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Archive for April, 2011

Washington Post Editorial: The Not-So Honorable Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry

D.C.’s former Mayor Marion Barry, currently a city council member, has had his share of brushes with federal law enforcement. As you recall in 1990 he was busted in an FBI sting smoking crack in a D.C. hotel room. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges relating to failure to file and pay taxes. His legal indiscretions go on and on. The Washington Post editorial talks about his latest indiscretion. The editorial sums it up best with the headline: “Marion Barry, Still Embarrassing D.C.” — Allan Lengel

The Not-So Honorable Marion Barry/gov photo


By The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — WHAT IS SO distressing about D.C. Council member Marion Barry’s latest escapade is not his belief that he can live outside the law. That’s old news. What’s distressing is that he seems to be correct in his assessment.

How else to explain the apparent indifference of police and other officials to the fact of Mr. Barry tooling around town in a car not properly registered? That Mr. Barry is allowed to continuously embarrass the people he was elected to serve erodes the city’s credibility and ability to manage itself.

The most recent instance of Mr. Barry (D-Ward 8) discrediting his office involves, as The Post’s Tim Craig disclosed, his use of a car that has “inactive” D.C. tags and that was not registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s against the law for anyone to operate a vehicle not properly registered, and violators face a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 30 days in jail.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ATF Still Hasn’t Turned Over Info to Congressional Committee; Battle Heats Up

ATF's Kenneth Melson keeping mum/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The battle between Capitol Hill and ATF seems to be heating up.

ATF failed to meet the Wednesday deadline to turn over requested information about a controversial gun-walking operation to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Becca Watkins, a spokeswoman for the committee, told ticklethewire.com Friday morning that the committee is expected to respond to  ATF’s non-compliance later in the day.

The committee has asked for info on the controversial program “Fast and Furious”, which had straw purchasers buying guns and ATF trying to trace them to the Mexican cartels. Some guns have ended up being used in serious crimes.

Rep. Darrell Isa, chairman of the committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley have expressed anger over ATF’s failure to turn over information about the program.  On top of that, Ken Melson, head of ATF, turned down an invitation to appear before Congress.

On Thursday, former ATF official Bernie La Forest released an email to ticklethewire.com he had sent to former colleagues saying Congress may cut ATF’s budget — or worse yet — eliminate the agency if it doesn’t start cooperating.

“This refusal is exactly what some politicians want. If the ‘failure to cooperate’ continues, ATF is in for another blood bath . . . maybe a fatal one this go-around,” La Forest wrote.

ATF did not immediately respond for comment Friday morning.

“We aren’t going to discuss matters of ongoing investigations,” said ATF spokesman Drew Wade.