- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 11, 2011

HBO is developing a biopic about D.C. “Mayor-for-Life” Marion Barry with resurgent movie star Eddie Murphy rumored to be playing the lead, NBC Washington reporter Tom Sherwood confirmed on Friday.

Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, is running for a third consecutive term on the council next year. A colorful figure in D.C. politics for decades, Mr. Barry served as mayor from 1979 to the dawn of the 1990s, when he was arrested after being caught on video smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting. Mr. Barry won a council seat in 1992 and won another term as mayor in 1994 after spending six months in federal prison.

Mr. Sherwood said he and co-author Harry Jaffe sold the rights to their definitive 1994 book, “Dream City,” about Mr. Barry’s rise in D.C. politics and lasting impact on the city as a civil rights leader and its longtime leader.

That’s about all Mr. Sherwood could dish about the project during his weekly appearance as an analyst on WAMU’s Politics Hour, hosted by Kojo Nnamdi.

He is, however, excited that noted director Spike Lee is involved.

“It wouldn’t just be a caricature of Barry,” Mr. Sherwood said. “It would be a real serious look at him.”

News of the potential film sparked a flurry of Twitter-land banter, particularly about the rumored casting of Mr. Murphy. Other insiders were more concerned about who should play Mr. Sherwood, a well-established city hall reporter who made his name with the Washington Post.

Mr. Sherwood says he should play himself.

“Maybe I’ll get a new suit out of it,” he quipped on the airwaves.

‘Spilling’ Bee

Yes, people make mistakes. But with control of the state Senate supposedly on the line, you’d think lawyers who would be crossing every “t,” dotting every “i” — and would know how to spell the name of Virginia’s lieutenant governor.

State Sen. A. Donald McEachin, Henrico Democrat, filed a lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court seeking to determine, once and for all, the lieutenant governor’s role when it comes to organizational matters in the state Senate, such as the all-important task of assigning members to committees, which determine which legislation advances to the floor and which dies on the vine.

One problem — lawyers for Mr. McEachin listed the defendant in the lawsuit as “William T. Billing.”

John Keith, Mr. McEachin’s lawyer, remedied the situation Friday and infused a little self-deprecating humor into the hearing on the matter, presenting an order with the mistake corrected.

“Computers are wonderful things, [but] sometimes things just go wrong,” he said.

Seizing the moment

Many local residents are dreaming of a white Christmas this year, but Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown was wishing for a white Thanksgiving last month.

Mr. Brown, a Democrat, sat in for Gov. Martin O’Malley for a nearly two-week stretch ending last week, during which the governor visited India and later attended a Democratic Governors Association event.

The lieutenant governor filled in for Mr. O’Malley at last week’s Board of Public Works meeting, where state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp mentioned there was possible snow in that night’s forecast. With the governor set to return home in mere hours, Mr. Brown knew the storm — which ended up being only heavy rain — wasn’t much use to him.

“In these emergencies, they give state leadership an opportunity to show their leadership,” he said. “I was hoping for the big snowstorm last week.”

Tom Howell Jr., David Sherfinski and David Hill contributed to this report

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