READ IN: Wednesday, April 16, 2014: Dem outside groups lead Republicans, Bloomberg takes on NRA, Eric Cantor running TV ads, test yourself on the new SAT

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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.

-- Hispanic and immigration activists say the White House has been slow to understand the outrage building in their community over record-setting deportations, and they warn Democrats face political backlash if President Obama doesn't slow the pace of deportations and allow more immigrants to remain in the U.S. legally. Obama told a group of religious leaders on Tuesday he wouldn't act to end deportations while there was still a chance of Congressional action on immigration legislation. (Associated Press)

-- Democratic outside groups have a roughly three-to-one advantage over similar Republican groups in cash raised and stockpiled, according to early filings. The DCCC said this morning it had $40 million on hand after raising $10 million in March; the NRCC hasn't reported its own figures, but it started the month $10 million behind its Democratic counterpart. Altogether, outside groups have raised nearly $1 billion this cycle. (Associated Press)

-- The Democratic-backing Senate Majority PAC raised $11 million in the first quarter, while the House Majority PAC pulled in $5.2 million, signs that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's strategy of highlighting the Koch brothers' big spending is paying financial dividends. (Washington Post)

-- Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will spent $50 million this year building a grassroots network of gun control supporters in an effort to directly challenge the NRA in 15 states, including Washington, Colorado, Texas, Montana and Indiana. Bloomberg will spend the money on field operations, restructuring the gun control groups he funds into a new group called Everytown for Gun Safety. Bloomberg, in the most epic kicker ever: "I am telling you, if there is a God, when I get to heaven I'm not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It's not even close." (New York Times)

-- RNC officials will begin site visits assessing the technical capabilities of cities vying to host the party's 2016 convention beginning this week, when they head to Denver and Las Vegas. The officials will make technical visits to Dallas and Kansas City next week, and to Cincinnati and Cleveland the following week. Full site selection committee visits will come in late May and early June. Las Vegas and Dallas are the front-runners among the six finalist cities. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

-- Front Pages: WaPo, WSJ and USA Today all lead with Ukranie's push to take back parts of its own territory from pro-Russia militias. NYT reports the city's police department is ending a unit that spied on Muslims.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH'16: Sen. Rand Paul, writing in today's Washington Post: "[F]oreign policy is complicated and doesn't fit neatly within a bumper sticker, headline or tweet. Those who reduce it to such do a disservice to their reporting and, potentially, to the security of our nation. … False choices between being everywhere all of the time and nowhere any of the time are fodder for debate on Sunday morning shows or newspaper columns. Real foreign policy is made in the middle; with nuance; in the gray area of diplomacy, engagement and reluctantly, if necessary, military action." (Washington Post)

-- Battle for Congress: Democrats lead Republicans in the generic Congressional ballot by a 48 percent to 42 percent margin, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll out Wednesday. Democrats lead among moderate voters, 53 percent to 35, and among independents, 43 percent to 40 percent. Just 45 percent approve of President Obama's job performance, while 52 percent disapprove. His fav/unfav ratings are even at 49 percent each. (Marist, pdf)

-- California: First quarter fundraising results have established four heavyweights in the race to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D). State Sen. Ted Lieu, former L.A. mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, radio host Matt Miller and defense attorney David Kanuth, all Democrats, raised more than $500,000 each during the first three months of the year. That puts them well above the rest of the 18-candidate field. The top two finishers in the June 3 primary advance to a November showdown. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Virginia: Never one to leave anything to chance, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is running his first advertisements of the year, in advance of Virginia's June 10 primary. Cantor faces college professor David Brat, who hasn't filed reports with the FEC since submitting a statement of candidacy in January. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

-- PK's Take: That Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner are both airing just-in-case ads shows how much the terrain has shifted on GOP leaders. Since World War I, only one Speaker, Tom Foley, has lost re-election, and only one majority leader, Tom DeLay, has had to quit a losing re-election bid. And/but: Cantor has bought early ads in the past; in 2012, he ran ads in March before beating a gadfly challenger with almost 80 percent of the vote in the Virginia primary.

-- Louisiana: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) will unilaterally pull his state out of the Common Core consortium if the legislature won't, he said in a statement his office put out Tuesday. Louisiana joined the Common Core consortium in 2010, and Jindal once supported the program, though he's grown opposed as Common Core has become a touchstone for conservative outrage. Louisiana's superintendent of education says developing a state-specific test will be much more expensive. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

-- New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Tuesday at a town hall meeting he favors getting rid of limits on individual donations to candidates, a system he said has only given rise to shady outside groups that can mask the source of their funding. Christie said he supported making all contributions public within 48 hours. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.

-- President Obama and Vice President Biden travels to suburban Pittsburgh today to visit a community college to push job skills training.

-- Oh come on: Wintery weather this morning has temperatures in the 20s to 30s, with a freeze warning in effect through mid-morning. Highs today only in the 40s. Afternoon highs tomorrow will only reach near 60 degrees, Cold air will keep the weekend unseasonably cool as well. (Capital Weather Gang)

TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where

-- Spotlight on Senate Majority PAC: The Democratic group, run by former DSCC operatives, has spent $7.5 million on ads since July 23, 2013, spread across 8 states. Here's where Senate Majority PAC has spent their money so far:

-- Arkansas: $544,000. Colorado: $562,000. Iowa: $511,000. Kentucky: $266,000. Louisiana: $1.5 million. Michigan: $923,000. North Carolina: $3 million. New Hampshire: $162,000. They've spent the most in the Raleigh-Durham media market, $624,000, and in Charlotte, $615,000, on behalf of Sen. Kay Hagan.

-- Expect more ads on the way: The group said last week it had raised $11 million over the first quarter of the year. They're out with a tough new spot today taking North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to task over two staffers fired for inappropriate relationships with lobbyists. (Washington Post)

-- Louisiana: Freedom Partners, a tax-exempt group that once served as the funding arm of the Koch brothers' political network, has purchased more than $250,000 in ads running in five markets over the next two weeks, beginning today. (Washington Post)

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- "While [Rep. Joaquin and Mayor Julian] Castro have projected a fresh Latino face for their party, some Democrats are concerned that the brothers suffer from both an overabundance of political caution and a lack of Spanish skills. [Mayor] Castro, for example, passed on a potential cabinet position in the Obama administration that might have made him a more appealing running mate. Neither brother, both of whom graduated from Stanford and then Harvard Law, speaks fluent Spanish. And neither is learning it."

-- Mayor Castro, in his third term leading San Antonio, said no to the White House's offer to be Transportation Secretary. Rep. Castro told an interviewer his brother or Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) would be the most obvious choices if a Democratic presidential nominee were searching for a Hispanic vice president. (New York Times)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- How many people benefit from the Affordable Care Act? It'll be hard to tell: The Census Bureau is changing an annual survey that includes the most comprehensive health insurance data in the country, a change so dramatic that the results won't be comparable to previous surveys. The changes are meant to improve accuracy, but the questions are new enough that the results won't be a good measure of change over time, and the number of people who received health insurance during the open enrollment period. (New York Times)

-- Fed chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday told a banking conference that current rules on capital assets aren't sufficient to protect against risk-taking that caused the 2008 financial crisis, and that banks might need to hold higher percentages of capital to survive during periods of financial stress. The Fed will study the impacts of stricter rules on banks, Yellen said. (Associated Press)

-- Stock futures are strong this morning a day after all three major indices gained. The Nikkei added 3 percent today, while most other world markets are up. (CNN)

C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.

-- The New York Times' Jo Becker, on President Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage: "Despite the president's stated opposition, even his top advisors didn't believe that he truly opposed allowing gay couples to marry." By November 2011, the White House was already thinking about ways to alter his public position.

-- David Plouffe turned to Ken Mehlman, the former RNC chairman and one-time classmate of Obama's at Harvard, for advice; Mehlman surveyed 5,000 Republicans and Republican-leaning voters and found they didn't place a high priority on traditional marriage. And it was Mehlman who initially suggested Obama come out for gay marriage in a TV interview with a female host. Ultimately, Obama sat for an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts. (New York Times)

-- Reid's Take: HRC President Chad Griffin earned his paycheck this week. Proposed chapter title for President Obama's memoirs: The Audacity of Waiting for Joe Biden to Say It For You.

-- Democratic pollsters Stan Greenberg and Erica Seifert urge Democrats to pitch unmarried women on equal pay, help for working mothers, raising the minimum wage and protecting Medicare and Social Security. "You might assume that unmarried women are the main target for Democrats in 2014 because they are pro-choice, pro-birth control and pro-women’s health. While it’s true—these women are pro-choice—our research shows that what motivates them to vote are economic issues, particularly those that affect working women and mothers." (Politico)

C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work

-- High school juniors who sit down to take the SAT won't have to learn the words "obsequious," "propinquity," "enervation" or "lachrymose," but they will have to know there are different definitions of the word "intense," according to preview questions released this morning. (Washington Post) Test yourself with sample questions here.

-- Have an extra $15,000 lying around? Use it to buy a 2005 Cadillac STS once leased by then-Sen. Joe Biden. A Delaware native who's moving out of state is selling it on Craigslist. He figured out it was the Veep's old car when he found phone numbers of Dr. Jill Biden, Hunter and Beau programmed in the Bluetooth. (Wilmington News Journal)

Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.

-- The RNC has sued the IRS for failing to comply with FOIA laws eleven months after the party sought information on the agency's close scrutiny of conservative outside groups. The RNC has yet to receive any of the information it's requested, while the IRS has sought several extensions. (Townhall.com)

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- What should outrage liberals paying attention to the midterm elections: Priorities USA Action said Tuesday it had contributed $500,000 to Democratic House and Senate super PACs, proof, they'll contend, that they're not overlooking the midterms by obsessing over 2016. Senate Majority PAC spent almost twice that just yesterday. In a single day. On a single state. (CNN, Washington Post)

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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Aaron Blake · April 16