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Afternoon Read: Thousands Gather for DC Pro-Life Rally

Protest marks 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade

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Thousands Gather for DC Pro-Life Rally

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Pro-life activists stand near the U.S. Supreme Court at the March for Life rally.

Thousands of abortion opponents are gathered in D.C. today to protest the 39th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade for the annual “March for Life” rally.

Newt Gingrich issued a statement to the rally participants today, saying he would defund Planned Parenthood if elected president. House Speaker John Boehner will be the event’s keynote speaker.

To see a list of road closures due to the march in D.C. today, click here.

*Rick Santorum will be making a campaign pit stop in Virginia on Wednesday for a last minute attempt to raise funds before the Florida primary.

According to Politico, he will appear in Oakton at an event hosted by Bill and Diana Wichterman. Bill Wichterman is a former congressional aide who works in the government affairs practice at Covington and Burling and advices Santorum.

Politico wrote that the suggested donation is $1,000.

*Although Florida has stolen the presidential primary spotlight, voting is under way in Virginia as early ballots start tricking in.

According to The Washington Post, the State Board of elections says 998 military and overseas residents requested ballots by the Friday deadline.

The Virginia primary is on March 6, Super Tuesday, and voters will vote for Mitt Romney or Ron Paul.

Gingrich and Santorum failed to obtain enough signatures to qualify for the Virginia ballot.

*Gov. Martin O’Malley has come under fire for the controversial budget he proposed last week that would effectively raise taxes for about 20 percent of Maryland residents.

Today, O’Malley challenged his fellow lawmakers to come up with an alternative plan, The Baltimore Sun reports.

"I don't have a Plan B. Perhaps the legislature can identify the revenues to replace that (money). I don't have a good alternative," The Sun reports the governor saying at a State House news conference today. "The alternative is cuts. We've been doing nothing but cutting and cutting the last four years."

*The Washington Examiner reports that

Maryland outpaced Virginia in job growth

this past year, creating eight times more private sector jobs than Virginia.

The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Maryland created one job for every eight unemployed residents—or 26,700 jobs—from January 2011 through November 20 while Virginia created one job for every 25 unemployed Virginians—or 10,900 jobs.

Most of Maryland’s new jobs were in the private sector, while 70 percent of Virginia’s jobs were in the public sector, according to the Examiner.

*The Washington Post reports that

Gov. Bob McDonnell hired E. Alex Stanley

as director of his PAC, Opportunity Virginia.

Stanley worked on McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign in 2009.

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