It's been a rocky week for the D.C. Council, and a meeting laced with profanity and insults was punctuated with a closed-door session after police escorted reporters from the room. Meanwhile, primary voters in Prince George's County made their choice to replace Council member Leslie Johnson, who resigned after pleading guilty to evidence tampering in a federal corruption probe.
Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney gives an analysis of this week's top stories, including a profanity-filled D.C. Council meeting that ended with a closed-door session, and the new council member elected to take over Leslie Johnson's seat in Prince George's County.
Derrick Leon Davis takes over Leslie Johnson's seat in PG County
Derrick Leon Davis won the democratic primary to represent District 6 in Prince George's County, formerly Leslie Johnson's seat. He's expected to win in the general election in a district dominated by democrats.
In addition to being a victory for Davis, McCartney says it's also a significant win for Rushern Baker who took over as County Executive last December. Davis gives Baker a new ally on the County Council.
"Baker could usually already rely on two votes," says McCartney. "Now he'll be able to rely on Davis. That gives him a core group of three votes; he can usually find two more to get the majority he needs on the nine-member council. There's also a lot of positive symbolism for Rushern Baker on this because the District was previously represented by Leslie Johnson, and Leslie Johnson and Jack Johnson were long-time political rivals of Rushern Baker's."
McCartney say he think the community is seeing a new political coalition in Prince George's County, one that wants to clean up government and be more effective at addressing the county's problems.
D.C. Ethics Committee struggles to maintain civility during meeting
This is the first meeting after the summer recess. According to McCartney, there were fireworks from the start. Some members were using expletives, and it was very disorderly. They were using a lot of personal attacks. As a result, they kicked out the press and held a private meeting to discuss ethics reform, and how to improve decorum and be more respectful.
"I think that after this meeting yesterday, we probably will see decline in strong language and personal attacks," McCartney says. "But you've got some real divisions, some real frustrations there over all the ethical controversies and political and ideological divisions, so I think there's still a lot of heavy lifting to do."