Virginia: McDonnell defense focuses on “crush.” Maureen McDonnell, former First Lady of Virginia, did favors for wealthy businessman Johnnie R. Williams because she and her husband, then Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) were having problems and she had developed a romantic interest in Williams, who paid attention to her. That, and not the governor’s wish to profit financially by doing favors for Williams, was the motivating factor in Mrs. McDonnell’s promotion of Star Scientific products, said defense attorneys in their opening arguments in the corruption trial of the McDonnells, reports the Washington Post. And the governor will contend he did only for Star Scientific what he did for any Virginia company or product. Stay tuned!!!
Florida: Crist concerned about black vote. Charlie Crist, a former governor who switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, may have a problem mobilizing the Sunshine State’s 1.6 million African-American voters in this fall’s gubernatorial election, contends an article in Huffpost. Crist’s problems with the Democrats’ crucial black base stem from his strong anti-crime stance when he governed as a Republican: He was nick-named “Chain-gang Charlie” for advocating road crews for felons. He also offended black politicos when he ran as an independent in the 2010 US Senate race, thereby ending any chance that the Democratic nominee, then-US Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), had in the contest. Polls differ. A Quinnipiac Poll recently showed Crist with 72% of the black vote, well below the 90% he would need. A SurveyUSA poll, however, showed him with 92%. The turnout rate among African-Americans is also likely to be a key factor.
Texas: Williams to run for NRCC chair. Freshman US Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) has told House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that he will challenge US Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) for the chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), reports CQ’s Roll Call. Boehner, however, has endorsed Walden’s announced reelection bid. Williams will cite the NRCC’s lag in fundraising. He may also pick up support from some hard-edge conservatives who don’t like the NRCC’s financial support for two gay Republican candidates for Congress. Walden is heavily favored.