DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia GOP throws a grand tea party

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly overcast with a 40 percent chance of rain and highs in the low 80s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Tornado talk; More on the two FBI agents killed in a training exercise off Virginia Beach; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

VIRGINIA GOP: Sugar with your tea?, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “E.W. Jackson, a minister and attorney from Chesapeake, pulled off a stunning upset (Saturday) night, topping six rivals for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Jackson fended off a late charge by Pete Snyder, a Northern Virginia technology entrepreneur, capping an epic four-ballot battle at the Richmond Coliseum that lasted nearly 10 hours.

“Earlier Saturday, delegates nominated Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg to run for attorney general. The result means Ken Cuccinelli, who formally accepted the party’s nomination for governor Saturday, will head a ticket that cements the tea party’s takeover of the state GOP apparatus.”

DING, CHING, BIP: Of casinos, per the Baltimore Sun, “Although Maryland has handed out five casino operating licenses, the state is entering uncharted territory with the allocation of its sixth. For the first time, there's real competition. Three serious operators submitted bids to run a casino in Prince George's County, making the choice more competitive than the selections for other jurisdictions. "We're going to have to figure out how we do a fair evaluation," said Donald Fry, chairman of the state commission that will select the winner. "It does present a different dynamic than what we had previously done."

THE IRS THING: A pushback from the White House, per the Washington Post, “White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday the question of whether any laws were broken in the Internal Revenue Scandal is “irrelevant” to the fact that the agency’s actions were wrong and unjustifiable. “I can’t speak to the law here. The law is irrelevant,” Pfefiffer said on ABC News’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “The activity was outrageous and inexcusable, and it was stopped and it needs to be fixed to ensure it never happens again.”

“Stephanopoulos replied: “You don’t really mean the law is irrelevant, do you?” Pfeiffer responded: “What I mean is, whether it’s legal or illegal is not important to the fact that the conduct doesn’t matter. The Department of Justice has said that they’re looking into the legality of this. The president is not going to wait for that. We have to make sure it does not happen again, regardless of how that turns out.”

SITUATION SYRIA: Rebels suffer a setback, per the New York Times, “Syrian government forces backed by Lebanese fighters from the militant group Hezbollah pushed Sunday into parts of a strategic city long held by rebels, according to both an antigovernment activist and pro-government news channels. If the advance holds, it would be a serious setback for opponents of President Bashar al-Assad and further inflame regional tensions.”

DEADLY TWISTERS: Of destruction, per the Oklahoman, “Tornadoes ripped through central Oklahoma Sunday evening — leveling homes in or near Carney, Bethel Acres and Norman, overturning tractor-trailers on Interstate 40 near Shawnee and damaging roofs and trees in southeast Edmond. One elderly man was confirmed dead in the Bethel Acres-Dale area west of Shawnee, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said. For a time, two people were missing from a mobile home park there, but they were later found safe, the sheriff said. Bulldozers were brought in Sunday night to help clear debris.”

NO BIG APPLE: Not this year, anyway, per the Virginian-Pilot, “This was supposed to be the week when thousands of free-spending Norfolk sailors were to descend on lower Manhattan, where New Yorkers promised to shower them with gifts, drinks and kisses. But the annual party on the Hudson River was canceled. Fleet Week New York – like all the Navy’s big community outreach events this year – fell victim to sweeping federal budget cuts. Most of the sailors who would have been treated to free baseball tickets and complimentary subway rides instead will spend the week idling in Hampton Roads traffic and reporting for duty at Norfolk Naval Station.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Democrats aiming to retake the House next year against all odds tried to reassure themselves after President Barack Obama’s week from hell: The election is still 18 months away, plenty of time for Republicans to turn today’s gift into tomorrow’s albatross. Yet the anxiety within party ranks heading into a midterm already heavily stacked in the GOP’s favor is all too palpable.”

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: You have to go deep, per ABC7–WJLA , “Walter Pierce Park in Adams Morgan is an urban oasis, with quiet walkways, a playground, green spaces, and a dog park. . . But underneath the park, and in some fenced-off areas, there is a hidden history here. On seven acres, in two separate sections are a Quaker burial ground, and an 1800s-era African-American cemetery.”

CHARTER STARTER: Of a competition, per the Washington Examiner, “A controversial computer-based learning model is competing with eight other proposals to be one of the next charter schools approved for the District. The proposed Nexus Academy of DC, run by a subsidiary of publishing giant Pearson, would offer grades 9 through 12 in Ward 2, eventually serving up to 600 students.”

GUNS: And a rare D.C. exception, per the Washington Times, “Authorities last week made an agreement not to prosecute a Northwest D.C. man who used his unregistered handgun to kill a pit bull in order to stop it from mauling a child in his neighborhood. As part of the agreement, Benjamin Srigley, 39, was required to pay a $1,000 fine but will not have criminal charges filed against him for the three unregistered firearms and the ammunition that investigators found in his possession, said Ted Gest, a spokesman for the office of the attorney general.”

TAXI!: Let the battle begin – again, per DCist, “Just when we thought there was comity in our time, the clash between Uber and the D.C. Taxicab Commission is heating up again. This time, Uber says that the regulations the commission adopted last week to finally clear the way for cabs to accept credit cards contain provisions that will severely hamper the livery-by-smartphone company's business.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 13-4 at San Diego.

FROM LATE LAST WEEK: But nonetheless interesting, per City Paper, “Gawker broke the news. . .that colorful Toronto Mayor Rob Ford can reportedly be seen smoking crack cocaine on a cell phone video, as long as you're willing to pay $100,000 for the tape. While this will have some impact on Canada, probably something to do with moose and ketchup-flavored chips, it means something else for the District: Finally, we're not the only city whose mayor has been caught on tape smoking crack.

“I asked Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry—convicted in 1990 for misdemeanor drug possession—for his take on Ford, but the D.C. councilmember says his own videotaped crack use is too different from Ford's reported tape to compare. "Unless he was entrapped by the government, it's not similar," Barry says. Barry declined to offer advice for Ford, saying that he's too focused on the residents of Ward 8.”

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Casino Wars: Maryland Live! and West Virginia's Hollywood Casino are both betting on table games and offering unique experiences to win over gamblers. Maryland was reportedly losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year to out-of-state casinos with table games. But that trend may be changing. Maryland Live! was successful with slots, but with the addition of Vegas-style table games last month, gamblers started pouring in.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who will be asked about the launch of his mayoral campaign, the city’s 2014 budget, the return of streetcars, ethics reform, marijuana legalization and more.

--Skip Wood