Morning Briefing: April 3, 2012

GOP voters head to the polls today in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, as Mitt Romney tries to put away Rick Santorum with a big win. The latest polls show Romney has a clear edge in delegate-rich Wisconsin, and Maryland is a similar story. Santorum needs a win to show he can still compete.

The Romney campaign announced on Monday that they would begin fundraising jointly with the Republican National Committee, a clear indication that the campaign is shifting focus from the primary election to the general. The joint fundraising committee will allow donors to contribute up to $75,000, far more than the $2,500 limit placed on individual campaign contributions.

Rupert Murdoch’s son James has stepped down as chairman of major British broadcaster BSkyB in the wake of the News Corp hacking scandal.

Retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) dismissed her party’s debate about contraception as “retro” at a women’s event in New York City last night. “It really is surprising because I feel like it’s a retro debate that comes from the 1950’s. It’s sort of back to the future, isn’t it?” she said at the Women’s Campaign Fund.


Five legally married same-sex couples filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In the lawsuit, brought by the organization Immigration Equality, the couples argue that the law’s impact is particularly harsh on couples where one partner is an immigrant.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials announced yesterday that they had arrested more than 3,100 criminals and others living in the country illegally. The six-day operation is the largest such effort in ICE history, and of the 3,168 people taken into custody in all 50 states, 1,477 had felony convictions.

President Obama will attack Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan today. Politico reports that Obama will call the budget a “Trojan horse” and accuse the GOP of “thinly veiled social Darwinism.” Romney has voiced his support of Ryan’s plan, which makes drastic cuts across the board and effectively ends Medicare as it exists today.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) took a page out of the Passover Haggadah last week, hitting Republicans over their proposed budget for violating the teachings of the Bible. Schakowsky posed four questions — much like during the Passover Seders — that Republicans must answer for to justify their cost-cutting budget.

And finally: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) was indeed likely on pain killers at an infamously giddy appearance in New Hampshire during his short presidential run. Also, before a debate in the state, a rival campaign aide overhead Perry singing in the men’s room, “I-I-I’ve been working on the ra-a-i-i-l-road, all-l-l the live-long day…”