The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

Jan 22, 2014 3:32am

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’ Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE
ABC News’ Jim Avila and Shushanna Walshe: “Olympian Carl Lewis Says Chris Christie Tried To ‘Intimidate’ Him Out Of State Senate Race” Just as snow and scandal were threatening to overshadow Chris Christie’s inaugural plans, another notable New Jerseyan came out to accuse the governor of hardball politics. Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis said Christie canceled plans to appoint him to be New Jersey’s first physical fitness ambassador when Lewis launched a state Senate bid against a friend of the governor’s. In an interview with ABC News, Lewis said the governor called him directly to talk him out of running, and said the position as athletic ambassador wouldn’t exist if Lewis ran against Republican state Sen. Dawn Addiego. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Heather Haddon: “Amid Scandal, Christie Sworn In For Second Term” Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday declared that he had a mandate to lead the state forward, using his second inaugural address to call for unity as his administration is buffeted by allegations of political intimidation. In an 18-minute speech on a snowy day in the state capital, Mr. Christie didn’t mention the George Washington Bridge scandal that has enveloped his administration in multiple investigations and could threaten his ability to run for president. But he didn’t have to. Just as the Republican governor was set to speak at the War Memorial, Democratic lawmakers announced a new joint investigative committee into whether the governor’s allies abused their power when they closed bridge lanes and caused traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J. LINK

USA Today’s Martha T. Moore: “Cuccinelli Says Christie Should Quit RGA” As if a snowed-out inaugural bash weren’t bad enough, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also took a shot Tuesday from Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who said that Christie should step down as head of the Republican Governors Association. “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman,” said Cuccinelli — the former Virginia attorney general who ran unsuccessfully for Virginia governor last year — on CNN’s Crossfire Tuesday. LINK

New York Daily News’ Edgar Sandoval and Larry McShane: “Gov. Chris Christie sworn in as poll finds support for presidential bid plunging” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, on the day of his second inauguration, had good reason for swearing before his swearing-in ceremony. A new national poll showed the governor’s presidential support plunging in the wake of two Garden State scandals, while Tuesday’s snowstorm canceled his Ellis Island inaugural gala. And just 30 minutes before Christie took the oath of office, the state Assembly and Senate announced a merger of their two probes into his administration’s alleged abuse of power. “This isn’t a thumb in the eye of the governor,” insisted state Senate President Steve Sweeney about the timing. “We’re all going to head over there and watch the governor’s swearing-in.” LINK

IMMIGRATION
The New York Times’ Michael D. Shear: 2 Friends Reach Across the Aisle on Immigration The two women might at first seem more like political rivals than a reminder of the way things used to work in Washington.  Esther Olavarria, a Democrat, left Cuba as a child, worked as Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s top immigration lawyer and now holds a post in the White House. Rebecca Tallent, a Republican, left suburban Arizona and became Senator John McCain’s chief of staff, briefly advised Sarah Palin in 2008 and is now a top policy aide to Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio. LINK

Politico’s Reid J. Epstein: “White House dials it down on immigration” The White House is trying to dial down the partisan rhetoric on immigration — and it’s asking its allies to do the same.  In meetings with immigration reform advocates, White House officials have said President Barack Obama won’t threaten to take unilateral executive action — at least not yet — and that he wants to give House Republicans some breathing room to try to pass legislation this year, said immigration advocates who have participated in the sessions. LINK

FORMER VIRGINIA GOV. BOB McDONNELL
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Ferraris, Rolexes And A Shopping Spree: Inside The Extravagant Live Of Bob McDonnell And His Wife” Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, liked to live large. The couple was indicted in a federal court on Tuesday on federal corruption charges for allegedly illegally accepting dozens of expensive gifts and donations from a wealthy friend. The indictment alleges that the McDonnells used the governor’s position to try to help Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplement company Star Scientific, in exchange for lavish gifts and donations. The former governor, who left office earlier this month, maintains he did nothing illegal in his interactions with Williams. LINK

USA Today’s Catalina Camia and Brad Heath: “Ex- Va. Governor McDonnell: ‘I Did Nothing Illegal’” Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell said Tuesday he did “nothing illegal” and vowed to fight the federal government’s “false allegations” that he and his wife improperly accepted gifts and loans from a political donor. McDonnell addressed reporters in Richmond hours after he and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on 14 counts. The indictment alleges they accepted more than $135,000 in expensive clothing, trips, loans and other items from Jonnie Williams Sr., former CEO of Star Scientific, in exchange for the governor’s assistance in helping the maker of dietary supplements. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Ballhaus: “Ex-Virginia Governor, Wife Indicted On Corruption Charges” Federal authorities charged former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on Tuesday with illegally accepting luxurious gifts, vacations, loans and the use of a private jet in exchange for promoting dietary supplement products. The 14-count indictment alleges that Mr. McDonnell, once a rising star within the Republican Party, used his office to promote the company, Virginia-based Star Scientific Inc., STSI -3.96% by arranging meetings for its then chief executive with state officials and hosting events at the governor’s mansion, designed in part to encourage state university researchers to study the company’s products. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Timothy Phelps: “Virginia’s ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell, wife charged with corruption” Federal prosecutors Tuesday charged former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, with taking $120,000 in undocumented loans and numerous gifts from the owner of a dietary supplements business and helping the company promote its products to state officials. The 43-page indictment includes page after page of alleged requests by the McDonnells, particularly Maureen McDonnell, for help in paying for vacations, a daughter’s wedding, nearly $20,000 in designer dresses, a Rolex watch inscribed “71st Governor of Virginia” and numerous golf outings. The couple also allegedly asked for trips on the company’s jet and, once, to use a $200,000 Ferrari. LINK

The Washington Times’ David Sherfinski and Andrea Noble: “McDonnell, wife indicted on federal corruption charges” Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday on federal corruption charges stemming from their relationship with a wealthy businessman in a case sure to test the ethical boundaries between friendship and political influence. Former health supplement company executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. plied the McDonnells with gifts and loans and, in return, received access in order to peddle his products, charging documents filed Tuesday claim. LINK

WEATHER
The Hill’s Ben Goad: “Feds defend snow day from snark” The threat of an approaching winter storm all but paralyzed Washington Tuesday, as most of the federal government closed for business long before the first flakes began to fall. The shutdown did little to dispel Washington’s national image as a city of questionable grit — a reputation that is at least somewhat backed up by federal data pointing to an increase in snow days under the current administration. LINK

WINTER OLYMPICS
ABC News’ Luis Martinez: “Russia Calls On U.S. Military Tech To Counter Roadside Bombs At Winter Olympics” The United States is considering a Russian request to help with the security at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi by providing equipment that can counter remote-controlled roadside bombs, a technology first developed by the U.S. military for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the first time that Russia has publicly expressed interest in a standing U.S. offer to help with security at the games that get underway on Feb. 7. LINK

USA Today’s David Jackson: “Obama Speaks To Putin About Olympics” President Obama and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke by phone Tuesday, 2 1/2 weeks before a Winter Olympics shadowed by worries about terrorism. The presidents “discussed how best to advance shared U.S.-Russian interests, including a safe and secure Sochi Olympics, for which the United States has offered its full assistance,” said a White House statement on the call. A militant Islamist group posted a video this past weekend claiming responsibility for two bombings in Volgogradand and threatening attacks in Sochi. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Russian Authorities Hunt Down Terror Threats Before 2014 Sochi GamesLINK
Gov. Chris Christie Sworn In To Second TermLINK

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