Manchin On Gun Vote Loss: 'Blame Me'; DCCC Raises $22.6M in Q1; NRCC Drops Sanford

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  • Pres. Obama "declared it a 'shameful day for Washington'" after the Senate defeated the Toomey-Manchin deal "to expand background checks," 54-46 (Los Angeles Times). Vulnerable Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) voted against the bill (On Call).
  • The DCCC raised an "unprecedented" $22.6M in the first quarter. $4.3M, or 19%, "came directly from caucus dues" (Roll Call). That would mean that the cmte raised about $10.2M in March alone (Hotline reporting).
  • SC-01 Special: The NRCC pulled its support from ex-Gov. Mark Sanford's (R) campaign, acknowledging that revelations that he trespassed on his ex-wife's property could cost the party the seat (On Call). House Majority PAC released a TV ad slamming Sanford for ethics violations during his governorship (On Call).
  • MA SEN Special: The race appeared ready to slowly resume after the Boston bombings, with state Rep. Dan Winslow (R) "becoming the first candidate to announce a timeframe for campaigning" (AP).
  • VA GOV '13: At the annual Shad Planking, AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) "attacked" ex-DNC chair Terry McAuliffe (D) "over his absence and the electric car company he founded" (Hampton Roads Daily Press).
  • NYC Mayor '13: Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D) website has "sprung back to life" as he continues to mull a bid (New York Daily News).
  • KY SEN: Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell released a new TV ad seizing on "the bungled taping" of his campaign HQ by Progress Kentucky (Politico). The group's exec. dir. Shawn Reilly met with WH officials "just days before" it "began a messaging blitzkrieg" against McConnell (BuzzFeed).
  • CA-21: "Local and national" Dems think Bakersfield City School District pres. Andrae Gonzales (D) "might make the perfect challenger" for freshman Rep. David Valadao (R) (Fresno Bee).
  • ME GOV: Gov. Paul LePage (R) confirmed he'll seek reelection, promising "that he will be 'the next Scott Walker'" as he tries to reform the state's education system (Bangor Daily News).
  • WH '16: LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and TX Gov. Rick Perry (R) will all speak at the NRA's "Leadership Forum" on May 3 in Houston (BuzzFeed).


  • VA GOV '13: A new Roanoke College poll of adults, conducted 4/8-14, shows AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) leading '09 candidate/ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D), 34-29%. In the previous poll, conducted 1/14-22, Cuccinelli led McAuliffe, 33-26% (release).
  • OH GOV: A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of RVs, conducted 4/10-15, shows Gov. John Kasich (R) leading Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Dir./ex-AG Richard Cordray (D), 45-38%, and Cuyahoga Co. Exec. Ed FitzGerald (D), 46-37%. In the previous poll, conducted 2/21-26, Kasich led Cordray, 44-38%, and FitzGerald, 45-35% (release).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Supporters of the Manchin-Toomey amendment are fond of citing poll results showing roughly nine-in-ten Americans favoring background checks for gun purchasers, and while that's true from a policy perspective, the politics are a little different. Support for "stricter gun laws" in most polls since Newtown hovered in the low 50s, which isn't enough in a Senate tilted towards small states and requiring 60 votes to proceed.

• The NRCC may not get involved in party primaries, but it's hard not see groups like Club for Growth and even Crossroads kicking themselves for not intervening in SC sooner. Sure, Curtis Bostic didn't have any money and Teddy Turner had his family ties to deal with, but in a district Mitt Romney won by 18 points, there'd be a lot less champagne flowing through Colbert Busch HQ this morning. Still, Sanford has a solid warchest and his own personal funds to fall back on; the seat is hardly a lock for Dems. And even if Colbert Busch wins, she'll face another election in just 18 months, perhaps against a GOP that has finally learned its lesson.

• Rep. Michele Bachmann raised nearly $700,000 in the first quarter, but spent almost $900,000. With her wealthy 2012 opponent gearing up for a rematch and national Dems pledging to get more involved, Bachmann would be well-served to save more campaign funds for what's sure to be a big-money battle.

• Howard Dean believes Max Baucus' gun vote means Brian Schweitzer will be the next senator from Montana. But the biggest impediment to this theory is not Schweitzer's inability to win such a race or any personal friendship he has with Baucus. It's that Schweitzer simply may not want to go to Washington, DC at this point in his career, except (perhaps) as president.



  • "This was a balanced bill that had everybody's input so if they want to blame somebody, blame me. Blame me" -- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), on the failure of the Toomey-Manchin bill ("Morning Joe").
  • Federal agents "arrested a suspect in the mailing of letters" to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) "that initially tested positive for the poison ricin. The suspect was identified as Paul Kevin Curtis"of Tupelo, MS. Both letters were signed: "I am KC and I approve this message" (NBC News).
  • "I'll predict right now, this is the end of Max Baucus' career. Schweitzer's already ahead of him -- Gov. Schweitzer's already ahead of him by 20 points in the polls. This is going to bring Brian Schweitzer to the race. He's going to be the next Democratic senator from Montana" -- ex-DNC chair Howard Dean, on Baucus' vote against expanding background checks ("Morning Joe").
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) ex-CoS Andy Parrish "is expected to tell" an IA Senate ethics panel that her WH '12 campaign "made improper payments to its state chairman." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
  • "Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets" -- ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), in an op-ed this a.m. (New York Times).
  • Sanford's teenage son met his father's fiancee Maria Belen Chapur for the first time "at the celebration of Sanford's runoff election victory" on April 2 (Washington Post).
  • "I know him. I could give you three reasons why he's wrong, 1, 2 and 3. I was his roommate when we went to Iraq and Afghanistan. So, he's a big talker and I think people saw that in the presidential campaign. ... We don't need any advice from Gov. Perry" -- IL Gov. Pat Quinn (D), on TX Gov. Rick Perry (R) attempting to "poach" business from IL (Capitol Fax).
  • Time released its annual list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" including Obama, VP Biden, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), NM Gov. Susana Martinez (R), NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) and CA AG Kamala Harris (D).
  • "Three years after leaving office in tickle-party-induced disgrace," ex-Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) has "finally stopped paying his wife from his leftover campaign funds" (Buffalo News).
  • "Six master chess players will be in Room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office building" from 10-11 a.m. this morning "to play members, staffers and chess aficionados blindfolded" (Roll Call).


  • The Macadamia nut shares a root name with a type of road construction, macadam.
  • The winner is Sam Garrett, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Name the 1800s political figure who was elected to the Tennessee Legislature, the U.S. Senate from Missouri, and the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri (in that order). He shares a name with his grand-nephew, a famous Missouri artist." The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I've got a lot to say about myself" -- NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D), tiring of questions about Weiner (New York Magazine).


"With you it is always me, me, me, me, me, me" -- Paul Vitti ("Analyze That").

Sarah Mimms, Editor