Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.
- In AR SEN, the Government Integrity Fund Action Network released its second TV ad highlighting Rep. Tom Cotton's (R) military experience. The group has spent $1 million in support of Cotton. (Washington Free Beacon) Senate Majority PAC (D) is also spending roughly $450,000 on ads opposing Cotton, according to FEC records. (Hotline reporting)
- In GA SEN, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) released a new TV ad dismissing an ad from one of his primary opponents, businessman David Perdue (R), which portrays members of Congress as crying babies. "You deserve better than politics as usual," Gingrey says in his spot, which is backed by a $275,000 buy. (Roll Call)
- In KY SEN, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) launched her first TV ad of the race, touting her efforts to ensure members of the military who are overseas are able to vote. (release)
- In MT SEN, Rep. Steve Daines (R) released a new TV ad attacking Sen. John Walsh (D) and former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D) for supporting Obamacare and "making government more intrusive." (release) Walsh is also out with a new TV ad touting his efforts rein in spending and the national debt. (Hotline reporting)
- In NE SEN, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) endorsed Midland University President Ben Sasse (R). (Hotline reporting)
- In NC SEN, Senate Majority PAC (D) "has purchased around $800,000 of TV time beginning Friday." (Roll Call)
- In OR SEN, pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R) released a new TV ad going after "career politicians like" Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) for increasing the debt and supporting Obamacare. (Portland Oregonian)
- In ID-02, Defending Main Street PAC is out with a new TV ad calling Rep. Mike Simpson (R) a "conservative fighting for Idaho." The group "has now spent around $500,000 to help" Simpson. (Roll Call)
- In NY-13, the "United Federation of Teachers, one of the most powerful unions in the city, has voted to recommend backing" state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D) "in his bid to unseat" Rep. Charlie Rangel (D). (New York Observer)
- In PA-08, the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed businesswoman Shaughnessy Naughton (D) in the Democratic primary. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- In PA-13, state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) "takes shots at all three of his opponents in his latest TV ad." In the spot, Leach says: "If you want Republican politics, vote for one of them." (Roll Call)
- In TX-04, former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe (R) is out with a new TV ad reminding voters of 91-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall's (R) age. (release) Hall also released a new TV ad attacking Ratcliffe as a "corporate trial lawyer." (Daily Kos)
- In MD GOV, the "leading Democratic candidates ... sparred Wednesday over health care, the death penalty and corporate taxes in a spirited first debate that featured an unusually combative performance from front-runner" Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D). Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) "used the face-off ... to continue his attacks on Brown's handling of the state’s online health insurance marketplace, which Gansler called 'an unmitigated disaster.'" (Washington Post)
- In NE GOV, Gov. Dave Heineman (R) endorsed Attorney General Jon Bruning (R). Meanwhile, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) backed 2006 SEN nominee Pete Ricketts (R). (Lincoln Journal Star)
- In NM GOV, Gov. Susana Martinez (R) is out with a new TV ad highlighting her efforts to reduce wasteful spending and invest in education. Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber (D) also released his first TV ad, which ties Martinez to Charles and David Koch. (Albuquerque Journal)
- In OH GOV, the RGA launched its first TV ad of the race, crediting Gov. John Kasich (R) for turning around the state's economy in his first term. (release)
- In PA GOV, Treasurer Rob McCord (D) released a new TV ad attacking businessman Tom Wolf (D) "for his company's pension plan that resembles the proposal" Gov. Tom Corbett (R) "has for state pensions." (PoliticsPA)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The Democratic primary for Rep. Allyson Schwartz's seat in PA-13 is turning harsh as a collection of thoroughly liberal candidates battle over their credentials. While state Rep. Brendan Boyle runs ads referring to his opponents as "millionaires," former Rep. Marjorie Margolies is criticizing him for "bad votes" on pro-choice issues. And self-proclaimed "liberal lion" state Sen. Daylin Leach reportedly will air an ad criticizing physician Val Arkoosh for connections to anti-Obamacare groups, despite the fact that Arkoosh has made her support for health care reform a central issue of her campaign. While Republican primaries have gotten most of the attention lately, this is an interesting case of liberal one-upsmanship. --Jack Fitzpatrick
• The RGA's new TV ad in Ohio is the first positive spot run by the committee this cycle and its first ad in Ohio, after a slate of negative attack ads in Arkansas, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Michigan. The ad is a near mirror image of the positive message delivered in Kasich's first two TV spots, which focused on his biography and work improving the economy. The change in tone doesn't necessarily signify that Kasich is more or less vulnerable than other incumbents -- but any time an outside group goes positive, it bears watching. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Smithtown Town Board members voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve a $20,000 settlement in a lawsuit brought by the family of a girl who was injured by a rooster at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve." (Newsday)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- The House "voted on Wednesday to hold Lois Lerner, a former" IRS "official accused by Republicans of abusing power, in contempt, laying bare the bitter divide over which much of the midterm elections will be fought." (New York Times)
- When Vice President Biden "heard a couple hundred Iowans were in town for an annual lobbying trip, he decided to drop by to chat them up. Biden was an unannounced guest" Wednesday night "at a party hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership" in Washington. (Des Moines Register)
- "Tea party faces uphill climb in crowded Republican Senate primary in Georgia" (Washington Post)
- "They spend their careers suing our members." -- U.S. Chamber of Commerce political director Rob Engstrom, explaining his group's TV ads bashing three different GOP candidates for being trial lawyers this year. (Hotline reporting)
- "Conservative groups have together spent nearly $3 attacking Republican candidates for every $1 spent slamming Democrats ... In all, from Jan. 1 through Tuesday," conservative PACs, "super PACs and nonprofit groups have spent about $10 million advocating for the defeat of Republican congressional candidates in advertisements and other communications." (Center for Public Integrity)
- "A number of Republican candidates and conservative groups have openly used the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, as a cash grab. And that's likely to continue despite a strongly worded rebuke from" Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), "the new chairman of the Republican select committee assigned to investigate the response to the attacks." (Politico)
- "I'm in trouble at home. I told Michelle back in 2012 I had run my last campaign. But a couple months ago, I had to let her in on a secret and that is, 'Honey, I've got one more campaign I've got to run.'" -- President Obama, at a Democratic fundraiser in Bel-Air Wednesday night (Los Angeles Times)
- "Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, waging a new campaign to ban Internet gambling, is deploying a state-level political network he has been quietly developing over the past few years." (Washington Post)
- "The Tea Party Gets Into the News Biz" (Bloomberg Businessweek)
- New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy (D) "will not seek re-election, confirming that he formally notified" Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) "in a letter Wednesday." (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
- Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), "who quit as an FBI agent eight years ago, was barred from returning to its New York field offices -- even after he was elected to Congress." (DNAinfo New York)
- "U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races" (Center for Public Integrity)
- "The chairman of the Missouri House panel considering the possible impeachment of" Gov. Jay Nixon (D) "says the committee won't advance the measures to the House floor." (AP)
- "Rand Paul Gave An Entire Speech In A Baseball Uniform" (ABC News)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta participate in a town hall event hosted by the Partnership for Public Service. (9 a.m.)
- The Senate returns at 9:30 a.m., while the House is back at 10 a.m.
- Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable will testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the companies' proposed merger. (Rayburn House Office Building, 9:30 a.m.)
- Obama attends a DNC event at the Beverly Hilton. (9:30 a.m.)
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing. (Rayburn House Office Building, 10 a.m.)
- Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at a DCCC event at a private residence in San Diego. (1:15 p.m.)
- Obama delivers remarks at a DNC event at the Fairmont San Jose. (6 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- John Rutledge was the first Supreme Court nominee to be rejected by the Senate in 1795.
- The winner is Peter Gemma, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "In 1968, George Wallace was the nominee of the American Independent Party. In 1972, the party became the American Party and nominated California Congressman John Schmitz for president and right-wing publisher Tom Anderson of Tennessee as his running mate. In 1976, the party appeared on the ballot in 18 states with Tom Anderson as their presidential nominee -- who was Anderson’s running mate?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Takes Aim at GOP Lawyers
- What Was Rand Paul Thinking?
- 'Conga Line Of Problems' Awaits Burwell at HHS
- Democrats Think the Benghazi Committee Is a Sideshow. Will They Join It Anyway?
- Keystone Vote Stalls in Senate
"Massachusetts Republican Party officials are accusing Tea Party" MA GOV candidate Mark Fisher (R) "of demanding up to $1 million in exchange for dropping his legal challenge to get on the GOP primary ballot this September." (Boston Globe)
"Here's the plan: We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for... one million dollars!" -- "Dr. Evil" in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Adam Wollner, Editor
CORRECTION: Wednesday's Wake-Up Call identified former Rep. Robert Andrews of New Jersey as a Republican. He is a Democrat.