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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan. The federal judge has an explosive international case in her Alexandria courtroom, as lawyers for the federal government and WikiLeaks battle over whether Twitter account information is protected by the First Amendment. Buchanan will have to decide whether leaking secret information is a free-speech right or whether the First Amendment stops short when government secrets are involved.

• Lawrence Hughes. After a shooting in Manassas killed three people and left three others in the hospital, the city’s manager is trying to find ways to make the Georgetown South neighborhood a better place to live, from encouraging schools to come up with new and creative after-school activities to coming up with new land-use plans to increasing police foot patrols in troubled neighborhoods. The shooting is a tragedy, but if Hughes can use it to mobilize Manassas, maybe some good can come of it.

• Scott Steffan. The principal of Wheaton’s Highland Elementary School is leading efforts to get Latino parents more involved in the school system. Wheaton is on the leading edge of Montgomery County’s transition from a majority-white community to one that’s majority minority. We’d love to know if he has lessons in multiracial, multilingual education to share with Kaya Henderson, Michelle Rhee’s deputy, who seems likely to take her place permanently as the chancellor of the District’s school system.

• LuAnn Bennett. Virginia representative Jim Moran’s wife is the reason Washington is finally getting a Walmart—sort of, as the Washington City Paper reports. Twenty years ago, Bennett’s company got a plot of land at New Jersey and H streets, Northwest, after former mayor Marion Barry’s arrest torpedoed another development plan Bennett had with the city. To get the land, Bennett had to find a way for the community to benefit from whatever development eventually happened on the site. Now $2 million and 15 percent of the profits the company makes will go to a neighborhood educational foundation once the Walmart breaks ground.

• Lorraine Green and Gerri Mason Hall. We’d really like to ask DC mayor Vincent Gray’s campaign chair and chief of staff if they think it was a good idea for their children to apply for jobs (they were both hired) in the early days of Gray’s administration, given that much of Gray’s campaign focused on favoritism in former mayor Adrian Fenty’s administration. It doesn’t look like Gray or his staffers broke any laws, and we’re sure Leslie Green and Nicholas Hall are talented. But perception is everything in politics.

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