As chairs of their respective party’s governor associations, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) are finding themselves in the middle of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election.
Walker, a Republican, drew national controversy when he signed a bill to restrict collective bargaining rights for public sector employees. Dismayed unions and activists subsequently collected one million petition signatures to trigger this recall election.
Now, McDonnell and O’Malley are fighting to get a governor from their party elected.
McDonnell flew out to Wisconsin Tuesday to attend a fundraising event for Walker, according to The Washington Times. He said on MSNBC Tuesday that he predicts that Walker will narrowly win.
According to The Washington Times, O’Malley said he is “very excited,” by Democrat Tom Barnett’s chances. O’Malley plans to visit Wisconsin before next week’s election.
Phil Cox, executive director of the Republican Governors’ Association, acknowledged that O’Malley and McDonnell -- who both seem to have national political ambitions -- have personal stakes in this high-profile recall effort.
“This is certainly the most significant electoral stage they’ve been on since either of them became chair of their respective organizations,” said Mr. Cox, one of Mr. McDonnell’s chief political advisers. “So yeah, I think it’s important. And it’s an election with implications beyond just the state of Wisconsin. I think the winning side will have momentum going into the next stage of the national campaign.”
* Kenyan McDuffie will be sworn in as the new councilmember of Ward 5 on Wednesday afternoon.
McDuffie won a special election last month to replace Harry Thomas Jr., who is headed to prison for three years for embezzling city money.
* Is D.C.’s wealth reflective of what’s going on in national politics?
Slate’s Matthew Yglesias says it actually tells us nothing about American politics.
* Here’s some good ol’ bipartisan politics. Republican Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is backing former governor and Democratic Senate hopeful Tim Kaine on his role in the Dulles rail project.
In 2006, then-Gov. Kaine decided to transfer the Dulles Toll Road and management of the Dulles rail project to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
State Delegate Robert G. Marshall questioned whether Kaine had the authority to do that.
On Tuesday, according to The Washington Times, Cuccinelli delivered an opinion saying that Kaine acted in his authority and that while there is no “express authority” allowing the governor to transfer administration of the toll road, various statutes give the executive branch broad flexibility to provide for public transportation.
“I don’t like the policy, but we’ve researched the law pretty thoroughly,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “My priority in these opinions is to get the law right.”
* The Maryland State Board of Elections is considering an online ballot marking system for all absentee votes in time for this year’s upcoming election, according to the Maryland Reporter.
The move is still pending an opinion from the attorney general, who will weigh in on whether or not the election board should seek federal and state certification for the online ballot marking tool.
All voting systems are federally required to receive certification, but the state board argues the ballot marking tool would only be part of a voting system, according to the Maryland Reporter.
But some argue that without certification -- which would test the system and look for vulnerable areas, including where fraud and manipulation could occur -- there is a higher risk for voter fraud.
* Gov. Bob Mcdonnell is launching a new Virginia Veterans ID Card program on Wednesday in Richmond.
The new identification card will serve as proof of veteran status, and can be used for discounts in stores, state parks and other businesses, according to The AP.