Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 4, 2015

October 21, 2012

After ‘Brutal’ Races, Steve Stivers Sits Pretty in Redrawn Ohio District

(Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — It’s less than three weeks before Election Day, and Rep. Steve Stivers (R) appears relaxed for the first time in six years.

After running in the battleground state’s most competitive House district for two cycles, Stivers will coast to re-election in November — thanks to redistricting.

“They were brutal,” Stivers said of his 2008 and 2010 races, while lining up to drive with his toddler, Sarah, in the Pumpkin Show Parade here. After the GOP-led redraw, “we’re not on anybody’s target list,” Stivers added.

That’s a first. Full story

October 20, 2012

Illinois: Jesse Jackson Jr. Robocalls Constituents

Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who is on his way back to the Mayo Clinic, is robocalling his constituents in Illinois’ 2nd district, asking for their patience and promising to continue to serve the district at some point in the future.

“For nearly 18 years I have served the people of the second district, I am anxious to return to work on your behalf, but at this time it is against medical advice, and while I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask for your continued patience as I work to get my health back,” the Democrat says in the call, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Full story

Bill Clinton to Rally for Southern California House Candidates

Former President Bill Clinton introduces musician Bruce Springsteen as they campaign for President Barack Obama's reelection during an appearance at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma. Ohio. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Bill Clinton will attend a Southern California rally on Tuesday to formally endorse Democratic Congressional candidates in a region fertile with pickup opportunities for the party.

The former president is scheduled to attend a “California’s Voice” afternoon rally at the University of California, Irvine, a serene, suburban Orange County campus between Los Angeles and San Diego. There he will endorse five candidates either challenging a Republican incumbent or running for an open seat. Full story

Political Stars Light Up Massachusetts Campaign Trail

Photo by Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call

MELROSE, Mass. — Top Senate surrogates descended on Massachusetts this weekend to stump for their party’s candidates and gin up excitement in the competitive Senate race and rough and tumble Congressional contest here.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) this morning stood shoulder to shoulder with Sen. Scott Brown (R) on a stage surrounded by hundreds of sign-waving supporters.

After Brown gave a fiery version of his stump speech, McCain took the microphone. “I’ve been traveling the country for various candidates,” said McCain, who received a hero’s welcome of loud and sustained applause. “This man is the one I want most in the United States Senate working side by side.”

Later, McCain smiled and shook hands on stage with Congressional candidate Richard Tisei, who had spoken earlier. Full story

Arizona: Jeff Flake Delivers GOP’s Weekly Address

Rep. Jeff Flake is the second Arizona Republican in a month to deliver the GOP’s weekly address.

The move appears to be an effort to boost Flake’s Senate campaign and to present a national face of fiscal conservatism.

“My wife, Cheryl, and I celebrated some great news this week. We became grandparents for the first time. Aiden Jeffrey Flake was lucky enough to be born in the greatest country in the world,” he said. “While it will be years before he is ready to start school, his share of the national debt is already over $50,000.

“If we continue along our current budget trajectory, our grandson is simply not going to have the same opportunities that my grandparents created for me,” said Flake, who has used this personal story previously in the campaign.

He is locked in a Tossup race against former Surgeon General Richard Carmona. This is an open seat created by Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R) retirement.

Flake’s fellow Arizonan, House candidate Vernon Parker, delivered the GOP address in late September. He is in a Tossup race against former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona’s 9th district.

October 19, 2012

NRSC Raised $12.9 Million in September

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $12.9 million last month, the committee announced today.

That strong monthly haul is about $2.7 million less than its Democratic counterpart, which announced bringing in $15.6 million in September. The NRSC raised a total of $25 million in the third quarter, and ended September with $23.1 million in cash on hand.

Republicans have an opportunity to win a majority in the Senate, which Democrats currently control 53-47.

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Tries to Build Momentum Against the Odds

Updated: 8:00 p.m. | An internal poll released by the campaign of former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) showed him within 5 points of Republican nominee Deb Fischer for the open Nebraska Senate seat.

“Nebraskans are flocking toward Senator Kerrey because they like his plans to work across party lines and shake up Washington,” Kerrey spokesman Chris Triebsch said on the campaign’s website. “Likewise, the more Nebraskans learn about Deb Fischer, the less they like.”

The poll was the focus of a fundraising appeal, which featured Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Both men were Naval Officers for three years, served and were wounded in the Vietnam War and became Democratic Senators who made bids for the presidency.

Full story

Minnesota: Republican Group Invests in Hot House Race

Republican-aligned American Action Network is investing another $500,000 into Minnesota’s hotly contested 8th district race on behalf of freshman GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, Roll Call has learned.

With the additional reservation, AAN is now scheduled to spend $1 million from today through Election Day to help Cravaack survive a stiff challenge from former Rep. Rick Nolan (D). That includes $700,000 in television time in Minneapolis, $200,000 in Duluth and $100,000 online. The group had already spent $700,000 on the race. Full story

Daily Ad Track

Forget gutter politics. One ad today is so nasty it is going straight to the toilet.

Here is what cut through the ad clutter today:

Florida 22

This ad is why we try to avoid labeling Daily Ad Track with words like “best.” At first, this ad from Republican Adam Hasner seems like a normal checklist of negative points against Democrat Lois Frankel. But at the end, it takes a grody turn. The Hasner camp did not immediately return a call requesting buy information, but the biggest question we have is, will this ad air during dinner time?

Full story

Illinois: NRCC Has No Plans to Dump Joe Walsh

The National Republican Congressional Committee has no plans to cancel an ad reservation supporting Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.), despite remarks made Thursday night that pregnancy never threatens the health or life of a woman.

“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a woman’s life being endangered by pregnancy, Walsh said after a debate with his opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth. “There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”

A spokeswoman for the NRCC, which has committed more than $450,000 for cable ads in the Chicagoland area, said the group will not cancel its buy through the election.

“We will continue to hold Tammy Duckworth accountable for cheating on her taxes while accepting millions in special interest cash.  That’s what our ad accomplishes, and it will remain on the air through Election Day,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said.

Full story

Tennessee: Democratic PAC on TV Against Scott DesJarlais

Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC announced this morning that it will begin running a stinging television ad in Tennessee’s 4th district against freshman Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

The ad highlights the barrage of negative headlines and TV news coverage after a Huffington Post report of a transcript from a more-than-decade-old phone call in which DesJarlais, then a doctor, urged a pregnant mistress to get an abortion. The woman was a patient of the conservative anti-abortion doctor-turned-lawmaker. Full story

DSCC Raises $15.6M in September

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised a whopping $15.6 million in September, a massive sum that elevated the committee to its best third-quarter haul ever.

In a final push to hold the party’s 53-47 Senate majority, the DSCC’s fundraising last month equaled about twice as much as it raised in the previous two months combined and boosted its third-quarter total to $29.2 million. The committee had $27 million in cash on hand left at the end of September.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has not yet released its September fundraising.

Illinois: Joe Walsh’s Todd Akin Moment?

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Walsh asserted Thursday night that an abortion is “absolutely” never medically necessary to save a woman’s life because of “modern technology and science,” according to multiple local media accounts.

The Illinois Republican does not support abortion in any circumstance — including in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman — and the issue was a focus of his debate with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth.

“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a woman’s life being endangered by pregnancy, Walsh said after the debate in response to a reporter’s question. “There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.” Full story

October 18, 2012

Ohio: Sherrod Brown, Josh Mandel Get Testy and Personal in Debate

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) were alternately feisty and condescending in a debate tonight in the state’s capital city.

The two-term Senator defended his “pro-worker, pro-small business” record, while Mandel accused Brown of “gobbledygook” and “Washington speak”  that requires an online translator.

“You have my commitment for my second term to continue to fight for Ohio workers and Ohio companies and to continue to stand up for the middle class,” Brown said.

Sherrod Brown says one thing in Ohio and does another thing in Washington,” Mandel said several times throughout the hourlong debate. “We can’t change Washington by sending Sherrod Brown back there.” Full story

Missouri: Todd Akin, Claire McCaskill Reprise Familiar Themes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and GOP Rep. Todd Akin used the final Missouri Senate debate to talk about issues close to home, but the exchange of the night came on foreign policy.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)  became a focus of the discussion, with McCaskill and Akin disagreeing on his proposal to restrict foreign aid to a variety of countries — even if neither candidate could quite remember which ones the Kentucky Republican meant to reference.

“I am, in fact, the one that’s supporting the fact that we should not be giving foreign money to a number of places, and that includes of course Libya and Pakistan and — let’s see, one other country as well …” Akin said.

McCaskill offered up “Syria,” in a moment reminiscent of when Mitt Romney pitched in to try to help Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) remember which Cabinet departments he planned to eliminate during a presidential primary debate earlier this year.

The third country on Paul’s list is Egypt.

Full story

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