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- "An alliance of clean-energy groups is launching a $5 million campaign of issue ads and an 11-state grassroots effort on Monday in support of three Democratic Senate candidates who have been attacked in ads from Americans for Prosperity. ... Several green groups including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Sustainable Business Council Action Fund, will pay for $2.5 million in TV and digital issue ads supporting" Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA). (Wall Street Journal)
- Senate Majority PAC (D) "is preparing a $3 million advertising campaign against" Charles and David Koch. "The group's effort will last for roughly two weeks and span five states -- Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina. ... The group is spending about $500,000 in each of the five states except North Carolina, where it is spending $1 million to help" Hagan. (New York Times)
- Senate Majority PAC's CO SEN TV ad charges Rep. Cory Gardner (R) would end the Medicare guarantee and that "insurance companies and out-of-state billionaires" are supporting him. (Hotline reporting)
- In AK SEN, American Crossroads (R) is launching a new TV ad featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) praising former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) for his work in the State Department and the White House during the Bush administration. Rice also defends Sullivan from recent attacks on his residency, saying, "Remember that serving our country required some time in our capital." The ad is backed by a $170,000 buy, according to FEC records. (Hotline reporting)
- In GA SEN, "[a] new group called the Senate Battleground Fund held its first fundraiser Sunday evening. ... The event featured" former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus "at the Buckhead home of Jeff Sprecher and Kelly Loeffler, the power couple behind the takeover of the New York Stock Exchange. Organizers say the more than $1 million the funds raised, plus takings from other planned events, will be used to boost the eventual GOP nominee." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- In KY SEN, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition released a new radio ad praising Senate Minority Mitch McConnell for fighting against President Obama's "assault on our coal communities." (Hotline reporting)
- In NE SEN, former Treasurer Shane Osborn (R) "[d]ogged by questions about his 2001 decision to land a crippled Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane in China ... has distributed an official-looking Navy memo supporting his account. ... But The World-Herald has learned that the unsigned memo was not authorized by the Navy, or vetted through normal channels, and was written as a favor to Osborn by a Navy buddy working at the Pentagon." (Omaha World-Herald)
- In NH SEN, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) released a new radio ad attacking former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) for refusing to sign the "People's Pledge," which would limit outside spending in the race. (Boston Globe)
- In CA-07, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) endorsed former congressional aide Igor Birman (R). (Roll Call)
- In IL-10, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden will headline a fundraiser for former Rep. Bob Dold (R) on Thursday. (Chicago Sun-Times)
- In HI-01, Hawaii Republican Party Chairwoman Pat Saiki "confirmed that" former Rep. Charles Djou (R) "will soon declare his candidacy." (Hawaii News Now)
- In NC-03, Ending Spending Action Fund is launching a new TV ad attacking Rep. Walter Jones's (R) record on spending and the debt. The narrator says "he may have forgotten North Carolina values, but we won't forget how he's voted." The ad, which is backed by a $78,000 buy, "will run district-wide in the Greenville, Wilmington and Norfolk media markets." (Politico)
- In CA GOV, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) raised $3 million from the beginning of the year through March 17 and has nearly $20 million cash on hand. (Los Angeles Times)
- In IL GOV, the Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed Gov. Pat Quinn (D). (Chicago Sun-Times)
- In FL GOV, Gov. Rick Scott's (R) "top fundraiser — billionaire healthcare CEO Mike Fernandez — abruptly quit his post late Thursday after weeks of behind-the-scenes disagreements." (Miami Herald)
- In MA GOV, 2010 nominee Charlie Baker (R) "scarcely scraped together enough delegates at Saturday's nominating convention to appear alone on September's primary ballot, but" businessman Mark Fisher (R) "came close enough to qualifying that intraparty friction seems likely. Baker ... piled up roughly 83 percent of delegates. Yet he could still face further challenges, including civil litigation if Fisher challenges the razor-thin margin by which he failed to garner enough votes." (Boston Globe)
- "With his office suddenly engulfed in scandal over lane closings at the George Washington Bridge," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) "two months ago summoned a pair of top defense lawyers from an elite law firm to the State House and asked them to undertake an extensive review of what had gone wrong. Now, after 70 interviews and at least $1 million in legal fees to be paid by state taxpayers, that review is set to be released, and according to people with firsthand knowledge of the inquiry, it has uncovered no evidence that the governor was involved in the plotting or directing of the lane closings." (New York Times)
- In NY GOV, a new Siena College poll of RVs, conducted March 16-20, shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) leading Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R), 61-26%. In the previous poll, conducted Feb. 16-20, Cuomo led Astorino, 64-22%. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• In primaries featuring candidates without many ideological differences, the races often hinge on personal issues. And that's what's shaping up in Nebraska's Republican Senate primary, where a new report suggests Shane Osborn misrepresented the origin of a "Navy memo" defending his military conduct. In reality, it was written by a friend now working at the Pentagon. This stoy looks like it has legs, and could be particularly damaging to Osborn in a close race. -- Josh Kraushaar
• The DSCC has one thing right when it comes to its Nate Silver critique: his model's over-reliance on early poll numbers. In a presidential race where both candidates have near universal name ID, polls have clear value. But Senate races feature less-reliable public polling, often with challengers who are virtually unknown. That said, early polls usually overestimate the strength of incumbents against lesser-known challengers -- not the other way around. The fact that several Democratic senators are already trailing their opponents isn't a good sign for Democratic 2014 prospects, Silver model or not. -- Josh Kraushaar
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Organizers say a planned dig into a New Mexico landfill for a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time is expected to proceed despite state environmental regulators' concerns." (AP)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Democrats aren't taking Nate Silver's latest Senate prediction lying down. In an unusual step," DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil "on Monday issued a rebuttal the famed statistician's prediction – made a day earlier – that Republicans were a 'slight favorite' to retake the Senate. Silver was wrong in 2012 ... Cecil wrote in a memo, and he'll be wrong again in 2014." (Hotline reporting)
- "Sinkhole of bureaucracy: Deep underground, federal employees process paperwork by hand in a long-outdated, inefficient system" (Washington Post)
- Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox (D), "enveloped by an apparent criminal investigation, announced Saturday that he has resigned his leadership post. He fell in a lightning-quick series of events that began Friday with investigators, armed with search warrants in a probe of an undisclosed matter, taking boxes of evidence from his State House office and his ... home." (Providence Journal)
- "Montana Ex-Guardsman Now Must Fight to Keep Senate Seat Given to Him" (New York Times)
- "Michigan state agencies won't immediately recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages that were performed in the hours before an appeals court put on hold a judge's ruling that tossed out a state ban on gay marriage," Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) "office said Sunday." (AP)
- "Ed Gillespie, longtime GOP strategist, steps into a new role: Senate candidate in Virginia" (Washington Post)
- "Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers' advocacy machine are taking on Tennessee Republicans — including" Gov. Bill Haslam (R). "Their sin? Opposing a bill to repeal investment taxes. ... The intraparty skirmish is about to get ugly, with the Washington heavyweights gearing up to put their substantial resources and national policy clout to work ahead of a pivotal vote next week." (Politico)
- "While in California last week," Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "crammed in meetings with potential contributors from the worlds of finance, technology, real estate and medicine. ... His efforts have taken him to dinners at Washington restaurants with Karl Rove and the board of the ... American Crossroads, the very establishment forces that were first threatened by his surprise election in 2010. He also has had a private dinner with the political strategists working for the interests of the" Koch brothers. "And he has traveled to donor retreats in Florida to speak to the ... Club for Growth." (New York Times)
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "may not have decided whether to seek re-election in 2016, but he is making all the moves to ensure that he can mount an intimidating campaign if he decides to seek a sixth term. McCain ... is set to headline an April 24 re-election fundraiser ... in Phoenix. ... And he is putting together a network of political support." (Arizona Republic)
- "As a matter of fact, you know, I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write a letter myself, put it in the post office, and mail it." -- Jimmy Carter, on the NSA in an appearance on "Meet the Press" (NBC News)
- "Liberal comic Bill Maher revealed Friday that the two congressmen first nominated 'by popular demand' for his 'Flip a District' campaign are" Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX). (Politico)
- "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will have an outpatient surgical procedure in New York on Tuesday for treatment of a benign enlarged prostate." (Reuters)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius heads to Montclair State University in New Jersey to highlight local efforts underway to enroll consumers in a health care plan. (10:25 a.m.)
- The House and the Senate both return at 2 p.m.
- Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry attend a G-7 leaders meeting on Ukraine in the Netherlands. (6:30 p.m.)
- Vice President Biden delivers remarks at the award celebration for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. (Kaiser Family Foundation building, 7 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- The four most common words spoken during John Quincy Adams's 1825 inaugural address were: government, our, union, and will.
- No one answered correctly. Here's today's Swizzle Challenge: "Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife banned alcoholic drinks from the White House, earning the first lady what nickname?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Are Some Senate Democrats Too Likable to Vote Out?
- Ethics Case Shrouds a GOP Star
- Ukraine, Fiscal Issues Top Post-Recess Agenda
- 3 Ways the Supreme Court Could Rule on Contraception
- Mary Landrieu Is Paying—and Getting Paid Big—for Her Stance on Global Warming
"[D]on't break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly." -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), after voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use in November 2012 (Washington Post)
Adam Wollner, Editor