Off to the races: It’s Booker vs. Lonegan

The New York Times take a deep look into the Clinton Foundation, and how its competing interests could factor into Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions. "[T]he changing of the guard has aggravated long-simmering tensions within the former first family’s inner circle as the foundation tries to juggle the political and philanthropic ambitions of a former president, a potential future president, and their increasingly visible daughter. And efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr. Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs. Clinton’s political future."

IDAHO: Rep. Raul Labrador (R) told the Idaho Statesman he'll announce today whether he'll run for re-election to Congress in 2014 or challenge Gov. Butch Otter in the GOP primary. 

KENTUCKY: Pressed by his primary opponent to side with other conservative lawmakers, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) says a "government shutdown would not prevent the Affordable Care Act from being funded," WYMT reports. McConnell: "The problem is the bill that would shut down the government wouldn't shut down Obamacare...Most of it is permanent law and not affected by that. It also wouldn't stop the taxes. Taxes that are going in on medical devices, taxes that are going in on health insurance premiums."

MONTANA. More Democrats are passing on the state's open Senate seat, where the party is still without a candidate. "Three members of a prominent Montana Democratic family – former U.S. Rep. Pat and ex-state Sen. Carol Williams, and their daughter Whitney – each has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate or House next year, despite pleas to do so," the Missoulian reports. 

NEW JERSEY: In no surprise, Newark Mayor Cory Booker rolled to an easy win in Tuesday's Democratic Senate special primary. He'll face Republican Steve Lonegan in the Oct. 16 special general election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's term. 

“New Jersey voters are about to witness a two-month sprint for an open U.S. Senate seat that will feature a heavily favored national media darling fending off a conservative provocateur with sharp barbs and little to lose,” the Star Ledger writes. “The upcoming political spectacle — rare even by Garden State standards — was set up Tuesday when Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Republican conservative activist Steve Lonegan scored easy primary victories in the battle for the late Frank Lautenberg’s seat.” The election will be held Oct. 16.

National Journal: “Christie allies expect the governor to offer Lonegan a formal endorsement, but don't expect the governor to lift a finger to campaign or raise money for his party's nominee or lend him support in his long-shot campaign against Booker for the October special election.”

The Democratic oppo group American Bridge released this memo on Lonegan, calling him the new “face” of the Republican Party: “Lonegan, who chose to unburden himself to reporters last weekend about overcoming his ‘handicap’ of being ‘a white guy,’ is indeed a perfect example of Republicans’ ‘new’ efforts to appeal to more voters. Rather than acknowledge Republicans’ shortcomings broadening their appeal to voters who have been turned off by their extreme rhetoric, Lonegan and Republicans are doubling down on the same policies that voters rejected. With Steve Lonegan as the current face of the rebranded GOP, it is clear that nothing has changed.

NEW YORK:Maggie Haberman: “A Hillary Clinton spokesman took a shot at Anthony Weiner on Tuesday for claiming he knew what role his wife Huma Abedin would play in a 2016 Clinton presidential run, denying he had any inside knowledge. ‘We have absolutely no clue what he was talking about,’ spokesman Nick Merrill said. ‘Maybe his campaign does. Doubt it though.’ It’s the most extensive commentary anyone from Hillary Clinton’s world has made about Weiner since a statement months ago, right before he joined the campaign, in which both she and Bill Clinton made clear they were staying out of the race.”

Haberman: “For the first time, Weiner, currently polling in fourth place in the latest public survey in the race, didn’t suck up all the oxygen in the room. In fact, three of Weiner’s rivals seemed content to ignore him and the scandal that has dominated headlines for weeks. Only City Council Speaker Christine Quinn engaged Weiner repeatedly, invoking his scandal to say he has no standing to lecture his opponents. But for the most part, the first debate in a campaign that’s been characterized by the salacious was largely a snooze.”

The New York Daily News: “Three hours after the new poll came out, the top five Democrats tangled in a debate cosponsored by the Daily News and WABC-TV, and for one of the few moments in the campaign, de Blasio found himself the target of attacks. It began when de Blasio belittled Quinn’s claim of being the only candidate with a major record of results.” The Daily News called this the best punch line of the night and it was from Weiner: “The only difference between Speaker Quinn and Bill de Blasio is Speaker Quinn has been more successful.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: Lindsey Graham got another challenger Tuesday, state Sen. Lee Bright. “A challenger for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s seat said Tuesday that he is running in the GOP primary because South Carolina needs more conservative representation and someone who isn’t so friendly with Democrats,” AP writes. Bright said, “I think it’s time that South Carolina had somebody to rep South Carolina and more of the conservative values that we hold versus Barack Obama’s or (Sen.) John McCain's.”

Adam Beam of The State: “State Sen. Lee Bright announced his candidacy Tuesday for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, calling incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham ‘a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood.’”

Said Bright on a conference call: “During the (congressional) recess, when I would hope that he would be around folks in South Carolina, getting their feelings on so many issues that affect their lives, he has instead chosen to take his time to be a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood and that concerns me. He needs to spend more time listening to what the brothers in South Carolina have to say.”

Context: “At the request of President Barack Obama, Graham last week visited Egypt with U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to help calm things down after the Egyptian military’s recent overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a political and religious organization that wants the government to operate under Muslim law.”

SOUTH DAKOTA: Sioux Falls Argus Leader:State Rep. Stace Nelson "announced early Tuesday morning that he will be running for South Dakota's seat," challenging former Gov. Mike Rounds for the GOP nomination. "Nelson is an outspoken conservative who has clashed publicly with Republican leadership in the state House of Representatives, at one point being kicked out of the House GOP caucus."

VIRGINIA. The Washington Post's editorial board has hard words for Democrat Terry McAuliffe on questions over his former electric car company. "Mr. McAuliffe is a renowned fundraiser and a wealthy man. He’s leveraged his extensive political network with some of his money-making ventures, and he tried to do the same with GreenTech. That’s not particularly disturbing. But if the company is mainly smoke and mirrors — if it is little more than a visa mill launched to serve Mr. McAuliffe’s political ambitions — that is disturbing. Virginians are right to press him for answers."

The Republican Governors Association released an ad yesterday hitting McAuliffe over GreenTech. 

Bristol Herald Courier: "A political brouhaha erupted Tuesday over news that Virginia’s top fraud investigator is scrutinizing how the attorney general’s office has handled a series of federal lawsuits over natural gas royalties. The day began with a flurry of emails by state Democrats highlighting revelations reported by the Bristol Herald Courier that the Office of Inspector General is looking into whether a senior staffer for AG and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli improperly advised lawyers for energy companies embroiled in a legal battle with Southwest Virginia landowners. It peaked with Cuccinelli sidestepping reporters’ questions about the state inquiry just moments after he unrolled his campaign’s educational platform during a lengthy event at a Richmond school."

And McAuliffe's latest television spot, out this morning, on the landowner probe.

Richmond Times Dispatch: "Gov. Bob McDonnell has returned tangible gifts from a wealthy political donor whose relationship with the governor is under scrutiny, a spokesman for McDonnell’s private legal team confirmed Tuesday. The spokesman released no other details about the gifts, including exactly what was returned or the value of the items."

WYOMING: Casper Star-Tribune: "A new petition from Liz Cheney’s campaign calls on Sen. Mike Enzi, her opponent, to renounce an Obama administration move that could give members of Congress and their staff special treatment under the Affordable Care Act’s health exchange programs. On Tuesday, Enzi’s camp responded that he doesn’t support special treatment for lawmakers and that few members of Congress have been working harder to defeat all of Obamacare’s provisions than Wyoming’s senior senator, who faces Cheney in a Republican primary challenge for his job."