Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2015

September 20, 2013

House Democrats Outraise GOP in August

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised about $800,000 more than the National Republican Congressional Committee in August. The House Democratic campaign arm will also report a cash-on-hand advantage in its monthly Federal Election Commission filing, according to a DCCC aide.

House Democrats reported $4.6 million raised last month and $16.1 million in the bank, while House Republicans raised $3.8 million and ended the month with $12.7 million in cash on hand.

Both committees previously eliminated their outstanding debt from the 2012 cycle.

Friday was the deadline for the House campaign committees to report their monthly fundraising hauls.

Grassley Planning to Run Again in 2016

Grassley Planning to Run Again in 2016

Grassley is planning to run for re-election in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley said in a local television interview that he intends to seek a seventh Senate term in 2016.

“I am making plans to run for re-election,” the Republican told “Iowa Press,” a local public affairs show, per The Des Moines Register.

“I’m making plans, but it’s not taking much of my time. I’m concentrating on doing my job for Iowans, on being there when we’re in session, doing my oversight, doing my legislation, doing my town meetings in the 99 counties every year,”said Grassley, who turned 80 this week.

Although Grassley regularly wins re-election by 2-to-1 margins, Iowa is a perennial battleground state.

And before he can run for re-election, Iowans will go to the polls in 2014 to elect a successor to retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. That race is rated Lean Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Iowa Senate Hopeful Prepares for All Scenarios (Video) | #IASEN

The candidate: Republican David Young, former chief of staff to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa
The member: Young is running against five other Republicans in a GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
The state: This is the first open Senate seat in the Hawkeye State since 1974, and it has drawn a host of interest from Republican candidates hoping to flip the seat into the GOP category. On the Democratic side, Rep. Bruce Braley is the likely nominee as the only candidate thus far running in the Democratic primary.
The candidate’s team: The Tarrance Group (polling), Smart Media Group (media), Heather Swift (communications), Zach Lahn (campaign manager).

Full story

Super PAC Ad Ties McConnell Opponent to Harry Reid | #KYSEN

A Kentucky super PAC is hitting the radio Friday to tie Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s likely general election opponent to the leading Democrat in the Senate.

The 60-second ad is backed by a $75,000 buy and is running statewide, according to a spokesman at Kentuckians for Strong Leadership. It touts McConnell’s opposition to Obamacare before making the connection between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“That’s why Harry Reid personally recruited liberal Alison Grimes to run against McConnell, and now Grimes is raising money with Harry Reid in Las Vegas,” the ad’s announcer says. “The choice is clear: Grimes and Reid, pushing Obamacare on us, while members of Congress get a bailout; or Mitch McConnell, a fighter for Kentucky.” Full story

EMILY’s List Endorses in Massachusetts Special | #MA05

State Sen. Katherine Clark, one of five Democratic candidates running in an upcoming special election primary in Massachusetts’ 5th District, received the endorsement of EMILY’s List on Friday, less than a month out from the Oct. 15 contest.

An endorsement from EMILY’s List will likely provide Clark with a flush of cash and organizational help going into this crowded primary in which organization will be key to success.

The EMILY’s List endorsement is notable as the organization which seeks to boost progressive women into elected office chose Clark over another Democratic woman in the race: state Sen. Karen Spilka.

Full story

September 19, 2013

DSCC Tops Debt-Free NRSC in August Fundraising (Updated)

DSCC Tops Debt Free NRSC in August Fundraising (Updated)

Moran, center, is the chairman of the NRSC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:10 a.m. | The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee topped its Republican counterpart in fundraising last month, the seventh time in eight months the majority party has done so.

The DSCC raised $3.3 million in August and ended the month with $9.4 million in cash on hand, according to numbers provided by the committee. Since its last monthly Federal Election Commission report, the DSCC paid down its debt to $8.7 million by the end of August, a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has been outraised by more than $10 million so far this cycle, earlier this month paid off its remaining debt from the 2012 cycle. The GOP committee was also the first to do so last cycle.

The NRSC will report raising $1.9 million in August and ending the month with $4.8 million on hand. As of Sept. 3, that cash flow number was down to $2.3 million after paying off its remaining debt, according to an NRSC spokesman. The NRSC had no outstanding amounts from a $20 million line of credit from Wells Fargo, according to a letter from the bank provided to CQ Roll Call. Full story

Sharron Angle’s Super PAC Buys Airtime in Alabama Special | #AL01

Sharron Angles Super PAC Buys Airtime in Alabama Special | #AL01

Angle lost a bid for Senate in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A super PAC launched by failed Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle has waded into the upcoming Alabama special election, making a small television buy to boost one of the Republican candidates in the crowded field.

Our Voice PAC placed a $10,000 buy on cable in the district to aid Dean Young, a businessman running in Tuesday’s 1st District special election, according to a 1st District source with knowledge of the buy. Young is one of five Republicans looking to succeed former Rep. Jo Bonner, who resigned in August to take a job with the University of Alabama system.

Full story

House Republicans Raise $3 Million for Vulnerable Members

House Republicans Raise $3 Million for Vulnerable Members

Coffman is one of House Republican's most vulnerable members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce it has raised $3 million total for the 20 vulnerable incumbents through its Patriot program, according to figures provided first to Roll Call.

On Thursday, House Republican leaders hosted their second “Patriot Day” of the cycle — a fundraising event that contributed to that $3 million total. The Patriot program provides resources to the party’s most vulnerable House members for their re-election efforts, including fundraising and communications support.

Republican incumbents in the Patriot program include: Full story

McConnell’s Kentucky Coal Politics Play Out on Senate Floor | #KYSEN

McConnells Kentucky Coal Politics Play Out on Senate Floor | #KYSEN

McConnell is up for re-election in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to push his Saving Coal Jobs Act toward passage, providing a quick case study in how the minority leader leverages his office to promote his home state during his re-election.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., objected to the bill, and McConnell was ultimately unsuccessful. But the back-and-forth set up a helpful contrast for McConnell and national Republicans.

McConnell’s likely general election opponent next year, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, is reportedly scheduled to attend a fundraiser hosted by Reid. Coal could play a central role in the campaign debate next fall, especially in the most politically competitive parts of eastern Kentucky. Full story

Ex-Congresswoman Endorsed by 30 Former, Current Members | #PA13

Ex Congresswoman Endorsed by 30 Former, Current Members | #PA13

Hoyer is one of several members to back Margolies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, a Democrat seeking to return to Congress in Pennsylvania’s 13th District this cycle, has lined up support from 30 current and former members of Congress, the campaign announced Thursday.

The group of Democrats – including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Reps. Rosa DeLauro, Nita M. Lowey, Maxine Waters and Henry A. Waxman, among others – will host a fundraiser for Margolies on Sept. 24. Full story

September 18, 2013

DCCC Chief Touts Dues at Private Dinner for Members

DCCC Chief Touts Dues at Private Dinner for Members

Israel says DCCC money is being put to good use in GOP strongholds (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel announced at a Tuesday evening private dinner for the caucus that 80 percent of House Democrats have paid at least some portion of their dues.

Israel boasted to the 75 members in attendance that DCCC money was put to use in GOP-held districts during August recess. The New York representative also pushed members to open their campaign pocketbooks to the committee before the Sept. 30 monthly fundraising deadline, according to a source in the room.

In her remarks to the crowd, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi specifically hailed the fundraising efforts of Reps. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Jared Polis of Colorado, Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, and John B. Larson of Connecticut. Full story

Recalls Haven’t Changed Colorado Senate Picture — Yet

Last week’s legislative recalls in Colorado, which boosted the spirits of Republicans across the state, are unlikely to alter the competitiveness of next year’s Senate race.

After a disappointing Senate loss in 2010 — and the gaffes that partly led to it — Ken Buck’s early position as the leading Republican in the primary field isn’t exactly striking fear in the hearts of Democrats. At this point, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is heavily favored for re-election.

Republicans don’t need to win this race to take back Senate control, but putting it in play could at least force Democrats to spend money. As it stands now, that’s unlikely to happen.

“If it were coming up this November, I would guess not terribly competitive,” Colorado-based Republican consultant Katy Atkinson said of the race. “Ken Buck is going to have to tell people why he’s electable this year when he couldn’t get elected against Michael Bennet — with a Democrat candidate who was unknown, in a year that was pretty heavily favored Republican.” Full story

Amash Clears Way for Republicans to Back Land for Michigan Senate

Amash Clears Way for Republicans to Back Land for Michigan Senate

Amash will not run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., officially declined to run for Senate on Tuesday, clearing the path for former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land to be the GOP nominee in the state’s open-seat Senate race in 2014.

“She’s working hard, out there raising money, campaigning all over the state,” GOP consultant Stu Sandler said. He added that state Republicans are “impressed by the campaign she’s run.”

Other Michigan Republicans concur with Sandler’s assessment, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee. During the past week, the committee sent a pair of emails touting her candidacy.

Amash never met with the NRSC, according to a committee spokesman. Full story

September 17, 2013

Biden to Fundraise for Steve King Challenger | #IA04

Biden to Fundraise for Steve King Challenger | #IA04

Mowrer is running against King. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will raise money for veteran Jim Mowrer, a Democrat looking to oust Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in 2014, according to a local news source.

The fundraiser is scheduled to take place Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C., at the home of freshman Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., reported the Des Moines Register.

Mowrer, 27, worked on Biden’s presidential campaign in 2007 as his Iowa veterans director. Mowrer is also friends with Biden’s son, Beau. The two met in Baghdad when they worked at Camp Victory.

Full story

Special-Election Candidate Trashes Obamacare in New TV Ad | #AL01

Former Republican National Committee aide Wells Griffith, a candidate in Alabama’s 1st District special election, released his second television spot on Tuesday — one week out from the primary.

In the 30-second spot, Griffith throws a thick pile of Obamacare pages in the trash bin and says that repealing the law is why he decided to run for the seat. The campaign spent about $18,000 on the ad, according to a source with knowledge of ad buys in the district.

“This document, Obamacare, is why I’m running for Congress. Because we won’t get back to creating jobs until these thousands of pages of economic destruction are relegated to the trash pile of history,” Griffith says in the ad.

Full story

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