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Morning Read: NY Times Editorial Board Weighs In on GOP Nominee for Va. Lieutenant Governor

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The New York Times’ Editorial Board weighed in on the surprise Virginia GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, E.W. Jackson, writing that no one could have been more surprised by the upset choice than the gubernatorial nominee himself, Ken Cuccinelli.

“Mr. Cuccinelli will probably have to try to moderate some of his own extreme positions (he is dogmatically opposed to the health care reform law, measures tackling global warming, immigration reforms, gay rights, etc.) in his search for the Northern Virginia vote. But there he was, yoked to Mr. Jackson by the heavy sway in the party of conservative zealots. “We are not going to be defending our running mates’ statements, now or in the future,” Mr. Cuccinelli briskly announced.

The Virginia race should be a prime test of national Republican vows to reconnect with the mainstream majority. Heavyweight donors are lining up to defeat Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat candidate for governor who was President Bill Clinton’s fund-raising guru. Money may not win the election when Republicans can’t seem to resist a beguiling extremist who must face mainstream reality.”

IN OTHER NEWS:

* Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is set to announce the findings of a task force that explored how to make it easier for nonviolent felons to regain their voting rights, an issue he was once against, but now supports. (Washington Post)

* An early glimpse of the report recommended that an existing Virginia executive branch be delegated the duties of restoring the rights. (The Virginian-Pilot)

* The Montgomery County Planning Board has approved a new zoning ordinance to modernize antiquated zoning regulations, which includes relaxed requirements for keeping chickens as pets. (Washington Examiner)

* Sen. Tim Kaine discusses Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department scandal. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

* Virginia lawmakers -- and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who was once against the idea -- are all for oil drilling off the coast of Virginia. (The Grist)

* Gov. Bob McDonnell paid special tribute to the 19 Virginia soldiers, sailors and Marines who died in the past year. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

* Washington Post Editorial Board: “The evidence suggests that [Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley] has not made a priority of the state’s troubled network of corrections facilities, despite well-publicized federal investigations dating to early in his first term.... [This] will remain a stain on his legacy.” (Washington Post)

* The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, an umbrella organization for more than 40 Tea Party groups statewide, has called for Congress to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups filing for tax-exempt status. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

* D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray kicked off the summer pool season in the cold rain while wearing a suit. (Washington City Paper)

* Tom Sherwood asks the D.C. mayoral candidates whether -- if elected -- they would open pool season with a cannonball, as former Mayor Tony Williams used to. (News4

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