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Kerry, Russian Counterpart to Meet on Syria; House GOP Punts on CR; Thompson Pressured to End Bid Kerry, Russian Counterpart to Meet on Syria; House GOP Punts on CR; Th...

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Kerry, Russian Counterpart to Meet on Syria; House GOP Punts on CR; Thompson Pressured to End Bid

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


  • "Key international players were moving on two diplomatic fronts Wednesday to try to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control, and a fresh effort appeared to be underway to get the government and opposition to peace talks" (AP).
  • House GOP leaders "conceded Wednesday that they have yet to muster enough votes to approve" a new continuing resolution "to keep federal agencies open." A vote on the CR "was postponed until at least next week after conservatives balked, demanding that any deal to fund the government include a provision to cut off funding" for the '10 health care law (Washington Post).
  • Michelle Obama "will headline" a DNC fundraiser in Belvedere, CA, on 10/12 (Contra Costa Times).
  • In NJ GOV '13, Gov. Chris Christie (R) "makes the case that his policies have helped turn around the state's economy" in his first TV ad of the general election (Newark Star-Ledger).
  • In VA GOV '13, AG Ken Cuccinelli's (R) camp "is looking into the possibility of running highly unusual 30-minute television advertisements in the coming weeks, according to multiple media-tracking sources (Politico). Cuccinelli released a new 30-second TV ad on Thursday, criticizing ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) for what the ad says is a "war on Coal" (release).
  • NYC Dem "power brokers moved swiftly on Wednesday to prevent a combative sequel to the party's primary for mayor, as union officials and party leaders rallied around the front-runner," Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D), and "urged the second-place finisher," '09 nominee Bill Thompson (D), "to end his quest" for a 10/1 runoff (New York Times). With 99% of precincts reporting, de Blasio was at 40.33%, just above the 40% mark needed to prevent a runoff (AP results). But as of Wednesday night, the city Board of Elections "still had not counted any votes in 48 election precincts, most of them in the South Bronx," and 19K paper ballots "also had not been tallied" (New York Daily News).
  • In GA SEN, ex-Sec/State Karen Handel (R) released a new radio ad touting her opposition to military intervention in Syria, calling Pres. Obama "virtually incoherent" (release).
  • In MI SEN, a new EPIC-MRA poll of LVs, conducted 9/7-10, shows Rep. Gary Peters (D) leading ex-Sec/State Terri Lynn Land (R), 38-37% (release).
  • Rev. Mark Harris (R) "plans to tell supporters Thursday that he's decided to enter" the NC SEN race (Charlotte Observer).
  • The House ethics cmte "announced Wednesday that it will not open an investigation into allegations" that Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) "failed to disclose money his wife received from gambling proceeds, essentially ending official review of an issue that has dogged" Tierney "in his last two reelection campaigns" (Boston Globe). The cmte said "it would continue to review possible ethics violations" by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) "but will not launch full-scale investigations" (Roll Call).
  • Chief strategist John Weaver left ex-CA LG Abel Maldonado's (R) unofficial CA GOV campaign last month, along with media consultant Fred Davis (San Francisco Chronicle).
  • In MI GOV, a new EPIC-MRA poll of LVs, conducted 9/7-10, shows Gov. Rick Snyder (R) leading ex-Rep. Mark Schauer (D), 44-36%. In the previous poll, conducted 4/13-16, Schauer led Snyder, 39-38% (release).
  • Atty Brad Cook (R) "confirmed ... that after being encouraged by friends and associates in the business community, he's considering" running for NH GOV (New Hampshire Union Leader).
  • Businessman Jeffrey Thompson, "who allegedly financed a secret campaign" for now-DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D) in '10, "secretly spent more than" $500K on GOTV efforts for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) WH '08 campaign, "according to interviews and court documents filed Wednesday. ... A search of federal campaign records found no evidence that Thompson" or marketing exec. Troy White, whom Thompson allegedly paid for the Clinton effort, "disclosed the alleged expenditures or activities" to the FEC, "as required by campaign finance laws" (Washington Post).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Newly-minted NYC mayor GOP nominee Joe Lhota is about to find himself with a long list of new friends. Wary of the liberal de Blasio's proposals, the NYC business community could rally around Lhota, while his campaign also plans to reach out to major national GOP donors. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), after mainly staying on the sidelines during the primary campaigns, is reportedly poised to endorse Lhota over de Blasio, who fashioned his primary campaign as a rebuke of the mayor's policies.

• As Thompson faces pressure to unite Dems behind de Blasio, we're reminded of '05 and '97, when Anthony Weiner and Al Sharpton, respectively, were pressured to forgo possible runoffs that would hurt the party's chances in the general. But those arguments don't go as far this year. Dems aren't facing a popular, incumbent GOP mayor (Bloomberg/Giuliani), and de Blasio held a comfortable lead over Lhota in pre-primary polling. Moreover, this is Thompson's second bite at the Big Apple in as many cycles, so building up goodwill for another campaign in '17 or '21 isn't likely to be a big motivator.



  • "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation" -- Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, on Pres. Obama's Tuesday prime-time address, in an op-ed in Thursday's New York Times (New York Times).
  • "I almost wanted to vomit" -- Senate Foreign Relations Cmte Chair Robert Menendez (D-NJ), on the Putin op-ed (CNN).
  • "I didn't even know Ted Cruz was potentially a candidate until somebody pointed it out to me the other day" -- GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson (National Journal Daily).
  • Ex-Christian Science Monitor breakfast moderator Godfrey "Budge" Sperling died Wednesday at the age of 97 (Christian Science Monitor).
  • "The Koch brothers' secret bank" (Politico).
  • "We love it -- we can do two hours on Medicare" -- C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" EP Michele Remillard (Washington Post).
  • "If you look at it structurally and strategically, we're in the best shape that any committee has been in the last decade" -- NRSC exec. dir. Rob Collins, asked about the cmte's fundraising struggles (Politico).
  • "Tina Brown to Leave The Daily Beast and Publishing" (New York Times).


  • "Elmo" testified before the House Educ. Approps Subcmte in '02.
  • The winner is Jared Nichols, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "In '93, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins by 19 points. This was the largest victory against any Super Bowl winning team in a season opener. Name the team that just broke that record as well as by how many points and the current QB." The 7th correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust" -- Putin (New York Times).



"Can I trust Jim? I don't know. Do I have a choice? No, frankly, I don't. Will I trust Jim? Yes. Should I trust Jim? You tell me" -- "Dwight Schrute" ("The Office").

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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