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After new revelations, Gray campaign starts week on defense

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is beginning another week on defense after a new report surfaced that his 2010 campaign may have benefited from more illegal activity.

The Washington Post reported late Sunday that the Gray campaign maintained a database of about 6,000 residents of public housing properties to target them for support in the hotly contested Democratic primary.

The source of the roster is unknown, but the use of restricted government records for political activities could be illegal, the newspaper said. Citing privacy concerns, housing agencies have previously denied Freedom of Information Act requests for such databases.

The mayor's son, Carlos Gray, is an employee of the D.C. Housing Authority, but he said he had nothing to do with providing the list to the campaign.

In a statement, Vincent Gray denied knowing of the database's existence and said it was unnecessary because of his ties to leaders in the public housing areas.

Gray's campaign is the subject of a sweeping federal investigation. To date, three people linked to Gray's campaign have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

After federal prosecutors disclosed the existence of a $653,800 shadow campaign that helped Gray, three members of the D.C. Council demanded that Gray resign. A poll released last week showed that 54 percent of District residents want the mayor to leave office.

The mayor, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, has vowed to finish his term, which will expire in January 2015.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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