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Braley Airs First IA SEN Ad; Cochran Goes After McDaniel Over Meth Bill; VA-10 GOP Primary on Sat. Braley Airs First IA SEN Ad; Cochran Goes After McDaniel Over Meth Bil...

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Braley Airs First IA SEN Ad; Cochran Goes After McDaniel Over Meth Bill; VA-10 GOP Primary on Sat.

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  • In AK SEN, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) released a new TV ad highlighting his support for Alaskan energy production. (release)
  • In IA SEN, Rep. Bruce Braley (D) launched his first TV ad of the race, a 60-second spot narrated by him and his mom, focusing on his humble upbringing. (Des Moines Register)
  • Also in IA SEN, Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed state Sen. Joni Ernst (R). (release)
  • More IA SEN: "A new outside group called Trees of Liberty is airing" TV ads targeting businessman Mark Jacobs (R) "for his stance on cap and trade. ... The $257,000 ad buy is scheduled to run through May 2." (Des Moines Register)
  • "It was tough to differentiate Thursday among the" five Republican IA SEN candidates "because they agreed on virtually everything. In a 90-minute debate at Iowa Public Television's headquarters, the GOP hopefuls failed to set themselves apart and shared similar views on everything from repealing the Affordable Care Act to Iowa's recognition of gay marriage." (Omaha World-Herald)
  • In KY SEN, businessman Matt Bevin (R) "was in attendance at a cock fighting rally last month when an organizer said the the sole purpose of the event was to legalize the blood sport, but said he was thinking about his own speech and wasn't paying attention, according to a report on" WAVE-TV. (Louisville Courier-Journal)
  • In MS SEN, Sen. Thad Cochran (R) released a new TV ad attacking state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) for voting against legislation aimed at curbing crystal methamphetamine production. (release)
  • In NC SEN, state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) had "a 3-1 fundraising edge over his GOP rivals heading into the final month of" the campaign. (Charlotte Observer)
  • In IA-03, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw (R) released his first TV ad of the race. The spot features his seven-year-old daughter and focuses on the national debt. (Iowa Republican)
  • In VA-10, Republicans "face a hefty task this weekend. For the first time in 34 years, they'll be asked to select the best-equipped candidate to defend a seat that has been a Republican stronghold thanks to" Rep. Frank Wolf (R). "Republicans will select their nominee from among six candidates through a party canvass ... also known as a firehouse primary." (Leesburg Today) "Republicans expect" state Del. Barbara Comstock (R) "to cruise to the nomination." (Roll Call)
  • In FL GOV, Let's Get to Work, Gov. Rick Scott's (R) political committee, released a new TV ad attacking former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) for taking "Florida to the bottom" during his time in office. "The $2 million statewide television and online buy will begin airing on Saturday." (release)
  • In HI GOV, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (D) will run as an independent. (Hawaii News Now)
  • In MA GOV, two "new super PACs ... have jumped into the" race. One of the groups, called Massachusetts Forward Together, "has a clear purpose -- to 'support the gubernatorial candidacy of'" Treasurer Steve Grossman (D). "The other super PAC, chaired by longtime Republican strategist Beth Lindstrom, appears to be an effort to support the candidacy of" 2010 nominee Charlie Baker (R). (Boston Herald)
  • In OH GOV, Gov. John Kasich (R) raised $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2014 and has $8.5 million cash on hand, while Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D) raised $662,000 and has $1.5 million cash on hand. (Columbus Dispatch)
  • In RI GOV, Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) raised "more than" $1.1 million in the first quarter, while Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D) raised "more than" $500,000. (Rhode Island Public Radio)
  • In WI GOV, "Target Enterprises -- which buys media for Republican candidates and groups -- has indicated that it wants to book more than $1.9 million worth of time on TV stations in four Wisconsin media markets for an undisclosed client between Sept. 1 and Nov. 3." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


  • In FL GOV, a new Mason-Dixon Polling and Research poll of LVs, conducted April 15-17 and April 21-22, shows Scott and Crist tied at 42%. (WFOR-TV)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Of all the vulnerable House Democrats, Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ 02) is one of the least incumbent-like incumbents. Barber faces Air Force veteran Martha McSally, who challenged Barber in 2012 and lost by less than one percentage point, and who now is statistically tied with Barber, according to an internal poll. Compared to other incumbents, Barber's cash advantage is slim -- he has $1.2 million on hand to McSally's $850,000. After their close race in 2012, McSally is very well-known in the district, unlike most challengers at this stage. Factor in Democrats' lower turnout rate in midterm elections, and this race is as much of a toss-up as it was in 2012, when Barber had just recently won his special election to replace Gabrielle Giffords. --Jack Fitzpatrick

• While the Senate race in Hawaii is partly a contest about change within the state Democratic Party, the governor's race has a strictly old-school feel: With Hannemann's entry, the campaign now pits three long-time pols, all of whom also ran for governor in 2010, against each other once more. But Hannemann's exit from the Democratic tent, after losing primaries in 2010 and 2012, also demonstrates how the party -- and it's primary electorate -- have shifted in a progressive direction.-- Scott Bland

• Another indication of why money and personality, not policy, are often the determining factors in primaries: After yesterday's GOP Senate debate in Iowa, the primary candidates were stumped when asked how they stood out from the rest of the Republican field. Without anything to differentiate themselves on policy grounds, contests like these come down to who can spread their message furthest (like self-funding Mark Jacobs) or who can manage to attract outsized free media (like hog-castrating Joni Ernst).-- Andrea Drusch

• Kasich joined a growing list of incumbent governors with a huge cash advantage over their rivals -- nearly six times as much as Ed FitzGerald, who, like many challengers is struggling to build name ID as he attempts to make the jump from representing one region to running statewide. This race and others like Michigan and Wisconsin will be hard-fought, but Dem candidates have a tough slog ahead of them to gather the cash they need to win. -- Karyn Bruggeman



  • "An Arkansas judge struck down the state's new voter ID law on Thursday, saying it violates the state constitution by adding a requirement that voters must meet before casting a ballot." (AP)
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "is avidly courting a small but influential cluster of wealthy libertarians. His pursuit offers an intriguing window into an eclectic network of potential donors who have made fortunes in Silicon Valley start-ups and Wall Street hedge funds, a group that could form a vital donor base if he makes a bid for the Republican nomination. A tight-knit tribe of philanthropists and entrepreneurs, they have exerted enormous intellectual influence on conservative policy. But they have historically spent more on nonprofit groups and endowing college economics departments than they have on backing candidates." (New York Times)
  • "Retired Justice John Paul Stevens: Marijuana Should Be Legal" (NPR News)
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) "brother, Neil, made it clear that his dad -- George H.W. Bush -- wants his son to run" for president, "no matter what his wife says." Neil Bush: "If you asked Dad the same question 'Should Jeb run?' he'd say yes." (CNN)
  • "Despite assurances that he's not planning to run for governor," Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) "told a group of local business leaders Wednesday he's tempted to run because he doesn't like where Florida is headed." (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
  • "Oregon officials will vote Friday on whether to become the first state to scrap its troubled insurance exchange and switch to the federal system, after spending an estimated $248 million on an ambitious exchange that failed in spectacular fashion." (Los Angeles Times)
  • "The Real House Candidates of Beverly Hills" (New York Times Magazine)
  • After months of deliberation," former Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen (D) "announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor." (Ashland Independent)
  • Americans for Prosperity "has joined local efforts to defeat the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium's tax levy on the May 6 ballot." (Columbus Dispatch)
  • House Speaker John Boehner "theatrically mocked his fellow Republican congressmen for being afraid to reform immigration policy when he spoke Thursday ... in his home district." Boehner: "Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard. ... We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to ... They'll take the path of least resistance." (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "will appear on stage Saturday with" Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "at the Sedona Forum, an annual ideas festival hosted by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University." (Washington Post)
  • "From a necktie to heartburn medication, from personal cellphone bills to new tires," New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's (R) "chief of staff used his government-issued credit card to make thousands of dollars in personal purchases in violation of state policy and procedures." (Albuquergue Journal)
  • "Parker Griffith: I didn't buy my way back into the Democratic Party." (Birmingham News)


Dr. Phil Offers Couple's Therapy for Putin and Obama



  • The Newseum holds an open house to launch a new exhibit titled "Pictures of the Year," featuring images from some of 2013's biggest news stories. (9 a.m.)
  • The George Mason University School of Law and Economics Center hosts a briefing on "Asbestos Litigation: The Problem of Transparency." (Rayburn House Office Building, 12 p.m.)
  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz participate in a town hall with teachers. (Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, 1 p.m.)
  • The Nationals take on the Padres in the second of a four-game series. (Nationals Park, 7:05 p.m.)
  • The Wizards host the Bulls in Game 3 of their first round NBA playoff matchup. (Verizon Center, 8 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • The traders called their exchange "IEX" rather than "Investors Exchange," because its URL would have been:
  • The winner is Trevor Foughty, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Wrigley Field celebrated its 100th anniversary this week, and the Chicago Cubs famously have failed to win a league championship since moving in to their new stadium. Another team used Wrigley as it's home field for multiple years, and had better success in the Friendly Confines. What team was it, and how many championships did they win while calling Wrigley Field home?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"Mitch McConnell Wants You to Know How Much He Adores Rand Paul" (National Journal)


"One constituent asked" Paul "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, 4/16/14)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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