DAYBREAK DAILY: Cuccinelli, McAuliffe tied but Bolling looms large

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who will be asked – among other things -- about the city surplus, whether the CFO should remain independent and whether the budget autonomy referendum is constitutional.

ABC7 TRAFFIC: ‘Good Morning Washington’ has updates every 10 minutes beginning at 4:30 a.m.

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly sunny and windy with highs in the upper 30s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories being covered – A deadly family car mishap in Oxon Hill involving a 3-year-old boy; updates on the sequestration situation; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: An exclusive ABC7 I-Team Investigation has learned that there is a looming sex scandal in the D.C. Fire Department involving female trainees who recently accused two training academy instructors of sexual harassment. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe says the accusers asked him to keep the investigation confidential. Story and video:

BOLLING LURKS IN TIED VIRGINIA RACE: His presence could hurt Cuccinelli, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The governor’s race is a statistical tie between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to the Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday. McAuliffe and Cuccinelli both poll at 38 percent. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, will announce next month whether he will launch an independent run. When Bolling is thrown into the mix McAuliffe receives 34 percent to 31 percent for Cuccinelli, with Bolling drawing 13 percent, but the race is still a statistical tie given the margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.”

OF ROADS: This one will require a fast lane, per the Virginian-Pilot, “If you thought reaching an $880 million statewide road funding deal among 10 legislators was tough, just wait until it comes to the full General Assembly for approval. The 100-member House and 40-member Senate have just days to act on the bill. If it fails to garner 51 votes in the House and 21 in the Senate by the time the legislative session ends Saturday, one of Virginia's most pressing problems will again go unaddressed.”

HACKED IN D.C.: You and you and you and you, per the Washington Post, “Start asking security experts which powerful Washington institutions have been penetrated by Chinese cyberspies, and this is the usual answer: almost all of them. The list of those hacked in recent years includes law firms, think tanks, news organizations, human rights groups, contractors, congressional offices, embassies and federal agencies.”

HOUSE GOP: Speaks for itself, per the New York Times, “House Republicans, shrugging off rising pressure from President Obama, are resolutely opposing new tax increases to head off $85 billion in across-the-board spending reductions, all but ensuring the cuts will go into force March 1 and probably remain in place for months, if not longer.”

HEAD TERP TAKES A STAND: Of gun control, per the Baltimore Sun, “University of Maryland, College Park president Wallace Loh has endorsed state legislative efforts to limit gun ownership, following an apparent murder-suicide this month involving students at the school. Loh, in a column to be published in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback, on Thursday, wrote that making the campus and surrounding areas safer had long been a priority for him. Yet it was the recent shooting — police say a graduate student living off-campus killed his roommate and wounded another roommate before killing himself — that spurred Loh's public endorsement of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun control legislative package.”

MICHELLE RHEE: Ever the busy bee, per the Los Angeles Times, “A group led by former District of Columbia schools chancellor Michelle Rhee donated $250,000 Wednesday to contests for seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education, adding further political fuel to a battle over the direction of reform efforts in the nation's second-largest school system.”

POLITICO PLAY: “For the first time in a dozen years, Karl Rove’s critics smell blood. After his electoral wipeout in November — and motivated by years of resentment that’s spilling over — Rove’s credibility within his own party is at an all-time low.”

SUITLAND: Just the facts, per ABC7 – WJLA, “Prince George’s County Police have arrested five suspects in connection with the murder of a 15-year-old Suitland High School student. All five suspects will be charged with first degree murder for allegedly killing Charles Walker Jr., a freshman who was targeted for his shoe purchase.”

GO TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS: Again, per the Washington Examiner, “Maryland students outperformed the rest of the country on their Advanced Placement exams, with nearly 30 percent of the class of 2012 scoring passing grades, according to data released Wednesday. It marks the seventh straight year that Maryland has topped the list.”

THE MONEY WAS SPENT ON. . .: We’ll get back to you, per the Washington Times, “A D.C. government-funded nonprofit group entangled in a theft scam that saw a D.C. Council member go to federal prison reported receiving $25 million in a newly filed report with the Internal Revenue Service, but officials won’t say how they spent all of that cash. The D.C. Children & Youth Investment Trust Corp. failed to identify any grantees in its latest annual tax filing with the IRS. In the past, it had identified dozens of community groups it funded each year from across the District.”

FOR SALE: A noted newspaper, per the Boston Globe, “The New York Times Co. said Wednesday that it plans to sell the New England Media Group, including The Boston Globe and its related online properties, and has hired an investment banker to find a buyer. The Times Co. has hired Evercore Group, a New York-based firm that has been involved in other newspaper transactions, to help solicit bids from potential buyers.”

VINCENT ORANGE: This is quite the interesting read, per City Paper, “. . . What is surprising is the noticeably more aggressive stance Orange has taken against a natural political ally: Mayor Vince Gray. Orange and the mayor both came to office thanks to strong support among African-American voters in the eastern half of the city; they’ve shared many of the same campaign workers and financial backers; and they see eye-to-eye on most issues. But in recent weeks, Orange has publicly questioned the honesty and integrity of senior Gray administration officials and accused the mayor of being a shill for out-of-town business interests.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Georgetown whacks DePaul 90-66, tied for first in Big East.

HIGH-DEF HOKIES: They’ll be hard to miss, per the Roanoke Times, “Virginia Tech is replacing the video board and sound systems in both Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum, projects the school expects to have completed before the start of the next football and basketball season. . . The new Lane Stadium high-definition LED video board — which will measure 48.2 feet tall and 108.2 feet wide — will be nearly five times the size of the current one, which was installed during the last major renovation in 2005.”

--Skip Wood

{ }

Like us on Facebook: