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Establishment Rallies Behind Tillis: Hotline's Wake-Up Call! - Brought to you by Pfizer RxPathways Establishment Rallies Behind Tillis: Hotline's Wake-Up Call! - Brought...

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Establishment Rallies Behind Tillis: Hotline's Wake-Up Call! - Brought to you by Pfizer RxPathways

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


  • "The American economy slowed drastically in the first quarter of 2014, as wintry weather depressed corporate spending and housing sector activity, while smaller additions to inventories by farmers and businesses also held back growth." (New York Times)
  • In NC SEN, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will endorse state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) on Wednesday "according to two sources familiar with the situation". (National Review) North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) officially backed Tillis on Tuesday. (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • The American Hospital Association PAC is spending a combined $365,000 on TV ads supporting Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). (Hotline reporting)
  • In GA SEN, Rep. Jack Kingston (R) released a new TV ad featuring his four children talking about how Kingston goes to great lengths to save money at home. (release)
  • In IA SEN, former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (R) released a new biographical TV ad, highlighting his time as a football player at the University of Iowa and pledging to stand up to President Obama if elected. (release) Businessman Mark Jacobs (R) also launched a new TV ad featuring his two children outlining his campaign strategy in their living room. (release)
  • In OR SEN, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will attend a fundraiser for Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) in Portland on May 28. (Huffington Post) On the GOP side, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) endorsed pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R). (Portland Oregonian)
  • In ID-02, attorney Bryan Smith (R) released a new TV ad attacking Rep. Mike Simpson (R), saying his "liberal record is hard to defend." (release) Simpson is also airing a new TV ad attacking Smith as a "debt collector" who is "looking out for himself." (release)
  • Also in ID-02, the Madison Project's super PAC launched a new TV ad tying Simpson to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The spot will air across the district through the May 20 primary election. (release)
  • In NJ-03, former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur (R) released two new TV ads attacking 2013 SEN nominee Steve Lonegan (R). MacArthur highlights "Lonegan's reluctance to approve of federal Hurricane Sandy funds and what MacArthur sees as Lonegan's less than robust support for the" miliary. (PolitickerNJ)
  • In NY-11, "Republican leaders began shutting off the support they have given" Rep. Michael Grimm (R). "Two House GOP aides said that" the NRCC "booted Grimm from its 'Patriot Program,' which is designed to help Republicans in swing districts raise money. An NRCC spokesman said Grimm was disinvited from a May 21 fundraiser for 10 Republicans in the program." (New York Daily News)
  • In AZ GOV, Treasurer Doug Ducey (R) released his first TV ad of the race, pledging to stand up to the Obama administration. (release)
  • In CA GOV, Jeb Bush endorsed former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari (R). (AP)
  • In MI GOV, the United Auto Workers endorsed former Rep. Mark Schauer (D). (release)
  • In PA GOV, Treasurer Rob McCord (D) is out with a new TV ad featuring his wife, Leigh Jackson, who says McCord will "have the conversation with the people who are often invisible." (PoliticsPA)


  • According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of national adults, conducted April 23-27 by Hart Research Associates (D)/Public Opinion Strategies (R), 44% approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 50% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted March 5-9, 41% approved and 54% disapproved. (release)
  • The NBC/WSJ poll also shows 45% of RVs prefer a Republican-controlled Congress and 45% prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress. In the previous poll, 44% preferred a Congress controlled by the GOP and 43% preferred a Congress controlled by the Democrats. (release)
  • In FL GOV, a new Quinnipiac University poll of RVs, conducted April 23-28, shows former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) leads Gov. Rick Scott (R) 48-38%. In a late January poll, Crist led 46-38%. (release)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Don't miss the Wesleyan Media Project's new report on political advertising in the first four months of the year. Among the interesting findings: Almost 60% of House and Senate TV spots this year have been aired by groups that don't disclose their donors. Also, the volume of early GOP advertising is only up slightly from 2012. Democrats have rushed onto the airwaves this time, though, to try and neutralize it. -- Scott Bland

• One of Democrats' biggest defenses against the Koch brothers may not be much help in a Senate map where the most competitive states' economies are driven by natural resources. In Kentucky, the coal industry has already warned Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes against involvement from Tom Steyer and other environmentalist donors, and many of the other Senate battlegrounds this year are also places where enviro cash might cause a backlash. The map in 2016, on the other hand, will feature a lot more Senate states like Colorado, where Steyer's group is having meetings about getting involved, and New Hampshire, where the League of Conservation Voters has already spent a lot of money. -- Andrea Drusch

• DGA Chairman Peter Shumlin's (D) exclusion of Texas, New Mexico and Nevada on his list of the party's top-targeted gubernatorial races really comes as no surprise. Democrats failed to recruit a candidate in Nevada before the state's filing deadline back in March, and observers have been predicting a Wendy Davis loss in Texas for months. New Mexico could offer a small glimmer of potential, but GOP Gov. Susana Martinez remains a popular figure in her home state and challengers have struggled to gain traction. Shumlin repeatedly framed issues in terms of dollars and cents during a talk at the Third Way in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday -- and his aversion to pouring millions into the cash sinkhole that is Texas with no reward at the expense of other, more winnable races, is no different. -- Karyn Bruggeman



  • "In a decision that could have implications nationally and in Wisconsin's November elections, a federal judge on Tuesday struck down the state's voter ID law. ... The law ... had already been blocked by a state judge. For the law to be put back in place, supporters would have to overturn both the state and federal decisions — a possibility that could prove difficult between now and the Nov. 4 election for governor." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
  • "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told" Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) "that he should resign from office immediately. ... Cantor, however, would not call on" Grimm "who was indicted on Monday by a federal grand jury, to resign." (Politico)
  • "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday left open the possibility of voting on legislation forcing the approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline." (Reuters)
  • "The uninformed opinions of a Washington, D.C., desk jockey who's never stepped foot in Texas couldn't be less relevant to what's actually happening on the ground." -- Karin Johanson, TX GOV candidate Wendy Davis's (D) campaign manager, in response to DGA Chairman Peter Shumlin's falure to cite the race as a top target in 2014 (Houston Chronicle)
  • "Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is beginning to explore election-year involvement in Colorado, where energy plays a key role in a heated Senate race and a series of local ballot initiatives aim to give localities the power to restrict hydraulic fracturing within their borders." (E&E)
  • "The Republican State Leadership Committee said Tuesday it will launch the Judicial Fairness Initiative, a project aimed at backing judge candidates with conservative ideologies. The group will help coordinate resources between judicial candidates and party committees, and will help contact voters on behalf of those candidates." (Washington Post)
  • "I am working hard, lots of therapy: speech therapy, physical therapy, and yoga too." -- Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) at Wednesday's EMILY's List event. (ABC News)
  • Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) "declared Tuesday that children of illegal immigrants who are lawfully present in" the U.S. "and Virginia under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program qualify for in-state college tuition." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • "GOP leaders, donors mix during secretive forum" (Center for Public Integrity)
  • "With only close friends and family looking on," Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a born-again Christian, "was baptized outdoors" last month "in the spring waters once used to wash the sins off Sam Houston, the first elected president of the Republic of Texas." (Texas Tribune)
  • "A statement by" IA-01 Republicans "that the government should stay out of marriage is perceived by activists on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue as a significant development, perhaps even the first crack in the Iowa GOP's wall of opposition to gay marriage." (Des Moines Register)
  • When Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) "married his wife, she was already wedded to another man, according to a new court filing by the congressman's lawyers, seeking an annulment on the basis of bigamy. Grayson ... also accuses Lolita Grayson of defamation, for accusing him of battering her at their home in March." (Orlando Sentinel)


Donald Sterling's Saga Continues



  • The Senate is back at 9:30 a.m., while the House returns at 10 a.m.
  • Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens testifies at a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling. (Hart Russell Senate Office Building, 10 a.m.)
  • Vice President Biden delivers remarks at the Atlantic Council's conference on NATO and the EU. (Atlantic Council, 12:15 p.m.)
  • Obama delivers remarks on the minimum wage. (White House, 3:10 p.m.)
  • New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich speaks with New Republic editor Franklin Foer and New York Times columnist David Brooks about his book, "This Town." (Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 7 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • GOP Reps. Frances and Oliver Bolton of Ohio are the only mother-son duo to have served simultaneously in Congress.
  • The winner is Randy Dove, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "When was Maryland last represented simultaneously by two Republican U.S. senators? And who were they?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"Eighteen increases in the minimum wage since 1956. Suppose the other side had taken that attitude, 'Don't raise it.' Well it would still be I guess a buck an hour, 50 cent if you're a kid. Today 50 Cent is a singing group, right? Am I right about that?" -- Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (ABC News)


"To be honest, I haven't been following that anymore. I lost my interest. ... Don't look for my vote, for me to determine nothing on that. Just say, '50 Cent, he don't know, so don't ask Fiddy.'" -- 50 Cent, on the 2008 presidential campaign (Los Angeles Times, 3/31/2008)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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