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VP Biden "reassured leading gun control groups" that the admin. "remains committed to pushing an expansion of background checks for gun purchases through Congress" (CNN). Meanwhile, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are working to identify sens. "who might be willing to change their votes" on their background check legislation, and to "build a national campaign" to "harness" public support (New York Times).
SC-01: Stephen Colbert sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) raised nearly twice as much in the pre-special election period as ex-Gov. Mark Sanford (R) did, bringing in $877.7K between Feb. 28 and April 17 to his $453.6K. She ended with $254.5K on hand, to his $284.2K (Hotline reporting). Ex-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) endorsed Sanford (Washington Post). After House Majority PAC re-published his cell phone number in a fundraising email, Sanford released several of the out-of-state numbers that have called him (Hotline reporting).
VA GOV '13: AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) released his first TV ad, a bio spot featuring wife Tiero Cuccinelli (release).
Detroit Mayor '13: Mayor Dave Bing (D) "picked up petitions" to run for reelection -- despite the city's takeover by a state-appointed city manager -- but would not confirm that he'll seek a second term (USA Today).
GA SEN: Paul endorsed Rep. Paul Broun (R), calling him a "principled" Constitutional conservative (release).
MT SEN: Ex-Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) said he won't rule out another bid, noting that he's been getting plenty of phone calls since Sen. Max Baucus (D) announced his retirement (Billings Gazette).
WV SEN: Ex-TV anchor Martin Staunton, a "longtime" face of TV news in the southern part of the state, filed "as a 'non partisan' candidate" (Charleston Daily Mail).
FL-27: Despite rumors floated by "top" House Dems, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) will seek reelection. Ros-Lehtinen: "I'm not retiring!" (Roll Call)
IL-18: Rep. Aaron Schock (R) will not mount a GOV bid and will seek reelection instead (Chicago Tribune).
AK GOV: '10 candidate Bill Walker (R) announced that he'll run "because he is fed up with the state's course" (Anchorage Daily News).
FL GOV: Sen. Bill Nelson (D) is "considering" a bid. Spokesperson Dan McLaughlin: "But -- and as he's said a number of times -- he presently doesn't have any intention of running" (Roll Call).
PA SEN '16: According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of RVs, conducted 4/19-24, 48% approve of the way Toomey is handling his job, while 30% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 3/6-11, 43% approved of Toomey, and 32% disapproved (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Dems up in 2014 are still nervous about ObamaCare's potency as a political weapon, just not in the way you might think. It's not the bill itself; GOP health care ads run in 2012 didn't hurt Democrats as much as Republicans hoped. It's the implementation, the pages and pages of regulations and rules that invite renewed scrutiny on an already-unpopular law. Baucus had a point: The train wreck is in the details.
• Toomey, whose approval rating is the highest the Q poll has recorded thus far in his term, increased his bipartisan cred during the gun debate. That's likely to be helpful in '16, when Toomey stands for reelection among an electorate more likely to resemble '12 (D+10, per exits) than '10 (D+3).
• Color us skeptical that Bill Nelson is going to jump from a safe seat, where he's never faced much opposition, into a nasty primary where he'll have to raise and spend more money than at any other time in his career -- all at the ripe age of 70. Then again, that's not stopping Phil Gingrey. But, as Sunshine State News pointed out last week, during his 1990 campaign, Nelson argued that Lawton Chiles, then 60, was too old to be governor.
• Scott Honour and (likely) Bruce Rauner are taking their venture capital backgrounds into politics, mounting gubernatorial campaigns in blue-leaning states. The question: can they replicate Rick Snyder's 2010 model of the sensible, apolitical technocrat, or will they be defined -- like Mitt Romney -- as "corporate raiders"?
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
The Press Pass Team -- Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz, Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, New York Times' Carl Hulse, Washington Post's Paul Kane and Cook Political Report's Amy Walter -- won Hotline's Fifth Annual Political Pursuit last night, with an astounding 285 points. The Hotline Insiders team wasn't far behind with 260, and the Members Only team came in a solid third place with 173 points (On Call).
"I seriously considered calling you and asking you to do a portrait of me -- until I saw the results of your sister's hacked e-mails. Those bathroom sketches were wonderful, but at my age, I think I should keep my suit" -- Bill Clinton, to George W. Bush, at the opening of his presidential library yesterday (CNN).
Dem senators, including those up for reelection next year, "expressed concerns" in a private meeting with WH officials on Thursday about how the admin. is rolling out the Affordable Care Act, noting that some in the party are "getting nervous that they could pay a political price" if the rollout is "messy or if premiums went up significantly" (New York Times).
"Anthony Weiner?" -- Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), asked at last night's Political Pursuit which member of Congress has a unit of measure named for him (On Call).
"Your brother put Andrew Cuomo in a locker? Wow, wow. That's great" -- NYC Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota (R), speaking to the brother of one of Cuomo's high school classmates at a fundraiser (New York Times).
"When my kids were young -- teenagers -- they wanted budget autonomy, too" -- Rep. John Mica (R-FL), on DC's push for greater control over its budget (Washington Examiner).
Public Policy Polling (D) (IVR) dir. Tom Jensen is "the truest of UNC baseball fans." His hands "have permanent cuts during the season from his constant clapping. There's a deep gash in on his right hand in between his index and middle fingers and another on the side of his left pinky. He said his hands are in a permanent cycle of getting cuts, bleeding and partially recovering all season -- but he doesn't mind, it's just part of being a fan" (Daily Tarheel).
"I definitely wouldn't want to do my show every night with the president of the United States sitting next to me, chewing Nicorette" -- late-night host Conan O'Brien, on the pressure of performing at the WH Correspondents' Dinner (Politico).
We asked our Friday Feature about the most embarrassing moment of his career and here's what he said: "Every error I've ever made in print, including ones that are now nearly two decades old, rankles. One particular doozy included misreading a campaign finance report and insinuating subpar fundraising was responsible for a candidate exiting a race. It wasn't." For more, see today's Media Monitor in Hotline's Latest Edition.
Eric Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on three separate occasions -- as a solo artist and with "Cream" and the "Yardbirds."
The winner is Julie Seger, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: "The record for consecutive home game sellouts in major league baseball was ended in Boston earlier this year. Before Boston, who held the record for consecutive sellouts?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
"This was not an easy decision (to not seek re-election), but the last few months I've felt the calling: It whispered to me among the elk resting in a meadow east of the Bridger Mountains. I heard it as thousands of snow geese flew over the Rocky Mountain Front. The pull came up from my soul like the ducks that rose in clouds from the winter wheat fields of Teton County at dusk. ... I'm happier than I've ever been" -- Baucus, in an op-ed explaining his decision to retire (Great Falls Tribune).
"Screw you guys, I'm going home" -- Cartman ("South Park").
Sarah Mimms, Editor