Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 28, 2015

Posts in "Super PACs"

November 13, 2015

NRSC Relishes Making Russ Feingold Eat His Own Words

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Feingold supporters plan a fundraiser for him at 201 Bar on Tuesday.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Supporters of Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold’s Senate campaign plan to welcome their candidate back to D.C. next week with a fundraiser at 201 Bar — a spot the former lawmaker once cited as a key place where influence is bought and sold.

In a video released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Feingold tells audience members at the 2012 Chicago Humanities Festival how things really get done in Washington. Full story

October 26, 2015

Carson’s Anti-Gay Stance Stops With Campaign Consultant

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

That Christian conservatives overwhelmingly support White House hopeful Ben Carson shouldn’t surprise anyone — he’s been critical of same-sex marriage and once said equating LGBT rights to civil rights “irritated” him.

And neither, campaign manager Barry Bennett maintains, should Bennett’s ongoing relationship with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist and business partner Mary Cheney.

Full story

October 23, 2015

Senate Majority PAC Bars Lobbyists From Its Payroll

Menendez's indictment likely sparked changes to a super PAC's code of conduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Menendez’s indictment could have sparked changes to a super PAC’s code of conduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC that supports Democratic Senate candidates, will prohibit federally registered lobbyists from working for the organization, according to a memo obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Senate Majority PAC says the change is to make the super PAC a leader in campaign finance ethics. But it comes in the wake of the dismissal of a former staffer who was mentioned prominently in Sen. Robert Menendez’s corruption indictment.

Full story

September 17, 2015

Poll: Democrats Lead in Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Races

Kirk trails his Democratic opponent in Illinois. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kirk trails his Democratic opponent in Illinois. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Sens. Mark S. Kirk of Illinois and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin both trail their likely Democratic opponents a little more than a year out from Election Day, according to polling conducted for End Citizens United PAC.

Kirk trails Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, 41-45 percent, while Johnson trails his likely Democratic opponent, former Sen. Russ Feingold, 39-47 percent, according to the poll.

Full story

September 2, 2015

Senate Majority PAC Releases Second Ad Attacking Ayotte at Home

Ayotte, center, is the target of a new ad by a Democratic super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ayotte, center, is the target of a new ad by a Democratic super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that backs Senate Democrats, on Wednesday released its second ad attacking Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire Republican who is a top target in 2016.

The 30-second spot, which runs through Sept. 17, blasts Ayotte for “helping the Washington special interests, not you,” charging the freshman Republican with supporting tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Full story

July 16, 2015

Edwards Shakes Off Van Hollen’s Outside Money Pledge

Edwards is competing against Van Hollen in Maryland's competitive Democratic primary. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Edwards is competing against Van Hollen in Maryland’s competitive Democratic primary. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On the heels of a fundraising quarter during which she was seriously out-raised by her Democratic rival, Rep. Donna Edwards said Thursday she disagreed with a proposal offered by Rep. Chris Van Hollen to try to keep outside money out of their race to replace outgoing Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.

Van Hollen’s campaign manager emailed Edwards’ campaign manager Thursday morning asking her to join Van Hollen in signing the “Free State Pledge,” a proposal that would require the two campaigns to pay 50 percent of the cost of an outside-financed advertising buy to a charity of the opposing candidate’s choice.

Full story

July 9, 2015

Exclusive: Senate Majority PAC Announces Senior Staff

Poersch is one of the senior advisers at Senate Majority PAC in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Poersch is a senior adviser at Senate Majority PAC. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority PAC will announce Thursday that Stephanie Potter will be executive director for the 2016 cycle, and also will release its senior staff roster.

Potter, who was political operations director there last cycle, will be joined by a number of Democratic operatives who worked in 2014 at the super PAC, which spends tens of millions of dollars backing Democratic senators and candidates.

Full story

June 12, 2015

Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. | Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post, in the first case of its kind.

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 12:58 p.m.
FEC, Shop Talk, Super PACs

June 4, 2015

Democrats Frustrated by Unions’ Cash Freeze Over ‘Fast Track’

Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO, which has frozen campaign contributions to Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO, which has frozen campaign contributions to Democrats over a trade bill being debated in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of Democrats’ best team players on the campaign finance front is playing hardball this cycle, withholding campaign cash over a package of trade bills being debated in Congress.

The AFL-CIO, along with some public sector unions, announced a campaign finance freeze in March. Unions hoped the threat of withholding contributions would scare Democratic lawmakers out of supporting President Barack Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track,” to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement labor groups say would hurt manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Full story

May 14, 2015

Lieutenant Governor Moves Closer to Florida Senate Bid

Rubio is running for president in 2016.  (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rubio’s seat is open because he is running for president in 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera moved closer to entering the open Florida Senate contest late Wednesday, announcing a super PAC to help him raise money for a potential candidacy.

Lopez-Cantera would be the second top-tier Republican to enter the contest — left vacant thanks to GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid. GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, a favorite of tea party-aligned outside groups, announced a bid earlier this month.

Full story

October 9, 2014

The 5 Big Questions on Senate Race Spending

2014 senate races

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

September 25, 2014

Democratic Super PAC Enters Maine Race (Video)

house majority pac

Cain is a Democrat running in Maine. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC will start airing advertisements Friday targeting an open seat in Maine, suggesting Democrats are concerned the race could become more competitive than initially anticipated.

HMP, a super PAC aiding House Democrats, laid down a $270,000 buy on broadcast television in the Bangor and Portland markets, according to spokesman Matt Thornton.

Thornton said the buy aims to get their candidate “across the finish line safely” — and before other groups start spending there.

Maine’s 2nd District features an open seat race between state Sen. Emily Cain, a Democrat, and former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, a Republican. The race is currently rated a Leans Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

September 18, 2014

Meet the Super PAC Woman

2014 house races

Lapp is the executive director of House Majority PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the political ad wars rage on television sets from New England to Southern California, Democrats think they have their answer to the Koch brothers and Karl Rove: a mother of three sons from suburban Virginia.

Meet Alixandria Lapp, the executive director of a super PAC with the sole mission of electing as many House Democrats as possible.

At House Majority PAC, she oversees tens of millions of dollars in television advertising every fall. But Lapp’s place in Democratic politics goes beyond a single political organization.

Behind the scenes, the seasoned operative plays traffic cop among House races, wrangling the spectrum of Democratic groups to ensure they work together to get the best bang for their buck in the super PAC ad wars. Full story

August 20, 2014

Super PAC Greets Sullivan Win With Attack Ad

elections 2014

Begich-friendly super PAC has a TV ad against Sullivan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alaska’s newly minted Republican Senate nominee will awake the morning after his primary victory to a negative TV ad from a Democratic super PAC.

Put Alaska First, a group formed to support Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, launched an ad Wednesday against Republican Dan Sullivan targeting his lack of Alaska roots and using a controversial mining project in the state as a wedge issue.

“There’s two things you need to know about Dan Sullivan,” a Dillingham, Alaska, resident says in the ad, which is airing statewide on broadcast and cable. “He’s not from Alaska, and he supports the Pebble Mine.” Full story

July 21, 2014

Super PAC Targets Democrat in Georgia

Nunn is being targeted on TV as the GOP primary concludes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Georgia Republican Senate runoff ending Tuesday, an outside group focused on eradicating wasteful government spending launched a TV ad against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn.

The group, Ending Spending Action Fund, spent more than $200,000 to produce and place the ad, according to an independent expenditure report filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission. It also spent more than $28,000 on opposition research.

The 30-second ad, which is running statewide and kicked off over the weekend, was timed to run just as either Rep. Jack Kingston or former corporate CEO David Perdue wins the Republican nomination and the general election officially begins. The seat in this Republican-leaning state is one of Democrats’ only pickup opportunities. Full story

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