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- Pres. Obama "said Friday he would pursue reforms to open the legal proceedings" surrounding gov't surveillance programs "to greater scrutiny," the admin.'s "most concerted response yet to a series of disclosures about secret monitoring efforts" (Washington Post).
- GreenTech Automotive, the electric car company in which ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) has a 25% stake, "has become an explosive issue" in the VA GOV race, with GreenTech pres. Charles Wang saying that he has "turned over records of business plans and fund-raising pitches after receiving a subpoena" from the SEC last month (New York Times). "McAuliffe and company officials defend GreenTech's progress" -- the company produces "no more than one car every two or three days" -- "saying all start-up companies struggle at first" (Washington Post). "Some analysts say" Greentech's "was a risky business plan," and "foreign investors may have been more interested in an easy way to get a visa and a chance at citizenship than trying to support a venture that had a good chance to turn a profit or create jobs" (AP). Meanwhile, ex-Sec/State Hillary Clinton (D) "will host a fundraiser" for McAuliffe at her DC home next month (Politico). AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) released a new TV ad on Monday, pledging to increase opportunity for Virginians if elected (release).
- Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mgr. Jesse Benton "refuted ... a comment he made on a secretly recorded phone call" in Jan. "that he was 'holding my nose' ... and insisted his support for McConnell is sincere." Benton "said he 'could see the hurt in his eyes' when McConnell asked him about the telephone recording" (WHAS-TV).
- As the candidates in Tuesday's NJ SEN Special primary sprint to the finish, "the race ... has quickly morphed into the kind of gloves-off, dirty brawl" that NJ "has come to expect," with Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) "taking most of the punishment" (Newark Star-Ledger).
- During the latest NYC mayoral fundraising period, which covers 7/15-8/5, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) raised $137K and spent $876K. She finished the period with $8.6M CoH. Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) raised $101K, spent $200K and finished with $6.2M CoH. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) raised $94K, spent $269K and had $4M CoH. '09 nominee Bill Thompson (D) raised $238K, spent $606K and finished with $3.4M CoH (New York Times). In his first TV ad, "Weiner says 'powerful voices' don't want him to become mayor (Washington Post).
- IA state Sen. Jack Hatch (D) "is already buying TV advertising" for his IA GOV run, placing a $40K buy on Des Moines TV this week (Des Moines Register).
- NE state Sen. Annette Dubas (D) "said Thursday she is planning to enter the" NE GOV race, but "formal announcement of her candidacy will wait until the end of" Sept. (Lincoln Journal Star). State Sen. Steve Lathrop (D), who has been "regarded as a top-tier" Dem prospect "for more than a year ... said Friday he has decided not to seek" the Dem nod (Lincoln Journal Star).
- Ex-Rep. Quico Canseco (R-TX) announced via Facebook last week that he would challenge Rep. Pete Gallego (D-TX) in a TX-23 rematch next year (release).
- According to a new Siena College poll of NY RVs, conducted 8/4-7, 55% would vote to reelect Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), while 35% "prefer someone else." In the previous poll, conducted 6/9-13, 52% would have voted to reelect Cuomo, and 41% preferred someone else (release).
- At a forum organized by EMILY's List in Des Moines on Friday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) "said she dreams of 'that moment in 2017 when we can say 'Madam President' to Hillary Rodham Clinton'" (ABC News).
- Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) "challenged hundreds of social conservative activists to live their faith and spread it through American culture" at the Family Leader summit on Saturday in Ames, IA (Des Moines Register). Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his father, pastor Rafael Cruz, "brought hundreds of evangelicals to their feet" at the Family Leader event (Muscatine Journal).
- VP Biden "will be the keynote speaker" at Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-IA) "annual steak fry fund-raiser next month" in Indianola, IA (New York Times).
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will "huddle with longtime aides and court donors" in NYC this week (National Review).
- "Embattled" San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) "faces a deadline Monday to submit a statement to organizers of a recall drive saying why he should not be voted out of office in the face of claims that he sexually harassed women and made numerous unwanted advances" (U-T San Diego).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• McAuliffe will need to explain his misadventures with GreenTech pronto, after a trifecta of stories (NYT, WaPo, AP) portrayed his interest in the car company start-up as a politically-driven exercise doomed from the beginning. When T-Mac's business partner tells the NYT the former DNC Chairman's political ties were "dangerous to business," it hasn't been a good weekend.
• Another poll, another sign of Mark Pryor's vulnerability. The one consistent theme with all the surveys, GOP and Dem alike: Pryor's numbers are stuck in the low-to-mid 40s. That's a dangerous place to be with over a year before the election.
• Conservative activist Karen Testerman (D), who is considering a challenge of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), would begin her campaign as a longshot, after receiving just 10% in her previous statewide run in the '10 NH GOV primary. But Testerman could take advantage of a clear opening on the right, as the other two Granite State Republicans openly mulling bids, state Senate Pres. Jeb Bradley (R) and ex-state Sen. Jim Rubens (R), hail from the moderate wing of the party.
• Canseco's decision to run again sets up a heavyweight potential rematch in a district that could serve as a '14 bellwether for several trends. If Hispanic turnout severely depresses for the midterms, as it did in '10, Gallego will be one of the first battleground Dems to feel the consequences. On a similar note, Gallego's campaign will also be an indicator of whether immigration reform becomes a powerful, vote-moving issue for Dems on the trail next fall. He hit Canseco repeatedly on immigration issues last year.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Missouri Officials Now Realize Obama Rodeo Clown Was in Poor Taste" (New York Magazine).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Years before prosecutors say he illegally financed an election effort" for DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D), businessman Jeffrey Thompson "allegedly secretly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of at least seven other candidates for mayor" and DC Council, including '06 DC mayoral candidate Linda Cropp (D), "according to several people familiar with the payments" (Washington Post).
- ME Gov. Paul LePage (R) "made his dislike of the Portland Press Herald abundantly clear Friday while sitting in a fighter jet simulator: He said from the cockpit that he would like to blow up the newspaper's building" (Portland Press-Herald).
- Pool reporters and photographers were "allowed to gather in the trees on the first hole and watch Obama and the group putting" during Obama's round of golf Sunday in Oak Bluffs, MA, on Martha's Vineyard. Obama three-putted the hole (Chicago Tribune).
- "Federal prosecutors Thursday refused to say when directly asked whether Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, a close friend" of Obama, "is a target in an ongoing grant-fraud case that resulted in the indictment of Whitaker's onetime top state aide" (Chicago Sun-Times).
- "I've been trying to do peace through zucchinis" -- KS Gov. Sam Brownback (R), on his vegetable garden (Topeka Capital-Journal).
- SD Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) is "expected to" jump "out of an airplane" this week, after the Madison, SD, Dairy Queen sold more than 38K Blizzards, "with all of the proceeds going to Children's Miracle Network" (KELO-TV).
- "AT FULL MAST: Anthony Weiner LOVES waving flags at parades" (New York Daily News). More flag photos here, too.
- Gallup CEO Jim Clifton "has ceded his authority" over his company's gov't division, and Gallup "must train all employees in ethical business practices, as part of a deal Gallup made to continue doing business" with the gov't "following conflict-of-interest accusations" (Omaha World-Herald).
- "I thank God every night in my nightly prayers for giving me the insight to decide in 2006 not to seek reelection" -- Ex-Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) (National Journal Daily).
- Dem consultant Mo Elleithee has been named DNC comm. dir. (Politico).
- Ex-Reagan adviser/'66 Reagan CA GOV mgr. Bill Clark "died Saturday at his ranch home" in CA "after a long battle with Parkinson's disease" (AP).
- "Bill Lynch, the Long Island potato farmer's son who became known as the 'rumpled genius' behind" ex-NYC Mayor David Dinkins's (D) victory in '89, died last Friday in New York at the age of 72 (New York Times).
- "Couple's political face-off piques national interest" (Portland Press Herald).
- Ex-Sen. Robert Taft (R-OH) was the speaker of the quote we asked about last Thursday.
- The winner is James Kaplan, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Many believe Congress is contentious. But others note such conflict is not so new. One former Speaker admitted, 'I broke the gavel once. A fellow kept talking after his time ran out. Wouldn't sit down. Kinda wish I'd hit him over the head.' Which Speaker said this?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- 'Nosegate' Is Good News for Mitch McConnell's Tea-Party Challenger
- Are Seniors Souring on the Republican Party?
- Interior Secretary Shows Her Energy Savvy in North Dakota
- Is Congress Simply No Fun Anymore?
- Are the 'Beautiful' People on the Hill Cursed?
"I told him it's not what I believe, and that I am here because I believe in him. And, he's a great guy. He accepted that. I think a lesser man, a lesser leader wouldn't accept that. A lesser man would have pushed me out, quite frankly" -- Benton, on his conversation with McConnell (WHAS-TV).
"There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" -- "Michael Corleone" ("The Godfather: Part II").
Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor