Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Posts in "Fundraising"

February 12, 2016

Some Candidates Mention Flint Crisis in Fundraising Appeals

Mayor Karen Weaver spoke in Washington on Wednesday about the Flint crisis. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 Weaver testified before Congress about the water issues in her city. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Congress heard testimony from Flint’s mayor about the water crisis there, some House and Senate candidates sent out fundraising pitches to their email lists mentioning the Michigan city’s troubles.

In an email to supporters in his competitive Maryland Senate primary race against Rep. Donna Edwards, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, linked to a webpage titled “Stand With Chris,” with a donate button at the top. It asked potential donors to “Join Chris in demanding justice” for Flint.

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February 11, 2016

Political Wrangling Over ‘People’s Pledge’ in New Hampshire

Ayotte is serving her first term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte challenged Hassan to a People’s Pledge Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the presidential circus having left their backyard, New Hampshire’s Senate candidates lost little time this week digging into each other’s commitment to limiting spending in what’s expected to be one of the most competitive and expensive Senate races in the country.

Just days after Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary with 60 percent of the vote — a presidential race in which he’s made campaign finance a big issue against Hillary Clinton — Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte came out with a surprising campaign finance proposal of her own. Full story

DCCC Names First 16 Candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ Program

Cain will have to win a primary before facing off in a rematch against Poliquin. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maine’s Emily Cain is in the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday its first round of 2016 candidates in the “Red to Blue” program, which highlights strong Democratic candidates running in open seats and districts held by Republicans that the DCCC hopes to flip.

“Not only have these individuals proven themselves ready to win by building smart campaigns and through strong fundraising, they have also proven themselves ready to fight on behalf of all the people in their districts, keep them safe and ensure the economy works for everyone,” DCCC Chairman Chairman Ben Ray Luján said in a statement Thursday. Full story

February 9, 2016

Presidential Contenders Stay Away From Vulnerable Guinta

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., attends the New Hampshire Republican Party #FITN Leadership Summit at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, N.H., January 23, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Guinta, seen above at the New Hampshire Republican Party #FITN Leadership Summit in Nashua on Jan. 23, has multiple primary challengers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One of the most vulnerable members of the House is lurking in the shadows outside of New Hampshire’s presidential spotlight.

Attention on the Republican presidential candidates in the Granite State’s first in the nation primary on Tuesday would normally be a golden opportunity for a down-ballot incumbent like GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta, who has $12,000 in his campaign account, to hitch a ride, boost his visibility and secure some much-needed donations.

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February 8, 2016

Former Coats Staffer Withdraws From Indiana Senate Race

Coats is heading for the exit — again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Holcomb, former chief of staff to Coats, above, is no longer running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three days after Indiana’s filing deadline, Eric Holcomb, former chief of staff to Sen. Dan Coats, withdrew from the race to replace his former boss in the Senate.

Holcomb filed paperwork with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office at 11:33 a.m. Monday to withdraw his name as a candidate. The deadline to withdrawn was noon.

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February 5, 2016

Obamacare Repeal Votes Motivate Democratic Donors

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan is chairman of the DCCC, which has been raising money off Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there’s a silver lining for Democrats in Republicans’ repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s that they’ve made good money off of it.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised more than $627,000 since early December in digital grassroots fundraising off Affordable Care Act repeal votes in the House and Senate. It has been the committee’s best grassroots fundraising off of a specific topic this year.

Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act for years. But the DCCC, the campaign arm of the House Democratic caucus, is using this year’s milestone — a repeal bill landing on the president’s desk — to excite its Democratic base ahead of congressional elections in November. Full story

February 3, 2016

Owens, Mills Outraising Incumbents in Rematches

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 9: Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, runs down the House steps barefoot as she leaves the Capitol for the Columbus Day recess after final votes on Friday Oct. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Love’s Democratic challenger outraised her by $25,000. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Utah’s ‘Safe Republican‘ territory, where Democrat Doug Owens is again vying for the 4th District seat he lost by 5 points in 2014, he is one of the rare rematch candidates to have raised more than the incumbent.

Freshman Republican Rep. Mia Love has been looking to solidify her hold in a district Mitt Romney carried by 37 points in 2012. She brought in $325,000 in the final three months of 2015, and spent $302,000 of it, leaving her with $781,000 in the bank. But Owens raised $350,000, spending only $135,000, and has $500,000 in the bank.

Wealthy Minnesota businessman Stewart Mills is making a second attempt to unseat the Democratic congressman who defeated him by a point and a half in 2014. Mills’ 4th-quarter fundraising report shows him raising $258,000 for his bid for the 8th District. That’s more than Rep. Rick Nolan’s $187,000, even excluding Mills’ $11,000 contribution to his own campaign. Nolan still has some $400,000 more in the bank.

In another House rematch, vulnerable New Hampshire Republican Frank Guinta was outraised by his Democratic opponent. Guinta, however, has been in hot water for campaign finance violations, and his Democratic opponent, Carol Shea-Porter, is a former member of Congress.

Shea-Porter raised $211,000 to Guinta’s $71,000. Although Guinta maintains a cash-on-hand advantage over Shea-Porter, he’ll have to make it through a primary before facing Democratic competition. His primary opponent, businessman Dan Innis, also outraised him, though by only about $20,000.

It’s much more typical, of course, for rematch challengers to lag in fundraising. That’s been the case in Maine’s 2nd District, where freshman GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a member of the Financial Services Committee, has consistently raised more than Democrat Emily Cain, whom he defeated by 5 points in 2014. But only $61,000 separated their 4th quarter fundraising hauls. Thanks to a hefty 1st quarter haul, Poliquin’s cash on hand total still dwarfs Cain’s.

The same has been true in Texas’ 23rd District, the site of a rematch between Democratic former Rep. Pete Gallego and freshman GOP Rep. Will Hurd. Gallego raised $224,000 and has $424,000 in the bank. Hurd, as he has throughout the cycle, raised more, taking in $312,000 and leaving him with over $1 million in the bank.

In Illinois’ 10th District, Democratic former Rep. Brad Schneider has been raising serious money in his bid to take back the 10th District seat from Republican Rep. Robert J. Dold, but Dold is still raising more. The Republican raised $464,000 compared to Schneider’s $391,000. Dold also has more cash on hand.

Incumbency isn’t always a fundraising advantage. A number of challengers in competitive or closely-watched House races that aren’t rematches upended the incumbency-advantage narrative in the 3rd quarter. In Iowa’s 1st District, for example, Democrat Monica Vernon raised more than freshman Republican Rep. Rod Blum, one of the most vulnerable members of the House. She did so again in the 4th quarter.

In New Jersey’s 5th District, former Bill Clinton speech writer Josh Gottheimer again raised more than longtime GOP Rep. Scott Garrett, who angered some Republicans, including his Wall Street allies, when he said in July he wouldn’t contribute to the NRCC because of the committee’s support of gay candidates.

Tennessee GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais has been outraised before; he barely won his 2014 primary and is facing what some have described as a more daunting challenger in young Republican Grant Starrett this year. Starrett again outraised DesJarlais this quarter, although Starrett’s $92,000 4th quarter haul is less impressive than the $733,000 haul (including a $227,000 personal loan) he reported in his first fundraising report.

The 4th quarter saw several challengers post higher numbers than incumbents for the first time. In Michigan’s 7th District, for example, Democratic state Sen. Gretchen Driskell raised more than four-term Republican Tim Walberg. Walberg only raised a few thousand dollars more than Driskell in the previous quarter, but his cash on hand has now grown to more than $1 million, while Driskell has only $604,000 in the bank.

California Republican Steve Knight’s fundraising got off to a rough start this cycle. He took in only $29,000 during the first quarter of 2015, but as a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program for vulnerable members, he got a significant boost in the 2nd quarter, posting an impressive $405,000 haul. He slipped again in the 3rd quarter, though, raising just $77,000. In the final quarter of 2015, his haul returned to the six-figures. But Democratic attorney Bryan Caforio, who got in the race in December, managed to raise $35,000 more in less time.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

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Time Is Running Out for Senate Primaries Fundraising

Duckworth is running for Senate, opening the 8th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Duckworth has outraised her primary and general election opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several of this year’s competitive Senate primaries, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the last fundraising quarter before primary day.

In Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, voters go to the polls on March 15, a month before the next Federal Election Commission fundraising report deadline. In all three of those states, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has backed the better-known candidate, who, unsurprisingly, raised more money from October through December of 2015. Full story

January 20, 2016

In Arizona, Ann Kirkpatrick Raised $1.8 Million in 2015 for Senate Campaign

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Ann Kirkpatrick’s campaign bragged that their haul was the “strongest off-year fundraising effort ever” for a Democratic Senate candidate in Arizona. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the addition of $600,000 in the final three months of 2015, Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick ended the year having raised $1.8 million to fund her Senate campaign, the campaign told Roll Call.

In a statement, Kirkpatrick’s campaign bragged that their haul was the “strongest off-year fundraising effort ever” for a Democratic Senate candidate in the Grand Canyon State, as the third-term lawmaker attempts to unseat Republican Sen. John McCain.   Full story

January 19, 2016

NRCC Posts Best Off-Year December Fundraising

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 7: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds his weekly on camera press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan raised $2.5 million for the NRCC in December 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee ended the last month of 2015 with its best cash on hand and best revenue figures of any off-year December.

The committee raised $8.6 million in December, and heading into 2016, had $30.1 million in the bank — some $9 million more than at the same point in the midterm cycle. The committee ended 2015 with its best off-year haul since 2005, having raised $62.3 million over the course of the year.

Full story

January 4, 2016

Top Races to Watch in 2016

WILTON, NH - JANUARY 09: A voter leaves Town Hall on January 10, 2012 in Wilton, New Hampshire. Voters in the Granite State are heading to the poll in the nation's first primary election to pick their choice for the U.S. presidential candidates.   (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

A voter leaves Town Hall in Wilton, N.H. on primary day in 2012. (MatthewCavanaugh/Getty Images File Photo)

Technically, there are 469 races for the House and Senate this year, but we’ve boiled down that list to a trio of races to watch in each of eight regions across the country.

From vulnerable incumbents to competitive open seats to intra-party squabbles, the batch of races has a little of everything and can be a useful guide to track the trajectory of the election cycle in the months ahead.

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January 1, 2016

More Shameless End of Quarter Fundraising Pleas

Speaking to Hugh Hewitt on Monday, Cruz argued most felons are Democrats. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz has sent at least two emails to supporters ahead of the FEC deadline. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the year coming to a close, candidates for office have their eyes on a Federal Election Commission deadline at the end of the financial quarter and are pulling out all of the stops to get supporters to give them money. Here are some of the most blatant, blunt and just plain bizarre asks Roll Call has found on the trail.

Rand and Jeb call in Daddy

Sen. Rand Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush may have disagreements on foreign policy, but both are relying on their famous politician dads to help them raise money. On Monday, Paul released an audio message from his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012.

“I want to make sure Rand has a strong showing,” Paul says in the message. “So please dig deep today and throughout the end-of-the-year moneybomb to help Rand fully fund these grassroots operations.”
Bush’s campaign emailed a message from his father, former President George H.W. Bush, encouraging supporters to donate.
“This is the final public deadline before voting begins in states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada,” the former president says in the email. “That’s why a group of generous supporters are matching every donation that comes by midnight on Thursday.”
Using the Koch Brothers
There are few bigger boogeymen for the left than conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. As a result, Democratic candidates are saying donors need to counteract the Koch brothers influence by giving them money.
The campaign of Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a candidate for Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat, sent an email from his wife saying ads by the Koch network would smear her husband.
“Their ads will probably have so many lies, I won’t even recognize they’re talking about my husband,” his wife writes before saying Kander’s campaign doesn’t need a special interest group to fight attacks. “We just need to his our goals, one at a time, to build grassroots strength.”
In his run against Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Gov. Ted Strickland got some musical muscle with the help of songwriting legend Carole King, who notes she backed up Strickland’s wife in some of his wife’s performances, who also spoke about the Kochs spending money to support Portman.
“The Koch brothers may have deep pockets,” King says. “But Ted has you and me.”
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FkSw8JXFxwc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Bringing Back Political Favorites
One way for candidates to rally the base of their party to give is to show they have the establishment stamp of approval. This was the case with Conner Eldridge, who is running for Senate in Arkansas against Sen. John Boozman, when he had an email sent out from veteran Clinton operative James Carville, with some of his classic Cajun candor.
“Us political junkies have seen them all before, and we know those ads will be bull,” Carville writes. “But if all those Washington insiders sling enough mud, some of it is going to stick.”
Though she’s not up for re-election until 2018, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out an email from progressive favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren before the fundraising deadline, using it to talk about New Year’s resolutions.
“My Resolution?” Warren asks. “Help Democrats retake the Senate majority — so we can do more to level the playing field for working families.”
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent an email signed by newly-minted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who talked about the need to have Republicans elected across the board.
“If we want a government accountable to the American people, then we must have a president and Congress that work in unison,” Ryan’s email writes, adding that is where he comes in.
Invoking the Holidays (and Hitler)
Since the FEC deadline comes just as the holidays come to a close, some candidates are hoping supporters saved a little bit of holiday cheer for their campaign coffers.
Along with Warren’s talk of New Year’s resolutions, Paul Chabot, a veteran running for Congress in California as a Republican, talked about  spending Christmas watching the Amazon series “Man in the High Castle,” which imagines a world if the Axis powers had won World War II. He then wonders aloud what would have happened if “today’s leaders were running America during WWII?”
“I believe we sadly would have negotiated for peace,  but only to see Nazi Germany breaking such a treaty for their end-state of world domination and extermination of the Jews,” Chabot says.
Ted Cruz’s asking for “sacrifice”
No one can ever accuse Sen. Ted Cruz of subtlety. But in the buildup to the fundraising deadline, Ted Cruz’s emails have been filled with rhetorical flourishes, including highlighting the recent Washington Post comic depicting his daughters and having to sacrifice family time.
“Days start before dawn and many times don’t end until early the next morning,” he says. “And what makes it worse is when my family is attacked — I’m sometimes not home to kiss my wife and children and assure them everything is going to be OK.”
Rather than having links to “donate,” Cruz’s email says in all-caps “I can sacrifice” a certain amount.
In another email, he says he just got off an emergency call with his campaign manager and finance director and that “I am still more than $400,000 short,” of what his campaign needed before the deadline, complete with an FEC deadline countdown clock.
“It is of the utmost importance that I don’t come up short,” Cruz writes in the email.
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Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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December 29, 2015

8 Senate Races to Watch as 4th Quarter Fundraising Ends

Hassan ignored a question from CQ Roll Call about her 2016 plans to greet two mounted police officers in Dover, N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The fourth quarter will be Hassan’s first to file as a Senate candidate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the end of the year comes the end of another fundraising quarter. And while campaigns are not required to file their quarterly reports with the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31, now begins a month of speculation about who will end the year on a high note and who will ring in 2016 needing to step up their cash game.

Full story

December 8, 2015

Candidate’s Gun Giveaway Gets Mixed Reactions From California Republicans

walters_014_060215

Walters asked Tacherra’s campaign to take her name off promotional material for his event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A California House hopeful’s plan to reward donors with handguns days after last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino has caused one House member to distance herself from the event.

Johnny Tacherra, the GOP candidate hoping for a rematch against incumbent Democrat Jim Costa, told Roll Call he cooked up the “2nd Amendment BBQ” — scheduled to take place within the Full Spectrum Firearms showroom in Fresno on Saturday — after bumping into FSF founder Jon Rains at an NRA dinner earlier this fall. To boost fundraising, FSF agreed to furnish up to a dozen 9mm or .40-caliber pistols to contributors that reserve an entire table, at $2,700 for eight seats.

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November 20, 2015

NRCC Posts Strong October Fundraising After Boehner Steps Down

Boehner announced his retirement on Sept. 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner announced his retirement on Sept. 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite initial concerns that former Speaker John A. Boehner’s departure would affect fundraising, the National Republican Congressional Committee raised $5.1 million in the first month after he announced his retirement.

Although Boehner didn’t actually hand over the gavel until the end of the month, October represented the transition period between him and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, and marked the strongest off-year October of revenue ever for the NRCC, leaving it with $22.9 million in the bank.

Full story

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