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Morning Read: Fair for Virginia to Switch From Primary To Convention Now?

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AM Read: Va. Switch Now To Convention Fair?

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, right, gestures as he is joined by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, left, as they announce their legislative adgenda during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is asking the Virginia GOP’s State Central Committee not to switch from a planned primary to a convention next year.

VIA Free Lance-Star:

“Once the SCC determines a method of nomination, I believe it is improper and unfair to candidates and Republican voters to change the rules in the middle of the game,” Bolling wrote in a letter sent to the 81-member committee Friday.

The conventional wisdom is that a convention would favor Bolling’s main competitor in the GOP gubernatorial primary, the outspoken Ken Cuccinelli who has been pushing for a convention.

VIA Free-Lance Star:

“Recent elections to party posts around the state put more Cuccinelli supporters in power, and since then there has been talk that party leaders will consider rescinding last year’s vote and changing the nomination method at an [Republican Party of Virginia] meeting two weeks from now”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Shapiro wrote that Gov. Bob McDonnell should be focusing on helping Bolling to win this election because it could help McDonnell most in the long run -- escpecially if McDonnell leaves office to take a post within the Romney adminsitration and Bolling runs as the incumbent governor in the upcoming election. 

"Even Republican apparatchiks give [McDonnell] the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. They're pressing to again choose their gubernatorial candidate by convention, rejecting McDonnell's preference for a primary next year. The method also is favored by his pick for the nomination, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, because it may be Bolling's only hope for defeating Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

That may be the final ignominy for McDonnell, the ultimate can't-get-no-respect moment for a supposed Republican star on whose watch the party roared back, taking total control of Virginia government for the first time in a decade. All is not lost for our hero — not yet."

“Even if Republicans opt to choose their nominee for governor by convention — a method that favors Cuccinelli, a master grass-roots organizer idolized by the movement right — would they not run the risk, in dumping a sitting governor — albeit one sitting only months — of appearing petty, spiteful and more interested in conservative ideology than common-sense continuity?
Republicans may have already answered that question.

In the March presidential primary, Mitt Romney — Bolling's pick for president since 2008 — was one of two candidates on the Republican ballot; the other was Ron Paul, the libertarian. Romney pulled 60 percent of the vote; Paul, 40 percent. Thousands of protest votes flowed to Paul from Virginians suspicious of his Mormon faith, his background as a Massachusetts moderate and his Wall Street credentials.

In other words, the kind of Republicans perfectly comfortable dumping Bolling for Cuccinelli — and whose numbers are increasing on the party's governing body that decides the primary-vs.-convention question later this month.

Maybe it's Bolling who ends up working for Romney.”

* Gov. Martin O’Malley delivered the keynote address at the convention of New Hampshire Democrats Saturday, where he defended the president and rallied support for his party.

VIA Baltimore Sun:

"In the road to recovery there will be ups and downs," O'Malley told the crowd of roughly 500 at the Memorial High School. "But there is one clear direction and that is forward."

According to the Baltimore Sun, O’Malley was in full campaign mode Saturday -- not easing any speculation about his presidential ambitions in 2016.

* The D.C. Inspector General found that that a panel developed after a rash of murders committed by fugitive juveniles hasn’t met in the more than 15 months since the law establishing it went into effect, according to The Washington Examiner.

The committee was intended to review cases where these juvenile fugitives commit homicide, assault with intent to kill or assault with a firearm.

Crimes where an absconder was a victim would also be reviewed.

But according to the Examiner, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services has only taken tentative steps to organize the Juvenile Abscondence Review Committee.

* Gov. McDonnell -- a loyal surrogate for Romney on the campaign trail -- had something nice (kind of) to say about Obama.

On CNN’s “State of The Union” Sunday, McDonnell conceded that President Obama’s stimulus measures helped his state during the recession.

VIA Washington Post:

“Did it help us in the short run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure,” McDonnell said. “Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I’d say no.”

Republicans have argued that Friday’s disappointing jobs report bodes well for the GOP in November.

The Post reports that D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown remains upbeat despite a still pending federal investigation into his finances and his 2008 campaign.

Officials say the investigation is entering its final stages, and some speculate that Brown won’t survive the summer. But Brown says he is focusing on his city council responsibilities.

VIA Post:

“People are saying: ‘You stole all this money. You got all this money. You’ve got to resign,’ ” said Brown, surrounded in his wood-paneled office by his growing collection of Muhammad Ali memorabilia. “I don’t entertain that stuff.”

* D.C. earned a D+ for friendliness to businesses in a new survey that asked start up to rate their city based on factors like friendliness, regulations, training programs and health and safety.

The District ranked high for its economy and its programs in place for already established businesses, but earned its low score for the difficulties of starting a new business, according to The Washington Examiner.

The survey was conducted by the Kauffmann Foundation and Thumbtack.com -- a website that connects small-business owners to customers.

VIA Examiner:

"People were saying once they were in business, it was fine," said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack. "But for some reason it was difficult to find information online or to get a straight response from city officials on how to properly file paperwork, permits, etc."

The District earned an F for its ease of starting a business.

* Gov. McDonnell has clearly stated that he will not contribute to Metro’s planned extension to Dulles International Airport unless a union-friendly deal for contractors is dropped.

But, the Post reports, this hasn’t always been the Virginia governor’s position.

Just months ago, the McDonnell administration was negotiating with the Metropolitan Airports Authority over the terms of the project labor agreement for the second phase of the rail construction, according to Post interviews with legislations and a review of internal documents.

But amid pressure from his party, McDonnell rescinded his support for the project labor agreement.

“There has been enormously changing ground rules,’’ said Del. Joe T. May (R-Loudoun), chairman of the House Transportation Committee “This has been one of the more confusing issues.’’

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