DAYBREAK DAILY: McDonnell claims ignorance on redistricting plot

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TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: Supporters of increasing Maryland's minimum wage want to raise it from $7.25 to $10 an hour by 2015. Sen. Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery, and Delegate Aisha Braveboy, D-Prince George's, are sponsoring the legislation. What are your thoughts on raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour?

HE’S SHOCKED: And, ahem, he never saw it coming, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gov. Bob McDonnell said (Tuesday) a surprise redistricting change approved by fellow Republicans in the Virginia Senate "isn't a good way to do business" and added he doesn't want anything to "get in the way" of support for his transportation and education proposals. "This is not an issue that I advocated and I was surprised about the vote yesterday," McDonnell said following remarks at a breakfast hosted by the National Federation of Independent Business.”

“McDonnell said he hadn't seen the bill, sponsored by Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, which passed the chamber on a 20-19 vote. The vote was taken on a day when Democrats were down one member because civil rights lawyer Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, D-Richmond, took Martin Luther King Day off to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington.”

MEANWHILE: Background, per the Washington Post, “The secret plan began unfolding about two weeks ago. Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. came to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling with a way to redraw Senate districts and make them more favorable to Republicans.

"But Bolling rejected the idea, fearing that it would set a bad precedent, according to two people familiar with the meeting but not authorized to discuss it publicly. Bolling, who would be needed to break a tie vote in the evenly divided Senate, also thought the move would so inflame partisan passions that lawmakers would lose sight of such priorities as transportation and education.

POINT MADE: With a little flair, per the Virginian-Pilot, “The Virginia health commissioner who resigned last year over what she saw as an intrusion of politics into medical policy publicly defended abortion (Tuesday) and urged the public to engage in its defense. "It’s important that women are given the authority to have that discussion with their doctor, with their family, with whomever they choose to have and are not interfered with by others," said Dr. Karen Remley at a State Capitol rally on the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion rights.”

PIPELINE TALK: And decision time, per the New York Times, “Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska approved a revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska on Tuesday, brushing aside vocal opposition from some citizen groups and putting final approval of the pipeline project squarely in the hands of the Obama administration. The decision came a day after President Obama made an assertive pledge in his inaugural address to tackle climate change in his second term.”{ }

POLITICO PLAY: “Joe Biden summoned more than 200 Democratic insiders to the vice presidential residence Sunday night to chat about the 2012 triumph - but many walked away convinced his rising 2016 ambitions were the real intent of the long, intimate night. “I took a look at who was there,” said longtime New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro “and said to myself, ‘There’s no question he’s thinking about the future.’ ”

CORDIAL DISAGREEMENT: Or not, per City Paper, “The war of words between Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and the chairman of the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation's board, Robert Bobb, is escalating with a new round of letters between the two men. In a letter sent (Monday), Bobb told Graham that he "should be ashamed" of making accusations that Bobb has been "less than forthcoming" in providing information about the trust's finances.”

DISGRUNTLED: And so. . ., per the Washington Examiner, “A former executive at the agency that oversees the $6 billion Dulles Rail project is suing the agency for defamation and seeking $10 million in damages. George Ellis, a former vice president at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, is suing his old bosses for telling a federal inspector general that Ellis had been fired, when, according to a settlement Ellis reached with the authority, he actually retired with benefits.”

PRACTICE TIME: Come one, come all, per the Washington Times, “William Godwin practices his chip handling under the watchful eyes of his children. Shannon Dadds gets card tips from her son. When Claudia Harbourt has downtime during her nursing shift, she hones her blackjack skills with her patients. It’s the third week of classes at the Maryland Live casino’s dealer school, and Mr. Godwin, Ms. Dadds and Ms. Harbourt are standing around one of 20 green felt gambling tables in what used to be a store at the Marley Station Mall in Glen Burnie, Md.”

NRA IN A HUFF: Not a fan of POTUS, per the Los Angeles Times, “National Rifle Assn. Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre lobbed a scathing critique at President Obama's second inaugural address Tuesday night, warning that turning away from "absolutism" puts constitutional rights at risk. LaPierre's speech, delivered at the Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, targeted one line in particular from Obama's Monday address: the president's declaration that "we cannot mistake absolutism for principle."

PHOTO ALBUMS: Take a gander, per DCist, “D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) has introduced a bill that would allow the press and public to request mugshots of anyone arrested in the city. While many surrounding jurisdictions make mugshots easily available, for decades D.C. police and prosecutors have only offered them to the media if a suspect is at large or has already been convicted.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Winnipeg beats Caps 4-2.

LAND GRAB: Just the facts, per ARLnow, “An excavating crew has begun clearing land in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood where a new subdivision will be built. The space at the northeast corner of Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive is private property and was one of the few remaining undeveloped pieces of land in the county”

--Skip Wood


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