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January 23, 2014

Schumer: Administration, IRS Must ‘Redouble Efforts’ on Campaign Finance Enforcement

Schumer is a Democrat from New York. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that Democrats, the administration and the IRS must immediately “redouble” efforts to close loopholes created by a recent Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates for money into politics.

“One of the great advantages the tea party has is the huge holes in our campaign finance laws created this ill-advised decision,” said Schumer, referring to Citizens United, in an afternoon speech at the Center for American Progress. “Obviously, the tea party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government.” Full story

January 16, 2014

Pro-McConnell Super PAC Slams Democrat on Coal

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super PAC backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has hit the radio airwaves with an ad that slams his Democratic rival over the issue of coal.

The minute-long ad rails against Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on the issue of coal.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiMVX3ZBC0Y

Full story

January 9, 2014

Report: Ed Gillespie to Challenge Mark Warner

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is informing Virginia Republicans that he will challenge first-term Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in 2014, according to The New York Times.

A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee declined to comment on the story. Full story

January 6, 2014

Jim Gerlach Won’t Seek Re-Election (Updated)

jim gerlach

(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:48 PM, 2:20 PM, 4:53 PM | Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2014, marking yet another moderate House Republican to leave Congress.

“Nearing the end of my sixth term in the House and following 12 years of public service in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family,” Gerlach said in a statement to PoliticsPA.com, which first reported the news.

Gerlach’s departure gives Democrats a decent opportunity in southeastern Pennsylvania. Mitt Romney carried the 6th District with 51 percent in 2012. Full story

January 3, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Florida’s 13th District

 

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.

Full story

January 2, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: North Carolina Senate

Hagan is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This cycle’s best bellwether for Senate control is North Carolina, where Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is seeking re-election in this increasingly frequent battleground state.

Senate Republicans must pick up a net of six seats to win control, and the Tar Heel State has served as that chamber’s best barometer in recent cycles. Since 2000, the party of North Carolina’s Senate victor has picked up seats across the country.

That’s what happened in 2008, when Hagan defeated then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and Democrats picked up several Senate seats on the coattails of President Barack Obama’s first election. Hagan won’t have that benefit in 2014, when the president’s poor approval rating will not help her re-election efforts. Full story

December 31, 2013

How Roll Call’s Best Politics Stories of 2013 Happened

Like many politics news consumers/news people working during the holidays, I’ve read a lot of listicles in the last couple weeks (some even on Roll Call). My eyes now glaze over when the words “best of” run across my Tweetdeck.

So here’s something slightly different for the end of 2013. Hopefully, you read our best politics stories of 2013 when they originally published.  But here’s a closer look at how the year’s best stories from Emily Cahn, Abby Livingston, Kyle Trygstad, Nathan L. Gonzales and Stu Rothenberg happened.

Warning: Story generation isn’t often sexy or even interesting. To my knowledge, no Roll Call politics reporter secretly met a source in a Rosslyn parking garage this year. Mostly, they get their best ideas by dialing sources outside the Beltway. Other times, they get lucky with a news tip. Regardless, I think it’s valuable to our readers to see the origins of our best coverage.

In no specific order, here’s how Roll Call’s 13 best politics stories of 2013  happened:

1. 6 Things Losing Candidates Say (Aug. 22). Nathan didn’t think this story would get much attention during a sleepy, off-year August recess. He and Stu Rothenberg meet with scores of congressional hopefuls every cycle, and Nathan thought his advice to candidates seemed obvious (for example, don’t hire your spouse as a campaign manager). But the story quickly became one of Roll Call’s most popular pieces, and operatives tell us they now give it to candidates before they do interviews with national media — especially prior to meeting Stu and Nathan. The list spurred a few fun spin-offs too: 5 Things Winning Candidates Say and 4 More Things Losing Candidates Say (Readers Edition).

Full story

December 30, 2013

West Virginia House Hopeful Says He’s No Carpetbagger (Video)

The candidate: Former Maryland state Sen. Alex Mooney
The member: Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is running for Senate, leaving an open race for her House seat in 2014.
The district:
 In 2012, Mitt Romney won the 2nd District, which includes Charleston and the Eastern Panhandle, by more than 20 points. But Democrats continue to win local office in this region in West Virginia, making the race somewhat competitive.

Full story

December 27, 2013

Doctor Candidate Plans to Tap Medical Community for Fundraising (Video)

The candidate: Surgeon Bob Johnson, a Republican.
The member: Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who is running for Senate, leaving his seat open in 2014.
The district: Kingston has held the 1st District, which includes all of of Georgia’s coastline, since 1992. It’s a strong district for the GOP, and Mitt Romney carried it with 56 percent last cycle.
The team: John Konkus at Jamestown Associates (general consulting, media/communications, and mail), Robert Blizzard (polling), and Nathan Wurtzel at The Catalyst Group (PAC fundraiser).


Full story

December 17, 2013

Latham Marks Third House Retirement in One Day (Updated)

Updated 5:48 p.m., 6:55 p.m., 7:56 p.m. | Iowa Republican Rep. Tom Latham, a top ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, became the third member of Congress to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

“I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014,” Latham wrote in an email to his supporters. Full story

December 9, 2013

House Democratic Recruit Drops Bid in Nebraska

Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen, a Democrat, has dropped his bid to challenge Republican Rep. Lee Terry in Nebraska’s 2nd District, according to a national Democratic source.

Festersen served as the poster child for House Democrats’ candidate recruitment spree during the government shutdown in October. The source said he is leaving the race for personal reasons, but also noted that Festersen’s fundraising and campaign did not meet expectations. Full story

December 5, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Drops Major Buy in North Carolina

The latest ad targets Tillis. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Democrats up for re-election are facing heat over Obamacare, a Democratic-aligned super PAC launched a TV ad targeting the leading Republican in the North Carolina Senate race on the issue of health care.

According to a Republican tracking ad buys, Senate Majority PAC is spending $736,000 over the next two weeks across four media markets to defend Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and criticize her top Republican challenger, state Speaker Thom Tillis. Full story

November 5, 2013

Illinois Democrat Estimates $2.5 Million Race for Top Competitive Seat (Video)

The candidate: Former chief judge Ann Callis, a Democrat
The member: Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican
The district: Mitt Romney narrowly won this district with 49 percent of the vote.
The candidate’s team: Marshall Cohen (manager), Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Jason McGrath and Mike Bocian of GBA Strategies (polling), Emily Parcell and Beth Hernandez of The Pivot Group (mail)

Former chief judge Ann Callis said she will need to raise $2 million to $2.5 million to wage a competitive campaign in the 13th District next year, according to an Oct. 10 interview she gave CQ Roll Call.

Callis is seeking to oust freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in the competitive district that split nearly evenly between the two presidential candidates. Davis first faces a primary against former Miss America Erika Harold. Full story

October 29, 2013

Democratic Candidate Says Gitmo Experience Is Not a Liability (Video)

Cannon is running in a competitive House district in Michigan. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The candidate: Ret. Army Major General Jerry Cannon, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Dan Benishek, a two-term Republican.
The district: In 2012, Benishek defeated Democratic challenger Gary McDowell by less than 2,000 votes in this Upper Peninsula district. Mitt Romney carried the district with 54 points.
The candidate’s team: Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Al Quinlan and Andrew Baumann of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (polling), Terry Walsh at The Strategy Group (mail).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K40bWSQfws Full story

October 24, 2013

House Democrats Promote 3 Recruits

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee elevated three new candidates to its Jumpstart designation on Thursday.

Jumpstart is a program that provides “financial, communications, operational, and strategic support to top recruits,” according to a release from the committee. The Jumpstart distinction also serves as the DCCC’s signal of approval to donors.

This round of Jumpstart additions include: Full story

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