Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

July 11, 2012

Virginia: Tim Kaine Raised $3M in 2nd Quarter

Virginia: Tim Kaine Raised $3M in 2nd Quarter

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:42 a.m. | Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine just recorded his best fundraising quarter of the cycle, bringing in around $3 million from April through June, his Senate campaign announced this morning.

The ex-Democratic National Committee chairman is running in a blockbuster race against Republican George Allen, a former governor and Senator. Full story

New York: Chris Gibson, Julian Schreibman Release Fundraising Numbers

In a tossup race in upstate New York’s 19th district, freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R) and Democratic nominee Julian Schreibman both look like they’ll have enough money to be competitive.

Gibson will announce today that he raised $406,000 in the second quarter, while Schreibman raised about $320,000, though the campaign was still tallying their fundraising totals.

The newly configured district, drawn by a federal judge, leans slightly Democratic. But Gibson is a serious, hardworking campaigner, and that makes this a race to watch. Schreibman, a former federal prosecutor, has strong support from national Democrats and is seen as having a real shot at the seat.

Gibson ended June with about $1.2 million in cash on hand. Schreibman’s campaign was still tallying its cash on hand. He had $257,000 in cash on hand on June 6, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

July 10, 2012

Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer Endorses Matt Salmon in GOP Primary

Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on Tuesday backed former Rep. Matt Salmon in the 5th district GOP primary.

Salmon, who retired in 2001, is running against former state Speaker Kirk Adams.

“I had the pleasure of serving with Matt Salmon in the Arizona State Senate. Over the years, I have come to know him as an honest, hard-working, family man who is deeply committed to public service,” Brewer said in a statement.

The 5th district is a safe Republican seat and the GOP primary winner is likely to win easily in November.

Wisconsin: Pocan and Roys Launch First Major TV Ads

Wisconsin Democratic Assembly members Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys launched their first major TV ads this week in the race to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the state’s 2nd district. The spots for both candidates are positive portrayals of themselves and both avoid taking on their opponent directly.

Pocan’s ad, which is part of a more than $55,000 broadcast and cable buy, portrays the him as someone whose political leadership has been influenced by his own experience with business.

“My parents taught me how to run a business and how to treat employees and customer fairly,” Pocan says in the ad. “I practice those lessons everyday in my own union print shop.”

Roys released two ads that will play in rotation on broadcast and cable portraying her as willing to stand up to the establishment. The value of the Roys ad buy is roughly equal to the Pocan buy, according to a Wisconsin Democratic operative with knowledge of the campaigns. Full story

Michigan: Governor Calls Special Election for Thaddeus McCotter Seat

Updated 6:24 p.m. | There will be a special election to fill Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R-Mich.) seat for the final few weeks of his term.

The special primary is Sept. 5, a Wednesday, and the special general election is Nov. 6, Election Day, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley told reporters on Tuesday.

McCotter resigned from Congress last week after two tumultuous months. The five-term Congressman failed to make the primary ballot because of faulty signature petitions now under investigation. On Friday, he dropped out of Congress after the Detroit News reported that he helped pen an inappropriate mock television pilot.

Full story

Massachusetts: Independent Candidate Eyes 6th District Race (UPDATED)

Updated 11:40 p.m. | An independent candidate is seriously weighing a run against vulnerable Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney (D), Roll Call has learned.

Sources were unwilling to name the candidate on the record, but described him as a retired Marine in his early 30s who grew up in the district. The potential candidate, who would plan to caucus with Democrats if elected, is not registered with either party and has never been involved in elective politics. The potential candidate, who has not made a final decision on a Congressional bid, thinks he could raise a million dollars before November.

“Let’s face it, it’s a volatile year that you don’t see very often and it’s worth this candidate taking a look at this race,” said a source who has been briefed on the potential candidate’s deliberations. Full story

Arizona: Jeff Flake Slams Wil Cardon on Report of Hiring Illegal Immigrants

Rep. Jeff Flake launched a new television advertisement today accusing his Senate Republican primary opponent, businessman Wil Cardon, of employing illegal immigrants at his business.

The ad, part of a $200,000 statewide broadcast and cable television buy, follows similar allegations published in a report in the Arizona Republic last week. Immigration has been a prominent issue in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary, with Cardon frequently accusing Flake of supporting “amnesty.”

“Wil Cardon talks tough about illegal immigration,” the narrator says. “But federal agents say nearly two-thirds of Wil Cardon’s sandwich shop employees were illegal aliens.”

Full story

Missouri: Senate Candidate John Brunner’s Company Late on Plane Taxes

Buckle up for some light turbulence.

The company of GOP Missouri Senate candidate John Brunner, Vi-Jon Inc. LLC, was late in paying local property taxes on its private plane in 2006, according to tax records obtained from the St. Louis County Department of Revenue.

Brunner was CEO of the company at the time. Vi-Jon, a cosmetics and health care products manufacturer, paid $697 in interest and penalties on the late taxes.

The revelation of the late taxes, first reported by Politico, probably eliminates — or at least undermines — a potent talking point for Republicans, who were merciless in skewering Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) for tardiness in paying taxes on her now-sold private plane.

Full story

Nevada: Ethics Probe Clouds Tossup Senate Race

Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Democratic nominee for the Nevada Senate seat once held by scandal-plagued Republican John Ensign, is now embroiled in an ethics investigation of her own — making a top pick-up opportunity for her party a steeper climb.

Berkley is running to unseat appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R) in a presidential battleground state that is crucial to Democrats’ chances at holding both the White House and Senate. Her bid was clouded Monday by the House Ethics Committee announcement — less than four months from Election Day — that it is investigating whether Berkley broke any ethics rules or laws by saving a kidney transplant program at a hospital where her physician husband had a lucrative contract. Full story

North Carolina: YG Action Fund Goes Big for Richard Hudson

The YG Action Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), is taking out its big guns in North Carolina’s 8th district.

The group reported today that it was spending about $450,000 backing Richard Hudson, a North Carolina GOP Congressional candidate in a competitive runoff with Scott Keadle, a candidate aligned with the Club for Growth. That brings the total spent by group in support of Hudson in both the primary and the runoff to $525,000.

The Club for Growth and its affiliated entities have spent more than $720,000 backing Keadle in the runoff and the primary.

The YG Action Fund’s new expenditures include mail, radio and television buys.

Full story

Wisconsin: EMILY’s List Takes On Senate Frontrunners

Women Vote!, the independent expenditure arm of EMILY’s List, released its first television ad in Wisconsin this cycle in support of Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) with a $400,000 broadcast television buy.

The ad, which will air in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau, targets GOP Senate candidates businessman Eric Hovde and former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

“D.C. insiders like Tommy Thompson and Eric Hovde are not going to stick up for me,”  the ad’s first subject says.

The ad continues by portraying the GOP candidates as out of touch with Wisconsin before praising Baldwin as someone who “won’t give the state away to special interests.”

The choice to take on both Thompson and Hovde underscores the changing dynamic in the GOP primary. The two candidates are quickly emerging as the race’s frontrunners. Full story

July 9, 2012

Rhode Island: Steny Hoyer Campaigns With Vulnerable David Cicilline

Rhode Island: Steny Hoyer Campaigns With Vulnerable David Cicilline

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) toured Rhode Island’s 1st district with Rep. David Cicilline (D) on Friday.

The pair visited “a local manufacturing facility” and participated in a “roundtable discussion” in Pawtucket, according to an email Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers wrote to supporters.

Hoyer’s visit appeared to be a sign that establishment Democrats are firmly behind Cicilline, who has a tough re-election campaign ahead of him and faces a primary challenge. Full story

Michigan: Special Election for Thaddeus McCotter’s Seat Up in Air

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) kept his fellow Michigan Republicans waiting Monday for word on whether he’d call a special election in the newly vacant 11th district.

The governor’s office will continue to review the Wolverine State’s election law before making a decision, according to his spokeswoman.

The 11th district is vacant following Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R) resignation Friday. The quirky Congressman’s move further complicates an already unique race to replace him. Full story

Pennsylvania: Patrick Meehan Brings in Almost $500,000

Pennsylvania: Patrick Meehan Brings in Almost $500,000

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R) raised almost $500,000 in the second quarter — a torrid fundraising pace for a freshman facing minimal opposition for re-election.

Meehan will report $1.4 million in the bank, according to a source close to the campaign. Democrats do not plan to target his southeastern Pennsylvania district.

The Democratic nominee is attorney George Badey. A phone message seeking comment from the Badey campaign was not returned.

Virginia: Tim Kaine, George Allen Expand TV Airtime in Senate Race

Former Gov. Tim Kaine’s Senate campaign purchased another $1 million in television airtime for the fall.

The addition brings the Democrat’s total spending for airtime in the campaign’s final months to $3.5 million. Politico first reported the move Monday.

The campaign of Kaine’s Republican opponent, George Allen, has reserved about $3 million of post-Labor Day TV airtime, according to a source close to the campaign. That figure is expected to jump to $3.4 million by the end of this week.

The blockbuster Senate race between the two former governors — Allen is also a former Senator — is likely to be one of the closest in the country, and Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

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