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Posts by Meredith Shiner
October 18, 2012
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) has contributed $832,000 in personal funds to his Senate campaign, according to an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Thompson, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, has been relatively cash-strapped since surviving a bruising four-way August primary, during which he contributed more than $700,000 of his own money to his campaign via a combination of donations and loans in the closing days of that race.
Earlier in August, Thompson had told the Journal Sentinel that he didn’t think it was “right” for candidates to self-finance their campaigns, saying, “I don’t think that people should buy an election with their own wealth.” But in his meeting with the paper posted today, Thompson said his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, has benefited significantly from raising money out of state and that he had no “power base” from which to fundraise.
October 16, 2012
Karl Rove’s powerful Crossroads GPS is set to go on the air for one week to attack a half-dozen Democratic Senate candidates and one Democratic-leaning Independent, at a total cost of $5 million.
According to the group, the ads will run against Rep. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, former Gov. Angus King in Maine, Sen. Jon Tester in Montana, Rep. Shelley Berkley in Nevada, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, former Gov. Tim Kaine in Virginia and Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.
“From tax hikes to reckless spending, these liberal politicians are rubber-stamps for the out-of-touch policies which have resulted in an anemic economy and fewer jobs,” Crossroads GPS Director of State and Regional Media Relations Nate Hodson said in a statement. “Crossroads hopes to prevent the higher taxes and more government these politicians support from continuing to hinder the economic recovery we need.”
Roll Call has learned the $5 million buy breaks down as follows (with links to the spots as posted online): Full story
October 12, 2012
Denver police say that a shot was fired into a busy Barack Obama field office earlier this afternoon, according to an account in the Denver Post.
People were inside the office at the time of the incident, but no one was hurt, per a police statement issued to the Post. The shot was fired around 3 p.m. local time, and police have a “possible vehicle of interest” but are not releasing further details pending an ongoing investigation.
The Obama campaign declined to comment when contacted by Roll Call and referred inquiries to the Denver Police Department.
October 11, 2012
Democrat Rob Zerban, who is challenging vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R) in Wisconsin’s 1st district, will travel to Kentucky today for the vice presidential debate, his campaign announced.
Ryan, who is running simultaneously for the House and the White House, is still heavily favored in the race. But Zerban has proven to be a formidable candidate, outraising the well-funded Ryan in the third quarter by more than $200,000, bolstered by the support of liberal groups such as former Sen. Russ Feingold’s Progressives United and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. As Roll Call recently reported, Ryan has made ad reservations in the state to boost his re-election cause.
Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
October 2, 2012
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) is holding a private fundraiser Oct. 14 in Milwaukee for Senate candidate and former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R).
The event, billed as a “reception” by the campaign in a blast statement earlier today, is a closed-door fundraiser hosted by Romney Victory, a joint fundraising committee made up of Romney for President, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and a handful of state party organizations.
Tickets to the fundraiser, according to an invitation obtained by Roll Call, range anywhere from $250 per person to $100,000 per couple.
October 1, 2012
Independent Senate candidate Angus King has made a $105,000 ad buy in Maine painting Republican opponent Charlie Summers as too conservative for the state.
The 32-second contrast spot features King — Maine’s governor from 1995 to 2003 — looking straight into the camera and questioning whether Summers’ positions on the deficit and global warming are in line with the voters in the state, where he’s running to replace retiring moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe (R).
September 20, 2012
It’s been a rough week for former Wisconsin Gov. and GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, who learned tonight that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has friends who are unafraid to lash out at other Republicans in his defense.
On Wednesday, Thompson blamed Romney for his losing significant ground in multiple polls to Democratic opponent Rep. Tammy Baldwin, including a Marquette University poll that flipped from him leading by 9 points last month to trailing by the same margin this month. Thompson told a Madison TV station, “Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, if you’re a standard-bearer for the presidency is not doing well, it’s going to reflect on the downballot.”
Top Romney surrogate and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu struck back at Thompson, who has created friction between himself and the presidential campaign, by telling CNN tonight that Thompson ”sounds like Barack Obama trying to blame it on somebody else.” Full story
Republicans are nervously awaiting the Tuesday deadline for Rep. Todd Akin (R) to drop his Missouri Senate bid. But Friday is a big day, too.
The first wave of ballots is set to be mailed to Show-Me State voters living overseas, including those serving in the military. And if any change to the ballot occurs after those ballots are sent out, voters who received them could be disenfranchised — a factor that could motivate a Missouri court to block any request by Akin to remove himself from the ballot, according to one state official. Full story
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today accused his GOP counterparts of trying to hold votes later this evening to shield Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) from debating his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren.
“I’m sorry. We have no more votes today. It’s obvious to me what’s going on. I’ve been to a few of these rodeos,” Reid said. “It’s obvious there’s a big stall taking place. One of the Senators who doesn’t want to debate tonight won’t be in the debate. Well, he can’t used the Senate as an excuse. There will be no more votes today.”
Brown and Warren, whom Reid urged to run for Senate, are set to debate each other for the first time at 7 p.m. today.
September 5, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic officials announced today that President Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech scheduled for Thursday has been moved from Bank of America Stadium to Time Warner Cable Arena because of anticipated thunderstorms.
September 4, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An emotional tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) set the tone for the first night of the Democratic National Convention here, reminding delegates of the key facets of his legacy, from health care to his early support of President Barack Obama.
A seven-minute video was broadcast to delegates and a national audience, ending with a picture of Obama walking side-by-side with an ailing Kennedy, ambling with a cane in the waning days before he lost his battle with cancer.
Kennedy’s image served as both a hopeful reminder of the energy that surrounded Obama’s 2008 campaign and an eerie foil to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who challenged Kennedy in 1994 for his long-held Senate seat. The video cut by the Democratic National Committee included footage of Kennedy attacking Romney in a now-infamous debate. Full story
August 30, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. — This can’t be how the Romney campaign or rising Republican rock star Marco Rubio imagined it.
Moments before the freshman Senator from Florida took the stage to deliver the speech of his life — one that touched on a moving life story, conservative values and the American dream — 82-year-old actor Clint Eastwood was on stage here at the Tampa Bay Times Forum talking to an imaginary President Barack Obama and a real-life empty chair.
Despite a palpable discomfort in the arena, Rubio took the stage in a speech that many anticipated to be comparable to the keynote address delivered by a then-state Sen. Obama in 2004 that catapulted him to the presidency four years later. Full story
TAMPA, Fla. — In comments not included in his prepared text, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) defended his brother, President George W. Bush, saying it was time President Barack Obama stop blaming the bad economy on his predecessor.
“My brother, well, I love my brother. He is a man of integrity, courage and honor. And during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe,” Bush said to a cheering Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“Mr. President, it is time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies,” Bush continued. “You were dealt a tough hand, but your policies have not worked. In the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions, and you haven’t done it.”
“I just had to get that off my chest,” Bush concluded, before moving on with a speech focused on education reform.
George W. Bush has been a favorite target of Democrats and generally ignored by the GOP since he left office in 2009, although the former president has purposely shied away from politics. Only one Bush administration official — former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — spoke to the convention here in Tampa. Neither George W. Bush nor former Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to Tampa.
August 27, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said today he has not had any talks about further changes to GOP convention plans for this week due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
“Right now, I can tell you that I haven’t had any conversations about changing the plans that we have at the convention on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday,” Priebus told a small group of reporters on the floor of the Tampa convention center.
Priebus shot down reports that Republicans might add an extra day Friday to compensate for the cancellation of today’s activities or that leaders had discussed condensing the convention into one or two days if Isaac strengthens significantly and unleashes on cities such as New Orleans, now in the storm’s path.
“I’m telling you, nothing like that was ever discussed,” Priebus said. “We’re mindful of the impacts that this hurricane could have. We have to be nimble, which we will be, but right now, we see us moving forward as planned.”
The GOP chairman said convention organizers will “wait and see what happens with this storm first” before discussing any further potential schedule shifts.
TAMPA, Fla. — Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that the GOP presidential nominee has been energized by his selection of running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).
Speaking to a group of reporters at a Christian Science Monitor lunch, Boehner turned a question about his opinions on Ryan to a verdict on Mitt Romney’s willingness to take risks.