Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

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January 15, 2014

Club for Growth Makes Big Ad Buy to Boost Amash

The Club for Growth has sponsored a major television and radio ad buy to boost Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who faces a primary challenge in the 3rd District.

In the television ad, released on Wednesday, the club hits Amash’s primary rival, former East Grand Rapids School Trustee Brian Ellis, for various votes he took in that role. The conservative group also seeks to tie Ellis to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, in the spot.

The dual buy is a six-figure radio, broadcast and cable television ad buy, according to club spokesman Barney Keller.

Here’s the television spot:

Full story

December 16, 2013

Peterson Targeted in New Ad From Outside Group

A GOP outside group has started attacking Rep. Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota on the airwaves — less than two weeks after a local Republican state lawmaker announced he would challenge the longtime Democrat in 2014.

The ad, released by the American Future Fund, accuses the 12-term Democrat of “losing his Minnesota nice” after being in Washington, D.C., too long.

“He’s been in Washington for decades and the choices he makes affect our lives. So where is he when we want answers?” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “… Tell Collin Peterson if he’s lost his Minnesota nice he’s been in Washington too long.”

Full story

December 15, 2013

The Most Expensive Senate Race of the Cycle — So Far

Hagan's race has already witnessed a barrage of advertising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About halfway through the midterm election cycle, North Carolina is on pace to host the most expensive Senate race of 2014.

But the Tar Heel State shouldn’t necessarily get too comfortable in the top spot.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election battle is one of at least four Senate contests where outside spending has already eclipsed the $2 million mark. The others include the re-election races of Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The potential for Republicans to win back the Senate majority, combined with the media-market makeup of the competitive landscape, has invited a superfluity of early spending. Republicans need a net gain of six seats next year, and most of the competitive races are for Democrat-held seats in less populous states.

“Given the president’s plummeting job approval ratings, there is growing optimism that Republicans can win back the Senate, and that’s why you’re seeing some very early spending in key U.S. Senate races,” GOP media consultant Erik Potholm said. “And Democrats, especially their vulnerable incumbents, are feeling that same pressure — that’s why Sens. Landrieu and Pryor are on the air.” Full story

December 12, 2013

Super PAC Ad Targets Landrieu Challenger in Louisiana

Landrieu is vulnerable in 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:31 a.m. | A Democrat-aligned super PAC has booked airtime in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is facing one of the toughest re-election races in the country.

Senate Majority PAC’s first ad in the Bayou State criticizes GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy for voting to raise the retirement age, “to raise Medicare costs $6,000 per year” and to shut down the federal government.

Watch the ad here:

Full story

December 10, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Defends Nick Rahall (Updated)

Updated Dec. 11, 8:12 a.m. | House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, is up with a significant television ad campaign to defend Rep. Nick J. Rahall II in West Virginia.

The positive spot touts his support for the coal industry. House Majority PAC put $150,000 behind the 10-day reservation:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8F7UCT2H8c Full story

December 9, 2013

House GOP Women Fundraise for Florida Special Candidate (Updated)

Wagner is one of a handful of women who are supporting Peters in the special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:07 a.m. | Six House Republicans — including a handful of women — are slated to host a fundraising luncheon for state Rep. Kathleen Peters’ special-election bid on Wednesday, according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Peters is running against lobbyist David Jolly in the competitive primary for Florida’s 13th District. Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young died earlier this year, creating the vacancy.

Five House Republican women, plus one GOP congressman from Florida, are on the Washington, D.C., event invitation. Full story

December 5, 2013

Chamber Launches Second Coal Ad This Week

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching its second TV ad this week highlighting a Republican Senate candidate’s support of the coal industry.

The chamber’s latest spot comes to the defense of West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for an open Senate seat in the Mountain State.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgImNxKv8eY Full story

December 2, 2013

Chamber Touts McConnell’s Coal Efforts in TV Ad

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting a little help from his friends on the airwaves as he fends off challenges to his re-election next year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced it will launch a TV ad on Tuesday that touts the Kentucky Republican’s efforts against proposed regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The ad, which will run statewide for 10 days, brands McConnell as “a fighter who never lets Kentucky down.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQDQnaiQpsY Full story

November 21, 2013

LCV Launches Ads in Battleground House, Senate Races

Schatz will get some help from an environmental group. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Conservation Voters has launched a $1 million ad campaign across five states, including two battleground House districts and two competitive Senate races.

The group, which backs candidates who support its environmental policy goals, is running television ads praising Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as well as Reps. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, and Scott Peters, D-Calif., “for protecting public health and promoting clean energy jobs.” Full story

November 20, 2013

Conservative Group Launches Ads Against House, Senate Dems

A conservative outside group launched a new round of television ads on Wednesday targeting congressional Democrats for their support of Obamacare.

The new ads from Americans for Prosperity are backed by $4 million and come as the White House continues to struggle with the rollout of the president’s health care law. The ads hit Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, and Reps. Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia of Florida and Ron Barber of Arizona.

Here is the ad targeting Hagan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PRM_Hd5LU0 Full story

November 7, 2013

Club for Growth Makes Endorsement in Nebraska GOP Primary

The Club for Growth is taking sides in the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska, where a competitive nomination battle has unfolded for a safely Republican seat.

On Thursday, the club’s political action arm announced its endorsement of Midland University President Ben Sasse, one of a handful of Republicans running for the state’s open seat. In a statement, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola highlighted Sasse’s outspoken opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care law, which stems from Sasse’s experience as an assistant secretary at Health and Human Services.

“Ben Sasse is the rare candidate who can clearly and forcefully prosecute the case against ObamaCare, not only because it’s an unconstitutional assault on our liberty, but also because he’s read every word of it,” Chocola said. Full story

November 5, 2013

Byrne and Business Prevail in Alabama Special

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne defeated tea-party-backed candidate Dean Young in a special GOP runoff in Alabama’s 1st District on Tuesday, marking the first big win for more moderate Republicans in the fight for control of the GOP since the government shutdown.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Byrne led Young, 53 percent to 47 percent, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business-oriented groups, such as TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts’ Ending Spending PAC, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the final days of the contest to ensure a Byrne victory.

The win sends a message to the tea party that business groups are willing to play in GOP primaries to send more pragmatic, business-minded Republicans to Congress.

Full story

Democratic Super PAC Defends Hagan on TV

A Democrat-aligned super PAC is coming to the defense of North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who was hit last week in a TV ad from a conservative outside group.

Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad today that attempts to debunk the attack ad from Americans for Prosperity, which slammed the Democrat over her support for the health care law. The new spot, backed by a $400,000 buy, also highlights Hagan’s record, calling her an “independent senator working to help balance budgets and create jobs.”

Full story

November 4, 2013

Alabama Special Election Is Proxy Battle for National GOP

With one day until the special-election runoff in Alabama’s 1st District, conservative groups are making a final push to affect the GOP contest that has become a national bellwether for Republicans.

Business groups are trying to boost former state Sen. Bradley Byrne over Dean Young, a tea-party-backed businessman who’s already made some controversial comments. Over the weekend, Ending Spending Inc., a PAC launched in 2010 by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, spent $102,000 in ads to promote Byrne, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“Who can you trust with your money? Career politician Dean Young started numerous PACs, then paid most of the money raised to his own company,” says the ad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBaC13o5P7g&noredirect=1 Full story

October 31, 2013

New Hampshire Braces for Ayotte Race in 2016

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

If there’s anything to be gleaned from this week’s edition of Roll Call’s “Farm Team” series, it’s that the most exciting Senate race of 2016 could take place in New Hampshire.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is not even halfway through her first term, but Granite State Democrats are already sizing up their 2016 recruiting field — and state tea party activists are making noise about a primary challenge. Full story

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