SC-01 Voters Head to the Polls; Whitaker Will File in IA SEN; Christie Has Lap-Band Surgery

National Journal

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  • Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid's aides "met recently with staffers" of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) "to warn them: Targeting vulnerable" Dems like Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) "on gun control could backfire on the party," but it "didn't work" (Politico).
  • SC-01 Special: Polls are open until 7 p.m. in the special election between ex-Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and Stephen Colbert sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) (Hotline reporting). The weather forecast "calls for rain, which could dampen turnout," but "experts expect a higher turnout than the less than 16 percent who voted in the March 19 primaries" (Charleston Post and Courier).
  • MA SEN Special: Rep. Edward Markey (D) on Monday "indicated ... that he would work to push campaign financing to the center" of the race, "trying to use the issue to link" ex-Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) "to national conservative figures unpopular" in MA (Boston Globe).
  • NJ GOV '13: Gov. Chris Christie's (R) campaign announced Monday that it raised $6.1M for his reelection campaign through May 3 and finished the reporting period with $3.4M CoH. State Sen. Barbara Buono (D) reported that she raised $738K and qualified for $1.1M in matching funds (Newark Star-Ledger).
  • AK SEN: LG Mead Treadwell (R) on Monday suggested "that he is moving closer to a run" now that Gov. Sean Parnell (R) "has ruled himself out of that race" (Juneau Empire).
  • GA SEN: Rep. Jack Kingston (R) "announced he raised" $270K at a Savannah fundraiser last Friday, "one day after he formally entered an already crowded primary" (Roll Call).
  • HI SEN: EMILY's List endorsed Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) in her primary race against Sen. Brian Schatz (D), calling Hanabusa "the right choice for women and families in Hawai'i" (release).
  • IA SEN: Ex-U.S. Atty Matt Whitaker (R) "said he'll file paperwork this week" with the FEC, and in the Senate he'd "vote only for legislation that's constitutional and would pattern himself after tea party favorite" Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (Des Moines Register).
  • MI SEN: "An influential group of current and former FBI agents is endorsing" Rep. Mike Rogers (R) for FBI dir. (Detroit News).
  • NC SEN: Rev. Mark Harris, who was "at the forefront of last year's fight" over the state's marriage amendment, "said Monday he's listening to those who want him to run" for the GOP nod (Charlotte Observer).
  • CA-31: Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA) endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D). "Not surprisingly, both members have unpleasant histories with" ex-Rep. Joe Baca (D), who is also running for the seat (Roll Call).
  • IL-13: Ex-Madison Co. Chief Judge Ann Callis (D) "announced Monday night that she is running" against Rep. Rodney Davis (R) (Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette).
  • AK GOV: '10 nominee Ethan Berkowitz (D) "sounded open to a rematch with Parnell -- although he quipped, 'If I were to do a rematch, I'd want a different outcome'" (Juneau Empire).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

Don't read too much into tonight's SC special. Even if Colbert Busch wins today (and that'a a definite if), the race was fought entirely on personal, and not ideological, grounds. It won't provide a blueprint for Dems heading into '14, like Kathy Hochul did with the Ryan budget, and the party is unlikely to find many candidates as flawed as Sanford in other such red districts. Like other specials (think Dem wins in '09-'10), it's hardly indicative of the upcoming cycle.

• For all the talk of crummy GOP nominees hurting the party's Senate chances over the last few cycles, Dems have had their own problems too. Democrats' path to a House majority is so narrow they can't afford lousy candidates; that's why convincing former Callis to run in IL-13, which Davis won by just 1,000 votes last year, was so important to Democrats, and why the party is working not-so-behind-the-scenes for Aguilar over Baca in CA-31.

• George P. Bush is making headlines for a DC trip to raise money for his TX land commissioner campaign, but spare a thought for his other event, a fundraiser for freshman Rep. Roger Williams. Williams represents safe GOP territory, but he appears to be continuing his diligent fundraising ($414K in the first quarter). Why? His Austin-to-Fort Worth district was a late addition to the congressional map, and anything could happen to it when the state finally solves its latest mid-decade redistricting issue.



  • "I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, 'I have to do this for them, even if I don't give a crap about myself'" -- Christie, announcing that he "secretly underwent lap-band stomach surgery to aggressively slim down," but "contrary to what observers may say, the effort to slim down was not motivated by thoughts" of a WH '16 bid (New York Post).
  • Ex-U.S. Embassy Tripoli dep. chief of mission Greg Hicks has told House investigators "that a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi" during the attack on the U.S. consulate "was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command Africa," in "stark contrast to assertions" from the Obama admin. (CBS News).
  • IL state GOP Chair Pat Brady "plans to resign" today, "after Brady survived an attempt last month to oust him ... over his support for gay marriage" (Chicago Tribune).
  • "I told him that since I got the hole-in-one he ought to give us everything we want on entitlement reform" -- Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), who aced the par-3 11th hole at Andrews AFB on Monday during a bipartisan round of golf with Pres. Obama (CNN).
  • "Out-of-state special interests are running false advertisements attacking me and even lying about my efforts to prevent gun-related violence." -- Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), in an op-ed in today's Concord Monitor.
  • Richard Bender, a senior LA for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and the man "who wrote the rules" for the IA caucuses "more than 40 years ago," will retire "at the end of May after 36 years" on Harkin's staff (Des Moines Register).
  • At a NYC Mayor '13 forum Monday "hosted by the leading group opposed to carriage horses in Central Park," Comp. John Liu (D) "rejected the need for people to purchase pure-bred cats and dogs." Liu: "We've rejected that notion for human beings. Why would we allow that to continue for dogs and cats, who aren't that far from us?" (Wall Street Journal).
  • MD GOP fundraiser Dick Hug, who was the finance chair for three MD GOV campaigns, "died Saturday" at the age of 78 (Balitmore Sun).
  • "Hacker covers National Republican Congressional Committee website with Viagra ads" (New York Daily News).
  • "Sen. Rob Portman Sings Randy Newman's 'Burn On'" (Buzzfeed).


  • Mexico's independence day is Sept. 16, and the French Army in the Battle of Pueblo was led by Charles de Lorencez (in command for Emporer Napoleon III; we accepted either).
  • The winner is Jeremy Holmes, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "In the third game of the Ottawa Senators-Montreal Canadiens first-round NHL playoff series, there were a combined 236 minutes of penalty time. The NHL record for combined penalty minutes is 419, which occurred in a game between the Senators and which team?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"Hey Ken, I couldn't disagree more with everything you stand for" -- VA resident Bob Krzywicki, after AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) at a campaign stop last Saturday in Winchester (Daily Caller).


"I hate so much about the things that you choose to be" -- "Michael Scott" ("The Office").

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Polling Editor