DAYBREAK DAILY: Noted Va. GOP aide working for McAuliffe

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

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly to mostly cloudy with highs near 60.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – A fatal hit-and-run in Montgomery County; Supreme Court watch; ABC News Q&A with Nick Schifrin from Vatican City, as Pope Benedict XVI gives a final speech before beginning retirement; Heart-healthy cooking; and much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: A warning is being sent out in at least three Maryland counties over a new scam that uses your own love against you. It all starts with a phone call that sends the intended victim through an emotional whirlwind. Have you ever been scammed?

THE KEN AND TERRY SHOW: And a GOP defection, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has run for office, won for office, run an office. Ordinarily, this would qualify most people for governor. What disqualifies Cuccinelli — in the view of Democrats and a growing number of his fellow Republicans — is that he seems mostly to run his mouth. . .(That’s) why, perhaps, a top Republican operative is working for Terry McAuliffe, the presumed Democratic nominee for (Va.) governor. Will Payne will reprise for McAuliffe what he did in 2001 for Democrat Mark R. Warner, another tax-raising governor: organize influential, deep-pocketed Republicans and independents.”

SHIPBUILDING AND THE SEQUESTER: Nervous times in Newport News, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Thousands of blue-collar jobs will be lost if federal lawmakers don't strike a deal by the end if the week to avoid sweeping budget cuts, President Barack Obama told a crowd of about 3,000 Newport News Shipbuilding workers Tuesday afternoon. Standing in front of a massive propeller in a cavernous facility used to build submarines, Obama called on Congress to compromise or risk harming the economy in Hampton Roads.

“Obama singled out U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell for praise during his 21-minute speech. He cited the Virginia Beach Republican’s willingness to avoid the cuts through a combination of new revenue from eliminating some tax loopholes and from targeted spending cuts. Rigell and Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Newport News, accompanied Obama on the flight from Washington.”

MEANWHILE: Other folks aren’t at all nervous, per the Washington Post, “President Obama is painting a dire portrait of across-the-board doom and gloom from the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, set to begin Friday. But the sequester is really like a tornado, scattershot in its course. It would strike some communities and largely bypass others, cutting across class, politics and geography.”

SCOTUS AND EAVESDROPPING: Status quo stands, per the New York Times, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails. The decision, by a 5-to-4 vote that divided along ideological lines, probably means the Supreme Court will never rule on the constitutionality of that 2008 law.”

ATTENTION PARENTS: Do you know where you children are?, per the Baltimore Sun, “A state audit found that the Maryland State Department of Education did not conduct routine but critical inspections of child care facilities and failed to follow up on red flags raised by background checks of staff working for the programs. The audit, released Tuesday by the state's Office of Legislative Audits, found that the department did not perform 31 mandated inspections of child care facilities in the region, primarily in Baltimore and in Prince George's County.”

POLITICO PLAY: “As Senate Democrats get closer to putting together a comprehensive package on new gun control legislation, negotiations to find bipartisan support for expanding background checks on gun purchases have stalled, despite some quiet lobbying by Vice President Joe Biden. At the same time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is trying to build support inside and outside the Senate for her controversial assault weapons ban. That’s going to be where the action is for the next 24 to 72 hours.”

GET SOME NEW KICKS: On Route 66, or something like that, per ABC7 – WJLA, “If you are used to sitting in traffic on I-66, there is a little relief on the way. The governor's office announced plans to move forward to make Virginia's I-66 a "smarter highway". . .Perhaps the biggest deal will be new lane-specific electronic signs, which will tell you well in advance if there's an accident ahead, what lane will be closed and into what lanes you need to merge.”

INSIDE BASEBALL: Rather, Inside D.C., per City Paper, “A former competitor to alleged mayoral "shadow campaign" financier Jeff Thompson's Medicaid managed care organization says Thompson's Chartered Health Plan received improper special treatment from city officials in 2004. Advantage Healthplan, the competitor, is currently in a long-running legal dispute with the District before the Contract Appeals Board, where it's seeking damages that could add to the total amount the city is paying to extricate itself from its relationship with Thompson.”

FRUGAL IN FAIRFAX: That’s the plan, anyway, per the Washington Examiner, “Fairfax County Executive Ed Long unveiled a $7 billion budget proposal Tuesday that would raise taxes and lead to cuts within county's schools to close a $169 million funding gap. The county's top administrator recommended a 2-cent real estate tax hike that would raise the tax rate to $1.095 and increase the average homeowner's tax bill by $262, when coupled with assessment increases.”

WHAT IF THEY BUILT A TOY: . . .And no one used it?, per the Washington Times, “Five months after the District opened a $220 million, state-of-the-art forensics laboratory hailed as an experimental transition to independent forensics testing, the crime-scene investigation unit has unraveled as a result of dysfunction and bureaucratic gridlock, according to the Fraternal Order of Police and veteran officers who process crime scenes.”

NEAR BEER?: That’s what they say, per the AP, “Beer lovers across the U.S. have accused Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other brands, in class-action suits seeking millions in damages. The suits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on labels. Budweiser and Michelob each boast of being 5 percent alcohol, while some "light" versions are said to be just over 4 percent.”

FRATERNAL ASSISTANCE: Just the facts, per the Boston Globe, “Members of an Emerson College fraternity are raising money so one of the fraternity brothers who is transitioning to become a man can get gender reassignment surgery, a college official said. Donnie Collins, class of 2015, was denied insurance coverage this month to remove breast tissue and restructure his chest, said Jason Meier, director of student activities at Emerson. Collins is now being helped out by fellow members of Phi Alpha Tau, “guys in the fraternity who care deeply about one of their brothers,” Meier said.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Caps beat Carolina 3-0.

MORNING SWIM: Sounds reasonable, per DCist, “We're still a few months from the traditional Memorial Day opening of the city's 19 outdoor public pools, but one resident is already petitioning that they open earlier than noon on weekends. In a petition, D.C. resident Lyndsey Medsker wrote that opening the pools at 10 a.m. would offer users more flexibility and convenience, especially on the hottest of the summer's days.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), who will be asked about his campaign to get Gov. McDonnell to remove the tax on hybrid cars from the transportation bill that Virginia lawmakers approved over the weekend.

--Skip Wood
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