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- House Budget Cmte Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) outlined the House GOP budget, which will be released later today, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. The budget, which balances in 10 years, calls for tax reform, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare reform for future beneficiaries.
- The RNC's Growth and Opportunity Project will recommend "a major restructuring of their digital strategy" as part of the party's post-2012 overhaul, in a report to be released Monday (NBC News). The group made the final stop on its "listening tour" in Brooklyn yesterday, focusing on "African-American engagement" (CNN).
- MA SEN special: Rep. Stephen Lynch's (D) camp will run its first TV ads on Tuesday, going on air the same day Rep. Edward Markey (D) begins his own TV push (On Call).
- GA SEN: Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) reversed course on both his support for a ban on "high-capacity magazines" and for Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) controversial comments on rape, as he continues to consider a bid (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
- IA SEN: '10 IA-03 nominee/state Sen. Brad Zaun (R) said that he has decided against a run, in an email to supporters on Monday (Des Moines Register).
- KY SEN: Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell is raising money off of Sen. Rand Paul's (R) filibuster last week, asking potential donors to "Stand With Rand" and contribute to his own '14 reelection (Louisville Courier-Journal).
- MI SEN: Rep. John Dingell's (D) wife, Debbie Dingell (D), is "seriously considering" a bid (CNN). Meanwhile, Rep. Justin Amash (R) said he is "'certainly open' to a run" (Detroit News).
- SC SEN: GOProud founder Bruce Carroll (R) said that he will resign in order to "consider a primary challenge" against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) (Washington Post).
- WV-02: Ex-MD GOP chair Alex Mooney has moved to the state and is "considering" a bid for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's (R) seat, "according to a high-ranking" WV GOP official (Roll Call).
- MA GOV: Sen. Scott Brown (R) "appeared to place a temporary freeze on his political career," announcing that he has joined a Boston law firm and "removing the most serious GOP obstacle" to '10 nominee Charlie Baker's (R) potential candidacy (Boston Globe).
- OH GOV: After months of speculation, Cuyahoga Co. Exec. Ed FitzGerald (D), who many consider the frontrunner for the Dem nod, announced Monday he is launching an exploratory cmte for the seat (On Call).
- A new Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. poll of NJ RVs, conducted 3/4-10, shows Gov. Chris Christie (R) leading state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), 58-22%. In the previous poll, conducted 1/2-6, Christie led Buono, 64-21% (release).
- According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of CT RVs, conducted 3/7-10, 42% feel that Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) deserves to be reelected, while 45% feel he does not deserve to be reelected (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Although GOP term limits on chairmanships might coax some senators into retirement prematurely, it could also have the effect of nudging House members into statewide bids who might otherwise stick with their safe seats. After all, Michigan Reps. Rogers, Camp, and Upton can't remain as committee chairs forever...
• Democrats view Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) as their strongest potential challenger to GOP Gov. Paul LePage, but some privately worry that the congressman will ultimately pass on the race. Michaud has flirted with statewide runs before, and the presence of independent contender Eliot Cutler could ultimately lead him to decide against leaving a safe House seat in favor of an unpredictable three-way contest.
• This week could go a long way toward shaping the Ohio governor's race: Ed FitzGerald announced the formation of an exploratory cmte Monday, and Richard Cordray's Senate confirmation hearing starts today. Meanwhile, Rep. Tim Ryan says he'll announce his plans within the new few days.
• Gun control measures, civil unions, in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants: Colorado's Dem-controlled state government is working on a liberal wish-list of new laws, leaving Republicans to watch... and hope it backfires in 2014. But Gov. John Hickenlooper is so strong that he could be untouchable. Sen. Mark Udall, who doesn't have Hickenlooper's high approval ratings, may have more to worry about in terms of midterm atmospherics, even though he's been busy crafting a moderate image 1,600 miles away.
• Quinnipiac is out with its second CT poll in as many weeks, and it shows an uptick in Malloy's approval rating -- good news for the vulnerable Dem incumbent. But Malloy's reelect is still upside-down, and digging into some of the deeper questions it's clear that while the gun issue looks like a winner for him, Malloy's chances of earning a second term are more closely tied to perceptions of the Nutmeg State's economy.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Blind rapper denies robbery: 'that's not what I'm about'" (Everett Herald).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Maybe he's just finding his stride now. It maybe hasn't been his style" -- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), on Obama just now working to cultivate relationships with Senate Dems (CNN).
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) quietly resurfaced in Rockaway, "helping people piece their lives back together" -- "so quietly that even months later, few know about his efforts" (City & State).
- "Cuba is not a zoo where you pay an admission ticket and you go in and you get to watch people living in cages to see how they are suffering" -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), at a luncheon for the Cuba-Democracy PAC in Miami on Friday (Politico).
- "A federal judge sounded skeptical" of ex-Sen. Larry Craig's (R-ID) claim "that he properly used" $217K in campaign cash "for his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting." Craig claimed that the bathroom trip "fell under his official duties" because he was traveling between ID and DC for work (AP).
- "Sarah Palin writing book called 'A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas'" (AP).
- "A judge struck down" NYC's "limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to take effect, in a significant blow to one of the most ambitious and divisive initiatives" of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (I) tenure (New York Times).
- Dems generally do it more often, particularly East Coasters. But Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) does it more often than anyone. House members issued more than 6K press releases during the first two months of this congressional session -- over 100 a day -- with Dems putting out 31% more press statements than their GOP counterparts (National Journal Daily).
- "Judge decides Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson must be jailed pending sentencing" (Detroit Free Press).
- According to John F. Kennedy there's no way of knowing how many Catholics died at the Alamo because there was no religious test there.
- The winner is Steven Donahue, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What pen name was used by Hamilton, Madison et al when writing the Federalist Papers?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Two Cheers for Sheryl Sandberg, Who Helped Give Us the Financial Crisis
- Opinion: Immigration Reform Faces Hurdles, but Steadily Moves Forward
- The Art of Denying Cabinet Rumors
- National Security Insiders: It's Possible for Congress to Oversee Drone Program
- What to Know About Thomas Perez, Civil-Rights Lawyer and Obama's Likely Labor Pick
"Today in my airport screening, test on my hands was positive. Got private, more aggressive pat down. OMG. #veryuncomfortable" -- a tweet from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
"The female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something" -- Akin (Kansas City Star).
Sarah Mimms, Editor