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- "The U.S. unemployment rate plunged in April to its lowest level since September 2008 as employers added 288,000 jobs, the most in two years. The figures are a clear sign that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent in March." (AP)
- In AK SEN, Sen. Mark Begich (D) released a new radio ad attacking former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) for opposing abortion rights, raising the minimum wage and equal pay legislation. (release)
- In CO SEN, Vice President Biden will attend a fundraiser for Sen. Mark Udall (D) on May 27. (Denver Post)
- In GA SEN, businessman David Perdue (R) launched a new TV ad painting himself as an "outsider" while labeling his opponents as "professional politicians." (release)
- In KY SEN, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) is set to air her first TV ads next week. "Her campaign on Thursday purchased $37,000 in airtime in the Louisville and Lexington markets." (Washington Post)
- In the OK SEN special, Rep. James Lankford (R) is out with a new TV ad focusing on the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (release)
- In OR SEN, 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R) endorsed pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R). (Politico)
- In AZ-01, the Chamber of Commerce endorsed state House Speaker Andy Tobin (R). (release)
- In CA-17, former Obama administration official Ro Khanna (D) released a new TV ad featuring Sergio Santos, the former President of United Auto Workers Local 2244, talking up Khanna's record. (release)
- In FL-26, former Rep. David Rivera (R), who is "under investigation in a complicated campaign-financing scheme, said Thursday night that he intends to run again." (Miami Herald)
- In MI-13, an "attempt to get" Rep. John Conyers (D) "kicked off the August ballot is focusing on whether backdated voter registrations of two of his petition collectors invalidates their more than 300 collected signatures." (Detroit News)
- In NJ-03, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) endorsed 2013 SEN nominee Steve Lonegan (R). (PolitickerNJ)
- In NY-21, former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik (R) released her first TV ad of the race, which she closes my saying, "my generation can't just complain about the problems, we have to help solve them as well." (NY State of Politics)
- In NE GOV, "the gloves came off Thursday night in the fifth and final debate of the" Republican primary "race as each of the six candidates worked to distinguish himself from the pack in a spirited exchange. The biggest battle of the night was reserved for the perceived front-runners, as" Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) accused" 2006 SEN nominee Pete Ricketts (R) of secretly funding a mystery group pummeling Bruning with negative television ads." (Omaha World-Herald)
- Also in NE GOV, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) "waded into the ... race Wednesday to condemn a mystery group's accusation that ... Bruning was soft on illegal immigration." The Citizens for Sound Government ad "accuses Bruning of using taxpayer dollars to provide services to illegal immigrants, including the hiring of a Spanish-language interpreter to work with the Latino community." (Omaha World-Herald)
- A few other NE GOV TV ads out this week: Ricketts's latest spot features former Gov. Kay Orr (R); state Auditor Tom Foley (R) touts his endorsement from former Rep. Tom Osborne (R); and state Sen. Beau McCoy (R) puts his wife on camera to highlight his pro-life credentials. (Hotline reporting)
- In PA GOV, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) released a new TV ad attacking businessman Tom Wolf's (D) record on jobs. (release)
- Also in PA GOV, Democrats "squared off in one of the final debates of a primary election season that has suddenly turned nasty. During Thursday night's debate ... two candidates tried repeatedly to trip the front-runner," Wolf. (Allentown Morning Call)
- In PA GOV, a new Muhlenberg College poll of LVs, conducted April 28-30, shows Wolf leading the Democratic primary with 38%, compared to 13% for Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D), 11% for Treasurer Rob McCord (D) and 2% for former Department of Environmental Protection secretary Katie McGinty (D). (Allentown Morning Call)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Must be something in the water in Michigan: For the second consecutive cycle, a veteran member of Congress looks to be in danger of failing to file enough valid signatures to qualify for the primary ballot. This time, it's Rep. John Conyers (D), who is in line to become the dean of the House in 2015 -- unless his organization failed its most basic test. There's no evidence of fraud, unlike in the Thaddeus McCotter case, but still not what Conyers needs to get past his 50th anniversary in the House. -- Scott Bland
• A new Muhlenberg College poll on the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania shows Tom Wolf's lead undiminished at 38% and all others trailing. With just 18 days left before the primary, it looks increasingly unlikely that Allyson Schwartz, Rob McCord or Katie McGinty will be able to stage a late comeback. Tom Corbett is already treating Wolf like his official opponent: a new TV ad targets the former state revenue secretary for his time working for former Gov. Ed Rendell. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) "increasingly serious and public examination of a run for president has shaken the ranks of establishment Republican donors and fund-raisers who had planned to back" New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) "in 2016, forcing many of them to rethink their allegiance to the embattled governor." (New York Times)
- "I hope Jeb runs. I think he would be a great president. I have no clue what's on his mind and we will talk when he's ready. I noticed he's moving around the country quite a bit." -- Former President George W. Bush (CNN)
- "Mark Pryor's challenge: Will Arkansas keep a Democratic senator with no big crusades?" (Washington Post)
- "If we win the nomination in May, we win the race [against Hagan]. If we win it in July, we have to sing and dance at the same time." -- NC SEN candidate Thom Tillis (R) strategist Brad Todd (National Journal)
- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) "is considering expanding health coverage for the poor without the approval of the state legislature, a move that would muscle his top priority past Republican opponents but also throw his young administration into a partisan firestorm and uncertain legal territory." (Washington Post)
- "It's expectable. I'm now the oldest judge on the court. I can't say that I ignore it, but I have to do what seems to me to be right." -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on the calls from some liberals for her to retire before the 2014 elections (Wall Street Journal)
- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) "delivered a major May Day victory for Seattle's low-wage workers on Thursday, with a plan that will move big business and small business to a $15-an-hour minimum wage, over a sliding scale of three to seven years." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
- "Sam Slom is a party of one in Hawaii's Senate" (Los Angeles Times)
- "In Alaska you measure yourself as an Alaskan: Did you get your permanent fund check? She didn't qualify this year, so I'm not sure if she's Alaskan anymore." -- Begich, on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) (Politico)
- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), "commander in chief of the 2,100-person Maine Army National Guard, says he was unaware of a plan to reassign Maine's 133rd Engineer Battalion to Pennsylvania in exchange for an infantry unit until details of the plan were published Wednesday in the Portland Press Herald." (Portland Press Herald)
- "Lenny Curry, who is considering a run for Jacksonville mayor, will announce he is stepping down as chairman of the Florida Republican Party on Thursday." (Florida Times-Union)
- "I've seen eighth-graders' term papers that are more thoughtful." -- WI GOV candidate Mary Burke (D), on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) jobs plan (Daily Beast)
- "Publicists warn their clients that it's ok to attend the" White House Correspondents' Dinner -- "especially if they want publicity for a project -- but to beware. This is a crowd that gropes and grabs. A few years ago, one drunken guest actually bared her breasts to Ben Affleck as he was walking to the men's restroom." (Hollywood Reporter)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius delivers keynote remarks on early education at the Committee for Economic Development's spring policy conference. (Willard Intercontinental Hotel, 9:15 a.m.)
- President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (White House, 9:55 a.m.)
- Biden delivers remarks at the Motion Picture Association of America's second annual Creativity Conference. (Newseum, 12 p.m.)
- The House is back at noon.
- Merkel participates in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's discussion on the bilateral relationship between the United States and Germany, focusing on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. (Chamber of Commerce, 1:45 p.m.)
- Obama meets with Asian American and Pacific Islander business and faith leaders to discuss immigration reform. (White House, 3:50 p.m.)
- The White House Correspondents Association Dinner takes place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Lana Peters, previously known as Svetlana Alliluyeva, called Richland Center, Wis., her final home.
- The winner is Peter Valcarce, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "The following are first names of people who have something in common: Tagg, Meghan, Alexandra, Karenna, George W. What is their common bond?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- The Counterattack
- Why Democrats Shouldn't Be Celebrating
- Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters
- Benghazi Will Never Go Away
- Do Democrats Face a Campaign Finance Conundrum?
"I think he changed." -- George W. Bush, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin (CNN)
"What happened to you man? You used to be cool." -- Bart Simpson
"I'm still cool!" -- Homer Simpson
"Nah. You've changed, man." -- Bart, in the "Simpsons"
Adam Wollner, Editor
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