PLAYBOOK SCOOP … MASSIVE QUARTER for SENATE MAJORITY PAC … The top Senate Democratic super PAC raised $22,236,533 in the first quarter of 2018, and they have $26 million on hand. THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARILY STRONG HAUL for the outside group.
-- THE STUNNER: Many of these super PACs have a sister non-profit group, which doesn’t have to disclose its donors. SMP is not releasing that group’s fundraising totals. BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT: The Democratic super PAC alone outraised Senate Leadership Fund and all of its sister organizations. DEM SUPER PAC: $22 million. CONSTELLATION OF REPUBLICAN GROUPS: nearly $13.9 million. BUT, BUT, BUT the GOP groups have $34.4 million cash-on-hand.
-- JB PORSCHE, the president of SMP: “Our opportunities in the Senate improve with every passing month.”
Good Thursday afternoon. CLICKER -- THE TIME 100 LIST -- Some notable profiles: The Parkland Activists by Barack Obama https://ti.me/2F0anwm … Jimmy Kimmel by Dick Durbin https://ti.me/2vrEPjn … Donald Trump by Ted Cruz https://ti.me/2vsaNMv … Sean Hannity by Newt Gingrich https://ti.me/2vo8idY … Robert Mueller by Preet Bharara https://ti.me/2EZHuQT … Nancy Pelosi by Cecile Richards https://ti.me/2vyoARs …
… Jeff Sessions by Mitch McConnell https://ti.me/2vqUbEG … Scott Pruitt by Christine Todd Whitman https://ti.me/2F3l15C … Ronan Farrow, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey by Ashley Judd https://ti.me/2EZ85O5 … Jeff Bezos by Jamie Dimon https://ti.me/2F042kp … Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie by Matt Vella https://ti.me/2vs8KIc … Maxine Waters by Yara Shahidi https://ti.me/2vrFHEF … The full list https://ti.me/2vv9lsN
SPEAKER PAUL RYAN talked to HUGH HEWITT this morning on the radio about his future: HEWITT: “If one of these bigs, like if Jeff Bezos, who’s a pretty smart guy, comes in and says hey, Mr. Speaker, come join the board of Amazon, or Google, or Netflix, one of the bigs, would you do that, because it seems to me Silicon Valley, as Mark Zuckerberg said, is so left wing.” …
RYAN: “I have no clue, Hugh. I, it’s weird. My mind, I’m a fairly disciplined person. And the way I do this stuff is that’s, those are things I’m going to figure out later. They’re, I’m a cause guy. You know, I’m a cause guy. I came from the think tank world, worked my way up, and then got elected to Congress when I was 28 years old. So I’m obviously going to keep staying involved in these causes that we all believe in. That’s the one thing I know.
“There’s charities I care about, causes I care about, upward mobility and poverty are issues that are really near and dear to my heart. And that’s what I know I’ll do. And other than that, you know, we’ll figure all that stuff out. And honestly, I just don’t think I should be spending my time thinking about that with all this work yet to do this year. And I can figure that stuff out in 2019, after taking my wife to the beach.”
-- THE “GUY” TICK: Ryan has a funny verbal tick. He describes himself as an “[insert noun here!] guy.” A policy guy, Wisconsin guy, regular order guy, etc. Above, he described himself as a “cause guy.”
MARK YOUR CALENDAR -- “Senate committee plans Monday vote on Pompeo as secretary of state,” by WaPo’s Karoun Demirjian and John Wagner: “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has set a vote for Monday on Mike Pompeo’s nomination as President Trump’s secretary of state. …
“To secure the committee’s blessing, Pompeo will need at least one vote from the 10 Democrats on the 21-member panel. That’s because the day after Pompeo’s nomination was announced, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), formally stated his opposition to Pompeo’s bid.” https://wapo.st/2vrgHNZ
TRUMP VS. CALIFORNIA, CONTINUED -- @realDonaldTrump at 11:23 a.m.: “Thank you San Diego County for defending the rule of law and supporting our lawsuit against California's illegal and unconstitutional 'Sanctuary' policies. California's dangerous policies release violent criminals back into our communities, putting all Americans at risk.” …
… at 11:28 a.m.: “Governor Jerry Brown announced he will deploy ‘up to 400 National Guard Troops’ to do nothing. The crime rate in California is high enough, and the Federal Government will not be paying for Governor Brown’s charade. We need border security and action, not words!”
A QUICK ELECTION! WONDER HOW THAT HAPPENED … “Cuba’s new president is the first non-Castro in 42 years. How much power will he have?” by the Miami Herald’s Mimi Whitefield and Nora Gámez Torres: “Cuba's new President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel grew up in the Cuban revolution and it's clear his mission is to make sure it survives.
“In his first speech as president Thursday, Díaz-Canel emphasized continuity with the past and an important and ongoing political role for retiring Cuban president Raúl Castro, 86, who will remain at the helm of the Communist Party of Cuba.” https://hrld.us/2F0oSjM
COVER DU JOUR -- Bloomberg Businessweek: “Palantir Knows Everything About You: Peter Thiel’s data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens. The scary thing? Palantir is desperate for new customers,” by Peter Waldman, Lizette Chapman, and Jordan Robertson: “The LAPD uses Palantir’s Gotham product for Operation Laser, a program to identify and deter people likely to commit crimes. Information from rap sheets, parole reports, police interviews, and other sources is fed into the system to generate a list of people the department defines as chronic offenders, says Craig Uchida, whose consulting firm, Justice & Security Strategies Inc., designed the Laser system.
“The list is distributed to patrolmen, with orders to monitor and stop the pre-crime suspects as often as possible, using excuses such as jaywalking or fix-it tickets. At each contact, officers fill out a field interview card with names, addresses, vehicles, physical descriptions, any neighborhood intelligence the person offers, and the officer’s own observations on the subject.
“The cards are digitized in the Palantir system, adding to a constantly expanding surveillance database that’s fully accessible without a warrant. Tomorrow’s data points are automatically linked to today’s, with the goal of generating investigative leads. Say a chronic offender is tagged as a passenger in a car that’s pulled over for a broken taillight. Two years later, that same car is spotted by an automatic license plate reader near a crime scene 200 miles across the state. As soon as the plate hits the system, Palantir alerts the officer who made the original stop that a car once linked to the chronic offender was spotted near a crime scene.” https://bloom.bg/2qIUN3Y … The cover http://bit.ly/2vp8o5b
MEDIAWATCH -- “Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS,” by Josh Gerstein: “Embattled attorney Michael Cohen has dropped a pair of much-touted libel suits against BuzzFeed and the private investigation firm Fusion GPS over publication of the so-called dossier detailing alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia.
“Cohen abandoned the suits late Wednesday as he continues to fight to recover documents and electronic files seized from his home, office and hotel room last week by federal authorities as part of what appears to be a broad criminal investigation into his conduct.
“‘The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one,’ Cohen's attorney David Schwartz said. "We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen’s rights was -- and still remains -- important. But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention, and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits.’” https://politi.co/2voeWkk
-- AP: “FBI offers $1M for info on US reporter missing in Syria”: “Austin Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria’s civil war. A video released a month later showed him blindfolded and held by armed men. He has not been heard from since. Tice is a former Marine who has reported for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and CBS.” http://bit.ly/2vscklI
-- Garance Franke-Ruta left Yahoo News to work on a memoir, which will be about living and working in NYC in the late 1980s and early 1990s as an anti-AIDs activist with ACT UP. She will complete residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Writer’s Block bookstore.
AFTERNOON READ -- THE NYT’s OVERLOOKED OBIT SERIES -- “Harriott Daley, the Capitol’s First Telephone Operator,” by Alexandra Jacobs: “Before voice mail and voice recognition; before Siri and Alexa and their electronic sistren; before people cowered at the sight of incoming calls and hid behind blooping bubbles of text; before all that, there was Harriott Daley, the first telephone switchboard operator at the Capitol in Washington.
“When Daley, who worked for the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, arrived in the capital in December 1898, many of the lawmakers there, all men, regarded this newfangled talking device that she heralded with the same skepticism, even horror, that today’s digital natives express toward their smartphones’ ‘talk’ function.” https://nyti.ms/2vycsAi
SPOTTED: Michael Flynn on the 6:50 a.m. Acela from D.C. to NYC this morning -- pic http://bit.ly/2qIxNly -- Flynn is speaking at a London Center event today as a part of their lecture series at the Union League Club in Manhattan … Mark McKinnon interviewing Roger Stone at Stone’s home in Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday for this weekend’s episode of “The Circus” – pics via Myra Adams http://bit.ly/2HKVH7a ... http://bit.ly/2qIgVv3
OUT AND ABOUT -- Pool report: “David Stewart had his going away party in HC5, where Uncle Julio’s was served. Guests included Ways and Means staff past and present, Speakers' staff (Boehner and Ryan). Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) gave remarks, David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) also made an appearance. Amy Lozupone delivered remarks from Speaker Boehner who committed to being in Dallas with Bush. In the remarks, Boehner called David a ‘quiet rockstar’ and a winner.”
-- Pool report: “Meridian International Center and Ambassador Stuart Holliday hosted a reception last night to welcome the newly credentialed Ambassadors of the Bahamas, Croatia, Estonia, Korea, Libya, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saint Lucia and Uzbekistan to Washington, D.C.”
SPOTTED: Marie Royce, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Charlie Rivkin, Adrienne Arsht, former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), Carlos Gutierrez, Jim and Janet Blanchard, Michelle Kosinski, Ann Stock, Megan Beyer, Clara Brillembourg, Ben Chang, Susan Blumenthal, Fritz Brogan, Andy Keiser, Robb Watters, former Amb. Laurie Fulton, former Amb. Walt and Didi Cutler, Capricia Marshall, Lee Satterfield and Patrick Steel, Lloyd Hand, former Amb. Tom Korologos, Kevin Moley, Jay Perron, Jayne Sandman.
SPOTTED at EMILY’s List annual We Are EMILY conference and gala last night at the Marriott Marquis: Stephanie Schriock, Emily Cain, Ellen Malcolm, Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Tina Smith (Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Democratic Reps. Nanette Barragan (Calif.), Don Beyer (Va.), Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Joe Crowley (N.Y.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), Suzan DelBene (Wash.), Lois Frankel (Fla.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Michelle Lujan-Grisham (N.M.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and Norma Torres (Calif.), former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Mayor Muriel Bowser.
TRANSITIONS -- Katie Wise has joined Invariant. She was previously VP of legislation of the Federation of American Hospitals. … Owen Burgess, a senior aide for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is leaving to manage the Senate campaign for Nick Freitas. … David Banks, a former Trump White House special assistant, is joining Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs as an adjunct research scholar. …
… Christina Norton and Taylor Mullon have both joined GOPAC. Norton, who is the communications and political director, was last at the NRSC and Mullon, the finance director, was previously at the RSLC.
BONUS BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Alleigh Marré, senior adviser and chief of staff to the Secretary of the Air Force. What she’s been reading recently: “I recently read ‘Before We Were Yours,’ a historical fiction based on the story of Georgia Tann, a director of an adoption organization who kidnapped and sold more than 5,000 poor children to wealthy families for more than 20 years. I’m now reading a biography about Tann and have been down a rabbit hole learning about how the politics of the time allowed her to operate.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2vxOXas