CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 28, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING … INDICTMENT: GRIMM HID $1M IN RESTAURANT SALES, WAGES … Rep. Michael Grimm, R-New York, failed to report more than $1 million in sales and wages at a Manhattan restaurant he once ran, using unreported cash to pay workers off the books, evade taxes, and “keep more money for himself," according to federal prosecutors. Grimm pleaded not guilty on Monday to 20 counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns, hiring unauthorized aliens and perjury.
The two-term congressman was released on a $400,000 bond, but forced to surrender his guns and passport. He told reporters he will remain in office while fighting the charges. "I'm going to fight tooth and nail ... until I am fully exonerated," he said. – Jason Hanna, Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz
GRIMM ARREST MAKES RE-ELECTION TOUGHER … He already faced a tough re-election this year, but things are now even tougher for Republican Rep. Michael Grimm. And both Democrats and Republicans are pouncing. – Paul Steinhauser
DCCC CHAIR REP. STEVE ISRAEL: "This race was already one of our best pickup opportunities in the country. … It's never been more clear that the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn deserve new responsible representation."
NEW YORK GOP STATEMENT: "The Holder Justice Department has been among the most political in history. Congressman Grimm will have his day in court and we would all be wise to reserve judgment until more facts emerge."
MCALLISTER KISSES 2014 BID GOODBYE … GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, who was caught on video kissing his scheduler, will not run for re-election in November. “The past few weeks have been a trying time for my family. As I've said before, there's no doubt I've made a mistake,” McAllister said in a statement. “I've failed those I care most about and let down the people who elected me to represent them. I take full responsibility for this personal failure and I'm truly sorry for what I've done.”
LA GOP CHAIRMAN ROGER VILLERE: “While I would have liked to see Rep. McAllister close this chapter sooner, I was happy to hear of his decision to do what is best for his family and his constituents. Now that this situation is behind us, I am confident that voters in the 5th District will choose a strong conservative candidate in November.”
PRESSURE MOUNTS ON L.A. CLIPPERS OWNER … Pressure is mounting on a National Basketball Association team owner who allegedly made racist comments. A number of NBA legends have slammed Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Former players like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, and current greats including LeBron James have said that if Sterling did indeed say what recordings posted on two popular news sites seem to suggest, he must face consequences.
NAACP DROPS PLANS TO HONOR STERLING: “The words used were very Jim Crow-ish,” Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins said Monday. “It goes back to a segregation system and a time that nobody in America is proud of.”
OBAMA: STERLING IS IGNORANT: "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything. You just let them talk, and that’s what happened here,” Obama said Sunday. “The NBA is a league that is beloved by fans all across the country. It’s got an awful lot of African-American players. It’s steeped in African-American culture. And I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this.”
THE BUZZ: KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR: TIME FOR THE NBA TO STEP UP… NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Monday that the NBA “has to do something to show that the (league) does not support people with (Sterling’s) attitude.”
“I think it’s outrageous,” Abdul-Jabbar said on ‘The Lead with Jake Tapper,’ “We are supposed to be a society that has stepped past that, and we see evidence everywhere we look that the battle days really aren’t over. … It makes me wonder at times how much progress we’ve actually made.”
Citing groundbreaking athletes like Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson, Abdul-Jabbar told Tapper, “We’ve used sports to make progress and to make people come together, and this is going in the exact opposite direction. I don’t think Sterling has a place in this landscape.”
MARKET WATCH: Stocks end mixed. Dow rises 86 points, S&P up 6. NASDAQ shrugs off early tech stock selloff to end down slightly.
Harper Lee grew up in the same Alabama town as which famous author? (Hint: Lee modeled the character 'Dill' on this childhood friend.)
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: Majority in Colorado say legal marijuana good
Most voters in the first state to legalize recreational marijuana say the move was good for their state, according to a new poll. But a Quinnipiac survey of Colorado voters also indicates there are wide partisan and generational divides over the issue.
Leading CNNMoney: Internet Explorer bug lets hacker control your PC
If you're using Internet Explorer and click on the wrong link, a hacker could hijack your computer. Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) is racing to address a weakness in its popular Web browser that security experts at FireEye (FEYE) revealed over the weekend. The researchers discovered that hackers have exploited the bug and created a new type of attack. – Jose Pagliery
Leading Drudge: TWISTER WEEKEND: 16 DEAD
Emergency officials were searching for survivors Monday in the debris left by a powerful tornado that carved an 80-mile path of destruction through suburban Little Rock, killing at least 16 people. – Andrew DeMillo and Christine Huynh
Leading HuffPo: Time to Move On: Republican Concedes Obamacare Fight is Futile
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the number four ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, says the Affordable Care Act likely won't be repealed. In an interview with The Spokesman-Review published Friday, McMorris Rodgers said President Barack Obama's signature health care law is probably here to stay, so Republicans should focus on other issues. – Mollie Reilly
Leading Politico: Wall St. Republicans' dark secret: Hillary 2016
The biggest parlor game on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms these days is guessing whether former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will run for president and save the GOP’s old establishment base from its rising populist wing. The second most popular game is guessing what happens if Jeb says no. – Ben White and Maggie Haberman
Leading New York Times: Lawmakers Return to Congress With Modest Agenda
When members of Congress are campaigning for re-election in their districts, they are calling for legislation to address big problems with immigration, taxes, health care, worker pay, climate change and the country’s aging infrastructure. But as they return to Washington on Monday after a two-week break, there is almost no prospect for new legislation in those areas until after Election Day. – Davis S. Joachim
The political bites of the day
– Russia vows 'painful' response to new U.S. sanctions –
SERGEY RYABKOV, RUSSIA'S DEPUTY MINISTER FOR FOREIGN RELATIONS TO CNN: The sanctions are "meaningless, shameful, and disgusting (and) yet another sign of a reckless behavior of the U.S. administration. No lessons are learned from the past. … A response of Moscow will follow, and it will be painfully felt in Washington D.C."
– Corker and Ayotte: Latest U.S. sanctions a mere slap on the wrist –
SENS. BOB CORKER, R-TENNESSEE, AND KELLY AYOTTE, R-NEW HAMPSHIRE, ON THE NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS: “After a week of rhetoric from the administration, (we) had hoped (the U.S. government) would have responded to Russia’s blatant violations of its commitments to cease efforts to destabilize Ukraine with more than just a slap on the wrist.”
– Paul: Cut off aid to the Palestinian government –
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY IN A STATEMENT: "Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with an entity that does not believe it should exist and that has used terrorist tactics to seek its end."
– Psaki: Kerry doesn’t believe Israel is an ‘apartheid state’ –
STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN JEN PSAKI AT A NEWS CONFERENCE: “I’m not going to confirm the accuracy of comments made during a private meeting. But the secretary does not believe – and did not state publicly or privately – that Israel is an apartheid state, and there's an important difference there. Israel is obviously a vibrant democracy with equal rights for all of its citizens. I would also note that Secretary Kerry, like Justice Minister Livni, and previous Israeli Prime Ministers Olmert and Barak, believes that a two-state solution is the only way to have two nations and two people living side-by-side in peace and security.”
– Cantor: Obama should call on Kerry to apologize –
HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR IN A STATEMENT: "President Obama has rejected the use of the term apartheid in the past, correctly saying it is historically inaccurate and emotionally loaded. I hope that President Obama will again reiterate these views, and call on Secretary Kerry to apologize to the Israeli government and people."
– Palin: ‘Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists’ –
SARAH PALIN AT A NRA RALLY ON SATURDAY: “They obviously have information on plots to carry out jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them. You can’t make them feel uncomfortable, just even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
– Palin to NRA: Democrats are going ‘Pelosi’ on you –
PALIN AT THE NRA RALLY: “Do you know why those clownish little kumbaya-humming, fairy tale-inhaling liberals want to be tough all of a sudden and control your guns? It’s ‘cause guys like Al Franken and Harry Reid, they are not satisfied with just taking your money and your job and your truck and your property and your rights and your healthcare. A couple of months ago, there were 30 times as many Americans who registered for a gun license than registered for Obamacare. Those Democrats trying to get all Pelosi on ya, and you’re not gonna have it.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Scott Conroy (@RealClearScott)
BREAKING (in half, like a boy): RT @mikememoli @CookPolitical moves Grimm's NY-11 from "Lean Republican" to "Lean Democratic"
Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly)
"Representative Grimm lived by a new motto: fraud, perjury, and obstruction." - FBI's George Venizelos
Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos)
DCCC calls on Massachusetts House candidate Richard Tisei to return the $5100 donation from Rep. Grimm (R-NY).
Chase Cain (@ChaseCainTV)
4 major companies have already pulled sponsorships of the @LAClippers >> @VirginAmerica, @StateFarm, @KIA, & @CarMax ...more to join list?
David Plouffe (@davidplouffe)
As advertisers flee and legends and owners speak out, a suspension for Sterling won't do. Has to be forced out. Or circus right back next yr
Chris Cillizza (@TheFix)
Donald Sterling is a Republican and has given money to Democrats. His politics don't matter. wapo.st/1rxFmlH pic.twitter.com/PxN97iYzFH
Indiana Pacers’ David West (@D_West30)
Sterling basically articulated Plantation Politics...Make money off the Bucks/Lay with the Women/No Association in Public good or bad
Neel Kashkari (@neelkashkari)
I am truly grateful to have the endorsements of @MittRomney @DarrellIssa and Gov. Pete Wilson. http://www.neelkashkari.com/governor-mitt-romney-governor-pete-wilson-chairman-darrell-issa-endorse-neel-kashkari-governor/ …
Eric Alba (@alba)
Producers & Gov. O’Malley Reach Deal For ‘House Of Cards’ Season 3 To Stay Shooting in Maryland. http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/house-of-cards-maryland-deal-season-3-production/ …
Seth Cansler Clark (@Seth_C_Clark)
"There aren’t a lot of things that get past me.” Dikembe Mutombo in an email intro’ing new @MichelleNunnGA ad #gapol http://shar.es/SnUJ3
John Boehner (@johnboehner)
Meet @BarbaraComstock [http://freedomproject.org/candidate/barbara-comstock …] and @MiaBLove [http://freedomproject.org/candidate/mia-love …] - our newest nominees for the U.S. House
Bill Clinton (@billclinton)
My thoughts & prayers are with the families and communities in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa affected by last night’s devastating tornadoes.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Harper Lee, author of the 1960 novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ grew up with Truman Capote in Monroeville, Alabama. The two childhood neighbors became friends, sharing an early love for writing and crafting stories together on an Underwood typewriter given to them by Lee's father.
Capote, who went on to pen ‘In Cold Blood’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany's,’ served as the inspiration for the character Dill in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Capote lived next door to Lee while visiting his cousins each summer, just as Dill lived next door to his friend Scout in Harper’s novel.
Today, on Lee’s 88th birthday, she has agreed to make ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ available as an e-book and digital audiobook.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Rob Lockwood (@RobLockwood) and Ellen Van de Mark (@EllenVdM) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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