A conversation about felons’ rights opens up another Pandora’s Box of racial and civil rights issues in Virginia. The discovery of a budget surplus threatens to curse a deal between D.C. teachers and the city. And a viral video of a police beating unleashes a torrent of criticism in Prince George’s County. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.


  • Tom Sherwood Resident Analyst; NBC 4 reporter; and Columnist for the Current Newspapers
  • R. Donahue Peebles Chairman and CEO, The Peebles Corporation
  • Jamie Raskin Member, Maryland State Senate (D- Dist. 20 Montgomery County); and Professor of Law, American University's Washington College of Law

Politics Hour Extra

This week, the D.C. Council continued it’s inquiry into contracting practices in Mayor Fenty’s administration. A number of investivestigative reports have alleged that developers close to the mayor have received preferential city contracts. Developer– and possible Mayoral candidate– R. Donahue Peebles calls the business environment in the city “an embarassment”:

Peebles says that if he does decide to run for D.C. mayor and is elected, he would focus primarily on economic issues and job creation in his first 100 days:

1n 1998, D.C.’s Corporation Counsel and the law firm Covington and Burling filed a lawsuit — Alexander v. Daley– alleging that “the denial of the D.C. community’s right to be represented in the U.S. Congress violates the rights of Equal Protection, Due Process, a republican form of government, and the privileges and immunities of national citizenship–all critical democratic guarantees of the U.S. Constitution”.

In March 2000, a three-judge panel in federal district court ruled against the city in a split 2-1 decision. Judge Merrick Garland– today believed to be on President Obama’s short-list for the U.S. Supreme Court— voted against extending the rights of District citizens. Maryland state Senator Jamin Raskin (D- Dist. 20 Montgomery County) talks about the legal future of voting rights for District of Columbia residents:

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