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Afternoon Read: Crossing Boundaries in Virginia

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports Republicans taking over the Virginia Senate “plan to use their newfound power to make additional changes to election district boundaries, including placing the city of Williamsburg back in Senate Republican leader Tommy Norment’s district.”

    While “minor alterations to once-a-decade legislative redistricting plans are common in the year after new maps are approved,” the bold announcement could make it harder for the GOP to convince waverers that the party should have full leadership, rather than shared power, in what will be a 20-20 Senate, with Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling having a tiebreaking vote.
     
    The Mason Conservative blog expresses concern: “I wonder if this is a bit of an overreach. … If they do this, they better be ready to explain it and do it well.  This just smells of an issue that will burn us politically.”
     
    * Not Larry Sabato wonders why Virginia Democrats aren’t more actively recruiting female congressional candidates for 2012, saying, “With record gender gaps and Republicans continuing to press social issues it’s a no-brainer for Democrats.” In Virginia, part of the problem is a weak bench, the blog argues, since fewer women are being recruited to run for the state legislative seats that are often a jumping-off point for congressional bids: “The once majority-female NoVA Democratic Senate delegation is now 8 men and 3 women.”
     
    * Bearing Drift’s Norman Leahy looks at Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli’s disdain for the GOP presidential field, and says, “He may decide to endorse no one, which could be spun as a stand on principle.  Or, perhaps, Ken could be one of those Republican mandarins secretly hoping for a brokered convention, where no clear winner of the primaries has emerged, the delegates are divided and cranky and a dark horse emerges to make it all right.”
     
    * The Virginia Public Access Project writes, “Preliminary numbers indicate more companies, groups and local governments may be lobbying the General Assembly when it convenes in January.” The total number of companies and groups with lobbyists in Richmond is 602, “up slightly from the same point last year. But this number included 44 groups that have never been represented before -- up nearly 30 percent from the same point in 2010.”
     
    * A congressional subcommittee dealing with D.C. budget issues is headed by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Missouri Republican. But the D.C. Republican Party tweets that Emerson has some D.C. ties: her first job after college was working for the D.C. GOP, and her daughter teaches in D.C. public schools.
     
    * In Shaw spotted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at i Ricchi in Dupont Circle last night. “You’d think such a restaurant would have great food if it can attract the likes of Mr. Panetta,” the blog writes. “Alas no. With the exception of the soup, I’ve had better at Olive Garden.”