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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif ., right, talks with Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, left, and City Council Chairman Kwame Brown, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2011, prior to the start of a House Health Care, DC, Census, and the National Archives subcommittee hearing on the city's budget.  (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Obama budget to support D.C. spending autonomy

The Obama administration supports legislation that would allow the District to spend its local funds without waiting for Congress to approve its own spending priorities, according to the office of Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Published February 10, 2012

Former DYRS ward sentenced for killing honor student

A 20-year-old D.C. man was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Friday for killing a 17-year-old honor roll student who was walking back to his Northeast home with a friend last year after a brief jaunt for cigarettes. Published February 10, 2012

Park Service to replace quote on MLK Memorial

The National Park Service announced on Friday it will correct a paraphrased "drum major" quote etched into the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial to "more accurately reflect" King's words. Published February 10, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan (Pratik Shah/The Washington Times)

D.C. fires city workers for unemployment fraud

The D.C. government has begun firing city workers identified in a probe that found rampant abuse of unemployment benefits by employees in most of the city's agencies, officials said Wednesday. Published February 8, 2012

Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray (center) arrives with D.C. Council members and D.C. citizens at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, to try to gain support for D.C. statehood. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

New Hampshire rejects D.C. statehood resolution

The New Hampshire House of Representatives defeated a resolution on Wednesday to recognize the District as the 51st state, with members noisily ignoring its sponsor before one critic instructed his colleagues to "save money on the parchment, not that it's much." Published February 8, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, in his State of the District address Tuesday, touted the District as a thriving "city of firsts" that is growing, attracting investors and saving for its future while it yearns to bring its neediest residents into the tent of prosperity. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. Mayor Gray makes amends for his missteps, looks ahead

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray acknowledged the missteps of his administration on Tuesday and pledged to regain his footing after a scandal-plagued first year in office that featured hiring missteps and allegations of nepotism and campaign payoffs. Published February 7, 2012

Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray (from left) and D.C. Council members David Catania, Michael A. Brown and Vincent Orange stand for the Pledge of Allegiance before advocating for D.C. statehood in front of the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

New Hampshire House weighs D.C. statehood

A resolution by the New Hampshire legislature to recognize the District as the 51st state reaches the House floor Wednesday, a last-ditch hope for D.C. officials who looked to Granite State lawmakers to jump-start their quest for statehood. Published February 7, 2012

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

Evans wants to repeal new tax on out-of-state bonds

D.C. Council member Jack Evans introduced a bill on Tuesday to repeal a new tax on out-of-state municipal bonds held by District residents, potentially reversing a revenue generator that prompted hours of debate in last year's in budget talks. Published February 7, 2012

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council member preps last-minute bid to save iGaming

The D.C. Council's top proponent of online gambling through the city's lottery system plans to offer a compromise bill on Tuesday to avoid a complete repeal of the program that was passed into law in 2010. Published February 6, 2012

Derek Ford, left, campaign treasurer for D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander, confers with the campaign's attorney, David Wilmot, during a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics hearing Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. elections board dismisses challenge to Alexander's petitions

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled on Monday there is insufficient evidence to suggest D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander should be kept off the April 3 primary ballot despite accusations her petition circulators did not witness many of the signatures they authorized in their filings to the board. Published February 6, 2012

D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics member Devarieste Curry questions a witness during a hearing Thursday. Derek Ford (below, left) campaign treasurer for council member Yvette M. Alexander of Ward 7, confers with attorney David Wilmot during the hearing about allegations of violating the petition code of conduct in collecting signatures.

Alexander's petition challenged

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics will decide by Monday whether council member Yvette M. Alexander's petition to be on the primary election ballot is legally sound or if her campaign ignored election laws and imperiled her bid to retain her Ward 7 seat. Published February 2, 2012

Jack Evans, chair of the D.C. Council Committee on Finance and Revenue, listens to tesitmony during a public oversight hearing Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 on the matter of i-Gaming. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

iGaming repeal to go before full D.C. Council

D.C. Council member Jack Evans has wasted no time in requesting the full council weigh in on the repeal of the District's controversial online gambling program. Published February 2, 2012

D.C. recall effort postponed after organizer misses meeting

A city resident attempting to recall current Mayor Vincent C. Gray and council Chairman Kwame R. Brown will have to wait until Feb. 13 to hit the street with petitions for the effort, D.C. elections officials said. Published February 1, 2012

D.C. agency head named in Thomas probe resigns

Millicent West, who recently found herself linked to the corruption investigation into former council member Harry Thomas Jr.'s theft of more than $350,000 from the District, has stepped down from her position as director of the city's homeland security agency. Published January 31, 2012

D.C. Council member Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, has scheduled a committee mark-up of a bill that would repeal authority for iGaming.

D.C. Council committee to consider iGaming repeal

A D.C. Council member with oversight of city finances has scheduled a Wednesday hearing that will allow lawmakers to weigh in, for the first time, on a bill to repeal the city's controversial online gambling program. Published January 30, 2012

Audit shows D.C. with $240M windfall

An audit of the District's finances shows a windfall of about $240 million in savings, a financial boon that will prompt debate on how much should be stowed away to impress Wall Street or committed to tax relief and services for city residents. Published January 30, 2012

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown, Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown, D.C. Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown and Council member Vincent B. Orange look at portraits of New Hampshire revolutionaries that hang in the main hall of the New Hampshire State House, Concord, N.H., Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

No satisfaction in New Hampshire on D.C. statehood

For three hours on Friday, a D.C. delegation tried to explain to a panel of New Hampshire legislators why they should obtain rights inherent from birth but not explicitly stated in the Constitution, that the District raises its own money and that Maryland will probably not ask for its land back if the nation's capital is recognized as the 51st state. Published January 28, 2012

Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi told the D.C. Council on Thursday that no laws were broken during the process to receive bids on a gaming contract with the city. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council faulted on Internet gambling

The D.C. inspector general testified Thursday that the city's lottery contract should have been rebid because the D.C. Council could not have known that first-in-the-nation Internet gambling was in the cards when it approved the deal with Greek company Intralot in 2009. Published January 26, 2012