Morning Read: Romney to Campaign in Loudoun County Wednesday - NBC4 Washington
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Morning Read: Romney to Campaign in Loudoun County Wednesday



    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will conclude his two-day tour of the swing state of Virginia in Loudoun County Wednesday afternoon.

    This is his first visit to Loudoun County -- a wealthy swing district known for its large political donations -- as a presidential candidate.

    The event is expected to be at Del. Joe T. May’s EIT electronics manufacturing plant in Sterling.

    On Tuesday, Romney was on a campaign stop in Salem, Va., and spoke to a crowd of 1,500 at Carter Machinery Co. about President Barack Obama’s “leadership failures.”

    Via the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

    "The economy's not working; immigration is not working; this president has not been working in the right way for the American people," he said against the backdrop of gigantic earth-moving equipment and a 'Putting Jobs First' banner. "It's time for that to change."

    * A Senate committee withdrew consideration of a bill that would grant the District more control over its municipal budget after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) purposely introduced amendments that go against District advocates' priorities, said DC leaders.

    * A 23-year-old Arlington Marine was killed in Afghanistan last week. Read the Washington Post’s story on Niall Coti-Sears.

    * Days before Loudoun County’s deadline to make a decision on the Silver Line, Gov. Bob McDonnell urged county Republicans Tuesday to join the second phase of the $6 billion project.

    According to the Washington Examiner, the county’s nine Republican board members are split over the cost and potential benefits of extending Metro into the suburb. Loudon would have to pay $270 million to extend the rail from Dulles and $10 million annually in operating costs.

    * Cover yourself!

    Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham proposed that the D.C. code revise “what constitutes a nude performance,” according to Washington City Paper.

    The city’s current definition:

    "'Nude performance' means dancing or other entertainment by a person whose genitals, pubic region, or buttocks are less than completely and opaquely covered and, in the case of a female, whose breasts are less than completely and opaquely covered below a point immediately above the top of the areola."

    WCP said it isn't quite sure why Graham proposed this specific change but it is part of the effort to overhaul the city’s liquor laws.

     * The UVA Board of Visitors unanimously voted to reinstate recently ousted President Teresa Sullivan.

    After the announcement, Gov. Bob McDonnell congratulated Sullivan, saying “she steps back into the president’s office with the best wishes of the administration and the university community.”

    McDonnell did not say anything about the board appointments. The term of Rector Helen Dragas, the head of the board, ends July 1, although Dragas is up for reappointment.

    * Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says there is a 50-50 chance he’ll call a special session to consider an expanding gambling plan in the state, according to the Washington Post.

    A week ago, a work group he commissioned failed to reach a consensus on the gambling plan and recommended against holding a special session.

    Via the Post:

    “I would very much like to get the lingering issues around gaming resolved,” O’Malley told reporters in Ocean City, where he was speaking to a gathering of the Maryland Municipal League and hosting a fundraiser to benefit the campaign to uphold the state’s same-sex marriage law.

    “The obstruction is the House on this issue,” O’Malley said, adding that he needs to get a better sense of whether the three delegates on the work group reflected the broader will of the chamber. “I need to now quickly reach out... to take the full measure of the House.”

    * While some fear that a ban on corporate contribution to campaigns in D.C. would lead to super PACs, Greater Greater Washington writes that evidence suggests otherwise.

    North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado and Iowa, according to GGW, all prohibit corporate contributions, but none have had any super PAC involvement with state candidates.

    Wisconsin is the exception to this list, as Super PACs played a role in the volatile recall election of Gov. Scott Walker.

    Via GGW:

    Ballot Initiative 70 would ban business organizations from contributing to candidates for public office in the District of Columbia, including the widespread practice where multiple LLCs with the same owners make separate contributions. D.C. voters will have the chance to weigh in this fall if campaigners gather enough signatures in the next few weeks.

    After yesterday's Supreme Court ruling striking down a provision in Montana, several people asked whether Initiative 70 could fall as well. But the Montana rule applied to independent political expenditures, not direct contributions, and direct contributions are already illegal in 21 states and in federal campaigns. There's no reason to believe a DC law like Initiative 70 would face any constitutional issues.

    * Ben Tribbett, founder of “Not Larry Sabato” blog, wrote in the Huffington Post that the Supreme Court’s ruling that Citizens United also applied to state and local elections would have major ramifications in every state but Virginia:

    "My home state of Virginia (where I write the 'Not Larry Sabato' blog that covers Virginia politics) has had a Citizens United-type of campaign finance system for decades. In fact, many national federal committees set up in Virginia even before Citizens United because of the lack of oversight and filings that the state required versus any other state. Now that the rest of the country will be joining us in this type of election system, I thought you'd all like to know what it is like."

    * After months of review, the investigative audit that the District’s Office of Campaign Finance launched into Gray’s campaign last year is entering its final stages, according to the Washington Examiner.

    Analysts say the findings of the audit could stir up the legal and political pressures for the already troubled mayor.

    * The Washington Post editorial board wrote that with Sullivan’s recall, UVA can begin looking at its future:

    But the biggest burden falls to Ms. Sullivan, who must now prove that confidence in her ability to bring about change is not misplaced. Like other institutions of higher education, U-Va. is confronted by issues such as shrinking public support, outmoded faculty workloads and technology’s role in learning. Ms. Sullivan understands and appreciates these challenges, but she has yet to unveil a strategy to deal with them. It’s clear that more than a center devoted to contemplative sciences, a major initiative touted in Ms. Sullivan’s first two years, will be needed.

    The extraordinary events of these two weeks -- never before has the president of a major research university been forced out and then rehired -- could, in some respects, help Ms. Sullivan effect change. Problems that have been swept under the rug are now out in the open and, refreshingly, the university is talking not about its storied past but its uncertain future.

    * Some Ward 5 residents are worried that the car barn for the H Street NE streetcar, which city officials want to put on the Spingarn High School campus, would negatively affect the students at the school.

    According to DCist, the residents’ complaints were largely procedural, asking why the decision was made at the time that Ward 5 had no representative on the council and why DDOT was presenting these plans after other plans had already been approved.