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

May 17, 2012

Romney, RNC Raise $40 Million in April

Romney, RNC Raise $40 Million in April

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee combined to raise $40.1 million in April and closed the month with $61.4 million in cash on hand.

Romney’s April fundraising haul fell just shy of the $43.6 million raised by President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee during the same period, and would appear to indicate that the former Massachusetts governor is coalescing the support of Republicans following a long and divisive primary campaign.

This is the first month that the RNC and the Romney campaign have coordinated fundraising efforts. Romney’s last main obstacle to the nomination, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), dropped his presidential bid in early April.

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California: Maldonado Pre-Primary Ad Costs $200K

In a race to watch, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) launched his first TV ad in the 24th district.

Maldonado is one of two Republicans challenging Rep. Lois Capps (D), whose once-safe district was redrawn as one of the state’s most competitive in redistricting.

As the only Democrat, Capps is assured of advancing beyond the June 5 all-party primary, while Maldonado and actor Chris Mitchum (R) battle for the second spot.

“Together, my family turned a few acres into a thriving, family-run small business, creating jobs and opportunities,” Maldonado says in the ad. “But what about future generations? Washington is threatening the American dream. Bank bailouts, costly regulations — they don’t make things work, they make things worse.”

The Maldonado campaign spent $200,000 to air the ad for three weeks, according to a campaign spokesman. Capps launched two television ads last week that are running on broadcast and cable through the primary and focus on her work on behalf of the district since being elected in 1998.

May 16, 2012

Washington: Dennis Kucinich Won’t Run Here — or Anywhere Else

Washington: Dennis Kucinich Wont Run Here — or Anywhere Else

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will not seek a House seat in Washington state this year after losing a primary to a fellow Democratic Member in March.

In an email to his supporters, Kucinich thanked the “tens of thousands of concerned Citizens for Kucinich who in the past few months have written, emailed and called to discuss my running for Congress in Washington State.”

“After careful consideration and discussions with Elizabeth and my closest friends, I have decided that, at this time, I can best serve from outside the Congress,” he continued.

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Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Releases New Ad

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Releases New Ad

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elizabeth Warren, the presumptive Democratic nominee for Senate in Massachusetts, released a new ad today that continues to introduce the Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate to voters.

“Her father was a janitor; my father was a janitor,” a woman says at the beginning of the ad.

“She’s one of us!” says a man, reflecting a sentiment seen at a recent Warren event with union voters.

The ad was rotated into an earlier buy of about $760,000 that ends May 20. It will also be part of a new significant statewide buy that will go beyond Saturday. Warren has had a substantial presence on Massachusetts TV in recent weeks.

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Florida: Connie Mack IV Gets Mitt Romney Endorsement

Florida: Connie Mack IV Gets Mitt Romney Endorsement

Rep. Connie Mack IV (above) got the endorsement of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) today got the endorsement of presumptive GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney, boosting his effort to win the GOP nomination to take on two-term Sen. Bill Nelson (D).

“Connie Mack is a friend, a strong conservative and the type of principled leader we need in Washington to restore fiscal responsibility,” the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement. “By electing Connie Mack, the people of Florida will be sending a clear message to Senator Nelson and President Obama that their failed policies have not worked to change the borrow and spend ways of Washington.” Full story

Mike Johanns: Club for Growth Sank Don Stenberg

Mike Johanns: Club for Growth Sank Don Stenberg

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Republicans sought to interpret Deb Fischer’s upset victory in Tuesday’s Nebraska Senate primary and what it portends for the 2012 elections, Sen. Mike Johanns (R) told Roll Call that the third-party groups who spent heavily to boost Don Stenberg are responsible for his last-place finish.

Johanns, a former Nebraska governor, said the Club for Growth’s television ad campaign that targeted frontrunner Jon Bruning, the state attorney general, was “tone deaf” and left Nebraska GOP primary voters with an overwhelmingly negative impression of Stenberg, the state treasurer. Johanns referred to Stenberg as a “true blue conservative” who has a solid base of support in Nebraska and should have finished with at least around 35 percent of the vote. Bruning, who fought back against with negative attacks of his own, was also damaged in the fray.

“In a state like Nebraska, when the dirt starts flying, those throwing the dirt are going to get dirty too. It not only cost Bruning, it cost Stenberg significantly,” Johanns said this morning in a telephone interview. “It was an error in strategy.”

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Hawaii: VoteVets on Air for Tulsi Gabbard

A liberal veterans group is going on the air in Hawaii to support Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard in the open 2nd district.

VoteVets.org, the largest progressive organization of veterans in the country, spent $75,000 to air the ad for 10 days on broadcast television and plans to spend more as the Aug. 11 primary approaches. The ad features several Iraq War veterans describing Gabbard’s biography, which includes military service and public office. Full story

FreedomWorks Backs Three Upstarts for Open House Seats

FreedomWorks announced its support for three upstart Republican House candidates today, pitting the conservative grass-roots group against local elected officials in each state.

The group endorsed Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer in North Dakota’s at-large seat; Lewis County Judge Executive Thomas Massie in Kentucky’s 4th district; and former state Sen. Sam Aanestad in California’s 1st district.

All three candidates are running in open-seat races. FreedomWorks’ support is notable because it’s backing the underdogs in each race and, in one case, going against the state party’s endorsement.

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Crossroads GPS Kicks Off $25 Million Ad Buy Across 10 States

Crossroads GPS will launch a massive $25 million issue ad campaign on Thursday to run for the next four weeks, kicking off its largest buy this year in these 10 targeted states.

The conservative group spent $8 million on the initial buy to air the first spot, “Obama’s Promises,” through May 31, according to the group’s spokesman.

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New Mexico: Bill Clinton Robocalls For Marty Chávez

President Bill Clinton is making his presence felt in yet another Democratic House primary.

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Nevada: Joe Heck, John Oceguera Reserve $1.4 Million in TV Time

Freshman Rep. Joe Heck (R) and Assembly Speaker John Oceguera (D) have reserved more than $1.4 million combined in fall television airtime in Las Vegas, according to a chart provided by a Democratic source.

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May 15, 2012

Nebraska: Deb Fischer Wins GOP Senate Nomination

Nebraska: Deb Fischer Wins GOP Senate Nomination

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coming off a last-minute surge, state Sen. Deb Fischer won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate tonight, according to the Associated Press.

Up until about two weeks ago, Fischer was largely written off as a candidate. For most of the cycle, state Attorney General Jon Bruning was the undisputed GOP frontrunner. He came in second place.

Bruning had a deep organization, but Fischer’s momentum proved too strong.

The favorite among anti-establishment conservative groups, state Treasurer Don Stenberg came in third place. In recent days, state and national Republicans began to describe the Stenberg effort as a miscalculation on the part of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and others.

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Michigan: Filing Deadline Arrives With No Surprises

Rep. Tim Walberg (R) will not have a top challenger for his re-election race this November, leaving Democrats with a major recruitment hole in the Michigan map.

Instead, Democrats will focus their efforts on a rerun race between freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R) and former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

The Wolverine State’s Congressional races were set today, when the candidate filing period closed at 4 p.m. There were no major surprises among the dozens of petitions, including Walberg’s race. A couple of weeks ago, former GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz declined to challenge Walberg as a Democrat.

Michigan shed a House seat due to population loss, and Republicans led a redraw of the state’s Congressional boundaries last year. As a result, a few Democrats filed to run for re-election in new territory around Detroit.

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Minnesota: Delegation to Headline Rick Nolan Fundraiser

A pack of noteworthy Democratic Members were scheduled Wednesday to host a fundraiser for former Rep. Rick Nolan, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Minnesota’s 8th district. The invitation to the Washington, D.C., event encourages attendees to come “celebrate the Democratic Farmer Labor Endorsement of Rick Nolan.”

The fundraiser’s hosts include Minnesota’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation and non-Gopher State Members that Nolan served with during his previous stint on Capitol Hill. Nolan has a competitive primary and is trying to send a message that Minnesota’s Democratic establishment and others are coalescing around his candidacy.

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California: Pete Sessions to Headline Fundraisers for Kim Vann

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) is headlining two May 22 fundraisers in California for Kim Vann.

Vann, a Colusa County supervisor, is the leading Republican challenging Rep. John Garamendi (D) in Northern California’s 3rd district. While Democrats hope to net a few seats in the state, Garamendi is among the incumbents atop the NRCC’s target list.

The fundraisers next Tuesday come exactly two weeks before the June 5 all-party primary. Sessions will attend a noon luncheon at the Sutter Club in Sacramento and a reception at a private residence in Marysville at 5:30 p.m. PST. Both events have a minimum contribution of $500.

Garamendi, the only Democrat in the race, and Vann, one of four Republicans, are both expected to advance to the general election. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.

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