- Bonus Quote of the Day
- Trump Promises ‘Incredible’ Debate Tonight
- Errors Found in Iowa Caucus Results
- Fiorina Won’t Be a Last Minute Invite
- Lott Would Have Had Cruz Thrown Out
It’s the race to define Matt Bevin in Kentucky, as the Republican primary challenger kicks off his Senate campaign and a statewide tour Wednesday.
The campaigns of both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Bevin, McConnell’s primary challenger, released TV ads this morning introducing the businessman to Kentucky.
While Bevin took shots at McConnell’s votes and leadership in the Senate in his opening salvo, he also made sure to lay out his résumé: “Matt Bevin: Small-town roots, successful businessman, father of nine, veteran, conservative, Republican for U.S. Senate.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjgbdVOZqyw Full story
GOPAC, the organization that aims to build the local Republican bench, will announce on Wednesday a new initiative to push its candidates to seek federal office in 2014.
Called Up is a program that will direct a larger portion of GOPAC’s resources to federal elections, both with independent expenditures and strategic advice for the candidates running.
“Much like in Major League Baseball, we have diligently worked to foster the talents of young leaders and build a deep bench of battle-tested candidates,” GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli said in a news release. “These rising conservative stars have proven themselves on the state and local levels, and it is now time to call them up to higher office.”
National tea party leaders are not backing down from their endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, despite pushback from local tea party factions in Kentucky.
Speaking with reporters outside an event that featured appearances by all of the prominent tea-party-backed senators, Scottie Hughes of TPNN.com defended her group’s decision to back the Kentucky Republican. McConnell helped the group organize the event in the Capitol.
Both Hughes’ Tea Party News Network and its umbrella organization TheTeaParty.net have endorsed McConnell, even though he is expected to pick up a tea-party-inspired primary challenger on Wednesday. Local groups in Kentucky have asked the national groups to rescind their support.
“The national tea party doesn’t want to sit here and go against anything a local tea party group says. That being said, however, we need to look to make sure that we’re properly vetting our candidates, which is something the tea party has done very badly in the past,” Hughes told reporters gathered outside the event. “We as a national tea party are encouraging this local tea party group: You need to sit down and vet the candidate you’ve picked, vet his background, make sure that he’s not just coming out as kind of a loose cannon as a tea party candidate.”
In the past two years, one state party chairman was investigated by the local bar association. Elsewhere, an about-to-be-ousted party leader changed the locks at the headquarters. Two more state parties were threatened with eviction.
Traditionally, state parties have been the meeting point between the national political organizations and the local ground game. But in recent cycles, many of them have become so dysfunctional that they are now irrelevant — or even worse, detrimental, to the national party’s efforts.
The reasons behind their ineptitude vary: Some parties struggle with finances, others with competing personalities. For Republicans, many of the problems stem from power struggles between tea party activists and old guard operatives.
Does it matter if the state party is dysfunctional, especially in the age of shadow campaigns and ubiquitous third-party spending? It depends whom you ask. Full story
Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., announced on Tuesday that he will officially resign from Congress on Aug. 2.
Bonner, who is leaving to take a job at the University of Alabama, initially planned to resign on Aug. 15, according to numerous reports. But Bonner said he decided to resign earlier to ensure that a new member of Congress is in place for the start of the second session of the 113th Congress.
“Earlier today, I notified House Speaker John Boehner of my intent to leave Congress at 11:59PM on August 2, 2013,” Bonner wrote in a news release. “It was always my intent for this seat to be vacant as little time as possible; therefore, I am moving up my original resignation date to ensure that a new representative can be elected and seated in time for the Second Session of the 113th Congress in January 2014.”
Former Washington Redskins wide receiver Jimmy Farris told a local news source on Tuesday that he is eyeing a run for the Idaho Legislature instead of another bid against GOP Rep. Raúl R. Labrador.
The Nebraska Senate GOP field is beginning to take shape this week, as one Republican moves toward entering the race and another appears likely to seek a different office.
According to The Associated Press, Midland University President Ben Sasse filed paperwork Monday with the Nebraska secretary of state’s office to incorporate “Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate.” If Sasse, who has been on a statewide listening tour, has filed with the Federal Election Commission, it is not yet available online.
Meanwhile, sources close to Pete Ricketts, a wealthy businessman and 2006 Republican nominee for Senate, indicated that he is leaning toward seeking the governorship rather than another bid for Senate. Leavenworth Street, a conservative blog in Nebraska, reported July 18 that Ricketts is all but officially running for governor. Full story
A Democratic super PAC is up with a new TV ad targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, part of a media campaign that will run through Election Day 2014.
The Senate Majority PAC ad is running statewide with a buy size of nearly $270,000, according to a spokesman. It plays up the label national Democrats are attaching to McConnell in an effort to defeat him next year: “guardian of gridlock.”
The goal is for voters to see McConnell as someone solely focused on obstructing government, rather than on his home state.
“He calls himself the guardian of gridlock, grinding the Senate to a halt, even when it hurts Kentucky,” the ad’s announcer says.
Democrats will finally and officially have their candidate in the party’s top pickup opportunity on Tuesday, when Michelle Nunn announces her campaign for Senate in Georgia.
Nunn, the daughter of Democratic former Sen. Sam Nunn, will enter the race for the open seat that her father once held, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday night.
“Part of what I bring to the table, and what Georgians are eager for, is coming together,” Nunn said in an interview with the newspaper. “They’re tired of the partisanship, tired of what feels like political infighting versus actually trying to accomplish things.” Full story
Twenty-six senators raced in and out of the Ronald Reagan Republican Center last week with varying enthusiasm for a most-often-dreaded, but necessary, activity: fundraising.
Inside the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s marathon call day, even the GOP’s weakest fundraisers were on hand to dial for dollars to help the party gain the net six seats necessary to win the majority.
“I’m not real good at it, asking people to give money,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who had one of the lowest fundraising hauls in the second quarter. “But I do, because it’s just part of it. People are nice when you talk to them. They understand the process.”
South Dakota Sen. John Thune made it look easy. He strolled in just after a vote, took a seat toward the back and placed a plastic cup of lemonade and bag of Nutter Butter cookies on the table. With the phone to his ear, he leaned back in his chair and said, “Hey, Al, how’s it going?” Al did much of the talking.
More than half of the caucus stopped in July 18 to fundraise for the NRSC, and CQ Roll Call was given exclusive access to the marathon call session.
The effort to get more senators personally involved was intended, in part, to help reverse a trend. Recently, Democrats have been far more generous in committee donations out of their personal campaign accounts.
In the 2012 cycle, 20 of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s top 25 largest contributors were senators’ campaigns, and they gave a total of $8.6 million, according to figures compiled by Political MoneyLine. By comparison, nine of the NRSC’s top 25 contributors were senators’ campaigns and collectively gave just more than $1 million. Many of the GOP’s top donations came from joint fundraising committees.
EMILY’s List announced their preliminary support for six new female House candidates from across the country on Monday.
The organization, which supports female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, stopped short of giving the contenders their full endorsements.
But the following candidates have been placed “On the List,” giving them access to EMILY’s List’s fundraising and grass-roots supporters:
Over the weekend, former Vice President Al Gore waded into the most competitive Democratic Senate primary of the cycle.
Gore endorsed appointed Sen. Brian Schatz, who faces Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in what’s expected to be a close race next year in Hawaii. They’re both vying to fill the remaining two years of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s term. Full story
For Democrats to win statewide in Kentucky, they must run up the score in urban areas without turning off voters in the state’s agricultural and coal counties. That’s as hard as it sounds — especially when a candidate can be painted by the competition as unsupportive of coal, one of the state’s crucial economic engines.
The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce Monday that it has added nine members to its vulnerable incumbent program for the 2014 cycle, according to information provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.
The Patriot program provides fundraising and communications support to incumbents who meet certain NRCC benchmarks in their re-election campaigns. The nine Patriot program additions join 11 House Republicans whom the NRCC already deemed vulnerable.
Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry, a Democrat who announced a bid for Arkansas’ lieutenant governor’s race in June, is considering switching races to challenge Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., instead.
“I’m going to consider it,” Curry told CQ Roll Call on Friday afternoon. “I’m putting my feelers out as we speak, and talked with the people who are close to me, that are in support of me, and now and I will … make some kind of decision as to whether or not I will pivot to the other race or not.”