CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 2, 2014 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUSTICES STRIKE DOWN POLITICAL DONOR LIMITS … If you're rich and want to give money to a lot of political campaigns, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that you can to do so. The 5-4 ruling eliminated limits on much money people can donate in total in one election season.
However, the decision left intact the current $5,200 limit on how much an individual can give to any single candidate during a two-year election cycle. Until now, an individual donor could give up to $123,200 per cycle.
The ruling means a wealthy liberal or conservative donor can give as much money as desired to federal election candidates across the country, as long as no candidate receives more than the $5,200 cap. – Bill Mears and Tom Cohen
DIVIDED RULING DELIVERS SPLIT REACTION:
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, AT A GOP PRESSER: “What I think this means is that freedom of speech is being upheld. You all have the freedom to write what you want to write. Donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give. … I am all for freedom. Congratulations.”
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA, IN A STATEMENT: “I was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision today … I predict that as a result of recent Court decisions, there will be scandals involving corrupt public officials and unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions that will force the system to be reformed once again.”
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, D-NEVADA, AT A DEM PRESSER: “The Supreme Court today just accentuated what they did on Citizens United, which is a decision that is one of the worst decisions in the history of that court. All it does is take away people's rights because, as you know, the Koch brothers are trying to buy America.”
PHOENIX, COLUMBUS OUT OF THE RUNNING FOR 2016 GOP CONVENTION … The Republican National Committee has narrowed the list of cities it is considering to host the 2016 GOP convention to six, and announced Wednesday it is no longer considering Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas are still in contention to host the convention where Republicans will officially choose their presidential nominee.
“In any other year, Columbus and Phoenix could have topped the list, but with so many strong cities competing, the committee had to make the difficult decision to narrow the field,” Enid Mickelsen, chair of the RNC’s Site Selection Committee, said in a statement. “Phoenix and Columbus are great American cities, and I hope they’ll pursue a future bid for an RNC convention.” – Mark Preston and Paul Steinhauser
LAWMAKERS SLAM BARRA AT GM RECALL HEARING … General Motors CEO Mary Barra and a federal safety regulator endured a grilling on Capitol Hill on Day 2 of the General Motors recall hearing.
One after another, members of a Senate committee lined up to ask why it took 10 years to issue a recall for a defect we now know killed at least 13 people. They also condemned Barra for a lack of leadership and transparency. – Chris Isidore and Katie Lobosco
SEN. KELLY AYOTTE, R-NEW HAMPSHIRE: “I think it goes beyond unacceptable. I believe this is criminal. And I guess my question to you is, have there been any other instances where GM actually is changing a part and fixing a defect and keeps the part number the same? Because this, this to me is not a matter of acceptability, this is criminal deception.”
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, D-MISSOURI: GM workers and Americans “were failed by a corporate culture that chose to conceal rather than disclose, and by a safety regulator that failed to act. And a culture of cover up that allowed an engineer at General Motors to lie under oath, repeatedly lie under oath. It might have been the old GM that started sweeping this defect under the rug ten years ago but even under the new GM the company waited nine months to take action after being confronted with specific evidence of this egregious violation of public trust.”
SEN. BARBARA BOXER, D-CALIFORNIA: These issues run deep and we have work to do. And I am very disappointed, really, as woman-to-woman. I am very disappointed because the culture that you are representing here today is a culture of the status quo.”
Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN)
observation: gm hearings illustrate how far women have come. first female automaker ceo getting toughest questions from female lawmakers
OBAMA TAKES MINIMUM WAGE PITCH TO MICHIGAN … Having declared his signature health care initiative a success - at least for now - President Barack Obama headed to Michigan Wednesday pushing another top domestic priority, raising the federal minimum wage. Speaking to a rowdy crowd at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Obama used much of his remarks to lambast Republicans who oppose such a hike, saying it amounted to giving working-class Americans “the shaft.”
“You would think this would be a no-brainer,” Obama said of his proposal to raise the minimum hourly rate nearly three dollars, to $10.10 per hour.
In Michigan, the wage fight is being fought at the state level, with the group Raise Michigan pushing lawmakers to lift the state's $7.40 hourly minimum wage to Obama's preferred $10.10 per hour. – Kevin Liptak
BOGUS BUZZ: ORTIZ-OBAMA SELFIE WAS SET UP BY SAMSUNG … Samsung certainly loves selfies. Like Ellen DeGeneres' record-breaking selfie at the Oscars, the David Ortiz-President Obama selfie on Tuesday was part of a campaign from Samsung to promote its Galaxy Note 3 phone. "It was an honor to help [Ortiz] capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement," Samsung said in a statement.
In a company message, Samsung took some credit for Ortiz's picture. "Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans," the company said. “When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans." – The Wire’s Eric Levenson
Matt Viser (@mviser)
"He did not know," Jay Carney confirms, of whether Obama knew that David Ortiz's selfie was part of a Samsung promotion.
MARKET WATCH: Markets winning streak continues. S&P 500 hits record high and Dow closes just short of its all-time record.
Which is the oldest committee in Congress?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Democrats to focus on Ryan budget in 2014
A day after the White House claimed victory in its Obamacare enrollment numbers, the group tasked with electing Democrats to the House acknowledged it's still a "tough climate" for Democrats in this year's midterms, but also insisted they still plan to campaign on the health care law. – Ashley Killough
Leading Hamilton Journal-News: Speaker launches ‘Selfie-Guided Tour’
Instead of going through the Capitol building’s visitors office, John Boehner is encouraging residents of his Ohio 8th Congressional District to contact his Washington, D.C. office, where staffers will offer tours of the Capitol and highlight more Ohio-based features in the historic building. And to show off Ohioans visiting Ohio-influenced areas of the Capitol, Boehner’s office is launching the “8th District Selfie-Guided Tour.” – Michael D. Pitman
Leading Drudge: Supremes: Free Speech Trumps Campaign Finance Limits
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that wealthy donors shouldn’t be limited in how many candidates they can contribute to during an election, though the justices did leave in place the maximum donation that can be made to a single candidate. – Stephen Dinan
Leading HuffPo: Cuts for me, not for thee
Rep. Paul Ryan rejected charges of hypocrisy during a Tuesday conference call with reporters, saying Republican attacks on Democratic cuts to Medicare were fair game. Medicare cuts under Obamacare would be used to fund the health care law, he said. But his budget would establish a reserve fund and funnel money back into Medicare. – Sabrina Siddiqui
Leading Politico: Camp, Boehner clash in private
The tension ran so high that Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the panel’s typically reserved chairman, late last week laced into Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) during a tense interaction in a closed-door meeting of the tax-writing panel, accusing the Ohio Republican’s staff of being dishonest, multiple Republican sources said. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who once served on the Ways and Means Committee, was also in attendance. – Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer
Leading New York Times: Polls Show Broad Support for Campaign Spending Caps
A Gallup poll conducted in June found that 8 in ten Americans, if given the opportunity, would vote to limit the amount of money candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives could raise and spend on their election campaigns. – Megan Thee-Brenan
Leading Washington Post: Democrats target unmarried female voters
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is building a national computer model to predict voters’ marital status, with hopes of targeting what may be the party’s most important demographic group: unmarried women.– Zachary A. Goldfarb
The political bites of the day
– Jindal dismisses Obamacare enrollment tally –
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LOUISIANA, AT THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR BREAKFAST IN WASHINGTON: “Under the threat of a government mandate they are able to get to this target of 7.1 million? … We don’t even know what those numbers mean. We don’t know how many of the folks actually pay their premiums. We don’t know how many of those folks were previously uninsured.”
– Still hope for Columbus after losing the RNC convention bid –
COLUMBUS MAYOR MICHAEL COLEMAN SAYS CITY WILL STILL COMPETE FOR DNC CONVENTION: "We're going to continue to focus on the fact that the organization that has its convention in Columbus is going to have a greater opportunity to impact votes statewide … You're going to be here anyway with the presidential candidates, it will help swing the entire state of Ohio."
– Boehner: Dems ‘just whistling past the graveyard’ –
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A GOP PRESS CONFERENCE: “There are 10,000 baby boomers like me that are retiring every day. We're living much longer than anyone ever expected. We know that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are going bankrupt. Now, what's the Democrats' plan? They're just whistling past the graveyard, acting like it's just going to go away.”
– Flight 370 declared ‘criminal investigation’ –
MALAYSIA’S INSPECTOR GENERAL KHALID ABU BAKAR ON MH370 AT AN EVENT IN KUALA LUMPUR: “This is a criminal investigation. It's ongoing. We have not concluded the whole thing, and we are still waiting for…reports from experts overseas and internally.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
David Plouffe (@davidplouffe)
Court again tilts campaign funding balance away from people to potentates. New massive bundling programs for Senate and House candidates
Ari Berman (@AriBerman)
In the past four years SCOTUS has made it far easier to buy an election & far harder to vote in one #citizensunited #McCutcheon #VRA
Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz)
#SCOTUS decision in McCutcheon v. FEC is a victory for the First Amendment: cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_relea…
Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer)
By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that the super-rich should have more speech than the rest of us. #SCOTUS
Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps)
UMich senior introducing Obama asks if there are any job openings at the White House for her
Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN)
Clinton last month on GM's Mary Barra: "I am impressed by the new CEO of GM, who was dealt a very bad hand."
Sean Spicer (@seanspicer)
NC Board of Elections audit finds up to 35,750 instances of "double-voting" (voter fraud) in the 2012 election.cc @MoElleithee @MikeCzin
Michael Czin (@MikeCzin)
.@seanspicer @MoElleithee @DomenicoPBS in NC "in 2010, voter fraud accounted for 0.000738 percent of ballots cast." http://www.wncn.com/story/22934120/widespread-voter-fraud-not-an-issue-in-nc-data-shows …
Aaron C. Davis (@byaaroncdavis)
Bowser seeks to unify D.C. Dems, even as Gray hasn't yet called to say congrats, she says. http://wapo.st/1hATfhv
Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT)
Interesting to see Phx cut from RNC list bc they have hotels/cld be swing state. BUT: they're also putting up $ for super bowl.
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
Dear GOP: you will prove yourself truly suicidal if the 2016 convention is in Vegas.
Scott Conroy (@RealClearScott)
If Adelson/Wynn were to say, "Here is a check for $60 million," it might persuade RNC not to worry so much about delegate behavior in Vegas.
Hunter Walker (@hunterw)
Just found out my most precious childhood memories were all sponsored by Samsung. Confused. Alone. Scared.
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
And this, grandson, was how the Curse of the Selfie began dooming the Red Sox for the next 86 years http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-02/how-samsung-tricked-obama-into-shooting-that-selfie-with-david-ortiz …
Autism Speaks (@autismspeaks)
Giving love to all our advocates today on World Autism Awareness Day! Couldn't do it without your support! #LIUB
Tess VandenDolder (@TessVanden)
This awesome case study of the Terry McAuliffe campaign shows just how digital strategy wins elections http://bit.ly/1h2sljO
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Ways and Means is the oldest committee of the Congress. The committee was first established as a select committee on July 24, 1789 and was dissolved less than two months later.
The committee was later reconstituted during Fourth Congress in 1795, and formally listed as a standing committee in the House Rules on January 7, 1802.
Eight presidents and eight vice presidents have served on the Ways and Means committee, as have 21 speakers of the House of Representatives and four Supreme Court justices.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Steve Ligouri (@SteveL3877) Marc Abanto (@mabanto) and Dave Stroup @DaveStroup) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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