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READ IN: Tuesday, June 24, 2014: Kerry faces challenges in Iraq, five things to watch on primary day, another potential bridge headache for Christie and unlocking cell phones in Congress

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

-- John Kerry made his first trip as secretary of state to the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil Tuesday, where he met with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. Barzani said Kerry faces an big challenge trying to help form a new Iraqi government, adding, “We are facing a new reality and a new Iraq." (New York Times)

-- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may have a new bridge headache to deal with. Investigations into the Christie administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey-- prompted by the George Washington Bridge lane closures -- have focused on possible securities law violations related to a 2011 road repair agreement. At issue is the Pulaski Skyway. The Manhattan district attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into the matter. (New York Times)

-- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is giving more than $1 million to the House GOP campaign fund this week, a sign that he is looking to reinforce his power and is not leaning toward retirement. (USA Today)

-- It's another big primary day. Here are the five biggest things to watch: Who will win the Cochran-McDaniel runoff? Will we see a runoff in the Oklahoma Senate race? Will Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) survive? Is another Cantor-style upset in the offing? Don't forget the governor's races in Maryland and Colorado. (Washington Post)

-- Front Pages: WaPo and NYT each lead with Iraq stories and the SCOTUS emissions decision. USA Today fronts its Boehner's fundraising story. WSJ highlights a story about officials facing scrutiny at the Export-Import Bank.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH'16: -- Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton will be paid $225,000 to speak at an Oct. 13 fundraiser for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal). As attention on her wealth is ramping up, look for Republicans to point to the story plenty of times. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Denver Post, Bill Clinton chimed in on some of what Hillary Clinton is weighing with regard to 2016. "I think what she feels is that it's way too soon for all of us to be politicizing everything, and she just wants to make sure — and also, I mean, she's quite well aware that there are no guarantees in this. Whoever you are, you've got to run like you never ran before and you're 50 points behind." (Denver Post)

-- New Hampshire: Mitt Romney will endorse former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) in hid bid to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). (CNN)

-- West Virginia: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will campaign for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D), the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. Warren will stump for Tennant on July 14 as she unveils an education plan. (Charleston Gazette)  Warren has already announced plans to stump for Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) in Kentucky and has helped raise money for Georgia's Democratic Senate nominee, Michelle Nunn.

-- Louisiana: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) wants to do away with Common Core educational standards, but he's facing resistance. The Louisiana Board of Regents told college and university leaders Monday that Common Core standards should be included in teacher training. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

-- Mississippi: A staffer for Sen. Thad Cochran (R) was arrested and fired for allegedly destroying or removing campaign signs supporting state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

-- Wisconsin: Sen. Ron Johnson (R) said in an interview on CNBC that he's "a pretty traditional guy" and thinks "marriage is between a man and a woman." But if voters "decide that they want gay marriage, I'm not going to oppose it." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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

-- President Obama will meet with the 2013 Presidents Cup team -- a collection of the country's top golfers -- in the evening. (Washington Post)

-- Vice President Biden will attend a DCCC event in the morning that is closed to the press. At 7 p.m., he will host a reception at the Naval Observatory for members of the LGBT Community.

-- The House will gather at 10 a.m. It will consider the Customer Protection and End User Relief Act, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act and the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act.  The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold the second part of its hearing, "IRS Obstruction: Lois Lerner's Missing E-Mails," at 9:30 a.m.

-- The Senate will gather at 10 a.m. It will hold roll call confirmation 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.

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

-- The air war in the Republican primary for governor of Arizona is heating up. Former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones (R) has bought nearly $150,000 on broadcast and cable TV for the next week. Treasurer Doug Ducey (R) has bought about $130,000 over the next week, also on broadcast and cable.

-- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) bought about $500,000 more in fall TV air time, bringing his total to nearly $1.4 million. Hickenlooper has a big fundraising advantage over his GOP opponents. The Republican that is nominated today will have to play some serious catch-up. (Denver Post)

-- A trio of environmental groups is launching nearly $1 million effort against state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in the Iowa Senate race. The effort kicks off with an ad tying Ernst to Sarah Palin and the Koch Brothers. 

-- The Republican Governors Association is launching a Spanish-language ad in New Mexico hitting Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Attorney General Gary King.

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a measure this week to make cell-phone unlocking legal. The House has already passed a bill that would legalize it. (National Journal)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- It has not been a good week for the Export-Import Bank. First, onetime supporter Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he now backs letting the agency expire. Now comes word that the bank has suspended or gotten rid of four officials in recent months amid allegations of gifts and kickbacks. (Wall Street Journal) Okay, it wasn't all bad news: 41 lawmakers urged Bohener to reauthorize the bank. (The Hill)

-- Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wants FIFA to take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar. He cited substandard labor practices and allegations of corruption. So if not Qatar, then where? Casey said the U.S. is ready to play host. (Washington PostRoll Call)

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

-- On the same day last month, pilots landing at two different airports reported seeing small rogue drones flying at high altitudes. Craig Whitlock writes: "The close calls were the latest in a rash of dangerous encounters between civilian airplanes and drones flown in contravention of FAA rules intended to safeguard U.S. airspace. Hazardous occurrences are becoming more frequent as more drones — legal and illegal — take to the skies..." (Washington Post)

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

-- If you liked Rangel's campaign rap encouraging voters to support him, you'll love “Charlie Wilson for Congress," “The Ballad of Mark Warner," “Big John" and "Game On." (Washington Post)

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

-- The California state Senate signed off on a measure urging Congress to call a Constitutional Convention and overturn the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision. (Los Angeles Times)

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- Republican Pedro Celis, who is challenging Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), weighed in on gay marriage last week, saying, “marriage is something more for religion to decide. Is this marriage or not? Polygamy – is it fine or not? It’s a religion thing.” (Seattle Times)

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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Sean Sullivan · June 24, 2014

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