Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 17, 2014

June 26, 2012

New Mexico: Enviro Groups Launch New Ad Against Heather Wilson

The League of Conservation Voters and Defenders of Wildlife Action Committee launched a new round of television advertising in New Mexico against Republican Senate nominee Heather Wilson.

The former Congresswoman, who is running for the open Senate seat against Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), has been the target of a coalition effort from several environmental and conservation groups in recent weeks. The two groups responsible for the latest ad have already spent $700,000 in independent expenditures on the race this month, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Full story

VoteVets Action Fund Runs Ads in Montana, Hawaii

VoteVets Action Fund is spending $200,000 to air an attack ad against the Republican Senate nominee in Montana and to continue an ad buy on behalf of a Democratic House candidate in Hawaii.

VoteVets, a progressive veterans organization, announced a $100,000 ad buy for a television spot slamming Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg, who is challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D) in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. The dark ad in Montana takes a critical look at Rehberg’s voting record on veterans issues.

Full story

Utah: Poll Shows Jim Matheson With Healthy Lead Over Mia Love

Utah: Poll Shows Jim Matheson With Healthy Lead Over Mia Love

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson led his Republican opponent by 15 points in an independent poll released over the weekend.

The vulnerable incumbent, running in new territory thanks to redistricting, is facing Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, for whom national Republicans have high hopes. The new poll showed Love has a name recognition gap to overcome before November, but that margin is likely to close by then in this Republican-leaning district.

In the Deseret News/KSL-TV poll, Matheson took 53 percent to Love’s 38 percent, with 8 percent undecided. The survey of 379 registered voters in the 4th district was taken June 15-21 and had a 5.1-point margin of error.

Virginia: Former Gov. Linwood Holton Lends Name for Tim Kaine

Virginia: Former Gov. Linwood Holton Lends Name for Tim Kaine

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine distributed a fundraising appeal Monday from former Gov. Linwood Holton (R).

As the subject line states, Kaine is Holton’s son-in-law. But Holton, who was governor in the early 1970s, says he is backing Kaine because “we need people who will roll up their sleeves and focus on getting things done instead of fighting over everything all the time.”

Kaine is running against fellow former Gov. George Allen (R) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup.

“Tim is a great leader and a great guy — and he also happens to be married to my daughter Anne!” Holton says in the email, which asks for a contribution of $5 or more before Saturday’s fundraising deadline.

Washington: Seattle Times Backs Steve Hobbs in 1st District

The Seattle Times on Saturday endorsed state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D) in the crowded race for the open 1st district, the most competitive in the state.

Hobbs is one of five Democrats who will appear on the Aug. 7 top-two primary ballot, along with Republican John Koster and Independent Larry Ishmael. The other Democrats are former Congressional candidates Suzan DelBene and Darcy Burner, former state Rep. Laura Ruderman and technology executive Darshan Rauniyar.

“Hobbs, who has served in the state Senate since 2006, blossomed with the formation of the Roadkill Caucus, a gathering of moderates more interested in crafting and passing effective legislation than political gamesmanship,” the Times wrote.

Centrist Group Launches Ad Campaign

Center Forward, a centrist group previously known as the Blue Dog Research Forum, announced Monday that it will begin running a $1.25 million ad campaign on deficit reduction in eight House districts around the country.

The group, led by former Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.), is airing ads on behalf of Democratic Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) as well as GOP Reps. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), David McKinley (W.Va.) and Todd Platts (Pa.). Barrow, Chandler, McIntyre and Matheson are facing competitive races, Donnelly is running for Senate, and Platts is retiring.

“Americans know we’re drowning in debt, but some politicians just don’t get it. They want to essentially end Medicare, increasing costs on seniors,” the announcer says. “Ben Chandler knows there’s a better way. It’s why Chandler opposed a dangerous plan to privatize Medicare and supports balancing the budget by cutting wasteful spending while protecting Medicare for those who’ve earned it after a lifetime of hard work.”

The group said its primary purpose is to facilitate constructive dialogue in Washington, D.C., on the critical issues facing the country.

Michigan: Kerry Bentivolio Releases First TV Ad in GOP Race

Reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio released his first television spot in the primary for the seat of retiring Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R).

It’s the strongest indication yet that the relatively unknown Republican is ready to fight former state Sen. Nancy Cassis, a write-in candidate, for the GOP nomination on Aug. 7.

After McCotter dropped his bid because of faulty ballot petitions, only a single Republican remained on the 11th district GOP ballot — Bentivolio. In early June, local Republican officials opted to support Cassis’ write-in bid instead of Bentivolio. Full story

June 25, 2012

Michigan: Democratic Poll Shows Gary McDowell Within 2 Points of Dan Benishek

Updated 5:33 p.m. | A new Democratic poll of Michigan’s 1st district showed former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) within 2 points of freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R).

Benishek barely leads McDowell, 40 percent to 38 percent, with 22 percent of respondents undecided, according to a survey paid for by House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, and released to Roll Call.

The poll is the most recent indication Democrats can compete in the northern Michigan House district this cycle. It’s one of the must-win seats for House Democrats if they want to make inroads into the GOP’s 25-seat majority this November. Full story

Missouri: John Brunner Poll Has Him Up Big

A poll released by Missouri Senate candidate John Brunner showed him up by 20 points over his competitors in the GOP primary.

In a horse race matchup among likely primary voters, Brunner led with 40 percent, followed by former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Rep. Todd Akin with 20 percent each. Nineteen percent of respondents were undecided.

A spokesman for the Brunner campaign said it was a clean ballot test — that is, respondents weren’t given any additional information before being asked their candidate preference. Full story

Barack Obama Pens Short Fundraising Email for DCCC

Barack Obama Pens Short Fundraising Email for DCCC

(Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)

President Barack Obama threw House Democrats a bone today by penning a fundraising pitch for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In a 53-word email titled “This matters,” Obama made the pitch to donate to the House Democrats’ campaign arm ahead of the quarterly reporting deadline on June 30.

“If you’re with me, then I need you right now,” Obama wrote. “We’re just days away from the mid-year fundraising deadline — this is the biggest test yet of our commitment to win in 2012. We can’t fall short on this one.” Full story

June 23, 2012

Illinois: Local Democrats Pick Bill Enyart for Nomination

Democrats selected retired Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart today  to be their new nominee for Congress in Illinois’ 12th district.

“Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart has devoted his entire life to Southern Illinois values of service, hard work and integrity,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said. ”As the new Democratic nominee, he brings the experience and deep commitment to family, community and the Southern Illinois way of life.”

Democrats were forced to find a new candidate after their nominee dropped out of the race after the primary, citing health reasons. Local party officials, including retiring Rep. Jerry Costello, solicited applications for a replacement nominee. Full story

June 22, 2012

New York: Report Says Andrew Cuomo Endorses Charlie Rangel

New York: Report Says Andrew Cuomo Endorses Charlie Rangel

Rep. Charlie Rangel (above) was endorsed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Powerful New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) today endorsed New York Rep. Charlie Rangel’s re-election bid,  the Empire State political blog Capital Tonight reports.

Rangel, facing a daunting Democratic primary challenge on Tuesday in the reconfigured 13th district, is seen by New York Democratic insiders as increasingly vulnerable as the result of a lackluster campaign.

There’s a growing sense among New York politicos that the 82-year-old Democratic icon, who was first elected in 1970, could well be unseated. His top competitor is ambitious state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who, if elected, would become the first Dominican-American Congressman. Also on the ballot are Clyde Williams, a former national political director at the Democratic National Committee, retired business executive Joyce Johnson, and frequent candidate Craig Schley.

The winner of the Democratic primary is almost certain to be the winner of the general election in November, given the heavy Democratic lean of the Harlem-anchored district.

Arizona: Trent Franks and Club for Growth Engage Over Arizona Senate Race

The Club for Growth and Rep. Trent Franks (R) are currently engaged in a proxy war over the Arizona Senate GOP primary.

Franks has endorsed real estate investor Wil Cardon, while the club is backing Rep. Jeff Flake in the GOP race to succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

Franks appeared in a new Cardon television ad calling a recent ad from the club “absolutely false.”

The club responded swiftly.

“The facts in our ads are entirely accurate: Wil Cardon did support a massive tax increase, and Cardon is a leading member of a liberal organization that wants to raise gas taxes and backs a cap-and-trade energy scheme,” Club for Growth Communications Director Barney Keller wrote in a statement. “Trent Franks is a good man and it’s a shame that he is allowing his personal bitterness at the Club for Growth PAC’s support of Jeff Flake over him in the U.S. Senate race to cloud his judgment about liberal Wil Cardon.”

At issue is Proposition 400, a 2004 extension of a half-cent transportation sales tax in Maricopa County. A spokeswoman in the Cardon camp told Roll Call that Cardon does not support tax increases from Capitol Hill but does support voters’ right to approve such action via referendum.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican. Former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

South Carolina: Gov. Nikki Haley Endorses Tom Rice in GOP Race

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) today endorsed Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice in his contentious Tuesday runoff election against Lt. Gov. André Bauer for the GOP nomination for the state’s new 7th Congressional district.

“I and other members of the Reform Movement watched for years as Andre Bauer sided with the establishment and undercut the conservative agenda. Now he says he’s a conservative,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page. “Where was he when we needed help fighting the Obama stimulus? He was one of its biggest cheerleaders.”

“We don’t need another self-interested career politician in Washington,” she added. “Michael and I completely support Tom Rice — an accountant and tax attorney — as we continue to focus on jobs and the economy for this growing and important new district and our state,” she said. Michael Haley is the governor’s husband.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face the winner of the Democratic runoff between attorney Preston Brittain and economist and former Georgia state Rep. Gloria Bromell Tinubu.

South Carolina: Judge’s Ruling Leads to Democratic Runoff in 7th District

There’s a new twist in the ongoing battle for South Carolina’s 7th Congressional district, which has been full of intrigue, profanity and legal action.

A state circuit court’s ruling today means there will now be a Democratic primary runoff on Tuesday between attorney Preston Brittain and economist and former Georgia state Rep. Gloria Bromell Tinubu.

The South Carolina State Election Commission disqualified ballots cast for state Rep. Ted Vick (D) in the June 12 primary. Vick had earlier dropped out of the race after being arrested, but his name was left on the ballot.

Discounting the votes cast for Vick, Bromell Tinubu received more than 50 percent of the ballots cast and, thus, became the nominee. But the court’s decision forced the SEC to count Vick’s votes, meaning no candidate received more than 50 percent of ballots cast, prompting a runoff.

“Election officials are now making final preparations for the Republican and Democratic Runoffs to be held next Tuesday, June 26, 2012,” the SEC said in a statement today.

Brittain is supported by the Democratic establishment and is seen as having a chance, if very slim, of winning the new Republican-leaning seat if he is the nominee. Democrats and Republicans in the state believe it is certain to be won by the GOP nominee if Bromell Tinubu is the Democratic nominee.

In the GOP runoff, former Lt. Gov. André Bauer faces off against Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice.

By Joshua Miller Posted at 2:34 p.m.
House 2012, S.C.-7

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