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Off to the races: Sanford on the comeback trail

AP: “The city council in a small north Georgia town voted Monday night to make gun ownership mandatory - sort of. Council members in Nelson, a city of about 1,300 residents that’s located 50 miles north of Atlanta, voted unanimously to approve the Family Protection Ordinance. The measure requires every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to ‘provide for the emergency management of the city’ and to ‘provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.’ Not that every household must go out and purchase a firearm.”

The State’s Adam Beam: “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Republican Party’s Silver Elephant Celebration on May 3, according to a source close to the state party. Cruz, a Republican from Texas, is widely considered to be a presidential candidate in 2016. His speech in South Carolina -- which holds the crucial first in the South presidential primaries -- will only intensify that speculation.”

The Dallas Primary: “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will speak at a luncheon hosted by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth on April 24, the Council announced Monday. Bush's speech coincides with a speech former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to give at the National Multi Housing Council at the Four Seasons Resort and Club, also in Dallas, on April 24. Both Bush and Clinton have been mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2016,” The Hill writes.

The next day, April 25, is the dedication of the Bush Presidential Library.

Stu Rothenberg: “If the question is whether there is any evidence right now that Democrats can retake the House next year (especially considering historical trends and the number of swing districts), the answer has to be no. This conclusion is based on the evidence now, and if the evidence changes, so could my conclusion. Perhaps the best answer to the question, from my point of view, is one that some will find unsatisfactory: I don’t know. Ask me again in a year, and then a few months after that, and then again in October 2014.”

Former GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman co-authors a Harvard Institute of Politics blog post on the U.S.-China relationship. “The Chinese warily see our announced pivot to Asia as purely military in nature, and an attempt to encircle China and contain its inevitable rise. We likewise view China’s assertiveness in the East and South China Seas as a kind of belligerence, born from China’s new economic clout and perhaps a perception from Beijing that the U.S. is now financially weakened and military drained.”

More: “None of this means that conflict is inevitable or even likely. The U.S. and China are likely to remain competitors but not necessarily antagonists.  But it does require careful and sustained management of this complex relationship.  That means, among other things, identifying strategic areas where we our two countries can cooperate, while recognizing frankly and openly the areas where we will continue to differ.”

MINNESOTA: Peter “Waldron, 65, is now the man behind a pair of inquiries by the Federal Election Commission and the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, raising allegations of campaign finance violations that have given the four-term congresswoman more bad publicity than anything lobbed her way by the political left,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes. “Close Bachmann associates write Waldron off as a loose cannon and disgruntled employee. But for Waldron, a former radio evangelist, his actions are consistent with his decades-long mission to spread the word of God and follow his Christian precepts. It’s a quest that has taken him to hot spots around the globe and left even his best friends and family often wondering what he’s up to. If his 2006 arrest in Uganda on weapons charges sounds like it could have been a movie, it nearly was. A movie trailer for a planned film on the 37-day episode poses the same questions that have dogged Waldron for the past seven years: ‘Was he a spy? Was he a missionary? A businessman? A mercenary? A bounty hunter? Who was Peter Waldron? What did he know that risked the lives of his own family and friends?’”

NEW YORK: “The FBI busted Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens Tuesday and was set to haul in City Councilman Dan Halloran on charges they conspired to rig the 2013 mayoral election by buying Smith a spot on the Republican ballot, sources said,” the New York Daily News reports. “Agents were also rounding up four others, including two GOP party leaders who were to receive bribes in exchange for backing Smith when he switched sides last year in a never-realized run for City Hall.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: Mark Sanford’s the favorite in today’s special election primary runoff between him and Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston County councilman. Roll Call: “For a candidate known for one of the past decade’s most colossal political mistakes, former Gov. Mark Sanford has run a nearly flawless campaign for the 1st District. As a result, Sanford is on track to win the Republican runoff and maintains a solid position in the special election for the coastal, GOP-leaning district.”

Sanford and Curtis Bostic debated one last time last night on Hilton Head Island. Bostic: “I am the ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.’ I’m the amateur, like those people who founded this nation of ours. I am not looking for a career. I am not looking for somewhere to go. I want to serve you.”

Sanford: “If I was to be dubbed a career politician, I must have had a death wish.”

By the way, The State also notes that Sanford made about $300,000 last year -- $200,000 from FOX News and corporate boards, plus income property and rent.

Comedian Stephen Colbert’s hosting a fundraiser in DC for his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch April 15.

The Hill thinks she has a chance.

Colbert Busch, by the way, deleted hundreds of tweets from her Twitter account. “The campaign portrayed the move, which was caught by the Sunlight Foundation, as an attempt to make it easier for supporters to follow her event schedule,” The Hill writes. Many of the tweets deleted were retweets from other sources. But a few removed retweets of jokes making fun of the Republican Party — she needs to win over independents and some Republicans to win — as well as one saying she is ‘both pro-choice and in favor of marriage equality,’ positions that could be tricky in the Republican-leaning district.”

Polls are open today from 7:00 am ET to 7:00 pm ET. Look for results here.

WEST VIRGINIA: “The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin airing advertisements Wednesday targeting Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II,” Roll Call writes. “The small buy is intended to show that the committee is readying to take on Rahall’s district — regardless of whether he seeks re-election in 2014. Rahall is considering a bid for retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat. The NRCC will spend $12,000 to air the spot from April 3 to 9.”

But like last cycle, the ad is seemingly more to do with Obama than Rahall.

TEXAS: Rick Perry still doesn’t like the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare. And neither does Ted Cruz or John Cornyn, who held a press conference about it yesterday. But Texas is last in the country in covering the uninsured, a large number of them Hispanics. Despite that, Ted Cruz had this to say to protestors: “Our friends who are saying they want health care do not realize that expanding Medicaid will worsen health care options for the most vulnerable among us in Texas.”

Wait, it would be honest to say that expanding Medicaid, to make more people eligible for health care the state would have to pay for, would likely cost the state more money and impact the budget. But to say it would “worsen health-care options for the most vulnerable” when they have few other options, if any, is something else.

The Dallas Morning News: “Under President Barack Obama’s signature health law, Medicaid would be expanded to cover working age adults who earn about $15,400 or less each year, which is 138 percent of the federal poverty line for a single person. Current income limits in Texas depend on several factors, but can be as low as about $1,340 a year.”