JoAnne Kloppenburg leads in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election (for now, anyway), a staffer Tim Pawlenty does not know how to control his alcohol intake, John Boehner is crying and Curt Weldon is in Libya, for some reason.

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* With 100 percent of the votes counted, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg has a 204 vote lead over Judge David Prosser in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court justice election. The race, which went from a sleepy judicial contest to a national referendum on collective barganing legislation, will almost certainly end in a recount. Kloppenburg has declared victory, saying in a statement, "We owe Justice Prosser our gratitude for his more than 30 years of public service.”

* An Iowa staffer for former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s presidential exploratory committee drunkenly attempted to enter the wrong house early Tuesday morning, scaring a 15-year-old girl and vomiting in her family’s backyard. The staffer, Ben Foster, has been placed on a two week unpaid suspension. In a statement, the campaign said Pawlenty is “extremely disappointed in Ben’s actions.”

* More bad luck for Tennessee State Sen. Roy Herron (D), who lost a congressional race last year by twenty points. He got in a bike wreck last Sunday while training for an Ironman competition. Herron, a vet­eran of many marathons and multiple Ironmans (Ironmen?) said he is mighty grateful for the excellent healthcare he received and also for his bike helmet.

* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), known for his propensity towards tears, cried at a closed-door meeting of Republican lawmakers today. The moment came at the end of the meeting, when he thanked the assembled conference for their loyalty and he responded with a standing ovation. The two parties are still struggling to come to an agreement that would avert a government shutdown.

* Being head of the Democratic National Committee will “strain” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), says her House colleague Jim McDermott. Wasserman Schultz plans to keep her House seat. McDermott, a Democrat from Washington state, said on CSPAN that "Debbie's got a lot of energy, but I don’t know how in the world she’s going to do that.”


* Newt Gingrich will kickoff the The New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s “Live Free or Die Speaker Series” on April 20th, speaking at the first in a string of events around the state featuring prominent national figures. The first event will be held at Piccola Italia in Manchester; tickets are $250. There will also be a limited number of tickets for a private dinner with the former House speaker and current likely presidential candidate.

* Rep. Christopher Murphy (D), a Connecticut Senate candidate, raised $1.1 million in the first quarter of the year, his campaign announced Wednesday. That’s more than double the amount raised by his Democratic primary rival, former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz. When she announced her $500,000 haul Bysiewicz suggested that she might be outraised, because “I don't have cozy relationships with DC insiders.” Maybe that’s why Murphy’s release highlights that 85 percent of his total came from Connecticut residents and that 1,000 of his supporters gave $100 or less.

* Former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) has arrived in Libya to meet with Moammar Gaddafi, so that whole problem should be cleared up by the end of the day. Weldon was part of a bipartisan delgation to Libya in 2004; he also traveled to the country on business last year. He said the purpose of the trip was to persuade Qaddhafi to step aside and that he notified the administration of his plans. Weldon lost his seat in 2006, the same year he was investigated by the FBI for alleged corruption.

* CNN is hosting a presidential debate in Nevada for the Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC), an organization that includes representatives and activists from 16 states. Circle your calendar for October 17. The news organization has already set up GOP primary debates in New Hampshire and Florida.



With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake