6) Arizona Republican Wil Cardon is the latest Senate candidate to propose a campaign pledge to curb the influence of outside groups. He sent a proposal to Rep. Jeff Flake, his GOP opponent. Cardon, meanwhile, gave his campaign $3 million in the first quarter, bringing his cash on hand total to nearly $3.4 million, which is more than Flake's $3.1 million. Cardon only raised about $200,000 from other donors in the first quarter. 5) Here's an update on some other weekend Senate FEC numbers worth noting: -- Disappointing quarters for former Michigan Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra (who raised about 30 percent less than he did last quarter, bringing in $700,000) and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who raised $660,000, barely outdoing former Rep. Mark Neumann). -- Former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz raised nearly $362,000 and banked over $1 million. But frontrunning Rep. Chris Murphy has nearly $3 million on hand. 4) Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., is retiring, making him the the 25th House member -- and the 15th Democrat -- to announce retirement during the 112th Congress. 3) The Republicans in the Texas Senate race met on Friday at a debate, where Ted Cruz repeatedly went directly after frontrunning Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's record. The Dallas Morning News reported: "While no knockout punches were thrown, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert held his ground as he stood between Dewhurst and Cruz." The Austin American-Statesman reports that Cruz defended the text message he sent to Craig James about asking why Dewhurst had skipped candidate forums. Without any huge fireworks at the debate, the frontrunning Dewhurst should be pleased with his position heading into the May 29 primary. 2) As Mitt Romney looks ahead to the general election, the New York Times highlights a relationship with one group he'll have to navigate carefully: House Republicans. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is Romney's designated liaison and the Times reports that "in the past two weeks, he has set up meetings between Mr. Romney's policy shop and key representatives and staff. They included a meeting between Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, as well as one between the Romney staff and the Republican Study Committee, a group of the most conservative House members." 1) The Wall Street Journal dispatched a reporter to report on a Romney fundraiser, where the presumptive GOP nominee offered new specifics on deductions he would cut as president. From the story:
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