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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. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Gray attorney accuses media of 'rush to judgment'

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's attorney accused members of the media and critics on Thursday of engaging in a "rush to judgment" over Mr. Gray's responsibility for an off-the-books scheme that injected about $650,000 into his 2010 campaign and places his political future in doubt. Published July 19, 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 committee passes bill restricting abortions in D.C.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Wednesday that bans abortions in the District 20 weeks into pregnancy, despite objections by Democrats and city leaders that the bill unreasonably singles out residents of the nation's capital. Published July 18, 2012

Thompson

Not all giving back tainted donor cash

Despite the return by President Obama and the Democratic Party of a tainted $10,000 donation from D.C. fundraiser Jeffrey E. Thompson, dozens of other federal and local campaign committees, Democrat and Republican alike, continue to hold on to tens of thousands of dollars they have received from the contractor now at the center of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's deepening fundraising scandal, records show. Published July 18, 2012

The Rev. Graylan Hagler (left) talks with Deborah Harris of Washington, a supporter of D.C Mayor Vincent C. Gray, during a faith-based rally on the front steps of the John A. Wilson Building in Washington on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Supporters called upon the crowd and the public not to rush to judgment, as three D.C. Council members have openly called for Mr. Gray's resignation in light of the scandal surrounding his 2010 election campaign. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Supporters rally around D.C. Mayor Gray

A diverse gathering of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's supporters raised their voices —and their megaphones — in prayer and song at a rally in front of city hall on Wednesday, evoking religious teachings and the right to due process to defend a man who has been labeled either an election-swindler or an innocent victim of his surrogates' sins. Published July 18, 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)

Hill panel set to weigh curb on D.C. abortions

The House Judiciary Committee will consider a bill Wednesday that would ban abortions in the District 20 weeks into pregnancy, a measure that pro-life advocates tout as a moral approach to abortion policy in the nation's capital even as city officials decry it as affront to their home rule. Published July 17, 2012

Work on the first phase of a multiyear effort to bury the District's power lines will begin in the spring, after the D.C. Public Service Commission announced Thursday it had approved the $1 billion plan.. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

D.C. residents rail against Pepco at council hearing

Pepco officials told a D.C. Council committee on Friday they are ready and willing to enter serious talks with customers and the city government about burying power lines in the District, an expensive proposition that is viewed as an antidote to power outages like those that afflicted the region during a heat wave this month. Published July 14, 2012

"People are innocent until they are proven guilty; they aren't guilty until they're proven innocent," D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Thursday. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

For D.C. Mayor Gray, 'what did he know and when?'

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Thursday said the swirl of suspicion around an off-the-books effort during his 2010 campaign is "as frustrating for me as it is for others." Published July 12, 2012

D.C. mayor deflects 'shadow campaign' questions

Mayor Vincent C. Gray defended his integrity and the reputation of his administration on Wednesday in his first public comments since federal prosecutors outlined a politically damaging "shadow" effort by members of his 2010 campaign. Published July 11, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is surrounded as he answers reporters' questions about campaign operative Jeanne C. Harris who pleaded guilty Tuesday to funneling undocumented campaign funds to his campaign. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Three on D.C. Council ask Mayor Gray to resign

Three D.C. Council members called on embattled Mayor Vincent C. Gray to resign Wednesday, just hours after he defended his integrity in his first public comments since federal prosecutors outlined a politically damaging "shadow" effort by members of his 2010 campaign. Published July 11, 2012

D.C. Council member David A. Catania (The Washington Times)

Three D.C. Council members call for Gray's resignation

Three D.C. Council members called on embattled Mayor Vincent C. Gray to resign on Wednesday, mere hours after the mayor defended his reputation in the wake of startling revelations about a "shadow" effort by members of his 2010 campaign. Published July 11, 2012

In a guilty plea Tuesday, Jeanne Harris, 75, admitted she funneled the undocumented campaign funds through one of her companies and culled "straw donors" who contributed to the Gray campaign in their names but were reimbursed for their donations. (Raymond Thompson/The Washington Times)

'Shadow' campaign for D.C. Mayor Gray detailed

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign took part in a secret and illegal effort that funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the candidate — a scheme the city's top prosecutor on Tuesday said "compromised" the election. Published July 10, 2012

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

Gray probe widens as big donor's associate charged

Federal prosecutors on Monday accelerated their ongoing probe into Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign by charging an associate of one of the District of Columbia's most prolific political contributors. Published July 9, 2012

Initiative 70 delivered 30,000 signatures to ban corporate contributions to local politicians during a press conference held at Judiciary Square on Monday, July 9, 2012, in the District (Raymond Thompson/The Washington Times)

About 30,000 sign petition to ban corporate money in D.C. politics

Activists hoping to eliminate pay-to-play politics in the D.C. government dropped off 30,000 signatures at the D.C. Board of Elections on Monday in support of a ballot initiative that would ban direct corporate contributions to local political campaigns. Published July 9, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, a Democrat, says the city has gone through a detailed, science-based review  of its breath-testing program since it "fell apart" two years ago. On Tuesday, the council will vote on reviving the program as part  of "a fairly busy" agenda before the summer recess. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. Council to consider breath testing return

The D.C. Council will consider a bill Tuesday that clears the way for breath testing by police, a critical component of drunken-driving cases that has been dormant for more than two years. Published July 9, 2012

**FILE** A woman walks through a line of cabs outside of Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. takes steps to make cabs more rider-friendly

The District has selected Verifone Systems to install credit card readers, GPS tracking and news programming in the city's taxicabs as part of promised reforms to make the system as rider-friendly as those in cities like New York, officials said Thursday. Published July 5, 2012

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (right), at-large independent, and D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (far right), a Democrat, take part in the nonpartisan parade, in the Northwest neighborhood of Palisades.

D.C.'s Palisades Parade is canon on Fourth of July

"It's got a patriotic quality about it," Even if they don't know how or why it became a tradition, politicians in the District know they'd better head to the Palisades for its annual Fourth of July parade. Published July 4, 2012

Utility workers secure power lines on a pole as their team repairs lines downed by fallen trees in Springfield. (Associated Press)

Power finally back on for 90% of Pepco's customers

Pepco boasted on Wednesday it had "beat by two days" its estimate for restoring power to 90 percent of its customers in the wake of a fierce storm that devastated the region on Friday night. Published July 4, 2012

Hugo Rodriguez, courtesy Montgomery County Police

Silver Spring man charged in stabbing death

A 38-year-old Silver Spring man was charged with first-degree murder after police say he stabbed a man multiple times on Tuesday during a dispute that escalated into a knife fight. Published July 4, 2012