgment" over Mr. Gray's responsibility for an off-the-books scheme that injected about $650,000 into his 2010 campaign and places his political future in doubt. Published July 19, 2012


Not all giving back tainted donor cash

Despite the return by President Obama and the Democratic Party of a tainted $10,000 donation from D.C. fundraiser Jeffrey E. Thompson, dozens of other federal and local campaign committees, Democrat and Republican alike, continue to hold on to tens of thousands of dollars they have received from the contractor now at the center of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's deepening fundraising scandal, records show. Published July 18, 2012