The Baltimore Sun reports a Baltimore jury quickly found former Bob Ehrlich campaign manager Paul Schurick guilty of election fraud and three other related counts this morning.
Schurick “declined to comment on the verdict,” but his attorney “vowed to appeal the verdict on First Amendment grounds” that the robocalls in question were “protected, political speech.”
* NBC Richmond’s Ryan Nobles previews tomorrow night’s debate between Virginia Senate candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine. Nobles, who will be one of three moderators, says the contest “is expected to be one of the most watched political races in the country.”
The Hampton Roads Daily Press criticizes the debate in an editorial, saying that the Associated Press and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association, “both organizations that one would expect to be bulwarks of free political expression,” have “established for participation in the debate rule out all candidates except for” Allen and Kaine -- even though there are others running. Democratic candidate Julien Modica has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, calling for the rules to be changed or the debate canceled.
Even if Allen and Kaine do win their parties’ nominations as expected, they may not be alone on the November ballot. The Arlington Sun-Gazette profiles Kevin Chisholm, the 2010 Green Party nominee for Arlington County Board, who is now running for Senate as an independent. Chisholm, who “describes himself as a fiscally conservative progressive,” hopes to raise “$500,000 to $1 million in support his campaign, a relative pittance by major-party standards but large for an independent candidate.”
* The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, in an editorial, slams Allen for his “fantastic assertion” that “the government doesn't create jobs.” While “in general, perhaps, private-sector jobs are preferable” to public sector ones, “teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, and others who draw government checks do valuable work. They pay taxes and spend income, boosting the overall economy.”
* Bearing Drift’s Brian Kirwin says Virginia Democrats “have crossed a line” in seeking a court to intervene in Republican efforts to organize the state senate. The legislature “should govern its organizational rules,” Kirwin writes. “Allowing the Judiciary to dictate how the Senate organizes its committee assignments would be a grave mistake.”
* The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Carly Fiorina, former HP CEO and California Senate candidate, will headline the Opportunity Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon hosted by Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell on December 16.
* The Washington Times says Ward 5 D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., whose home was raided by the FBI and IRS last week, “showed up for a legislative session today that includes the first round of debate on a sweeping ethics bill.”