Will President Obama’s announcement in favor of same-sex marriages impact election results in Virginia?
Some say it may.
Virginia—a key swing state that could decide the presidential election—is one of 31 states that have voted to ban same-sex marriages in their constitutions.
According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia voters passed the state's 2006 marriage amendment by a vote of 57 percent to 43 percent, but more recent polls show an increasing number of residents in support of same-sex marriages.
A May 2011 Washington Post poll found that 47 percent of adults in the state thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while 43 percent opposed it.
Although some do believe his stance could impact his showing in Virginia, others say it could rally the Democratic base and help him gain ground with independents, according to The RTD.
The impact could also trickle down to the Senate race—a highly anticipated race that is in a statistical tie between former Virginia Governors George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D).
Allen has outwardly opposed gay marriages, saying he believes a marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Kaine opposed the 2006 marriage amendment, supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, believes in equal treatment under the law, but has not yet gone as far as supporting same-sex marriages.
Other says gay marriage will be a non-factor in the elections because all voters will be focused on the economy by November.
* Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Counnaughton spoke about the future of Metro’s Silver Line Wednesday, saying that eliminating pro-labor incentives from the next construction contract is critical to ensuring the $150 million the state promised to contribute to the project, according to The Washington Post.
The first stage of the Metro extension, which will run through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue, is underway and set to be completed in August 2013. The second stage will start next spring and will run from Reston to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.
But the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority—which is overseeing the construction of this $6 billion project—refuses to change an incentive that it put into a labor agreement for the second phase, according to The Post.
This has subsequently stalled Virginia from contributing its share of the money for the construction.
Some officials believe the MWAA’s labor agreement violates the state’s right-to-work policy.
* A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Maryland is one of the best states in the country for upward economic mobility.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the center tracked about 65,000 workers — all born between 1943 and 1958 — on three measures: their earnings and whether those earnings went up or down relative to others in the period between their mid 30s and late 40s.
After accounting for inflation, Maryland residents saw a 21 percent average gain in earnings over that period, compared with 17 percent nationwide.
Residents in the bottom half of the income bracket saw their incomes rise relative to others, 42 percent compared to 34 percent nationwide.
The study did not address why some states fared better than others, but noted that education, savings, assets and upbringing can all impact economic mobility.
* The director of the non-profit Youth Technology Institute was charged with lying on her taxes in connection with the Harry Thomas Jr. scandal, according to The Washington Examiner.
Danita Doleman was charged in D.C. federal court Wednesday for one count of filing a false tax return in which she failed to report an additional $20,000 she received the from the Youth Technological Institute.
The Examiner reports that an affidavit signed by disgraced councilman Harry Thomas Jr., said that the Youth Technology Institute received $175,000 in grants from the city.
“Five thousand dollars was kicked back to Thomas, and $100,000 went to the D.C. Young Democrats to pay for an 2008 inauguration party at the Wilson Building, the papers and a law enforcement source said.”
The DCist asks if the campaign signs scattered around D.C. from from the city’s April 3 primary will ever be taken down.’
"If the signs are posted on lampposts in violation of the sign regulations—including signs posted for more than 30 days after the event for which it is posted—the fine is $150 for the first violation, $300 for the second violation, $600 for the third violation and $2,000 for the fourth violation—all within a 60-day period," said John Lisle, spokesman for the D.C. Department of Transportation. (Though the rules are DDOT's, enforcement is the purview of the Department of Public Works.)