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

Posts in "Ill.-17"

October 17, 2014

Are These 10 Vulnerable Members Lucky or Good?

Are These 10 Vulnerable Members Lucky or Good?

Sinema is running for re-election in a competitive district in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All’s fair in love and … House races? Not so much.

Less than three weeks before Election Day, would-be safe incumbents such as Reps. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Brad Schneider, D-Ill., are scrambling to win in partisan districts — while these 10 members are headed for victory in otherwise competitive districts.

Some are blessed with luck. Others create it for themselves. It’s your call which is which.

Here are the luckiest — er, slickest — incumbents of 2014, in alphabetical order: Full story

October 1, 2014

Democratic Super PAC Cuts More Ad Time in House Races (Updated)

Democratic Super PAC Cuts More Ad Time in House Races (Updated)

Sinema is a freshman Democrat form Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Thursday, 2:03 p.m. | House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aids House Democrats, has recently canceled around $1 million in ad reservations in races throughout the Midwest and Northeast.

The shifts indicate Democrats are more optimistic about winning some House races — and have given up hope on others.

These changes were spotted by sources who track media buys and confirmed by a House Majority PAC spokesman, who declined to specify the super PAC’s reasons for moving funds to or from particular House races:

Full story

September 23, 2014

Democrat Hoops It Up in New TV Ad (Video)

Democrat Hoops It Up in New TV Ad (Video)

Bustos is a Democrat from Illinois. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., released a new television ad Tuesday revisiting a familiar theme in her media campaign: basketball.

The spot features men in black suits committing flagrant fouls and double-teaming children in a basketball game. The ad concludes with Bustos, a hall-of-fame collegiate basketball player, delivering a behind-the-back pass to a young girl.

This November, Bustos faces a rematch against former Rep. Bobby Schilling, a Republican. The race is rated Leans Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

The spot will air in all three media markets in Illinois’ 17th District.

Full story

August 20, 2014

Pat Quinn Could be Drag on Illinois Democrats

Pat Quinn Could be Drag on Illinois Democrats

Schock, left, and Davis, watch Rauner fire up the crowd. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The national political tide isn’t looking good for Democrats, but in Illinois this November, down-ballot candidates have an even bigger problem: the drag of Gov. Pat Quinn.

Pat Quinn Could be Drag on Illinois Democrats

The Land of Lincoln is a hotbed of political activity this cycle, with Democrats defending three freshmen House incumbents and looking to pick-off one more — Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in the ultra-competitive 13th District.

All but one of those races take place outside of Chicago’s Cook County — the last bastion of support for Quinn and one of just three counties he carried in the state when he narrowly won the role in 2010. That geography is bad news for Democrats looking to tamp down losses in the midterms.

There was no clearer example of Quinn’s problems than last week’s Illinois State Fair, where elected officials, political operatives and party insiders from both sides of the aisle descended upon the Springfield fairgrounds for each party’s respective day of rallies.

On Aug. 14, Republicans flocked to the fairgrounds to support Bruce Rauner, the party’s wealthy gubernatorial nominee who rolled up to the rally on his Harley Davidson and then delivered a red-meat speech going after Quinn in front of a fired up crowd of supporters.

It was a stark contrast from Democrats’ gathering the day before, where instead of riling up his base at the fair, Quinn instead hosted a low-key picnic to pose for photos with a more mellow group of supporters, many of whom were bussed in from the Chicago area.

Full story

July 10, 2014

Illinois Democrat Announces in $482,000 in Campaign Fundraising

Illinois Democrat Announces in $482,000 in Campaign Fundraising

Bustos is a Democrat from Illinois. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., raised $482,000 in the second quarter of this year, according to her campaign.

She will report $1.47 million in her war chest as she prepares to take on her Republican rival, former Rep. Bobby Schilling, in the 17th District.  Full story

June 23, 2014

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton are exciting Democrats who hope for their help in the midterm elections. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Democrats are gearing up to unleash the Clinton Dynasty.

They hope deploying the popular former White House occupants could help drum up money and hype in what could be a tough election year for the party. Democrats see the power couple as an asset, especially because Republicans have no singular unifying figure who can hit the trail.

But good thing there’s two of them.

Democratic operatives say each half of the Clinton duo appeals to different segments of the electorate — so assignments to races must be deliberate and strategic.

North of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton territory — replete with voters who have already warmed to electing women to Congress. Former President Bill Clinton, party officials say, plays better in the South and Midwest, where he performed well with traditional Yellow Dog Democrats who relate to the party’s economic message but tend to be more conservative on social issues.

Together, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say there are few areas where the Clinton duo wouldn’t have a positive impact.

“Both Clintons can go into any competitive district in the country and be enormously helpful to Democratic candidates,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said. “The second Secretary Clinton is ready, we’d love to have her campaigning for House Democrats.”

Full story

June 10, 2014

NRCC Promotes 11 More to ‘Young Guns’

NRCC Promotes 11 More to Young Guns

NRCC Chairman Walden announced a new set of 'Young Gun" candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has elevated 11 more candidates to “Young Gun” status, moving these prospects to the top tier of of their benchmark program for campaigns in 2014.

“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a Tuesday statement. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration.”

All of the following, newly-minted Young Gun candidates have recently won their primaries. The NRCC does not publicly pick sides in primaries.

The 11 new Young Gun candidates are:

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 11, 2014

Freshman Democrat Topped $400,000 for Illinois House Rematch

Freshman Democrat Topped $400,000 for Illinois House Rematch

Rep. Cheri Bustos faces a rematch in her first re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos raised $403,000 in the first quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The freshman Democrat banked much of that haul, increasing her cash on hand to $1.1 million as of March 31, according to her campaign.

Bustos faces a rematch with Republican Bobby Schilling, the congressman she ousted last cycle. Bustos won by 6 points as President Barack Obama carried the district with 57 percent of the vote.

Full story

March 27, 2014

NRCC Chairman to Fundraise for Illinois House Hopefuls

NRCC Chairman to Fundraise for Illinois House Hopefuls

NRCC Chairman Walden is making a fundraising swing through Illinois (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden is making a campaign swing through Illinois on Friday, headlining fundraisers benefiting four Republican challengers and one of the party’s most vulnerable members.

Walden will host separate fundraising events for all five Republicans in a state the party views as an opportunity to add to its House majority. That includes helping two former members ousted by Democrats in 2012 make it back to Capitol Hill in 2015.

“Chairman Walden is looking forward to highlighting our offensive opportunities in Illinois,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “Illinois is a competitive battleground state where Democrats will be forced to spend big money to defend their members.”

The fundraising beneficiaries are:

Full story

November 21, 2013

House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.

This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.

The final level is “Young Gun” status.

“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.

Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.

Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts.
Full story

October 16, 2013

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

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

Updated 3:09 p.m. | Ring, Ring: It’s the voters.

This week, House Democrats have started a round of automated phone calls that allow recipients to connect directly to the campaign offices of their Republican opponents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will target 16 GOP challengers in competitive districts with the calls, according to a party source.

The political benefits of this tactic are unclear. But it has the potential to be pretty annoying.

Callers are read a negative profile of the Republican that accuses him or her of supporting the shutdown. Then the caller is given the option to be transferred to the GOP candidate’s campaign to tell their office that “the shutdown is hurting our families” and the candidate “shouldn’t be part of the problem.”

Here are the targeted GOP challengers:

Full story

July 8, 2013

Schilling Announces Comeback Bid #IL17

Schilling Announces Comeback Bid #IL17

Schilling is back for a rematch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., announced on Monday that he will challenge freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., to a rematch in Illinois’ 17th District.

“Incumbent Congresswoman Bustos has proven during her time in Washington that she doesn’t understand or feel the pain of middle class families,” Schilling said in a news release announcing his bid. “We need a true representative fighting for us in Washington and incumbent Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has refused to act.” Full story

June 10, 2013

Bobby Schilling Eyes Rematch #IL17

Bobby Schilling Eyes Rematch #IL17

Schilling is leaning towards running for his former House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., is eyeing a rematch with freshman Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos in Illinois’ 17th District, according to a local report.

Schilling, who lost to Bustos in 2012 by 6 points, told the Quad City Times that his race last cycle was “an impossible task” with President Barack Obama on the top of the ticket.

But in a midterm election year, where turnout favors the party not in the White House, Schilling said he is “leaning toward” a rematch.

Full story

March 5, 2013

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

Israel leads the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named 26 of his colleagues to the Frontline program, a committee program designed to protect their most vulnerable incumbents.

“We call this program Frontline for a reason – these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class,” Israel said in a written statement released Tuesday morning.

“While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members,” added Israel, a Democrat from New York. “These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts.”

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. will spearhead the program as its chairman. He’s a Frontline alumnus as recently as the 2012 cycle.

Otherwise, the list includes several freshman members and Blue Dog Democrats:

Full story

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