Morning Briefing: May 11, 2012

More high school classmates of Mitt Romney have come forward in the wake of a blockbuster Washington Post story on his bullying of a presumed gay classmate, with one telling ABC News that Romney engaged in “bullying supreme”, and saying that he witnessed one event that could be considered “assault and battery.” He described Romney and his friends as a “pack of dogs” who targeted other victims.

Super PAC expenditures are expected to hit the $100 million mark this week, proving that outside spending in the 2012 election will far surpass any previous election cycle.

JP Morgan revealed yesterday that it lost $2 billion over the last six weeks, and regulation advocates see it as proof that big bank regulations are necessary. CEO Jamie Dimon said on a call with investors yesterday that the loss “plays right into the hands of a bunch of pundits out there” who support the Volcker Rule, which regulates how banks invest.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, will be stepping down at the end of this year. In an interview with the Washington Post, Keenan, who has headed up the organization for the last eight years, said she thinks it’s time for someone younger to lead the pro-choice movement. “People give a lot of lip service to how we’re going to engage the next generation,” Keenan said, “but we can’t just assume it will happen on its own.”


In Arizona, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (R) dropped his bid for U.S. House and announced he will seek re-election to his current position. A strong conservative, anti-immigration activist, and former Romney campaign state co-chair, Babeu was outed as a gay man when a former partner accused him of blackmail.

Egypt held the Arab World’s first presidential debate last night, marking a turning point in Egyptian politics after the past three decades of authoritarian rule under Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted after last year’s wave of protests.

A top NewsCorp insider offered “a rare glimpse into the personal relationship” between Rupert Murdoch and British politicians today. Ousted executive Rebekah Brooks testified “that that Prime Minister David Cameron and other leading figures sent her sympathetic messages through third parties after she resigned last year in the phone hacking scandal.”

And finally: In Italy, Fabio Borsatti entered the mayoral race in his town at the last minute, hoping to simply boost turnout in favor of the only real candidate. Naturally, even after his own family voted for the other guy, Borsatti won in a landslide.