- Ford Denies Smoking Crack
- Very Close Race for Senate Nomination in Georgia
- Welcoming 100 Sandy Hook Moms
- Bonus Quote of the Day
- Gingrich Warns Republicans About Overreach
May 21, 2013
Strategy Group for Media CEO Rex Elsass will announce on Tuesday that he has hired Rick Tyler as his company’s new president.
May 20, 2013
Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …
- #IRS – CQ Roll Call’s Eliza Newlin Carney examines what the IRS mess means for campaign finance laws.
- #GASEN – Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., will soon announce her decision on a Senate bid.
- #NC12 – A Democratic fundraiser is mulling a bid for Rep. Melvin Watt’s seat. Watt was recently nominated to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
- #VASEN – The Virginia GOP changed how it will nominate Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s 2014 challenger.
- #UT04 – Sarasota Springs Mayor Mia Love announced she will challenge Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson to a rematch in 2014.
What we’re mulling on Monday …
To many on Capitol Hill, the burgeoning scandal dogging the IRS looks like a simple case of partisan political targeting by an overbearing federal agency.
But the IRS controversy has laid bare a far more serious and far-reaching problem: the agency’s utter failure to keep pace with drastically changing campaign finance laws. For decades, the IRS has taken heat for its muddy rules governing politically active tax-exempt groups, a recent CQ Weekly story notes. Among other problems, the recent inspector general’s report found:
- IRS employees did not understand and bickered over the agency’s own rules, repeatedly changing course over how to screen groups seeking tax-exempt status.
- The IRS went so far as to reject the IG’s recommendation that the tax agency clear up guidelines for how to handle such groups. The IRS instead recommended more staff training, an alternative the IG in turn rejected.
- Though lawmakers and watchdogs urged the IRS to curb deep-pocketed nonprofits spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the 2012 campaign, the IRS ignored the top-spending players and instead went after shoestring groups.
The fallout has exposed an agency that lacks the tools, the will or even the rules to regulate increasingly wealthy and influential tax-exempt groups unfettered by the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling to deregulate political spending. Full story
After appearing at a weekend fundraiser for Senate Democrats, party leaders expect Michelle Nunn to make a final decision on the Georgia Senate race within weeks.
“The national party is working with Michelle, and I think we will probably have an announcement relatively soon on whether she’s in or not,” Georgia Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon said Monday. “We just want to get somebody out there early enough before the election that we can actually get behind them and start putting a structure together.”
The philanthropist and daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., appeared at a Sunday fundraiser in Atlanta for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. President Barack Obama was the featured guest at the event, with DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet and Executive Director Guy Cecil also in attendance.
A DSCC spokesman declined to comment on whether Nunn was preparing to announce a bid. Full story
Scott Dworkin, a Democratic fundraiser, is considering a run for North Carolina’s 12th District, he confirmed to CQ Roll Call Monday morning.
Virginia Republicans voted on May 17 to hold a nominating convention next year — rather than a primary — to select a challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
The move, which came at the state party’s annual convention in Richmond, could affect the GOP field that vies for the nomination. Conventions, where only party activists vote, often nominate more conservative candidates than the broader GOP primary electorate. Full story
May 19, 2013
Sarasota Springs Mayor Mia Love officially announced this weekend that she will challenge Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, again for the 4th District.
The Republican’s announcement sets up a rematch of one of last cycle’s most-targeted races. Matheson defeated Love by one of the slimmest vote margins of any House race in 2012.
National Republicans hailed Love’s candidacy and gave her a top speaking slot at the national convention. If she wins, she will be the GOP’s first black woman in Congress.
May 17, 2013
The two Senate campaign committees turned in nearly even monthly fundraising hauls in April, marking the first month this cycle the National Republican Senatorial Committee finished ahead.
The NRSC raised $3.56 million last month and ended April with nearly $7.1 million on hand. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $3.54 million and had slightly more than $8.6 million on hand as of April 30. Full story
Women on the Hill are making their presence known beyond the member ranks — a group of female Senate chiefs of staff have organized a Monday evening fundraiser in support of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
CQ Roll Call reporter Meredith Shiner has the scoop over at our new Senate blog, World’s Greatest Deliberative Body:
Eleven female chiefs of staff to Democratic senators are scheduled to hold a fundraiser Monday night for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to an invitation for the event obtained by CQ Roll Call.
The fundraiser, billed as the “Women on The Hill Dinner,” is yet another sign that it’s not just the number of female senators that is rising, but also key staffers who are building a power base within the party.
See the invitation and more at #WGDB.
House Democrats raised $300,000 more than their Republican counterparts in the month of April.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $5.4 million, according to a committee aide. House Democrats have $10.4 million in the bank and $4.1 million in debt.
The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $5.1 million. The committee has $8.7 million in cash on hand and has $6.3 million in debt.
Former Ambassador Jim Cain is seriously considering seeking the Republican Senate nomination in North Carolina next year.
“The race is indeed something that I am considering,” Cain told CQ Roll Call in an email from China. “Many friends and supporters around the state are encouraging me to challenge Senator [Kay] Hagan.”
Cain is a former Republican National committeeman and served as ambassador to Denmark during President George W. Bush’s second term. An attorney at Kilpatrick Townsend, Cain previously served as president and chief operating officer of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes. His candidacy would likely draw significant support from the Raleigh business community.
Despite the state’s GOP lean, Republicans know they will have a tough fight against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. Still, several Republicans are considering taking her on. Full story
Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel announced her campaign for Senate on Friday morning, as the state’s Republican convention was set to kick off in Athens.
“States, especially those with Republican governors, are doing a good job — they are balancing budgets with targeted spending cuts, creating jobs, and tackling tax reform,” Handel said in a statement. “The biggest problems we face today are in Washington, and that’s where we so desperately need fresh thinking, bold solutions, and real leadership.”
Handel is the fourth Republican to enter the race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Notably, she is also the first woman and first candidate who is not a member of Congress. GOP Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston are running. David Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, announced an exploratory committee this week.
In the party’s top pickup opportunity of the 2014 midterms, Democrats are awaiting word from Michelle Nunn, a philanthropist and daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn. Full story
May 16, 2013
It’s hard to keep up with the number of Republicans vying for Georgia’s three open House seats.
Since publishing our Farm Team column on Wednesday about the likely field of candidates in the Peach State, another GOP politician has announced he will run for the open 10th District seat.
EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, rolled out six candidates who made their “On the List” designation.
Most of the EMILY’s List candidates are in line with the plans of other Democratic groups, but at least one has the potential to upset other national Democratic groups.
“On the List” is a tier below the group’s full endorsements, which are typically doled out later in the cycle.
Those “On the List” are:
California’s 31st: Attorney Eloise Reyes
Incumbent: Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller
This race is one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s biggest regrets from 2012. This EMILY’s List support could complicate Democratic plans. They lost this winnable seat in 2012 because no Democrat made it through California’s jungle primary system. This year, the DCCC has made it plain that it prefers Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. Former Democratic Rep. Joe Baca is also running for the seat after losing re-election in another district. Until making EMILY’s List, Reyes was hardly mentioned in campaign coverage, but the backing gives her credibility. No organized Republican has emerged as a threat to block out Democrats again, but a primary with three organized candidates has to make Democrats nervous.
Thursday’s installment of Roll Call’s Farm Team tackled the long list of up-and-coming politicians in Georgia who are either running for Congress this cycle or who may do so down the line.
While the list of candidates includes everyone from a trail-blazing Atlanta city council member to a former Capitol Hill staffer, one notable trend from the list emerged: the sheer number of Carters looking to ascend Georgia’s political ladder.