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- "Obamacare sign-ups reached 8 million as the first enrollment window came to a close, President Obama said Thursday. ... Some 3.7 million people signed up in March and April alone -- more than in the first four months of enrollment combined, and more than double what the Health and Human Services Department had initially anticipated." (National Journal)
- House Majority PAC (D) on Friday "will begin placing its first round of TV ad reservations" for the fall. "Of the 24 districts the group is reserving commercial time in, 18 of them are occupied by party incumbents. The ads will begin running around Labor Day, when the midterm sprint begins in earnest." Executive Director Ali Lapp "said the initial investments totaled $6.5 million but that she ultimately expected to spend between $45 million and $50 million." (Politico)
- In AK SEN, 2010 nominee Joe Miller (R) raised $100,000 in the first quarter of 2014 and has $300,000 cash on hand. (AP)
- In CO SEN, the League of Conservation Voters launched a $1 million TV ad campaign attacking Rep. Cory Gardner (R) for his ties to the oil and gas industry. (release)
- In GA SEN, the Chamber of Commerce endorsed Rep. Jack Kingston (R). (release)
- In IA SEN, businessman Mark Jacobs (R) raised $1.4 million, including a $1.1 million personal loan, in the first quarter, spent $1.3 million and has $353,000 cash on hand. State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) raised $275,000, spent $137,000 and has $427,000 cash on hand, while former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (R) raised $100,000. (Des Moines Register)
- In KS SEN, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "said through a spokeswoman on Thursday that she was not interested in running ... despite recent entreaties from Democrats." (New York Times)
- In MI SEN, the "SEIU will begin running $320,000 in TV ads in four markets around the state on Monday, while AFSCME chips in $45,000 of their own." (Washington Post)
- In NE SEN, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will attend a rally for Midland University President Ben Sasse (R) on April 25. (release)
- In NC SEN, state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) launched a new TV ad accusing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of "trying to fool Republican voters" and "meddling in our primary to get a weak opponent for" Sen. Kay Hagan (D). The spot "will be placed in rotation in a previous, ongoing ad buy, including $554,683 placed from April 14 to May 4." (Roll Call)
- Also in NC SEN, Hagan released a new radio ad attacking Tillis on health care and a sex scandal involving two of his staffers in 2012. (WRAL-TV)
- In the OK SEN Special, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Palin and Lee will attend a rally for former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) on April 24. (Tulsa World)
- In SD SEN, physician Annette Bosworth (R) raised $772,000 in the first quarter and has $348,000 cash on hand. (AP) Former Senate aide Rick Weiland (D) raised "nearly" $204,000 in the first quarter and has $485,000 cash on hand and $109,000 in debt. (AP).
- In AZ-07, EMILY's List (D) "will back" Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox (D). (Arizona Republic)
- In NC-07, former state Sen. David Rouzer (R) released a new TV ad saying there are too many lawyers in Congress. Rouzer's main opponent in the primary, New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White (R), is an attorney. (Raleigh News & Observer)
- In WV-03, Rep. Nick Rahall (D) launched his first TV ad featuring United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, who praises Rahall's record on miners' benefits. Roberts: "It makes me mad when billionaires are spending millions of dollars telling lies about Nick Rahall. Nick is our friend." (release)
- Also in WV-03, state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) released a new TV ad calling Rahall "a lying politician just like Obama." (release)
- In PA GOV, Treasurer Rob McCord (D) released a new TV ad, saying he's the only candidate in the race who will place a tax on oil drillers, while businessman Tom Wolf (D) "and the others would leave hundreds of millions of dollars in the drillers' pockets." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Also in PA GOV, Robert Kennedy, Jr. endorsed former Department of Environmental Protection secretary Katie McGinty (D). (Harrisburg Patriot-News)
- Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D) "said Thursday he plans to run for governor in 2016, forgoing an expected race this fall for re-election to a third-term as the state's top law enforcement officer." (Wilmington News Journal)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• In yesterday's Latest Edition, we ran through the already-lengthy history of family-funded super PACs and added two more to the list: Ensuring a Conservative Nebraska, funded by Ben Sasse's (R) great-uncle in Nebraska, and a group in Oregon partially funded by a businessman reportedly in a romantic relationship with Senate candidate Monica Wehby (R). Add another to the list: The super PAC backing Dan Sullivan (R) in Alaska took in $75,000 from fellow Sullivans (his father and brother) in the first quarter. -- Scott Bland
• No state better represents the difficulty Democrats will have replicating the efforts of the Obama campaign in '08 and '12 this year than Florida. Despite access to digital and data savvy consultants, it's unclear if Charlie Crist (D) will be able to amass the volunteer army needed to execute their plans. So far, he seems to be having trouble retaining top-level staffers and is just opening his first field office this weekend. Gov. Rick Scott's (R) campaign, meanwhile, is boasting of already knocking on 120,000 doors, a feat they say the Romney campaign didn't achieve until August of 2012. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she is pregnant, casually dropping the news at the end of a conference on the empowerment of women and girls. As she was concluding the event ... in New York City, she announced that she and her husband, Marc, were very excited to 'have our first child arriving later this year.'" Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, (D) "sitting next to her on the stage, was beaming." (National Journal)
- "Mitt Romney returns to political stage as Republicans prepare for midterms" (Washington Post)
- House Speaker John Boehner "and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year, despite the reluctance of many Republicans to tackle the divisive issue before the November elections." (Wall Street Journal)
- "A hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser pleaded guilty Thursday to witness tampering and conspiracy to evade campaign finance laws. Sant Singh Chatwal was accused of working with an unidentified informant to use straw donors to make contributions to three unnamed political candidates. He also was accused of trying to persuade a witness to not speak to the FBI." (AP)
- "The British general election next year will pit one Obama campaign mastermind against another. Jim Messina, who managed Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, had already signed up last August to consult for Prime Minister David Cameron and the ruling Conservative Party. Now, David Axelrod, architect of Obama's rise from first-term senator to the White House, will be working for the opposition Labor Party." (Washington Post)
- "Leah Gordon, the staff member of" Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) "who is accused of leaking the video of the congressman's scandalous kiss, has resigned as his Monroe District Office manager." (Monroe News-Star)
- "New Hampshire's Senate has voted to leave intact the state's centuries-old death penalty. Lawmakers voted 12-12 Thursday on a death penalty repeal measure. The tie means capital punishment will stay on the books. Last month, the House voted in favor of repeal, and" Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) "had said she would sign the measure into law." (AP)
- At a town hall event in Edmonton, Ky., a "constituent asked" Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "why he came out in support of" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Paul declined to answer the question publicly, saying he would speak with her in private and explain his reason for supporting" McConnell. (Glasgow Daily Times)
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) personally contributed $250,000 to Senate Majority PAC (D) in the first quarter. (Politico)
- "Millions of Americans e-filed their income taxes Tuesday, but when senators submitted required reports about their campaign fundraising and expenses, most ignored computers in favor of paper. ... [J]ust 21 lawmakers voluntarily e-filed copies of their first-quarter reports to meet Tuesday's filing deadline." (Center for Public Integrity)
- Basil Paterson, "one of the old-guard Democratic leaders who for decades dominated politics in Harlem and influenced black political power in New York City and the state into the 21st century, when he saw his son" David Paterson "rise to the governor's office, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 87." (New York Times)
- Comedian Amy Poehler is hosting a fundraiser for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in Los Angeles on April 24. (release)
- "Secret Service threatened to shoot Mr. Met if he got close to President Clinton, says book" (New York Daily News)
- "[I]t's widely assumed that" retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson "would be a GOP candidate if he decides to run" for president. "That would require a party switch. Carson -- who moved to West Palm Beach and registered to vote in Palm Beach County last year -- is registered to vote with the obscure Independence Party of Florida." (Palm Beach Post)
- "Since 1983, Larry Flynt has sent the monthly magazine he founded, 'Hustler,' to each and every member of Congress. The dirty mag comes in a plain manila envelope, fairly undetectable to the poor intern or staffer tasked with opening the mail. ... It's not like members of Congress haven't tried to stop the magazines from coming. They just can't stop it legally." (National Journal)
- "This Wily Gatecrasher at the White House Is a Red Fox" (Wall Street Journal)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- The Brookings Institution holds a discussion on "Crisis in Crimea: Implications for U.S. Response in East Asia." (10 a.m.)
- Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. (White House, 10:45 a.m.)
- Obama welcomes the U.S. Naval Academy football team and presents the 2013 Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. (White House, 2 p.m.)
- The Nationals take on the Cardinals in the second of a four-game series. (Nationals Park, 7:05 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- The Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly were the two combatants in the longest war in modern history.
- The winner is Jared Nichols, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "In 2014, which NHL team became the first team since the 1979 expansion go from the bottom three to the top three in the final regular-season standings in one season?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- The Incredible Shrinking Senate Majority
- The Debate Over Obamacare Is Hardly Over
- Got a Hobby or General Interest? There's a Congressional Caucus for That.
- Sen. Joe Manchin Is 'Leaving All His Options Open for 2016'
- The Fracking Industry Faces Its Climate Demon
"I don't have sizzle." -- Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, when asked if he'd consider running for president again (Yahoo News)
"You know what they say, 'You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.'" -- "Cosmo Kramer" in Seinfeld
Adam Wollner, Editor
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