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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.

Thompson

D.C. takes over embattled political donor's company

The District has taken over a managed-care company owned by the man at the center of a federal probe into an alleged "shadow campaign" in 2010 that worked on behalf of now-mayor Vincent C. Gray, officials said Friday. Published October 20, 2012

D.C. sees modest drop in unemployment

Workforce data released Friday shows the District of Columbia continues to see a slow, but promising, decline in unemployment. Published October 19, 2012

Prosecutor alleges plan to avoid tuition at McKinley Tech

The District is suing a Maryland woman and a city resident who works at a D.C. public charter school for $31,294 on claims they conspired to let an out-of-District student attend McKinley Technology High School in the city without paying tuition, the D.C. Office of the Attorney General said Thursday. Published October 18, 2012

A marijuana leaf neon sign advertises a medical-pot provider in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Feds put D.C. medical pot in a legal haze

While D.C. officials wait for six firms to grow medical marijuana in warehouses less than five miles from the White House, the role of cannabis in American life is taking center stage in political and legal bouts across the country. Published October 18, 2012

Legal opinion on D.C. budget referendum under wraps

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has made it clear he has misgivings over a D.C. Council-driven referendum to fast-track the city's effort to spend local funds as it pleases. But for now, a legal opinion that outlines those concerns is for official eyes only. Published October 17, 2012

Gray targets preference program for D.C. firms

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray vowed to hit the reset button on a long-standing program that was designed to provide advantages to companies based in the District but has been vulnerable to fraud. Published October 17, 2012

Natwar M. Gandhi

D.C. Council votes to require CFO to publish all audits

The D.C. Council unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that requires the D.C. office of the chief financial officer to actively disclose its internal audits in the wake of scrutiny of the office's procedures and its ability to police itself. Published October 16, 2012

D.C. Council signals a turn on traffic-camera fines

City lawmakers on Tuesday answered a mounting chorus of motorists who say the District is burdening them with pricey traffic-camera fines in an attempt to balance the local budget under the banner of public safety. Published October 16, 2012

Jim Graham

Mendelson to talk to Graham before acting on Metro report

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said Monday he owes fellow city lawmaker Jim Graham the "courtesy" of a sit-down meeting to discuss a recent report that claims Mr. Graham violated rules of conduct while representing the District on the Metro board in 2008. Published October 15, 2012

Activists for D.C.’s disabled see ‘red’ over parking meters plan

Advocates told a D.C. Council committee on Monday that legislation to reserve about 10 percent of the city's on-street parking spots for disabled motorists — yet require them to pay — appeared to be a revenue grab that overburdens a population with limited transit options. Published October 15, 2012

D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Norton walking tightrope on D.C. referendum

The District's non-voting member of Congress was put in a tough spot last week when all 12 members of the D.C. Council decided to support a springtime referendum that would allow voters to weigh in on budget autonomy, the long-sought ability to set the city's fiscal year and spend local funds without being tied to the spending-approval process on Capitol Hill. Published October 7, 2012

D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Norton in tough spot between budget autonomy bill and congressional cooperation

The District's non-voting member of Congress was put in a tough spot this week when all 12 members of the D.C. Council decided to support a springtime referendum that would allow voters to weigh in on budget autonomy, the long-sought ability to set the city's fiscal year and spend local funds without being tied to the spending approval process on Capitol Hill. Published October 5, 2012

Plans for D.C. health insurance marketplace move forward

The District of Columbia will forge ahead with plans to build a virtual marketplace where the uninsured and small businesses can compare health insurance providers, even if Republican nominee Mitt Romney wins the White House and President Obama's signature health care law is repealed, city officials said Thursday. Published October 4, 2012

D.C. Council incumbents Michael A. Brown (left), an independent, and Vincent B. Orange (second from left), a Democrat, attend a debate with challengers David Grosso, an independent, and Mary Brooks Beatty, a Republican, on Thursday. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Debate for two D.C. Council seats maintains civil tone

Maybe it was the setting — a house of worship — but a quartet of candidates vying for two at-large seats on the D.C. Council eschewed the bitter rhetoric and personal attacks that have dominated the past few weeks for veiled swipes and even cordiality during a debate in Georgetown on Thursday. Published October 4, 2012

Fans have been flocking to Nationals Park this season, starting with Gavin Kearney, 4, holding the hand of his father, Gus, at the April 3 exhibition game against Boston. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Security, traffic control in on-deck circle for Nats

The Washington Nationals and half of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's Cabinet are ironing out plans to beef up security, vendor inspections and traffic control in and around Nationals Park next week when the city hosts its first baseball postseason game in almost 80 years, officials said Wednesday. Published October 3, 2012

**FILE** D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council to seek budget freedom from Hill

The president could be forced to side either with the District or lawmakers on Capitol Hill if D.C. residents support a charter referendum next spring that would allow their elected leaders to spend local funds without approval from Congress. Published October 2, 2012

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. may reserve 10% of meters for disabled

A D.C. Council member will introduce a bill Tuesday that reserves more than 10 percent of the District's on-street parking spaces for disabled motorists, a "red-top" meter program designed to comply with federal law despite cutting into an already thin supply of curbside spots in the nation's capital. Published October 1, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council to consider charter amendment on budget autonomy

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson plans to introduce a charter referendum bill on Tuesday that, if passed, will allow city voters to say whether their elected leaders should be able to spend local funds without pre-approval from Congress. Published October 1, 2012