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

May 15, 2012

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.

Full story

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.

Connecticut: Christopher Murphy Picks Up State Party Endorsement

By an overwhelming vote of state party delegates, Rep. Christopher Murphy picked up the Democratic Party’s endorsement for Senate over the weekend.

“In almost every conversation I had with delegates, they pointed to the unparalleled network of support we’ve built since the campaign started last year,” Murphy wrote in an email to supporters. “Our victory today was truly a team effort.”

Last week, he also picked up an endorsement from the National Organization for Women. While both are boosts, he must still face former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz in the Aug. 14 primary.  Much of the state and national establishment has lined up behind Murphy. Bysiewicz has a trump card, though: an EMILY’s List endorsement.

This is an open seat race because Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) is retiring. Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic.

Massachusetts: Richard Tisei Leads John Tierney in Republican Poll

Massachusetts: Richard Tisei Leads John Tierney in Republican Poll

Richard Tisei (above) took 40 percent to Rep. John Tierney's 33 percent in a recent poll. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional candidate Richard Tisei (R) led Rep. John Tierney (D) by 7 points in a recent 6th district poll.

In a confidential polling memo sent from GOP pollster John McLaughlin to Tisei’s campaign manager — and obtained by Roll Call — Tisei took 40 percent to Tierney’s 33 percent, with 27 percent undecided. The horse race numbers include voters who definitely, probably and lean toward voting for each candidate.

Six months before the election, it’s a potentially major development in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, a state that hasn’t elected a Republican to the House since 1994. It’s also likely to be a fundraising boon to Tisei, who has outraised Tierney in each of the past two quarters. Full story

May 14, 2012

Louisiana: Jeff Landry Announces Bid Against Charles Boustany

Louisiana: Jeff Landry Announces Bid Against Charles Boustany

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Member-vs.-Member battle in the Bayou has begun and this Pelican State brawl is going to get very, very dirty.

Freshman GOP Rep. Jeff Landry announced tonight he will face off with four-term Republican Rep. Charles Boustany in Louisiana’s newly configured 3rd district in the state’s November “jungle primary.” Calling himself a “consistent, common-sense, Cajun conservative,” he slammed Boustany.

“I am not your typical Congressman,” Landry said, according to his prepared remarks. “If that is what you are looking for, that’s not me; that’s the other guy.”

Full story

Ron Paul to Stop Competing in Primaries, Focus on Convention Delegates

Ron Paul to Stop Competing in Primaries, Focus on Convention Delegates

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ron Paul announced today he will suspend active campaigning in the GOP presidential race, but will continue to campaign for delegates at state conventions. The news comes after his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), late last week dismissed the suggestion that his father is quietly planning a nominating convention coup.

“For all practical purposes, it is over. The numbers are there and Mitt Romney’s going to win the nomination,” Rand Paul said during an interview Thursday.  Full story

Montana: Jon Tester Launches Sixth TV Ad

Montana Sen. Jon Tester continued his aggressive media strategy this week by launching yet another in a string of positive TV ads.

The latest is a 60-second spot featuring the Democrat’s wife, Sharla, and shots of Tester climbing into his tractor, reading to young students, sitting in a science lab with college students, speaking with veterans, sitting at a small table with senior citizens and walking with shotgun-wielding hunters. Full story

Obama, Romney Camps Trade Barbs Over Bain Capital

President Barack Obama’s campaign launched a new attack on the role of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital in a failed Missouri steel company today — while the Romney camp returned fire by pointing to failures on Obama’s watch, including Solyndra.

The Obama campaign released a new 6-minute web ad attacking Romney’s record, particularly the profits he and Bain Capital made at a bankrupt company called GST Steel. The ad comes a week after the campaign had talked about what it said would be a largely positive $25 million ad buy in swing states.

The campaign also created a 2-minute version of the ad, which it will be running on television in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia. The ad will run for only one day – Wednesday – during the evening news in those states, according to the Washington Post.

Full story

Orrin Hatch Donated $10K to Richard Mourdock After Primary

Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock received a congratulatory call from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Thursday, two days after Mourdock’s 20-point defeat of Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary.

Hatch, who is facing a conservative challenge of his own in a primary next month, spoke with Mourdock for 10 minutes and cut him a check for $10,000 from his leadership political action committee, Orrin PAC. Full story

Arkansas: Tom Cotton Up in New 4th District Poll

A new poll shows attorney Tom Cotton has pulled ahead of 2010 GOP nominee Beth Anne Rankin in the 4th Congressional district’s GOP primary.

A May 10 Talk Business-Hendrix College survey of likely voters found Cotton garnered 51 percent to Rankin’s 33 percent. Ten percent didn’t know for whom they would vote.

An earlier poll by the same group, conducted on April 17, found the race tied at 38.5 percent each.

Cotton has been up on local TV with some strong biographical ads, which may explain his movement in the poll. Full story

May 11, 2012

Arizona: Babeu Polling Third Before Dropping Out

Arizona: Babeu Polling Third Before Dropping Out

Sheriff Paul Babeu (center) withdrew from the 4th district race today. A poll released today showed him in third place in the GOP field. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Ron Gould’s campaign conducted a poll this week of the GOP field in the Arizona 4th district race, and a source said Sheriff Paul Babeu was sitting in third place in that survey.

Babeu announced his withdrawal from the race early Friday morning. His own campaign had conducted a poll as recently as this week, according to his political consultant, Chris DeRose.

“We had a poll that came back Tuesday that showed us within single digits of the lead,” DeRose said.

A January poll from the Babeu camp had him as the frontrunner in the race. But then February came, and the Babeu campaign found itself at the center of a firestorm involving his sexuality and accusations about his ethics.

Full story

Florida: Democratic Poll Shows Allen West Tied With Patrick Murphy

Florida: Democratic Poll Shows Allen West Tied With Patrick Murphy

A poll released Thursday by Rep. Allen West's Democratic opponent showed the race as a dead heat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll released Thursday by Congressional candidate Patrick Murphy (D) found him tied with Republican Rep. Allen West 45 percent to 45 percent in a horse-race matchup. Ten percent of the likely voters polled were undecided. Murphy is challenging West in Florida’s newly configured 18th district.

The survey conducted by longtime Florida pollster Keith Frederick found that West, one of the 112th Congress’ most outspoken Members, has 83 percent name recognition in the district. The polling memo released publicly did not include Murphy’s name ID. Both decided to run for the newly-configured seat after redistricting; both were previously running in Florida’s 22nd district.

The survey found presumptive GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama in the district. In a ballot test, Romney led with 49 percent to Obama’s 46 percent. Four percent were undecided.

Full story

Arizona: NRCC Releases New Ad Against Ron Barber

The National Republican Congressional Committee released a new ad targeting Arizona 8th district Democratic nominee Ron Barber that ties him to Medicare cuts, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Barack Obama.

Full story

California: Howard Berman Greeted Obama in Brad Sherman’s District

Neither President Barack Obama nor former President Bill Clinton have officially picked sides in the clash of Democratic Congressmen from California’s San Fernando Valley. But Obama and Clinton have dropped strong hints regarding where they stand.

It was Rep. Howard Berman — not Rep. Brad Sherman — who greeted Obama on Thursday at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, which is in Sherman’s current district. Berman then rode with Obama in the motorcade to a campaign fundraiser at the Studio City home of actor George Clooney, which is in the Congressman’s district. Full story

Arizona: Sheriff Paul Babeu Drops Out of House Race

Sheriff Paul Babeu has dropped his Congressional bid.

The Arizona Republican, whose recent admission that he was gay roiled his campaign, made his announcement in an overnight email to supporters.

“I have decided to end our congressional campaign and seek re-election as Pinal County Sheriff,” he wrote. “Yesterday, I informed my campaign staff and our finance team of my decision to run for re-election.”

Full story

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