MARYLAND PRIMARY 2014

DAYBREAK DAILY: Plenty of barbs in Md. Democratic debate

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ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the mid 80s. http://wj.la/72e8x6  

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Veterans Choice Act to be introduced in the Senate; In the name of Relisha Rudd, rally to be held to promote safety conditions at homeless shelter; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

MARYLAND DEMS DEBATE: Of sharp exchanges, per the Baltimore Sun, “Democrats running for governor traded barbs Monday night over Maryland's economy, marijuana laws, and the troubled rollout of its health insurance website in their final televised debate before a primary in which pundits suggest many voters are still undecided. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler repeatedly clashed, accusing the other of deceiving the voters. Even Del. Heather R. Mizeur, who stood above the fray in the previous three-way debate, was drawn into the contentious exchanges.

“Gansler painted a bleak picture of what Maryland would be like if Brown were elected. In his scenario, the special interests Gansler said his opponent is beholden to would see that a young Baltimore child "will never have the opportunity to go to a good school in a safe neighborhood." The attorney general's portrayal of the plight of a child he called "Jazz" came at the end of fast-paced, often contentious debate broadcast live on Maryland Public Television and WBAL-TV. It was a confrontation in which charge and countercharge came in bursts — and both the Gansler and Brown camps accused the other side of lying even before the debate had ended.” http://bsun.md/1pOcfv7

P.G. SCHOOLS: Baker pats himself on the back, per the Washington Post, “Since Maryland lawmakers gave Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) unprecedented power over the state’s second-largest school system last year, the district has hired a new superintendent, gained six new school board members and started to slowly work on reforms to reinvent itself.

“ “This is just the beginning,” Baker said in a recent interview. “Now is where the change actually happens.” Baker said he is aware that many residents did not like his aggressive late-session push last year to wrest control of the school system’s budget and superintendent from the county’s elected Board of Education, but he thinks most would now say, “You were right.” ’’ http://wapo.st/1tDKwO0

DIGGING THE ACA: Of Obamacare, per the Virginian-Pilot, “More Virginians than expected enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces, industry executives say, and average rate hikes proposed for 2015 are comparable to increases in the market before the health law took effect.

“ "Clearly there is a good-sized demand out there in the population for exchange coverage," said Doug Gray, executive director of the Virginia Association of Health Plans. "You can safely say that we've had a good start - certainly a better finish - to the open enrollment period than was expected." As of the beginning of May, government officials said more than 216,300 Virginians had selected a health plan through the marketplaces. The state's projected enrollment was 134,800, according to an analysis by Avalere Health based on Congressional Budget Office numbers.” http://bit.ly/1oQYoGY

WARNER AND OIL: He plays transport watchdog, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., is serving notice on federal regulators as well as the oil and rail industries that he expects action to lower the public risks from trains carrying huge amounts of highly volatile crude oil across Virginia and other parts of the country.

“Warner said Monday that he wants federal regulators to expedite the cumbersome rule-making process to tighten safety requirements on shipments of crude oil extracted from the Bakken shale fields of the northern Plains.” http://bit.ly/1ucA2rb

BOWE BERGDAHL: New details, per the New York Times, “Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.

“That account, provided by a former senior military officer briefed on the investigation into the private’s disappearance, is part of a more complicated picture emerging of the capture of a soldier whose five years as a Taliban prisoner influenced high-level diplomatic negotiations, brought in foreign governments, and ended with him whisked away on a helicopter by American commandos.” http://nyti.ms/1pOffYl

PINK POWER: Or something like that, per the Los Angeles Times, “A new report identifies a group of Americans that is expected to grow by 30% over the next decade: cancer survivors.

“As of Jan. 1, there were nearly 14.5 million people alive in the United States who had been diagnosed with some type of cancer. By 2024, that figure is projected to reach 18.9 million, according to a report released Sunday by the American Cancer Society.” http://lat.ms/1onLSet

GUNS: And mental health, per The Hill, “Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) plans to introduce legislation that would allow family members to take guns away from "unstable" and "violent" people. Boxer said her Pause for Safety Act was in response to the May 23 mass shooting and stabbing spree in Isla Vista, Calif., by Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old former Santa Barbara City College student. Seven people died in the attack, including Rodger, who killed himself.” http://bit.ly/1orgzzm

POLITICO PLAY: “President Barack Obama swore as far back as 2008 he’d close the U.S.-run prison for terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay. Five and a half years later, he finally took a real risk to get that process moving. The president defied Congress over the weekend, ignoring a 30-day notice rule required by law to greenlight the transfer to Qatar of five alleged members of the Taliban held at Guantánamo in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.

“It’s Obama’s most assertive move to shrink Guantánamo’s population since U.S. embassy bombings suspect Ahmed Ghailani was flown from the island prison to New York City under cover of darkness on June 9, 2009. And it sends a clear message: As liberals and some conservatives have long urged, Obama is now willing to wield his executive powers to get the job done.” http://politi.co/1mLaVXS

WHAT’S IN A NAME?: Plenty, per City Paper, “A federal judge ruled that naming alleged recipients of shadow campaign mastermind Jeff Thompson's illicit help besides Mayor Vince Gray could jeopardize a grand jury investigation, according to a court order unsealed Monday.

“In the March 10 court order made ahead of Thompson's plea hearing the same day, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Gray, once identified just as "Candidate A," had to be named in court by lawyers from U.S. Attorney Ron Machen's office because the details of how Thompson helped his 2010 mayoral campaign were "necessary" and "material" to Thompson's plea. Kollar-Kotelly ruled that naming Gray wouldn't affect what she describes as "the grand jury investigation of Mr. Gray," in part because Machen's office had already acknowledged that it was investigating Gray.” http://bit.ly/1h2M8AG

CREDIT PAUSE: Let’s have a look-see, per Gazette.Net, “Montgomery County Board of Education members have agreed to stop using their school system credit cards while a committee examines the board’s policy on when members can use them. A Monday statement from school board President Philip Kauffman and Vice President Patricia O’Neill said an ad-hoc committee was formed in April to review “the board’s processes and guidelines regarding reimbursable expenses. . . “Recent public interest in the usage of credit cards by board members has emphasized the necessity to review our processes and procedures to ensure that these cards are being used in an appropriate manner,” the statement said.

“ABC7 reported May 21 that school board member Christopher S. Barclay used his school system credit card to make personal purchases 14 times and later had to pay the school system back for them. The report also said that on multiple occasions Barclay did not turn in itemized receipts or identify who he was dining with when he used his school system credit card, which violates the system’s policy.” http://bit.ly/S1nSTJ

GRASSROOTS VOICE: Of a different path, per the Frederick News-Post, “A local citizen group known for its yellow signs and opposition to the Monrovia Town Center is drawing fire for turning attention to the race for Frederick County executive.

“The organization, called Residents Against Landsdale Expansion, has bought and posted signs that urge voters to "take back Frederick County" by not supporting Blaine Young for executive in the Republican primary. Young argues that RALE should not engage in this type of electioneering without first forming a political action committee and has complained about the organization to the Maryland State Board of Elections.” http://bit.ly/1pBZoyV

NEW TACK: Show me the money, per WTOP, “Anchor retailer Lord & Taylor LLC is taking a new tack in its lawsuit against the owners of the White Flint Mall after losing a pair of key rulings in its effort to block the mall's redevelopment into a town center. Lord & Taylor filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on May 23 once again seeking an injunction to block the redevelopment but this time saying it wants monetary damages if the court rules against it. The department store wants to block the mall's redevelopment until its lease expires in 2055.” http://bit.ly/1iOoCCB

MALL MOVIES: Schedule released, per DCist, “Feel that, D.C.? That nice weather outside? That's peak watch-movies-outside weather. On Friday, we put together our annual comprehensive guide of outdoor movies in the D.C. area, but the lineup for Screen on the Green—the long-running outdoor movie series on the National Mall—hadn't yet been announced. Monday, Screen on the Green finally announced their lineup, which kicks off on July 21st with The Karate Kid.” http://bit.ly/1ucEUwx

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman likely to return tonight against Philadelphia.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Get ready for free ice cream! According to Twitter, the Ben & Jerry's truck will be touring through D.C. today, so be sure to tweet your stop requests to @BenJerrysTruck!” http://wj.la/1kqSZmY

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- A live debate featuring Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and his Democratic primary rivals Doug Duncan and Phil Andrews.

--Skip Wood

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