— NEW JERSEY: Gov. Jon Corzine picked self-described "feisty Jewish grandmother" Loretta Weinberg,
a state senator, as his candidate for lieutenant governor on Friday. The choice "was heavily influenced by the dozens of corruption busts that rocked the state's political scene on Thursday," including state legislators, mayors and rabbis. Weinberg is regarded as having strong anti-corruption credentials, having written several ethics bills and "taken on an allegedly corrupt boss in her native Bergen County." The Weinberg pick reflects Corzine's desire to "keep Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie," campaigning as an "anti-corruption crusading U.S. Attorney—from complete domination on the ethics front."
An interesting note about Weinberg: she is the first Bernie Madoff victim to run for public office, according to PolitickerNJ, having "lost her life savings—an estimated $1.3 million that she had invested with Stanley Chais, a Los Angeles financial planner." In December, Weinberg said in an interview, "This is another road in one's life that one must traverse. I'm a lot better off than a lot of other people who were affected by this."
VIRGINIA: State Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) and Republican Bob McDonnell faced off in their first of four gubernatorial debates on Saturday. On the topic of the state's $100 billion "backlog of highway construction projects," Deeds "sought to tie his opponent to former President George W. Bush," saying, "This election presents a clear choice between who has a … plan to jump-start our economy and who will take us back to the failed economic policies of the past." The Washington Times says McDonnell "took his opponent to task" over his refusal to come out against cap-and-trade legislation and the union "card check" legislation, both of which McDonnell "characterized as bad for business in Virginia."