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Thursday, April 2, 2015
547 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Thursday, April 2, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about WUTP or subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or read my tweets and follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/Wakeup2Politics or read stories on Wake Up To Politics by clicking the media logos at the bottom.
Capitol Hill News
- New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez Indicted Sen. Bob Menenedez (D-NJ) has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 14 charges of corruption, in a ruling handed down Wednesday.
- The charges include eight counts of bribery, alleging the New Jersey Democrat accepted bribes in the form of gifts and campaign contributions from his friend Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was also indicted.
- In a statement following the jury’s decision, Menendez remained defiant, saying, “I’m angry and ready to fight because today contradicts my public service career and my entire life.”
- He also spoke about the root of the case: the meaning of friendship, and what gifts blurs the line into corruption: “I’m angry because prosecutors at the Justice Department don’t know the difference between friendship and corruption and have chosen to twist my duties as a senator and my friendship into something that is improper,” Menendez said.
- While proclaiming, “I am not going anywhere,” Menendez also wrote a letter to outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to notify the leader of his intentions to temporarily step down as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to which he will “once again ascend to…upon the successful resolution of the allegations before me,” Menendez wrote.
- “While there is no caucus rule that dictates that I do so,” the New Jerseyan wrote. “I believe it is in the best interests of the Committee, my colleagues, and the Senate which is why I have chosen to do so.”
- Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin will likely take over Menendez’ duties as top Democrat on the panel for a temporary basis.
- Reid responded in a statement, saying, “I appreciate Senator Menendez’s willingness to temporarily step down as ranking member. He has been a consistent champion for the middle class. As I have said about both Democrats and Republicans, our justice system is premised on the principle of innocent until proven guilty and Senator Menendez should not be judged until he has his day in court.”
- LINK – Matt Apuzzo writes for the New York Times on the role of superPACs in Menendez’ alleged corruption: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/nyregion/senator-robert-menendez-indicted-on-corruption-charges.html?referrer=
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 11:40 AM, President Obama will depart the White House for Louisville, Kentucky, where he arrives at 1:55 PM.
- At 2:40 PM, the President will tour Indatus, a cloud-based communications company. Following the tour, Obama will speak there about job training.
- Afterwards, Obama will depart Louisville at 4:10 PM for Utah, where he will spend the night and speak tomorrow.
Indiana Republicans to Introduce New Religious Freedom Proposal
- The Indianapolis Star has reported that Republican leaders in the Indiana legislature will introduce a proposal Thursday morning to revise the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
- The new proposal will revise parts of the law that are seen as anti-gay, and will forbid Indiana businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers, although churches and other religious group will be exempt.
- The original language of the law allowed businesses to turn away gay customers based on their sexual orientation, causing an outcry of protest.
- Race to 45 – Travel Tracker Bush in CA Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is on the fourth and final day of his five-city fundraising tour through California. The potential presidential candidaye will be in San Francisco today for a “luncheon and discussion” hosted by venture capitalist Jay Kern and wife Katie and school choice advocates Bill and Susan Oberndorf, among others, according to the Washington Post.
- Cruz in Iowa This is the final day of Ted Cruz’s first Iowa swing since announcing his presidential campaign. The tour through the key first-in-the-nation caucus state consisted of five events and five cities in two days.
- According to the Des Moines Register, Cruz will hold three town halls, one each in Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, both with Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA), and one alone in Des Moines.
- Tim Gunn weighs in on the fashion choices of presidential candidates: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/01/what-all-you-presidential-hopefuls-should-be-wearing-according-to-tim-gunn/
- Gertrude Weaver, the Arkansas woman who is the world’s oldest living, has invited President Obama to her 117th birthday party: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8bda6dea27f6414192d41a48538e2119/arkansas-woman-now-worlds-oldest-person-wants-obama-visit
- Hello everyone! I am back from Spring Break, but am going now to Boston for a quick trip to attend the opening dedication ceremonies of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. I will be attending as a credentialed member of the press, and you will hear a lot more about the Institute in my upcoming special, which will be published in the Wake Up after my trip.
- Because I am going to Boston, the return of Wake Up To Politics will be delayed until Monday, April 1. I apologize, but this is an amazing opportunity and I think you will all enjoy hearing about the Institute and my trip in the special. For now, follow me on Twitter @WakeUp2Politics for updates all day Monday on the opening.
- However: Presidential Madness must continue.
- And we now have a Final Four: George Washington, facing against Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt against William Jefferson Clinton.
- Thank you all for voting in the first three rounds! Now, we've reached another opportunity to influence the election for most important office in the world: Presidential Madness Champion, a title we are getting closer to crown.
- As you know, we will be using the bracket (updated to the Final Four, see below), created by the National Constitution Center, and narrowing down presidents in four rounds, like the NCAA.
- As I said, all but four presidents from the 32 we started with have been eliminated, and the match-ups this round are: George Washington vs. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt vs. Bill Clinton.
- Final Four voting will last until Saturday, April 4 (when the NCAA Final Four round is completed). Then - you will vote in the championship from April 4 until April 6, the NCAA Championship Game.
- Vote in each Final Four match-up for the president you think is better by 1) emailing me (email@example.com), 2) voting in the survey here, or 3) in the survey at the bottom of my website's Presidential Madness page (http://www.wakeuptopolitics.com/#!presidential-madness/c1fom)
- So, to recap - email me or go on the website to vote in both or some of the two match-ups in the fourth and penultimate round of Presidential Madness: the Final Four.
Thanks a lot,
Wake Up To Politics