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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.

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

Brown to introduce plan to repay furloughed employees

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown will introduce a proposal on Tuesday that would compensate city workers for four furlough days it took in 2011, only to see the District gain a windfall of revenue by the end of the year. Published May 30, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to outline a network of 100 organizations pledged to protect the District's home rule during federal budget talks. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. officials optimistic about getting budgetary independence

D.C. officials remain upbeat about their prospects for getting the right to spend local funds without prior approval from Congress, despite a lack of tangible progress on Capitol Hill more than a year after a powerful House member floated a plan to grant the city “budget autonomy.” Published May 29, 2012

**FILE** Sulaimon Brown (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

In Gray government, questions won't stop

Federal prosecutors provided answers last week to one of the most-pressing questions about D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 primary campaign - whether or not staffers paid a minor opponent to stay in the race with the hope he would continue his verbal attacks on incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Published May 28, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to outline a network of 100 organizations pledged to protect the District's home rule during federal budget talks. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray-Norton coalition fights federal meddling

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the District's nonvoting member of Congress are touting a coalition that will serve as allies in the city's fight to stave off any interference from Capitol Hill in local affairs. Published May 27, 2012

Howard L. Brooks (right), an aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, makes his way to a waiting car after pleading guilty Thursday in federal court to lying about furtive campaign payments to candidate Sulaimon Brown before the 2010 Democratic primary for mayor. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Campaign payments nab 2nd Gray aide

A second aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign pleaded guilty Thursday to lying about furtive payments he made to another candidate and in the process revealed that there were at least several thousand dollars in unattributed donations to the Gray team. Published May 24, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray faced reporters' questions about an aide's indictment after a news conference about street improvements. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Second Gray aide charged in campaign probe

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray implored city residents to "let this investigation play out" after a second operative from his 2010 campaign was criminally charged Wednesday with lying to FBI agents investigating whether the mayor's campaign illegally provided cash to another candidate. Published May 23, 2012

Rep. Darrell E. Issa (right) greets D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (left) and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown on Capitol Hill earlier this month. Mr. Gray is seeking authority to set the city's budget year and spend local funds without Congress' prior OK. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C.'s bid for increased autonomy unhurt by election cases

A formal admission that members of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign team paid a minor candidate to bash incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty — whether Mr. Gray knew it or not — has not upset the city's fragile relationship with Capitol Hill at this stage, an official said Wednesday. Published May 23, 2012

Following his attorney Frederick D. Cooke, Jr., (left) Thomas Gore, a campaign treasurer for Mayor Vincent C. Gray, makes his exit from the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse after his plea hearing in the District on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Gray under cloud in campaign fraud case

Federal prosecutors dealt a major blow to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday by validating high-profile claims by a minor 2010 candidate that Mr. Gray's campaign paid him to bash incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty during the race. Published May 22, 2012

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

Campaign aide for Gray cuts plea deal

A senior member of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's campaign team in 2010 has been charged with destroying a spiral notebook that contained records of payments from the campaign to another mayoral candidate, according to court papers. Published May 21, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Marion Barry (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Barry treated for blood clot in Las Vegas

Council member Marion Barry took to the Internet to say he is doing well after sustaining a blood clot in his leg on the way to an international retail convention in Las Vegas. Published May 21, 2012

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

April unemployment down in D.C.

Statistics released Friday show the District's unemployment rate dropped from 9.8 percent in March to 9.5 percent in April, a positive sign that Mayor Vincent C. Gray touted as proof his employment programs have been effective although there is “more work to do.” Published May 18, 2012

Christy Zink, of the District, who had an abortion after it was determined there were "severe brain abnormalities" in her fetus, speaks at a Thursday news conference on Capitol Hill as D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton look on. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Capitol Hill eyes limiting abortions in D.C.

A House subcommittee heard diverging opinions on a bill that would ban abortions in the nation's capital once a fetus is 20 weeks past fertilization, a Republican-backed effort that city officials decried as a "cheap and cynical" way to promote an agenda on the backs of women in the District without any input from the city's sole voice in Congress. Published May 17, 2012

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

City wants its form of Hatch Act to prevail

The District's top attorney on Wednesday asked members of Congress to let the D.C. government rely on its own version of a federal law that polices public employees' participation in partisan politics, arguing the city is plagued by confusing applications of law. Published May 16, 2012

Kenyan McDuffie (Photo provided by Kenyan McDuffie)

Gray: McDuffie 'an outstanding choice' for Ward 5

Mayor Vincent C. Gray said voters in Ward 5 made “an outstanding choice” in picking Kenyan McDuffie to be their voice on the D.C. Council and restore integrity to a seat marred by scandal. Published May 16, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (left) confers with fellow council members Tommy Wells (center) and Jack Evans. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council approves budget without tax hikes

The D.C. Council tentatively approved a fiscal 2013 budget on Tuesday that does not include new taxes or fees, but dedicates more than $20 million to affordable housing programs by leveraging funds tied to the sale of city-owned land. Published May 15, 2012

Kenyan McDuffie, a candidate to replace Harry Thomas for Ward 5 city councilmember, comes to cast his vote in the special election with his wife Princess, right, and his two daughters Kesi, 5, and Jozi, 2, at Mt. Bethel Baptist Church on Rhode Island Avenue in northwest, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 15, 2012 (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

McDuffie wins Ward 5 D.C. Council seat handily

Kenyan McDuffie, a born-and-bred resident of the District's Stronghold neighborhood who touted public policy experience and a laundry list of labor endorsements, soundly defeated a crowded field on Tuesday to replace former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. and begin a new chapter for Ward 5 leadership at city hall. Published May 15, 2012

**FILE** D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council to consider Brown's budget plan

The D.C. Council will consider its chairman's fiscal 2013 budget today, which dedicates more than $20 million to affordable housing programs by leveraging funds tied to the sale of city-owned land, and issue the first of two votes on the plan. Published May 15, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown's budget proposal includes a compromise  to raise more revenue from expanded bar and restaurant hours.

D.C. budget proposal leaves out tax hikes

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown indicated on Monday he will deliver a fiscal 2013 budget plan that does not impose new taxes or fees — a feature that Mayor Vincent C. Gray emphasized in his blueprint for the council — but does tweak a proposal to expand alcohol sales at bars and taverns across the city. Published May 14, 2012