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Contractors Fault Government on Insurance Website; Testy Va. Gov. Debate; Gansler's Weird Presser Contractors Fault Government on Insurance Website; Testy Va. Gov. Deba...

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Contractors Fault Government on Insurance Website; Testy Va. Gov. Debate; Gansler's Weird Presser

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


  • At the first congressional hearings on the faulty federal health-care exchange website on Thursday, contractors said no one in the government "made sure the many complex parts of the ... website worked together properly, and testing of the complete site didn't take place until two weeks before its Oct. 1 launch." (Wall Street Journal)
  • President Obama, "in a Thursday speech at the White House, implored House Republicans not to wait until next year to take up an immigration overhaul." (Roll Call)
  • In VA GOV, former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) "invoked puppies and unicorns to attack each other Thursday night in their third and final gubernatorial debate of a bitter campaign. ... Each used lovable creatures to deride the economic policies of the other in perhaps the lightest moments of an aggressive hourlong slugfest at Virginia Tech." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • Louisiana state Rep. Paul Hollis (R) "says he is considering running" for LA SEN. (
  • In SC SEN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) touted a $5,000 third-quarter donation from George W. Bush. Graham: "I am extremely grateful and honored to have President George W. Bush's support." (Columbia State)
  • In PA-05, there are "fresh indications that" Jay Paterno (D), "son of the late legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, may enter the race to challenge" Rep. Glenn Thompson (R). (Harrisburg Patriot-News)
  • In WI-01, 2012 nominee Rob Zerban (D) "said Thursday he'll try again ... to unseat" Rep. Paul Ryan (R). (AP)
  • In MD GOV, Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) held a news conference in Silver Spring on Thursday, acknowledging "that when he stopped by a party for graduating high school students in June" in South Bethany, Del., "he should have been more vigilant about ensuring that the teenagers were not doing anything illegal." The fallout from Gansler's appearance at the beach party "is the latest episode to detract from" his "fledgling Democratic primary campaign, in which Gansler faces" Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Del. Heather Mizeur next June. (Washington Post)
  • Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D), "the Dominican-American lawyer who went from 'Head Start to Harvard,' will announce his candidacy" for RI GOV next Monday. (Providence Journal)
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "is coming to Iowa on Friday for the third time in less than three months," addressing the state party's Ronald Reagan Dinner Friday night. (Des Moines Register)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Dana Bash's reporting was on the money: Nearly every targeted Senate Democrat in 2014 is now calling for a delay in the Obamacare enrollment period. The latest to join the pack: Kay Hagan (N.C.), Michelle Nunn (Ga.), Alison Lundergan Grimes (Ky.), and even the Udall cousins in Colorado and New Mexico.

• Last night's VA GOV debate didn't break much new ground, but it did allow Cuccinelli to make a stronger play for his base. In contrast to his previous debate performances, Cuccinelli repeatedly brought up his fight against "Obamacare" and tied McAuliffe to the law, sprinkling in Reagan quotes and references to Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Over ll, however, Cuccinelli landed few punches and McAuliffe avoided any major gaffes. Cuccinelli needed a big win last to change the course of the race. He didn't get it.



  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "told his Democratic caucus last week in a private meeting that" Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) "said to ... Obama, 'I cannot even stand to look at you,' according to two Democratic senators who were present." (Huffington Post)
  • Ryan and Reid "both weighed in Thursday to tamp down any expectations that" the current budget talks "might forge a large-scale agreement where several previous high-level talks have failed." (AP)
  • At Thursday's night's VA GOV debate in Blacksburg, Va., "[a] crew from Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show' roamed the press room. At one point they handed out air-sickness bags bearing the likenesses of Cuccinelli and McAuliffe." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • "The best/worst quotes from Doug Gansler's press conference" (Washington Post)
  • Asked Thursday "if he would fear for his personal safety" under if New York City mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio (D) becomes the next mayor, GOP nominee Joe Lhota, "who's been bashing his Democratic opponent as soft on crime ... answered: 'Absolutely.'" (New York Post)
  • Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), "who is also an emergency room physician," "stepped in to assist a fellow passenger who collapsed on a flight Thursday." (Politico)
  • "Hot. Nuff said. #treyonplane" -- A tweet from Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL), accompanied by a photo from the SkyMall catalogue of a New York Giants wine holder that looks like a woman's high-heel pump shoe (Twitter, @treyradel)
  • New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy's (D) "pursuit of a lucrative new job with a private business lobbying group in Rochester raised concerns that he was potentially violating the Public Officer's Law by not first informing" Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and "recusing himself from matters involving economic development in western New York, according to a person close to the group's executive search committee." (Albany Times Union)
  • Buncombe County (N.C.) GOP precinct chair Don Yelton resigned on Thursday, one day after an appearance on "The Daily Show" in which Yelton "criticized lazy college students and 'lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything' because the state was issuing free IDs to ease compliance" with its new voter-ID law. (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • "California to levy massive fine against Koch brothers groups" (Washington Post)
  • "Is what you've seen coming from Mitch McConnell, in your estimation, the greatest Senate campaign you've ever seen?" -- KY SEN candidate Matt Bevin (R) (New York Times)
  • "The return of Sarah Palin" (CNN)


Everybody Hates U.S.



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
  • Both the House and Senate are in recess until Monday.
  • The annual "Boo at the Zoo" kicks off Friday evening. (National Zoo, 5:30 p.m.)
  • Vice President Biden addresses the Annual Issues Conference of the DNC's Women's Leadership Forum. (Newseum, 6:45 p.m.)
  • Obama heads to New York for fundraisers for the DCCC and the DNC. (7 p.m./8:10 p.m.)
  • Cruz addresses the Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines. (C-SPAN, 8 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Biden, Ryan, Geraldine Ferraro, Sargent Shriver, Thomas Eagleton, Edmund Muskie and William Miller are all Catholics who, at one time or another, held their party's vice presidential nomination.
  • The winner is Dan Roem, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "During a six-year period in the late 1970s through early 1980s, four astronauts served together in Congress. Name them." The 4th correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I left Washington because I think it's a crap town that deals with peoples' reputations and character as drive-by hits." -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), likening "media attacks on his Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott to the 'drive by hits' that drove him out of the 'crap town' that is Washington D.C." (Chicago Sun-Times)


"Take your f---ing tampon out and tell me what you have to say." -- Emanuel, quoted in Jonathan Alter's book The Promise, after "an aide came to his office and stammered nervously on a difficult topic" (The Promise, pg. 161)

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor


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