Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

June 18, 2012

Three Top West Virginia Democrats to Skip Convention

Three Top West Virginia Democrats to Skip Convention

Sen. Joe Manchin won't be attending the Democratic National Convention later this summer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three high-profile Democrats from West Virginia are not planning to attend the Democratic National Convention in September.

Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin have opted not to go to the convention in Charlotte, according to a West Virginia Democratic Party press release.

President Barack Obama is not popular in the state, and in 2010, Manchin ran a TV ad openly attacking the administration on cap-and-trade. Manchin, who is on the ballot again in November and does not face a difficult race, had already said this spring he wasn’t sure he would vote for Obama’s re-election.

In the state’s May 8 Democratic presidential primary, a federal inmate took more than 40 percent of the vote and won 10 counties over the president. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama lost to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton by a 40-point margin in West Virginia.

The state’s other Democratic federal elected official, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, does plan to attend the convention.

Montana: Democrats to Launch TV Ad Hitting Denny Rehberg

The Montana Democratic Party will begin running a television ad on Tuesday accusing Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) of protecting Wall Street’s interests over Montana’s.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee directed funds to the state party, which paid $400,000 to air the spot from Tuesday to July 9.

Full story

Nevada: Dean Heller Launches First TV Ad

There has been a flurry of activity on the Nevada airwaves in recent weeks, with the presidential campaigns, outside groups and now both Senate campaigns on the airwaves.

Sen. Dean Heller (R) launched the first TV ad of his bid for a full Senate term on Sunday. It’s a positive spot that urges the Senate to pass a budget, and Heller closes the ad by saying: “It’s time Washington delivered on something.” The campaign has so far placed about $160,000 to air the ad statewide on broadcast and cable for the next 10 days, with further placement possible.

Full story

Maine: Angus King Way Up in New Poll

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) topped a Pine Tree State Senate horserace matchup in a new poll released today.

In a survey of likely voters, King received 50 percent, GOP nominee Charlie Summers got 23 percent and Democratic nominee Cynthia Dill picked up just 9 percent. Seventeen percent of those polled didn’t know or were undecided.

King, elected to his first of two consecutive terms as governor in 1994, is highly regarded. A whopping 60 percent had a favorable impression of him while 21 percent had an unfavorable impression of him. Thirteen percent of those polled were undecided, and only 5 percent said they had never heard of him.

Full story

North Dakota: New Heidi Heitkamp Spot Tackles Health Care

Just days before the Supreme Court is expected to make a highly anticipated ruling on the health care law, former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) took on the controversial issue in a new television advertisement.

Heitkamp, who faces freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) this November, invokes her personal experience beating breast cancer 12 years ago in the 30-second spot.

“When you live through that, political attack ads seem silly,” she says in her straight-to-camera appeal. “I would never vote to take away a senior’s health care or limit anyone’s care. There’s good and bad in the health care law, and it needs to be fixed. But Rick Berg voted to go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage to kids or for pre-existing conditions.”

The advertisement is notable because Democratic candidates running in Republican states typically avoid discussing the health care law altogether — let alone pay for airtime promoting it. Additionally, Republicans have criticized Heitkamp for championing the legislation a couple of years ago.

But the spot also gives hints at how Democrats will discuss the controversial law during 2012 campaign in wake of the high court’s upcoming decision. A top Senate Democratic aide confirmed they expect more candidates to discuss the individual negative effects of repealing parts of the health care law — no matter how the Supreme Court rules.

Full story

June 15, 2012

South Carolina: Election Commission Says No Dem Runoff in 7th District

The South Carolina State Election Commission today confirmed that there would be no Democratic runoff in the state’s new 7th district, virtually ensuring that the district will be won by a Republican.

The commission certified Gloria Bromell Tinubu, an economist and former Georgia state Representative, as the winner of Tuesday’s primary.

At issue was whether she had received more than 50 percent of the votes cast. Originally, according to the Associated Press’ count on election night, she did not, and was poised to go to a runoff with attorney Preston Brittain, who received the second highest number of votes. Brittain was backed by the South Carolina Democratic establishment and was seen as having a shot of winning the GOP-leaning district. Full story

New York: Alan Grayson Pitches for Charlie Rangel

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), running in a Democratic-leaning district in a bid to return to Congress, today emailed supporters soliciting donations for vulnerable Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

In the June 26 Democratic primary, the 82-year-old Rangel faces the most difficult election of his career since he unseated longtime Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (D-N.Y.) in 1970.

Grayson recounted Rangel’s biography, from his tough childhood in poverty to his heroic service and wartime injury during the Korean War.

“Charlie Rangel, that child of the ghetto, that fatherless dropout, that juvenile delinquent, that bedridden, wounded, crippled young man, is now the 20th longest-serving Member of Congress in history,” Grayson wrote. “Anybody can do anything.”

Full story

Ohio Duel: What Obama, Romney Speeches Revealed

Ohio Duel: What Obama, Romney Speeches Revealed

After speaking in Ohio on Thursday, Mitt Romney kicked off a campaign bus tour Friday in New Hampshire. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Despite complaints from journalists and pundits that Thursday’s dueling Ohio speeches offered nothing new, the events actually revealed quite a bit about President Barack Obama’s strategy and the state of the race between himself and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Obama clearly recognizes that Romney is a threat — at least as long as the economic recovery struggles. For the first time since the former Massachusetts governor essentially wrapped up the GOP nomination in April, Obama called him out in a speech — almost 10 times according to a transcript of the address. The president did not get caught up in the moment; this was planned. Full story

Utah: Rick Santorum Endorses Dan Liljenquist

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) today backed the Republican primary challenger to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Santorum, a presidential candidate until two months ago, announced his endorsement of former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist in an email to members of his new organization, Patriot Voices.

“Dan Liljenquist is the stronger conservative in this race,” Santorum wrote. “I’ve known Orrin Hatch for years and believe he is a very good man, but in a deeply conservative state like Utah, we must elect authentic conservatives. I believe Dan Liljenquist is that candidate.”

Hatch has the support of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and is favored to win the June 26 primary. Romney has filmed television ads for Hatch and has appeared with him on the stump in Utah.

Haley Barbour Criticizes Campaign Finance Law

Haley Barbour Criticizes Campaign Finance Law

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Powerhouse Republican fundraiser Haley Barbour today described the current campaign finance laws as a “bad system.”

The former Mississippi governor who now raises money for the American Crossroads super PAC and in the 1990s built the Republican National Committee into a fundraising juggernaut conceded that the system could operate better, and he discussed potential improvements. One of Barbour’s solutions: outlaw campaign contributions from corporations and labor unions.

“The system ought to allow unlimited giving by any person and then let the labor unions and corporations not give,” he told reporters during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “The two organizations that you are limited in giving money to are the campaign itself and the candidates’ party. Those ought to be the two organizations that we encourage you to give money to.”

Full story

New York: Michael Grimm Racks Up Huge Legal Bills

New York: Michael Grimm Racks Up Huge Legal Bills

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael Grimm (R), who the FBI is reportedly looking into investigating, racked up more than $321,000 in legal fees from April 1 to June 6, according to a Federal Election Commission report filed late Thursday.

During that period, Grimm’s campaign raised $144,000 and disbursed $71,000 but accrued $336,000 worth of debt, including the $321,000 to Patton Boggs LLP, a high-powered Washington, D.C., firm.

Grimm’s campaign did not respond to telephone and email requests for comment Friday morning. At the end of June 6, Grimm had a very comfortable $1.2 million in cash on hand.

Full story

New York: Charlie Rangel Spending More Money Than He’s Raising

New York Rep. Charlie Rangel (D), in the toughest primary of his career since he came to Congress in 1970, pulled in more than $29,000 from fellow Members from April 1 to June 6, according to newly filed fundraising reports.

But all the help from his colleagues wasn’t enough to keep the campaign’s burn rate below 100 percent. The Rangel campaign spent $344,000 during the pre-primary period but raised $297,000 during that two-month period. That left the 82-year-old Congressman with just $179,000 in cash on hand as of June 6 — not a huge sum for the last days of a competitive election. The primary is June 26. Full story

June 14, 2012

Wisconsin: Poll Shows Tommy Thompson Ahead of Tammy Baldwin

Updated 6:30 p.m. | Wisconsin Senate candidate and former Gov. Tommy Thompson led presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), according to a new poll released today by Rasmussen Reports, a firm whose polling methods and accuracy are considered somewhat controversial.

The poll found that if the election were held today, 52 percent of respondents would support Thompson, the perceived frontrunner in the Republican primary for the state’s open Senate seat. Only 36 percent said they would vote for Baldwin.

Though insiders widely consider Thompson the GOP frontrunner, he faces tough primary competition from three other candidates: state Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, former Rep. Mark Neumann and businessman Eric Hovde. Full story

Arizona: Jesse Kelly Won’t Challenge Ron Barber in Fall

Arizona: Jesse Kelly Wont Challenge Ron Barber in Fall

Republican Jesse Kelly will not run for Arizona's new 2nd district seat this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Military veteran Jesse Kelly (R) will not seek a rematch with Rep.-elect Ron Barber (D) in Arizona’s new 2nd district.

This clears the Republican field for retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally,who was preparing to run even as Kelly waged his special election campaign for ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D) vacated 8th district seat. Barber beat Kelly in Tuesday’s contest and will finish out Giffords’ term in the 112th Congress. Kelly also lost to Giffords in November of 2010. Giffords resigned earlier this year.

Kelly revealed his decision in a prepared statement. His move is likely to please the many Republicans who have argued that McSally has a better chance of beating Barber in the Democratic-leaning 2nd district.

“I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, and our supporters for their unwavering commitment to the values that make America great,” he said. “Looking at the results from Tuesday, we have decided to withdraw from the race for Congress in AZ-02 and to seek other opportunities. I will forever be thankful to our generous supporters and volunteers.”

By Abby Livingston Posted at 4:39 p.m.
Ariz.-2, Ariz.-8

Tennessee: Weston Wamp Goes up on TV

Congressional candidate Weston Wamp (R), the 25-year-old son of former Rep. Zach Wamp (R), today went up on television with his first ad.

Wamp, who is hoping to unseat freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R) in the state’s redrawn 3rd district, also faces dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield in the Aug. 2 primary. Fleischmann succeeded the elder Wamp, who retired in 2010 to run for governor, and the new 3rd district includes much of the territory he used to represent.

His ad is unusual in that it doesn’t mention the election or the issues animating the contest.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...