DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia gift-disclosure level highest in nation

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly sunny with highs in the low 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Repairs begin on the MLK memorial; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.

REALLY GOOD READ: Virginia’s gift disclosure laws, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “As the scandal involving more than $150,000 in gifts and loans to Gov. Bob McDonnell and his family deepens, House Republican leaders are vowing to push for reforms to Virginia’s gift disclosure laws next year.

“Just how weak are Virginia’s disclosure and ethics laws? PolitiFact Virginia has spent the last two weeks collecting and reviewing data for all 50 states: • Virginia’s $10,000 threshold for statewide politicians and legislators to identify sources of income is the highest in the nation.”

THE DATABASE: All 50 states included, per PolitiFact Virginia.

CAMPAIGN?: That’s the question for Terry McAuliffe, per the Washington Post, “. . .Since late April, just before his campaign’s official start, McAuliffe’s public itinerary — the one to which he invites news organizations — has included tours of nine community colleges, two universities, one hospital, one recycling plant, one distillery and one Metro station.

“As advertised, the tours allow McAuliffe to converse with medical professionals, academics and business owners about issues such as transportation, health care and job training. Yet, in the middle of a fiercely contested race, one watched by Republicans and Democrats nationwide, the most striking feature at many of McAuliffe’s appearances may be the almost studied absence of a campaign.”

WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE: But not lately, per the New York Times, “Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume peace talks here on Monday night, the State Department said in a statement on Sunday afternoon. It will be the first time that the two have held direct talks since 2010. Clearing the last obstacle to resuming peace talks, the Israeli cabinet voted Sunday to approve the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, an unpopular move with many Israelis.

“Secretary of State John Kerry then spoke with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to formally invite them to send their negotiating teams to Washington. . .The goal of the negotiations will be to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel with agreed-upon borders and security arrangements.”

SURF VIOLENCE: Crowd gets out of hand, per the Los Angeles Times, “Unruly crowds in Huntington Beach damaged property and clashed with police Sunday night following the close of a major surf competition. Witnesses said a rowdy group of young men threw bottles, tipped over portable toilets and looted at least one store before police dressed in riot gear quelled the disturbance. Witnesses said police used tear gas and non-lethal projectiles to clear the crowds.

“Police said the unrest began when a fight broke out at about 7 p.m., shortly after the conclusion of the eight-day U.S. Open of Surfing, which brought thousands of spectators to the Huntington Beach boardwalk. They did not provide details on whether there had been injuries or arrests.”

WHITEY BULGER: Claims too much pub, per the Boston Globe, “James “Whitey” Bulger wants the jury who will decide his fate to be sequestered when they begin deliberating whether he is guilty of the sweeping racketeering indictment he faces, which include allegations he participated in 19 murders. Defense attorneys for Bulger filed the motion late Sunday night, setting the stage for the issue to be raised when his US District Court trial resumes on Monday and the defense begins presenting witnesses in the closely-watched trial.

“In a five-page motion, defense attorneys J.W. Carney Jr. and Hank Brennan cited several of Globe columnist Kevin Cullen’s writings about Bulger and the witnesses who have testified against him as examples of the harsh criticism their client has faced from the media covering the trial.”

EDWARD SNOWDEN: Of his supporters, per ABC7—WJLA, “NSA leaker Edward Snowden is the focus of some controversial new signs posted at the Pentagon Metro station. The signs say Snowden honored his oath to the Constitution by revealing government secrets.
“The group that paid for the signs has a target audience and is recruiting. So far, they've put signs up near military bases in California, Texas, and Georgia. The billboards stand out on the platform at the Pentagon Metro stop, all part of a new campaign sponsored by a group called The Oath Keepers.”

POLITICO PLAY: “In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told POLITICO on Sunday. Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets.”

GEARING UP IN MARYLAND: Better hurry, per Gazette.Net, “A new primary date has led many Maryland gubernatorial campaigns to start their politicking unseasonably early, but some prime contenders have opted for a delayed start to the race. For the 2014 election, Maryland’s primary will be held on June 24 rather than in September, forcing candidates who otherwise might have waited until the fall to declare their intentions earlier.”

THE BAY: And a dip, per the Baltimore Sun, “The South River Federation set its inaugural Swimmable Action Day to start at 11 a.m. Sunday with a dash into the water off Mayo Beach Park. But the beach's soft-flowing waves beckoned enthusiasts all morning, and young and old answered the call by canoeing, kayaking and swimming — so much so that they had to emerge from the water to stage the group dash on cue.

“Riverkeeper Diana Muller hopes it stays that way. She and others at the Edgewater-based federation held Swimmable Action Day to help Anne Arundel County residents and visitors appreciate the importance of the Chesapeake Bay and the need to keep it clean.” { }

I-95: The work continues, per the Washington Times, “Twelve months into a massive three-year project to establish, expand and improve high-occupancy toll lanes between Alexandria and Stafford County, Virginia transportation officials are standing by their predictions of smoother commutes in the near future — even though the current reality is construction-related gridlock and delay.

“Work on the project began last Aug. 1 and is set to be complete at the end of next year. Lanes should be open for traffic in early 2015, but drivers should see improvements as early as this fall after delays associated with road and bridge construction.”

LAZY NO MORE?: Just the facts, per Greater Greater Washington, “Arlington's Virginia Square neighborhood is a relatively quiet counterpoint to its busier neighbors, Ballston and Clarendon. But that may soon change as a black box theater, public plaza, and new cultural space come to the area as part of 2 private developments.”

HMMMMM: This is odd, per City Paper, “Mayor Vince Gray's walk to oppose synthetic marijuana sales in Petworth last week was sidetracked when Gray encountered a store clerk who said he didn't speak English. How, Gray wanted to know, could the man help customers if he couldn't even speak English? Now language activists at Many Languages One Voice have produced a video where young people who are learning English respond to Gray's treatment of the clerk. "This is really, I think, immature," says one.

“Also criticizing Gray is language access advocate Noelle Galos, who thinks the mayor might not even be aware of a law that requires the District government to provide translation services when it interacts with people who do not speak English. By not talking to the clerk with an Amharic-speaking translator after the clerk indicated he did not speak English well, the mayor could have broken that law, according to Galos.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals beat N.Y. Mets 14-1.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Amanda Berry, one of three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade, made her first public appearance Saturday night at the RoverFest concert, walking on stage with her family and waving at the cheering crowd. Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped in May when Berry kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help.”

NEWSTALK: 10 a.m., NewsChannel 8.

--Skip Wood

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