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- House Republicans will kick off the second session of the 113th Congress next week by voting on ... a measure ... to 'strengthen security requirements' on the error-plagued HealthCare.gov website and 'require prompt notification in the event of a breach involving personal information,'" House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Thursday. (Roll Call)
- In the FL-13 Special, lobbyist David Jolly (R) raised $388,000 in the pre-primary fundraising period (Oct. 1-Dec. 25), including a $50,000 personal loan, spent $247,000 and had $142,000 cash on hand. State Rep. Kathleen Peters (R) raised $170,000, spent $152,000 and had $18,000 on hand. Former state CFO Alex Sink (D) raised "more than" $1.1 million, spent $89,000 and has "more than" $1 million on hand. (Tampa Bay Times)
- In NC SEN, state House Speaker Thom Tillis launched his first TV ad, a direct-to-camera spot in which Tillis attacks Sen. Kay Hagan (D). It's a $300,000 ad buy, but "it avoids the state's two most costly and most dense TV markets, Raleigh and Charlotte." (Raleigh News & Observer)
- David Young (R), the former staffer to Sen. Chuck Grassley who has been running for IA SEN for the last year, "is shifting gears and now will run" for IA-03. (Des Moines Register)
- Also in IA-03, Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R) "will make an announcement next week regarding his candidacy." (Des Moines Register)
- In MT-AL, former Rep./2012 MT SEN nominee Denny Rehberg (R) "said Thursday he has not ruled out running this year for the ... seat he vacated just one year ago, and is keeping his options open." (Billings Gazette)
- In NY-01, 2010 candidate George Demos (R) raised $200,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and has $2.1 million cash on hand. (State of Politics)
- In FL GOV, Gov. Rick Scott's (R) "Let's Get to Work" committee raised "roughly" $900,000 in December, while former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist's (D) committee raised $727,000. (Florida Times-Union)
- In IL GOV, businessman Bruce Rauner (R) raised more than $4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, including a $1-million self-donation, Rauner's campaign said Thursday. (Hotline reporting)
- In IA GOV, state Sen. Jack Hatch (D) "picked up the endorsement Thursday" of former state Rep. Bob Krause (D), "who dropped out of the race and announced plans to run" against Grassley in 2016 instead. (Sioux City Journal)
- Also in IA GOV, state Sen. Janet Peterson (D) said Thursday that she won't run. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
- In PA GOV, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D) "said her campaign raised $6.5 million last year," including about $3 million transferred from her federal account. (Allentown Morning Call)
- In RI GOV, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D) "announced Thursday that he will be reporting more than $1 million on hand when he releases his latest campaign finance report," which is due on Jan. 31. (Providence Journal)
- In TN GOV, former state Regulatory Authority commissioner Sara Kyle (D) said Thursday that she wouldn't challenge Gov. Bill Haslam (R). (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
- In the D.C. mayoral race, the field "was culled slightly Thursday as all but four of 13 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination submitted enough voter signatures to tentatively qualify for the April 1 primary ballot." (Washington Post)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Sink's big fundraising haul shows why Dems were so happy to have her run and why Republicans are worried about retaining FL-13. It will be interesting to watch the other open seats over the next few months to see if any other candidates on either side can open this kind of organizational advantage.
• In Illinois, both parties are setting their sights on Rauner. The wealthy investor faces two major hurdles in his efforts to unseat Gov. Pat Quinn (D), the first of which is to avoid becoming the next John Brunner or Sue Louden in the March 18 GOP primary. An anti-Rauner PAC called the Republican Fund for Progress and Jobs was registered on Monday in the hopes of knocking Rauner off in the primary, and Democratic and labor groups are said to be in on the plan, similar to those launched in Republican Senate primaries in Nevada in 2010 and Missouri in 2012. The second will be whether Rauner can avoid the fate of self-funded candidates of cycles past. Running as a political outsider who can rely on personal money is a playbook that has been tried before, but it's a risky bet. Just ask 2010 California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R).
• Cropping up everywhere: Ads hitting Democratic senators for previously saying some variation on "If you like your current plan, you can keep it." The AFP ads targeting Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Hagan Thursday honed in on that line of attack, and a web ad from Monica Wehby has 2009 footage of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) saying those who like their current plan can keep it. Republicans think they've got a winner with this one.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Smithsonian Goes to Court Over Bugs" (Legal Times)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D) "used her final inaugural address Thursday to call for action on a nondiscrimination ordinance to protect gay and transgender residents, a project to shield the coast from hurricanes, continued work to end chronic homelessness and redoubled efforts on ReBuild Houston, the city's street and drainage repair program. ... Asked after her speech if she will be more aggressive in her third and final two-year term, Parker said her team has been productive from the start but acknowledged being term-limited 'frees me up.'" (Houston Chronicle)
- "I don't have any comment at this time." -- Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), on an online report he's considering running for Congress (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
- "Clay Aiken 'actively considering' run for Congress: sources" (Washington Blade)
- "Two more women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against" New York state Assemb. Dennis Gabryszak (D), "one of whom claims he lured her to his apartment for a forced kiss and another who says he habitually discussed porn films." (Albany Times Union)
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) "will lead a nonreligious, general ceremony" in Ireland on Friday for newlyweds Giovanna Gray, a Gillibrand staffer, and former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, who were officially married last week at the Supreme Court. (New York Times)
- "[Dante de Blasio's] friends want to know: Is it a snow day Friday?" (New York Daily News)
- Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) "is joining private equity firm Victory Park Capital as chairman of the firm's executive board, the company announced in a release Thursday." (Politico)
- "Kim Jong Un's executed uncle was eaten alive by 120 hungry dogs: report" (NBC News)
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford "formally kicked off" his reelection bid on Thursday, "unveiling his 'Ford More Years' slogan, calling himself the best mayor city has ever had, and dismissing questions about his drug use as personal." (Toronto Globe and Mail)
- "Tonya, Nancy reflect on The Whack heard 'round the world" (USA Today)
- A Wind Advisory remains in effect. (until noon)
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Sunny and blustery. Cooler with highs around 19. Northwest winds around 25 mph, diminishing to 15-20 mph this afternoon. Gusts up to 45 mph. Wind chill values as low as -5 early this morning.
- The House (11 a.m.) and Senate (11:45 a.m.) meet for pro forma sessions.
- The Wizards host the Toronto Raptors. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- The GW Colonials look to bounce back against Georgia. (Smith Center, 7 p.m.)
- Georgetown hosts St. John's in a classic Big East matchup. (Verizon Center, 1 p.m. Saturday)
- NFL Wild-Card playoff schedule for Saturday: Kansas City vs. Indianapolis (WRC-TV, 4:35 p.m.), New Orleans vs. Philadelphia (WRC-TV, 8:10 p.m.). Sunday: San Diego vs. Cincinnati (WUSA-TV, 1:05 p.m.), San Francisco vs. Green Bay (WTTG-TV, 4:40 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- The new owners of land traded to build the Texas state capitol in the 1800s named it the XIT Ranch.
- The winner is Erik Olson, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "This Wisconsin city is nicknamed 'The City of Presidents' because of the presidential banners displayed along the city's Main Street. Despite its population of only 2,086 people, it received visits by both major party presidential candidates within two months in one election cycle. Name the candidates and the city." The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- 2014 Offers Va. GOP Opportunities After 2013 Setbacks
- Is GOP Momentum Entering 2014 a Mirage?
- Get Ready for the Obamacare Ad Blitz
"The investment he sought ... was in eight figures." -- A New York Times report about Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein's attempt to convince the Post "to build a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism"
"Really? That's a lot [of money]. Ok, then: We hold the world ransom for 100 billion dollars!" -- "Dr. Evil" ("Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery")
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief