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Morning Read: Maryland Still Interested in D.C. United?

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AM Read: Does Md. Want D.C. United?

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30: Daniel Hernandez #2 of the FC Dallas and Dwayne De Rosario #7 of the D.C. United go after the ball during the first half at RFK Stadium on March 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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D.C. is fighting to bring the Redskins back to the District, but they may need to focus on safeguarding the D.C. United team to ensure they don’t flee to Maryland.

The District recently came to an agreement with the team that would keep the soccer franchise at RFK Stadium through 2013.

But, according to The DCist, Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed in a budget document this week "to provide funds to study the economic feasibility, economic impact, and fiscal costs of building a stadium for the DC United in Westport."

The study would cost $175,000—money that some legislative staffers suggested using elsewhere.

The study would determine whether it would make sense for Maryland to try and lure the soccer team to the state with a new stadium.

The DCist reports that Maryland’s interest in the team has long-been known, and the soccer league has even done its own research on moving to Baltimore.

* The Maryland House of Delegates passed a $1.1 billion capital budget Wednesday night in a 97-41 vote that fell largely along party lines.

The budget pays for infrastructure projects and accelerates borrowing to create construction projects and jobs.

The House and Senate will now have to reconcile their budget versions before final passage.

Read more here.

* Virginia is a more crucial state for Democrats to win than it is for Republicans, according to political strategist James Carville.

Carville gave a lecture Wednesday night at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Democrats added that if President Barack Obama carries Virginia again, he will be reelected.

VIA RTD

"Republicans could lose Wisconsin and still win the presidency. We can lose Virginia and still win," explained Carville. "But if we win Virginia, we win the presidency — it's a must-win swing state for Republicans.

Obama won Virginia in 2008—the first time a Democrat took the state since 1964.

Democrats are going into the election this time around as the slight favorite, Carville said.

* Virginia Republicans are criticizing the Obama administration’s proposed EPA rules, saying that the “disastrous” rules would hurt Southwest Virginia’s economy by preventing new coal-fired plants from being built there.

The proposed EPA standards—which would only apply to new plants—would require plants to limit emissions to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. Coal plants typically emit between 1,600 and 1,900 pounds per megawatt hour, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Former governor and Republican Senate contender George Allen, according to The RTD, said the rules would “devastate our economy and force families and small business owners to shoulder the burden of skyrocketing electricity bills.”

The Democrat contender in the Senate race, former Governor Tim Kaine, said that while he had some concerns, “any plant that we build tomorrow should be cleaner than plants built yesterday.”

* Voter turnout for the presidential primary in Maryland Tuesday was the lowest in at least 32 years, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Only 21 percent of registered voters cast a ballot this week, the lowest turnout since these statewide records became available.

Absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, but even those won't be enough to push up the rate to beat the previous low, which was 25 percent in 1996.

While there were some important statewide elections on the ballot, the big ticket was the GOP presidential primary.

Mitt Romney had a big lead going into the race, which could have deterred many voters from showing up.

VIA Baltimore Sun:

"Voters know when there's a real election and when there's not a real election," said John Willis, a political science professor at the University of Baltimore and former Maryland secretary of state.

* Mayor Vincent Gray is mulling an overhaul of the campaign finance rules in D.C.

According to The Washington Examiner, Gray said that D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan would conduct an audit of the city’s campaign finance systems.

Gray did not specify any changes he might make but said Nathan’s recommendations will be at the center of the proposal that he will unveil by May 15.

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