* Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will meet with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City today to talk gay marriage and immigration issues.
The governor will be in New York for a Democratic Governors Association meeting and wanted to pay the prominent mayor a visit.
O’Malley is pushing to legalize same-sex marriage this legislative session. New York legalized same-sex marriages last June.
*Another group has come out against Gov. O’Malley’s budget proposal that would cap state income tax deductions for people who make more than $100,000.
The Maryland Association of Realtors said the proposal would significantly impact mortgage interest deductions, arguing that nearly 38 percent of Maryland residents claim mortgage interest deductions on their state tax returns.
The Washington Post reports that the realtor association said it will battle the income tax deduction proposal during the General Assembly’s legislative session.
*District officials conducting its annual count of homeless people tonight said Occupy D.C. protestors would not be considered among the homeless.
About 200 workers will be dispatched throughout the city to see how many people do not have shelter and are in need of homeless services.
The Washington Post reports that officials said they will spend additional time around the Occupy camp at McPherson Square, interviewing individuals to determine if they are homeless or protestors.
*The D.C. Chamber of Commerce posted a blog saying that the costly Occupy protest is hurting businesses around McPherson Square and needs to be shut down.
Furthermore, Occupy DC has become a burden on our city’s economy. We have been shouldering the cost of this protest, which was estimated at over $1.6 million a month ago. Beyond the cleanup costs, businesses are also losing customers, while nearby retail and office space declines in value. This hurts District businesses and residents--all a part of the “99 percent”--and for them to be responsible for these costs is in itself is wrong, and goes against the very purpose of the Occupy DC movement.
In the meantime, Mayor Gray says he still wants to see protestors evicted from McPherson Square to allow for cleanup of the site.
*Here’s the juicy political gossip we all want to hear. D.C. Mayor Gray apparently ditched the State of the Union address to celebrate girlfriend Linda Mercado Greene’s birthday, Washington Post’s Reliable Source blog reports.
Although reports to the contrary have been circulating, the Post says Gray did in fact receive an invitation to the State of the Union as a guest of D.C. Rep Eleanor Holmes Norton, but declined the invite.
Instead, Reliable Source reports, the mayor could be found in a private room at Café Milano with about 40 friends.
You think he Tivo'd the president’s address?
*Mayor Gray is hoping to raise $300,000 in private funds to pay for a citywide citizens summit next month that will allow residents to tell him their thoughts on D.C. government.
If he is unable to raise the money, the Mayor says he will use government money to fund the Feb. 11 summit at the Convention center.
*Mayor Vincent and Microsoft announced yesterday that the two would join forces to help close the digital divide in the district with a new training program to help teachers and students become more computer literate.
With the hopes of creating more jobs, Microsoft said it would train several hundred students and teachers in the program, which will include training by Howard University faculty.
The first two-day training program for city teachers and educators will be held at Howard University this spring.
*The Obama reelection campaign will open up its Virginia headquarter's office in Richmond this weekend, The Richmond-Times Dispatch reports. An office in Petersburg will open the following weekend.
The Times reports that since April, the Obama reelection campaign has reached out to 300,000 Virginians and has held more than 4,000 grassroots events in the state.
*Governor McDonnell is launching a Governor’s Bowl food and fund drive among the state’s Chambers of Commerce that will run from Memorial Day to Independence Day, Fairfax News reports.
The governor said he will personally deliver an award to the winning chamber office.