The Washington Times - May 25, 2011, 12:22PM

The Post files this from Las Vegas: “D.C. Mayor Vincent D. Gray delivered an ultimatum in a face-to-face meeting with Wal-Mart officials at a real estate convention Monday: If the chain wants to enter the District at all, it had better commit to opening at Skyland Shopping Center, the long-delayed redevelopment project in Gray’s home ward that he considers the most important development project in the city. “They’re interested in developing four stores,” the mayor said in an interview Tuesday. “All of us said, ‘What about a fifth store?’ They hemmed and hawed, and it ultimately came down to — you have a choice. You can do five stores or you can do no stores.”

Mike DeBonis in The Washington Post says the city may have missed out on millions of dollars in collecting recordation taxes in recent years. “When some loans are refinanced, the city is supposed to collect a tax, which can total hundreds of thousands of dollars for some big downtown properties.” The issue came up when two D.C. lawyers approached the CFO exposing the loophole and offered to locate uncollected money — for a fee. Gandhi spokesman David Umansky said the CFO’s office is “skeptical that the issue is as widespread” as has been alleged. Jack Evans says it could be a problem. And an audit would likely be costly.


The U.S. Justice Department has requested telephone interviews with key Virginia legislators involved in redistricting as part of its Voting Rights Act review of the Virginia legislative districts, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, described the inquiry Tuesday as routine. “I think they’re just doing due diligence,” he said. But he added that he doesn’t remember being called 10 years ago, when he also was heavily involved in redistricting.

D.C. budget vote today. Tom Howell at The Washington Times says that as of late Tuesday, “Council members said they had not seen the chairman’s proposal as of late Tuesday afternoon, although they had a good sense of what will be in it based on prior discussions.”

David Hill in The Times followed a Maryland delegate collecting signatures to support an effort to repeal the Dream Act. “Some Marylanders want nothing to do with Delegate Neil C. Parrott and his clipboard. Others approach him as if they’ve been looking for him.” Mr. Parrott said Tuesday that organizers have collected 25,000 signatures that they think are valid. Many more, though, could be needed, because petitions typically have hundreds or thousands of signatures rejected as a result of errors and technicalities.

WJLA-TV (Channel 7) The D.C. Department of Health confirmed that United Medical Center is dealing with its second case of bed bugs since March.