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- Pres. Obama "once-broad ambitions" for campaign finance reform "have been largely abandoned since his reelection, dismaying" advocates. "The predicament will be on full display" today, when all five FEC commissioners "will be serving past the formal expiration of their terms" (Washington Post). Obama is "expected" to nominate ex-campaign co-chair Penny Pritzker for Commerce Sec. and WH adviser Michael Froman for trade rep. this week, according to Dem sources (CNN). Obama will also take questions from the press in the Brady Briefing Room at 10:15 a.m. today (Twitter).
- House GOPers are "targeting popular 'mommy blog' websites" in a banner ad campaign beginning today "as part of an ongoing effort to repair the GOP's image with certain voting blocs -- in this case swing female voters -- who have sided decisively" with Dems in "recent elections" (USA Today).
- SC-01 Special: Ex-Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and Stephen Colbert sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) met in their only debate, where both turned in strong performances, but broke little new ground. Colbert Busch distanced herself from nat'l Dems, as Sanford continued to tie her to them. Meanwhile, the DCCC dropped another $205K on TV spots, according to a report filed with the FEC (Hotline reporting). House Majority PAC released a new TV ad hitting Sanford (MSNBC). Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will endorse Sanford and help the state GOP with GOTV efforts (CNN). Gov. Nikki Haley (R) will attend a fundraiser for Sanford Wednesday (Columbia State).
- MA SEN Special: Voters are voting in the primary today. Reps. Edward Markey (D) and Stephen Lynch (D) are squaring off for the Dem nod, while ex-Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R), ex-U.S. Atty Michael Sullivan (R) and state Rep. Dan Winslow (R) are battling on the GOP side. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT (Hotline reporting).
- IA SEN: Gov. Terry Branstad (R) "seems to be suggesting" that Rep. Steve King (R) either won't or shouldn't run. Branstad: "I really believe that Iowans want somebody that will serve in the Senate that will be an Iowa problem solver, not another congressman" (Radio Iowa).
- SC SEN: VP Biden offered to lend support to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), by either campaigning for or against him -- whichever is more useful (Roll Call).
- IL-13: Four-time candidate David Gill (D), who "lost a close race" to Rep. Rodney Davis (R) last year, is considering a rematch (Springfield State-Journal). Madison Co. Chief Judge Ann Callis (D) is also looking at the seat and has spoken with a number of local Dems (Champaign News-Gazette).
- NV-03: Democratic Nat'l Cmtewoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn (D) has asked the FEC whether she can be a candidate and consult for Emerge Nevada, a group that helps elect Dem women, at the same time, as she moves closer to a bid against Rep. Joe Heck (R) (Ralston Reports).
- RI GOV: Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) said he is "still evaluating" whether he'll run as a Dem. Chafee: "Being a solo practitioner, as an independent, I enjoy the status, but the practical realities sometimes are reason to think about options" (Bloomberg).
- WH '16: Paul has set up "a series of public and private appearances" across SC in June, as he continues to test the waters (CNN).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Liberal outside groups worked well together in 2012 to make sure they didn't layer ads over each other and step on their own message. Check out the MA SEN race, where LCV has already dropped nearly $500K; they're becoming a serious player on the Dem outside group front.
• Both parties have spent the last few months hard at work trying to coax House candidates who lost by slim margins in 2012 back into the game in 2014. Not everyone is welcome back, though: David Gill may have lost by just 1,002 votes in 2012, but something tells us -- and the DCCC, which is excited about local judge Ann Callis -- that the fifth time won't be the charm for Gill, who seems to be mulling another run.
• Mark Sanford will experience a role reversal on Wednesday as his protege Nikki Haley swoops in to help fund his campaign. But the move is a tougher one for Haley than for other GOPers. Not only is she tying herself to her scandal-plagued predecessor just ahead of a reelection bid, but the joint appearance may remind voters of her own brushes with ethics investigations, which promise to feature prominently in Vincent Sheheen's ads next year.
• Moving DC's '14 primary from April 1 to sometime in June would set the mayoral race back two-and-a-half months, giving Vince Gray more time to put the scandal over his '10 shadow campaign behind him before deciding on a reelection bid -- or more time for U.S. Atty Ron Machen to strengthen his fledgling case against the embattled mayor.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Cat In A Shark Costume Chases A Duck While Riding A Roomba" (Youtube).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "FBI agents are conducting interviews about the relationship" between VA Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), wife Maureen and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, a campaign donor "who paid for the food" at his daughter's wedding, "according to four people familiar with the questioning." Agents have been asking "about gifts provided to the family" by Williams and actions the McDonnells have taken "that may have boosted" his boosted his company (Washington Post).
- "I'm running for mayor, I can't run for president! But let me tell you something, I would have won. I could have beat Obama. Buy me a box of Kleenex" -- NYC Mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis (R), who was born in Greece (New York Observer).
- The DC council is considering changing the date of the '14 mayoral primary from April 1 to June, to avoid an "April Fools" election (NBC Washington).
- Almost the moment ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) "left public view," he began a lucrative career as a consultant, where "profits and progress came to him, by his own account, with remarkable ease." His newfound business career "could serve as a compelling campaign credential, blunting efforts to portray him as a career politician, even as it raises uncomfortable questions about the speed with which he cashed in on his government connections." In an interview, Weiner "marveled at his own aptitude for business" on "six different occasions" (New York Times).
- "At least four" officials within the CIA and State Dept. are retaining counsel "as they prepare to provide sensitive information about the Benghazi attacks to Congress." An atty for one State employee said "her client and some others" had been "threatened by unnamed" Obama admin. officials (Fox News).
- An NBA committee voted against moving the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, a major victory for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (D), who "was greeted by a swarm of rapturous fans shouting encouragement -- 'Mayor for life!' 'Run for governor!' 'For president!'" (Los Angeles Times).
- "I don't have great expectations. ... I wish I hadn't bought Newsweek. It was a mistake" -- IAC chair Barry Diller (Bloomberg).
- HarperCollins will not publish a book by New York Post's Fred Dicker on NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), but has decided instead to "publish a memoir by the governor" (New York Times).
- "Sen. Mitch McConnell pours a glass of wine for absent President Barack Obama" (Louisville Courier-Journal).
- "Resurgent Republic, the non-profit conservative polling organization founded by Ed Gillespie and Whit Ayres, turns four this week" (release).
- During an infamous home game in 1974, the Texas Rangers claimed a forfeit victory after Cleveland Indians fans stormed the field and went after players of both teams on "10 cent beer night." NBC's Tim Russert, who attended, later said: "I went with two dollars in my pocket. You do the math."
- The winner is Michael Adamson, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has coached several players who went on to become head basketball coaches at other Division I schools. Which former Duke guard, whose father coached in the NBA, was recently hired as the head basketball coach of a Big Ten school known more for academic prowess than for basketball success? Name the coach and the school." The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Mitch McConnell Wants to Be the Republican Party's Chief Tech Innovator
- The Senate Retirements: What Will Happen in Eight Key Seats
- To Know the Future of Politics, Follow the Money
- The 'Obamacare' Rollout Will Be a Bureaucratic Nightmare
- Somebody Is Fixing Twitter's Misinformation Problem, But It's Not Twitter
"I'm going down there to to the JJ next weekend, Lindsey, and I assure you I will rip your skin off for you, and I expect a thank-you note" -- Biden, offering to campaign against Graham (Roll Call).
"It rubs the lotion on the skin or else it gets the hose again" -- Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb ("Silence of the Lambs").
Sarah Mimms, Editor