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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.

Budget add-ons diminish council's good will

D.C. Council members on Tuesday worried that friction with Mayor Vincent C. Gray is "escalating dramatically" because of contentious mid-year spending plans that are causing heartburn around city hall. Published April 17, 2012

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's nonvoting member of Congress, is joined by Mayor Vincent C. Gray as they march in the city's Emancipation Day parade Monday. The celebrated day in 1862 was about nine months before the historic Emanicpation Proclamation. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Hill weighs 'budget autonomy' for D.C.

Sen. Joe Lieberman plans to introduce legislation that would grant "budget autonomy" to the District, a key priority for Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other city leaders that would allow them to manage their fiscal year and local dollars without being tethered to congressional approval, a Senate committee aide said Monday. Published April 16, 2012

D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange shakes hands with a supporter outside his campaign headquarters on South Dakota Avenue in Northeast D.C., on Friday, March 30, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Final results expected in Biddle-Orange D.C. Council race

Elections officials in the District are counting nearly 5,000 absentee and provisional ballots today to determine the final result of a hotly contested Democratic primary race on April 3 for at-large member of the D.C. Council. Published April 13, 2012

D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange shakes hands with a supporter outside his campaign headquarters on South Dakota Avenue in Northeast D.C., on Friday, March 30, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Orange triumph wraps sweep for D.C. Council incumbents

Council member Vincent B. Orange has rounded out a full sweep by five Democratic incumbents in the D.C. primary elections, defeating challenger Sekou Biddle by more than 1,700 votes after special ballots were tallied Friday. Published April 13, 2012

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi

Sequestration a 'major issue' for D.C.

The District of Columbia is "very much worried" about cuts on Capitol Hill that could eliminate millions of dollars in revenue and spending capacity in the city, a potentially austere task as the D.C. government simultaneously learns to wean itself off one-time stimulus money it became accustomed to in recent years. Published April 12, 2012

Kenyan McDuffie (Photo provided by Kenyan McDuffie)

Separating from pack in Ward 5 race tough

A major labor union has endorsed Kenyan McDuffie for the Ward 5 seat on the D.C. Council ahead of the special election next month. It's a boon that could help separate his candidacy from a crowded field despite recent evidence that organized support does not guarantee victory. Published April 11, 2012

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

D.C. Mayor Gray announces plans for China junket in June

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday announced he and a delegation of economic development officials will visit three cities in China in June to set up business contacts and tout foreign investment in the city's hot real estate market. Published April 11, 2012

Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski said phone carrier databases will "all be able to talk to each other" as part of the law enforcement effort to effectively blacklist smartphones from use after they've been reported stolen. D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (left) and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier participated in the announcement of the strategy. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

National initiative would disable stolen smartphones

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and police chiefs from the District, Philadelphia and New York City announced a nationwide strategy on Tuesday to make stolen smartphones "as worthless as an empty wallet." Published April 10, 2012

A D.C. poll worker tells a man from James O'Keefe's Project Veritas

D.C. elections board condemns Holder-inspired voter ID sting

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics on Tuesday condemned a hidden-camera stunt that shows a man inquiring about voting as U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at a city polling precinct during the April 3 primary elections. Published April 10, 2012

Marion Barry, just two days after he won the Democratic primary for D.C. Council, said things about Asian-Americans in his Ward 8 that have created an uproar. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Outcry over Barry's 'deplorable' comments is quick and harsh

Two days after he celebrated a resounding victory at the polls, D.C. Council member Marion Barry found himself fending off a battery of backlash for comments he made that derided certain Asian-owned businesses in his Ward 8. Published April 5, 2012

**FILE** Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

In Ward 5 special election, no Thomas on ballot

Electioneering door-to-door, Ron Magnus likes to remind Ward 5 voters there has been a "Thomas" on their ballots since 1986. That won't be the case May 15, where 11 candidates hope to replace former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. in a special election. Published April 5, 2012

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

Effort to recall D.C. mayor is dropped

A D.C. man who was organizing a recall of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and council Chairman Kwame R. Brown because of ethics scandals that hit shortly after their election in 2010 has abandoned his effort. Published April 4, 2012

A voter passes a gantlet of campaign supporters as she makes her way to her voting precinct at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Washington as the nation's capital holds its primary election on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Voters trickle to polls for D.C. primary races

Modest numbers of voters hit the polls throughout the District on Tuesday to potentially alter the make-up of the beleaguered D.C. Council and decide who will carry their political party's flag into the general election in November. Published April 3, 2012

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat, casts her vote at the Randle-Highlands Elementary School precinct in Southeast on Tuesday. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

No big shakeup on D.C. Council

Modest numbers of voters hit the polls throughout the District on Tuesday with the potential for altering the makeup of the beleaguered D.C. Council and decide who will carry their political party's flag into the general election in November. Published April 3, 2012

Pollworker Tim Sudbury sets up voting booths Monday in the gymnasium of Lamond Recreation Center in Northwest Washington for Tuesday's D.C. Council primaries. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Some fear low turnout in early D.C. primary

Candidates vying for party nominations and an eventual spot on the D.C. Council say most city voters are familiar with the dark cloud that has gathered over city hall amid a series of ethics-related scandals, even if they can't explain what "bundling" is or why money orders are suddenly a key part of campaign-finance reform. Published April 2, 2012

**FILE** In 1998, voters in the District approved the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative. (The Washington Times)

D.C. OKs first six applicants to grow pot

The D.C. Department of Health has notified six applicants they can register to grow medical marijuana in the city, jump-starting an effort to aid the sick and dying that had languished under congressional interference and complex rulemaking since voters approved the program in 1998. Published April 1, 2012

**FILE** In 1998, voters in the District approved the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative. (The Washington Times)

Six applicants selected to grow marijuana in D.C.

The D.C. Department of Health has notified six applicants they may register to grow medical marijuana in the city, jump-starting an effort to aid the sick and dying that had languished under congressional interference and complex rulemaking since voters approved the program in 1998. Published March 30, 2012