Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

Posts in "Colo.-6"

September 10, 2014

Pot Still Too Hot to Handle for Colorado Politicians

Pot Still Too Hot to Handle for Colorado Politicians

Marijuana in Terrapin Care Station, a marijuana dispensary, in Boulder, Colo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BOULDER, Colo. — Long a flashpoint in the culture wars, marijuana’s growing legitimacy hasn’t yet turned it into a political weapon, even in the marquee races in the first state to legalize the drug.

In Colorado, the issue has barely gotten a mention as Rep. Cory Gardner takes on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, and Republican Rep. Mike Coffman faces a challenge from Andrew Romanoff in one of the country’s hottest House races.

Pot Still Too Hot to Handle for Colorado Politicians

For now, the lawmakers still seem to find pot too hot to handle as a political weapon. Republicans in the state have shifted how they talk about the matter, but Democrats aren’t trying to capitalize on what could potentially become a new wedge issue in their favor this cycle — and in elections to come.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have legalized medical marijuana. Only Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, but more are expected to vote on whether to change their laws, including Oregon and Alaska in November, as polls have shown surging support for legalization.

Udall, whose race could decide control of the Senate, said marijuana is now simply a business interest in Colorado.

“We are all together in urging the attorney general to let this experiment unfold,” Udall said in Greenwood Village, Colo., after an event with Denver business interests.

But he hasn’t attacked Gardner’s hard-line record on marijuana, something advocates for legalization call a missed opportunity.

“It seems that many elected officials … still haven’t come to terms with the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream issue that’s supported by a growing majority of the public,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, a legalization advocacy group. Full story

September 3, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Coffman is one of the most vulnerable members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome to the general election: Labor Day has passed, nearly every primary has finished, and Roll Call has revised its monthly list of the 10 most vulnerable House members.

Since this feature last published in August, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., lost his primary by a wide margin, while Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., barely survived his, defeating his primary foe by 38 votes.

That opened up two spots in the Top 10 — and there are a plethora of choices this cycle to fill their spots, plus more honorable mentions below.

House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority. But most of the names below are Democrats, symbolic of a cycle increasingly favorable to Republicans.

For now, here are the 10 most vulnerable House members in alphabetical order:

Full story

August 28, 2014

Romanoff Courts Latinos Crucial to Colorado Race

Romanoff Courts Latinos Crucial to Colorado Race

Romanoff, left, toured the theater that caters to the Latino community. Becerra joined the Democratic House candidate on the campaign trail. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Aurora, Colo. — Outside the Cinema Latino as he campaigned against Rep. Mike Coffman, Democratic House hopeful Andrew Romanoff outlines his strategy for winning over Hispanic voters critical to his chances in the Nov. 4 contest.

Romanoff told CQ Roll Call he is optimistic turnout will be high, thanks in part to a state law passed last year to allow same-day registration and voting, as well as a requirement every voters is automatically sent mail-in ballots.

Romanoff Courts Latinos Crucial to Colorado Race

“Those two things — universal mail-in balloting, Election Day registration — will increase turnout and that’s good not just for my campaign…but I think for democracy,” said Romanoff, the former state house speaker.

To win here, Democrats need Latinos to vote. Romanoff, who speaks fluent Spanish, has been trying to win over the community as he battles Coffman in a race The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rate a Tossup.

That’s one reason why on this summer day his campaign has reached out Cinema Latino’s management team for a tour. He lauded the business owners as working to “maximize their connection to the community.” Romanoff has visited a few dozen small- and medium-sized businesses as he tries to win over voters in the 6th District in the central part of the Centennial State. Full story

July 30, 2014

Republicans Make Massive TV Reservation For Mike Coffman’s… Wife

Republicans Make Massive TV Reservation For Mike Coffmans... Wife

Mike Coffman is a Colorado Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican group reserved $2.6 million in Denver television time for a House incumbent’s wife who is running for Colorado Attorney General.

The Republican Attorneys General Association Colorado PAC reserved the air time from Oct. 7 through Election Day to boost Colorado Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. She is the wife of Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., who faces one of the most competitive House races of the cycle.  

“RAGA is investing heavily in this race because Colorado voters are rejecting the Obama agenda and making it clear that they want leaders like Cynthia Coffman who will rein in the federal government,” RAGA political director Scott Will said in a statement.

Full story

June 17, 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.

The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.

But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.

Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.  

But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.

Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:

Full story

June 13, 2014

Pre-Primary Reports Filed for Charlie Rangel, Mike Coffman and Many More

Pre Primary Reports Filed for Charlie Rangel, Mike Coffman and Many More

Rangel faces a competitive June 24 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fundraising reports filed Thursday by candidates running in the June 24 primaries revealed eleventh hour insight into the financial viability of embattled incumbents and their challengers.

The reports, covering campaign finances from April 1 to June 4, show whether campaigns have money, how quickly they are spending it and how much cash they had for the final stretch.

After a tumultuous week, in which House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, here is a look at the financial side of the races to watch in less than two weeks: Full story

May 29, 2014

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

Israel is the current chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.

The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.

The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.

These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.

However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.

Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:

Full story

April 18, 2014

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Raul Ruiz, seen here during his 2012 campaign in California, is among the freshmen Democrats getting a boost from a super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC with the aim of electing House Democrats, announced its first round of television reservations for the fall.

The reservations, totaling about $6.5 million, are for “the final weeks of the election in 24 districts,” a news release stated.

The super PAC during the 2012 cycle made its first round of reservations in early July in partnership with the Service Employees International Union.

“By placing these reservations early, we will make our dollars go further and ensure we have the air time to effectively fight back against the flood of Koch brothers’ dollars,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.

The super PAC is on offensive in six Republican-held districts and on defense in 18 Democratic districts. Often, releasing ad reservations to the press is a means to telegraph to allies, like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, how outside groups intend to spend money.

Below is a breakdown of the buys, categorized by offensive and defensive targets:

Full story

April 9, 2014

Andrew Romanoff Raised $600,000 in First Quarter

Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff raised $600,000 in the first quarter of 2014 and ended March with nearly $2.1 million, his campaign announced Wednesday.

In a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, Romanoff, a former state speaker and Senate candidate, is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Coffman.

The third-term incumbent’s fundraising numbers from January through March were not immediately available. Both candidates started the year in similar financial position, with Romanoff ahead in cash on hand, with $1.7 million to Coffman’s $1.5 million.

Between these fundraising numbers and Denver’s relatively pricey media market, the race for Colorado’s 6th District is shaping up to be one of the most expensive House races in the country.

The race is rated Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

March 3, 2014

Democrats Announce House Targets for 2014

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out the first 35 districts of its “Red to Blue” program Monday, highlighting the GOP-held seats the party believes it can flip and open seats it hopes to keep in the Democratic column in the 2014 midterms.

Needing to net 17 seats to win back the House majority, the announcement makes clear where the party believes its most important fights will take place.

“This is our initial roll out,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.” “There will be more, and we will have a very competitive battlefield as we go deeper into the cycle.” Full story

October 3, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Slams GOP in Shutdown Ads

Democratic Super PAC Slams GOP in Shutdown Ads

Coffmann is a top Democratic target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, announced Thursday it will unleash a major advertising campaign against nine House Republicans over the shutdown.

The total buy is for a “mid-six figure” sum, according to the political action committee’s spokesman. It will run web and TV ads against Republican Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado’s 6th District, Steve Southerland II of Florida’s 2nd, Joe Heck of Nevada’s 3rd and David Joyce of Ohio’s 14th.

The buy will also include a “Google and Bing search advertising campaign,” according to a news release, that will target those four Republicans members plus five more:

  • Rep. Gary G. Miller of California’s 31st District
  • Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois’ 13th District
  • Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania’s 8th District
  • Rep. Michael G. Grimm of New York’s 11th District
  • Rep. John Kline of Minnesota’s 2nd District

The television ads targeting Coffman, Southerland, Heck and Joyce can be seen after the jump.

Full story

September 19, 2013

House Republicans Raise $3 Million for Vulnerable Members

House Republicans Raise $3 Million for Vulnerable Members

Coffman is one of House Republican's most vulnerable members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce it has raised $3 million total for the 20 vulnerable incumbents through its Patriot program, according to figures provided first to Roll Call.

On Thursday, House Republican leaders hosted their second “Patriot Day” of the cycle — a fundraising event that contributed to that $3 million total. The Patriot program provides resources to the party’s most vulnerable House members for their re-election efforts, including fundraising and communications support.

Republican incumbents in the Patriot program include: Full story

August 8, 2013

Internal Email Names 17 House GOP Targets for Recess

Internal Email Names 17 House GOP Targets for Recess

Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target 17 House Republicans with a grass-roots push over the August recess, according to an internal party email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

On Monday, a DCCC aide sent a message to an email list sponsored by Americans United for Change, a liberal organization, describing the committee’s plans for the month-long break and including the warning, “please do not share this list with press.”

“In the majority of these districts we have field staffers on the ground, coordinated through the respective state parties, to define and hold accountable vulnerable Republican incumbents, through earned media tactics, messaging amplification, and community outreach,” wrote Ryan Daniels, the deputy national press secretary and African-American media adviser.

The DCCC’s list includes some of this cycle’s most-often mentioned vulnerable Republicans, but there are some lesser-known targets as well: Full story

July 12, 2013

Most Eye-Popping Fundraising Hauls of the Second Quarter … So Far

After the drip-drip of campaign fundraising leaks over the past two weeks, it’s now clear that the amount of money it took to look impressive is staggering.

Challengers and incumbents raised the bar so high that to be considered a standout this time around, a candidate had to have raised $2 million for a Senate campaign or more than half a million for the House.

A number of nervous senators raised more than a million dollars in the second quarter, but it was the $2 million mark that made us look twice at recent reports.

As for the House, it was only last cycle when $200,000 to $400,000 marks were above-average for candidates in competitive races. That is no longer the case. At least 10 incumbents or challengers raised between $400,000 and $500,000 this quarter.

Here are some of the numbers raised our eyebrows over the past two weeks:

Full story

July 9, 2013

Tuesday Fundraising Roundup: Mooney’s Money

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney raised $65,000 for his campaign across state lines in West Virginia’s 2nd District.

Mooney had more than $100,000 in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter, according to a campaign press release. Of that haul, $35,000 was left from when he explored a run for ex-Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett’s seat in western Maryland last year.

The congressional hopeful’s tally was one of many fundraising numbers that trickled in on Tuesday. Congressional candidates and members must turn in their second-quarter fundraising reports by July 15.

Here is a roundup of the day’s campaign fundraising news:

Senate Full story

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