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Congress Speeds Toward Recess; Madison Project Backs McConnell Challenger; Filner, Weiner Under Fire Congress Speeds Toward Recess; Madison Project Backs McConnell Challen...

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Congress Speeds Toward Recess; Madison Project Backs McConnell Challenger; Filner, Weiner Under Fire

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


  • Congress this week wraps up its final legislative days before its Aug. recess, with significant work on tap, including the confirmation of a new FBI dir. and final passage of a bill lowering the interest rates on student loans (National Journal Daily).
  • The Newark Star-Ledger endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) in the upcoming NJ SEN Special primary (Newark Star-Ledger). The other three Dems in the race debated Saturday in Trenton (the debate aired Sunday on ABC affiliates in Philly and NYC), and while Rep. Rush Holt, Rep. Frank Pallone and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver "discussed entitlement reform, job growth, and gun control, they mostly wondered why Booker wasn't with them" (Philadelphia Inquirer).
  • "In a new sign of tumult" within ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's "embattled political operation," Weiner mgr. Danny Kedem "has quit" because he "no longer wished to oversee" Weiner's NYC mayoral bid "after a week of bruising revelations about the candidate's latest online conduct" (New York Times). Weiner "declined to elaborate on why" Kedem had resigned, "saying only, 'He did a remarkable job'" (New York Times). Meanwhile, '09 nominee Bill Thompson (D) "said Sunday that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy was driven by the same kind of bias that led to the death of Trayvon Martin" (New York Daily News).
  • The Madison Project endorsed businessman Matt Bevin (R) in his KY SEN primary challenge of Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell (R), saying McConnell "has refused to fight [for conservatives] and remained ambiguous about his own position until he felt a clear signal from his political weather vane" (release).
  • NC state House Speaker/SEN candidate Thom Tillis (R) "pushed several major political contributors" for UNC board of governors, but Tillis spokesperson Jordan Shaw "said Tillis was merely surrounding himself with supporters who share his vision" (Charlotte Observer).
  • Primaries in the pending AL-01 special election will be held on 9/24, with special primary runoff (if necessary) or the special general on 11/5, and the special general (if primary runoff is needed) on 12/17, "according to a court-approved timeline released by" Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Friday. Rep. Jo Bonner (R) has announced his resignation effective 8/2 (Mobile Press-Register).
  • A senior aide to Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) "told his colleagues late last month that" PhRMA "had agreed to run a campaign supporting" Hanabusa's HI SEN primary challenge of Sen. Brian Schatz (D) and "wanted to coordinate it with her strategists." But such an effort "could run afoul of campaign finance laws, which prohibit candidates and their staff from substantial discussions with interest groups about their independent political activities" (Washington Post).
  • IL state Rep. Mike Bost (R) "will announce Monday he is running" against Rep. Bill Enyart (D-IL) in IL-12 (KFVS-TV).
  • The House ethics cmte announced on Friday that it would consider investigations of Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL) and John Tierney (D-MA) and announce courses of action on or before 9/11. All four cases were forwarded by the independent Office of Cong. Ethics (releases).
  • San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's (D) "announcement that he plans to undergo behavioral therapy to learn how to stop treating women disrespectfully has increased demands for his resignation or recall among San Diego City Council members" (Los Angeles Times).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Ken Cuccinelli is a hero to the pro-life community and a villain to the pro-choice side, which virtually guarantees that VA GOV will become the next front in the "war on women." That's dangerous for the GOP, especially in the DC 'burbs, and Cuccinelli's team knows it. Check out the demographics of the volunteers that joined Cuccinelli at an event this weekend.

• The Senate Republican Conference has major internal divisions, but its members seem to have at least one thing in common: They're supporting Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in his primary versus Liz Cheney. The "tea party insurgent" label for primary challengers has never been particularly helpful, but it really has no descriptive value in WY, where Rand Paul and John McCain have landed on the same side of an intra-party fight.



  • Pres. Obama and ex-Sec/State Hillary Clinton "will have a private lunch" at the WH on Monday (New York Times).
  • "Days before" Booker announced he would run for the seat then held by late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), Lautenberg CoS Dan Katz told Booker adviser Mark Matzen that Lautenberg "likely would retire" and asked if Booker would "let him bow out on his own terms." Lautenberg son Josh Lautenberg: "It was a simple request, and Cory Booker didn't want to abide by that" (Newark Star-Ledger).
  • Ex-Rep. Lindy Boggs (D-LA), "who filled her husband's seat in the House ... after his plane disappeared and went on to serve 18 years as a tireless advocate for women and minorities," died Saturday "at the age of 97" (ABC News).
  • "First of all, the kid's going to grow up in Gracie Mansion. So I'm going to say, 'Kid, don't complain'" -- Weiner, asked what he is going to tell his son, Jordan, about the scandal that ended his House career (Staten Island Advance).
  • In a recent interview with the New Yorker's Toobin, TX state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) "spoke as though she was leaning toward making a run" for TX GOV, Toobin writes (New Yorker).
  • "It's a little bit like going from the National League to the American League. It's still politics. But the rules are a little bit different" -- Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), on moving from the House to the Senate (Boston Globe).
  • VA first lady Maureen McDonnell "bought nearly" $9.8K "in clothing with money from" her husband's PAC and "tapped into his campaign and inaugural funds to buy" $7.6K "in mostly unspecified items, according to records and a representative for the PAC." The spending "is legal" under VA's "lax campaign finance laws," but "the purchases are unusual" in VA, "where campaign finance records indicate that candidates do not routinely dip into political funds to buy personal items such as clothing for themselves or their spouses" (Washington Post).
  • "In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year" (Politico).
  • "[NC Gov. Pat] McCrory's 'Rick Perry' Moment?" (WUNC-FM).
  • Happy Birthday to loyal, longtime Hotline reader and frequent "Swizzle Challenge" participant Bill Pascoe!


  • James Wayne and John Catron served in the War of 1812, then were SCOTUS justices later in life.
  • The winner is Brian Bartlett, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Filner had advance staff everywhere shaking their heads when he had some microphone problems during a press conference on Friday. Who was the first sitting president to deliver a speech to a live audience using a microphone and an electronic speaker system?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"We don't have any rules that you don't talk to any Democrats. That's McCain being McCain. You know, I was kidding [Sen. Chuck Schumer] and McCain the other day, and asked, 'When are you all getting married? It's getting almost embarrassing'" -- McConnell, on the recent bipartisan collaborations between Schumer and McCain (National Review).



"Then why don't you marry an ice cream sandwich?" -- "Lucille Bluth," ("Arrested Development").

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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