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Afternoon Read: Allen Gets Backing on Healthcare

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Afternoon Read: Allen Backed on Healthcare

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Virginia Rep. Robert Hurt, state Sen. Steve Martin, and Del. John Cox “held a conference call this morning to tout U.S. Senate candidate George Allen and push for repeal of the 2009 healthcare reform law, saying it would place unreasonable mandates on businesses and hurt job growth,” the Roanoke Times reports. Hurt said, “One of the huge sources of concern is the president’s healthcare law that was adopted by the previous Congress. … It’s frustrating for business folks who feel like they’re being punished and have to suffer not only the real consequences but also the uncertainty of where we go from here.”

Bearing Drift’s Norman Leahy, who was on the call, writes that “nothing they said hasn’t been said before, repeatedly, in other venues. But Rep. Hurt mentioned that while sentiment for repeal is strong, any talk of repeal must be accompanied by discussions of what would replace the law.”

Meanwhile, at All Politics Is Local, Mark Brooks writes that Hurt, elected just last year, seems to be “tired of Washington already.”

* The Baltimore Sun reports Gov. Martin O’Malley will host his first meeting with selected Twitter users -- a “tweetup” -- on January 12. Attendees “will be selected at random from people who fill out the online application form for the gathering, which will focus on the agenda for the 90-day legislative session that begins the day before.” O’Malley’s deputy press secretary Takirra Winfield said that while O’Malley has used Twitter for a few years, he decided to do the tweetup after attending one at the White House. Winfield said, “He said, ‘I want to do this,’ so this will be his first and hopefully not his last.”

* Rep. Jim Moran did a live chat with the Lorton Patch at noon on the end of the Iraq war. The Alexandria Democrat said, “I did oppose the invasion from the outset, because President Bush’s rational was faulty. He lacked an exit strategy and there were no weapons of mass destruction. I still worry that the ultimate victor of the Iraq war will be Iran.”

* The Arlington Sun-Gazette writes that while Republicans “blasted Democrat Barbara Favola’s decision to delay her County Board resignation until the end of the year,” her decision “may have been a blessing in disguise for the GOP.” Local Republicans have yet to find a candidate for the special election to succeed her -- which would have come early next month if Favola had already departed. There are already six Democrats seeking the seat.

* Republican Maryland state Sen. E.J. Pipkin called on state Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley to resign Tuesday over an audit that showed State Highway Administration employees “regularly cut corners to extend and execute contracts,” the Annapolis Capital reports. Pipkin said, “This was not a single event. This was a culture of corruption.” Swaim-Staley did not comment on Pipkin’s demand.

* The Gazette says Maryland legislators, “spurred by the corruption trial of Sen. Ulysses S. Currie,” could start putting their ethical disclosure forms online in the next session.

In other Maryland “good government” news, the Sun reports Prince George’s County Del. Tiffany Alston “was indicted this morning on charges that she arranged for the General Assembly to pay the salary of a employee in her private law practice.” Alston already faces charges that she “misused her campaign fund by using political donations to buy a wedding dress.”

* The Washington Examiner says Ward 8 D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry “has sent out a news release telling folks he’s still on track for paying off his taxes. You know, the taxes that he was found guilty of evading in 2006?” The release was prompted by news of a new IRS lien on Barry’s home. Barry said, “The repayment plan is on schedule and working. The only thing new is this latest lien and it too, shall be taken care of.”

* The Washington Post says Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s wife Maureen and daughter Cailin “have cameos in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Abraham Lincoln biopic.” The governor will not appear, nor will Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who “was offered a small role” but turned it down “because it would have taken days to film.” No word on whether these Virginians will be on the side of the blue or the gray.

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