Maryland State Attorney General Doug Gansler leads the pack of gubernatorial hopefuls in terms of campaign money raised.
Gansler’s 2011 campaign finance report shows he has about $4.1 million in his campaign pocket, far more than any other potential candidate running in the Democratic primary, The Baltimore Sun reports:
“Howard County Executive Ken Ulman put on a strong showing for a potential candidate who does not hold statewide office, reporting $1.3 million on hand. He was trailed by Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has just over $1 million, and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who reported a cash balance of about $810,000.”
But Gansler had a lot of cash coming into 2011, and when looking at who raised the most in 2011, the other likely candidates come a lot closer to closing Gansler’s lead, according to The Sun.
“Gansler still leads, having raised more than $1.2 million. But Ulman also collected more than $1 million. Brown raised just over $900,000 during the cycle, while Franchot took in just over $625,000.”
* Legislation to allow political party registration in Virginia passed through a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.
Virginia voters are not currently required to disclose their party affiliation and can vote in any primary, but this will change if the bill is passed.
Republican Sen. Bill Stanley sponsored the bill and said the measure would help ensure that voters from one party do not try to rig election results by voting in another party’s primary, The Virginian-Pilot reports.
On the other side, Democrats argued that voter party registration would keep voters out of the electoral process.
* The annual House Republican conference kicks off today in Baltimore and Politico reports that all the conservative stars -- including Virginia’s very own Bob McDonnell -- will be in attendance.
On Friday, Phil Gramm and Newt Gingrich will host a breakfast panel and Govs. Haley Barbour, McDonnell and Rick Perry will headline the event with a talk about “Solutions for the States.”
* Another non-profit leader pleaded guilty Wednesday in connection with the Harry Thomas Jr. case, saying he allowed the former D.C. council member to use his non-profit to swindle more than $300,000 from the District.
James Garvin -- general manager of Langston Golf Course who was on the board of the Langston 21st century foundation -- faces prison of a felony concealing the theft of federal grants charges.
* Whoops! Turns out Gov. McDonnell didn’t added $47 million to shrink classes in kindergarten through third grade last Friday simply out of the goodness of his heart, but because of a mathematical error.
The Washington Post reports that the state was working with the wrong numbers on K-3 classrooms when they put the governor’s first budget together.
Daniel Timberlake, director of the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, told the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday that the number of students on free or reduced lunch come into play when determining class sizes for the lower grades and the initial calculation was based on outdated data of the number of students on free lunches.
This year more students are on free lunch because of the poor economy, according to The Post, and thus, class sizes needed to be smaller than originally calculated.
* Ryan Nobles of NBC12 posted a sneak peek of Obama’s first ad of the 2012 campaign. According to Nobles, Virginia is one of just six states the campaign bought ad time in. Check it out here.
* The Baltimore Sun has a feature on its website that easily breaks down how O’Malley’s budget plan affects the average Marylander. Here are some highlights:
- Two out of 10 Marylanders would pay more in income taxes.
- Residents with septic systems would see their septic systems double from $2.50 to $5.00
- Online shoppers would have to pay sales taxes on some items that are currently not taxed by the state.
- State employees would get a 2 percent cost of living raise and get five paid days off to compensate for past furloughs. Employees will pay 5 percent more for their health insurance.
* A U.S. House subcommittee will hold a hearing next week to determine why the National Park Service has allowed the Occupy D.C. protesters to remain in McPherson Square despite a ban on camping on Park Service property, WAMU reports
Park Service officials have said a “24-hour vigil“ is permitted in the park. But Mayor Vincent Gray has asked the Park Service to move the encampments to Freedom Plaza because of health concerns.