Archive: Jonathan Mummolo

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 11/13/2009

Sheriff Jackson on Pr. George's County Exec race: 'I have made a decision'

(County Photo)

Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson says he has made up his mind on whether he will run for County Executive in 2010, but added that he is not disclosing his decision until he has had a chance to sit down with his deputies and share it with them first.

"I have made a decision," Jackson said Friday. "I want to sit down with [my deputies] to kind of let them know what that decision is before it's printed somewhere. ...It's delicate for me."

Jackson said he could announce a decision sometime next week.

Jackson, 45, a Cheverly native, attended Crossland High School in Temple Hills, Md.; DeVry Institute of Technology; and served in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves. (Official Bio.)

His political prospects were thought to be damaged after his deputies shot and killed two dogs belonging to the mayor of Berwyn Heights during a drug raid last year. An internal review by Jackson's office found the shootings to be justified, and Jackson said one dog was engaging an officer and that the other was running toward a second officer at the time the black Labs were shot. The mayor, Cheye Calvo, disputed the findings.

Jackson's name has long been on a list of those rumored to be eying the county's top seat. The field also includes Former Del. Rushern L. Baker III, who has run twice before, as well as County Council Member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville), Council member Tony Knotts (D-Temple Hills) and Del. Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's). State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-Prince George's) and Sen. C. Anthony Muse's names have also been floated.

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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 11/12/2009

"Why You?": Gerron Levi in Prince George's

With 2010 around the corner, candidates in Prince George's County at all levels of government are beginning to sculpt their campaign messages. In a semi-weekly series --"Why You?" -- we sit down with the county's political hopefuls to ask about who they are, what they've done and why they're the best ones to lead.


Gerron S. Levi

"I'm in the race because I don't feel as if there is the kind of vision to address what I consider to be the pressing issues for the county. At least I haven't heard it." -Levi

(State Photo)

Current Job: Maryland State Delegate; lobbyist/assistant director of the legislative department of the AFL-CIO.
Running For: County Executive
Former Jobs: Intern and legislative correspondent for former Rep. Gus Savage (D-Ill.) and legislative counsel to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. (Levi's Official Bio.)
Age: 41
Residence: Woodmoore, Md.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I'm originally from Chicago, and I grew up between Chicago, Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles. I lived with several different family members. I went to most of high school in Los Angeles, I went to Berkeley undergrad. I lived with my grandmother for most of my years growing up, and then I lived with my brother. ... I didn't live with my parents growing up. I lived with various relatives. But they were in my life the whole time.

Q: When did you arrive in Maryland?

A: 1991. I came here for law school. I've lived in Prince George's for seven years.

Q: How did you get into politics?
A: I got into politics...during law school. I worked for a member of Congress. ...[Doing] legislative correspondence. ... Then I worked for Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein. ... I was one of her key staff on a couple of her signature bills. That was the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. We did the actual initial draft of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill.

Q: Tell me about your campaign for state delegate in 2006. What made you want to run?
A: A lot of my motivation comes from watching and studying global trends. I feel somewhat the same way now as I felt then--that we are in the global challenge of a generation. I felt as if, in many respects, our community was not prepared to meet that global challenge.


Q: Was it a tough race?

A: I was running against the incumbents. ... It was an enormous challenge. The Bowie Blade [newspaper] at the time, they called me Gerron "Sore Feet" Levi, because of the number of doors I knocked on. About 8,000 doors. [The biggest hurdle was] getting my name out there, getting known with voters. I was an unknown. Whenever you run against the machine or against the slate, there are a lot of inside politics that really test the mettle of any candidate. ... I was on my own, with my volunteers and the money I could raise.

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Posted at 3:53 PM ET, 11/ 9/2009

Some details on HUD projects in Pr. George's emerge

After Prince George's County came within one day of losing more than $5 million in federal housing funds, a few details on how it plans to spend the money have emerged.

The funds that were at stake come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Investment Partnerships Program, known as HOME. The program, begun in 1992, gives states and localities money each year for the development of affordable housing, and the grants come with a 24-month commitment deadline.

About $5.2 million was due to expire in Prince George's at the end of last month, but county officials said they made the deadline and then some, assigning $6.9 million to affordable housing projects. HUD officials are working to verify the projects.


The Washington Post recently reported on the near-loss of the funds, as well as four projects that were intended for the bulk of the money.

The county submitted two additional projects to HUD, The Post has learned.

According to county officials, one project, Marlton Plaza Senior Housing in Upper Marlboro, will receive $200,000. The recipient, Marlton Plaza Senior Housing LP, will use the money to acquire land, construct and operate a new 102-unit, low- to moderate-income senior rental housing project, county officials said. The county has earmarked HOME funds for this project previously, officials said, and the funds will make up about 10 percent of the $20 million project.

Another project, Livingston Forest in Oxon Hill, is slated to get $1.9 million in HOME funds. Those will be used by the developer, Housing Initiative Partnership, to build 72 units of rental housing for seniors, officials said. The total cost of the project is $14,025,605, officials said.


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Posted at 3:52 PM ET, 11/ 2/2009

Two state delegates said to be running for Pr. George's County Executive

One female Maryland State delegate has decided to join the growing list of candidates for Prince George's County Executive, and another is rumored to be throwing her hat in the ring as well.

The delegates--either of which would be the first female county executive in Prince George's history if elected--are Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's) and Aisha N. Braveboy (D-Prince George's).

Levi confirmed yesterday that she plans to run for the seat, to be vacated by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D).

"The reason I'm getting in the race is because I believe the next county executive should have a vision for the economic future of the county," Levi said. "I think we need to be advanced, innovation-oriented and job-creating, and I believe I have the steps that will get us there."

Braveboy did not rule out the bid, but said her mind is not yet made up.

"I'm looking at all of my options at this time," Braveboy said. "I have not officially announced running for any race."

Several sources in the county--one of whom said they spoke with Braveboy directly--said she had decided to run. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because Braveboy has not yet officially announced.


(Del. Levi)


(Del. Braveboy)

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Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 10/30/2009

Pr. George's housing chief: $5 million in fed money is secure

With one day to spare, Prince George's County officials said they managed to submit required data to the federal government Friday on how they plan to spend more than $5 million in affordable housing money.

The funds at stake come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Investment Partnerships Program, known as HOME. Prince George's had to let HUD know by the end of the week how it planned to spend $5.17 million in grants, or the money would have been reclaimed and dispursed among about 650 participating jurisdictions.

Reached by phone, James E. Johnson, acting director of the county's department of housing and community development, said Friday that the county had finished updating a HUD database with the required information on planned housing projects.

"We have gotten everything in the system," Johnson said. "We made the deadline."

UPDATE: HUD officials are still working to confirm the agreements the county made with contractors on their end, but HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said no funds would be reclaimed in the meantime.

He said HUD had received assurances from the county that $5.2 million had been committed, and that the county is in the process of committing another $1.7 million, drawing on funds that were not due to expire.

There is no set timeframe for the verification process, HUD officials said.

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More details of Pr. George's County layoffs emerge

After 50 government employees were notified early this month that they would be laid off by Prince George's County in order to close a budget gap, the precise numbers of how many workers were let go from each county agency...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 28, 2009; 02:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Del. Griffith fights back against the 'haters'

In response to several occasions where public officials have been verbally flogged by some residents during public comment periods with insults and accusations of corruption, Prince George's House Delegation Chairwoman Melony G. Griffith (D) recently issued a call for those...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 23, 2009; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (6)

Rift among residents seen in Pr. George's senior housing issue

A group of Prince George's County seniors who have been lambasting county officials and the developer of their community, Cameron Grove, over alleged substandard construction and inspections apparently does not represent the views of the whole community--but that does not...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 22, 2009; 02:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama gives Jack Johnson a shout-out

In terms of local political currency, few things mean as much as a shout-out from a popular U.S. President on one's home turf. So Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) must have felt pretty good Wednesday to be...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 21, 2009; 03:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pr. George's senior housing issue presents campaign risk

A group of Prince George's senior citizens who made headlines recently over alleged substandard living conditions in their development are holding an "informational session" Tuesday night to voice their concerns and call for accountability. The residents of the Cameron Grove...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 20, 2009; 05:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

More details on $400 million in stimulus funds headed to Pr. George's

On Monday, Maryland Politics reported that about $400 million in federal stimulus money had been awarded to local governments and businesses in Prince George's County. Below is a list, supplied by U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer's office, giving...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 20, 2009; 01:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

About $400 million in federal stimulus dollars will go to Pr. George's

Local governments and businesses in Prince George's County have been awarded about $400 million in federal stimulus money, officials said at a news conference Monday. The funds will allow county and municipal officials to hire 55 new police officers and...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 19, 2009; 04:41 PM ET | Comments (3)

Johnson: I was 'Never Intending' to Run For Governor

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) got the rumor mill churning this summer when he floated the idea of running for statewide office, even prompting speculation that he was considering challenging incumbent Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). But Johnson...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 16, 2009; 02:44 PM ET | Comments (2)

From Corruption to Cannabis, Pr. George's Residents Vent Concerns to Elected Leaders

(Seated from left to right: State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, Del. Marvin E. Holmes Jr. (D-Prince George's), Del. Michael L. Vaughn (D-Prince George's), Del. Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George's), County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 16, 2009; 01:13 PM ET | Comments (2)

Pr. George's County Exec's Chief of Staff to Step Down

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson's chief of staff will be stepping down at the end of November, Johnson's office announced Thursday afternoon. Michael Herman, a close Johnson aide, will be leaving his post "to pursue private sector opportunities...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 15, 2009; 04:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pr. George's County Exec's Office Responds to Union Ads

After the Prince George's police union announced an ad campaign warning of the danger of cuts to the police budget, County Executive Jack B. Johnson's spokesman sought to highlight the upgrades the public safety agencies have seen on Johnson's watch....

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 15, 2009; 03:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pr. George's Property Tax Cap to be Lower Next Year

Even if a homeowner's property assessment magically soars in Prince George's County amid a severe real estate downturn, the county won't be able to reap the benefits next year because of a complex system of tax laws. The County Council...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 15, 2009; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Pr. George's Police Union Takes on Budget Cuts in Ad Campaign

For anyone that needed reminders of how little love the Prince George's police union has for the county's current political leadership, they can be found plastered all over Metro buses, posters and billboards for the next month. Starting Thursday, a...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 15, 2009; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

"Why You?": What We Want to Know From 2010 Candidates in Prince George's

With 2010 around the corner, candidates in Prince George's County at all levels of government are beginning to sculpt their campaign messages. In a semi-weekly series --"Why You?" -- we sit down with the county's political hopefuls to ask about...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 15, 2009; 08:03 AM ET | Comments (3)

Pr. George's Lobbyist Convicted of DUI...Again

A lobbyist who has worked for the Prince George's County Council and the sheriff's office pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence, the latest in a string of similar charges against him dating back to the early 1990s. David...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 13, 2009; 04:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Live In Prince George's

(See updates below) Good morning, Prince George's County. Once again, Maryland Politics will be following the County Council's actions at today's meeting. So far, there are a couple of items of interest scheduled for discussion. Prior to their weekly business...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 13, 2009; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Controversial Office Lease Dies (Again) in Pr. George's

The path of a proposal in Prince George's County to lease pricey new office space during an economic crisis has read like a bad horror film: Every time critics and union chiefs thought the proposal was dead, it kept rising...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 7, 2009; 03:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Bill on Check-Cashing Stores Advances in Pr. George's

A proposed bill in Prince George's County that would impose restrictions on check-cashing businesses advanced out of committee today -- over the strong objection of industry lobbyists -- meaning the full County Council could vote on the measure by the...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 7, 2009; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Live in Pr. George's: 'Buy Low, Sell High,' Council Member Says

Why would the county sell or transfer 88 parcels of land valued at millions of dollars now, when the real estate market is in a ditch? That's what Council Member Ingrid Turner (D-Bowie) wanted to know from County Executive Jack...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 6, 2009; 03:13 PM ET | Comments (1)

Live in Pr. George's: Taxi Task Force Introduced

Though it fell with a thud among some cab drivers last week when she first brought it up, Pr. George's County Council Chairwoman Marilynn M. Bland just introduced a resolution to form a "task force," designed to take a look...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 6, 2009; 02:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Live in Pr. George's: A Prayer for the (Mischievous) Children

At the opening of the Prince George's County Council session this afternoon, council member Tony Knotts (D-Temple Hills) asked, prior to the weekly invocation, that everyone pray for the children of Crossland High School, where a fire alarm was pulled...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 6, 2009; 02:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Live in Pr. George's

Maryland Politics will be trying something different at today's Prince George's County Council session: updating you throughout the day on actions at the meeting. So far, things are off to a slow start. The council was scheduled to begin its...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 6, 2009; 01:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Live in Prince George's: County Land Up for Grabs

The real estate market remains in the gutter, but that hasn't stopped County Executive Jack B. Johnson from seeking to either sell or transfer more than 80 parcels of county land. At the request of Johnson (D), the County Council...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 6, 2009; 01:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Almost 50 Pr. George's Employees Laid Off

Just under 50 Prince George's County employees were told by their managers and supervisors that they were being laid off when they came into work this morning -- a cost-cutting measure implemented by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D)in response...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 2, 2009; 01:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pr. George's Remains AAA-Okay

Here's a bit of positive news for financially beleaguered Prince George's County: It was given a AAA bond rating by a major Wall Street ratings firm for the second year in a row. The coveted rating, analogous to a personal...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 1, 2009; 05:20 PM ET | Comments (1)

Pr. George's Council Member Confirms Bid for County Executive

Prince George's County Council member Tony Knotts (D-Temple Hills) has confirmed plans to run for county executive, a seat Jack B. Johnson will leave next year under term limits. Knotts confirmed his bid in a recent interview with the Prince...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 1, 2009; 12:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Waiting for the Ax to Fall in Pr. George's

Friday is D-Day for as many as 125 government employees slated to be laid off in Prince George's County, but there is no word from County Executive Jack B. Johnson's office as to where the cuts will be made. Affected...

By Jonathan Mummolo | October 1, 2009; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pr. George's Council Weighs Taxi Rules

After Prince George's cabdrivers threatened to strike over what they say are unfair working conditions, the County Council introduced a bill Tuesday that would give drivers more oversight over the local industry as well as crack down on drivers and...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 30, 2009; 02:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

You Could Do Some Time for That Corona With Lime

A bill introduced by the Prince George's County Council on Tuesday could land those caught drinking alcohol in public behind bars. The bill, sponsored by council member William A. Campos (D-Hyattsville), gives the option of as much as 10 days...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 29, 2009; 04:20 PM ET | Comments (1)

Pr. George's County Executive and President of Ghana Do Lunch

A couple of chief executives got together this afternoon for lunch at National Harbor. One is the head of a diverse Maryland county of about 820,000 people. The other is president of a West African nation of nearly 24 million....

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 28, 2009; 05:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Financial Ratings Firm: Outlook 'Negative' in Pr. George's

Just days after Prince George's County announced plans to lay off up to 125 employees in response to funding cuts from the state, one of the major Wall Street ratings firms released a report saying the outlook in Prince George's...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 28, 2009; 02:53 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Chat With Rep. Donna Edwards

Maryland Politics sat down yesterday with Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) at her Capitol Hill office to talk health care, the partisan divide in Congress and life at National Harbor. In short, the public option remains a line in the sand...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 18, 2009; 11:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Union Head: County Hopes to Save $4 Million Through Layoffs

Officials briefing union heads in Prince George's County on Tuesday morning provided few details about how they plan to reconcile a $22.7 million cut in state funding, a union chief who attended said, but officials did outline the broad strokes...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 15, 2009; 03:49 PM ET | Comments (2)

Pr. George's Union 'Looking Into' Whether County Violated Open Meetings Act; 'Emergency' Meeting Slated for Next Week

UPDATED A day after Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) met with members of the County Council to discuss state budget cuts -- while giving virtually no advance notice of the meeting beforehand -- a union head says...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 11, 2009; 03:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rep. Edwards: Censure Obama Heckler

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) may have reached out (perhaps reluctantly) to the White House to apologize for his headline-grabbing outburst during President Barack Obama's address to Congress Wednesday night, but that hasn't satisfied Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and others on...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 11, 2009; 02:40 PM ET | Comments (13)

Pr. George's WSSC Nominee Confirmed

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson's nominee to replace a controversial member of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission was confirmed unanimously Wednesday by the County Council after Johnson expressed concerns this summer that the council might be delaying the...

By Gene Fynes | September 9, 2009; 02:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Laurel Referendum Results Are In

Despite claims from a vocal group of protesters that a single polling place for a Laurel referendum Tuesday was racially biased and could not accommodate the city's more than 13,000 registered voters, the city saw only 827 people turn out...

By Gene Fynes | September 9, 2009; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Holy Rabid Bats, Pr. George's!

Update: A county health department official said in an e-mail that "one person did come into contact with a rabid bat and received preemptive treatment for rabies." (Archive photo) -- The Prince George's County Health Department says reports of rabid...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 8, 2009; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (7)

WSSC Nominee Set for Vote in Pr. George's

After concern by Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) that confirmation of his nominee for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission was being delayed, his office released a statement Tuesday characterizing approval of the nominee Wednesday as a forgone...

By Jonathan Mummolo | September 8, 2009; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Former Opponent Duncan Criticizes O'Malley Campaign

More than 300 endorsements 14 months from Election Day, without a glimpse of an opponent on the horizon. Many in Annapolis viewed the laundry list of Maryland Democrats released Thursday by Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) fledgling re-election campaign as an...

By Aaron C. Davis | September 5, 2009; 03:30 PM ET | Comments (7)

"Why You?": What We Want to Know From 2010 Candidates in Prince George's

With 2010 around the corner, candidates in Prince George's County at all levels of government are beginning to sculpt their campaign messages. In a semi-weekly series --"Why You?" -- we sit down with the county's political hopefuls to ask about...

By Jonathan Mummolo | August 28, 2009; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (2)

Pr. George's Seeks to Avoid Repaying Furlough Dollars -- For Now

Citing a pending appeal, Prince George's County is seeking to avoid repaying $17 million in lost wages that a federal judge recently ordered be repaid after ruling the county's furlough plan was unconstitutional. The county's lawyers recently filed a motion...

By Jonathan Mummolo | August 25, 2009; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rep. Edwards to Talk Health Reform Tonight with Young Dems

U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) will meet with the Prince George's County Young Democrats tonight to talk health care. Specifically, she'll give a talk on how proposed reforms would affect Marylanders and residents of the county, and will take questions...

By Jonathan Mummolo | August 20, 2009; 03:24 PM ET | Comments (3)

Pr. George's Officials Respond to Furloughs Decision

Prince George's County Council Chairperson Marilynn M. Bland (D-Clinton) weighed in this afternoon (sort of) on a bombshell federal court decision Tuesday which found the county's furloughs last fiscal year to be unconstitutional. Bland said the council was "disappointed" by...

By Jonathan Mummolo | August 19, 2009; 06:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

An Early, Crowded Field for Pr. George's County Exec Race

With 2010 fast-approaching, it seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the probable field for the upcoming race for Prince George's County Executive. With term-limited County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) on his way...

By Jonathan Mummolo | August 10, 2009; 05:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Prince George's Continues to Battle Vacant Homes

Prince George's County has enacted a new law that requires vacant houses to be registered so that the county can better keep track of homes emptying because of the foreclosure crisis before they become eyesores or havens for crime and...

By Jonathan Mummolo | August 7, 2009; 03:01 PM ET | Comments (12)

Pr. George's Council Okays Furlough, Delays Lease

In its final session of the summer Tuesday, the Prince George's County Council approved a plan to furlough county workers for 10 days for the second straight year, but deferred a vote on a controversial measure to lease a pricey...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 21, 2009; 01:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

About the Writers: Jonathan Mummolo

Jonathan Mummolo joined The Washington Post's Virginia desk in 2007, where he covered a mix of political (and not-at-all-political) stories, including the commonwealth's much-derided "abusive driver fees," the shifting partisanship of Loudoun County, and a farmer in said county who...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins | July 1, 2009; 04:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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