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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- A 73-year old who went on a deadly shooting spree that killed three at a Jewish community center and retirement center in Overland Park, Kan., is a former "grand dragon" of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The shooter, booked on first degree murder charges, shouted anti-Semitic slogans after being arrested by police. (Washington Post)
-- Ukraine on Sunday sent its security services into areas controlled by pro-Russia militias, where commandos engaged in gun battles with men at roadblocks and stormed a police station in Slovyansk, marking a new, more violent front in the month-long standoff. Vice President Biden plans to visit Kiev next week, the White House said over the weekend. (New York Times, ABC)
-- Six days after the last confirmed acoustic signal from what's thought to be the black box on board Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, search teams will deploy an unmanned submarine into the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage. The yellow submersible (!), known as Bluefin-21, moves at walking pace. (New York Times, Washington Post)
-- In advance of midterm elections in which they find themselves the underdogs, Democrats have settled on a strategy of positioning themselves as the party that will ensure a "fair shot," versus a party of special interests. But moving the conversation away from the Affordable Care Act, some party leaders worry, is going to be even more difficult now that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's resignation means confirmation hearings for her successor. (Washington Post)
-- New Hampshire Republicans got a preview of the race for the White House as Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) spent the weekend blasting ObamaCare at the first cattle call of 2016. At the event, put on by Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity in Manchester, Paul called for a more inclusive GOP, while Cruz offered a more traditional conservative line. Huckabee checked the applause line boxes on Benghazi, the IRS and voter ID. (Associated Press, New York Times)
-- Front Pages: WaPo and USA Today lead with increasing tension in Ukraine. NYT splits Ukraine and the U.N. climate panel. WSJ worries about the stumbling market. The Kansas City Star's front page mourns the attack on two Jewish centers in Overland Park.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley spoke to Wisconsin Democrats on Saturday, and he'll campaign for Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) on Thursday. He's also got trips to Michigan, Maine, Florida and Pennsylvania planned. (Baltimore Sun) Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) addressed Iowa Republicans in Cedar Rapids on Friday, but he didn't stick around for meetings with party bigwigs, major donors or top activists, reinforcing the view among his inner circle that he won't run for president. (Politico)
-- Arkansas: John Anzalone, the Democratic Party's Southern state polling expert, shows Sen. Mark Pryor (D) leading Rep. Tom Cotton (R) by a 48 percent to 45 percent margin. There's not much detail in the polling memo the DSCC will put out this morning, but the 600-person likely voter sample, conducted March 27-April 2, once again challenges that conventional wisdom that Pryor is the next Blanche Lincoln. Your move, Cotton camp/NRSC (See below for exclusive Pryor advertising info).
-- Louisiana: Ex-Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) and state Rep. Robert Johnson (R) are among the candidates taking steps toward a run against Rep. Vance McAllister (R-Canoodler). Alexander said last week he might run for his old job, which he quit less than a year ago. Names to watch: Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) and Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy (D), both of whom could help gin up turnout in a district with a significant African American population. (Baton Rouge Advocate, Monroe News Star). Reid's Take: What's going to kill McAllister's career isn't making out with a staffer. It's that he publicly professed his deep religious faith, and privately made fun of his sudden, and very political, conversion. Voters can forgive a sinner. They have a harder time forgiving a fraud.
-- Massachusetts: An Emerson College poll shows Rep. John Tierney (D) tied with former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R) at 44 percent in MA 06, in the northeast corner of the commonwealth. Tierney beat Tisei by just 4,000 votes in 2012 after a scandal involving his wife and brothers in law. Tierney faces two credible opponents in the Democratic primary, but both score just 10 percent among a small subsample of Democratic voters. (Emerson College, pdf)
-- New Jersey: Former members of the state ethics commission have accused Gov. Chris Christie's office of unprecedented interference with an agency ostensibly set up to be free from political influence. The accusations stem from a November 2010 incident in which a Christie staffer was investigated for possibly violating conflict of interest laws. By the end of the year, Christie's office replaced Kathleen Wiechnik, executive director of the ethics office, with Peter Tober, one of the governor's lawyers. (Newark Star-Ledger)
-- Texas: Gov. Rick Perry (R) has hired an Austin defense attorney to represent him in an investigation into his handling of money earmarked for the Travis County District Attorney's office. A grand jury will be seated today to consider whether Perry broke state law when he threatened to withhold money from the office unless D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after a drunken driving arrest. (KVUE-TV, Austin American-Statesman)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama hosts an Easter prayer breakfast in the East Room today with Christian leaders from across the country. Vice President Biden will head to the State Department at 3:45 p.m. to welcome the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, alongside Secretary of State John Kerry.
-- The House and Senate are out of town for two weeks.
-- Press Secretary Prep: Passover begins at sundown and lasts until the evening of April 22. And tomorrow's Tax Day, so get those statements and releases ready.
-- Related: The chances of being audited by the IRS are the lowest in decades. The IRS has fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since the 1980s, though better technology will help offset some of the budget cuts that have limited the number of investigators. (Associated Press)
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where
-- Candidates, committees and outside groups have spent a total of $102 million on television advertising in federal and gubernatorial races since the beginning of the fourth quarter of last year. This week, all parties combined have bought a total of $2.4 million in TV advertising.
-- Arkansas: Sen. Mark Pryor (D) has purchased $75,170 in advertising in the Little Rock, Jonesboro, Fort Smith markets between April 15-24. It's Pryor's first advertising since mid-February. The campaign didn't return an email seeking comment. Fun fact: Of the $2.6 million spent on TV in Arkansas so far, Pryor has accounted for 7 percent of the total ads. Rep. Tom Cotton (R) has accounted for just 5 percent. The remaining 88 percent comes from outside groups.
-- North Carolina: Over the next week, Senate Majority PAC is spending $298,000 and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (D) is spending $339,000 for Sen. Kay Hagan (D). At the same time, American Crossroads is spending $280,000 and 60 Plus is spending $123,000 for state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R). Tillis's campaign is spending $157,000 this week, while his main primary rivals are spending less than $10,000 -- combined (Notably absent, so far: Americans for Prosperity, which has been hammering Hagan with ads for months).
-- Iowa: Locked in a tight primary fight, businessman Mark Jacobs (R) is spending $37,605 on broadcast television, or about 250 GRPs in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City markets. State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) is spending almost $14,000 in the Cedar Rapids and Des Moines markets.
-- New Hampshire: That big introduction ad from former Sen. Scott Brown (R)? Public records show his campaign has bought a grand total of $35,800 so far. We'll keep an eye on Brown's buys to see when he goes beyond an initial toe in the water. (Correction: This item was initially filed under Massachusetts. Our mistake, and our apologies)
-- Ohio: House Speaker John Boehner (R) has been running advertisements. Like actual TV ads. In both the Cincinnati and Dayton markets, on broadcast, cable and radio channels, including CNN, Discovery, ESPN, Food Network (!), FX, Fox News Channel, HGTV, History, TBS, TNT and USA, for the last two weeks. Boehner's campaign has spent a total of $171,000 on ads between April 3-16. More on this story to come shortly.
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- "Just about every four years, a new would-be usurper -- sometimes several of them -- rises to challenge New Hampshire, seeking to leapfrog it on the primary calendar. … And every four years, New Hampshire wins." Fun profile of New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, 65, the man tasked with keeping the Granite State first on the primary calendar. (Real Clear Politics)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Companies spent more on internet advertising than they did on broadcast television advertising for the first time in 2013, according to a new report compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Last year, companies spent a total of $42.8 billion on internet ads, compared with $40.1 billion in broadcast TV ads, the report estimated. Don't get all excited about the death of television just yet: Companies spent another $34.4 billion on cable ads, meaning TV is still the plurality medium. And hey, we dead tree folks are doing okay: Newspaper ads made up $18 billion last year. (Washington Post)
-- Hillary Clinton and Boeing have a long history of working together, to their mutual benefit. The aerospace giant contributed to several of Clinton's top priorities during her tenure as Secretary of State, while Clinton pressed Russian government officials to sign a deal with Boeing ultimately worth $3.7 billion. Two months later, Boeing made a $900,000 donation to the William J. Clinton Foundation. (Washington Post)
-- U.S. market futures are flat after a rough week, though world markets are mostly down as unease over Ukraine spooks investors. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- In case you missed Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold's long take on Google's evolution in Washington: "An early sign of Google’s new Washington attitude came in September 2011, when executives paid a visit to the Heritage Foundation. … Inside Google’s Washington headquarters, a handful of lobbyists were crafting what they called the 'Republican strategy' to defeat [SOPA]. Their approach: build conservative opposition based on the right’s distaste for regulation. They also seized on an obscure provision that they told Republicans would be a boon for trial lawyers, a Democratic constituency."
-- A few weeks after the blogger session, Heritage researcher James L. Gattuso penned a critique of the antitrust investigation into Google, praising the company as 'an American success story.' That winter, Heritage joined the chorus of groups weighing in against the anti-piracy legislation. … The following year, a new name popped up on Google’s list of groups it supports financially: Heritage Action." (Washington Post)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Republican strategist Hillary Pate bashed Tennessee legislators who voted for a "bloated budget" offered by Gov. Bill Haslam (R). All well and good, standing up for principle and all. Only problem: Pate's boss, state Rep. Joe Carr (R), who's running to the right of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), voted for the bill. (Tennessean)
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- The BLM on Saturday released 400 head of cattle owned by Cliven Bundy, a rural Nevada rancher who the government says has been trespassing on federal land for two decades. After BLM rounded up Bundy's cattle, militiamen came from across the U.S. to protest the government's actions. More than a few Nevada officials were worried the situation could spiral out of hand; on Saturday, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) released a remarkable statement calling for militia groups to return home peacefully and to allow government officials to leave. (Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Review-Journal)