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Hotline Sort: Mack's Million Dollar Haul

April 5, 2012
4) Kevin DeWine is out as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. He resigned amid pressure from Gov. John Kasich, the Columbus Dispatch reports:

Friends of DeWine said the chairman concluded that Kasich and his allies would make his life miserable until he left. ... Kasich and his allies, including House Speaker William G. Batchelder, a Medina Republican, complained that DeWine was a divisive leader who showed favoritism to certain Republican candidates and elected officials and hostility to others.

The Dispatch reports that former state GOP Chairman Robert Bennett is expected to take over. 3) Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., had a productive first quarter of fundraising, bringing in over $1 million. But he is facing scrutiny over his posture on the Ryan budget. He did not take a vote on the plan, as he was in Florida campaigning at the time and over the weekend, he called the plan a joke, the Miami Herald reports. A spokesperson for Mack has maintained that he supports the plan and was calling the vote process a joke. But with a quote like, "you know that budget was a joke, doesn't balance the budget for years," the explanation doesn't exactly square. 2) Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill., won't seek reelection. His decision is surprising. He just won his primary and would have likely faced the weaker of two Democratic opponents running against him. According to Capitol Fax, which broke the story, Johnson decided to retire believing that his seat is not as competitive for another Republican with physician David Gill -- who has lost to Johnson three times before -- as the Democratic nominee. 1) Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, faced off against his two main Republican opponents Dan Lilljenquist and Chris Herrod on Wednesday at the first of two debates. A glance at at the headlines in three of the state's biggest papers reveals Hatch's more than three decades in office and his seniority was the biggest issue at the debate. Liljenquist said that spending has expanded during the time Hatch has spent on the Senate Finance Committee, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Hatch blamed Democrats, who were in charge of the committee. And he didn't just play defense at the debate. The Tribune:

One of the liveliest exchanges came as Hatch said Liljenquist should not have missed 25 percent of his legislative votes last year. Liljenquist said he missed the votes to negotiate both houses for Medicaid and pensions reform, which will save billions of dollars. But Hatch said, "I can walk and chew gum at the same time," and said he achieved a 90 percent voting rate over 36 years while negotiating important issues. "I think you should make your votes."

There were no dramatic, campaign-altering moments in the debate. And that's good news for Hatch. His underdog opponents will need a big break to slow his momentum headed toward the April 21 convention.
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