Morning Read: Romney Leads Obama Among Big VA Donors

Mitt Romney has raised more money from big Virginia donors than President Barack Obama, according to data from The Virginia Public Access Project and Center for Responsive Politics.

Romney has raised $2,739,420 compared to President Obama’s $2,247,498. These figures only include donations of $200 or more reported by candidates through December 31.

This data, however, isn’t necessarily bad news or surprising for the Obama camp. In 2008, small donations were key to the success of his campaign.

The data was also broken down to show who made the donations and what areas of the state the money was coming from.

U.S. Attorney General and Verizon executive William Barr was the top Romney donor. His household contributed $8,000.

President Obama had six Virginia households contribute $10,000 to his campaign. Among the donors: John L. Hilley, a former director for legislative affairs for President Bill Clinton and Vinton Cerf, a computer scientist known as one of the “Fathers of The Internet.”

Both candidates received most of their donations from McLean, Alexandria and Arlington County.


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The latest Roanoke College poll released Tuesday shows Romney ahead of Obama in the swing-state 46-40 percent.

The two candidates and their parties are already actively campaigning in Virginia

Obama will open three new campaign offices in Virginia this weekend, bringing his total number of campaign hubs in the state to 13, according to The Washington Post.

In 2008, Obama was the first Democrat to win the state in 44 years.

But with GOP control of the House, Senate and governor’s mansion, the state has turned considerably more conservative in the last four years and the GOP is trying to win Virginia back.

Romney does not have any campaign offices in the state yet, but, according to The Post, the GOP’s coordinated campaign — or the 2012 Virginia Victory Campaign — has seven offices that have remained open since 2010.

* The Conservative group Crossroads GPS launched a new ad airing in Virginia that blames Obama for high gas prices.

The ad comes in response to an Obama ad aired in Virginia that promotes his energy policies and highlights the fact that domestic oil production has increased during his presidency.

* All the talk in Maryland the last day or so has been about what state lawmakers failed to pass—a complete budget and a high profile gambling bill.

Despite these pretty significant failures, the legislature did pass 791 bills this session. Ninety-six percent of those were passed this week, including hundreds in the hours before session ended Monday.

The Washington Post has a helpful list of the highlights of the session’s last day. l

* D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser suffered from a classic case of “butt tweeting” Tuesday afternoon.

The councilmember spewed out a series of nonsensical tweets—“P$$$$$$$” and “Bb,” for example—until she figured out what was happening.

Yes, I am LOL at myself and my phone. So much for my twitter break. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday. #locatinglockbutton #Muriel

Along the way, some of her 1800 or so followers tried to give her heads up of what was going on.

The HuffPost compiled a list of some of the best responses:

Either D.C. Council is discussing budget, or Bowser needs to lock BlackBerry keyboard // RT @MurielBowser: P$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Either D.C. Council is discussing budget, or Bowser needs to lock BlackBerry keyboard // RT @MurielBowser: P$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

* Governor McDonnell proposed amendments to the military detention bill that would block state agencies and employees—including the Virginia National Guard and state police—from participating in the military detention of a U.S. citizen without trial.

McDonnell suggested altering the language of the bill to say that no state employee can “knowingly” participate in the indefinite detention of a citizen, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The RTD wrote that he also added a paragraph clarifying that Virginia agencies would not participate in a joint task force set up for the purpose of detention and would drop out of a task force that decides to detain people during an operation.

The Virginia bill comes in response to a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that would allow the military detention of a U.S. citizen without trial.

President Obama signed the bill, but said that he would not use the provision to hold citizens.

The Washington Post reported that one of the many things that failed in Maryland’s General Assembly Monday—the final day of Maryland’s legislative session—was legislation that could have helped a state lawmaker reinstate his real estate license.

Del. Tony McConkey (R-Anne Arundel) authored the bill that would have helped him get back the license he lost in 2010 after the state, according to The Post, found that he preyed on homeowners in foreclosure.

The bill passed through the House of Delegates but was killed in committee Monday and unanimously affirmed by the General Assembly.

VIA The Pos:

"Under the measure by McConkey, he and others could have entered long-term payment plans to replenish a state fund used to compensate consumers who suffer financial losses as a result of actions by Maryland real estate professionals. Three of McConkey’s clients were paid a combined $75,000 from the fund, making his debt to the fund the largest of any real estate licensee in the past five years."

* Legislation that would prohibit employers in Maryland from asking current and prospective employees for their usernames and passwords to social media sites is on Gov. O’Malley’s desk, awaiting his signature so it can be signed into law.

If the bill is signed, Maryland will be the first state to set such a restriction into law, according to The Baltimore Sun. Other states are considering similar legislation.

VIA The Sun:

"Right now we protect our physical homes, but it's my thought that we need to protect our digital homes," said Bradley Shear, a Bethesda social media attorney who advised state legislators on drafting of the bill. Shear said federal law is indeed needed to address the problem because "the Internet knows no bounds."

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