READ IN: MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014: Kerry in Baghdad, big elections in Miss., Okla., an Iowa surprise and Supreme Court justices earning money on the side

June 23, 2014

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

-- Secretary of State John Kerry was in Baghdad on Monday morning to encourage Iraqis to come together to form a new and more inclusive government. After emerging from a meeting with several Iraqi officials Kerry said, “That was good.” (New York Times)

-- Times have gotten very tough for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his military. He is relying on volunteers, some of whom have very little training, to protect his orbit, as the military appears to be increasingly back on its heels. (Washington Post)

-- A judge in Egypt sentenced Al Jazeera journalists to seven years in prison on charges they collaborated with “terrorists” to make up news. (Wall Street Journal, Washington Post)

-- VA administrators were aware two years ago that employees throughout the Southwest were falsifying doctor appointment data and didn't stop it. Officials have claimed they did not know about the violations until whistle-blower complaints surfaced this year. (Arizona Republic)

-- Front Pages: WaPo, WSJ and USA Today all lead with Iraq stories and large photos of the U.S. World Cup tie against Portugal. NYT also leads with Iraq.

Primary Primer: What you need to know before Tuesday’s elections.

-- Voters in seven states -- Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah -- head to the polls on Tuesday. Here’s a quick preview of the races to watch tomorrow night:

-- Mississippi: Sen. Thad Cochran (R) faces state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in a runoff election. Cochran allies have been trying to mobilize the African American vote on his behalf; every poll has shown McDaniel ahead. Here’s a good test of whether those pollsters have their primary turnout models right, and whether touting all those earmarks you brought back to your state works as a strategy.

-- Oklahoma: Rep. James Lankford (R) and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) face off in the race for resigning Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R) seat. State Sen. Randy Brogdon (R) is getting some Tea Party attention, meaning a runoff is possible if no one gets 50 percent. Six Republicans are trying to replace Lankford in the House, including state Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas (R), state Sen. Clark Jolley (R), state Rep. Mike Turner (R), former state Rep. Shane Jett (R) and former state Sen. Steve Russell. Expect a runoff in this one.

-- New York: Two Republicans are vying for the right to take on Rep. Tim Bishop (D) in the Long Island-based 1st District; Republicans prefer state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R) over 2010 nominee George Demos (R). Nassau Co. legislator Kevan Abrahams (D) and county District Attorney Kathleen Rice (D) are fighting over retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D) 4th District. American Crossroads has weighed in heavily in the 21st District, on behalf of former Bush administration official Elise Stefanik (R) is running against two-time nominee Matt Doheny (R). The winner will face documentarian Aaron Woolf (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens (D). Keep an eye on the 22nd District, where Rep. Richard Hanna (R) faces a surprisingly strong challenge from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R). The big race: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) faces a repeat challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D) in Harlem, a contest in which race has become a surprisingly explosive issue.

-- Maryland: The race to replace Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) comes down to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) and Attorney General Doug Gansler (D). Gansler never really caught fire, and Brown is polling ahead by double digits in both Washington Post and Baltimore Sun surveys. The race to replace Gansler is a three-way contest between state Delegates Aisha Braveboy (D) and Jon Cardin (D) and state Sen. Brian Frosh (D). Possible sleeper: Watch Rep. Andy Harris’s (R) vote total. We saw a lot of yard signs for Jonathan Goff (R) in Harris’s district a few weeks ago.

-- Colorado: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) finds out his general election opponent tomorrow. Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) faces former Reps. Tom Tancredo (R) and Bob Beauprez (R); all three face big cash deficits, though Hickenlooper’s last fundraising report showed less than $1 million in the bank. Four Republicans are vying to replace Rep. Cory Gardner (R), the GOP’s Senate nominee, in the safe 4th District: Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck (R), Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer (R), state Sen. Scott Renfroe (R) and former Cranston, R.I., Mayor Steve Laffey (R).

-- South Carolina: Businessman Mike Campbell (R) and former Attorney General Henry McMaster (R) face off in a runoff for lieutenant governor. Sally Atwater (R), widow of the late political operative Lee, faces state School Administrators Association executive director Molly Spearman (R) in the runoff for state Superintendent of Education.

-- Utah: No big statewide or federal races happening tomorrow, after contests were decided in the April and May party conventions.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH '16: Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton's wealth is under the spotlight against after she said she’s unlike the "truly well off." (The Guardian, Washington Post) Meanwhile, if Clinton doesn't run, O'Malley's preparation in the early nominating states could pay big dividends. He was in Iowa over the weekend and in New Hampshire the weekend before that. (Washington Post)

-- Mississippi: Conservative groups trying to unseat Cochran plan to deploy poll watchers Tuesday in areas where Cochran is trying to woo Democrats to vote for him. The Senate Conservatives Fund, Freedomworks and the The Party Patriots are spearheading the effort. (New York Times)

-- Iowa: Former Chuck Grassley chief of staff David Young won the GOP nomination for the seat of retiring Rep. Tom Latham (R) at a Saturday convention. Young's win was a big surprise -- he finished fifth in the June 3 primary. This 51 percent Obama district is a pickup opportunity for Democratic nominee Staci Appel. (Des Moines Register) Sean's take: This is why it was so crucial for Republican Joni Ernst to wrap up the U.S. Senate nomination in the primary. Conventions can be very unpredictable.

-- Massachusetts: Lawmakers are poised to pass the most sweeping welfare bill since 1995. The measure targets fraud and provides incentives for hiring welfare recipients. (Boston Globe)

-- Alaska: Rep. Don Young (R) was fined $60,000 by he House Ethics committee for improper trips and gifts he did not report. (Anchorage Daily News, Washington Post)

-- Idaho: If at first you don't succeed ... run again in the fall? Rep. Raul Labrador (R) might run for House GOP leadership again, he says: “Now, I’m not making an announcement that I’m running for anything, but if I think there’s a vacuum and it needs to be filled I’m not going to be asking anybody else to fill that vacuum. I think it’s my responsibility to do that.” (Idaho Statesman)

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

-- President Obama will deliver remarks at the first ever White House Summit on Working Families at 1:40 p.m.

-- Vice President Biden will deliver remarks to Working Families Summit at 9:15 a.m.

-- The House will meet at 2 p.m. for legislative business. No votes until 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will host a hearing on “IRS Obstruction: Lois Lerner’s Missing E-Mails."

-- The Senate will hold a series of cloture votes on four judicial nominees. Two are for United States District judge for the Middle District of Florida: Paul G. Byron and Carlos Eduardo Mendoza. Beth Bloom is for the Southern District of Florida. Geoffery W. Crawford is for the District of Vermont.

-- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will host an event at 9 a.m. to honor those killed in the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shootings and recognize heroic actions of the people involved.

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

-- The Republican Governors Association has bought airtime in Arkansas for the third straight week. They are spending about $83,000 on broadcast channels in the Fort Smith, Jonesboro and Little Rock media markets. The RGA has been on the air at similar levels for the last two weeks after going dark since early March. The RGA released an ad last week tying Democratic nominee Mike Ross to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). ​Arkansas is one of the two best pickup opportunities for Republicans. (The other is Illinois.)

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- All but one of the Supreme Court's justices earned money for teaching or collecting book royalties in 2013. The one who didn't? Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who received a $1.9 million advance for her book in 2012. Justice Antonin Scalia was the top earner, bringing in $100,000 in outside income. (Center for Public Integrity)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- Fresh of his election as the next House majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sunday he favors letting the Export-Import Bank expire. Conservatives have disparaged the agency -- which  makes loan guarantees to foreign buyers who want to purchase from U.S. exporters -- so McCarthy's position is good news for them. It could also be the first sign that McCarthy is watching his right flank as he prepares to ascend to the No. 2 slot in House leadership. (Washington Post)

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

-- Some Democrats fear that talk about Clinton's wealth could hurt her in the lead up to 2016. "It’s going to be a massive issue for her,” one Obama adviser said. “When you’re somebody like the secretary of state or president of the United States or first lady, you’re totally cut off [from normal activity], so your perception of the middle-class reality gets frozen in a time warp.” Asked what Democrats should do, the adviser said: “Panic.” (Washington Post)

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

-- A senior diplomatic source said Jean-Claude Juncker, who is set to become president of the EU Commission, "reportedly has cognac for breakfast." (The Daily Mail)

-- Check out all the scenarios under which the U.S. makes the knockout stage of the World Cup, as well as the ones under which it probably doesn't. (The Upshot)

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

-- Vermont is looking to hire an analyst to help design a single-payer health care system. State officials are exploring options to raise about $2 billion for the program (AP)

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- The South Dakota GOP state convention passed a resolution calling for Obama to be impeached. It cited the trade of five Taliban commanders for captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Obamacare and EPA regulations, arguing the president "violated his oath of office." (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Katie Zezima · June 23, 2014