READ IN: Tuesday, May 27, 2014: New EPA regulations coming, Texas runoff today, NRSC buys in Arkansas and Colorado, and the new generation of veterans’ groups

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

-- Far-right populists won European Parliament elections across 28 countries over the weekend as voters registered displeasure over immigration and stagnant economies. In Britain, the U.K. Independence Party won 28 percent of the vote, more than the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democratic parties. In France, the National Front won seats, and in Greece the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party picked up seats. (New York Times)

-- Pro-Russian forces in Ukraine said they sustained heavy losses in a gun battle for control of the international airport in Donetsk. The battle came just hours after billionaire candy-maker Petro Poroshenko declared victory in this weekend's presidential election. Fighting between separatists and Ukrainian troops in Slovyansk and several other eastern cities, but Ukrainian forces said Tuesday they had retaken the airport. (Washington Post, BBC)

-- President Obama will announce new EPA regulations next Monday aimed at cutting carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, his most aggressive move to combat climate change yet. Obama will use his executive authority, under the Clean Air Act, to issue the new rules. China, the E.U. and other nations are paying attention ahead of a December U.N. summit on climate change in Peru. (New York Times, New Republic)

-- Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) want party leaders to release a Contract with America-like policy agenda for the midterm elections detailing what the party would do with the Senate majority. Graham and allies say it would help counter the Democratic charge that Republicans are the "party of no." Republican Policy Committee chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) has asked ranking committee members to send him legislative proposals they would pursue as chairmen. (Politico)

-- The White House inadvertently revealed the name of the CIA's top officer in Kabul on Saturday when it included the officer's name on a list of U.S. officials briefing President Obama during his surprise trip. The list including the officer's name was sent to the reporter handling the pool report, which is distributed to more than 6,000 members of the media. (Washington Post)

-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with fighting in eastern Ukraine, while USA Today spotlights the country's president-elect. NYT leads with American troops training African forces in four countries. WSJ leads with new EPA regulations.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- Texas: Voters head to the polls today to pick party nominees in a handful of runoffs. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) is likely to lose his seat to state Sen. Dan Patrick (R), the conservative firebrand. Republicans also face runoffs in races for Attorney General, Comptroller, Agriculture Commissioner and Railroad Commissioner; Democrats will pick between two also-rans in the race against Sen. John Cornyn (R). Rep. Ralph Hall (R) faces his most aggressive challenge in years from former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe (R). Also interesting: The Libertarian Party fielded a candidate in every one of Texas's 36 districts. Republicans and Democrats each missed out on filing candidates in six districts.

-- Mississippi: Sen. Thad Cochran (R) is using the arrests of conservative activists for taking photos of his wife in a nursing home in a new campaign ad. "It's the worst: A Chris McDaniel supporter charged with a felony," the ad begins. The ad wasn't publicly announced by Cochran's campaign. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

-- Louisiana: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is relying on her clout to get her re-elected this year. The new chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a field hearing this month to highlight her influence. On Tuesday, she'll lead Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on a tour of oil facilities around the state. (Washington Post) But couldn't Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) build the same clout Landrieu has? "You could grow into the clout, I guess. I don’t think he could necessarily. But a person more able could potentially," Landrieu told the Post's Phil Rucker.

-- New York: Rep. Michael Grimm (R) has lost his campaign manager. Bill Cortese left after Grimm was indicted on conspiracy charges; Grimm could no longer afford to pay him. (New York Daily News)

-- Michigan: A federal judge on Friday ordered Rep. John Conyers (D) be put back on the ballot after elections officials gave him the boot for turning in ineligible signatures. At issue was whether a law requiring signature gatherers to be registered voters was constitutional. District Court Judge Matthew Leitman didn't issue an opinion; the office of Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) said Friday it had not decided whether to appeal. (Washington Post)

-- Alaska: Former state GOP chairman Russ Millette (R) will run against Gov. Sean Parnell (R) after Parnell and party leaders helped oust him before he formally took control. Millette won the chairmanship at the 2012 convention, with support from Ron Paul backers. (Associated Press)

-- Oklahoma: Legislators on Friday overwhelmingly passed a measure to scrap Common Core standards. If Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signs the bill, the state will revert to pre-2010 standards known as Priority Academic Student Skills, while the state Board of Education comes up with new standards. (The Oklahoman)

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

-- President Obama meets participants in the annual White House science fair in the State Dining Room this morning before announcing new measures to promote STEM education. Later, Obama meets with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the Oval Office.

-- Vice President Biden holds meetings at the White House this morning, then travels to Denver for a fundraiser with Sen. Mark Udall (D). Biden overnights in Colorado Springs. At a veterans' event this weekend, "BFD" Biden offered some sage advice: "Assume every microphone is on." (CNN)

-- The House holds a pro forma session today, with members returning tomorrow. The Senate is out until June 2.

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

-- Arkansas: The Government Integrity Fund Action Network is in the midst of a $265,000 ad buy against Sen. Mark Pryor (D), and Americans for Prosperity picks up the ball with $155,000 in new ads beginning tomorrow and running through June. The NRSC has purchased $1.7 million in broadcast ads in Little Rock and Fort Smith to run from the middle of August through Election Day. Pryor hasn't been on TV for two weeks.

-- Colorado: Speaking of the NRSC, they're making some late buys on behalf of Rep. Cory Gardner (R). The committee has purchased almost $1.8 million in Denver broadcast airtime set to begin Sept. 23 and running through Election Day.

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- "The question facing President Obama as he seeks to contain yet another widening VA scandal is whether quiet and resolute professionalism still works in an age of noisy disputation." VA Secretary Eric Shinseki "has had to balance the demands of traditionally staid, old-line veterans groups, such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with a new generation of digitally savvy and increasingly vocal veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Younger veterans groups have adopted many of the lessons of today’s fast-moving, hyper-partisan political campaigns to raise the pressure on Shinseki and the VA." (Washington Post)

-- Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) sent an open letter scolding veterans' groups for not calling on Shinseki to step down. The veterans' groups didn't take kindly to being called out. Burr's letter was a "monumental cheap shot," "one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we've witnessed," "ugly and mean-spirited," the heads of the Veterans of Foreign Wars said in their own open letter responding to Burr. Burr doubled down on Sunday, accusing the veterans groups of being more outraged by his letter than by the VA scandal. (Politico, Roll Call, New York Times)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- John Maginnis, the founder and publisher of LaPolitics.com, passed away early Sunday morning at his home in New Orleans. Maginnis covered Louisiana politics for more than 40 years and wrote three books in the process. (LaPolitics) Our condolences, no one knew Cajun politics like Maginnis.

-- Squire Patton Boggs, the product of the union between Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs, will hold a press call this morning laying out their new leadership. Jim Maiwurm will be chairman and CEO through the end of this year, with Mark Ruehlmann set to start his three-year term on Jan. 1.

-- Stocks are higher in pre-market trading, and global markets are up. The Dow closed at 16,606 on Friday. (CNN)

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

-- Top Democratic strategists are advising Hillary Clinton to open up to the media more if she runs for president, though members of Clinton's inner circle attribute negative coverage from the 2008 campaign to sexism. Philippe Reines insists Clinton "spent a tremendous amount of time with the press, formally, informally, off the record." More Reines: "There's no such thing as straight reporting anymore." (New Yorker) How many Democrats are worrying that the campaign will feel like a re-run? These stories include a lot of the same names advocating for the same strategies they tried in 2008.

-- "The federal judges who have supplied an unbroken wave of victories across the country to supporters of same-sex marriage are more diverse than their rulings would suggest: white and black, gay and straight, nominated by Democrats (most of them) and chosen by Republicans (a few of them)." The judge who decided Michigan's ban was unconstitutional was a Reagan appointee, while the judge in the Pennsylvania case was close to former Gov. Tom Ridge (R). (Washington Post)

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

-- Anyone spend their Memorial Day in Annapolis? Happen to catch that wandering minstrel in the Ravens shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops? Yeah, that was Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who strummed a banjo and apparently accepted tips from tourists. (Washington Post) Complete with very strange photo. The jokes write themselves.

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- Former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R), running for retiring Rep. Buck McKeon's (R-Calif.) seat, peppered voters with a pro-gun robo-call on Saturday, a day after the mass shooting in nearby Isla Vista, Calif. A Strickland spokesman said the campaign's "thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims" of the tragedy. (Huffington 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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