The political season is just a toddler and we're already starting to have some adolescent fun.

Take Vincent Gray's sudden realization that Peter Nickles is, well, not your average attorney general.

"His politicization of the office is inappropriate at best, and illegal at worst," Gray said of Nickles. "And by protecting the mayor's cronies, he has put the interest of the mayor squarely ahead of the interest of his actual client."

Gray has a point; I, too, wondered why Nickles forked over more than half a million bucks to Banneker Ventures, a contractor whose deals with the city are the subject of an investigation. But why did it take Vince two years to grow a pair?

Peter Nickles has been throwing sharp elbows at the city council ever since Adrian Fenty appointed him to be his attorney general three years ago. The veteran litigator had been a Fenty family intimate for decades; he also had sued the city as a public interest attorney.

Nickles took every opportunity to increase Fenty's executive power, but isn't that his job? He gave the legislators only what they were due by law, and he instructed agency directors when they had to testify -- and when they did not. On the rare cases where Gray's council took him to the brink, Nickles said: Sue me.

My point is that Vince Gray, as council chair, had many opportunities to call for Peter Nickles' head. Why not when Gray demanded the council review all city contracts over $1 million -- as the law says -- and Nickles threw sand in his face?

Paying Banneker Ventures $550,000 does seem fishy to me. The council last year halted nearly $100 million in contracts to Banneker for developing city parks, because they reeked of inside deals and laundered money. Gray rightly ordered an independent investigation. Why would Nickles knuckle under to Banneker owner Omar Karim when he refused to settle with the Pershing Park plaintiffs who had sued the city for illegal arrest?

That's a legal matter. Vince Gray's calling for Nickles to resign comes off as pure politics. But it's fun to see him take off the gloves.

But if you really want to see Fenty get hit upside his head, tune in to "The Big Tigger Morning Show" on WPGC-FM. The untouchable mayor sat for more than an hour last week and let his black constituents touch him in sensitive places.

What about those rumors that he beat up his wife, Michelle, and sent her to the emergency room?

"Libel," the young mayor responded. Never happened.

"What about all these stories that [Fenty is] about to get divorced?" a listener asked.

Silly rumors, Fenty said, and asked if anyone had seen any divorce filings. To the contrary, he's atop a happy family.

By the end of Thursday more mud was flying: How did Kwame Brown run up that credit card debt? What about Vince Gray's unpaid 2002 traffic ticket?

Gotta love the political silly season.

Harry Jaffe's column appears on Tuesday and Friday. He can be contacted at ">