DAYBREAK DAILY: Five ex-Va. AGs call for dismissal of McDonnell corruption case

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with some light rain and highs in the upper 60s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Coverage of a sexual assault in park near Georgetown University; Fort Hood shootings – the latest; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

DISMISS THIS CASE: Of Bob McDonnell, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Five former Virginia attorney generals are supporting dismissal of corruption charges against former Gov. Bob McDonnell. The former attorney generals, who span both political parties and who served over several decades, submitted a memo in support of McDonnell’s motion to dismiss the charges. The memo was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

“Representing the former attorney generals are William H. Hurd, former state solicitor general, and Stephen C. Piepgrass, both of Troutman Sanders LLP. Democrats Andrew P. Miller, Mary Sue Terry and Stephen D. Rosenthal join Republicans J. Marshall Coleman and Mark L. Earley in the filing, arguing that the “expansive interpretation of federal law” on which counts 1-11 are based “is completely alien to any legal advice that any of us would have given to any governor of Virginia.”

FORT HOOD SHOOTINGS: Of deeper problems, per the Dallas Morning News, “A soldier being treated for mental health issues opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 before fatally shooting himself at the same military base where 13 people died in a 2009 attack, authorities said.
“The gunman was being evaluated for PTSD, but a diagnosis had not been confirmed, said Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer on the base. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, identified the shooter as Ivan Lopez, 34.”

SEXUAL ASSAULT: Just the facts, per ABC7-WJLA, “U.S. Park Police say they are investigating a sexual assault that happened in a park close to Georgetown University on Tuesday.

“Police say it happened around 8 p.m. in a section of Glover-Archbold Park near the intersection of Foxhall Road and Canal Road. The area where the sexual assault allegedly happened is just west of Georgetown University's campus and a little east of D.C.'s Palisades neighborhood. Park Police say after sexually assaulting the female victim, the male suspect ran away on foot.”

BOWSER BOUNCE: But the general election awaits, per the Washington Post, “Muriel Bowser woke up Wednesday morning as the Democratic nominee for District mayor. Historically, that has meant a victory lap as the mayor-in-waiting. But the two-term council member, who surged from relative obscurity to beat Mayor Vincent C. Gray in Tuesday’s primary, remained locked in campaign mode.

“For the first time in two decades, the Democratic nominee faces a serious challenge in the November general election in the District, where three of four registered voters are Democrats. “We’re asking for every Democrat — and everybody out there, independents, Republicans — to take a good hard look at our campaign,” Bowser said Wednesday. “For everybody who doesn’t know us .?.?. my vision for the future is very substantial.”

MEANWHILE: Of things that changed, per City Paper, “. . . Tuesday’s primary results marked the start of new things, including Bowser’s general election bid and a reorganized D.C. Council. It was also the beginning of the end for Gray’s mayoralty and Councilmember Jim Graham’s 15-year reign in Ward 1—albeit an end the city won’t actually see until they’re replaced in January.”

POWER BILLS: Another winter surprise, per the Baltimore Sun, “Maryland regulators have launched an investigation into the practices of several energy suppliers in the wake of winter rate spikes that drew howls of complaints from customers.

“The state Public Service Commission ordered five companies to demonstrate why they shouldn't be fined, have their licenses revoked or pay refunds to consumers. Those firms are American Power Partners, Blue Pilot Energy, Major Energy, Maryland Gas & Electric and XOOM Energy.”

CAMPAIGN MONEY: And wheelbarrows, per the New York Times, “Big donors, leaders of political parties and candidates with access to wealthy supporters will be the biggest beneficiaries of the Supreme Court decision issued on Wednesday, a ruling that could fundamentally reshape the political terrain in the 2014 elections and beyond.

“Election experts predicted a surge of new money into congressional campaigns and political parties, expanding the world of high-dollar fund-raising now dominated by “super PACs” and big-spending political nonprofit groups.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Chief Justice John Roberts has a blunt message for wealthy donors tired of campaign finance rules: Fund a super PAC. It’s simpler, he wrote in his McCutcheon v. FEC opinion Wednesday, than dealing with a web of interlocking fundraising committees.

“Roberts also did something that outraged advocates of tighter campaign finance regulation: He used the ubiquity of super PACs to justify looser rules on political contributions. Roberts spearheaded a 5-4 high court ruling that said caps on the total amount of money an individual can give to political campaigns, PACs and parties are unconstitutional.”

FROZEN ALIVE?: Of a strange California case, per the Los Angeles Times, “The family of a woman who may have been prematurely declared dead, awoke in the hospital’s freezer and struggled before ultimately freezing to death can go forward with a lawsuit against the hospital, an appellate court has ruled.

“Maria de Jesus Arroyo, 80, was pronounced dead in July 2010 at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights after suffering a heart attack. When morticians received her body a few days later, they found her body facedown, with her nose broken and cuts and bruises to her face, injuries so severe they could not be covered up by make-up, according to court papers.

“Arroyo’s husband and eight children initially sued the hospital alleging the body had been mishandled after her death. But during litigation, a pathologist who reviewed Arroyo’s injuries concluded the injuries most likely occurred while she was still alive – that she had been “frozen alive,” “eventually woke up” and “damaged her face and turned herself face down as she struggled unsuccessfully to escape her frozen tomb,” according court records.”

RYAN BUDGET: GOP digs it, per The Hill, “House Republican leaders say they have the looming Ryan budget vote covered. “It’ll pass,” a confident Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday of the fiscal blueprint from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“Ryan’s bill is a midterm manifesto for House Republicans on budgetary policy. Ryan cuts spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years and makes significant changes to Medicare that Democrats are already prepping for use in campaign commercials.”

NEW SCHOOLS CHIEF: For Loudoun County, per the Loudoun Times-Mirror, “The Loudoun County School Board has selected a new superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools. Dr. Eric Williams, the current superintendent of York County Public Schools in Yorktown, Va., was selected on a unanimous vote by the School Board Wednesday night.

“Williams will become superintendent effective July 1. He will replace Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick III, who is retiring June 30 after 23 years as Loudoun’s superintendent. Williams has been at the helm of the 12,500-student York County School District for the past six years. Prior to his role in York County, he served as the assistant superintendent in Collier County, Fla., which serves 44,000 students.”

MINIMUM WAGE: And Maryland, per the Frederick News-Post, “A proposal to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour cleared a legislative panel Wednesday against opposition from Sen. David Brinkley.

“Before approving the bill 7-4, the Senate Finance Committee reshaped portions of the proposal, pushing back the implementation timeline and allowing employers to compensate certain younger workers at rates lower than the minimum wage. The panel also added a provision aimed at bolstering the pay of workers who help developmentally disabled people, a top priority of the committee chairman, Sen. Thomas "Mac" Middleton, D-Charles.”

BIG EATS: Or something like that, per UrbanTurf, “Eataly has signed a letter of intent for somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 to 35,000 square feet of retail space at the massive Capitol Crossing project planned for above I-395 of Massachusetts Avenue NW, UrbanTurf has learned.

“Since 2011, there has been talk that the massive Italian gourmet market-bar-restaurant combo might be coming to DC, but the news that an LOI has been signed is the first concrete sign that the project is moving forward. Eataly could go in at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 3rd Street NW (map), but that location has not been finalized.”

TIED: More or less, per ARLnow, “The two leading candidates for the vacant seat on the Arlington County Board are essentially even in fundraising with less than a week before the April 8 special election.

“Democrat Alan Howze raised $84,984 in the first quarter of 2014, which ended March 28, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign financing in the state. Republican- and Green-endorsed independent candidate John Vihstadt raised $84,154. However, if the candidates want to go on a spending spree in the final week, Vihstadt has $20,379 in cash on hand, compared to Howze’s $5,170.”

KID POWER: Or not, per Gazette.Net, “Montgomery County students remain slightly less engaged than their peers across the nation, according to Gallup survey data the county school system released. . . The engagement level among Montgomery County Public Schools students changed only slightly from 2012 to 2013.

“About 52 percent of the county student survey participants were engaged — or involved in and enthusiastic about school — compared to about 53 percent last year. County students had an overall engagement rate of 3.99 — out of a possible 5 — compared to U.S. students who had an engagement rate of 4.04.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards beat Boston 118-92, clinch playoff spot; Nationals beat N.Y. Mets 5-1.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The search is winding down for Rudd in Kenilworth Park, according to the FBI. Though MPD is still receiving leads in the case, the department is not receiving nearly as many as it did. The FBI is reminding D.C. residents that it continues to offer a $25,000 reward for any information.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Peter Nickles, who served as attorney general for former Mayor Adrian Fenty, will be asked about Muriel Bowser's primary win, the Vince Gray ethics cloud, the election of the city's AG and more.

--Skip Wood