Virginia's governor goes national as he addresses the Republican National Convention. Maryland's Democratic governor makes a surprise appearance outside the convention site, and in the District, Mayor Vincent Gray pushes new campaign finance reform. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney gives the details on this week's top stories.
McCartney on Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's speech at the RNC: "I thought it was a solid, somewhat predictable speech. It reinforced the theme of the evening, that the Obama administration supposedly doesn't respect or support entrepreneurs, and that the GOP would be better than the Democrats at creating jobs. Among other things, McDonnell said states with Republican governors have lower unemployment rates on average. He's the chairman of the Republican Governors' Association, so it's not surprising he'd make that argument. Economists say it's very hard to attribute individual states' economic performances to governors' policies."
On Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's speech at the RNC: "I think his main accomplishment was to get on television. He's there in Tampa to speak out against the GOP message, sort of in the belly of the beast from his perspective. It helps the visuals if he's there physically. He showed up late yesterday not long before the acceptance speech. He stayed on... he has a lot of appearances booked. And then in the Democratic convention, he will be a featured speaker. Like, McDonnell, he'll have an extra role to play because he's head of the Democratic Governors' Association."
On D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's proposed campaign finance reforms this week: "I think that's whether you take the whole initiative to reform campaign finance laws seriously coming from Gray, given that his own campaign in 2010 stands accused of massive campaign finance violations. On the face of it, this legislation that he and Attorney General Irv Nathan have proposed, would be a very significant step toward cleaning up campaign finance in the District. In particular, it would help curb the so-called "pay to play" culture, because it would restrict political donations to anyone with a city contact."