READ IN: Monday, August 25, 2014: Primaries tomorrow in 4 states, wine bottles break in Napa quake, DNC sets Iowa caucuses for Feb. 1, 2016, Oregon sues Oracle, and Dems bank on field staff to save Senate

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

-- Ukraine says Russian forces crossed the border into their country early Monday in military vehicles including tanks. The vehicles bore the logo of the Donetsk People's Republic, a Ukrainian military spokesman said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday the country would send a second aid convoy to rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine after a first convoy entered Ukraine without permission last week. (Washington Post)

-- Up to 100 homes in Northern California are unfit to enter after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit near Napa on Sunday morning. More than 120 people were injured enough to be sent to the hospital, and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a state of emergency. The quake was the largest to hit the San Francisco Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. (Los Angeles Times) First world problems: A bunch of wine bottles broke. Photo from @DavidSilverOak.

-- Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot to death two weeks ago by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., will be laid to rest today. The White House is sending aides Broderick Johnson, Marlon Marshall and Heather Foster. The White House said Saturday it would review a program that transfers surplus military equipment to local police forces, after Reps. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about the program last week. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

-- An American journalist kidnapped in Syria 2012 has been handed over to U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. Peter Theo Curtis had been held by the al-Nusra Front or other groups allied with al Qaeda. Curtis's family said the government of Qatar was heavily involved in securing his release. The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 67 reporters have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the civil war in 2011. (Al Jazeera)

-- ISIS seized a military air base in northern Syria from allies of President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday, giving the militant group control of Raqqa Province on the Turkish border. About 340 ISIS fighters died in the battle to control the airport, along with 170 government soldiers, making it the deadliest clash between ISIS and government forces. (New York Times)

-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with this story on cellphone surveillance across the world. LA Times splashes quake coverage all over the front (NYT and WaPo use the same broken-wine-bottle photo on their fronts). NYT leads with Curtis's release in Syria. WSJ leads with ISIS taking control of an air base in northern Syria. And USA Today leads with a group of hackers threatening a Sony executive.

Primary Primer: Previewing this week's primary elections, before the other guys.

-- Voters head to the polls in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont on Tuesday. Here's what's up for grabs in each state:

-- Arizona: The messy race to replace Gov. Jan Brewer (R) comes down to State Treasurer Doug Ducey (R), former GoDaddy chief legal counsel Christine Jones (R) and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith (R). All three have big outside groups spending for them: Ducey's backers are tied to the Koch brothers; Jones is getting support from GoDaddy's CEO, and Smith is endorsed by Brewer herself. The winner faces former state University Regent Fred DuVal (D) in November. Scandal-plagued Attorney General Tom Horne (R) faces a tough challenge from state Gaming Director Mark Brnovich (R), and Republicans are battling over open Secretary of State and Treasurer seats. Three Republicans are vying for the right to take on Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) in the sprawling 1st District, and four Democrats are jockeying to replace retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D) in the Phoenix-based 7th District. State Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) and former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox (D) lead the pack.

-- Florida: Former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) is likely to win the Democratic primary tomorrow, eight years after he won the Republican primary. Republicans have a crowded primary in the 18th District, where Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) was once seen as vulnerable; he's not generating the attention he once did. The GOP's big chance at winning a seat here, in the 26th District, is Miami Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo (R), who's running against Rep. Joe Garcia (D). Curbelo has to get by three other Republicans in today's primary.

-- Oklahoma and Vermont: Voters in Oklahoma only have to weigh in on one Congressional runoff after the June 24 primary. That's the race to replace Rep. James Lankford (R), who won a Senate primary back in June (A race that, amid all the Cochran-McDaniel kerfuffle, remains the overlooked win of the year). State Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas (R) and former state Sen. Steve Russell (R) are duking it out; the winner is likely to face state Sen. Al McAffrey (D) in November, but this is a pretty Republican district. In Vermont, three Republicans are vying for the right to lose to Rep. Peter Welch (D) in November, and three little-known Republicans are trying to knock off Gov. Peter Shumlin (D). Democrats aren't even running a candidate against Lt. Gov. Phil Scott (R).

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH'16: The DNC this weekend approved rules that will allow Iowa to hold first-in-the-nation caucuses on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, with New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina holding their nominating contests later that month (So, New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9?). The party also passed rules that reduce the number of convention delegates from about 5,500 to about 5,000. (Associated Press) Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on "Face the Nation" on Sunday he will consider running next year. (Associated Press) In 2012, Rick Perry didn't bother laying groundwork in New Hampshire. This time, he's working for Granite State votes. The Post's Sean Sullivan trailed Perry during a weekend trip to New Hampshire.

-- Wisconsin: New documents released in the John Doe investigation into Wisconsin political spending show Gov. Scott Walker (R) urged donors to contribute to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, and that Walker wanted the Club to coordinate campaign themes between outside groups working on his 2012 effort to survive a recall election. A mining company contributed $700,000 to the Club; later, Walker eased some environmental regulations that helped the company open a mine in northern Wisconsin. The documents show prosecutors were looking closely at Walker's campaign, though he himself is not a target. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

-- Oregon: The state Department of Justice on Friday filed suit against Oracle, accusing the company of wire fraud, racketeering and breach of contract over its handling of the Cover Oregon health exchange. The suit indicates Oregon has information from a former Oracle whistleblower. Oracle has file suit against Oregon, seeking $23 million in unpaid bills. In a statement, Oracle blasted the Oregon suit, calling it a "desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and [Gov. John Kitzhaber] for their failures to manage a complex IT project." (Oregonian)

-- Mississippi: Did state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) wait too long to file a challenge to his June 24 runoff election loss? Lawyers for Sen. Thad Cochran (R) say a state Supreme Court ruling from 1959 requires a challenge to be filed within 20 days of an election. McDaniel didn't file until a month and a half after Election Day. McDaniel's lawyers say that section only applies to county and local elections. Cochran's attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss McDaniel's challenge on those grounds; a hearing is set for Tuesday. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

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

-- President Obama returned home from Martha's Vineyard last night after what's probably going down in history as the least relaxing vacation ever. This morning, he meets with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. He spends the afternoon meeting with advisors in the Oval Office.

-- Vice President Biden heads to Chicago today to fundraise for Democrats. He'll attend a DCCC fundraiser downtown and an event for embattled Gov. Pat Quinn (D) at a private residence this evening. In between, Biden participates in a roundtable discussion with small business owners and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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

-- Virginia: A group backing Sen. Mark Warner (D) has bought $2 million in TV ads that begin running Sept. 16 through Election Day. Virginia Progress will spend between $275,000 and $450,000 a week on the broadcast and cable ads in the Harrisburg, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke and Tri Cities markets, and on D.C. cable. Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie (R) made his first ad buy last week, a $125,000 foray into Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke.

-- Wall Street: By this time in 2012, more than 200,000 ads for House and Senate candidates had mentioned the words "Wall Street," "big banks," "bailouts" or some other reference to the industry. This year, only 15,000 spots in 28 races have used the Wall Street bogeyman. (Wall Street Journal) Our guess: 14,500 of them were run by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) campaign.

-- Georgia: Women Vote!, the Democratic group, will spend $950,000 on a new ad blitz against businessman and Senate nominee David Perdue (R). It's their first move into the Georgia Senate race this year. Adelstein Liston is creating the ads. (FEC)

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- Democrats have not been shy about the Bannock Street Project, their effort to duplicate President Obama's aggressive field program. But how real is the effort? The Atlantic's Molly Ball takes a look at one Democratic field office, in Pine Bluff, Ark., one of 40 dedicated to helping turn out voters on behalf of Sen. Mark Pryor (D). "If, as many believe and some studies have shown, the Starbucks-like proliferation of swing-state campaign offices and staff helped Obama win in 2012, Republicans appear to be in danger of being organizationally overmatched once again."

-- "Democrats are spending more than five times as much money in Arkansas, and have four times as many field offices and triple the number of staff. In the month of July alone, the Arkansas Democratic Party reported nearly $900,000 in federal campaign spending, while Arkansas Republicans reported $155,000. ... Democrats listed 64 staffers on their payroll; Republicans listed 22. The RNC claims it has 50 people on the payroll in Arkansas, including some being paid by other GOP committees, but I could not find a record of them and staffers on the ground were not aware of them." (The Atlantic)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- Former Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) left office a year ago to take a position with the University of Alabama, but his $125,000 campaign account lived on. After leaving office, Bonner spent $1,500 on moving expenses, $9,400 on meals at 15 restaurants -- including a $2,556 bill at a Mobile, Ala., Ruth's Chris Steakhouse -- and $3,388 for meals and a room at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Bonner finally closed his campaign account with a $1,375 check to the Alabama School of Math and Science. (Mobile Register)

-- Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Hortons, the Canadian doughnut chain. If the deal goes through, Burger King would move its headquarters to Canada, the latest company to undergo a so-called corporate inversion. A deal could be announced as early as this week. (New York Times) Tim Hortons has 3,630 outlets in Canada. On a per capita basis, that would be more than twice as many McDonald's as there are in the U.S.

-- Stock futures are trading higher today after the Dow slumped 38 points on Friday. Most world markets are up today. (CNN)

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

-- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) says she was angry at her own state party establishment for shunning her, and she admits it was difficult "to turn off the campaign switch" after her 2010 win. Her predecessor and supporter, Mark Sanford, also had a combative relationship with the state legislature. "It was really me telling myself, ‘OK, the establishment wasn’t with you, but holding a grudge is not going to get us anywhere. And, OK, the press wasn’t with you, but it’s not going to make them have any less ink," Haley said in an interview. (The State) An interesting look inside the mind of one of the more interesting characters in politics today. And she's still only 42!

-- It's hard to overstate the importance of an agreement brokered by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) that kept four energy measures off the ballot this year. Democrats didn't want the initiatives on the ballot at the same time they were seeking re-election. The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels takes an in-depth look at how the compromise came about, a story full of statehouse twists and turns.

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

-- A yard sign advertising a local restaurant's bacon was taken down after an online poster who identified herself as Muslim complained that it was offensive. The owners of the Winooski, Vt., restaurant, Sneakers Bistro, voluntarily took the sign down. Quote of the day: "I respect her religion and her right to believe what she wants but I'm pretty sure the First Amendment extends to bacon and the selling of it." (WPTZ-TV)

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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