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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.

David Grosso (

D.C. Council candidates ramp up fundraising

New campaign finance reports show D.C. Council incumbents with adequate war chests or recharging their fundraising efforts with about three months to go before the Nov. 6 election. Published August 13, 2012

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

Health law readiness follows state, party lines

The District of Columbia and Maryland are moving aggressively to implement virtual markets of insurance plans, becoming national leaders in carrying out President Obama's vision for health care reform, while their Republican neighbors in Virginia remain less than eager to implement the controversial law. Published August 12, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

IG report: No widespread school-test cheating in D.C.

A long-awaited report by the D.C. office of the inspector general says investigators found no evidence of widespread cheating among city public school students from 2008 to 2010, despite alarming testimony that some teachers at Noyes Education Campus in Northeast pointed out incorrect responses on standardized tests until students filled in the right answers. Published August 8, 2012

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)

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

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

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

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

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