The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Breakfast links: Bag fee blockage

Photo by katerha on Flickr.
PG bag fee loses vote: A bill to let Prince George's levy a 5¢ bag fee is likely dead after 2 county delegates voted against it. One, Carolyn Howard, touts a League of Conservation Voters 100% rating on her home page; not for long? (Post)

Don't live free: New Hampshire's state House voted down a resolution supporting DC statehood on a largely party-line vote. DC officials had hoped the call to freedom would resonate in the state. Florida is also considering the resolution. (DCist)

Hard to drive 55?: 2 Montgomery state senators want to raise the speed limit on the ICC. One, Nancy King, says she's having a hard time driving only 55. (Post)

More camera controversies: One Ward 7 Council candidate attacked speed cameras on Pennsylvania Avenue, but many residents say they make the neighborhood safer. Various other restauranteurs and radio producers are wringing hands over speed cameras, but MPD stands by their value. (Fox5, HCCA, DCist)

Bite your tongue: A DCFEMS spokesman has been placed on administrative leave with pay after asserting that criticisms of the department's leadership were racist. The comments were made on his personal social media accounts. (Washington Times)

Defaulting Thomas: Harry Thomas, Jr., has defaulted on his latest $50,000 payment to reimburse DC for funds that he stole. It's unclear what the District can do about it, as his house is solely in his wife's name. (WTOP)

New plans for NoVa: Development plans near the Potomac Yard metro station have been announced. The project, called The Exchange, will be oriented around the unbuilt station and BRT line, but will begin construction by middle of this year. (DCMud)

Unaffordable affordable housing: The DC Housing Protection Trust Fund is too short on fundshardly one-seventh the needed amount—to fill its mandate, leaving demand for affordable housing largely unmet. (City Paper)

People want walkable: In a new survey, 58% of Americans said they'd prefer a walkable neighborhood and would even live in a smaller house to get it. (GOOD)

And...: Foreign investors like DC because of the height limit. (City Paper) ... LA's mayor says they can't keep building freeways. (NPR) ... Paris legalizes the Idaho Stop (or as they call it, "griller les feux"). (Telegraph) ... The Post will shrink its news staff. (Reuters)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
David Edmondson is a transportation and urban affairs enthusiast working on his master's in city and regional planning at Cornell University. He blogs about Marin County, California, at The Greater Marin


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Does anyone know the rules around the DC speed cams, such as the threshold speed at which they detect a violation (5mph over limit, 10 mph over limit, etc.)? Is there a map of speed cam locations?

by ksu499 on Feb 9, 2012 9:01 am • linkreport

My understanding is they give 11mph leeway, although it may be 9, and it may vary.

As for the warnings issue, it does seem to defeat the intent of the 30 day warning period if MPDC doesn't issue the first warning until 25 days into the warning period. Perhaps the law should be amended to have the warning period not begin until the date on which the first warning is mailed (or add to 30 whatever the length of time it takes for MPDC to review and issue the citations).

by ah on Feb 9, 2012 9:26 am • linkreport


I've been hit on DC cams for far less -- on that strech of the SE freeway which is marked 35 MPH I got a ticket for going 41.

DC has a service where they email you speed/parking tickets -- perfect for the renegeage valet parking service.

by charlie on Feb 9, 2012 9:32 am • linkreport

So, whats the downside to raising the speed limit on the ICC? Seems like the speed limit is already 65 on similar highways in the state and across the country.

by Falls Church on Feb 9, 2012 9:37 am • linkreport

It's unclear what the District can do about it, as his house is solely in his wife's name.

Sounds like a lawsuit and arrest warrant would be an appropriate response. Generally, when you steal $300,000, you go to jail -- even if you pay the first $50,000 back.

There really shouldn't even be a question. HTJr needs to go to prison for his crimes, and DC should be using every legal tool at its disposal to recover the stolen funds.

by andrew on Feb 9, 2012 9:59 am • linkreport

re: potomac yards

While I get the purpose and approve of Environmental impact statements in general. You can't help but think the system is broken when an EIS is going to take until 2013 for an infill metro station along an existing line. How does this report honestly take more than a year? And at this point 2-3 in reality.

by jj on Feb 9, 2012 9:59 am • linkreport

And remember that that DCFEMS spokesman was the guy who basically fired Pete Piringer for actually doing a good job. And in doing so gave this choice quote: "I'd rather be slow and right than fast and wrong. Social media is for parties, We ain't givin' parties."

This guy obviously doesn't understand the state of media these days and the fact he's being raised on his own twitter petard is fitting. He should not be allowed back.

by TM on Feb 9, 2012 10:01 am • linkreport

@Falls Church
The ICC was not designed to Interstate standards and was only designed for a 60 MPH speed limit. Presumably 65 would be too dangerous.

by Steven Yates on Feb 9, 2012 10:02 am • linkreport

The City Paper has more information on where WaPo is focusing its downsizing efforts.

by andrew on Feb 9, 2012 10:05 am • linkreport

In that case, raising the limit to 60 should be a no brainer and 65 could still be considered considering the light traffic volume. 65 seems safer on the ICC than on the portion of 95 that's 65 between DC and B'more.

by Falls Church on Feb 9, 2012 11:05 am • linkreport


Raising the speed limit to 65 effectvly raises the speed limit to 74-75 because cops typically give a 10 mph leeway. I can see how that would be considered when planning for speed limits.

Though at 3 billion why was the ICC not designed at interstate standards.

by Matt R on Feb 9, 2012 11:07 am • linkreport

Re: People Want Walkable article

Why is that article referring to the "new" Community Pref survey that was issued in March 2011?

by Fitz on Feb 9, 2012 11:08 am • linkreport

RE: Other states voting to support DC statehood, I think we should work on the newest states, Alaska and Hawaii, first. Seriously, how come a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean gets statehood and not 600,000 Americans living among Civil War forts and 200+ years of American history?

I bet it wouldn't be hard to convince a delegation of DC politicians to go lobby Hawaii's legislature in person.

Also, if the "constitutional issues" were raised by the NH Republicans against democracy, why were DC statehood advocates unable to nip this argument in the bud (e.g. by promising to keep a federal District but shrink it so it excludes residences).

by Ward 1 Guy on Feb 9, 2012 11:27 am • linkreport

Is there a cite for the ICC not being built to interstate standards -- or for speeds above 65?

interstates in the US are so overbuilt -- easily can do 80 or 90. Exit ramps are not that well designed -- you have brake while turning, and for the most part you can't brake in a straight line before a lot of tuns.

by charlie on Feb 9, 2012 11:37 am • linkreport

Seriously, how come a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean gets statehood and not 600,000 Americans living among Civil War forts and 200+ years of American history?

Hawaii earned its statehood cred on a "date which will live in infamy" called Pearl Harbor.

by goldfish on Feb 9, 2012 11:43 am • linkreport


It's in this link I posted last week. It doesn't go into any depth on why it wasn't built to Interstate standards or what specifically prevents it from being Interstate standard.

by Steven Yates on Feb 9, 2012 11:44 am • linkreport

The station may not align with the current tracks, jj.

The Potomac Yard Metrorail Station EIS actually does a pretty good job of outlining the process.

by selxic on Feb 9, 2012 11:47 am • linkreport

In that case, the District of Columbia earned its statehood on August 24, 1814.

by Matt Johnson on Feb 9, 2012 11:49 am • linkreport

That the ICC is not built to interstate standards is not an answer. An answer would also have to in some way indicate that the design is such that higher speeds would not be safe, not that we just don't know if they would be safe.

Raise the speed to at least 60. If there is no spike in accidents, raise to 65.

by Crickey7 on Feb 9, 2012 11:53 am • linkreport

re: Harry Thomas...

Fred Cooke isn't an an idiot. His clients get access to his full bag O' trickery for his exhorbitant hourly fee.

This also includes a standard "deeding the house to the spouse" trick so it can't be seized, which Harry did last November.

The only reason his cars and motorcycles were seized is because her credit was tapped once she was the sole owner of the house and couldn't assume sole responsibility of payments on everything.

You would think that investigations like these would include a standard "freezing or transferral" of property. I guess not.

by freely on Feb 9, 2012 11:55 am • linkreport

@Matt Johnson: Well then, we should remind those in NH and elsewhere of these sacrifices (compared to WW2, most of us are unfamiliar with the war of 1812). Given the devastating action at Fort McHenry inspired a well-known song, perhaps Maryland should be the next place to go?

by goldfish on Feb 9, 2012 12:00 pm • linkreport

I don't think anyone needs to be convinced that statehood is deserved simply because fighting took place there.

The simple fact of the matter is that residents of DC are American citizens, and should be able to participate fully in the government.

by Matt Johnson on Feb 9, 2012 12:02 pm • linkreport

@MJ: you missed my point. To get statehood requires a national campaign. (Actually I think a constitutional amendment is the only answer.) Visits must be paid to each state legislature.

Presently Maryland is promoting its role in the war of 1812, commemorating its bicentennial. DC could hook onto that.

by goldfish on Feb 9, 2012 12:09 pm • linkreport

I have only driven the ICC twice -- the toll is too high and the terminus in Montgomery County is too far out of the way to the north to save much time over even a backed-up Beltway -- but it is pretty much impossible to stay under 55 mph. When there's no cars within hundreds of yards ahead of you in your lane, it's ridiculous and actually hard to avoid driving faster. The speed limit needs to be least 60. Personally, I think 65 would be reasonable, though I could see why this would be excessive in poor conditions. Perhaps the state could invest in an electronic display system that adjusts the speed limit to respond to hazardous road conditions.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 12:12 pm • linkreport

As for Potomac Yards, I guess this is the final stake in the dream of soccer fans to build a stadium there when and if the Metro opens.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 12:14 pm • linkreport

@MattJohnson; you mean like Puerto Ricans? Or those muslims obama keeps killing with drones with Yemen? Or expat Americans avoiding taxes in Switzerland?

Being an American citizen does not guarantee you a right to have a voice in Congress. You need to be a citizen of a state to do so...

And according to the constitution, DC is not a state.

by charlie on Feb 9, 2012 12:16 pm • linkreport

I should add that the second time I drove the ICC was between 4:45 and 5:00 on a Friday afternoon, and the traffic was pretty wide open. The Beltway carries more traffic even after 11:00 pm on a weeknight. I can only imagine how empty the ICC must be during working hours. A 55 mph limit on that road is comical.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 12:20 pm • linkreport

@Charlie -- The Constitution does set out the rules under which we operate. However, there are more fundamental rights or, at least, fundamental rights that should be recognized in the Constitution. To say that the Constitution does not confer the whole panoply of rights on folks who are not citizens of a state is simply to describe the actual situation, not the equity of it.

Also, the comparison to Puerto Rico is not really apt. The citizens of DC are living in a swath of land that was part of Maryland, but was largely unsettled. The disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of citizens was never contemplated. Also, there is no clear consensus even in Puerto Rico about statehood for the island -- so, it is different. Yes, to get actual statehood for DC would require a Constitutional amendment. That amendment is long overdue.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 12:27 pm • linkreport

Having said that -- I think the real solution for DC is one that would not appeal to its leaders, but is a much more realistic prospect. Retrocession of the residential areas to Maryland is something that Republicans could accept. The trick is to get Marylanders and District leaders to agree. Marylanders will resist because it will create a whole new power center within the state -- and some of that resistance will be due to some latent racism. District leaders will be loathe to give up the dream of statehood and all the status that would confer on the city and its leaders, just to become players in Maryland's political game.

But, you all know that..... I'm just saying what needs to be said about the partisan reality. Republicans won't allow DC statehood because it could tilt the balance in the Senate, but adding a few hundred thousand more Democrats in Maryland won't get so much resistance, given that the state is deeply in the blue column anyway.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 12:36 pm • linkreport


If you are an American who lives overseas you DO get a vote.

That's right, people who do not live in the US get a vote for representation but people living within sight of the building where they make the laws don't. Sweet deal.

by MLD on Feb 9, 2012 12:44 pm • linkreport

Potomac Yards development is essentially spoken for, Fischy. There won't be any stadiums built over there. I don't recall that ever being a serious location for a DC United stadium. Of course it was an area of interest for the Redskins and a very distant long shot for the Nationals, but I don't think United ever even looked there.

by selxic on Feb 9, 2012 12:51 pm • linkreport

Highway speed standards need to taken into account reality, not just engineering in a vacuum. The reality is that one of the most dangerous things about high speed limits is the mixture of cars and large trucks at high (and often differing) speeds. The ICC doesn't have that problem since large trucks are banned.

Also, interstate speed standards are probably set such that curves, sight lines, etc. are safe for large trucks. The standards can clearly be relaxed when the road is only used by passenger vehicles since they are far better at dealing with high speeds.

by Falls Church on Feb 9, 2012 12:55 pm • linkreport

@ MLD; no, you don't.

You vote in your state of last domicile. There are plenty of US citizens who aren't domiciled in a state and lose their right to vote. Just ask the children of all the US citizens in Canada....

So, in that way, DC residents do have a step up with the ability to vote in Presidental elections.

by charlie on Feb 9, 2012 12:56 pm • linkreport

Oh wait up...maybe large trucks are allowed on the ICC. I guess I just didn't see any the couple of times I've driven it.

by Falls Church on Feb 9, 2012 12:59 pm • linkreport

Here's an idea that I have never heard of -- I might be the first to propose it. It's an idea that might lessen resistance in Maryland, even though District leaders whould find it jaw-dropping. Bring the District into Maryland -- as county, not as one city. New Columbia County could be divided into smaller towns -- Tenleytown, Georgetown, Cleveland Park, Anacostia...maybe even a smaller Washington, Maryland in the center (with a federal District of Columbia carved out inside). Instead of a city council, there would be a county council. Different name, but basically the same functions in Maryland where there may be fewer cities than counties. The reality is that New Columbia County would have about as much unity and influence as a city government, but Maryland politicians would be less inclined to resist a new county than a new city.

OK -- it's a stupid idea. It makes too much sense and requires everyone to change the way they view the city. Could never happen.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 1:06 pm • linkreport

I have two suggestion for DC statehood: one, give us no taxation with no representation - I'll pay my federal tax to the city, and PR is the precedent; two, have NoVa secede and join with it, to establish a state of North Virginia.

by busgirl1 on Feb 9, 2012 1:10 pm • linkreport

@selxic -- You may be right, but the fans of the team have long speculated about Potomac Yards. Because the plurality or even the majority (about 50%) of the teams' fans are in Virginia, NoVA has always seemed logical. The team definitely did explore potential opportunities there. I don't know if any actual discussions of locations have ever been reported, but there have been reports that United's inquiries were rebuffed by local officials. I would have to think Potomac Yards was once at the top of the team's list.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Feb 9, 2012 1:16 pm • linkreport

Fischy, I'm one of those fans of the team (season ticket holder) who has speculated on every site from Ashburn to Bowie (and painfully even Baltimore). Although I know there were talks with Arlington and even politicians in the County who wanted United, I don't recall any sites ever reaching significant discussions.

by selxic on Feb 9, 2012 2:06 pm • linkreport

"Here's an idea that I have never heard of -- I might be the first to propose it. It's an idea that might lessen resistance in Maryland, even though District leaders whould find it jaw-dropping. Bring the District into Maryland -- as county, not as one city. New Columbia County"

Call it "Douglass County" after Frederick Douglass- so it is still "D.C."

by Douglas Willinger on Feb 9, 2012 2:26 pm • linkreport

Being an American citizen does not guarantee you a right to have a voice in Congress. You need to be a citizen of a state to do so...

And according to the constitution, DC is not a state.

The Constitution was written long before the District of Columbia was formed out of land ceded by Maryland and Virginia. Statehood for most of the land now making up DC is well within the Constitution. Admitting this territory is no different from admitting any other territory in our nation's history.

The only point I buy is that for partisan reasons (Dem/Repub, Slave/Free), most states have been admitted in pairs. Clearly DC Statehood advocates need a solution that creates more Republican seats in Congress -- like annexing Northern Virginia to redden the rest of Virginia, or more plausibly, divide California into a red state and a blue state. This latter solution also helps Californians get better Senate representation.

I am sick and tired of people promoting retrocession to Maryland. Yes, it's a tidy solution, but Maryland citizens would never go for it. Also, DC has been on its own for too long to become a subdivision of another state, so DC residents might not go for it either. Retrocession could only work under mutual consent.

Again, the best solution is for Congress to shrink the federal district so it contains no residences and to then admit New Columbia (or whatever it would be called) along with East and West California, expanding the Senate to 54 seats and putting 52 stars on the flag. No Constitutional amendment needed. No need to get 50 states to approve (except California, of course).

by Ward 1 Guy on Feb 9, 2012 2:42 pm • linkreport

Here is a thought about statehood: DC could put a box on its income tax forms, which a taxpayer could check to donate a nominal amount of one's income tax refund (say $5) to the DC Congressional Representation fund. The purpose of this fund is to lobby state legislatures.

I would donate.

by goldfish on Feb 9, 2012 3:43 pm • linkreport

@charlie-residents of Puerto Rico, and Guam, and the US Virgin Islands do not pay federal income taxes. Neither do US citizens who immigrate to other countries and become citizens of those countries. Temporary ex-pats are required by law to file with the IRS, and can vote by absentee ballot.

The difference is DC residents pay federal taxes without the right of representation. Its not like your examples of PR and permanent ex-pats.

by Tina on Feb 9, 2012 3:45 pm • linkreport

@Tina; nice you think paying means you get a vote. You just disenfranchised 45% of Americans.

Us income is global. You get credits On what you pay federal governments. Also, if you don't file there is no statute of limitations.

by Charlie on Feb 9, 2012 4:05 pm • linkreport

@charlie-PR pays payroll taxes to SS and is eligible for SS benefits. Same w/ DC residents. PR res's are not required to file w/ the IRS. That is the primary difference. It is a significant point. I personally have not disenfranchized anyone from anything. Its you who is arguing that taxation w/o representation is acceptable.

by Tina on Feb 9, 2012 4:17 pm • linkreport


It's not true that PR pays no taxes. For example, they pay excise taxes and payroll taxes. In addition anyone who works for the federal government pays income taxes. So we're full taxation without full representation, but they're less taxation with less representation (since they don't vote for President).

by David C on Feb 9, 2012 4:38 pm • linkreport

nice you think paying means you get a vote. You just disenfranchised 45% of Americans.

Everyone pays federal taxes. It just may not be income taxes, but, no voting is not tied directly to tax paying. Historically however, we've viewed it as wrong to tax someone without representation.

by David C on Feb 9, 2012 4:41 pm • linkreport

Ward 1 guy,

The last time there was a vote for DC statehood, 40% of Democrats voted against it.

And not so long ago, the Democrats had a majority of the house, a super-majority in the Senate and control of the White House. If they had wanted to they could have made DC a state. It would be interesting to speculate about what Republicans would do in such a situation - all powerful and with a guaranteed all-Republican territory ready for statehood. Would they pass on the opportunity to add three guaranteed Republican legislators? Still, we do know what Democrats will do and that is nothing.

So, the problem isn't Republicans. It's that no one really wants to admit DC as a state. Perhaps it is seen as watering down their own state's power. Or perhaps it's racist. Or perhaps they just like being able to boss around the town they live in. But regardless, there is no way DC will get statehood unless at least one party truly supports it.

That's why I support a constitutional amendment, it's a little watered down and it serves multiple constituencies. But it's a long shot too.

by David C on Feb 9, 2012 4:55 pm • linkreport

RE: Survey ...

Walkable neighborhoods do not seem to be a high priority in the survey respondents.

"While walkability is seen as a desirable attribute by most, majorities of Americans are willing to live in communities where they have to drive most places if it means they would have larger lots with more distance from neighbors"

Skimming the report, it would seem they rank (1) privacy, (2) good schools, and (3) commute time ahead of walkability which corresponds well with my priors. Not surprisingly, the preference for walkability is correlated with marital status.

Overall, there are few surprises in the report, but it's worth a quick read.

by Geof Gee on Feb 10, 2012 2:05 pm • linkreport

"residents of Puerto Rico, and Guam, and the US Virgin Islands do not pay federal income taxes."

Yes they do. That would be a crazy idea otherwise.

by Jack Love on Feb 10, 2012 2:33 pm • linkreport

Re: Potomac Yard ...

With Crystal City emptying out faster than a busted railroad frontier town, how do the developers on The Exchange hope to fill up 1.9 million square feet of mixed space? BRAC is slowing moving many military clients out to the Mark Center and to Fairfax. CC already has everything The Exchange could hope to have, and it's already built. And it has VRE, Pentagon City, the Pentagon, and a mature residential community behind it.

How does The Exchange fit into this?

by Jack Love on Feb 10, 2012 2:38 pm • linkreport

@Jack love- from the link you provided:
If you are a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands on the last day of the tax year, you must file your tax return on Form 1040 with the Government of the Virgin Islands and pay the entire tax due to the Virgin Islands. You do not have to file with the IRS for any tax year in which you are a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands

This is exactly what I said. PR [&USVI&Guam] res's are not required to file w/ the IRS.

by Tina on Feb 10, 2012 2:46 pm • linkreport

If the $3 billion ICC is too underused to avoid speeding, perhaps Maryland should just mark off some lanes for bike riding, or pedestrian-only use? Maybe an equestrian trail? Skatepark?

That's what we need! We could call it a "complete street!"

by Greenbelt on Feb 10, 2012 4:50 pm • linkreport

re: DC

as far as I care, DC can have anything, but the federal government itself-

carve out all the residential areas and do with it what you will - more voting rights (yes, they can vote for pres already...), statehood, retrocession, whatever..

I don't know about you, but I don't want marion barry or vincent gray's fingers anywhere on our federal goverment!

Call me old fashioned, but Federalist 43 still makes a little sense. Don't have the federal govt beholden to local interests keep federalism alive- we'll still need a federal district for it to exist!

by ed on Feb 10, 2012 5:01 pm • linkreport


You're old-fashioned.

Federalist 43 never made much sense to me.

How does Madison figure that state legislatures exercise "complete authority at the seat of government?" Don't local and federal governments exercise SOME authority in state capitals?

And how does he figure that other national legislatures exercise "complete authority" in their capital without a federal district, but somehow the U.S. needs one?

His arguments that erecting public buildings would be too beholden to the states and too onerous an expense could just as easily be applied to forts and other federal facilities.

The fact is that Madison - while truly a genius - was wrong. He was also wrong about which country the US would be aligned with (England not France) throughout her history and slavery and some other non-trivial items. It happens. Even Einstein was wrong about the Cosmological Constant. We know that he was wrong because we have the advantage of hindsight. And if he were here, he'd likely agree. We know that even if the whole of DC were absorbed into Maryland that the federal government would not be brought to its knees, that Maryland would not be bankrupted, and the the government would not have trouble building facilities. These were his concerns and they all seem ridiculous now.

Just look at this whopper "And as it is to be appropriated to this use with the consent of the State ceding it; as the State will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it; as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducements of interest to become willing parties to the cession; as they will have had their voice in the election of the government which is to exercise authority over them; as a municipal legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them; and as the authority of the legislature of the State, and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it, to concur in the cession, will be derived from the whole people of the State in their adoption of the Constitution, every imaginable objection seems to be obviated." I think we can agree that not EVERY imaginable objection is obviated. Or perhaps Madison just failed to imagine some of the objections. Or perhaps he never foresaw a time that local issues wouldn't be handled entirely by the "municipal legislature... derived from their own suffrages." Or perhaps Madison was only thinking about the people who lived in the federal district at the time of cession, not 212 years later. Regardless, he was wrong.

And frankly, federalism is largely dead. Hate to be the one to tell you, but it's true. And we're better off for it. And we'd be even better off if it were more dead.

by David C on Feb 10, 2012 10:59 pm • linkreport

@david c.
Haha! I love your comments, and, unlike most posters on this site, I'll cede some of your points and won't be too argumentative. I'll just harmlessly blather for a while

-regarding federal and state and city power all coexisting in state capitals, I agree that the notion of COMPLETE authority existing in any one level of govt is indeed misguided. As far as I can tell, the interplay between the three is a good way to mitigate excesses. This, of course, varies by context and case.

Also, Yes , times have changed, including that DC wasn't envisioned to be a residential area-- thus all the underrepresented citizenry problem. Therefore, thing that bothers me about DC is the high degree of clientelism and corruption and, really, moving the citizens of DC into Maryland and giving them votes for members of congress might actually result in improved governance and accountability. Dc govt needs a little oversight as far as I can tell. Sure, there will always be corruption, irrespective of how many layers of theoretically accountable government (I.e., that Prince Gorgeous County incident with money in underwear), but more representation, decentralization, and the vertical checks on power that layered government helps, right?

(On a small note, I don't like the way that people from outside of the district are often treated like foreigners, when DC is our federal government, thank you very much, and not just theirs. )

As an aside, I am just getting used to the dearth of incorporated cities down here, along with the emphasis on county government ... It reminds me of Boss Hogg and Hazard county-- where was town, state, and federal government when the duke boys were wishing that his litttle fiefdom had less power. ( endearing / bumbling Cletus et al aside)

Why power isn't partially decentralized below the county level in some parts is beyond me-- in my opinion, the best situation for any John or Jane Q citizen is the whole city -county-state- federal thingy because it spreads power and mitigates excesses as much as possible. Isn't decentralization the norm for democratic improvements all over the world?

It's a good thing I'm not in charge!

Goodnight planning nerds!

by Ed on Feb 11, 2012 12:38 am • linkreport

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