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Leading Democrat gives McDonnell a thumbs up on his first session

Rosalind Helderman

While some Democrats were less than pleased with the performance of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) during his first legislative session, that certainly didn't include the Democrats' most senior legislative leader.

In a letter to McDonnell, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Colgan (D) wrote last month that he believed McDonnell had done an "excellent job for a first year governor."

"You communicated extremely well with members of the General Assembly, especially the leadership, and you are the first governor I have seen to visit the General Assembly Building visiting with legislators," he wrote.

That last bit-- a reference to McDonnell's personal visit to budget negotiators in the waning days of the session-- is really saying something. Colgan has served in the state senate since 1976 and is the senate's president pro tempore.

Colgan said he was disappointed not to have received everything he would have liked (he cites specifically psychiatric care for children) but says few members were totally satisfied. And he said McDonnell did "extremely well" in expanding the Governor's Opportunity Fund to lure new businesses, funding that he says "comes under attack" from legislators every year.

Colgan finishes with a PS: "The announcement by Northrop Grumman put 'frosting on your cake.'"

We received the letter this morning from the governor's office but we doubt it's the last time we'll be hearing about the glowing praise from one of the opposition's leaders since it undercuts criticism he's received from other Democrats.

Colgan, 83, has a particular reputation for collegiality. He guided this year's budget negotiations even while fighting cancer. He has said he is unlikely to run for reelection in 2011.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 26, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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Posted on the Chevy
Chase listserv today - not my post, but easy to track down:
I wish to call attention to an incident many years ago that casts light on the character of Fred Malek. Mr. Malek is criticized in a Washington Post Metro article this morning. The incident I refer to, however, has nothing to do with politics. It is reliably reported that when he was a young man Mr. Malek participated in the killing, skinning and roasting of a dog in a Chicago-area forest preserve. This incident was recounted in a Colbert King column in the Washington Post several years ago. The King column and many other references to the matter can be found by googling "Malek Berwyn dog."

Posted by: lmoldauer | May 26, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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