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House, Senate GOPers Bicker Over Strategy; McAuliffe on Defense; Hub Mayoral Polls Point to Top Tier House, Senate GOPers Bicker Over Strategy; McAuliffe on Defense; Hub M...

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House, Senate GOPers Bicker Over Strategy; McAuliffe on Defense; Hub Mayoral Polls Point to Top Tier

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


  • "With the deadline for a government shutdown growing near," House Speaker John Boehner "threw in with the boisterous, rebellious wing of the House GOP" when he set a vote for Friday on a CR that would defund parts of the '10 health care law. "This approach has proved divisive, prompting finger-pointing Wednesday among House and Senate conservatives" (Washington Post).
  • The friction between House and Senate GOPers spilled into the public and onto social media Wednesday night after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) acknowledged that the plan to defund health care is probably doomed in the upper chamber (National Journal).
  • Pres. Obama "will travel to Dallas to raise money" for the DSCC on 10/21 (Politico).
  • In the NJ SEN Special, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) "portrays himself as a problem solver and his opponent," ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R), "as an extremist in his first television ad of the general election campaign" (Newark Star-Ledger).
  • In VA GOV, ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) "said Wednesday that he knew nothing about a failed effort by his supporters to wrest an important business endorsement from" AG Ken Cuccinelli (R), and he "dismissed accounts that he had flubbed his interview for that endorsement by touting his ability to schmooze" (Washington Post).
  • A new Suffolk Univ./Boston Herald poll of Boston Mayor '13 preliminary election LVs, conducted 9/12-17, shows Councilor John Connolly leading state Rep. Marty Walsh and Suffolk Co. DA Dan Conley, 16-12-12%, with ex-state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie at 10%, Councilor Rob Consalvo at 8%, activist Bill Walczak at 6%, Councilor Felix Arroyo at 6%, Councilor Michael Ross at 5% and ex-School Cmte member John Barros at 3% (release). A new WBUR-FM poll of Boston Mayor '13 preliminary election LVs, conducted 9/14-16 by MassINC Polling Group, shows Connelly leading Walsh, 15-12%, with Richie at 10%, Arroyo at 8%, Conley at 8%, Ross at 6%, Consalvo at 5%, Walczak at 4% and Barros at 3% (release).
  • GA ethics commission chair Holly LaBerge "is accused of improperly intervening into an investigation" of Gov. Nathan Deal (R), "the latest chapter in a long-running saga that began on the campaign trail and still dogs the governor and his aides, though Deal's camp has maintained the accusations are politically motivated" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
  • In MA GOV, EMILY's List endorsed AG Martha Coakley (D) (release).
  • AZ state House Speaker Andy Tobin (R) "expects to decide" on a potential AZ-01 bid "by the end of next month at the latest," which could pit him against state Rep. Adam Kwasman (R) and rancher Gary Kiehne (R) for the GOP nod (AP).
  • Ex-Capitol Hill aide Amanda Renteria (D) "is poised to enter" the CA-21 race against Rep. David Valadao (R) (Roll Call).
  • UNH business school dean Dan Innis (R) "is stepping down ... and is expected to announce in several weeks" that he's running in NH-01 (New Hampshire Union Leader).


  • According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of VA RVs, conducted 9/9-15, 46% approve of the way Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is handling his job, while 36% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 8/14-19, 47% approved of McDonnell, and 39% disapproved (release).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• The messy Republican infighting over defunding Obama's health care law, pitting conservative House GOPers against their Senate counterparts, is a sign of just how divided the party is right now. That division is already percolating in campaigns, with small conservative groups having outsized influence and long-shot conservative candidates looking unusually credible. When Marco Rubio is lining up to the right of House conservatives, it's clear that the party's grassroots are firmly in charge of the debate.

• Whatever Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) meant, you can bet his $172K statement will make it into at least a few ads in the GA SEN race -- the median household income in GA is under $50K and falling, according to fresh Census data -- between now and the May GOP primary. But Gingrey's comment may be even more damaging in that it reinforces GOPers' biggest concern about him as a potential nominee: that he has a proclivity for making damaging statements that could make it easier for Dems to pick up the seat. Never mind the fact that rank-and-file sens. also make $174K

• Keep an eye on the GOP primary for the right to take on Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) in AZ-01. The district is one of the NRCC's top targets, and its GOP lean is attracting multiple candidates to run, with Tobin the most recent one to speak publicly about it. AZ's late August primary date means the eventual winner will have a short turnaround between the primary's savagery (if recent AZ GOP nominating contests are any indication) and taking on a well-funded incumbent. Expect GOP outside groups to play a big role here -- in the general, possibly in the GOP primary, and maybe even in softening up Kirkpatrick before the party has a nominee.


    "There apparently was no peaceful, easy feeling when a North Charleston (SC) woman allegedly stabbed her roommate because she was fed up with his listening to the Eagles" (AP).


  • "It is disappointing to see that Wendy Davis has more balls than Ted Cruz" -- A "senior GOP leadership aide," questioning whether or not Cruz "is really all-in on defunding Obamacare or if he's trying to put all the onus of defunding the [law] on the House" (CNN).
  • "I said it was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard of. I still think it's a dumb idea, because you can't defund Obamacare" -- Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) (Huffington Post).
  • DoD officials "on Wednesday ordered a broad review of the procedures used to grant security clearances to employees and contractors, acknowledging that years of escalating warning signs about Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis went unheeded" (Washington Post).
  • "A tactical response team of the Capitol Police ... was told to leave the scene" of the Navy Yard shootings on Monday "by a supervisor instead of aiding" MPD officers (BBC News).
  • At a presser on Wednesday on the Lower East Side, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) "snapped at several reporters who wanted to hear his thoughts about the end of the Bloomberg era and the start of New York City's next chapter. When one reporter suggested that a mixed-use development he was announcing might be one of his last such initiatives as mayor, he looked at her as though she were a lobotomy patient" (New York Times).
  • Ex-McDonnell chef Todd Schneider "pleaded no contest Wednesday to two misdemeanors involving food he took from the Governor's Mansion." Schneider "maintains his innocence" and won't serve any jail time (WWBT-TV).
  • "I did not tell an anti-Semitic joke. I told a joke I heard from a priest at a church service" -- Cuccinelli backer/VA-10 GOP chair John Whitbeck, denying his joke about the Pope, the "head of the Jewish faith" and "the bill for the last supper" was offensive (Loudoun Times-Mirror).
  • According to new Census data released Thursday, among big cities, the DC area "has the nation's highest median income," $88K (Washington Post).
  • "New Hampshire Senate Candidate: More Women In The Workplace Led To More Mass Shootings" (Buzzfeed).
  • "Martha Coakley, seeking 2010 redemption, pays visit to Fenway" (Boston Globe).
  • "[IL Gov. Pat Quinn (D)] has just been entered into the Guinness World Records book as luckiest politician" -- Ex-Sec/State Hillary Clinton (D), commenting on how Quinn avoided a Dem primary challenge this week from ex-WH CoS Bill Daley (D) (Chicago Tribune).



  • Jennifer Oberstein was the first eyewitness to speak with NBC's "Today" following the first plane crash on 9/11.
  • The winner is Brian Bartlett, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Since Coakley announced her MA GOV bid on Monday, local media has dubbed her campaigning "The Great Handshake Tour of '13." During her '10 senate special election bid, she infamously mocked the idea of shaking hands with voters in the cold outside of what Boston landmark?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I think the governor has certainly not caused any harm. He's done fine. The issue is going to be how to we rebuild going forward. I'm not going to criticize him during this time at all." -- CO Sec/State Scott Gessler (R) speaking Tuesday in Denver about the state's flood emergency and Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) (KUSA-TV).



"While he concedes as secretary of state he can do little to aid the flood recovery efforts in Northern Colorado, Gessler hinted that Hickenlooper hasn't done enough. ... He criticized Hickenlooper for not visiting Fort Collins since the flood. The city was largely spared compared with others around it" -- An account of Gessler's Wednesday even in Fort Collins (Fort Collins Coloradoan).

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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