Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2015

October 2, 2012

Daily Ad Track

In our unscientific ad-track survey from today, we caught almost no new advertisements that could be classified as positive. Lots of cookie-cutter negative ads are surfacing, slamming the other campaign over Medicare, Congressional pay raises and information that appears culled from opposition research. Grainy footage and clipped out-of-context sound bites are also increasingly common.

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Wisconsin: Paul Ryan to Fundraise for Tommy Thompson

Wisconsin: Paul Ryan to Fundraise for Tommy Thompson

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tommy Thompson will get a helping hand from GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan next weekend. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) is holding a private fundraiser Oct. 14 in Milwaukee for Senate candidate and former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R).

The event, billed as a “reception” by the campaign in a blast statement earlier today, is a closed-door fundraiser hosted by Romney Victory, a joint fundraising committee made up of Romney for President, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and a handful of state party organizations.

Tickets to the fundraiser, according to an invitation obtained by Roll Call, range anywhere from $250 per person to $100,000 per couple.

Obama Campaign Responds to Mitt Romney on Deferred Action

Obama Campaign Responds to Mitt Romney on Deferred Action

The Obama campaign today took aim at GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's position on the status of some undocumented immigrants. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama’s campaign today ridiculed GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s newly announced position on the status of some undocumented immigrants, as Senate Democrats again touted the DREAM Act.

Romney told the Denver Post that he would not take administrative action to invalidate work permits issued to undocumented immigrants as part of the Obama administration’s deferred action policy, which allows people who entered the United States illegally when they were young to work legally in the country under certain conditions.

“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney told the newspaper. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”

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Utah: Another Poll Finds Mia Love Ahead

Utah: Another Poll Finds Mia Love Ahead

A new poll in Utah’s only competitive House district found Rep. Jim Matheson (D) trailing his Republican challenger by 6 points. Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love led in the Deseret News/KSL-TV poll, 49 percent to 43 percent, with 8 percent still undecided. Full story

Liberal Super PACs Announce New House Race Advertising

Liberal Super PACs Announce New House Race Advertising

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A super PAC led by Jonathan Soros, the son of liberal financier George Soros, today announced the eight lawmakers it will target via direct mail, phone contact and Internet advertising.

The New York Times has described the group, Friends of Democracy, as “The Super PAC That Aims to End Super PACs.” Earlier this year, the Times reported that the group was targeting “10 to 15 House lawmakers whose records and public statements have not been supportive of what Mr. Soros calls a system of ‘citizen-led’ elections.”

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October 1, 2012

John McCain Hits the Campaign Trail for Fellow Republicans

John McCain Hits the Campaign Trail for Fellow Republicans

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It is a busy week on the campaign trail for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Except this time around, he is hitting the trail in support of others in his party.

On Monday, he endorsed former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in Danbury, Conn., for her Senate bid to replace McCain’s friend, retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), according to the Hartford Courant. McMahon faces Rep. Christopher Murphy in a race that Roll Call rates as Leans Democratic.

Today and Wednesday, McCain will campaign across Florida on behalf of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. That tour will include mostly veterans events in Pensacola, Niceville, Panama City and Tallahassee.

California: Howard Berman Targets Brad Sherman’s Finances

California: Howard Berman Targets Brad Sherman’s Finances

Rep. Howard Berman is accusing his Democratic colleague and competitor Rep. Brad Sherman of using his political campaigns as a vehicle for personal profit.

The Berman campaign launched a website,, to highlight the legal practice of charging interest on personal loans to his campaign, which it says helped Sherman make a profit of $461,000. The campaign also plans to deliver this message to San Fernando Valley voters in the redrawn 30th district with television, radio, print and online advertisements.

The Sherman campaign called the attack “false at worst and highly misleading at best” and cited the hundreds of thousands of dollars Berman paid his brother, Democratic consultant Michael Berman, to run his campaign until this cycle.

Neither practice is illegal, but both campaigns want to help voters decide which candidate is the most ardent defender of the Valley’s interests.

Montana: Jon Tester Rocks Out in Tight Senate Race

Montana: Jon Tester Rocks Out in Tight Senate RaceJon Tester" src="" alt="" width="445" height="297" />

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jon Tester’s longtime family friend happens to be Jeff Ament, bassist for Pearl Jam, who played their lone nonfestival show of the year Sunday in Missoula to benefit the Democrat’s re-election campaign.

According to the Missoulian newspaper, Tester and Ament rallied hundreds on the University of Montana campus in the afternoon before attending a pre-show fundraising reception. The band also performed on Tester’s behalf in 2005 during his successful challenge to Republican incumbent Conrad Burns.

The Tester campaign released a picture of the Senator with the band and a succinct statement from the Senator: “Rock on. And go vote.”

The Pearl Jam show came two days after GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg’s campaign released a blistering television ad against Tester. The ad paints a picture of Tester not living up to the promises he made during the 2006 campaign, specifically tying Tester to forthcoming environmental regulations that forced the mothballing of a coal-fired power plant in Billings.

Meanwhile, the League of Conservation Voters on Friday released a Global Strategy Group poll that found Tester ahead with 44 percent, Rehberg with 42 percent and Libertarian Dan Cox with 7 percent. The poll was conducted Sept. 23-25 of 606 likely voters with a 4-point margin of error.

People for the American Way Airs Hispanic Ads in Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia

People for the American Way will launch a $1 million Hispanic ad campaign during the next five weeks in a trio of unexpected battleground states.

Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia are known for their competitive presidential politics — but not for their strong Latino voting populations. PFAW is betting that, in a tight race, these votes will prove pivotal.

The liberal group’s first spot, “Somos El 47 percent,” targets GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s surreptitiously recorded comments to a private fundraiser in Florida last May. The campaign includes television, radio and direct mail.

“Mitt Romney recently said that 47 percent of us are dependent on the government, and that we think of ourselves as victims,” according to a PFAW translation of the 30-second Spanish spot. “He also said that we come here for a free deal.”

Many well-funded Democratic groups have been on the air for months with Spanish-language ads in key presidential states with burgeoning Latino voter populations, such as Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

Relatively, the trio of states receiving PFAW’s new campaign have smaller Latino voting populations, with estimates in the single digits. But historically, all three states have featured close presidential campaigns. In 2004, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) carried Wisconsin by about 12,000 votes.

Iowa: GOP Stops Airing Spots in Bruce Braley’s District

Iowa: GOP Stops Airing Spots in Bruce Braley’s District Bruce Braley" src="" alt="" width="445" height="292" />

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee ceased its advertisements in the 1st district last week, according to two Democratic sources monitoring ad buys in the state.

The ads had targeted Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley.

“We believe Ben Lange is in a strong position, and we are watching this race very closely,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said. “Make no mistake, Braley is a gamble Iowans can’t afford.”

The GOP campaign committee has invested $400,000 in the race since it started airing spots there in September. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not spent any funds there on Braley’s behalf.

The northeastern Iowa district is the most Democratic in the state. Roll Call rates the race as Likely Democratic.

Illinois: Poll for David Gill Shows Single-Digit Race

The campaign of emergency room physician David Gill (D) released a poll Monday showing him in a dead heat with his opponent, Republican Rodney Davis, a former top aide to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.).

Gill leads Davis, 40 percent to 39 percent, in a statistical dead heat. An independent candidate, John Hartman, receives 8 percent of the vote.

The 13th district in southern Illinois is competitive — especially so since Rep. Timothy Johnson (Ill.) suddenly announced his retirement after the GOP primary. In May, local Republican officials selected Davis to be their nominee instead.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.

Gill’s campaign pollster, Victoria Research and Consulting, took the opinion of 400 likely voters Sept. 26-27. The margin of error is 4.9 points.

Arizona: DSCC Makes a Move in Race Between Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona

Arizona: DSCC Makes a Move in Race Between Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going up with a $526,000 weeklong ad buy in support of Arizona Senate nominee Richard Carmona.

The money is set to cover this week only and is part of the first independent expenditure the committee has made in the race.

Carmona, a former surgeon general, faces Rep. Jeff Flake (R) in what has become a competitive race. The Washington Post first reported the news of the DSCC’s move.

Carmona has spent heavily on advertising in September in an effort to define himself in a positive light. According to a recent Carmona internal poll, he has narrowed the race’s margin.

But the next couple of weeks are crucial to the trajectory of this race. Early voting is only nine days away, and Flake just went up with negative advertising against Carmona. Outside groups are also expected to jump into the race to support Flake. Politicos are watching closely to see how Carmona holds up against the barrage.

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Maine: Angus King Goes Up With Ad Attacking Charlie Summers

Independent Senate candidate Angus King has made a $105,000 ad buy in Maine painting Republican opponent Charlie Summers as too conservative for the state.

The 32-second contrast spot features King — Maine’s governor from 1995 to 2003 — looking straight into the camera and questioning whether Summers’ positions on the deficit and global warming are in line with the voters in the state, where he’s running to replace retiring moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe (R).

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Colorado: Steelworkers Back Pace, Appear In New Ad

The United Steelworkers Union today endorsed Sal Pace, the Democrat who is running against Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in the state’s 3rd district. And Pace went up with a new ad, his campaign’s third, that features a local steelworker.

“Sal Pace has always fought to keep good-paying jobs right here in Colorado,” said the union’s Bob LaVenture in a statement announcing support for Pace. “Our action will extend to reaching out in our Pueblo neighborhoods and community to advocate his candidacy for family-supportive industrial jobs.” Full story

North Carolina: DCCC Cancels Yet Another Week of Ads for Larry Kissell

North Carolina: DCCC Cancels Yet Another Week of Ads for Larry Kissell

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It looks more and more like Nov. 6 will be curtains for North Carolina Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell.

Today the independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a third week of advertising in Kissell’s 8th district. Roll Call has learned that more than $180,000 worth of advertising in the Charlotte media market from Oct. 16-22 was canceled by the DCCC.

The move is as clear a sign as any that national Democrats, who have not yet aired any TV advertisements for the vulnerable incumbent, no longer see the race as winnable.

Kissell faces Republican Richard Hudson, a former aide on Capitol Hill, on the ballot next month. The 8th district was redrawn to be substantially more Republican during redistricting, which was controlled by the GOP-majority state Legislature. Full story

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