Washington Monthly


Obama’s Deportation Two Step

WASHINGTON MONTHLY

June 27, 2012

By James Verini

In April, a man named Juan went to a courthouse in Inglewood, California, to turn himself in after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He’d been driving on a suspended license, having racked up several traffic violations. Juan figured that he’d have to pay a fine, at worst do some community service. But the police arrested him. They told him he’d likely spend a few days in jail. So Juan called his boss at the drugstore where he worked to say he would be gone a few days. As it turned out, Juan would be gone much longer than that. See Full Story


The Unquiet Life of Franz Gayl

WASHINGTON MONTHLY

July, 2011

By James Verini

As he had every morning for years, on October 4, 2010, Franz Gayl woke up at five, fed his two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and then walked down the street from his modest home at the end of a cul-de-sac in northern Virginia to wait for the bus to the Pentagon. Once there, Gayl swiped his badge, thanked the security guards, and proceeded down the vast corridors to an office of the B Ring and the Marine Corps’ Department of Plans, Policies and Operations. At almost exactly seven thirty, Gayl, a science adviser to the Marines, walked into his Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a secured office in which military employees with high-level security clearances spend their days, and sat down at his desk, eager to get to work. See Full Story


Show Him the Money

WASHINGTON MONTHLY

July 2010

By James Verini

Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has a well-developed talent for self-promotion. He makes a point of being the last person on any stage, and he leaves no detail to chance. The Chamber’s event staff is famously fastidious: one of Donohue’s parties involved corralling a Clydesdale horse into the Chamber’s lobby. Such grandiosity is of a piece with how Donohue treats his station. He travels in a chauffeured Lincoln and a leased jet, and his salary, $3.7 million last year, makes him the sixth highest paid lobbyist in the country. This requires funding, which Donohue secures with exceptional skill. Among his office decorations is a desk plaque that reads, “SHOW ME THE MONEY.” “He used to pound his fist on the desk and say, ‘Show me the money!’” a former Chamber lobbyist recalls. “He got his rocks off on it.” See Full Story


The Pruner

WASHINGTON MONTHLY

June 2006

By James Verini

Insubordination was not exactly a hallmark of the DeLay era, so when two young Republican congressmen led a drive to force leadership elections and summarily toss Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) from his majority leader post, it was a pretty clear sign that things had changed. Only a food fight in the House cafeteria could have better spelled out the end of DeLay’s once vaunted and feared iron discipline. No longer could he send dissident caucus members scurrying back into line with a withering glare or a threat to cut spending in their district. Now he was the one being told–and by upstarts!–that it was time to go. See Full Story