Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Sunday “not all” of his Republican colleagues are racist.
In a joint appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union“ with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon, the New York Democrat was asked by host Candy Crowley whether he agreed with recent comments by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that race played a factor in an immigration overhaul not being brought up for a vote in the House and whether he thought his GOP colleagues are racist.
“Not all of them, no, of course not,” Israel said. “But to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that’s unfortunate.”
Asked if comments about race by Pelosi and Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as the “war on women” rhetoric from Democrats last week, were about getting the base out to vote in November, Israel said, “We don’t need to get our base out, because frankly, we’re ready to pass an immigration bill. We’d rather pass an immigration bill than worry about the election.”
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 National Republican Congressional Committee elevated 17 GOP candidates to “contenders” in its Young Guns program on Wednesday, identifying them as top candidates to oust vulnerable Democrats in November.
The “contender” designation is the second level in the Young Guns program, which seeks to provide organizational support to Republican House candidates.
“Contender candidates have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation,” according to an NRCC news release. “They are in congressional seats that appear favorable to the GOP candidate.”
Any Republican House candidate can participate in the program, but only those who meet certain benchmarks are elevated through the ranks. The NRCC doesn’t publicly list the criteria for advancement in the program.
The 17 “contenders” come from an initial pool of 36 candidates the NRCC identified in November. The NRCC says the other candidates from the initial pool still have the opportunity to advance through the program, and notes that these 17 contenders are part of the first wave of candidates to advance.
Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)
Updated 4:01 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $1.3 million more than its GOP counterpart in February, according to committee aides.
The DCCC will report raising $6.4 million in February, compared to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s $5.1 million haul. The Democratic committee will report $34.4 million cash on hand, while the House GOP’s political arm had $24.8 in the bank at the end of last month.
Both committees eliminated their debt earlier in the cycle. Full story
With just days to go in the smash-mouth special election on Florida’s Gulf Coast, both parties are managing expectations ahead of what could be a narrow margin of victory.
The race to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., is the most competitive special election of the 2014 cycle. Neither party is exuding confidence about the contest for the swingy 13th District, and nearly anyone who claims to have seen an internal poll says this tossup race will go down to the wire. Full story
Sink is the Democratic nominee in the competitive special election in Florida. (Tim Boyles/Getty Images File Photo)
Ad wars have escalated in a highly competitive special election in Florida, with Democrats spending more overall, but Republicans quickly catching up with their ad buys.
The already profuse ad spending demonstrates the high stakes for both parties in this March 11 special election. Although the election is one month away, elections officials started to send out mail-in ballots last week for the 13th District contest.
That means television time — especially early advertisements — come at a premium in this Tampa-area media market.
Cumulatively, the Democratic nominee, Alex Sink, and her allies have spent about $1 million more on television advertisements than Republicans.
But the GOP’s nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, and his allies have spent more than Democrats in the past two weeks. Most recently, the National Republican Congressional Committee aired a spot that links Sink to national Democrats and the president’s 2010 health care law.
Here’s a breakdown of approximately how much each party has spent on television advertisements in the general election as of Tuesday afternoon, according to multiple media-buying sources from both parties who are monitoring the race:
“My family understands the important role of public service,” Urlacher said in a statement before the event. “My brother, Casey Urlacher, was elected mayor of Lake County’s Mettawa, Ill., earlier this year. In Peoria, he was fullback-linebacker for the Peoria Pirates. So we’re both looking forward to visiting our friends in central Illinois.”
An event appearance fee was paid to B.U. Enterprises, according to the Schock Victory Committee’s year-end filing. Illinois public records show B.U. Enterprises is a company registered to Urlacher.
Schock’s campaign did not return a request for comment on the appearance fee.
Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, gave $1 million each to boost the House GOP’s efforts in 2014.
At a closed-door Tuesday morning conference meeting, Schock presented his $1.1 million check to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon. Hensarling also gave Walden a $1 million check at the meeting, according to a Republican source who attended the Capitol Hill Club confab.
The NRCC also announced Tuesday that Schock will serve as chairman of the NRCC’s March dinner — one of the committee’s top fundraising events of the year. Schock pledged to raise an additional $1 million for the committee before the March 26 event. Full story
Updated 12:02 p.m. | The ad war in Florida’s 13th District special election has officially begun.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved about $725,000 in broadcast and cable advertising from Wednesday until Feb. 10 to support the GOP nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, according to two sources — a Democrat and a Republican — who track media buys. Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $93,500 this week against Democrat Alex Sink in Florida’s 13th District special election, according to a Federal Election Commission report filed Thursday.
According to an NRCC source, at least part of that money will go toward this Web ad:
This is the first expenditure the NRCC has placed in the race this year. The committee is backing the newly minted GOP nominee, David Jolly, in this race.
Jolly, left, and Peters, right, are Republicans. (CQ Roll Call composite)
The competitive composition of Florida’s 13th District makes this race fascinating, but it’s also the first big contest on the calendar for 2014. This special election will serve as a test balloon for the parties to check their messaging with a split electorate months ahead of Election Day.
Longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s death has spurred the first competitive race for the western Florida district in a few decades. Young carried the district easily, but President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 50 percent in 2012.