Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

Posts in "Minnesota"

July 7, 2014

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Franken is seeking re-election in Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Now Coleman’s hand-picked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.

Full story

August 5, 2013

House Republicans Target Nolan With Small TV Buy #MN08

House Republicans Target Nolan With Small TV Buy #MN08

Nolan is the likely target of a new TV buy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has made a small television buy likely intended to target Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn.

The $24,800 worth of airtime in the Duluth, Minn., market is for a spot slated to run Aug. 6-12, confirmed two media-buying sources not associated with the NRCC to CQ Roll Call.

Full story

May 31, 2013

Democrat Drops Bid for Bachmann Seat #MN06

Democrat Drops Bid for Bachmann Seat #MN06

Both Graves and Bachmann dropped their campaigns this week. (CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Hotel magnate Jim Graves, a Democrat, dropped his bid for Minnesota’s 6th District on Friday — just a few days after his opponent, embattled Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from Congress.

Graves portrayed his nascent effort as a success in an email to supporters, pointing to Bachmann’s departure from Congress.

“A year ago, we set out on a mission: To restore civility, functionality and honesty to Washington by removing Michele Bachmann from office,” Graves wrote to supporters. “Her hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies fueled an extremist movement unlike anything we’d seen in a long time.” Full story

May 30, 2013

Bachmann 2.0? The GOP’s Minnesota Problem

Bachmann 2.0? The GOP’s Minnesota Problem

Bachmann will not run for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans exhaled this week when vulnerable Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced her retirement from the otherwise reliable GOP district.

Their relief might not last long. In Minnesota, some Republican strategists fret that the state party’s quirky endorsement process could yield a “Bachmann 2.0” candidate — and put the seat in play again.

“The wrong candidate could lose this for Republicans,” said former Rep. Mark Kennedy, the Republican who preceded Bachmann in the 6th District. “And that would be a key concern for whether the endorsing process delivers the right candidate.” Full story

March 27, 2013

Shop Talk: Franken Hires Manager; Draft Hillary PAC Gets Digital Director

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s re-election campaign and the Ready for Hillary super PAC made public Wednesday new hires to their organizations.

Franken’s team announced that Matt Burgess has been hired to manage the Democrat’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Burgess is a longtime Democratic operative, with former stints at EMILY’s List and the Service Employees International Union, among others.

The super PAC devoted to drafting Hillary Rodham Clinton into the 2016 presidential race, Ready for Hillary PAC, announced Wednesday that it has hired Nickie Titus to be its digital director.

Titus spent the 2012 cycle on now-Sen. Tim Kaine’s, D-Va., campaign. She previously worked for the new media firm Blue State Digital and, like Burgess, she came up through the ranks at EMILY’s List.

CQ Roll Call recently took a look at who else is behind the Draft Hillary effort.

March 4, 2013

Montana: State Democrats’ Dinner Features Franken, Messina

Montana: State Democrats’ Dinner Features Franken, Messina

Franken will speak at a Montana Democratic Party dinner Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina will headline the Montana Democratic Party’s Mansfield-Metcalf dinner Saturday.

Messina is a former campaign manager and chief of staff to Montana Sen. Max Baucus, who is running for re-election in 2014 and has already drawn two GOP challengers. Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer and actor, is also running next year, though no major Republican opponent has yet to step forward.

Baucus, Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock will also address attendees at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. Other speakers include Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Nancy Keenan, the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America and a former congressional candidate in Montana.

January 2, 2013

Minnesota: Paulsen Senate Bid Not So ‘Ridiculous’ After All

Minnesota: Paulsen Senate Bid Not So Ridiculous After All

Republicans are searching for a candidate willing to challenge Sen. Al Franken in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:01 p.m. | For a brief period on Wednesday it appeared Republicans could count Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., out of the race against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in 2014.

No, that’s ridiculous,” Paulsen said, when Minnesota Public Radio asked him about running. However, the MPR report was updated later with a clarification from the congressman’s office. His use of the word “ridiculous” wasn’t in reference to the Senate race after all. It had to do with his vote on the fiscal cliff deal. Here’s MPR’s update:

Paulsen’s office says his use of the word “ridiculous” wasn’t about running for Senate. A spokesman says Paulsen used the word in the context to the preface of the question that mentioned Paulsen’s “no” vote on the fiscal cliff deal before asking whether he was running for Senate.

Republicans have talked up Paulsen, as well as his colleague Rep. John Kline, as potential Franken challengers. Neither Republican has ruled out a bid publicly.

Meanwhile, Kline “continues to keep all options on the table,” according to his spokesman, Troy Young.

In 2008, Franken won one of the closest Senate races in decades following a lengthy recount. He has indicated that he plans to seek re-election next year.

CQ Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.

October 31, 2012

David Axelrod Wagers Mustache on Winning Expanded Battleground States

David Axelrod Wagers Mustache on Winning Expanded Battleground States

Top Democratic strategist David Axelrod bet his mustache that President Barack Obama will win Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama’s campaign claimed today that Mitt Romney’s campaign is “flailing” in the final days, with senior strategist David Axelrod betting his mustache that Obama will win the newly minted battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota.

Axelrod and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on a conference call with reporters dismissed the Romney campaign’s late charge into those states, despite persistent polling leads for Obama, as a sign that it is losing in the existing battlegrounds and is increasingly desperate to expand the map.

“It’s break glass time in Boston,” Axelrod said. “I’ve put my mustache on the line.”

Messina said Democrats are piling up big leads among early voters in key battleground states including Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado and Florida.
Axelrod dismissed a question about Obama consistently trailing significantly among independents in polling. Full story

May 15, 2012

Minnesota: Delegation to Headline Rick Nolan Fundraiser

A pack of noteworthy Democratic Members were scheduled Wednesday to host a fundraiser for former Rep. Rick Nolan, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Minnesota’s 8th district. The invitation to the Washington, D.C., event encourages attendees to come “celebrate the Democratic Farmer Labor Endorsement of Rick Nolan.”

The fundraiser’s hosts include Minnesota’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation and non-Gopher State Members that Nolan served with during his previous stint on Capitol Hill. Nolan has a competitive primary and is trying to send a message that Minnesota’s Democratic establishment and others are coalescing around his candidacy.

Full story

April 24, 2012

Minnesota: State GOP Headaches Mount With Eviction Case

The Minnesota Republican Party will face an eviction hearing next week over unpaid rent, according to the Associated Press. Full story

February 21, 2012

Michele Bachmann Leaves No Doubt About Re-Election

Michele Bachmann Leaves No Doubt About Re Election

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Let there be no doubt, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) staked her claim today on the newly drawn 6th district of Minnesota.

A special court panel drew the Congresswoman’s home into Rep. Betty McCollum’s (D) 4th district, but she forcefully told Roll Call that the 6th district was where she planned to continue her legislative career.

“I wanted to be very clear, unmistakable, unequivocal today out of the gate, I will be running in the 6th district,” she said. “So there was no question so people would be able to make their decisions accordingly as well.”

Full story

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