The question of the morning was where’s Gov. McDonnell?
Today, he surfaced -- kind of.
The governor had a conference call with reporters and admitted for the first time that the University of Virginia Board of Visitors did not handle the ousting of President Teresa Sullivan well. But McDonnell maintained his position that he would not meddle with university affairs or the board.
He was phoning in from Sweden, where he was on a trade mission.
"The board...made the decision that they felt were in the best longterm interest of the university,’’ McDonnell said in a conference call with reporters. “I would have liked to see things happen a little differently — a little more promptly, a little bit more communication with people in the community so there was a much clearer understanding about the reasons for their decision.’’
As governor, McDonnell appoints people to the Board of Visitors -- the governing body that has come under fire nationwide for Sullivan’s removal and the perceived secrecy behind it.
McDonnell, according to 1070 WINA Newsradio, would not say whether he would reappoint Rector Helen Dragas to the Board of Visitors but said he would announce his appointments by July 1.
Vice Rector Mark Kington sent in his resignation letter to McDonnell Tuesday.
"It has been a great honor to serve on the board of visitors of the University of Virginia, and I am deeply grateful to you for giving me that opportunity," Kington said in a two-paragraph resignation letter to Gov. Bob McDonnell.
"In order to better serve this university which I love and respect, and to help bring about new leadership on the board of visitors at this critical time, I am resigning my position as vice rector and as a board member effective immediately. I believe that this is the right thing to do and I hope that it will begin a needed healing process at the university."
* In other Board of Visitors news, Heyward Fralin said he would have voted to reinstate President Sullivan if given the chance.
He was the lone vote against newly appointed interim President Carl Zeithaml. According to the RTD, Fralin said the no vote had nothing to do with Zeithaml’s leadership abilities.
* Engineering professor William Wulf sent his letter of resignation to the new interim president Tuesday.
According to the Post, his resignation was considered significant because he is one of fewer than 20 “university professors” among a faculty of 2,220—an honor given to the university’s most accomplished professors.
Part of his sternly worded letter, via the Post:
I do not wish to be associated with an institution being as badly run as the current UVa,” he wrote. “A BOV that so poorly understands UVa, and academic culture more generally, is going to make a lot more dumb decisions, so the University is headed for disaster, and I don’t want to be any part of that. And, frankly, I think you should be ashamed to be party to this debacle!”
* Mayor Vincent Gray’s newly appointed housing chief Michael Kelly is fresh off a scandal that led to his resignation at the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
* The Baltimore Sun has the latest on the Maryland bio-fuel fraud case that rattled the industry.
The former White House party crasher and GOP gubernatorial candidate issued a statement slamming Ken Cuccinelli, who will likely benefit from the state GOP’s decision to nominate candidates with a convention.
In the statement, Salahi indicated that Cuccinelli was scared that Salahi, who boasts a 2 percent approval rating, would win.
* The women’s rights activists who were arrested in March for protesting at the state Capitol accepted deals today that would allow them to have clean legal records, according to The RTD.
The 30 women had to pay court costs—typically around $77 each—and perform 25 hours of community service.
In exchange for the misdemeanor trespassing count to be wiped of their records, the women had to concede that police were acting within the law when they were arrested.
* Who is the most recent person to say “That’s a clown question, bro?”
Another Nationals player?
None other then our Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
At a press conference earlier this afternoon, Roll Call's Steven Dennis posed a question about Republican senators' current stance on immigration reform. Reid did not feel like taking the query.
"I don't want to answer that question," Reid said. "That's a clown question, bro."
Who would have thought that the 72-year-old Reid was up on the latest memes? Well, for one thing, he's got quite a bit in common with Harper. The Nationals' rookie sensation, as a native of Las Vegas, was for much of his life (and might still be, officially) Reid's constituent. They're also both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.