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
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.
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 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
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.
The 60-second ad will begin airing Wednesday on MSNBC, CNN and Comedy Central, according to the campaign. A campaign aide said they have bought more than $100,000 of airtime but did not disclose an exact dollar amount. The campaign will be on air through the duration of the primary cycle, which ends Oct. 15.
In the ad, Sciortino, who is openly gay, comes out as a “Massachusetts liberal” to his father, a member of the tea party. In a witty back and forth, Sciortino’s father describes the progressive policies Sciortino has worked on during his time in the Massachusetts state House.
“This one drives him crazy,” Sciortino says, to which his father replies, “He wants to go to Congress to take on the NRA and the tea party.”
Her entrance into the race marks the start of the last chapter of this cycle’s recruitment season for Senate races. Democrats cannot lose more than five seats and retain their Senate majority, but recruitment in three of those open-seat races — South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana — has complicated their efforts until recently. Full story
The campaign plans to run ads through the Oct. 15 primary, according to a source with knowledge of the ad buy. The initial, approximately $60,000 buy will keep Clark’s spot on the airwaves Tuesday through Sept. 23 on six cable markets in the district: Cambridge, Lexington, Malden, Newton, Revere and Woburn.
The $60,000 buy, split between broadcast and cable television, seeks to contrast Byrne with President Barack Obama by citing government spending on “robotic squirrels,” “money for a circus foundation,” and a “futuristic food menu from Mars.”
“Obama’s wasted billions of dollars on boondoggles,” Byrne says in the spot that will run through the Sept. 24 GOP primary, according to his campaign.
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm urged her fellow Democrats to support state Rep. Rudy Hobbs’ bid for an open House seat in Detroit.
“Rudy is exactly the right person to represent this diverse district,” she wrote in a Monday email to Hobbs’ supporters. “Nowhere will you find a candidate with the breadth of experience, passion, dedication and deep roots that Rudy has.” Full story
Her candidacy comes as good news for Senate Democrats, who were hunting for a top candidate to run for the competitive seat.
West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio declined to confirm any impending announcement to CQ Roll Call but said Tennant had been widely recruited from within the state to run. A spokesperson for Tennant could not be reached for comment.
Grassley is frustrated with his party's rescheduled nominating convention. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Some Iowa Republicans are frustrated with their state party chairman, A.J. Spiker, for changing the GOP’s nominating convention date — and at least one top local operative has called for his resignation.
By pushing back the party’s nominating convention by a month, Democrats will have an advantage in a rare open Senate race, Republicans argue. Spiker has called a Sept. 23 meeting for the state central committee to address the convention date, according to The Iowa Republican blog. CQ Roll Call confirmed the meeting.
In Iowa, candidates must receive 35 percent of the vote in a primary or delegates decide the nominee in an unpredictable convention process. (Read Roll Call’s primer on the situation here.) At least six Republicans have announced bids to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, almost ensuring a nomination convention will be held in the Hawkeye State for the first time since 2002.