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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.

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican

Proposal offers D.C. budget autonomy

A Republican proposal on Capitol Hill puts the District within striking distance of greater budget autonomy, a practical and symbolic goal of city leaders who have repeatedly sought to wrest control of their own affairs from congressional oversight. Published November 14, 2011

HONOR GUARD: Alexander Hubichi (from left), Matthew Cranford, Thomas Shedlick, and Matthew Shipley, Army JROTC cadets at St. John's College High School, carry the colors Thursday at the District of Columbia War Memorial. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

D.C. fights for World War I memorial

Edwin L. Fountain says a teenager who walks around the Mall and takes in the ornate, circular memorial to World War II just might wonder whatever happened to World War I. Published November 10, 2011

Panel works to land D.C. a bigger part in showbiz

D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange says the D.C. Armory could make a good soundstage as part of renewed efforts to attract film and television crews to the nation's capital instead of letting Baltimore and far-flung cities act as stand-ins for the city's distinct neighborhoods and architecture. Published November 9, 2011

D.C. Council member Jack Evans (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Evans' challenger cites 'intimidation' in dropping out

The D.C. Council's longest-serving member took a giant step closer to securing a sixth term when his opponent dropped out of the race on Wednesday, citing a bizarre chain of events that included a man peering into the windows of her Georgetown home. Published November 9, 2011

Ex-staffer for DYRS settles suit for $130K

The District's juvenile justice agency agreed to pay about $130,000 to a disgruntled former employee who sued the city after he was passed over for the top job at a D.C. facility in Laurel that houses young offenders, according to papers from the D.C. Office of the Attorney General. Published November 9, 2011

Pick to lead D.C.'s 911 agency pledges to fix morale, service

Mayor Vincent C. Gray's pick to lead the agency that handles 911 emergency calls and 311 service requests says she will improve morale "from the bottom up" and work to make sure emergency calls from Northwest do not end up at dispatch centers in Maryland. Published November 7, 2011

Robert Gordon (center), co-owner of the Red Velvet Cupcakery, chats Tuesday with interim D.C. Council member Sekou Biddle. Mr. Biddle was vying against several rivals Tuesday in a special election for a full term. (Nicholas Gingold/Special to The Washington Times)

Biddle running for D.C. Council, sets up rematch

Former D.C. Council member Sekou Biddle says he will run in next year's Democratic primary for an at-large seat, telling voters he will focus on ethics and serving as a role model to young black residents. Published November 6, 2011

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown wants to give top-rated teachers a $10,000 bonus and other incentives to work in low-performing schools. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Brown proposes getting top teachers to bottom schools

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown has proposed legislation that offers a $10,000 bonus and other incentives to top-rated city teachers who agree to work in public schools that need their expertise. Published November 3, 2011

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

Council chief not in loop for trip to Tampa

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown says he "was not invited" to join Mayor Vincent C. Gray and a pair of council members who went to Tampa, Fla., over the weekend to tour the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training facility. Published November 2, 2011

Gray wants Metro to hire more D.C. residents

Mayor Vincent C. Gray touted his signature job program on Wednesday by meeting with D.C. residents vying for Metro bus driver positions, an event that highlighted the "extremely low" number of city residents working at the transit agency. Published November 2, 2011

Six injured in five Halloween night shootings in D.C.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier says the onset of cold weather allows people to conceal weapons in bulky clothes and causes upticks in violence like the six shootings that occurred in the District on Halloween night. Published November 1, 2011

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, answers questions during an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times on July 25, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Issa agrees to 'freeze' legislation on D.C. hiring practices

Rep. Darrell E. Issa has agreed to "freeze" legislation that would impose background checks and other guidelines for vetting D.C. employees in the wake of nepotism scandals that hit city hall earlier this year. Published November 1, 2011

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, introduced the D.C. Employee Suitability Act of 2011 on Monday. It will get its first hearing Thursday. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Hill panel looks to reform D.C. hiring

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will consider a bill Thursday that tightens hiring practices in D.C. government, even as the District considers its own reforms after some appointees landed jobs at city hall through nepotism and other fast-track channels. Published October 31, 2011

D.C. Council member Michael Brown

Latest D.C. statehood campaign reaches beyond city borders

Officials in the District are taking a new approach to the quest for statehood, handpicking state legislatures that will support their goal through resolutions in their chambers, starting with friendly contacts in New England. Published October 30, 2011

Gray charts D.C. ethics priorities

Mayor Vincent C. Gray is touting broader powers for the D.C. attorney general and restrictions on funds that are supposed to assist needy constituents as part of six key points that "must be included" in any ethics reform legislation he would sign. Published October 27, 2011

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser

D.C. Council considers ethics-reform proposals

D.C. Council members on Wednesday took on the awkward task of addressing their own mechanisms for policing themselves and their colleagues in government, engaging in hours of debate on a slew of proposals aiming to overhaul city ethics laws. Published October 26, 2011

The New Beginnings Youth Development Center has been described as an "anti-prison."

Ex-New Beginnings official settles suit

The former superintendent of the Laurel facility that houses wards of the D.C. juvenile justice agency has settled a lawsuit in which he claimed he was passed over in his bid to become the permanent boss and terminated for criticizing the selection process. Published October 23, 2011

D.C. seeks disaster declaration for August earthquake

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray formally requested help from the Obama administration to pay for $6.8 million in damage from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that stunned the region on Aug. 23. Published October 21, 2011

D.C. Council member David A. Catania (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. council gives up seeking lost $15M

D.C. Council members abandoned efforts Thursday to try to recoup roughly $15 million in uncollected taxes as a result of a city agency quietly changing an obscure tax policy in 2007. Published October 20, 2011