Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Posts by Emily Cahn

426 Posts

April 22, 2014

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Clay Aiken Slammed in TV Ad

Aiken is running for Congress. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

The top primary opponent to Clay Aiken in North Carolina is slamming the “American Idol” runner-up’s public service record in a TV ad launched two weeks before they face off for the Democratic nomination.

Keith Crisco, a former North Carolina Commerce secretary, hits his opponent in the ad for skipping meetings for a commission Aiken was appointed to by then-President George W. Bush — an appointment Aiken has touted since launching his campaign in February.

Crisco and Aiken are competing in the May 6 primary for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in the GOP-leaning district.

“Clay Aiken says helping children with special needs is one of his top priorities, but when the president appointed Clay Aiken to the Presidential Commission for People With Intellectual Disabilities, no-show Clay Aiken skipped every single meeting,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot.

Full story

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Clay Aiken Is Back on TV (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:22 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who is running for a North Carolina House seat as a Democrat, launched his first TV ad Tuesday — a bio spot highlighting his difficult childhood and his recent help for children with autism.

“I’m running for Congress, and I approve this message because every child deserves a chance,” Aiken says in the ad, released two weeks ahead of the state’s May 6 primaries.

Full story

Internal Poll: GOP Primary Wide Open in Alabama Race

A new internal poll shows the crowded primary in Alabama’s open 6th District is wide open less than two months before the primary, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The poll, conducted for GOP surgeon Chad Mathis’ campaign, found two of the six candidates in a statistical dead heat, with the third- and fourth-place contenders not far behind, and a large portion of respondents remain undecided. Full story

Leach, Boyle Go On Air in Philly-Area House Race (Updated)

Leach, Boyle Go On Air in Philly Area House Race (Updated)

Leach is the first Democrat to hit the airwaves in the Pennsylvania primary. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:26 a.m. | Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach and state Rep. Brendan Boyle, two of the four Democrats vying for a Philadelphia-area House seat, launched the first TV ads of the race on Tuesday — one month out from the hotly contested primary.

Both ads highlight the candidates’ working-class upbringings, which they say is their motivation for public service.

Leach’s ad features his childhood in the state’s foster care system, while Boyle references his father’s career as a janitor for Philadelphia’s commuter rail system.

Full story

April 21, 2014

Romney Endorses in Targeted Arizona Race

Romney Endorses in Targeted Arizona Race

Mitt Romney endorsed in an Arizona House race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney threw his support behind Arizona state Speaker Andy Tobin on Monday, marking the latest candidate Romney has  endorsed in the midterm elections.

Other Republicans backed by Romney this cycle include Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, who is facing a competitive GOP primary next month, state Del. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s open 10th District, and state Sen. Joni Ernst for Iowa’s open Senate seat, among others.

“I am proud to support Andy Tobin for Congress,” Romney said in a statement. “Andy is a proven conservative whose leadership in Arizona has been crucial to cutting state government spending, lowering taxes and fighting to stop ObamaCare.” Full story

Republican Marks First TV Foray in Hollywood House Race

A Republican candidate in the crowded race to replace Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., went on the air Monday with the first television spot of the ultra-competitive contest.

Six weeks before the primary, Elan Carr, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles and president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, released a biographical spot touting his legal experience.

Full story

April 17, 2014

Runoff Likely in Crowded N.C. Open-Seat Race

Runoff Likely in Crowded N.C. Open Seat Race

Coble will leave Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican nominee in the crowded race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Howard Coble likely won’t be known until mid-summer.

Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr., the son and namesake of one of North Carolina’s most powerful Republican officials, has a firm grip on the front-runner position. But GOP operatives in the Tar Heel State said Berger, whose father Phil Berger Sr. is president pro tem of the state Senate, is unlikely to surpass the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff in the May 6 primary.

“I believe [Berger Jr.] has a name ID advantage just because of who his dad is,” said Matt Bales, a researcher with the non-partisan FreeEnterprise Foundation in North Carolina.

The primary has become a race for second place, and many North Carolina operatives said the rest of the nine-candidate GOP field is largely unknown, unwieldy and hard to assess.

Full story

Republican Super PAC Ad Attacks Club for Growth

Republican Super PAC Ad Attacks Club for Growth

Simpson, left, conducts a hearing in early April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A super PAC that defends Republican incumbents went up on air Thursday with an ad that both touts Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson’s conservative credentials and attacks the outside groups seeking to oust him in an upcoming primary.

The ad, released by Defending Main Street, seeks to discredit the Club for Growth — the main group attacking Simpson in the May 20 primary. It ties Club for Growth President Chris Chocola to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a villain to the Republican Party, and questions the club’s priorities.

“His group spends more money trying to defeat Republicans than defeating Democrats,” the narrator accuses, before going on to highlight Simpson’s votes against the Affordable Care Act and his endorsement from the National Rifle Association.

Full story

House Republicans Promote Seven Candidates

The National Republican Congressional Committee has elevated seven more candidates to the second-level “Contender” status of its Young Guns program for top House GOP prospects.

All GOP House candidates are eligible to apply for the Young Guns program. According to the NRCC, “Contender candidates have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation.” The NRCC does not release any specifics on those benchmarks.

These seven additions are either running against Democratic incumbents or in open-seat races that the NRCC has deemed “favorable to the GOP candidate.”

The seven candidates are:

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 10:30 a.m.
House 2014, NRCC

‘Desperate Housewives,’ Spielberg Donate in L.A. Race

Desperate Housewives, Spielberg Donate in L.A. Race

Actress Marcia Cross, seen at a 2008 Capitol Hill press conference about breast cancer, is among the stars donating in California's 33rd District race. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., counts many of Hollywood’s biggest names among his constituents in his 33rd District, located in the wealthy areas of L.A. County including Santa Monica, Malibu and Beverly Hills.

But now that he’s retiring from Congress after 20 terms, many of those famous names are appearing in the fundraising reports of the more than one dozen candidates seeking to replace him.

Full story

April 16, 2014

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

 

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

Cruz is a Republican from Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, endorsed former state Speaker T.W. Shannon in Oklahoma’s Senate special election, marking the latest tea party leader to back his candidacy in the Sooner State.

Shannon will face GOP Rep. James Lankford, as well as a handful of other lesser-known Republicans, in a June 24 special election primary. There is a special election because Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has announced he will vacate his Senate seat at the end of this Congress, two years before his term expires in 2016.

“T.W. Shannon is a strong Constitutional conservative who will fight for individual liberty and help turn our country around,” Cruz said in a Wednesday news release. “T.W. embodies the American dream. I’m proud to offer T.W. my enthusiastic endorsement because not only will he vote the right way, but he’ll stand up and fight with us in the Senate to stop President Obama’s assault on our liberties and defend America’s founding principles.”

Tony Strickland Up With First TV Ad in California House Contest

Former state Sen. Tony Strickland released his first ad in his bid for California’s open 25th District on Wednesday, laying out his priorities, including GOP favorites like repealing the Affordable Care Act, cutting spending and balancing the budget.

Strickland, a Republican, is one of a number of candidates seeking to succeed retiring Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. He will face GOP state Sen. Steve Knight, podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, and several other candidates in a June 3 top-two primary. The two candidates with the highest vote totals advance to the general election in November, regardless of party.

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April 15, 2014

Congressman Who Threatened Reporter Rakes in Campaign Cash

Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm of New York raised $346,000 in the first quarter, a large haul despite swirling controversy after the Staten Island Republican threatened to throw a reporter off of a balcony after the State of the Union address.

Grimm’s haul brings his total cash on hand to $1.17 million, according to his filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Included in Grimm’s first-quarter filing is $50,000 in legal fees to the law firm Patton Boggs. Grimm is currently under investigation for alleged campaign finance violations tied to his 2010 campaign.

Full story

Bachmann Endorses Emmer as Successor in Minnesota

Bachmann Endorses Emmer as Successor in Minnesota

Emmer is sporting a new endorsement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., on Tuesday endorsed former state Rep. Tom Emmer as her successor in her soon-to-be former House seat, according to a local report.

“I will give Tom every measure that I possibly can. Whether it’s fundraising, whether it’s personal help, whatever I can do I’m there more than 100 percent to ensure that Tom Emmer is the next member of the United States Congress,” Bachmann said at a news conference Tuesday, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Over the weekend, Emmer received the endorsement of the Republican Party of Minnesota in the Gopher State’s 6th District. He defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie to earn the state party’s seal of approval.

Full story

Clay Aiken Reports Fundraising for North Carolina House Campaign

Clay Aiken Reports Fundraising for North Carolina House Campaign

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Clay Aiken, an “American Idol” runner-up and Democratic long-shot running for Congress in North Carolina, reported raising $233,000 in the first quarter of this year.

Aiken’s haul includes a $23,000 loan to his campaign, according to his campaign finance report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. Aiken reported $125,000 in cash on hand as of March 31.

The haul is smaller than expected for a celebrity candidate; they often rake in huge hauls thanks to deep-pocketed Hollywood connections. Full story

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