The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013 3:28am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Jordan Mazza

CONGRESSMAN MARK SANFORD
ABC News’ Chris Good: “Mark Sanford Achieves Epic Comeback” Mark Sanford has pulled off a political comeback some thought impossible. After the infamous Argentine affair tarnished his governorship in 2009, and after state officials slapped him with 37 ethics charges later that year for unrelated trips, Sanford left office as one of the nation’s top political pariahs. LINK

USA Today’s Martha T. Moore: “South Carolina vote not the end of the drama” Republican Mark Sanford won South Carolina’s congressional special election Tuesday, but the results may not conclude the drama of a disgraced former governor on the outs with his own party. Sanford’s quest for public and political redemption after an extramarital affair succeeded with voters Tuesday, who returned him to a congressional seat he left in 2001. LINK

The Washington Times’ Sean Lengell: “Former S.C. Gov. Sanford headed back to Congress after defeating Colbert Busch” Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford — once a rising star in the Republican Party whose career crashed four years ago after a bizarre extramarital affair — capped a remarkable political comeback Tuesday by winning a special election for the state’s open House seat. Political analysts this week had pegged the race between the Republican and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch — sister of TV comedian and political satirist Stephen Colbert — as a dead heat. But Mr. Sanford won with ease, capturing 54 percent of the vote, compared with his opponent’s 45 percent. LINK

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty: “Ex-South Carolina governor Sanford beats Colbert Busch in special House election” The conservative electorate of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District voted Tuesday to resurrect the political career of disgraced former governor Mark Sanford (R) by returning him to his former House seat. Sanford’s special-election race against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, 58, a businesswoman and first-time candidate, took twists nearly right up to the last moments. But in the end, he cruised to an easy victory, winning 54 percent of the vote to Colbert Busch’s 45 percent.  LINK

Politico’s Byron Tau: “South Carolina: Democrats learn big money doesn’t buy happiness” In South Carolina this spring, Democrats played the big money game better than the GOP.  Independent liberal groups, national Democrats and influential donors spent nearly $1 million to flood the airwaves in support of Elizabeth Colbert Busch — outspending Mark Sanford’s conservative allies by more than five to one.  LINK

SYRIA
Bloomberg’s Mark Silva: “Obama: ‘Not Doing Nothing’ in Syria” President Barack Obama is remembering Iraq. And the world, he says, will remember what the U.S. did about Osama bin Laden and Muammar Qaddafi. All of this has to do with the “red line” — the use of chemical weapons in Syria which Obama has said the U.S. will not tolerate. And what the world is to make of the time Obama is taking assessing evidence that Syria has crossed it. LINK

MILITARY ASSAULT
The Los Angeles Times’ David S. Cloud: “Pentagon reports sharp rise in military sexual assaults” The Pentagon estimated that 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted in unreported incidents last year — 35% more than in 2010 — a severe trend that senior officials warned could threaten recruiting and retention of women in uniform. LINK

WIRETAPPING
The New York Times’ Charlie Savage: “U.S. Weighs Wider Wiretap Laws to Cover Online Activity” The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.  The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has argued that the bureau’s ability to carry out court-approved eavesdropping on suspects is “going dark” as communications technology evolves, and since 2010 has pushed for a legal mandate requiring companies like Facebook and Google to build into their instant-messaging and other such systems a capacity to comply with wiretap orders.  LINK

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