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- Pres. Obama will unveil a $3.77T budget today that invests in "infrastructure and education," proposes new taxes on the wealthy and reduces "the cost of Social Security and Medicare" (Washington Post).
- Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) "have reached a deal to expand background checks" and will make an announcement this a.m. (NBC News). Meanwhile, the Senate is "poised to begin the most wide-ranging and ambitious battle over gun control on Capitol Hill in 20 years, with a vote scheduled Thursday" (Washington Post).
- IL-02 Special: Ex-state Rep. Robin Kelly (D) easily defeated businessman Paul McKinley (R), a convicted felon, and will replace ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D), "officially starting a new chapter in the beleaguered, scandal-ridden" district (Chicago Sun-Times).
- MA SEN Special: The Boston Herald endorsed state Rep. Dan Winslow (R) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D) in their respective primaries this a.m.
- NYC Mayor '13: Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) confirmed in a New York Times Magazine interview out this a.m. "that he is considering running" this fall (On Call).
- WV SEN: Ex-Del. Pat McGeehan (R) announced that he will challenge Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) (Charleston Daily Mail). Club for Growth has already asked to set up a meeting with McGeehan (Roll Call).
- CA-35: Ex-Rep. Joe Baca (D) has said he'll run for Congress next year, "but the new question is whether he will seek a rematch" with Rep. Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D) or challenge Rep. Gary Miller (R) in CA-31. Baca would not confirm his plans (San Bernardino Sun).
- CA-36: Assemb. Brian Nestande (R) announced that he will challenge freshman Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
- IL-11: State Rep. Darlene Senger (R) will meet with the NRCC, House leadership, members of the state delegation and Chamber of Commerce officials this week "in preparation to challenge" Rep. Bill Foster (D) (Roll Call).
- NY-19: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) "has 'pledged his full support' if investor Sean Eldridge (D) "decides to move forward with a run" against Rep. Chris Gibson (R) (Albany Times-Union).
- AR GOV: Ex-Rep. Mike Ross (D) will announce on April 17 that he has changed his mind and will mount a bid, now that AG Dustin McDaniel (D) has taken himself out of the running (On Call).
- NJ GOV '13: According to a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of RVs, conducted 4/3-7, 68% approve of the way Gov. Chris Christie (R) is handling his job, while 26% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 1/30-2/3, 73% approved of Christie, and 23% disapproved (release).
- NYC Mayor '13: A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of Dem RVs, conducted 4/3-8, shows City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leading Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, 32-14%, with '09 nominee/ex-Comp. Bill Thompson at 13% and Comp. John Liu at 7%. In the previous poll, conducted 2/20-25, Quinn led de Blasio, 37-14%, with Thompson at 11% and Liu at 9% (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Weiner is surprisingly (and almost painfully) introspective in the NYT Mag piece, and he admits he'd be a huge underdog if he ran for mayor. But two reasons he might do it anyway: his matching-funds eligibility expires this year, and an unsuccessful mayoral bid could still lay the groundwork for a future run, considering the current field is largely set and expectations would be low. But if he ran for lower office -- say, public advocate or comptroller -- and lost, the new wounds might be fatal to his political career.
• Arguably, Baca's decision not to run in CA-31 last year started the chain of events that led to Democrats' failure to qualify a candidate for the general and wrest the 57-percent Obama district from Miller. Now, a week after DCCC favorite Pete Aguilar announced he'll run again and Eloise Reyes (who met with EMILY's List) mulled a bid, Baca is telling allies he'll run in the 31st this year. It's early yet, but the initial groundwork is set for another messy Dem-filled primary in a seat where that likely cost the party a pickup last year.
• The WV SEN race could be the first test-case for super PACs that have been established to support more-electable Republicans. Will they come in strong and early, and be willing to play hardball, for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) against her new, more conservative primary challenger?
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Elephant wounded in drive-by shooting" (Kansas City Star).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "If I ever go back to doing politics again, I don't think I'll be as good at it. Either that or I'll be ... this crazy new kind of politician. It's somewhere between Chauncey Gardner [sic] and Bulworth. 'He said what? Oh, that must be some brilliant strategy!' 'No! It's the other way around!'" -- Weiner (New York Times Magazine).
- Obama sr. adviser David Axelrod is "working on a memoir scheduled for fall 2014" (AP).
- "Don't let that softspoken thing fool you. He'll cut a bitch" -- GOP consultant Rick Wilson, on Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell turning "a potentially explosive recording" of his staff discussing strategy into a bludgeon against Dems (BuzzFeed).
- "We're in deep doo doo" -- Dick Cheney, warning GOP lawmakers about the crisis in North Korea (CNN).
- "David Gregory throws a fit over parking at D.C. Design House" (Washington Post).
- "Yes, it's tough" -- ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), sympathizing with colleagues on the difficulties of backing gun control (CNN).
- "Your meeting is only a 2.3 mile Taxi ride to the Voyeur West Hollywood Club, an erotic bondage-theme sex simulating club, located at 7969 Santa Monica Blvd. in W. Hollywood, so you might want to assign Monitors (or GPS anchor bracelets) on your RNC Members, especially those from Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, etc., if they don’t have their wives with them" -- DNC cmtemember Bob Mulholland, in a letter to RNC chair Reince Priebus on today's RNC meeting in L.A. (Contra Costa Times).
- "Vocabulary has been a regular part" of the Scripps National Spelling Bee "during its 87-year history, but it's always been the spellers asking for the definition and getting the answer in order to help them spell the word. Now the tables will be turned, with the spellers taking a computer test that looks like something from the SAT" (AP).
- Former Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison were all generals in the Civil War.
- The winner is Bill Pascoe, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "50 years ago last month, the Beatles recorded their first LP, "Please Please Me," during one marathon 585-minute session. Only one of the songs on the LP required just one take. Which song required just one take, and who was the lead singer on the song?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- The Real Budget Action Won't Come Until Tonight's Dinner With the GOP
- It's Debt-Ceiling Madness Again. Why You Should Stay Calm (Sort Of)
- Natural-Gas Exports Dominate Moniz Confirmation Hearing
- Why Washington and Moscow Still Don't Trust Each Other
"She's clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced. I mean it's been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she's suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s" -- a McConnell adviser, on the plan to go after actress Ashley Judd (Mother Jones).
"Ashley Judd in DC: I'm a Three-Time Rape Survivor" (Mother Jones).
Sarah Mimms, Editor