- Christie Heads Home to New Jersey
- Quote of the Day
- The Worst Possible Result for the GOP Establishment
- Trump and Sanders Win New Hampshire
- Exit Polls Show Big Wins by Trump and Sanders
Scott Romney, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s brother, is looking at running for retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin’s seat, according to a Michigan GOP source with first-hand knowledge of his interest.
The Republican is a Harvard-educated corporate attorney at the Detroit-based law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, LLP. He was not immediately available for comment.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Gary Peters told The Detroit Free Press editorial board that he is “going to seriously consider” running. Peters, who ended 2012 with nearly $500,000 in cash on hand, is considered the Democrats’ top recruit.
Democrats begin the open-seat race with a decided advantage. But serious structural problems plague the Michigan Democratic Party. This race, along with the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, will test newly-elected Chairman Lon Johnson.
Updated 2:14 p.m. | Twenty-four hours after Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced his retirement, we know more about who is not running to replace him than who is.
Former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis said he is mulling a run and has been approached about about seeking the seat. “I haven’t had a chance to look at it,” he said in a phone interview.
But while Anuzis is keeping his name in the mix, there are many more Republicans taking their names out of contention, including Rep. Candice S. Miller, who announced Friday that she will not run.
“While I am grateful for the interest people have shown, I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014,” the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee said in a statement, according to The Detroit News. “It is my sincere honor to serve the people of Michigan’s 10th District in the United States House of Representatives and in 2014 it is my intention to seek their support for re-election.” Full story
The large field of congressional hopefuls in South Carolina’s 1st District filed pre-primary fundraising reports this week — providing the first glimpse into the financial jockeying in the special election to replace Tim Scott, now a Republican senator.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the front-runner in the contest, raised $334,000 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 27. He ended the period with $365,000 in the bank. Sanford faces 15 other Republicans, some of whom also posted relatively strong fundraising periods, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The filings come two weeks ahead of the March 19 primary. No candidate is expected to get more than 50 percent of the vote, setting up an April 2 runoff — presumably between Sanford and another candidate. Fundraising for the other Republicans in the race was as follows:
Updated 7:37 p.m. | Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of 2014.
The chairman of the Armed Services Committee, first elected in 1978, is the longest-serving senator in Michigan history and will turn 80 before Election Day next year.
In a statement, Levin said the decision not to seek another term was “extremely difficult.”
“I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them,” he said. “As Barbara and I struggled with the question of whether I should run again, we focused on our belief that our country is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come. We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election.”
National and local Republicans are recruiting state Rep. Darlene Senger to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster — and she has confirmed interest in taking him on in suburban Chicago’s 11th District.
“I’m considering it, but I haven’t announced anything yet,” Senger said in a Thursday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. She added that she is in the exploratory phase of a campaign and fundraising is a top consideration in her viability.
The 11th District won’t be easy for Republicans to pick up next year. In 2012, Foster defeated former GOP Rep. Judy Biggert, by 17 points. Still, Republicans hold out hope they can win the district in part because of the competitive nature of the Chicago suburbs and exurbs.
Former Republican Rep. Doug Ose told the Sacramento Bee that he is considering a challenge to freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif.
“It’s very easy to say ‘I’m going to run for Congress,’ but having done it four times now, it’s not a simple task,” Ose told the newspaper. “There’s a lot that goes into it.”
The Sacramento-area 7th District became one of the most competitive in California after an independent redistricting commission redrew the lines in 2011. Bera toppled former GOP Rep. Dan Lungren last year by a little more than 3 points, and is now included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s incumbent retention program. Full story
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus revealed in a radio interview that the RNC’s internal review of the 2012 elections will be released on March 18.
In a discussion with radio show host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, Priebus also signaled that the Growth and Opportunity Project would recommend changes to the presidential debate process ahead of the quadrennial GOP primary. Specifically, he said the report will address whether the party will take control of the debates, including which network televises them and which journalists serve as moderators.
“So now we have the right to set the number of the debates, to pick the moderators of the debates, to set the ground rules for what groups and what networks and what stations, what radio networks, whatever it might be,” Priebus said, according to a transcript of the interview posted on Hewitt’s website. “I mean, we just can’t have MSNBC hosting a debate at the Reagan Library only to have their network make the commentary afterwards for three hours about the debate of the Republican Party. I mean, it’s ridiculous.”
Priebus will address reporters at breakfast the National Press Club on the March 18 release date. But he also suggested that such changes would have to be enacted through a vote of committee members at party meeting scheduled for later this year or early 2014.
Under fire from watchdog groups and editorial writers, the pro-Obama advocacy group Organizing for Action has announced that it will no longer accept corporate money and will more fully disclose contributions.
“We have now decided not to accept contributions from corporations, federal lobbyists or foreign donors,” OFA’s national chairman, Jim Messina, wrote in a CNN.com op-ed posted Thursday. While as a tax-exempt social welfare group OFA “faces a lower disclosure threshold than a campaign,” wrote Messina, “we believe in being open and transparent. That’s why every donor who gives $250 or more to this organization will be disclosed on the website with the exact amount they give on a quarterly basis.”
Criticism of the group has been mounting since President Barack Obama’s campaign organizers announced its formation in January. Messina was Obama’s campaign manager, and top bundlers who round up $500,000 or more for the group will reportedly receive invitations to quarterly meetings with the president.
Common Cause President Bob Edgar has called on Obama to shut the group down, and Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer has also said the group should close up shop. Republicans on Capitol Hill have also voiced complaints, and the pro-GOP super PAC American Crossroads last week released a video lampooning OFA as “Organizing for Access.”
In the CNN.com op-ed and in a post on the OFA website, Messina stresses that the group’s mission is to counter the power of special interests, not leverage them.
Attorney Charlie Spies will serve as a senior adviser this cycle to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to protecting and growing the House GOP’s majority.
“Charlie Spies’ reputation speaks for itself,” said CLF Chairman Norm Coleman, a former Republican senator from Minnesota, in a statement Thursday. “2012’s most effective GOP super PAC is excited to grow further as we fight big government, big labor bosses, and the job killing agenda of President Obama and his political operation for control of the U.S. House.” Full story
Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, launched her first television advertisement Thursday as she seeks the Democratic nomination in South Carolina’s 1st District special election.
In the slickly-made spot, she shares her résumé — director of sales and marketing at a shipping company, director of business development at a former naval shipyard in North Charleston — and emphasizes her experience creating jobs.
“I’ve spent 20 years using our ports to create jobs: selling American products made by American workers,” she says. “I know what it takes to create new jobs.”
youtube.com/watch?v=iYFCOD64hac Full story
Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey remains the strong favorite to win the special election for Senate in Massachusetts, according to a new poll of registered voters released late Wednesday.
Markey led Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, his Democratic primary opponent, 50 percent to 21 percent, among polled potential Democratic voters, according to a UMass Lowell-Boston Herald survey. Twenty-three percent said they were were unsure about the primary.
Markey, a House veteran first elected in 1976, also led his all three potential GOP challengers by a comfortable margin in horserace matchups. His closest GOP competitor was former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, who took 30 percent to Markey’s 48 percent. Sullivan is seen as the frontrunner in his race for the Republican nomination with state Rep. Dan Winslow and Gabriel Gomez, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL.
Lynch also led all Republicans in horserace matchups.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee Wednesday launched a fundraising effort tied to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s ongoing talking filibuster.
The organization charged with winning GOP control of the Senate in 2014 set up a special fundraising webpage, headlined “STAND WITH RAND!”
Paul has been attempting to filibuster the nomination of John O. Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The senator has held the floor for nearly 12 hours. A number of fellow senators, including those in the leadership of the NRSC, have come to show their support of Paul by asking him questions. That has given Paul a break from constantly speaking.
“NRSC Chairman Jerry Moran and Vice Chairman Ted Cruz went to the Senate floor today to join his filibuster,” the NRSC wrote on a fundraising page. “Please join them in standing with Rand!”
Republican strategists believe former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio is considering a challenge to freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, a top GOP target in 2014.
DeMaio boasts strong name ID in the 52nd District after losing to former Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., by a slim margin, in the San Diego mayoral election last year. But DeMaio performed well in the area where the district and city overlapped, according to one GOP strategist.
Reached for comment, DeMaio spokeswoman Jennifer Jacobs downplayed the rumors, saying “there is significant discussion and speculation about Carl’s future elective opportunities. However, at this time, Carl is focusing on opportunities to promote reform throughout California and for that matter, the country.” Full story
Donald Trump will speak next week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering for conservative activists in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, the American Conservative Union announced that Trump will return to the conference after the businessman made a surprise appearance two years ago, when he was floating the possibility of running for president.
“Donald Trump is an American patriot and success story with a massive following among small government conservatives,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement.
The news comes as CPAC has been criticized by some Republicans for snubbing potential future presidential candidates, specifically New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who were both elected in 2009. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that McDonnell, who recently signed a bipartisan transportation bill that raises taxes, was not invited.
Democrat Robin Kelly made gun control a central issue in her successful House primary last month, and now she says she will follow the president’s lead on that very issue in Congress.
“I see myself as standing with the president in helping him pass what he wants to pass,” Kelly said about gun control in an interview during her first trip to Washington, D.C., since her victory.
Kelly added that background checks and closing gun show loopholes are realistic policy points that could positively effect the 2nd District. She won the Feb. 26 primary in the south side Chicago district, an area that has been plagued by massive gun violence in recent years.
The 2nd District is a safe Democratic seat, and Kelly is all but certain to come to Congress after the April 9 special election to succeed former Democratic Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. Her Republican rival, Paul McKinley, is a convicted felon, according to The Chicago Tribune.
But Kelly’s primary garnered national attention when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC spent $2.5 million to boost her campaign. Her race served as the first test case for the super PAC, which supports candidates who back gun control, after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Kelly noted that she has never spoken with Bloomberg, even after her victory.
“Never talked to him before, never talked to him after [the primary],” she said. “We don’t know each other. He got involved on behalf of the families [affected by gun violence]. That’s how I look at it.”