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ACA Enrollment Up to 6M; Rep. Rogers of Mich. to Retire; Bevin Ad Puts McConnell in a Duke Jersey ACA Enrollment Up to 6M; Rep. Rogers of Mich. to Retire; Bevin Ad Puts...

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ACA Enrollment Up to 6M; Rep. Rogers of Mich. to Retire; Bevin Ad Puts McConnell in a Duke Jersey

Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.


  • "More than 6 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced Thursday, reflecting a surge in enrollment after months of technical problems prevented many people from picking a plan." (Washington Post)
  • "The Senate agreed to cloture on a five-month extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits on Thursday on a surprising 65-34 vote. Ten Republicans joined with Democrats to move the bill forward. ... The vote puts the measure just an inch further down the long path to President Obama's desk. The Senate still has to take up the bill for final passage and then it heads to the House where prospects for passage do not look promising." (National Journal)
  • In MI-08, Rep. Mike Rogers (R), "the 50-year-old chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who has represented Michigan in Congress since 2001 ... said early Friday he will not seek re-election." His "announcement comes less than a month before the filing deadline — and is the third major departure for the state's congressional delegation" this cycle. "Rogers said he'll start in January as a nationally syndicated radio show host at Cumulus Radio." (Detroit News)
  • State Rep. Bill Rogers (R), Rogers's older brother, is term-limited in the Michigan state legislature and is a "strong prospective candidate" for MI-08. (Hotline reporting)
  • In KY SEN, businessman Matt Bevin (R) launched a new NCAA Tournament-themed TV ad. "March Madness in Kentucky: Commitment, courage -- you gotta love it. Even if your team is already out of the tournament," Bevin says in the ad while gesturing towards an image of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a Duke basketball jersey. "We need courage in the U.S. Senate, too." (release)
  • Also in KY SEN, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super PAC backing McConnell, will air an old TV ad from last November attacking Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) over Obamacare during Friday night's Kentucky-Louisville NCAA Tournament basketball game. Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a pro-McConnell nonprofit group, will also run a TV ad during the game highlighting McConnell's efforts to aid the military and veterans. (Politico)
  • In NE SEN, former Treasurer Shane Osborn (R) launched a new TV ad touting his conservative credentials. To open the spot, the narrator says: "Four candidates for United States Senate. They all says the right things. Only one has proven he can do what he says: Shane Osborn." (Hotline reporting)
  • In the OK SEN Special, Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R). "SCF launched a new website ... so its members can donate directly to ... Shannon's campaign, and set a goal of raising $50,000 for Shannon before the end of the month." (release)
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) endorsed former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) in GA SEN (release) and state Sen. Julianne Ortman (R) in MN SEN. (release)
  • In CA-17, "[o]ne of the two Republicans who jumped into the race to challenge" Rep. Mike Honda (D) "at the last minute has been disqualified and will not appear on the ballot. But the Sacramento County Superior Court judge who found irregularities in" attorney Vinesh Singh Rathore's (R) "nominating petition did not find that any responsibility lay with" former Obama administration official Ro Khanna (D), "as a lawsuit had claimed." (San Jose Mercury News)
  • NRCC chairman Greg Walden will headline fundraisers benefiting five Illinois House GOP candidates on Friday: former Rep. Bob Dold in IL-10, state Rep. Darlene Senger in IL-11, state Rep. Mike Bost in IL-12, Rep. Rodney Davis in IL-13, and former Rep. Bobby Schilling in IL-17. (Roll Call)
  • The Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed state Rep. Pat Murphy (D) in IA-01 and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D) in NJ-12. (release)
  • In AZ GOV, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D) and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, endorsed businessman Fred Duval (D). (Arizona Daily Star)
  • In PA GOV, Treasurer Rob McCord (D) launched his second TV ad this week, saying he is the only Democrat in the race who "has actually battled" Gov. Tom Corbett (R) "in Harrisburg and won." (
  • In WI GOV, former Trek Executive Mary Burke (D) "says she won't be able to self-fund her campaign." Burke: "I'm not a (Sen.) Ron Johnson or a (former Sen.) Herb Kohl. I don't have that type of wealth." (WPR News)
  • "Two former high-level" New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) "appointees share almost exclusive blame for the George Washington Bridge lane closures, according to a report commissioned by the Christie administration that concludes Christie and current members of his staff were not involved in the closures and other allegations of impropriety that surfaced in the wake of the scandal. Bridget Kelly, a" deputy Chief of staff "in the governor's office who was fired in January, and David Wildstein, a Port Authority official who resigned in December, planned and carried out the September lane closings, the 360-page report said." (Bergen Record)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Rogers's departure continues a significant decline in Michigan's House seniority this year, with Sen. Carl Levin (D) and Rep. John Dingell (D) both giving up long-held seats. But the trend stretches back further: Less than half of Michigan's 14 House members -- Camp, Upton, Walberg, Miller, Sandy Levin, and Conyers -- will have more than two terms to their names heading into the next Congress. -- Scott Bland

• Despite Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse's campaign starting to spar, the GOP candidates have played nice on the airwaves in the Nebraska primary thus far. But Osborn dips a toe into the negative ad realm with a new spot proclaiming that all the candidates "say the right things," but Osborn is the only one who's proven he "can do what he says," as photos of his opponents fall down from the screen. The primary is right around the corner in May, so expect to see the attacks spill onto TV over the coming weeks. -- Julie Sobel


    "A banking error created a fat bank account for a Hull (Ga.) teenager, whom Madison County sheriff's deputies said went on a spending spree and pocketed $20,000 in cash." (Athens Banner-Herald)


  • "GOP Wrestles With Its Stance on Gay Marriage" (Wall Street Journal)
  • Rep. Bruce Braley's (D) IA SEN "campaign misspelled a couple of basic Iowa-farm-related words – detasseling and baling – in its press release defending the ... candidate's street cred with farms and farmers." (Des Moines Register) In addition, a photo on Braley's Facebook page, which has since been taken down, showed a farm in England, not Iowa. (Buzzfeed)
  • "A string of federal corruption cases involving officials in Charlotte, N.C., San Francisco and other cities shows the fruits of an increased use of aggressive tactics by the Justice Department to root out state and local corruption. ... Public corruption has long been an FBI priority, but investigations in recent years have involved tactics like wiretaps and stings that some officials say fell out of favor after controversial cases like the Abscam inquiry in the late 1970s and early 1980s." (Wall Street Journal)
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) "signed into law a bill that limits in-person absentee voting to no later than 7 p.m. during the week and no weekend hours. Walker vetoed a portion of the bill that limited the hours of early voting to no more than 45 in each of the two weeks before an election. He kept the prohibition on weekend voting." (AP)
  • "Gonzalo Sanabria, a longtime Miami-Dade Expressway Authority board member, resigned Thursday from his post to protest the 'disparaging and disrespectful' treatment of Mike Fernandez, the former co-finance chairman of" Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) campaign. (Miami Herald)
  • "Let's say someone is on the ground. He didn't have to kill them, did he?" -- Obama, asking about gladiatorial battles while visiting the Colosseum in Rome on Thursday (The Hill)
  • "Todd Willens, chief of staff for" Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) "defended the hiring of a spokeswoman for the congressman ... amid claims from journalists, bloggers and left-leaning political organizations that she had ties to a right-wing political blog and Twitter account." (Las Cruces Sun-News)
  • James Schlesinger, "a tough Cold War strategist who served as secretary of defense under" Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford "and became the nation's first secretary of energy under President Jimmy Carter, died in Baltimore on Thursday. He was 85." (New York Times)
  • "I asked Jill to marry me five times. Literally, five times." -- Vice President Biden, in an interview with celebrity chef Rachael Ray set to air on Monday (CNN)
  • "They've got to find work for the horses, because the horses become depressed. I hope the mayor changes his mind about it." -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), on current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D) proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages (WCBS-TV)


Russia Acquires a New Dolphin Army



  • The House returns at 11 a.m. for a pro forma session.
  • Obama arrives in Saudi Arabia. (5:10 p.m.)
  • NBA action: the Wizards host the Pacers. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • The second slate of Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament games gets underway. (WUSA-TV, 7:15 p.m.)
  • The Capitals host the Bruins on Saturday. (Verizon Center, 12:30 p.m.)
  • The Wizards also take on the Hawks on Saturday. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • The Elite Eight tips off on Saturday. (TBS, 6:09 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Jimmy Carter is the only president not to have opened a baseball season by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch during his administration since the tradition began in 1910.
  • The winner is Wayne Oldham, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What presidential candidate coined the phrase, "the New Frontier"?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I think they love me in Iowa, too. I've been there a lot. I think love me there too, especially because of the way I am." -- Christie, in an interview with Diane Sawyer (ABC News)


"Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular -- to be popular! -- to say and do what is easy, and say yes rather than to say no when no is what's required. I believe we have become paralyzed -- paralyzed -- by our desire to be loved." -- Christie, in a speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention (CBS News)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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