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- "After a hiatus that coincided" with Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) difficult '12 reelection campaign, the House Tea Party Caucus is "launching anew with a reception" on Thursday (Roll Call).
- MA SEN Special: Reps. Edward Markey (D) and Stephen Lynch (D) met in their final debate, which "devolved into an exchange of insults and character allegations," with just a week to go before the Dem primary (Boston Globe).
- VA GOV '13: Ex-DNC chair Terry McAuliffe (D) released three years worth of abridged tax returns five days after AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) put out "nearly a decade of tax returns in an effort to raise transparency as an issue in the race." McAuliffe's records show that he made $8.2M in '11 (Washington Post).
- SC-01 Special: Stephen Colbert sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) released a new TV ad, a positive bio spot centering on how she began her career in business after her own marriage ended (Hotline reporting).
- AR SEN: Mayors Against Illegal Guns is seriously considering a months-long TV, radio and direct-mail campaign against Sen. Mark Pryor (D), one of four Dems who opposed expanding background check for guns (National Journal).
- HI SEN: EMILY's List said it "'would be thrilled'" to support Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) should she make her campaign official (Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
- IA SEN: LG Kim Reynolds (R) announced that she will not mount a bid (Des Moines Register). Ag. Sec. Bill Northey (R) "said it could be 'just days' until he decides whether he'll run" (Radio Iowa). Meanwhile, ex-U.S. Atty Matt Whitaker (R), who plans to run if Rep. Steve King (R) doesn't, indicated that he's begun taking steps to prepare for a bid. Whitaker: "At some point in the time the race needs to get started" (Hotline reporting).
- MT SEN: Rep. Steve Daines' (R) office said that he is considering a bid now that Sen. Max Baucus (D) has announced his retirement (Washington Post).
- SC SEN: Americans for a Conservative Direction, the conservative subsidiary of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's new organization, will launch 60-second TV ads promoting Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R) "conservative credentials" as he continues to push for immigration reform (Politico).
- AZ-02: '12 nominee Martha McSally (R) "says that she is being recruited not only to challenge" Rep. Ron Barber (D) again, but potentially to run for GOV or wait and run for Sen. John McCain's (R) seat should he retire in '16 (Arizona Daily News).
- WV-03: The NRCC met with state Sen. Bill Cole (R) last week to discuss the possibility of taking on Rep. Nick Rahall (D), one of their top targets, next year (On Call).
- According to a new Fox News poll of nat'l RVs, conducted 4/20-22 by Anderson Robbins Research (D)/Shaw & Co. Research (R), 47% approve of the job Pres. Obama is doing as POTUS, while 45% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 3/17-19, 47% approved of Obama, and 47% disapproved (release).
- NJ GOV '13: A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of RVs, conducted 4/19-22, shows Gov. Chris Christie (R) leading state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), 58-26%. In the previous poll, conducted 3/19-24, Christie led Buono, 60-25% (release).
- NJ SEN '18: According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of RVs, conducted 4/19-22, 44% approve of the way Sen. Robert Menendez (D) is handling his job, while 32% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 3/19-24, 40% approved of Menendez, and 37% disapproved (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Max Baucus' retirement means Mary Landrieu is in line to chair the Senate Energy Committee next Congress. No doubt she'll cite this as an example of how her seniority will benefit Louisiana if she's re-elected... but it also serves as a sticky reminder of how her presence maintains Democratic control of the Senate.
• With Rep. Colleen Hanabusa taking her last chance to climb Hawaii's crowded congressional ladder, expect a flurry of interest in her open HI-01. Insiders tout four name-brand pols -- Dems Ed Case and Mufi Hannemann and GOPers Charles Djou and Linda Lingle -- as potential candidates though all would have to shake off recent defeats. But as Honolulu City Councilor Stanley Chang's (D) pending announcement indicates, the Dem field might be as full as when Mazie Hirono won her open HI-02 primary with about 20% in 2006 -- beating Hanabusa (narrowly) and now-Sen. Brian Schatz (widely) in the process.
• If Mike Bloomberg and his gun group truly want to "make an example" of Mark Pryor, they may want to try a different strategy. Running television spots accusing Pryor of being pro-gun and "opposing the president's agenda" will hardly hurt him in Arkansas. Particularly as conservative ads claim that just the opposite is true. Bloomberg helped to oust Joe Baca by avoiding the gun issue altogether, but that was against another viable Dem -- something Arkansas lacks.
• Seriously, is there anyone who would hate serving in the Senate more than Brian Schweitzer? And do they even allow bolo ties on the floor?
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Mormon bishop with Samurai sword runs off attacker" (AP).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "I don't want to die here with my boots on. There is life beyond Congress" -- Baucus, on his decision not to seek reelection (AP).
- House GOP leaders released a report on Tuesday claiming that then-Sec/State Hillary Clinton "personally signed off on cuts in security" at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, "which they say would contradict her congressional testimony" (CNN).
- "I got nothing at this point" -- Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), asked about ex-SC Gov. Mark Sanford's (R) campaign for his old congressional seat (Daily Caller).
- Ex-Rep. Bob Edgar (D-PA), who served seven terms in Congress before taking the reins of Common Cause, died unexpectedly in his home on Tuesday morning. "He was 69" (PoliticsPA).
- "I don't know about other men in this room but I want to ask you if you would be a little jealous if you heard this on your wife's cell phone, 'Hello beautiful, just checking in on you. This is Bono'" -- Christie, who says the singer has his wife's cell phone number (Bergen Record).
- Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) proposed legislation yesterday that would "require all groups that spend" more than $10K on elections, "including super PACs and nonprofits, to register their spending and disclose their donors" through a "real-time electronic reporting system" with the FEC (Bloomberg).
- "I heard the word ricin for the first time in my life by a federal agent of Homeland Security while being interrogated for four hours in a federal building in Oxford, and I thought he said rice for about an hour. I said, I don't even eat rice, usually. I'm not a rice lover" -- former ricin letter suspect Kevin Curtis, who was released yesterday ("Piers Morgan Tonight").
- CNN is "in discussions" with ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) and ex-Obama deputy mgr. Stephanie Cutter to co-host a new version of its debate show, "Crossfire," sources say (Politico).
- "Behold ... The Chuck Todd Finger Dance" (BuzzFeed).
- Ex-Mitt Romney intern Adam Savader was arrested Tuesday "by FBI agents and charged with cyber-stalking and blackmailing young women online, authorities said." Savader is "charged with illegally obtaining nude pictures of 15 women" -- many of whom he knew in high school -- and "threatening to make them public unless the women sent him more naked pictures of themselves" (New York Daily News).
- In 2001, Mark O'Meara started off the final round of the Masters with a birdie on the first hole, and an eagle on the second, before making par on the third, three years winning his first Green Jacket in 1998.
- The winner is Bob Doyle, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What former Member of Congress from New York was one of the chief organizers, along with Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt, of the famed No Nukes concerts in 1979 -- the final two Madison Square Garden shows historically headlined by Bruce Springsteen -- that raised money to build a global campaign of protest against nuclear energy following the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- How Republicans Can Win Over Their Party on Immigration
- Pat Toomey's Tilt Toward Middle Angers Conservative Base
- For House Republicans, It's Fiscal First
- What Will Max Baucus Do With His New Political Freedom?
- Was the Ball Dropped in the Tsarnaev Questioning?
"I really don't miss Washington" -- George W. Bush (C-SPAN).
"I'd be in the Oval Office hooking up the slurpee machine, settling into a 'Charles In Charge' marathon and then that penguin would come waddling in and yell, 'Get your damn pants on. We're about to bomb bladiby-blee-blah-blah-blah-blah'" -- "George W. Bush" ("Saturday Night Live").
Sarah Mimms, Editor