Haley Barbour is speaking in Iowa tonight, Pat McCrory is staffing up and a 2010 candidate has been indicted on kidnapping and sex charges.

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* Potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich quietly lined up $150,000 to help defeat Iowa justices who threw out a ban on same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports. He funneled the money through an aide’s political action committee, which gave it to conservative groups.

* Tom Ganley, who challenged Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) in the 2010 election, has been indicted on three felony charges of gross sexual imposition and single counts of kidnapping, abduction, solicitation, and menacing by stalking. The charges stem from a sexual harassment complaint filed last year, in the midst of the campaign. At the time, Ganley called the allegations "lies, slander and false." 

* Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) is lining up advisers for a potential gubernatorial bid against Gov. Bev Perdue (D), who defeated him in 2008. They include former state party chairman Jack Hawke, consultant Jonathan Brooks, and Brian Nick, former aide to Sen. Elizabeth Dole. While McCrory has yet to declare himself in the race, he’s widely expected to run.

* Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has endorsed fellow Mormon Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in his campaign to replace retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R). Flake has gotten a number of high profile endorsements, but he still might face a primary challenge from socially conservative Rep. Trent Franks . Lee has declined to endorse fellow Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is expected to face a tough tea party challenge.

* Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has endorsed Rep. Dean Heller (R) in his 2012 Senate campaign, announced today. Krolicki was previously considered a Senate contender himself; he says he’ll look at running for Heller’s House seat.

* Republicans are attacking Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) for not giving back for not giving up thousands of dollars in donations from a real-estate developer charged in an Albany corruption case. The developer faces federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges for allegedly funneling secret cash payments to New York state Sen. Carl Kruger (D).


* Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) will deliver the keynote address at the Scott County GOP's Chairman's Dinner in Quad Cities, Iowa tonight. Today the possible presidential candidate had lunch with the Iowa Federation of Republican Women, telling them, “If I run, I’m going to run to win Iowa.” If you’re not in Iowa, C-SPAN plans to air the event at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on March 21.

* New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez (R) will be in D.C. next week as he explores a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Bingaman (D). He’s attending the National Lieutenant Governors Association winter meeting. Sanchez has said that his campaign announcement could come after the legislative session ends, this week.

* The House passed another stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, despite growing conservative opposition to piecemeal budget cuts. The bill keeps the government running for another three weeks. Among the vote-switchers going from ‘yes’ to ‘no’ are a number of Republicans running or considering running for statewide office next year: Reps. Heller, Flake, Franks, Todd Akin (R-Mo.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Connie Mack (R-Fla.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), and Mike Pence (R-Ind.).

* House Republicans are holding an emergency meeting of the Rules Committee tomorrow afternoon to take up legislation that would end funding for National Public Radio in response to a conservative group’s hidden-camera video of two executives. The effort is being spearheaded by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who has opposed NPR funding since before the recent scandal. Republicans plan to bring the bill to the floor on Thursday.


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