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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.

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

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

**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

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. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. budget vote scheduled for Tuesday

The long, tortured path toward compensating city workers for four furlough days will get a little longer, as the D.C. Council looks ahead to fiscal 2013 instead of taking up the issue on Tuesday during its first round of voting on the upcoming year's budget. Published May 14, 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

Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. makes his way to a waiting car after his sentencing at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 3, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Voters head to polls to pick replacement for Thomas

Voters in Ward 5 will replace former council member Harry Thomas Jr. on Tuesday by choosing from a long menu of candidates who hope to restore confidence and integrity to the Northeast ward's seat at city hall. Published May 14, 2012

**FILE** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's proposal to raise $30 million by expanding a traffic-camera program is a "ruse" to take advantage of out-of-state motorists, said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John B. Townsend II. (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council explores avenues for reducing traffic fines

D.C. Council members are actively looking at ways to reduce traffic fines in light of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's recent plan to greatly increase the use of automated enforcement on the city's streets. Published May 13, 2012

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

D.C. woman connected to Thomas scheme pleads guilty

A 46-year-old woman linked to former council member Harry Thomas Jr.'s scheme to steal public funds pleaded guilty on Friday to failing to report income on her tax return in 2010, including a "fee" she obtained for surreptitiously redirecting more than $100,000 in grant funds to cover the costs of an inaugural ball in January 2009. Published May 11, 2012

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Graham not sold on compromise over bar hours

D.C. Council member Jim Graham is not abandoning his proposal to increase the excise tax on alcohol sales in lieu of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's money-raising plan to expand bar hours, despite the appeal of a compromise plan that could render the tax moot and keep the booze flowing until 4 a.m. on holidays instead of year-round. Published May 10, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council considers bar hours trade-off

The D.C. Council is considering a budget compromise that allows bars to stay open until 4 a.m. on all federal and D.C. holidays, some specified holiday weekends and the week of the presidential inauguration in lieu of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's plan to keep taps flowing for an extra hour every night of the year. Published May 9, 2012