Another Bush Runs for Office

George Prescott Bush filed the official paperwork to run for Texas land commissioner next year — and put out a campaign video — “hoping to use a little-known but powerful post to continue his family’s political dynasty in one of the country’s most-conservative states,” theDallas Morning News reports.

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Copy and Paste Campaign Website

Michael Sullivan (R) claims he’s a “tested and trusted” leader with experience that makes him the best GOP candidate in the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Massachusetts.

But the Boston Globe finds that Sullivan’s newly launched website ­borrows heavily from thedormant site of Richard Tisei (R), the Republican who lost in his congressional bid last year.

Rove Still Sore About Election Night

Karl Rove is apparently still upset that Fox News called the presidential election too soon, the Washington Post reports.

“When asked about the papal conclave’s quest to rack up enough votes behind a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, Rove — inexplicably, un-self-awaredly — steered the discussion into the vicinity of the moment when he balked at calling the state of Ohio — and the whole presidential election — for Barack Obama back in November.”

Said Rove: “They do it the right way. They get to the final vote and the decision and then they let the smoke get it… Maybe there’s a message there for American media Maybe we better wait, rather than try to call it, let the election go to its final conclusion and let the results speak for themselves.”

10 Things You Need to Know About the Ryan Budget

Roll Call has the highlights from Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal.

Wonk Wire looks at what’s missing from the Ryan budget.

NRA May Not Oppose Background Checks

“Senators negotiating a bill mandating background checks for all gun buyers are privately expecting the National Rifle Association not to fight the measure — provided the legislation does not require private gun sellers to maintain records of the checks,” NBC News has learned.

“If that requirement is met and key Republican negotiator Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma signs on, the powerful gun lobby has signaled to lawmakers that they would not actively oppose the bill — and not count votes in favor of it as part of its highly influential NRA lawmaker ratings — according to Senate aides familiar with the stalled negotiations.”

Ashley Judd’s Long Odds

Steve Kornacki: “There are remarkably few recent examples of Senate incumbents losing in states where their party enjoys the kind of edge Republicans now have in Kentucky. And Judd figures to be a particularly ripe target for the GOP, given the very liberal views she’s already staked out. It would probably take a huge Democratic tide or an indictment of McConnell (or maybe both?) to propel her to victory in ’14. And that’s a lot to hope for.”

Four Districts Where Democrats Must Recruit Better Candidates

Stuart Rothenberg: “If Democrats are going to have any chance of netting 17 seats during the 2014 midterms — and taking back control of the House — they are going to have to do a much better job in a handful of districts where their recruiting fell far short in 2012.”

Filibusters Hurting Federal Courts

Jeffrey Toobin: “Judicial appointments represent one of the great missed opportunities of the Obama Presidency. In his first term, especially in the first two years, Obama himself bore much of the blame for this. When Democrats controlled sixty Senate seats, Obama was slow to nominate lower-court judges, and his moment of greatest leverage passed. But, since the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans have been at fault, almost entirely. Most nominees are not formally stopped, as Halligan was, but rather are delayed and delayed. Bush’s nominees got votes within weeks; Obama’s take months, even for uncontroversial selections”

What it Costs to Win a Congressional Election

The Week: “To become a United States senator, you must be at least 30 years old, have nine or more years of citizenship to your name, and live in the state you wish to represent. You also need, on average, $10.5 million.”

“In general, House races were far cheaper than Senate contests, with victorious candidates raising an average of about $1.7 million.”

Next Fight Over Labor Secretary?

If President Obama names Thomas Perez as his next secretary of Labor, Senate Republicans “will have a lengthy and contentious Washington track record to examine as they decide whether, or how strongly, to object to his nomination,” Roll Call reports.

“His three-and-a-half-year tenure at the Justice Department is likely to be the subject of much scrutiny if he is nominated to lead the Labor Department — a job that itself could prove contentious as ongoing debates over the National Labor Relations Board, the federal minimum wage, immigration and other workplace-related issues begin to heat up.”

Obama Kicks Off Organizing for Action

President Obama will formally kick off Organizing for Action, his newly-formed independent advocacy group, with a big speech Wednesday night.

ABC News reports it will be Obama’s “first in-person with the group’s core team of advisers, donors and grassroots organizers since its formation following the 2012 election. It comes as Obama seeks to re-energize his expansive grassroots campaign infrastructure around top second-term priorities — from new gun-control measures to comprehensive immigration reform and a plan to replace sequester — and cement the foundation for his presidential legacy.”

War on Women Heads to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) “once said women who didn’t want to view images of a fetus they were seeking to abort could simply close their eyes. His potential 2014 opponent, Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz, worked for a family planning clinic for more than a dozen years,” Politico reports.

“No other gubernatorial race in the country could provide a clearer test of the staying power of one of 2012’s fiercest messaging duels.”

Hagel Still Finding His Way

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel returns from a three-day visit to Afghanistan that was “marred by a suicide bombing and security threats, a canceled news conference that was expected to highlight progress in the war, and heated accusations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the U.S. military was colluding with the Taliban to prolong the American troop presence,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Even worse, Hagel returns to an in-box full of troubles in Washington. First on the list: how to absorb $47 billion in budget cuts mandated by Congress this year, with more trims to come.”

“Hagel has seemed low-key and at times unsure of himself since he won a bitter Senate confirmation battle Feb. 27. His reaction to his early burdens is tough to gauge, but he has yet to show the sparks that earned him maverick status when he served as a Republican senator from Nebraska who took controversial positions and issued blunt assessments, no matter the consequences.”

Republicans Prepare Digital Push

“Republicans will embark upon a major restructuring of their digital strategy as part of the Republican National Committee’s new autopsy of the 2012 elections,” NBC News has learned.

RNC chief of staff Mark Shields “was reluctant to divulge any specifics of the RNC’s new commitment to digital efforts, but said it would be far broader than any simple social media campaign.”

House and Senate Work on Budgets at the Same Time

New York Times: “In the Senate, Democrats were putting the finishing touches on a budget they plan to introduce on Wednesday, their first in four years, while House Republicans were preparing to introduce a spending plan of their own on Tuesday morning.”

“The two proposals, which would set spending targets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, will be miles apart ideologically and difficult to merge… But the fact that both houses of Congress are working on their budgets simultaneously after years of impasse raised some measure of hope — albeit slight — that Democrats and Republicans might be able to work out some sort of compromise.”

Americans Hate Congress But Lamakers Love Their Jobs

“Congress has some of the lowest approval ratings in recent history, but it hasn’t stopped House lawmakers from disproportionately loving their jobs,” Roll Call reports.

According to a new Congressional Management Foundation study, 89% of House members said they felt satisfaction that they were “performing an important public service.” When asked whether they were satisfied with their understanding of how their “job contributes to society as a whole,” 90% answered in the affirmative. In response to the statement, “my work gives me a sense of personal accomplishment,” 95% agreed.

Democrats Also An Obstacle to Grand Bargain

President Obama “has spent the past week urging Republicans to reopen talks to reach a broad deficit-reduction deal, a so-called grand bargain. When he travels to Capitol Hill this week, he likely will find he has work to do to move his own party toward an agreement as well,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Some Democrats say they are worried that Mr. Obama will make concessions they dislike on entitlement programs such as Social Security or Medicare to build momentum for the talks, which likely would consider changes to other federal spending as well as taxes.”

Conservatives Threaten Rebellion Over Hastert Rule

Conservative House lawmakers are threatening to torpedo bills that violate the so-calledHastert Rule, according to The Hill.

“The warning, delivered Monday by two right-leaning rank-and-file members, puts more pressure on Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and his lieutenants to only pass bills that attract the support of ‘the majority of the majority.'”

Politico: “If it seems like inside-the-Beltway legislative wonkery, it’s not. Voting against the rule, as it’s called, is a loud statement that members disagree with leadership’s priorities. And since Democrats almost always oppose the rule — the measure that sets parameters for floor debate — GOP leadership has to have 218 Republicans on board to get it passed. If a rule fails, the House cannot debate the underlying bill, and the legislative process is ground to a halt.”

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