DAYBREAK DAILY: Negativity in Virginia race turns off voters

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with isolated rain showers and highs in the low 80s.

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE 2013: Of tuning out, per the Virginian-Pilot, “The already-harsh tone of the slugfest between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe is giving voters accustomed to issue-oriented contests discouraging signs of the divisiveness to come. Propelled by intense partisan rancor and big donors, the candidates and their surrogates have gone negative early and often, bickering so forcefully over politics that policy discussion is getting drowned out.

“And that's turning off some voters as the top American political contest this year is shaping into a race to the bottom. A Quinnipiac University poll from mid-July show negative opinions of both men climbing after months of attacks exchanged over the Internet, broadcast advertising and personal appearances, each with the same goal: to paint the opposing candidate as unfit to govern.”

JEFF THOMPSON: Weaving a web?, per the Washington Post, “Years before prosecutors say he illegally financed an election effort for Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a local businessman allegedly secretly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of at least seven other candidates for mayor and the D.C. Council, according to several people familiar with the payments.

“Jeffrey E. Thompson, who is under federal investigation for allegedly financing a $653,000 secret campaign for Gray in 2010, allegedly made similar expenditures dating back to at least 2006, according to two people with direct knowledge of the payments who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.”

DRUG LAWS: A new order, per the New York Times, “In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration will move on Monday to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses.

“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a speech at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco on Monday, is expected to announce the new policy as one of several steps intended to curb soaring taxpayer spending on prisons and help correct what he regards as unfairness in the justice system, according to his prepared remarks.”

SEE YA: We’re going to D.C., per the Baltimore Sun, “Otakon, the Japanese and East Asian anime and culture convention that has drawn tens of thousands of people to Baltimore since 1999, will be held in Washington beginning in 2017, organizers announced Sunday. In a statement, Otakon organizers attributed the move to the "state of the facilities in Baltimore and their uncertain future" and referred to imminent plans to replace the Baltimore Convention Center and the Baltimore Arena. But such plans are not yet firm.

“The 20-year-old Otakon convention was held this weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center, drawing a reported 32,000 attendees over three days. The Baltimore Convention Center and mayor's office did not return requests for comment Sunday. Victor Albisharat, a spokesman for Otakorp, the Otakon organizer, said his organization was told it was "a very close and distinct possibility" that the Convention Center and Arena would be torn down and replaced and said they received "vague" information about those plans. He did not immediately know whether that information had come from city or convention center officials.”

CONCUSSIONS: An all-out blitz, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Virginia Commonwealth University researchers will lead a $62.2 million federally funded effort involving multiple universities, military installations and veterans hospitals to better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat concussions. The White House announced the award Saturday, describing it as a key feature of the Obama administration’s National Research Action Plan to help military personnel and their families.”

EDWARD SNOWDEN: Latest talking points, per The Hill, “Privacy advocates and some lawmakers hailed Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower when he revealed details about classified surveillance programs but it is becoming increasingly unlikely that he’ll avoid trial for espionage if returned to the United States. Federal officials have expressed interest in a possible deal to bring Snowden back to the U.S. from Russia, where he has received temporary asylum.

“But on Sunday, senior lawmakers from both parties suggested Snowden had waived his whistle-blower defense by fleeing instead of staying in the country to defend his actions, as Daniel Ellsberg did more than 40 years ago when he leaked the Pentagon Papers.”

POLITICO PLAY: “On guns, immigration and controversial nominees, Senate Republicans’ story this year is one of division. But on fiscal issues, GOP leadership is demanding a different ending — one of harmony rather than discord. Ahead of fall fiscal talks that already have Washington nervous about a government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is clamping down on Republicans with a firm message to stick with him on spending.”

MARYLAND VOTING: Of a spat, per Gazette.Net, “A Maryland watchdog group says it has found numerous inaccuracies in voting rolls in Maryland and will submit challenges to those registrations next week. Election Integrity Maryland, a voting-watchdog group advocating for a voter ID law, also said the Maryland State Board of Elections is not complying with the National Voter Registration Act, putting Maryland’s elections at risk.

“But an official at the State Board of Elections said the board constantly updates voter rolls and Election Integrity Maryland’s claims show it doesn’t understand “basic components” of the National Voter Registration Act.”

HIGHWAY SONG: Money matters, per Greater Greater Washington, “Montgomery County residents say the proposed Midcounty Highway between Gaithersburg and Clarksburg costs too much, cuts through sensitive park and agricultural land, and won't solve the area's traffic challenges. But will the county decide to build it anyway?”

AGENT ORANGE: Vincent, that is, per City Paper, “LL would bet a side-door to the Wilson Building that Councilmember Vincent Orange isn't going to run for mayor next year. But that's not stopping Orange from being mysterious about it. On the latest episode of The Rock Newman Show, boxing manager-turned-radio-host Rock Newman asks Orange who he plans to back in the mayor's race. Orange holds back on making an endorsement, but he's just as non-committal on whether he would make his own run for the top job.”

SUPERBLOCK: It’s coming – really, it is, per ARLnow, “Some of the ongoing construction on the Courthouse “superblock” along Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd, from N. Courthouse Road to N. Rhodes Street, may begin wrapping up by the end of this year. Barring any major setbacks or weather delays, the proposed completion date for the development at 1900 Wilson — referred to as 19Nineteen Clarendon — currently stands at December of this year. It had previously been expected to open this summer.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat Philadephia 6-0.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The FBI announced Sunday night that an unnamed individual has been arrested and charged with abduction in the case of Alexis Tiara Murphy, a 17-year-old girl who went missing eight days ago in Nelson County, Va.”

NEWSTALK: 10 a.m., NewsChannel 8.

--Skip Wood