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Afternoon Read: Bob Breakfasts With Huntsman

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Gov. Bob McDonnell had breakfast with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman this morning as Huntsman hit Richmond for a fundraiser, the Washington Examiner reported.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin cautioned against reading anything into the meeting, saying McDonnell “is always pleased to see candidates stopping by the commonwealth.

It’s a recognition of the important role Virginia will play in 2012.” McDonnell has met with several presidential contenders as they have passed through Virginia.

* The Washington Post says the Democratic Party of Virginia “decided to have some fun” with Mitt Romney’s offer of a $10,000 to Gov. Rick Perry in Saturday’s GOP presidential debate, putting out a list of what 10 grand could buy in Virginia, such as “at least 833 trips through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in a passenger vehicle” or more than 909 children’s tickets to Luray Caverns.”

* Blue Virginia’s Paul Goldman says Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s campaign guru Boyd Marcus faces a challenge now that AG Ken Cuccinelli is also running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Marcus’s usual -- and usually successful -- tactic is to run his candidates to the right of primary rivals, but it would be hard to position Bolling as more conservative than Cuccinelli. Short of “McDonnell getting to be the next VP” and letting Bolling ascend to the governor’s office before the primary, “there isn’t a lot Boyd Marcus can find in his bag of tricks right now.”

* The Roanoke Times likes the idea of letting Virginia governors serve two consecutive terms, saying in an editorial that “the prospect of an extended stay in the executive mansion would give governors a chance to make real progress on their goals before they are elbowed aside by successors with their own pet projects.”

* Politico reports Rep. Gerry Connolly accused House Oversight and Government Reform Darrell Issa of bullying on Twitter Wednesday, charging Issa with “denial of minority witnesses & travel, censorship, [and] forced posting of biased signage.” Politico says Issa “came under fire from Democrats for imposing a new rule declaring Obama administration officials as minority witnesses -- meaning Democrats often would not be able to designate their own witness.”

* Josh Kurtz, of Center Maryland, writes that around the same time last week that Jack Johnson “was getting his just desserts for the wide-ranging Prince George’s County corruption scandal, Paul Schurick heard the words ‘guilty’ ring through a Baltimore court room, with the promise of prison time for his role in a voter suppression scheme.” In Baltimore, “former Mayor Sheila Dixon, she of the gift card thefts and lavish gifts from developers, talks seriously of a political comeback. In Anne Arundel County, Councilman Darryl Jones can neglect to pay his taxes for years, faces jail time, and still hasn’t made a move to resign.” And yet, Kurtz says, “No one in any position of authority is saying we’ve got a problem here, let alone offering solutions.”

At Red Maryland, Mark Newgent says the corruption is real, but says “the liberal Kurtz…can’t be a cheerleader for ‘bold progressive Democratic governance’ (and the concomitant government encroachment of the private sphere that progressive policy and politics demands), then turn around and decry the corruption, corporatism, and crony capitalism it breeds.”

As for Jones, the Annapolis Capital says he was mum about whether to resign when addressing the African American Leadership Forum Monday night.

* Maryland Juice says Rep. John Sarbanes hosted a Facebook town hall meeting where the Third District Democrat “explained his new fund raising concept.” Sarbanes has essentially imposed “the public financing model on himself to show it works and focus more on grassroots campaigning,” restricting himself from using “his own funds, raised in the normal course of fund-raising, which will only be available once he has over 1,000 donors of $100 or less.”

* The Baltimore Sun says Charles County, “long thought of as a rural, tobacco-growing jurisdiction in Southern Maryland, is taking one more step toward becoming a full-fledged part of the Washington region” by joining the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

* DCist writes that retired businessman Pete Ross has loaned himself $102,000 to seek the unpaid and obscure office of D.C. shadow senator. But Ross says voters should see his big financial commitment as a plus: “By putting the money in, people can see that I don’t want to be beholden to any special interests.”Ross faces Carl Thomas for the Democratic nomination.

In other D.C. campaign funds news, WAMU’s Patrick Madden reports D.C. Council members “receive nearly as many campaign contributions from corporations as individuals -- which likely explains their resistance to limiting corporate donations.” The five incumbents seeking re-election next year have so far raised a cumulative $430,000 from individuals -- and $360,000 from corporations.

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