Bill de Blasio‘s rise to the top of the New York City Democratic mayoral field was built upon an afro. A TV ad featuring the candidate’s son, Dante, propelled de Blasio to the nomination. Here in Washington, where Democrats will pick their nominee for mayor in four-and-a-half weeks, voters shouldn’t expect to see the same kind of campaign.
— Councilmember Muriel Bowser has emerged as Mayor Vincent Gray‘s chief challenger, Tuesday night’s WRC-TV/WAMU-FM/Washington Defender/Marist poll showed. Bowser, who was endorsed by the Washington Post, needs to coalesce voters who think the city is headed in the right direction but are wary of returning Gray to the Wilson Building after tales of impropriety on his 2010 campaign.
— Some of those voters currently prefer Councilmembers Jack Evans and Tommy Wells, who lag the two frontrunners. Narrowly, more voters say Bowser is their second choice than Evans or Gray. If Evans or Wells don’t gain traction, look for some anti-Gray voters to bleed into her corner.
— Don’t expect to see a big TV campaign, Wells’s new cable buy notwithstanding. In conversations with campaign managers for Gray and Bowser this week, the main tools discussed were direct mail, telephone and door-to-door campaigning. Gray’s first piece of direct mail will be hitting voters’ mailboxes soon, and the campaign says it’s already knocked on roughly 50,000 doors; Bowser’s camp described similar efforts.
One battleground ward on which the campaigns are likely to focus: Ward 4, which Bowser represents on the Council. Bowser campaign manager Bo Shuff called it “the most demographically diverse” ward in the city and touted Bowser’s ability to appeal to voters across racial and gender lines. But Bowser can’t count on favorite daughter status to boost her in Ward 4: It was Adrian Fenty‘s geographic base, too, but Gray won it easily in 2010.
What We're Following See More »
"Even as he acknowledged the importance of an open internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday set his telecom agency on a course to scrap the tough, broad net neutrality protections imposed by the Obama administration. During a major speech in Washington, D.C., Pai outlined the need for a total revision of existing federal rules that seek to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down web content, including the movie or music offerings from their competitors." Separately, Pai told Reason's Nick Gillespie that the Clinton Administration "basically got it right when it came to digital infrastructure. We were not living in a digital dystopia in the years leading up to 2015."
The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), as called for in a presidential executive order from January. The new office's website states that its staff "will be guided by a singular, straightforward mission—to ensure victims and their families have access to releasable information about a perpetrator and to offer assistance explaining the immigration removal process."