- Citizens United Case Helped Elect More Republicans
- House Republicans Don't Expect Government Shutdown
- Christie Makes Mexico Trip as Foreign Policy Test
- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
March 12, 2013
Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney confirmed to CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that he has moved to West Virginia but cautioned “no final decisions have been made” on a future run for office.
“Now I am working on a book about door to door campaigning and politics, which will take at least a couple months,” Mooney said in an email, chalking up his delayed response to overseas travel.
On Monday, multiple sources said Mooney had conversations this weekend about running for the open 2nd District seat in West Virginia. Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is leaving that seat to run for Senate in 2014.
March 11, 2013
Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney has moved to West Virginia and is considering a run for the open 2nd District, according to a high-ranking state party official.
West Virginia GOP National Committeeman Kris Warner confirmed to CQ Roll Call that Mooney had his eye is on the seat held by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who is running for Senate in 2014.
“That was something he was considering doing right now,” Warner said, confirming a Friday report in Red Maryland, a conservative blog. “He told me he had purchased property in West Virginia.”
Warner described Friday evening conversations at a party reception in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. The state GOP’s executive committee held a meeting over the weekend in the eastern West Virginia town not far from the Maryland border. Full story
With House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan set to release his new budget on Tuesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee warned House Republicans eyeing Senate races that it will use their votes for the plan against them in paid media.
On Monday, DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil and Democratic pollster Geoff Garin told reporters that the Wisconsin Republican’s previous budget plan hurt GOP Senate candidates last year. Cecil said that all of the post-election analysis has overlooked that fact in favor of a focus on the GOP’s candidate quality problem, polling inaccuracies and, according to the DSCC, faulty messaging.
“We’ll be launching an online media campaign to educate voters on Facebook and other social media,” Cecil said. “We’ll be launching an email campaign to engage our volunteers and our donors in this fight. And really this is the first in several steps to hold Republicans accountable on the air, on the ground, in the mail and online.”
The League of Conservation Voters announced on Monday a new, six-figure field campaign to boost Rep. Edward J. Markey’s bid for the Democratic nod in the Massachusetts special election for Senate.
Meanwhile, a source tells CQ Roll Call that Markey will begin a television ad campaign on Tuesday, ramping up his election effort seven weeks before primary voters decide between him and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch.
LCV, a well-funded environmental group, said the organization would spend at least $650,000 on the field campaign by the April 30 primary.
The size of Markey’s TV buy was not immediately available.
Markey led Lynch by significant margins in a series of recent polls. Markey has the backing of the LCV, along with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, among others.
March 8, 2013
Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin will seek a fourth term, a source close to the Illinois Democrat confirmed.
The Chicago Tribune reported the news Friday afternoon.
Durbin is the second-ranking Senate Democrat. He is actively involved in immigration reform negotiations and recently took the gavel of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
This essentially keeps the seat in the Safe Democratic column. Had he not run, it might have been competitive, although Republicans have a relatively weak bench in the state.
Scott Romney, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s brother, is looking at running for retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin’s seat, according to a Michigan GOP source with first-hand knowledge of his interest.
The Republican is a Harvard-educated corporate attorney at the Detroit-based law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, LLP. He was not immediately available for comment.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Gary Peters told The Detroit Free Press editorial board that he is “going to seriously consider” running. Peters, who ended 2012 with nearly $500,000 in cash on hand, is considered the Democrats’ top recruit.
Democrats begin the open-seat race with a decided advantage. But serious structural problems plague the Michigan Democratic Party. This race, along with the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, will test newly-elected Chairman Lon Johnson.
Updated 2:14 p.m. | Twenty-four hours after Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced his retirement, we know more about who is not running to replace him than who is.
Former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis said he is mulling a run and has been approached about about seeking the seat. “I haven’t had a chance to look at it,” he said in a phone interview.
But while Anuzis is keeping his name in the mix, there are many more Republicans taking their names out of contention, including Rep. Candice S. Miller, who announced Friday that she will not run.
“While I am grateful for the interest people have shown, I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014,” the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee said in a statement, according to The Detroit News. “It is my sincere honor to serve the people of Michigan’s 10th District in the United States House of Representatives and in 2014 it is my intention to seek their support for re-election.” Full story
The large field of congressional hopefuls in South Carolina’s 1st District filed pre-primary fundraising reports this week — providing the first glimpse into the financial jockeying in the special election to replace Tim Scott, now a Republican senator.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the front-runner in the contest, raised $334,000 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 27. He ended the period with $365,000 in the bank. Sanford faces 15 other Republicans, some of whom also posted relatively strong fundraising periods, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The filings come two weeks ahead of the March 19 primary. No candidate is expected to get more than 50 percent of the vote, setting up an April 2 runoff — presumably between Sanford and another candidate. Fundraising for the other Republicans in the race was as follows:
- Teddy Turner, the son of TV mogul Ted Turner, took in $376,000 in receipts during the period, including a $245,000 contribution from himself.
- State Rep. Chip Limehouse took in $540,000, including a $400,000 personal loan. Full story
March 7, 2013
Updated 7:37 p.m. | Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of 2014.
The chairman of the Armed Services Committee, first elected in 1978, is the longest-serving senator in Michigan history and will turn 80 before Election Day next year.
In a statement, Levin said the decision not to seek another term was “extremely difficult.”
“I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them,” he said. “As Barbara and I struggled with the question of whether I should run again, we focused on our belief that our country is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come. We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.”
National and local Republicans are recruiting state Rep. Darlene Senger to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster — and she has confirmed interest in taking him on in suburban Chicago’s 11th District.
“I’m considering it, but I haven’t announced anything yet,” Senger said in a Thursday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. She added that she is in the exploratory phase of a campaign and fundraising is a top consideration in her viability.
The 11th District won’t be easy for Republicans to pick up next year. In 2012, Foster defeated former GOP Rep. Judy Biggert, by 17 points. Still, Republicans hold out hope they can win the district in part because of the competitive nature of the Chicago suburbs and exurbs.
Former Republican Rep. Doug Ose told the Sacramento Bee that he is considering a challenge to freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif.
“It’s very easy to say ‘I’m going to run for Congress,’ but having done it four times now, it’s not a simple task,” Ose told the newspaper. “There’s a lot that goes into it.”
The Sacramento-area 7th District became one of the most competitive in California after an independent redistricting commission redrew the lines in 2011. Bera toppled former GOP Rep. Dan Lungren last year by a little more than 3 points, and is now included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s incumbent retention program. Full story
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus revealed in a radio interview that the RNC’s internal review of the 2012 elections will be released on March 18.
In a discussion with radio show host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, Priebus also signaled that the Growth and Opportunity Project would recommend changes to the presidential debate process ahead of the quadrennial GOP primary. Specifically, he said the report will address whether the party will take control of the debates, including which network televises them and which journalists serve as moderators.
“So now we have the right to set the number of the debates, to pick the moderators of the debates, to set the ground rules for what groups and what networks and what stations, what radio networks, whatever it might be,” Priebus said, according to a transcript of the interview posted on Hewitt’s website. “I mean, we just can’t have MSNBC hosting a debate at the Reagan Library only to have their network make the commentary afterwards for three hours about the debate of the Republican Party. I mean, it’s ridiculous.”
Priebus will address reporters at breakfast the National Press Club on the March 18 release date. But he also suggested that such changes would have to be enacted through a vote of committee members at party meeting scheduled for later this year or early 2014.
Under fire from watchdog groups and editorial writers, the pro-Obama advocacy group Organizing for Action has announced that it will no longer accept corporate money and will more fully disclose contributions.
“We have now decided not to accept contributions from corporations, federal lobbyists or foreign donors,” OFA’s national chairman, Jim Messina, wrote in a CNN.com op-ed posted Thursday. While as a tax-exempt social welfare group OFA “faces a lower disclosure threshold than a campaign,” wrote Messina, “we believe in being open and transparent. That’s why every donor who gives $250 or more to this organization will be disclosed on the website with the exact amount they give on a quarterly basis.”
Criticism of the group has been mounting since President Barack Obama’s campaign organizers announced its formation in January. Messina was Obama’s campaign manager, and top bundlers who round up $500,000 or more for the group will reportedly receive invitations to quarterly meetings with the president.
Common Cause President Bob Edgar has called on Obama to shut the group down, and Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer has also said the group should close up shop. Republicans on Capitol Hill have also voiced complaints, and the pro-GOP super PAC American Crossroads last week released a video lampooning OFA as “Organizing for Access.”
In the CNN.com op-ed and in a post on the OFA website, Messina stresses that the group’s mission is to counter the power of special interests, not leverage them.
Attorney Charlie Spies will serve as a senior adviser this cycle to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to protecting and growing the House GOP’s majority.
“Charlie Spies’ reputation speaks for itself,” said CLF Chairman Norm Coleman, a former Republican senator from Minnesota, in a statement Thursday. “2012′s most effective GOP super PAC is excited to grow further as we fight big government, big labor bosses, and the job killing agenda of President Obama and his political operation for control of the U.S. House.” Full story
Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, launched her first television advertisement Thursday as she seeks the Democratic nomination in South Carolina’s 1st District special election.
In the slickly-made spot, she shares her résumé — director of sales and marketing at a shipping company, director of business development at a former naval shipyard in North Charleston — and emphasizes her experience creating jobs.
“I’ve spent 20 years using our ports to create jobs: selling American products made by American workers,” she says. “I know what it takes to create new jobs.”