Archive for December 2011

The 2011 year in review

December 30, 2011 - 04:07 PM

Today on NewsTalk, we looked back at 2011. From the struggling economy to local political scandal to the gridlock in Washington, our panel - John Mason, Sharrarne Morton and Steve Van Grack - offered analysis of the year that was. We also made our annual year-end awards (everything from Hero of the Year to "Goat"), we reviewed our predictions for 2011 and we made forecasts for 2012. It's a great conversation - well worth watching.

WATCH today’s conversation here:

Monday at 10am: The top sports stories of 2011
Tuesday at 10am: Presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer and DC Council candidate Natalie Williams

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Marion Barry rebuked for using government resources to attack opponent

December 29, 2011 - 05:57 PM

D.C. Councilman Marion Barry's use of government personnel and equipment to smear a political opponent has earned him a rebuke from the panel's leader.

Just hours after Barry issued a press release that hammered Ward 8 Council candidate Natalie Williams, Chairman Kwame Brown scolded Barry in a letter, saying the lawmaker had committed "a potential violation" of the Council's rules.

"Under the Council's Code of Official Conduct," Brown tells the former mayor, "employees are prohibited from using 'government resources to support or oppose any candidate for elected office.'"

Barry's press release criticized Williams, his former spokeswoman, for her opposition to a proposed shelter for homeless women. As recently as September, Barry backed Williams's candidacy to become president of the Ward 8 Democrats, according to City Paper. Now he claims she knows little about the ward because she hasn't lived there long, and he chides her knowledge of municipal affairs, saying "Ms. Williams apparently does not know city law which allows the transition house to be on Good Hope Road as a matter of right."

Brown's letter, which was obtained by NewsChannel 8, says Barry's press release "appears to have violated (Council rules) because it was sent using a government email account, and plainly refers to a candidate for elected office..."

122911 KB Barry Release Conduct

Barry's release lists staffer Joyce Clements-Smith as contact, prompting Brown to remind the Ward 8 councilman that "Council employees are not permitted to work on campaign-related activities while on duty, using their official titles, or using government property."

Clements-Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Barry's office is closed until next week.

Brown's quick response to the Barry attack on Williams may flow from a desire to boost the public's perception of the Council at a time when polls show the panel's image has been battered.

Williams said, "I applaud the chairman for moving so swiftly on this matter. Clearly Councilman Barry's press release was personal in nature, untruthful and unlawful. (He) knew that by using his government resources, this was unethical."

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The Sports Year in Review

December 29, 2011 - 02:23 PM

Today on NewsTalk, we looked back at the top sports stories of the year. ABC 7’s Britt McHenry, Washington Post reporter Gene Wang and Tom Threlkeld of the DC Pro Sports Report discussed the Redskins continued lackluster play, the Capitals struggles, the Penn State scandal, the impact of money in college sports, the Nationals prospects for 2012, Lamont Peterson’s stunning upset and more.

WATCH our conversation here:

Friday at 10am: The top news stories of 2011


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GOP race heats up; Tax advice; DUI crackdown

December 28, 2011 - 12:22 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Sirius/XM’s Joe Madison talked about the heated rhetoric coming from the presidential campaign trail as the Iowa caucuses draw near. We also talked about the economic recovery – and whether it’s likely to pick up momentum in 2012.

CPA Joey Musmar offered end-of-the-year tax advice.

And we discussed efforts to curb drunk driving with Kurt Gregory Erickson of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Thursday at 10am: The year in sports news

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Eleanor Holmes Norton; Gingrich fails Va. ballot test; Money advice

December 27, 2011 - 01:30 PM

Today on NewsTalk, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton talked about the recent budget standoff, her relationship with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the District’s pursuit of budget autonomy and her goals for 2012.

Politico’s Isaac Dovere discussed Gingrich’s failure to qualify for Virginia’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary – and whether the state’s ballot access requirements are too strict.

And we got financial advice from Gerri Walsh, head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation. (Her 12 tips for 2012 are here: )

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Wednesday at 10am: Sirius XM’s Joe Madison and CPA Joey Musmar

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DC residents sour on Gray, Brown; Wells on ethics ‘failure’; Chris Zimmerman

December 23, 2011 - 02:09 PM

Today on NewsTalk, we talked about a new poll showing that several of DC’s top politicians – including Mayor Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown – are held in low regard by the public. Our panel – Sam Ford, Philip Pannell and Chuck Thies – talked about why the public has soured on them, and whether they can turn it around.

DC Councilman Tommy Wells hammered his colleagues for failing to approve a stronger ethics bill. In strong language, he said members of Council left the status quo pretty much intact because they’re dependent on campaign donations from firms that do (or hope to do) business with the city. He was particularly critical of Marion Barry’s years as mayor. We also talked about taxi reform legislation and street cars.

In our last segment, Chris Zimmerman talked about his year as chairman of the Arlington Board of Supervisors.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Monday at 10am: Author Craig Shirley and fitness expert Josef Brandenburg, among others

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Gerry Connolly on the tax standoff; Rushern Baker reflects on Year 1

December 22, 2011 - 12:51 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Rep. Gerry Connolly talked about the stalemate over the payroll tax extension, which threatens to hand 160 million Americans a tax increase in the new year. During our conversation, we listened to the press conference held by Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders in the House. Afterward, Connolly (D-Va.) said he was “greatly disappointed” in the speaker’s remarks – adding that the GOP side appears to be “digging in.”

We also talked about the traffic concerns related to the new Mark Center development, the war in Iraq and more.

In our second half hour, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker discussed his first year in office and his goals for the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly. We also talked about efforts to lure businesses – and the FBI – to the county, education and the 2012 elections.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Friday at 10am: DC Councilman Tommy Wells and Arlington Supervisor Chris Zimmerman

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Dealing with disaster; Tony O’Donnell; The ‘Seat Pleasant 59’

December 21, 2011 - 01:47 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Millicent West, the head of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, talked about regional efforts to avoid a repeat of January’s “snowmageddon.” Included: what area residents should do now to make sure they’re prepared when winter weather – and unexpected events like earthquakes – occur.

Del. Tony O’Donnell (R-Southern Md.) discussed the upcoming session of the Maryland General Assembly and his bid to unseat House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Our Q&A focused heavily on Hill’s budget standoff, the state’s economy and immigration.

In our last segment, Washington Post reporter Paul Schwartzman talked about his recent series on the “Seat Pleasant 59,” a group of young people given the opportunity to attend college free of charge, thanks to a generous offer from philanthropists Abe Pollin and Melvin Cohen.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Thursday at 10am: Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and County Executive Rushern Baker

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Our Q&A with County Executive Leggett

December 20, 2011 - 03:17 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett talked about the county’s new bag tax, which takes effect on January 1. Although Montgomery’s law is modeled on the District’s, it’s broader, and Leggett is trying to educate the county’s nearly one million residents about its provisions.

We also talked about the County Council’s decision to table a proposed teen curfew, which Leggett denounced in strong terms. Among our other topics: snow removal, the major development projects that are in the pipeline, his call for an increase in the gas tax, and the tension between the police union and Chief Tom Manger.

WATCH today’s interview here:

Wednesday at 10am: Maryland Delegate and congressional candidate Tony O’Donnell (R) and DC emergency management chief Millicent West.

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Congress debates the budget; The death of Kim Jong Il; Taxi service in DC; Hunger issues

December 19, 2011 - 12:34 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Politico's Jonathan Allen discussed the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. He also talked about the Congressional standoff over the budget and the payroll tax holiday.

Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis talked about the proposal to modernize taxi service in DC and improvements in the delivery of basic city services.

Lynn Brantley, head of the Capital Area Food Bank, talked about how the faltering economy has led to an increase in need for food assistance, and Alex Ashbrook of DC Hunger Solutions discussed a new report highlighting how many area residents lack access to healthy food options.

In our last segment, insurance expert Madelyn Flanagan offered tips on how to keep your home and holiday purchases safe from thieves.

WATCH today's show here:

Tomorrow at 10AM: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett

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Congress budget showdown; The GOP debate; Sen. Anthony Muse; The Beacon House Falcons

December 16, 2011 - 02:20 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Rep. Donna Edwards discussed the potential deal to avert a partial federal government shutdown.

Politico’s David Mark discussed last night’s Iowa debate and the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Md. state Sen. C. Anthony Muse talked about his potential challenge to U.S. Senator – and fellow Democrat – Ben Cardin, and the fight over redistricting.

And we talked with the Beacon House Falcons, the Pop Warner football team from the District that went all the way to the national finals.

WATCH today’s show here:

Monday at 10am: Congress tries to avoid a shutdown, and DC improves delivery of basic services.

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Our interview with Mayor Gray

December 15, 2011 - 02:39 PM

Today on NewsTalk, DC Mayor Vince Gray talked about the delivery of city services, the Occupy protests, the snow removal/winter weather plan, street cars and Wal-Mart. He also responded to allegations that city leaders are too “distracted” by scandal to govern.

WATCH today’s entire interview here:

Friday at 10am: The latest on the deal to keep the government funded. 

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Distracted driving; Kwame Brown; Lowe's protest; "Flash mobs"

December 14, 2011 - 01:47 PM

Today on NewsTalk, reporter Kris Van Cleave talked about the recommendation, from a federal safety panel, to ban cell phone use while driving.

DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown discussed ethics reform, internet gambling and job opportunities.

Former Md. Delegate Saqib Ali talked about the protest against Lowe's following the chain's decision to pull its ads from a cable reality show.

And Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice discussed his proposal to stiffen penalties again "flash mob robberies."

WATCH today's interviews here:

Thursday at 10am: DC Mayor Vince Gray

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Losing patience with the Occupation; NFL news; Tax advice

December 13, 2011 - 12:40 PM

Today on NewsTalk, protest organizer Kevin Zeese responded to comments made by the head of the Board of Trade, who told WAMU that McPherson Square will be a “toxic waste dump” for years because of the Occupy encampment.

Tom Threlkeld of the DC Pro Sports Report talked about Tim Tebow’s inspirational play for the Denver Broncos, the uneven officiating that critics say has marred the NFL this year, and NBA commissioner David Stern’s controversial decision to nix a 3-way trade involving a league-owned team.

And CPA Joey Musmar offered year-end tax advice and answered viewers’ tax questions.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Wednesday at 10am: DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown

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Rep. Roscoe Bartlett; The Iowa debate

December 12, 2011 - 01:48 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) talked candidly about his re-election bid, the resignation of his Chief of Staff, the race for the White House (including the rise of his former colleague Newt Gingrich) and the debate over the extension of the payroll tax. We also discussed partisan redistricting, energy policy and gridlock in Congress.

In our last segment, Politico’s David Mark discussed Saturday’s GOP debate in Iowa and President Obama’s sagging poll numbers.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Tuesday at 10am: Progressive activist Kevin Zeese. Also the DC Pro Sports Report’s Tom Threlkeld and CPA Joey Musmar answers your tax questions

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Va. Tech officer killed; Phil Mendelson

December 9, 2011 - 02:54 PM

Today on NewsTalk, reporter and Virginia Tech alum Jummy Olabanji talked about the shooting that claimed the life of a police officer at the Blacksburg school. We also carried the press briefing that university officials and state police provided to reporters this morning.

In our last segment, DC Councilman Phil Mendelson discussed his proposal to amend the city's gun laws, ethics reform, internet gambling and more.

WATCH today's interviews here:

Monday at 10am: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)

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1941 revisited; The Gingrich surge; K St. arrests; Kaine v. Allen

December 8, 2011 - 06:06 PM

Today on NewsTalk, author Craig Shirley discussed his new book, “December 1941,” which looks at the first impacts World War II had on life in the U.S. We also discussed Newt Gingrich’s rise in the Republican presidential primary polling, which he says has Mitt Romney’s advisors in “abject panic” mode.

We also talked with Rodney Cephas, coach of the Jr. Pee Wee football Beacon House Falcons, about the team’s success in the national playoffs. The Falcons, winner of last year’s championship, play in the title game on Saturday.

Pete Tucker of talked about the arrest of dozens of protestors in that big demonstration on K Street.

And Politico’s David Catanese offered analysis of the first debate between Virginia Senate hopefuls Tim Kaine and George Allen.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Friday at 10am: DC Councilman Phil Mendelson talks ethics, jobs and more

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The collision of politics and the law

December 7, 2011 - 01:39 PM

Today on NewsTalk, legal analyst Jim Shalleck and political analyst David Harrington talked about the sentencing of Jack and Leslie Johnson, the “robocalls” conviction of Ehrlich aide Paul Schurick, the raid at Tommy Thomas’s house and the trial of Ulysses Currie. We also talked about what it would take to reform our political culture. (Johnson’s nephew called in about halfway through the program.)

In our last segment, we discussed former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky’s bewildering decision to grant media interviews. His failure to effectively answer simply questions such as “do you like boys?” has many people questioning the wisdom of his defense team’s strategy.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Thursday at 10am: Political strategist and author Craig Shirley

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Cuccinelli Q&A; Johnson seeks leniency

December 6, 2011 - 11:32 AM

Today on NewsTalk, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli talked about his decision to run for Governor. The news, which rocked the Virginia GOP, sets up a potentially explosive primary with Lt. Governor and fellow Republican Bill Bolling. Our interview was Cuccinelli was his first in-depth Q&A since his announcement.

Washington Post reporter Anita Kumar, who broke the Cuccinelli news, provided analysis of the upcoming contest.

In our last segment, former Prince George’s County Councilman and state Senator David Harrington talked about former Executive Jack Johnson’s bid for leniency.

WATCH today’s interviews here.

Wednesday at 10am: Legal analyst Jim Shalleck

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Thomas probe; Occupy clash; Cain out; DC Council ethics

December 5, 2011 - 04:32 PM

Today on NewsTalk, Washington Post reporter Tim Craig offered analysis of Friday’s FBI raid at the home of DC Councilman Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr. We also discussed the clash between Occupy DC protestors and police.

We had an interesting conversation with our political panel – ABC 7’s Scott Thuman, Politico’s David Mark and Adam Tragone of Human Events – about Herman Cain’s decision to suspend his presidential campaign.

And, with critics accusing the DC Council of failing to put forward a serious ethics reform proposal, we talked with Jerry Clark of DC for Democracy. He believes the legislation, which may get voted on tomorrow, should be much tougher.

WATCH today’s interviews here:

Tuesday at 10am: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

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