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Afternoon Read: Virginia May Decide Next President, Romney Says

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Women take photos as Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke during a campaign event at Exhibit Edge Wednesday.

    Mitt Romney is on the last leg of his two-day Virginia campaign tour and is doing everything to garner as much support as he can in the battleground state.

    Today, at a campaign event in Portsmouth, Va., Romney said that Virginia could be the decisive state in the November election.

    Via RTD:

    "I am delighted to be flanked by your governor, one of the greatest governors in the history of this great commonwealth," Romney said of Gov. Bob McDonnell, whom Romney termed a "phenomenal leader."

    "Now politics is under way," Romney said. "You're going to hear it all right here in Virginia," he said.

    "This may well be the state that decides who the next president is," he said.

    Romney was joined by Michelle Bachmann and Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has long been touted as a top VP choice.

    The DNC issued a critical ad on behalf of the Obama camp—which is slated to kick-off its reelection campaign in Virginia on Saturday—about Bachmann, Romney and McDonnell, saying they are turning back the clocks on women’s health.

    Romney’s Wednesday night fundraiser at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton raised at least $625,000, The Washington Post reported.

    The high-profile guest list included U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and Ed Gillespie, McDonnell’s former general chairman who serves as a Romney adviser.

    About 250 people attended the reception, according to the Post, with each guest paying at least $2,500. There was a series of VIP policy discussions and a photoreception for those who raised more than $10,000.

    * Former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. was sentenced to 38 months in prison for stealing taxpayer money designated to help fund youth programs.

    Officially, Thomas has received 38 months for stealing federal grant money and 36 months for filing three years of false tax returns. However, these terms are to be served concurrently.

    Read the full story here.

    Washington City Paper has a list of the top ironies that occurred during the morning’s court proceedings and another breaking down what extravagant purchases Thomas purchased with the stolen money.

    * State Sen. Rob Garagiola, a Democrat from Germantown has been sent a letter of reprimand from a state ethics committee for failing to disclose income he received as a lobbyist on state disclosure forms, according to The Baltimore Sun.

    The committee said it would take no further action on the issue.

    The issue surrounding these 2001-2003 disclosure forms surfaced while Garagiola was running for the Democratic congressional nomination this year. His opponent, John Delaney, hammered him on this in campaign ads.

    Delaney ultimately won the race and will now face incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the general election.

    * Happy Birthday, Washington! D.C. turns 210 years old today, kind of...

    The DCist has the history:

    "On this day in 1802 the City of Washington was incorporated by Congress, the first step in the then-ongoing creation of a new capital for the nation. What Congress created then isn't what we see now, though—while Washington was formalized, Georgetown remained a separate juridiction until decades later, while many of the neighborhoods we now live in existed in the unincorporated Washington County. Virginia's contribution to the capital's creation was Alexandria County. It wasn't until 1871—after we had already lost our portion of Virginia—that Washington, D.C. became what we know of today"