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Morning Read: Maryland, Virginia Need Billions for Roads

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AM Read: Md., Va. Need Billions for Roads

Traffic was backed up on northbound 805 because of an accident near a construction site.

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Both Maryland and Northern Virginia need nearly $2 billion in additional funds a year to catch up on transportation construction and maintenance projects, according to The Washington Examiner.

But—despite outcry from local governments and businesses—neither legislature passed budgets that included any funds for these construction projects.

The Examiner reports that a commission in Maryland found the state needs an additional $870 million a year for transportation. The commission also asked politicians to stop taking money from the Transportation Trust Fund to balance the budget.

Virginia officials say they need more than $700 million just to fix its roads and bridges—only 60 percent of Fairfax County roads were determined to in fair condition or better.

A lack of funding to expand to the metro to Dulles International Airport is threatening the fate of the Silver Line, the Post reported over the weekend.

* Bill Clinton headlined a fundraising event with President Barack Obama in McLean Sunday for Obama’s reelection campaign.

The event was expected to raise about $3 million, with about 500 people paying $1,000 for tickets. About 80 people paid $20,000 for a dinner later.

According to The Washington Times, Clinton has become closer with Obama since the 2008 primary, when his wife also battled for the presidential nomination.

VIA Times:

“If you go back 500 years, whenever a country’s financial system collapses, it takes between five and 10 years to get back to full employment,” Mr. Clinton told supporters at a fundraiser at the home of former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe in McLean. By that standard, he said, Mr. Obama “is beating the clock, not behind it.”

* On CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday, Gov. Bob McDonnell was noncommittal on the Voter ID bill.

Legislators rejected his proposed amendments to the bill on April 18, and now, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the governor doesn’t know his next move.

"I'm still working through it," McDonnell said on, later adding, "I'll let you know in a couple of weeks."

White House party-crasher Tareq Salahi was also on CNN and said Friday that his bid for the Republican nomination for Virginia governor is “very serious” but the campaign is “still in the beginning phase.”

RTD reports that Salahi was interviewed on CNN and said that, as governor, he would explore the privatization of Virginia’s ABC stores and help tobacco farmers convert their operations to vineyards.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has also happens to be Salahi’s competitor in the primary, recently filed suit against Salahi for allegedly swindling money from customers who bought wine tours from his Northern Virginia company.

* Late Friday, prosecutors recommended that former D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. serve 46 months in prison while Thomas’ lawyers argued for an 18-month-term, according to The Washington Post.

His sentencing hearing is on Thursday.

Included in Thomas’ filings, was a personal apology letter from the former councilman himself.

“[A]s a coach and mentor, I have preached responsibility and tried to lead by example,” Thomas writes in the letter dated Thursday. “The actions I have taken betrayed everything that I have attempted to accomplish. ... I broke the law, and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

“By violating the trust that people placed in me, I brought shame not only on myself, but are my family and my supporters,” Thomas continues. “I could not have let them down more. I also let down my former colleagues in District government and the citizens of the District of Columbia, especially the young people. To all of them, I apologize.”

He closes: “I will need to spend a lot of time making amends and seeking to earn the forgiveness I hope one day to receive. Words, I know, will not be sufficient. Only actions will be. I look forward to working to make a difference in the lives of others, especially those whose trust I must restore.”

The Post has the full letter here.
 

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