Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 26, 2014

April 22, 2013

Mark Sanford Does Not Remember the Alamo #SC01

Usually, it’s Texans who are notorious for invoking the Alamo amid tough circumstances.

But this weekend, former Gov. Mark Sanford referenced the epic battle in a full-page newspaper advertisement in the Sunday edition of Charleston’s The Post and Courier.

Sanford, the GOP’s nominee in South Carolina’s 1st District special election, is going through some trying times.

Last week, The Associated Press reported that his former wife had accused him of trespassing on her property. In the next two days, national Republicans abandoned his campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bought air time for a hard-hitting television advertisement against him.

He’s now the underdog in the heavily GOP district against the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

So Sanford is invoking the Alamo in his struggle to return to Congress:

“In March of 1863, there was similarly little time. A South Carolinian by the name of William Travis drew a line in the sand with his sword and simply asked those who would stay and fight, to cross it. His efforts, and that of those who died with him there at the Alamo, ultimately inspired Texans to come to the aid of their brethren and defeat Santa Anna’s army though they were outnumbered at the onset by six to one. I’m outnumbered right now, but will fight to the end toward freedom and financial sanity in Washington so important to sustaining it. I’d ask you to cross the like and fight with me.”

There’s a problem with this anecdote: the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836.

Full story

Joe Miller: GOP Establishment Not ‘Terribly Excited to See Me’ #AKsen

Alaska Republican Joe Miller said he is leaning toward once again seeking his party’s nomination for Senate — likely to the chagrin of some GOP leaders in Anchorage and Washington, D.C.

“Certainly those in the establishment of the Republican Party aren’t going to be terribly excited to see me,” Miller said in an interview with CQ Roll Call last week.

Miller said he’s already met with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran, a fellow Kansas native, and described their conversation as “frank.”

In 2010, the attorney and tea party favorite won the GOP Senate nomination by defeating Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. After the primary, national Republicans publicly supported Miller, but his campaign quickly faltered in the general election and Murkowski won re-election as a write-in candidate.

Last week, Miller launched an exploratory committee to challenge Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, a top GOP target in 2014. He’s currently shoring up grass-roots support and donations to ensure he has what it takes to win it all this time.

Full story

Democrats Markey, Lynch Resume Campaigns #MAsen

Democrats Markey, Lynch Resume Campaigns #MAsen

Markey has led in all polls of the Massachusetts Senate special election so far. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch resumed their Senate special-election campaigns on Monday. It’s been one week since the two Bay State Democrats suspended political activities after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Markey’s spokesman confirmed via email that he will start campaigning again, although neither candidate is running television ads yet:

Full story

House Republicans Announce Vulnerable Incumbents for Patriot Program

House Republicans Announce Vulnerable Incumbents for Patriot Program

Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House GOP’s campaign arm unveiled the first round of vulnerable incumbents for its Patriot program on Monday morning, suggesting which members it believes could need the most help in 2014.

However, these 11 new members in their incumbent-retention program have also signed a contract pledging they will reach certain communications, fundraising and strategy benchmarks to receive support later in the cycle.

“Our Members in the Patriot Program have proven that they are ready to run aggressive, organized campaigns,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon said in a press release.

A couple of names are notably absent from the list below, including Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., who represents a district that President Barack Obama won with 57 percent last November. House Democrats have already indicated Miller will be one of their top targets in 2014. Full story

Senate Democrats Raise Millions More Than NRSC

Senate Democrats Raise Millions More Than NRSC

Bennet is the chairman of the DSCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised nearly $7 million more than its GOP counterpart in the first three months of this year.

According to figures provided by the committees, the DSCC raised more than $5.2 million in March, which is about $2 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in last month.

The monthly haul helped the DSCC record its best first quarter ever, raising $13.7 million over the past three months and ending March with $8.4 million in cash on hand. The NRSC raised some $6.9 million in the first three months and had $5.3 million on hand.

(See also in Roll Call: First Quarter Fundraising Winners and Losers) Full story

April 21, 2013

Republicans Eye Bill Cassidy’s Seat #LA06 | The Field

Republicans Eye Bill Cassidys Seat #LA06 | The FieldLandry doesn’t live in the 6th District currently, but that might not stop him from seeking the seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Editor’s Note: The field is a new, reoccurring series that examines the political landscape in specific House or Senate races. Want to read about the field for a particular district or state? We take requests: Tweet @rollcall with #thefield or email us at politics@cqrollcall.com.

Rep. Bill Cassidy’s, R-La., decision this month to challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu opened a highly desirable district for ambitious Republicans, including a former congressman.

According to GOP sources, there are several Republicans seriously considering running for the 6th District, which President Barack Obama lost by 34 points last year. The district is based in Baton Rouge, but it stretches arms out in several directions, including into the outskirts of New Orleans.

The field of potential Republican candidates could be long, though several of the following people are based in Baton Rouge. It’s unlikely they would all attempt to run from the same home turf. The list includes: Full story

April 19, 2013

Senate Republicans Raised $3.2 Million in March

Senate Republicans Raised $3.2 Million in March

Moran is charged with getting Senate Republicans back to the majority in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised nearly $3.2 million in March, according to a source in the committee.

The committee ended last month with almost $5.3 million in the bank.

This is a jump from February, when the committee raised $2.2 million and had $3.1 million in cash on hand. The NRSC will report $9.5 million in debt.

The NRSC, which is chaired by Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, got a late start on hiring this cycle, so the improvement is attributable to getting staff in place.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee did not have its fundraising numbers available Friday. Monthly fundraising reports are due to the Federal Election Commission by midnight Saturday.

Correction, 6:15 pm | An earlier post misidentified the amount of debt the NRSC reported based on inaccurate information provided by the source.

April 18, 2013

After Bombing, Uneasy Transition Back to Politics #MAsen

After Bombing, Uneasy Transition Back to Politics #MAsen

Markey, above, and Lynch suspended their campaigns following the bombing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the Democratic candidates for the Massachusetts special Senate election still aren’t sure how to proceed with an imminent primary.

Campaigns for the top two Democrats — Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch — have spoken informally. But they have no agreement on a specific date to resume political activities after suspending them earlier this week.

Markey and Lynch, plus all three Republicans seeking the GOP nomination, were scheduled to attend Thursday’s interfaith service, according to The Boston Globe. President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, spoke at the service.

Now comes the uneasy transition back to politics, with the primary scheduled for April 30. Full story

South Carolina: DCCC Makes TV Buy in Sanford Special Election

 

Updated 1:18 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved airtime in South Carolina’s 1st District special election, two GOP sources tell CQ Roll Call.

The buy comes less than 24 hours after the House GOP’s campaign arm abandoned their nominee, former Gov. Mark Sanford, announcing they would not make any expenditures to help him win the safe GOP district.

Sanford faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch on May 7.

The buy is for at least $143,000, a GOP source noted. It will run April 19-28.

Full story

Money Reveals Some Members Aren’t Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Money Reveals Some Members Arent Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Rahall is still considering a Senate run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Reps. Steve King, Jeff Fortenberry and Nick J. Rahall II are serious about running for Senate, their campaign fundraising does not show it.

Several House members eyeing Senate bids posted meager numbers, according to Roll Call’s Senate fundraising chart for the first quarter.

In general, members raise major cash to show their political force if they are seriously weighing jumping into a Senate race. For example, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., had raised $525,000 by the end of the first quarter this year, days before he announced he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

(See which House candidates are on Roll Call’s retirement watch list thanks to their anemic fundraising).

Here are a few House candidates who haven’t taken their names out of the mix when it comes to potential Senate bids and who reported lackluster hauls:

Full story

Delaware: The Return of Christine O’Donnell?

Delaware: The Return of Christine ODonnell?

A spokesman for O'Donnell would not rule out another run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In 2010, Christine O’Donnell famously defeated then-Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., in the GOP Senate primary — then lost the general election to now-Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat. (See “I’m not a witch… I’m you.”)

Her candidacy serves as a symbol of that cycle, in which three tea-party-backed GOP nominees lost otherwise winnable races to Democrats in Delaware, Nevada and Colorado.

O’Donnell is taking care of her family and will make a decision later about possibly running against Coons again in 2014, Abby Livingston reports in the Farm Team column, Roll Call’s weekly state-by-state look at up-and-coming candidates. Full story

April 17, 2013

Mark Sanford Deserted by Entire GOP Cavalry

Former Gov. Mark Sanford was abandoned this week by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which confirmed via a spokeswoman that it will not spend any money on his behalf in the 1st District special election in South Carolina.

Now deep-pocketed outside grounds say they have no plans to boost Sanford over his opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in the May 7 contest. Full story

House Retirement Watch Clues Found in First Fundraising Reports

House Retirement Watch Clues Found in First Fundraising Reports

Coble was hospitalized in February but has returned to work. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not a single House member has announced they will retire in 2014, but first-quarter fundraising reports indicate some may be headed in that direction.

Most of the Senate retirement announcements have come and gone, as Senate campaign officials tend to push members to step aside early in the cycle. However, House members generally don’t reveal their intentions until about a year before the elections.

For now, a dose of weak fundraising showings from the first three months of the midterm cycle offer clues as to which members could be considering the end of their congressional tenures. Whether they actually plan to retire likely won’t be known for some time, but the lack of motivation in fundraising will continue to feed speculation about some members’ political futures. Full story

Hey, Big (House Race) Spender!

Hey, Big (House Race) Spender!

Bachmann reported spending about $200,000 more in the first quarter than she raised in that time period. (By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Running a congressional campaign can be expensive. But it’s rare for House members to spend almost as much as they raised in the first quarter of a two-year election cycle.

Still, a few incumbents achieved this feat during the first three months of this year, according to a CQ Roll Call review of their fundraising reports.

Here’s a selection of “big spender” House members in the first quarter: Full story

South Carolina: Sanford Makes TV Buy Amid Trespassing Accusations

Updated 12:05 p.m. | Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is set to appear in court this week, facing accusations that he trespassed on his ex-wife’s property in early February, according to The Associated Press.

The news comes as he enters the final weeks as the GOP nominee in a special election against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Continued drama in one of the messiest divorces in modern politics will add another layer of complication in his attempt at a political comeback.

But Sanford will have an outlet to make his case — television.

Democratic sources who track media buying tell CQ Roll Call that the Sanford campaign and the South Carolina Republican Party have 1,000 points (a major television buy worth $90,000 to $100,000) reserved in the Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., media markets. It is set to begin Wednesday and last through April 22. Full story

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