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- The State Dept. announced Sunday it would continue closing U.S. embassies in the Middle East and north Africa this week amid a terrorist threat that "appears to be imminent," but "there are key pieces of information missing with no specifics on time or target location" (CBS News).
- Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) "found himself under withering attack on Saturday from both his right and left as he tried to make his case for reelection before a boisterous crowd at St. Jerome Catholic Church's annual picnic and political event" in Fancy Farm, KY (Louisville Courier-Journal). McConnell and KY Sec/State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) turned in strong performances, but local and national outlets seemed most impressed with businessman Matt Bevin (R), McConnell's tea party primary challenger, who exceeded low expectations for a first-time candidate (Hotline reporting). McConnell is out with a new ad attacking Bevin for his personal and corporate tax issues (release).
- McConnell CoS Josh Holmes "is stepping down from his position" and joining the NRSC, where he'll "focus exclusively" on McConnell's reelection campaign and the GOP "effort to take back the majority next year" (Politico).
- "An electric-car company co-founded by" VA GOV candidate/ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) "is being investigated" by the SEC "over its conduct in soliciting foreign investors, according to law enforcement documents and company officials." A McAuliffe spokesperson "said that the candidate 'has no knowledge of any investigation'" (Washington Post). A separate GreenTech investigation is already the subject of a new ad from AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot). The RGA is also out with a new ad that mentions the GreenTech visas-for-cash investigation (release). Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer "has directed his political operation to spend heavily ... in support of" McAuliffe (Politico).
- Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) "is going on air" with a $350K ad buy "in the final week" before the NJ SEN special primary (Politico). The Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) in the 8/13 primary this weekend.
- "The 'Stronger Than The Storm' TV commercials starring" NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) and his family are providing a near-$5M "windfall of taxpayer dollars for a politically active public relations agency, more than" $2M "higher than what the runner-up firm planned to charge." The ads were already "controversial because they give Christie more exposure" during an election year, and "also because they introduce him to voters in other states in advance of a possible" WH '16 bid (Asbury Park Press).
- Businesswoman Nancy Mace (R), "one of The Citadel's first two female graduates, announced Saturday ... that she will challenge" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "in next June's GOP primary" (Charleston Post and Courier).
- MT Gov. Steve Bullock (D) "said Friday he has talked several times with" LG John Walsh (D) about running for MT SEN "but has neither encouraged nor discouraged his running mate from entering the race" (Billings Gazette).
- MN state Sen. Julianne Ortman (R) "said Saturday that she will run in the highly contested" MN SEN GOP primary (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
- According to a new WMUR-TV Granite State Poll of NH adults, conducted 7/18-29 by UNH Survey Center, 53% have a favorable opinion of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), while 23% have an unfavorable opinion. In the previous poll, conducted 4/4-9, 59% viewed Shaheen favorably, and 23% viewed her unfavorably (release).
- '10 candidate/ex-Valdez Mayor Bill Walker (R) "announced plans Thursday to run as an unaffiliated candidate" for AK GOV (AP).
- MD Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), speaking with reporters "over a beer" at NGA meetings in Milwaukee on Saturday, "spoke more candidly than ever ... about the likelihood he will run" for WH '16, "as he lamented 'a crisis of confidence' facing the country" (Politico).
- "Beleaguered" San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) "is scheduled to begin two weeks of intensive therapy Monday at an undisclosed clinic to address his inappropriate sexual behavior toward women," but Filner "won't be ceding any authority during his self-imposed therapy sessions and plans to be briefed each morning and night on civic affairs and give direction to city staff" (U-T San Diego). A tenth woman came forward on Sunday, accusing Filner of making a pass at her at a church breakfast in La Jolla earlier this year (KGTV-TV).
- According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of nat'l RVs, conducted 7/28-31, 46% approve of the way Pres. Obama is handling his job, while 48% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 6/28-7/8, 44% approved of Obama, and 48% disapprove (release).
- The Quinnipiac poll also shows Dems leading the House '14 generic ballot, 40-36%. In the previous poll, Dems led, 39-34% (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Our theory of the VA GOV race, in a nutshell: Whichever candidate we're talking about on Election Day is the candidate who will lose. The summer has been brutal for Cuccinelli, and with Jonnie Williams singing like a canary things could get worse. But the SEC investigation now focuses the spotlight squarely on McAuliffe, which is exactly where the GOP wants it.
• Ted Cruz, Rand Paul et al. are generating more press attention for their travels and potential 2016 preparations, but Paul Ryan is quietly maintaining his national profile on the fundraising circuit for fellow GOPers. In the past week, Ryan has headlined a NRCC event in CO, and NM blogger Joe Monahan reported that Ryan was headed to Albuquerque this weekend, potentially for a rumored fundraiser.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"4-Year-Old Mayor is Re-Elected in Northern Minn." (KSTP-TV).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "In an attempt to break through the political impasse in Egypt," Graham and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "are expected to arrive in Cairo on Monday to meet with Egypt's interim leaders" at Obama's "request" (CNN).
- Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams "and his dietary supplement company have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a fast-moving public corruption investigation" of VA Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), "according to three people familiar with the probe. ... The cooperation is an ominous sign for McDonnell, suggesting that federal prosecutors are focused on trying to build a potential criminal case against him" (Washington Post).
- "Right now it's like having shingles: You know eventually it's going to go away, but you're still in the middle of the pain and the oozing" -- A GOP "operative," describing "the state" of the GOP "apparatus" in NV (Las Vegas Sun).
- "Peacock in Silver Spring puzzles residents" (Washington Post).
- "It's looking at beautiful girls, like you" -- Ex-Rep. John Wold (R-WY), 96, asked by a female reporter about "the secret to longevity" (Casper Star Tribune).
- Andrew Jackson Montague (D) served the longest single term as VA gov., but Mills Godwin (D/R) served two non-consecutive terms.
- That was a little confusing, so here's a new Swizzle Challenge to start the week: "In honor of the pending Alex Rodríguez suspension, here's an easy one: Which ex-MLB owner was suspended from the game for two years for making illegal campaign contributions?" The 4th correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- The Making of Allen West Inc.
- Why White Voters Will Flee a White-Only Party
- Dave Camp's Senate Flirtation Puts Tax Reform on Ice
- How Much Is a Life Worth?
- The Exacting Art of Congress's DJ
"I'm not trying to take over the country. I'm not, what's that cartoon show, Pinky and the Brain? I'm not trying to take over the universe" -- Ex-Rep. Allen West (R-FL), asked if he is seeking to become a GOP kingmaker (National Journal).
The Brain: "[W]e must head to a place where overweight, middle-aged people go to party and throw away money"
Pinky: "Capitol Hill?" ("Pinky and the Brain").
Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor