News & Politics

Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

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

About Guest List

Guest List is Washingtonian’s monthly roundup of the fantasy cast we’d like to see for dinner this month.

• Thomas Watkins. The president of Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences is waiting anxiously on a Food and Drug Administration decision about whether to approve a new drug for lupus. A go-ahead would approve the first new treatment for the debilitating disease in 50 years and provide a bump to the region’s biotech industry.

• Laurie Zook. The Frederick estate-management executive is having an unusual commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. During routine work for a client, she found documents signed by Abraham Lincoln and a ticket to his funeral. She’s now fighting with the National Archives over whether the government can simply claim the papers. In commemoration of Lincoln’s life, we hope they can find a peaceable solution.

• Noah Wall. The political director for high-profile Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli has an aggressive plan for his boss for the 2012 campaign cycle. By picking and choosing primaries for Cucinnelli to campaign in, and by kicking off a training program for Republicans who want to volunteer in the upcoming Senate race—which could be one of the hottest in the country—Wall is trying to position Cuccinnelli to move beyond his current office without offending any potential allies along the way.

• Rick Schuman. The vice president for public-sector business at the transportation-analysis firm Inrix has conclusively proved that Washington-area residents have the fourth-toughest commutes in the country—and that the region’s relatively healthy economy may be to blame. A new study shows that commuters waste 63 minutes if they’re traveling on I-95 in Virginia and 48 minutes on the Beltway in Montgomery County. Schuman used real-time GPS data from commuters to gather those and other horrifying statistics. But it may be that traffic in Washington has just stayed the same. The 5 million commuters who lost jobs in other major cities just aren’t clogging up roadways, making Washington look better by comparison.

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