DAYBREAK DAILY: Lobbyists all but throwing cash at Va. lawmakers

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

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Follow coverage of The March on its golden anniversary Wednesday; Iran making noise about stopping U.S. action against Syria; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

VIRGINIA AND K STREET: Of big spenders and big takers, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Lobbyists spent $15.9 million in Virginia from May 2012 to April to make friends and influence people in Virginia politics. Spending was for items ranging from steak dinners and hunting trips to airfare and tickets for rock concerts and high-profile sporting events, according to filings analyzed by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics.

“Dominion spent more than $22,000 for five lawmakers and two state officials to attend this year’s Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.”

THEN THERE’S THIS: Of being in the dark, per the Virginian-Pilot, “. . . But it's an incomplete financial picture of all that goes into policy persuasion and legislative influence in a state with lax reporting standards and enforcement of lobbyist disclosures. Like gaps in state gift laws exposed by the scandal that hurt Gov. Bob McDonnell's reputation, Virginia's lobbying rules provide wide latitude for interpretation by filers. And that can leave inquisitive citizens in the dark about lobbying behavior.”

THE MARCH: And POTUS, per the Washington Post, “As Barack Obama began to speak at the steps of the distant Lincoln Memorial, Brie O’Neal turned up the volume on her small Toshiba radio. It was the only way to hear the far-away president, whose voice echoed unintelligibly across the Reflecting Pool. The radio belonged to O’Neal’s father, a Korean War veteran who died two years before Obama was elected.

“Soon she was sharing it with a dozen racially diverse strangers, all crowding around to hear a bit of history they would have otherwise missed. . . The relic of O’Neal’s radio carried the generation-spanning message Obama sought to deliver on the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s demand for racial equality.”

SITUATION SYRIA: Caution, caution and more caution, per the New York Times, “The evidence of a massacre is undeniable: the bodies of the dead lined up on hospital floors, those of the living convulsing and writhing in pain and a declaration from a respected international aid group that thousands of Syrians were gassed with chemical weapons last week.

“And yet the White House faces steep hurdles as it prepares to make the most important public intelligence presentation since February 2003, when Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made a dramatic and detailed case for war to the United Nations Security Council using intelligence — later discredited — about Iraq’s weapons programs.”

MEANWHILE: Here’s what we know, per The Hill, “The Obama administration is expected to brief key lawmakers Thursday on the secret intelligence underpinning its firm conviction that Bashar Assad's forces attacked rebels with chemical weapons last week.

“The chairmen and ranking members on key Senate and House committees – armed services, foreign affairs and intelligence – are scheduled to participate in a conference call Thursday with senior administration officials, Yahoo News reports. The State Department has said it would share classified information with Congress before making unclassified details available to the public “sometime this week.”

VICTORY LAP: Of sorts, per the Baltimore Sun, “Gov. Martin O'Malley on Wednesday kicked off an autumn-long series of appearances intended to highlight his record over the past seven years and to set the stage for the final year of his administration. O'Malley has scheduled five "policy forums" organized around the theme of "Better Choices, Better Results."

"The opening event, held Wednesday at Goucher College, promoted the governor's legacy, included a give-and-take with business leaders and allowed a campaign plug for Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown — O'Malley's choice to succeed him.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday tied Obamacare and Syria together, saying the two issues are linked “by an arrogance of this administration.” The Texas Republican told radio host Rush Limbaugh that it’s clear by the way President Barack Obama and his administration approaches Obamacare and the conflict in Syria that “they don’t believe they’re accountable to the American people.”

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FIRES GONE WILD: Making slow progress, per the Los Angeles Times, “The Rim fire should be fully contained by Sept. 10, a fire official said Wednesday, as lower temperatures, higher humidity and lighter winds allow crews to make headway against the sprawling blaze that has swept into Yosemite National Park.

“. . . Firefighters have battled the stubborn blaze for nearly two weeks and have it 30% contained. The effort has cost at least $39.2 million and required some 4,500 firefighters. More than 192,500 acres — about 301 square miles — have burned, causing three injuries and destroying 111 structures, including 11 homes.”

P.G. COUNTY: And its schools, per Gazette.Net, “Prince George’s County Public Schools has a lot of new faces this school year, with over 831 new teachers after over 600 teachers left the system for better compensation in other jurisdictions. The influx of new teachers comes because of the loss of over 600 teachers departing the system, said Deborah Sullivan, recruitment and retention officer in the Division of Human Resources.”

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S RACE 2013: Just the facts, per ABC7—WJLA, “Virginia gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe will be in Arlington today to talk about the state's energy future at a forum sponsored by the Consumer Energy Alliance.”

GIVING AND TAKING: Heat, that is, per City Paper, “Fingers tented under his chin, David Catania is listening. He’s heard about how fingerprinting aimed at detecting sex offenders scares well-meaning parents away from schools, and about classrooms where the Internet is too slow for their new computers. Now, at a meeting on education in Ward 7, he’s hearing a Woodson High School senior read the ways that Catania has offended him.

“I don’t appreciate you calling my school low-quality,” the student says. “I don’t think my school is low-quality.” “A school where half the kids don’t graduate is a problem,” Catania shoots back.”

D.C. GASOLINE: And a lawsuit, per the Washington Times, “A local gasoline station magnate who has faced criticism for high prices at his pumps says he plans to fight a lawsuit filed against his companies by the District’s attorney general. Irvin B. Nathan filed a lawsuit Tuesday against companies owned by Eyob “Joe” Mamo, whose empire distributes gasoline to 60 percent of the city’s stations, in a bid to lower prices.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 4-3 against Miami.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “A few weeks ago, we aired a 7 On Your Side story about high school student Keith Blocker, who was promised a full scholarship to the University of Maryland from George McClees. McClees did not live up to his promises, but Blocker has finally made it to his dream school after all -- with some unexpected help.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Fire/EMS Chief Ken Ellerbe, who will be asked about the purchase of new fire trucks and ambulances, the hiring of new paramedics, recent ambulance fires and the friction between the department’s leadership and the firefighters union.

--Skip Wood