The Politics Hour | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

A court ruling reopens the possibility that the District will hold an election for attorney general this fall. Virginia's governor mulls expanding Medicaid as the commonwealth's budget standoff continues. And Maryland candidates begin their final sprint to primaries on June 24. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

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Despite the largely negative public reaction to a proposal to tax certain city services, including gym memberships and classes at yoga studios, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson said again Friday officials would likely not revisit the issue.

The proposed 5.75 sales tax, quickly dubbed the "yoga tax" by many residents, is part of an effort to broaden the city's tax base, Mendleson said on the Kojo Nnamdi Show's Friday Politics Hour.

Ultimately, he said, this year's package of tax reforms would actually save DC taxpayers some hundreds of dollars. If the tax was scrapped, officials would have to find another revenue source to replace it.

In response to a caller who suggested the tax could work against residents' efforts to stay healthy, Mendleson said "I don't know any tax administrator ... who would say that affects behavior."

He noted that even the tax on cigarettes, which can reach $2 per pack, hasn't done much to deter sales, nor has the tax on sugary beverages.

Watch the full discussion below

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Art Beat With Lauren Landau, August 21

A jazz band performs at a local venue and a play explores the difficulties of surviving the American high school experience.

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California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

Thousands of Chinook salmon are struggling to survive in the Klamath River, where waters are running dangerously low and warm. Cold reservoir water is instead going to farms in the Central Valley.
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McDonnell To Take Stand Again Today In Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will take the stand Thursday for the second day, as defense attorneys seek to emphasize how the Republican's relationship with Jonnie Williams did not involve extending special treatment.

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Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

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