TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: June 25

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the news: Iraqi premier refuses calls to form broader government; U.S. sanctions on Russia could be delayed; Sen. Thad Cochran wins Mississippi primary; Rep. Charlie Rangel in the lead

  • “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused Wednesday to bend to international appeals to form a more broad-based government to curb the country’s swelling Sunni Muslim insurgency.” [WSJ]
    • “Iran is flying unarmed surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance, American officials said. Tehran has also deployed a unit there to intercept communications…” [NYT]
  • “Sanctions aimed at key economic sectors in Russia because of its threatening moves in Ukraine might be delayed because of positive signals from Russian President Vladimir Putin…” [AP]
  • “Sen. Thad Cochran narrowly won Mississippi’s Republican primary election Tuesday, prevailing over a Tea Party challenger in a hard-fought runoff vote that was seen as a proxy for the intramural fight between the GOP establishment and conservative insurgents.” [TIME]
    • “After trailing the lesser known McDaniel in the June 3 primary, Cochran, in three weeks time, managed to: a) grow the electorate in his favor by, among other things, recruiting African Americans to his cause b) run successfully on a message of keeping his seniority in Washington and c) win despite, quite clearly, being the less naturally skilled candidate on the stump.” [WashPost]
  • “New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel held a slim lead in a primary race against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat early Wednesday, as the longtime incumbent looked for a victory that would give him what he’s said will be one last term in Congress.” [TIME]
  • Boehner Planning House Lawsuit Against Obama Executive Actions [Roll Call]
  • “The Obama administration cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in nearly four decades, allowing energy companies to start chipping away at the longtime ban on selling U.S. oil abroad.” [WSJ]
TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: June 24

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the news: Kerry in Iraq; Ex-Im debate ranges amid new investigation; primary Tuesday; Bionic future beckons

  • “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country.” [Reuters]
    • “What’s not debatable are the echoes of Saigon in both Baghdad and Kabul. The final U.S. troops in Vietnam headed for home in 1973. Two years later, the North Vietnamese pressed south toward the capital of Saigon, from where Nguyen Van Thieu ruled.” [TIME]
  • “The U.S. Export-Import Bank has suspended or removed four officials in recent months amid investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks, as well as attempts to steer federal contracts to favored companies…” [WSJ]
    • House Majority Leader-Elect Puts Ex-Im Bank in Jeopardy [TIME]
  • “The number of children caught crossing the Mexican border without an adult has jumped tenfold and is overwhelming officials charged with caring for them in federal custody.” [Hill]
  • “As the tumultuous fight for Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat in Washington hurtles toward a close on Tuesday, this bitter reality has started to dawn on Republicans here: The larger battle for power within the Mississippi Republican coalition is only just beginning.” [Politico]
    • “If Charles Rangel is going to get pushed out of Congress, it won’t be without a dance.” [Politico]
  • “Investigations into the Christie administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have zeroed in on possible securities law violations stemming from a $1.8 billion road repair agreement in 2011…” [NYT]
  • Science fiction come true: Moving a paralyzed hand with the power of thought [WashPost]
TIME 2014 Election

Primaries Pit Parties’ Old Guard Against New

Thad Cochran Primary Election
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, greets supporters at a pre-election day rally at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson, Miss., on June 2, 2014. Joe Ellis—AP

The headlines scream of surreptitious videos, nasty intramural spats and Silicon Valley influence peddlers. But among the eight states holding primary elections on Tuesday, the two marquee contests can be distilled to a simple choice: whether Republican and Democratic primary voters decide to jettison the old guard for a taste of the future.

In Mississippi’s Republican Senate primary, incumbent Thad Cochran’s seat is the Tea Party’s best remaining shot this year to topple an incumbent. A six-term incumbent with a patrician’s manner and a taste for pork-barrel spending, Cochran, 76, can seem like a relic of a different era. He has served Mississippi in the Senate since the Carter administration, and his skill at securing federal dollars for this cash-strapped state is borne out by the facilities across it that bear his name. He has said he doesn’t “really know a lot” about the Tea Party movement that has been shaking up the GOP for five years running now.

In normal times, Cochran’s earmarking prowess and Washington clout might have made him a model senator. This year it makes him big game for RINO-hunting groups across the GOP’s right wing. And if Cochran is an icon of the party’s past, his insurgent challenger is an emblem of the party’s new regime. Chris McDaniel, a 41-year-old state senator, disdains earmarks and has skirted some questions about whether he would have voted for a relief bill that ameliorated the damages of Hurricane Katrina. He presents himself as a pure conservative, and makes clear that he would eschew the federal dollars on which Cochran—the ranking member on the Senate appropriations committee—has partially staked his re-election. “I’m not going to do anything for you,” McDaniel told a local audience recently. “I’m going to get the government off your back, then I’m gonna let you do it for yourself.”

While the personalities and the politics are different, the juxtaposition between old and new is equally stark in Tuesday’s primary in California’s 17th Congressional District. Since 2001, the Bay Area region has been represented by Democrat Mike Honda. Like Cochran, Honda is a popular septuagenarian with support from his party’s traditional base. As such, he also became the target of a hostile takeover attempt from a group that may represent the party’s next generation.

The 17th district encompasses swaths of Silicon Valley, and tech titans like Sean Parker, Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg have plowed cash into the campaign account of a challenger they hope will better represent the industry’s interests. That candidate, 37-year-old Ro Khanna, has drafted some of the same bundlers and data whizzes who powered President Barack Obama to reelection. An Ivy league-educated intellectual property lawyer, Khanna is the kind of centrist technocrat that Silicon Valley—and the Democratic Party that increasingly relies on its largesse—has come to prize.

Honda has the edge in name recognition, the support of labor unions and a long record that resonates in the district. But if Khanna survives Tuesday’s “jungle” primary—in which the top two vote-getters regardless of party move to the general election—he could prove a disruptive political force come November.

TIME Congress

Washington’s Oldest Congressman Loses Runoff Election

Congressman Ralph Hall smiles during a tour of his home in Rockwall, Tx, May 27, 2014.
Congressman Ralph Hall smiles during a tour of his home in Rockwall, Texas, May 27, 2014. LM Otero—AP

Texas Rep. Ralph Hall, 91, was defeated by Republican primary challenger John Ratcliffe on Tuesday

The oldest elected politician in Washington lost a runoff election in a Republican primary Tuesday night.

Texas Rep. Ralph Hall, 91, was ousted by 48-year-old John Ratcliffe, who emphasized the importance of new leadership after Hall’s 34 years in office, the Associated Press report.

Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney backed by several national conservative organizations, won the election in the Texas’ 4th Congressional District, which is in the northeastern region of the state, CNN reports.

No Democratic candidate is running in the district, which means Ratcliffe’s primary victory will send him to Washington.

Hall won his first congressional seat during Jimmy Carter’s presidency in 1980. He was a member of the Democratic Party until 2004, when he switched to the GOP. He is the only World War II veteran in Congress who was seeking re-election.

During the party’s March primary, Hall claimed 45 percent of the vote while Ratcliffe finished second with 28 percent, leading to the run-off. Hall had said that his 18th term would have been his last, had he been elected.

[AP]

TIME The Brief

GOP Rolls Tea Party in Primaries

Welcome to #theBrief, the four stories to know about right now—from the editors of TIME

+ READ ARTICLE

Here are the stories TIME is watching this Wednesday, May 21:

  • Establishment Republicans came out on top of GOP primaries after three of five states pass over Tea Party candidates to re-elect incumbents.
  • The Supreme Court stayed what would have been the nation’s first lethal injection after Oklahoma’s botched execution in late April.
  • Iranian officials arrest 6 young people for posting a dancing tribute video of Pharrell’s song “Happy” to YouTube called “Happy in Tehran.
  • Thanks to late storms and lingering cold, Aspen opens its ski slopes for Memorial Day weekend.

The Brief is published daily on weekdays.

TIME The Brief

Thailand Denies Military Coup

Welcome to #theBrief, the four stories to know about right now—from the editors of TIME

+ READ ARTICLE

Here are the stories TIME is watching this Tuesday, May 20:

  • Big money fuels a mini Super Tuesday for Republicans with primary elections in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
  • Thailand institutes martial law, but insists there has been no military coup.
  • Fans clamor for Jay-Z and Beyonce to really make a film for their tour’s faux movie teaser ‘Run.’
  • Led Zeppelin gets sued for possibly plagiarizing the opening notes of “Stairway to Heaven” from the Spirit song “Taurus.”

The Brief is published daily on weekdays.

TIME 2014 Election

California’s New Jungle Primary System

Mike Honda
Liberal lion Mike Honda in D.C., where he has support from the Democratic establishment. He has served seven terms in Congress but faces challenges from within his own party Jose Luis Magana—AP

All bets are off in California's congressional races as multiple candidates from the same party face off

“I’m Guessing,” says Dan Schnur, who is running for California secretary of state, “that not many of you lie awake at night wondering what the next California secretary of state will do.” There is laughter from the crowd of maybe 30 voters. And you, too, dear readers–especially those of you who don’t even live in California–may be wondering why a candidate for a decidedly obscure political office is worthy of your attention.

Well, part of it is that Dan Schnur is an interesting guy, a longtime consultant to moderate Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger and John McCain. But he isn’t a Republican anymore. He’s running as an Independent. “I’m in favor of marriage equality and lower taxes,” he begins. “I’m tough on crime and pro-choice. I’m for immigration reform and for using test scores as a valuable measure of students’ progress. Yes, the reason that I’m running as an Independent is that neither party will have me.”

But that’s not exactly accurate. He’s running as an Independent because there were two political reforms enacted during Schwarzenegger’s time as governor of California. They were below the radar but startling, the sort of reforms that are near impossible because incumbent politicians usually block them–but they were passed by public referendum and initiative in 2010, and Schnur was one of those at the heart of the campaign to get them enacted.

The reforms are ingeniously simple. There is no more gerrymandering in California, no more congressional or state legislative districts tailored to the needs of the incumbents or the majority political party. District lines are now drawn by an independent commission to reflect actual community borders. (The commissioners are forbidden by law from knowing where the incumbents live.) Second, primaries are now multipartisan: the top two vote getters, regardless of party affiliation, face off against each other in the general election. Schnur co-chaired the Voices of Reform project on redistricting. “I wasn’t too involved in the top-two primary reform,” he says. “I didn’t think it would make much difference … but I’ve learned: this could be enormous.” Schnur and his colleagues may have actually created an electoral system that favors centrists rather than politicians who play to their party’s base. On June 3, California will go to the polls in what politicos have taken to calling the Jungle Primary.

California’s Fourth Congressional District is a perfect primer for the curiosities of the Jungle. Tom McClintock, 57, is the three-term incumbent and has long prided himself on his “constitutionalist” orneriness. He is, in other words, a Tea Party Republican. His district, in the Central Valley and foothills, is very conservative but perhaps not as extreme as McClintock is. He is, for example, in favor of amnesty for Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, because Snowden helped expose the criminal proclivities of the federal government and “I’d rather have him home talking to us than over there talking to the Russians.”

At a well-attended Saturday-afternoon meeting in the town of Mariposa, near the entrance to Yosemite National Park, McClintock endorsed a candidate for county supervisor and then addressed the crowd, many of whom wore cowboy hats and sported some elaborate facial hair. They were all het up over the federal government and the “left-wing environmentalists,” as McClintock described them, calling the federal tune in Yosemite. Some of their complaints sounded reasonable: a local toad was about to be labeled “threatened,” which would further limit the local water supply (there’s been a terrible drought in California)–but the toads were dying out, according to the locals, because the feds had stocked the lakes with trout, which ate the tadpoles. The feds were also proposing to close down stables and rafting businesses along the Yosemite waterways.

McClintock is a smart politician who knows the issues, knows what his constituents care about and can make it seem as if he’s as angry as they are. He takes lonely–his opponents say obstructionist–stands against the various agencies of the Department of the Interior. He “speaks truth to power,” as he told the folks in Mariposa. In the past, he didn’t have many electoral cares; the Democrats have never had much of a chance in either the old or new Fourth District. But now McClintock has to worry about Art Moore, who is also a Republican.

Moore, 36, is a razor-sharp recent combat veteran, an Army major returned to his hometown of Roseville, the most populous community in the Fourth District. He is a graduate of West Point who served tours in both Iraq and Kuwait. He is also, however, a stone-cold neophyte who hasn’t really been to political boot camp yet. He is, he says, “a conservative,” and he checks the appropriate boxes on most conservative issues, like Obamacare–but he also is “a bit more libertarian” than McClintock on social issues like gay marriage and abortion. Most important, though, is his style: he’s the opposite of McClintock’s lone gunslinger. “You’ve got to sit down and negotiate with those you don’t agree with,” he says. “[McClintock] has a perfect conservative voting record, but what has he got done? He voted to shut down the federal government–to close Yosemite–which really hurt this district. I’m in favor of building coalitions and seeing if we can make some progress on the issues.”

Moore admits that he would not have run under the old system. McClintock has the party base locked up and the power of incumbency. But if Moore can make it into the general election against McClintock, he may be able to access independent and moderate Democratic voters as well as his brand of conservative Republicans. “In the Jungle Primary, everybody has to run to the center,” says Fred Keeley, a former state rep from Santa Cruz who co-chaired the Voices of Reform project with Schnur, “because that’s where the votes are.”

McClintock claims not to be worried about Moore. He tells me that his “most substantial opponent” in the Fourth District is an Independent named Jeffrey Gerlach. It’s a lovely tactic to pretend that Moore doesn’t matter and a sign that uniprimary politics can get pretty interesting: a Republican opponent like Moore, who might appeal to moderates in November, when more people are paying attention, is McClintock’s worst nightmare in the Jungle.

Indeed, across the state in Silicon Valley, there has been an outbreak of electoral weirdness in the 17th Congressional District–which, in some ways, is a mirror image of the race in the Fourth: Mike Honda, a traditional labor liberal, is opposed by a more moderate Democratic newcomer named Ro Khanna. Khanna, 37, is an Indian American, an intellectual-property lawyer who worked in Barack Obama’s Commerce Department and has close ties to the President. He has also reportedly raised $3.7 million–far more than Honda–from Silicon Valley tech titans, who are just beginning to flex their political muscles (much as Hollywood did during the Vietnam War). Khanna is an impressive candidate, fluent on every issue and, in some cases, downright courageous: he is willing to challenge the public-employee unions–all of which support Honda–on issues like accountability and pension reform. Most of the major newspapers in the district have endorsed Khanna.

But the 17th District also has a semiplausible third candidate–a Republican named Dr. Vanila Singh, 43, a young and attractive professor of anesthesiology at Stanford University Medical School. Singh is a neophyte and can seem foggy on the issues, but she has positioned herself cleverly–she’s another social liberal, and she’s willing to negotiate with the Democrats about the Affordable Care Act. In fact, since about 25% of the district votes Republican, she might pose a credible primary threat to Khanna, the Democratic moderate. And so, after she declared her candidacy, there was a sudden flowering of old-style urban ward politics in and around San Jose. Suddenly, Singh had two Republican challengers–one named, confusingly enough, Vanish Singh Rathore (who was eliminated from the ballot because the signatures on his petitions were not remotely plausible); the other, Joel Vanlandingham, offered petitions that included signatures from Khanna supporters.

Khanna denies any hand in this. “I would have to be pretty stupid to get involved in that sort of thing,” he says. “I mean, Vanlandingham was really tough on me in the League of Women Voters debate.”

There are some who say that the Jungle will cause of lot of rumbling but no real results. “The rubber meets the road when the moderates go to Congress,” says Samuel Popkin of the University of California at San Diego. “The evidence suggests they stick with the party line.” The evidence is skimpy, though–just the 2012 election, when the Jungle was brand-new and most politicians weren’t completely aware of its possibilities yet. Some felt the traditional pull of partisan loyalty and chose not to challenge their party’s stalwarts.

Khanna was one such in 2012, when he chose not to challenge the venerable Representative Pete Stark, a devoted liberal and the only admitted atheist in the House. Another young Democrat, Eric Swalwell, made that race and beat Stark, which sent a signal throughout the state that the Jungle was open for business: you could challenge incumbents of your own party and maybe even win.

Honda seems a bit mystified by all that has happened. His is a classic American story. He spent part of his youth imprisoned in a Japanese-American internment camp in Colorado during World War II. He was inspired, not embittered, by the experience. He became a teacher and then a school principal, then commenced a public life that culminated in seven terms in Congress. His campaign office is in a Service Employees International Union hall. He greets me wearing jeans and cowboy boots and a red, white and blue Democratic donkey tie.

He sees his career as many incumbents do: a list of local projects funded, of ideological battles fought–in his case, the relentless pursuit of social justice and civil rights. He remembers helping get a nanotechnology bill passed in 2003 at the behest of Silicon Valley, but now the techno-wizards have abandoned him in favor of Khanna. “I’m an orchardist,” he says. “That nanotechnology bill planted the seeds for the trees that are bearing the fruit in Silicon Valley now. But I guess no one remembers those who plant the trees.”

It is hard not to have sympathy for Honda, but the political orchard he and his generation planted was poisoned over time by partisanship and paralysis, and now it has been replaced by a jungle. We’ll see what sorts of glorious fruits and subtle poisons the Jungle brings forth.

TIME 2014 Election

Nebraska Senate Race Bridges Republican Divide

Nebraska Election Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn, Sid Dinsdale
This combo picture contains photos of Nebraska Senate candidates in the May 13, 2014 primary election. From left: Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn, Sid Dinsdale. Nati Harnik—AP

Both the frontrunners may fall in Nebraska, one of 2014's most competitive GOP primaries

The most interesting Republican primary of 2014 culminates Tuesday night in tiny Nebraska, where three candidates have a shot at winning a race that upends every tidy narrative about the party’s divisions.

Until recently, the contest to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Mike Johanns seemed like a two-man race between Ben Sasse and Shane Osborn. Sasse was cast as the Tea Party candidate after winning endorsements from a raft of national conservative groups and major elected officials. Osborn, a former Navy pilot and state treasurer, has support from influential party figures linked to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. As a result, the race has often been framed as a battle between the party’s Tea Party and establishment factions.

The reality is more complicated.

Tea Party groups are desperate for a Sasse victory. The movement’s chosen candidates are struggling to gain traction in a spate of high-profile races this year, and the youthful president of Nebraska’s Midland University might be the best chance for national groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund to score a win. But this is not your typical proxy fight between the GOP’s grassroots and grandees.

Some Nebraska conservatives actually prefer Osborn. Many of the same establishment strategists vying to squash Tea Party candidates elsewhere love Sasse. And while Sasse has worn the Tea Party mantle and cut soft ads emphasizing his Nebraska roots, his resume includes a stint in the Bush Administration and posts at Yale, Oxford and McKinsey. The national support for Sasse’s candidacy actually seems to have made Nebraskans suspicious. “That does rile a few people,” Faron Hines, an activist with the York County Tea Party, told TIME recently, after the conservative group FreedomWorks revoked its endorsement for Osborn and gave it to Sasse. “Who is he going to represent when he gets to Washington?”

Enter Sid Dinsdale. The snowy-haired president of a local bank has lagged behind Sasse and Osborn for months. But as the frontrunners trained their fire on each other, Dinsdale quietly consolidated support. Polls suggest a late surge. National groups like the Club for Growth were concerned enough to go up on air with ads blasting Dinsdale, suggesting that Sasse—one of the few candidates this year who bridges the party’s internal divides—could lose.

For proof that such an upset is possible, one need only look to the state’s junior Republican senator. In 2012, Deb Fischer pulled off an upset victory in a crowded Republican primary, coming from behind in the race’s final weeks in a race against two well-funded statewide officials. As the better-known frontrunners battered one another, Fischer slipped between them and sprinted to victory.

Dinsdale has tried to replicate that path. While he may lack Fischer’s folksy appeal to the state’s conservative base, he was able to pump $1 million of his own fortune into the race, enough to fund plenty of TV ads in a state with cheap media markets and less than two million people. The banker also drew a coveted endorsement from the Omaha World-Herald. “As Nebraska as they come,” the paper declared, in a pointed jab at the out-of-state money and muscle marshaled by his opponents.

All these swirling factors portend an exciting finish for one of the year’s best primary contests.

TIME 2014 Election

Tea Party Divided In Nebraska Republican Senate Race

Ben Sasse
Ben Sasse, Republican congressional candidate from Nebraska Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

How the Cornhusker State primary explains the Republican Party's challenge in 2014

Elections are like any other job hunt: the key to getting selected is often to have the right people vouch for you. Intelligence and experience are wonderful attributes in a campaign. But if your opponent boasts connections to powerful people with fat wallets, all the town halls and policy papers in the world may not win you a ticket to Washington.

For Republican primaries candidates, some of the most coveted recommendations come from the cadre of national conservative groups whose money and reputation can lift an unknown challenger. Of all the conservative upstarts running in 2014, Ben Sasse of Nebraska has been among the best at winning their support.

Sasse, the 42-year-old president of Nebraska’s Midland University, has piled up endorsements from groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, as well as from boldface names like Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee and House GOP star Paul Ryan. The endorsements have boosted Sasse in a competitive Republican primary to succeed retiring Republican Senator Mike Johanns.

Sasse needed it. His top competitor in the May 13 primary, former state treasurer and Navy aviator Shane Osborn, has the tacit support of key party power brokers, include Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. When FreedomWorks—the biggest national conservative group to endorse Osborn—abruptly threw its support to Sasse in late March, the decision seemed to cement Sasse’s stature as the Tea Party choice.

But things are never so simple in the great Gordian knot of Republican politics.

On April 8, a coalition of 52 Nebraska conservatives released a letter stating that Sasse wasn’t their guy. Sasse is “NOT the choice of conservative, libertarian, and tea party movement activists and group leaders in Nebraska,” they wrote. “We are disappointed with the way DC organizations are telling Nebraskans what the Tea Party in Nebraska thinks.”

In fact, the collection of national endorsements may count as a strike against Sasse back home, explains Faron Hines, a pest management technician from Thayer, Neb., and a member of the York County Tea Party. “All of his endorsements are from out of state. Those big national groups don’t represent the people of Nebraska,” says Hines, who hasn’t endorsed a candidate but says he’s learning toward Osborn. “That isn’t the Nebraska way, and that does rile a few people. Who is he going to represent when he gets to Washington?”

Sasse’s supporters dismiss the letter as an effort to stanch the momentum of a surging candidate. “It’s obviously from Osborn,” says an adviser with one of the national groups backing Sasse. “They needed to do something.”

Osborn’s support is real: one recent poll showed him with a 35% to 24% edge. But Sasse has Tea Party support on the ground as well. (Two days after the missive against Sasse, more than 100 Nebraska conservatives signed a second letter singing his praises.) “Yes, we have support outside the state,” says Tyler Grassmeyer, Sasse’s campaign manager. “But we also have the most support inside the state.”

The race has emerged as a proxy fight for the factions battling to control the GOP. Both leading candidates have relied heavily on out-of-state fundraising. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Sasse has netted 59% of his $1.4 million from outside Nebraska and Osborn garnered 68% of the $939,000 he has raised from groups outside the Cornhusker State. The inverse is true of the race’s other two Republicans, who are lagging behind in the polls.

Once the national groups who egged on the government shutdown backed Sasse, the Republican Establishment ramped up their efforts in the opposite direction. McConnell has declared war on the Senate Conservative Fund, which is backing the Republican leader’s primary opponent. When Sasse asked to sit down with McConnell last fall to ease tensions, the meeting didn’t go too well. And while the Republican senate committee is officially neutral, they are helping Osborn behind the scenes with donors, say sources familiar with those discussions.

This is the flip side of winning powerful friends: you inherit their enemies as well.

TIME Primaries

Bruce Rauner Wins GOP Nod for Illinois Governor

Republican candidate for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrates with his wife Diana after winning the nomination in the Illinois Primary in Chicago
Republican candidate for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrates with his wife Diana after winning the nomination in the Illinois Primary in Chicago March 18, 2014. Jim Young—Reuters

Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who campaigned on a promise to run Illinois more like a business, has won the Republican primary and will challenge Gov. Pat Quinn in his re-election race later this year

Business tycoon Bruce Rauner is set to square off against Illinois Governor Pat Quinn after sealing the Republican nomination on Tuesday night.

The venture capitalist has already poured millions of dollars into his campaign in a state where Democrats have controlled the governor’s office for more than decade.

According to the AP, Rauner raised over $14 million during the primary race, which included $6 million of his own money — a new high-water mark for an individual candidate seeking a gubernatorial nomination in Illinois.

During the Republican primary, Rauner promised to bring his enterprising experience to the table and run the state more like a business if elected, while also vowing to wrest institutions from the influence of labor unions.

[AP]

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