Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

April 11, 2013

New York: County Legislator Announces Reed Challenge in 23rd District

New York: County Legislator Announces Reed Challenge in 23rd District

Reed, center, just picked up a challenger in the 23rd District. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Martha Robertson, an upstate county legislator, announced Thursday that she will challenge three-term Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., in the 23rd District.

Robertson – a Democrat who currently chairs the Tompkins County Legislature – said her work there has helped bring more than 700 jobs to her community, which includes Cornell University and Ithaca College.

Full story

Kentucky: Secret Recording Spurs Ethics Complaint Against McConnell

Updated 4:20 p.m. | An outside watchdog group filed ethics complaints against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggesting possible misuse of official staff for campaign purposes.

But McConnell’s office asserts that the complaint is based on an erroneous transcript of a secret audiotape obtained by Mother Jones.

“Using taxpayer-funded resources to pay staffers to dig up dirt on political opponents isn’t just an ethics violation, it’s a federal crime,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement that explained the complaints filed with both the FBI and the Senate Ethics Committee.

The allegation is that legislative assistants were working on government time for political purposes, conducting opposition research against potential Democratic challenger Ashley Judd. As CREW itself acknowledges, the campaign has said that the individuals in question conducted the research on their own time.

Full story

Hawaii: Schatz’s Fundraising Sends Message to Potential Primary Foes

Hawaii: Schatzs Fundraising Sends Message to Potential Primary Foes

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, is trying to ward off potential primary challengers with hefty first-quarter fundraising and a veteran campaign team already in place for 2014.

The Democrat, appointed Dec. 26 to replace the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, announced on Thursday he raised more than $1.1 million in the first three months of this year.

A news release states that 79 percent of the money came from Hawaii donors. But he also received a boost from some Senate colleagues. Full story

Louisiana: Landrieu Raises $1.2 Million in First Quarter

Louisiana: Landrieu Raises $1.2 Million in First Quarter

Landrieu is a top GOP target in 2014. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., announced on Thursday that she raised more than $1.2 million  in the first quarter of this year, more than double what her new opponent hauled.

Her GOP challenger, Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, raised $500,000 in the same time period. He officially entered the race last week.

(See also on Roll Call: Cassidy Blasts Obama, Landrieu as He Officially Enters Senate Race) Full story

Illinois: Schneider Raised $390,000 in First Quarter

Illinois: Schneider Raised $390,000 in First Quarter

Schneider is a freshman. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider raised $390,000 in the first quarter of this year.

Cash-on-hand figures were not immediately available. But at the end of last year, Schneider reported only a small amount, $14,000, in the bank.

The 10th District, which includes the suburbs north of Chicago, has played host to highly competitive races for several cycles. Last year, Schneider defeated GOP Rep. Robert Dold by 1 point.

Full story

April 10, 2013

Top 5 House Rematches to Watch (So Far)

As Reps. Andy Barr, R-Ky., Ami Bera, D-Calif., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., can attest, sometimes the second time is the charm.

All three freshmen won rematch races in 2012 after narrowly losing bids for Congress in 2010.

Three months into the 2014 midterm cycle, there are at least a handful of highly anticipated House race rematches on tap. More are likely to materialize in the next year.

The 2012 opponent of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., made his comeback official Tuesday, and Minnesota hotelier Jim Graves is expected to announce Thursday whether he will again challenge GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Observers believe he will run.

The House landscape is far from set at this early juncture, with first-quarter fundraising reports due Monday and challengers just starting to roll out their campaigns.

Also, a presidential-year electorate differs (in some districts greatly) from a midterm electorate. Depending on the district, that could mean that a rematch race is less — or more — competitive. Full story

Illinois: Rodney Davis Raises $401K in First Quarter

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., raised just north of $401,000 in his first full fundraising quarter in Congress, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

The freshman will report having $334,000 in cash on hand and zero debt at the end of March, which marks the deadline to close the books on the first fundraising period of the year.

It’s a strong first showing for Davis, who represents a competitive district in downstate Illinois. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has indicated that it plans to target that seat as a pick-up opportunity in 2014.

Shop Talk: RNC Names Director to Oversee State Party Rebuilding

Shop Talk: RNC Names Director to Oversee State Party Rebuilding

Priebus is the RNC chairman. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday named outgoing Oklahoma GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell as its new chief liaison to state parties.

As RNC state party director, Pinnell will lead the committee’s efforts to rejuvenate its state-based affiliations, many of which have proved ineffective since President George W. Bush left office. Pinnell will report to Chairman Reince Priebus and Political Director Chris McNulty, who are rebuilding the party based on recommendations from the RNC’s self-imposed autopsy, the “Growth and Opportunity Project.”

“At the RNC, we’re revamping our entire political field operation to be bottom-up and community based,” Priebus said in a statement. “That means the 50 state parties and territories must take a leading role.”

(See also in Roll Call: RNC Looks to Refurbish Ailing State Parties) Full story

Michigan: Republican Cardiologist Steele Considers Senate Run

Cardiologist Rob Steele is considering a bid for the open Senate seat in Michigan in 2014, according to a local source with direct knowledge of his interest.

Steele is best-known among Republicans for his 2010 bid against longtime Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich. During that campaign, Steele picked up former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin’s endorsement and gave national Democrats a brief scare that Dingell could lose his safe Democratic seat. Steele lost by 17 points.

(See also in Roll Call: Johnson Retirement Gives Senate GOP Another Opportunity)

Full story

Illinois: Republican Preps for Foster Challenge With D.C. Trip

Illinois: Republican Preps for Foster Challenge With D.C. Trip

Foster, right, is close to getting a GOP challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Darlene Senger will meet with Republicans in Washington, D.C., this week in preparation to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster next year.

Senger will sit down with staff at the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as with House GOP leadership and U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials, according to a knowledgeable Illinois Republican.

She is also scheduled to speak with several Illinois members, including GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren and John Shimkus. Full story

North Carolina: Ellmers Will Decide on Hagan Challenge in June

North Carolina: Ellmers Will Decide on Hagan Challenge in June

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

The GOP field to challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan will likely take shape in June, local Republican operatives say.

Most notably, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers — who is currently weighing whether to challenge one of the cycle’s most vulnerable Democratic senators — said through an aide that she hopes to have a decision then.

“Congresswoman Ellmers is praying about it, discussing it with supporters and monitoring how things develop,” Ellmers campaign spokeswoman Jessica Wood told CQ Roll Call. “She expects to have a decision in June.”

(See also in Roll Call: Rothenberg: Most Vulnerable of ’14? Pryor by a Hair ) Full story

April 9, 2013

Illinois: Democrat Kelly Wins Special Election to Replace Jackson

Illinois: Democrat Kelly Wins Special Election to Replace Jackson

Kelly won a first term on Tuesday in the special election to replace Jackson. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly won the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. on Tuesday.

Kelly, a Democrat, defeated Republican Paul McKinley, 89 percent to 6.6 percent, with 19.8 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

Her victory came as no surprise. The 2nd District is heavily Democratic and Kelly had minimal opposition in the general election. McKinley is a convicted felon, according to numerous news outlets.

(See also in Roll Call: Obama Endorses Robin Kelly in Special Election (Finally))

Full story

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

Remainders: #BluegrassGate

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe you were hiding under a rock today. Or stuck in multiple, hours-long meetings. Or outside enjoying the unseasonably nice Washington, D.C., weather.

In any case, here is a timeline to catch you up on the hottest political story of the day involving Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and #BluegrassGate:

Stay tuned, folks. This is just starting to get good.

West Virginia: Club for Growth Invites Capito Challenger to Meet

The Club for Growth has not met with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s new GOP opponent for Senate yet, but it’s definitely interested in getting to know him better.

Chris Chocola, president of the deep-pocketed conservative group, reached out to former state Del. Pat McGeehan over Twitter on Tuesday — just hours after he announced that he’s challenging Capito, the heavy GOP favorite in the race and a club target:

Full story

McConnell Compares Campaign Recording to Nixon’s Watergate

McConnell Compares Campaign Recording to Nixons Watergate

McConnell responded to the secret recording. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In his first public comments on the subject, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likened the secret recording of one of his campaign’s strategy sessions to the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

“Last week they were attacking my wife’s ethnicity and apparently also bugging my headquarters, much like Nixon and Watergate,” said McConnell in a Tuesday afternoon news conference. “That’s what the political left does these days.”

The Kentucky Republican’s response echoed statements his campaign had released Tuesday morning in response to a Mother Jones report that published the recorded conversation at his campaign office.

(See also in Roll Call: McConnell Fundraises Off Secret Recording)

Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 2:56 p.m.
Ky. Senate

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