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Economy Gained 175K Jobs in May; Christie Names Interim Sen.; Corbett's Poor Poll Numbers Continue

National Journal

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WHAT'S NEWS

  • "Despite anticipation of a spring-into-summer swoon, the U.S. economy continued to create jobs at a relatively steady pace in May," adding 175K positions "as the unemployment rate ticked higher" to 7.6% (CNBC).
  • The NSA and FBI "are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document. In a statement Thursday night, Dir. of Nat'l Intel James Clapper "said 'information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans'" (Washington Post).
  • Pres. Obama on Thursday "unveiled ... a plan to connect nearly every U.S. classroom to high-speed broadband and wireless Internet over the next five years" (Charlotte Observer).
  • Later Thursday, Obama traveled to CA for two DSCC fundraisers, one in Palo Alto, and the other in Portola Valley (San Jose Mercury News).
  • MA SEN Special: The DSCC and Majority PAC are spending a combined $1.25M on advertisements on behalf of Rep. Edward Markey (D), a major investment in the race (Hotline reporting).
  • NJ SEN Special: Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday named AG Jeffrey Chiesa (R), one of his best friends, as interim sen. until the 10/16 special, which Chiesa "said he will not enter" (Newark Star-Ledger). Rep. Rush Holt (D) entered the race on Thursday, but Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-06) "said nothing" about their intentions. CoS Chris James said State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) "was having conversations 'with party folks, some women's groups," and was "seriously considering running." Hoboken city Councilor Beth Mason (D) "was trying to see how far a self-financed campaign would get ... reaching out to leading" Dems (Newark Star-Ledger).
  • VA GOV '13: Michelle Obama "implored" roughly 400 attendees at a Tysons Corner fundraiser on Thursday "to give their time and money" to ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) (Washington Post).
  • NYC Mayor '13: The state legislature "appears poised to postpone" the primary runoff election "by a week, adding yet another wrinkle to a wide-open campaign." Primary voters will also use "old lever voting machines in the primary and runoff instead of the electronic voting machines that were put in place" in '10, according to the plan (New York Times).
  • KY SEN: "In a speech that inched her ever closer" to the race, Sec/State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) asked KY Dems Thursday night "to 'stand united' over the coming months" (WHAS-TV).
  • AL-01: "According to sources familiar with his thinking," state Rep. Chad Fincher (R) "is running" in the yet-to-be-scheduled special election and "may make his announcement as soon as early next week" (YellowHammerPolitics.com). Meanwhile, conservative columnist Quin Hillyer (R) is up with a new TV ad that "highlights many of the recent scandals that have engulfed" DC (YellowHammerPolitics.com).
  • MN-07: Rep. Collin Peterson (D) "says he's likely to run" again in '14, and that GOP efforts "to unseat him ... were having the opposite effect." Peterson: "I went from neutral on running again to 90 percent just because of this stupid stuff they're doing" (Minnesota Public Radio).
  • CA GOV: According to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of RVs, conducted 5/27-6/2 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (D)/American Viewpoint (R), 50% approve of the job being done by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), while 34% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 3/11-17, 49% approved of Brown, and 37% disapproved (release).
  • ME GOV: '10 candidate Eliot Cutler (I) "said Thursday that he fully intends to run" again next year and "has appointed several key campaign staff" (Kennebec Journal).
  • PA GOV: A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of Dem RVs, conducted 5/30-6/4, shows Rep. Allyson Schwartz leading the primary over ex-state Environmental Protection Sec. Kathleen McGinty, 18-5%, with Treas. Rob McCord at 4%, businessman Tom Wolf at 2%, ex-state Environmental Protection Sec. John Hanger at 1%, Cumberland Co. minister Max Myers at 1%, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski at 1% and state Sen. Mike Stack at 1%. In the general election, among all RVs, both McCord (43-35%) and Schwartz (45-35%) lead Gov. Tom Corbett (R). In the previous poll, conducted 4/19-24, McCord (44-35%) and Schwartz (47-34%) also led Corbett (release).
  • TX: A state House cmte on redistricting "opened its traveling show in Dallas on Thursday, as lawmakers jousted with each other and those testifying on a plan that's set to sail through" the GOP-dominated state legislature "but will certainly face legal challenges ahead" (Dallas Morning News).

NUMBER BRUNCHING

  • According to a new CBS News/New York Times poll of nat'l adults, conducted 5/31-6/4, 47% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as POTUS, while 43% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 4/24-28, 47% approved of Obama, and 45% disapproved (release).

OUR CALL

Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

The Dem cavalry has arrived, either just in time to rescue Ed Markey or just in time to bury Gabriel Gomez, depending on whose line you believe. One thing's for sure: Attacks on Gomez's home and taxes are done for the next three weeks. Dems will work to tie him to the national GOP brand; they believe that's their most effective attack in deep-blue MA.

• The Democratic primary in New Jersey's special election is looking like it could get prettycrowded. The big loser? State Sen. Barbara Buono. Struggling to increase her visibility and gain traction in her uphill battle against Christie, Buono's financially-strapped campaign now will have to share the airwaves with several different Democratic Senate candidates, some of whom already have significantly more money in the bank than the gubernatorial nominee.

• Grimes says she hasn't made a decision about challenging Mitch McConnell yet, but she sure sounded like a candidate at a party fundraiser last night. Grimes repeatedly talked about the "coming months," calling on the party to unite to put an end to "28 years of obstruction." Though her decision was waylaid by Ashley Judd's flirtation with the seat, many Kentucky Democrats have always seen Grimes as the strongest possible candidate. She's a solid fundraiser in her own right, and her ties to the Clintons could help her catch up with McConnell's millions.

HAIR OF THE DOG

    Cochise Co., AZ, police say William Sikorski "was arrested for starting a brushfire that charred more than 26 acres and threatened several homes in Woody Hills, a community west of Fairbank." Neighbors at the scene said Sikorski "was burning trash at the time of the incident, trapped a skunk in a dog food bag and set the bag on fire, with the live skunk inside." But once the bag started burning, "the skunk's fur caught fire," and "the animal escaped from the bag and raced through brush, which sparked the blaze that threatened nine homes throughout the area and spread to a salvage yard where 20 cars were destroyed" (San Pedro Valley News-Sun). (h/t Mark Kimble)

FRESH BREWED BUZZ

  • "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue" -- A New York Times editorial on the Obama admin.'s surveillance efforts.
  • The U.S. "secretly traced a massive cyberespionage operation against" the WH '08 camps of Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "to hacking units backed by the People's Republic of China, prompting high level warnings to Chinese officials to stop such activities" (NBC News).
  • "I wish the hurricane hadn't have happened when it did because it gave the president a chance to be presidential and to be out showing sympathy for folks" -- Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R), on Hurricane Sandy, which is blamed directly for 147 deaths (CNN).
  • "I'm not retiring. I'm not going silent. I'm not quitting my public involvement. In fact, I might run for another public office. That could happen" -- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), on her future plans ("Hannity").
  • "Over the past 10 years," Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has paid Chicago lobbyist Doug Scofield "more than" $500K "in taxpayer funds to work side-by-side" with his cong. staff, while Scofield "has represented clients in his communication and lobbying practice, including some for whom Gutierrez has sought federal aid" (USA Today).
  • "There were so many opportunities in Washington. Two or three events a night and I was just eating a lot of hors d'oeuvres, a glass of wine here and there and it just accumulated over a couple years" -- Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), who says he's "lost more than 25 pounds" through exercise and a "mainly vegetarian" diet (Sarasota Herald-Tribune).
  • "I can be really brief tonight and just say 'Mitch McConnell sucks'" -- Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), speaking at a Dem fundraiser Thursday night. (WHAS-TV).
  • Ex-DC Councilmember Michael Brown (I) "told supporters Thursday night that he plans to plead guilty to federal charges connected to accepting payments from undercover agents." Brown "would become the third council member or ex-member to face a criminal complaint for actions while in office" in the last 18 months (Washington Post)
  • DC Councilmember/ex-Mayor for Life Marion Barry (D) "has reported receiving thousands of dollars in gifts from two construction firms that do business with the city, and the owner of one of the firms said Thursday he gave Barry the money to pay his bills because the former mayor was in a 'tight crunch.'" Reached "on his cellphone Thursday afternoon, Barry said 'goodbye' and hung up" (AP).
  • "More than a dozen police and fire investigators may start sifting through the rubble that once was Frager's Hardware on Friday to try to determine how the venerable Capitol Hill store caught fire and was destroyed Wednesday night," but DC fire officials first "want to make sure that there are no more flare-ups in the debris and that the remaining walls aren't at risk of collapse" (Washington Post).

SWIZZLE CHALLENGE

  • MA SEN nominee Gabriel Gomez's (R) camp and the NRSC say Markey has voted to raise taxes 271 times.
  • The winner is Bill Pascoe, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "On the inside of the gatefold cover of the English band 10CC's 1976 album, 'How Dare You!' how many people are holding telephones to their ears?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.

NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS

SHOT...

"It's time to send a strong conservative Republican to Congress. It's Hillyer time" -- Narrator in Hillyer's AL-01 TV ad (YouTube).

...CHASER

"Stop! Hammer time" -- "U Can't Touch This," MC Hammer (EMI).

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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