Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

Posts in "Outside Groups"

December 11, 2014

Club for Growth President Steps Down

Club for Growth President Steps Down

Chocola is photographed in his downtown office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, announced his retirement Thursday from the conservative outside group that often serves as a thorn in the side of Republican leadership.

Former Rep. David M. McIntosh, also a Hoosier State Republican, will take over for Chocola, who led the group for six years. Full story

October 28, 2014

New Ad Attacks Joni Ernst on Education

New Ad Attacks Joni Ernst on Education

Joni Ernst is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The National Education Association will start airing a new ad Tuesday attacking Joni Ernst on education.

The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, features voters speaking directly to camera as a narrator attacks Ernst’s record on education.

“Joni Ernst is leading the fight to take funding from public school students and give it to wealthy private schools instead,” a male narrator says. Full story

October 27, 2014

Democratic Super PAC Ups Ante Against Michael Grimm

Democratic Super PAC Ups Ante Against Michael Grimm

Democrats are targeting Grimm, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC has placed a massive broadcast television buy against New York Rep. Michael G. Grimm for the final week of the campaign.

The group is spending $1.7 million in support of Democrat Domenic M. Recchia Jr. on New York City broadcast, and the  reservation will last until Election Day, according to a spokesman. Combined with a previous cable buy, the super PAC is on track to spend $1.9 million against the legally and politically embattled Republican.

An analysis of ad spending provided by a Democrat monitoring the media market reflects a congressman fighting alone against a Democratic onslaught of advertising in the Staten Island-based 11th District. Full story

October 20, 2014

Mark Begich Targeted on Arctic Oil Drilling in New GOP TV Ad (Video)

Mark Begich Targeted on Arctic Oil Drilling in New GOP TV Ad (Video)

Begich is being targeted on ANWR in a new TV ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican-aligned outside group is hitting Alaska Sen. Mark Begich for failing to persuade his party to support opening drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Utilizing a theme of broken campaign promises from 2008, when Begich defeated Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, the new TV ad from American Crossroads hammers the Democrat for both the percentage of votes on which he agreed with the president last year and the fact that Congress has not approved ANWR oil exploration.

“We’ve had six years of Begich’s broken politics,” the ad’s announcer says. “Alaska needs a change.” Full story

October 16, 2014

EMILY’s List Endorses Kansas Candidates

EMILYs List Endorses Kansas Candidates
Yoder is a Kansas Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, announced Thursday a pair of endorsements in two late-breaking House races in Kansas.

The group offered its full endorsement of Margie Wakefield and Kelly Kultala, who are challenging GOP Reps. Lynn Jenkins and Kevin Yoder, respectively.

For now, both races are rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. But highly competitive races for Senate and governor have roiled the ballot this cycle, causing concern for Kansas Republicans in two House districts. Full story

October 10, 2014

DCCC Cuts Ad Time in Top Colorado Race

DCCC Cuts Ad Time in Top Colorado Race

Romanoff, left, toured the theater catering to the Latino community. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is cutting its ad reservations for the last two weeks of the campaign in a race that represents one of its top offensive opportunities this cycle.

According to a committee aide, the DCCC has pulled $1.4 million in airtime in Colorado’s 6th District, where Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is facing off against former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

The committee will partner with Romanoff in ads next week, said the aide, but the DCCC’s portion of the buy was not immediately available.

“This is still a very winnable race, and Romanoff is well-funded and in a competitive position to bring it across the finish line,” said the aide, who stressed the committee still views the race as top target. Full story

Steve King Tops NumbersUSA Scorecard

Steve King Tops NumbersUSA Scorecard

NumbersUSA likes what it sees in King. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call)

NumbersUSA, the conservative group that wants to reduce immigration, has graded members of Congress on its signature issue and its scorecard sees an institution with overall average marks.

The downloadable survey lists yes-or-no questions on topics, such as whether a member supports reducing “unnecessary foreign workers” and reducing “anchor baby citizenship.” The Senate got a “C,” while the House scored a “C-,” bringing the overall congressional score to “C.”

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, had the highest score of any member of Congress, 98 percent, good for an “A+.” Eighteen members, all Republicans, scored in the “A+” category, which had a range of being simpatico with 95-100 percent of NumbersUSA’s positions. Seven Democrats and six Republicans scored an “F-.” Rep. John Barrow of Georgia was the highest-scoring Democrat, getting an 89 percent on the scorecard, or an “A-.”

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 9, 2014

Super PAC Goes Big for Vulnerable Florida Republican

Super PAC Goes Big for Vulnerable Florida Republican

Southerland is one of this cycle's most vulnerable House Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A House GOP super PAC is making a major television buy in the final two weeks of the campaign to boost vulnerable Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House GOP leadership, made a $600,000 media buy in the Tallahassee and Panama City television markets in their effort to fend off attorney Gwen Graham, a top Democratic recruit.

The buy includes television and digital advertising. Full story

Super PAC Drops $1.5 Million Targeting Fred Upton

Super PAC Drops $1.5 Million Targeting Fred Upton

Upton is a Michigan Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mayday PAC, a super PAC aiming to overhaul campaign finance laws, will spend $1.5 million to target House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton in Michigan, the group announced Thursday.

The group will spend $1.2 million of those funds on a 30-second ad that seeks to connect the PAC money Upton has received from drug and health insurance interests to his vote against allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. The rest of the money will go toward a grassroots field operation and direct mail campaign, the group said.

The spending comes on the heels of the group’s Tuesday announcement that it will spend $1 million in South Dakota’s open-seat Senate contest in support of the Democratic nominee, Rick Weiland.

Mayday PAC is spending millions this cycle, an ironic effort to elect a congressional majority in favor of ending super PACs.

Full story

The 5 Big Questions on Senate Race Spending

The 5 Big Questions on Senate Race Spending

Republicans are closely keeping tabs on Tillis, right, and the North Carolina Senate race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s decision Wednesday to drop $1 million into South Dakota, a race previously written off as a Republican win, was just the latest shakeup of the Senate landscape this week.

On Tuesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee cut its financial investment in Michigan, where an open seat and a favorable national environment had created an opportunity for the party.

With the Senate majority at stake, the national campaign committees and their outside-group allies are constantly re-evaluating races and analyzing where their resources are most needed and best put to use. It’s all part of a real-life game of Tetris, as the groups meticulously watch each other’s moves and look to fit their ads and messaging into a larger picture.

Many of the moves by the NRSC, the DSCC and other outside groups likely will fly under the radar over the next 26 days — though with potential runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia, Senate ads actually could be airing on TV into early next year. But others, including spending by the campaigns themselves, will offer definitive signs of a race’s potential competitiveness, as in South Dakota and Michigan.

With less than four weeks to go, here are some big questions about the Senate playing field and where the millions more in spending to come will land: Full story

October 7, 2014

New Crossroads Ad Uses Hagan’s Own Words Against Her

New Crossroads Ad Uses Hagans Own Words Against Her

Hagan, above, faces Tillis on Nov. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Crossroads GPS will air a new ad Wednesday, turning an attack Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., used in her 2008 election campaign against her.

The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, uses footage of Hagan attacking now-former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C.

“Voting 92 percent of the time with the president, whether you support him or not, doesn’t work here in North Carolina,” Hagan says in the old footage.

“So Sen. Hagan, why do you vote with Obama 95 percent of the time?” asks a male narrator. Full story

October 6, 2014

Democrats Aim to Boost Black Turnout With Radio in Florida

Democrats Aim to Boost Black Turnout With Radio in Florida

Southerland is a vulnerable House Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic outside group will start airing a radio ad targeting Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., in his high-stakes race against Democrat Gwen Graham in the 2nd District.

According to information provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call, Ocean Champions, a conservation group that backs Democratic candidates, will begin a $64,000 buy Tuesday that will run 1,300 radio spots in the final month of the campaign. The group will release another spot later in the month.

The contest is one of the cycle’s most competitive, and the race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. On Monday, both campaigns released varied internal polling.

Full story

September 30, 2014

Republican Cavalry Starts Spending on House Races (Finally)

Republican Cavalry Starts Spending on House Races (Finally)

Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For months, Republicans feared outside groups would skip over House races this cycle, saving their cash for the battle over Senate control.

But the conservative cavalry has finally arrived.

Republican groups — which have mostly sat on the sidelines in House contests this cycle until recently — have reserved nearly $12 million on the television airwaves in competitive races through Election Day, according to two sources tracking ad buys in House contests across the country. The reservations, placed over the last two weeks, are a mix of GOP pickup opportunities and defensive ground.

The reservations include:

Full story

GOP Outside Group Targets Tim Bishop on TV

GOP Outside Group Targets Tim Bishop on TV

Bishop is being targeted on the air by a Republican group. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican-aligned outside group is airing a TV ad slamming New York Rep. Timothy H. Bishop on his support for the Affordable Care Act.

The Democrat is locked in a challenging re-election campaign against Republican Lee Zeldin.

This is American Action Network’s first independent expenditure TV ad of the general election. It’s running on cable and online, and is part of AAN’s $1.2 million IE campaign in New York’s Long Island-based 1st District.

“Tim Bishop thinks Obamacare is a damn good idea?” says a man named John from Setauket, N.Y. “We think it’s a damn bad idea.” Full story

September 25, 2014

Democrats Cut Ad Time in Michigan House Race (Updated)

Democrats Cut Ad Time in Michigan House Race  (Updated)

Benishek is a Republican from Michigan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:49 p.m. | A Democratic super PAC has cut a television ad reservation for the party’s best offensive opportunity in Michigan, according to two sources who monitor media buys.

House Majority PAC’s cancellation could be a sign Democrats are no longer optimistic their nominee, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, can defeat Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich.

In June, HMP — a super PAC that boosts House Democrats — reserved $375,000 for the district, according to The Washington Post. A Republican source said the reservation was for Sept. 23 through Oct. 13 in the Marquette and Traverse City media markets.

But this week, HMP went dark in Michigan’s 1st District.

Full story

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