Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2015

August 19, 2015

National Republicans Ramp Up ‘Kander Pander’ Campaign

 

Republicans are hoping to flip a charge being used against Blunt on Democrat Jason Kander. (File Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans are hoping to flip a charge being used against Blunt on Democrat Jason Kander. (File Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

As Republican Sen. Roy Blunt seeks re-election next year, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander — the Democrat running against him — has sought to present Blunt to voters as man whose “constituency is Washington,” not Missourians like them.

To combat Kander’s charge, Republicans are trying to flip it against him – accusing him of being the one who is cozy with the lobbyists and special interests he says on the campaign trail he will resist if elected. Full story

Republicans Spending Early to Boost Chances to Keep Senate

Kirk has spent some of his campaign's cash on an early bio ad to aid his re-election hopes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kirk has spent some of his campaign’s cash on an early bio ad to aid his re-election hopes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Republicans look to defend their newfound Senate majority in 2016, early television and digital spending has more than quadrupled from this same point last cycle, a CQ Roll Call analysis shows.

More than a year out from Election Day 2016, Republican incumbents and GOP-aligned outside groups have shelled out at least $13.3 million to boost their re-election prospects and attack potential Democratic challengers in Senate contests across the map. That’s seven times more than the $1.9 million Republicans spent by this point last cycle — when the GOP was looking to win the Senate majority for the first time since 2006.

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August 18, 2015

Uncertainty Reigns as Court Takes Over Virginia Redistricting

Federal judges will now decide how to unpack blacks from Scott's 3rd District (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Federal judges will now decide how to unpack blacks from Scott’s 3rd District (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The same federal three-judge panel that has twice ruled that Virginia’s congressional map unconstitutionally packs blacks into the 3rd District will now be responsible for remedying the injustice it found.

How will the court arrive at a new map for the 2016 elections?

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Edwards Touts Poll Showing Lead Over Van Hollen

Edwards is competing against Van Hollen in Maryland's competitive Democratic primary. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Edwards claims a 5-point advantage over Van Hollen in Maryland’s competitive Democratic Senate primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While her Maryland Senate campaign has yet to gain steam in the race for cash, Rep. Donna Edwards wants voters there to know she is leading her fellow Democratic candidate, Rep Chris Van Hollen, in a newly released poll.

On Monday, the Edwards campaign unveiled internal polling it commissioned from the Global Strategy Group that showed her with a 5-point lead over Van Hollen.

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Ahead of Obamacare Repeal Rollout, Walker Stocks Up On Advisers Familiar With Capitol Hill

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

As Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker sets out to unveil his proposal to replace Obamacare, he’s been staffing up from Capitol Hill.

The Wisconsin governor has brought on Andrew Shaw as domestic policy director, the campaign told CQ Roll Call. Shaw has worked since January as the policy director of the conservative Republican Study Committee in the House, where he was involved in efforts by Chairman Bill Flores, R-Texas, and the RSC members to repeal the 2010 health care overhaul law.

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NRCC Goes On Air, Online Targeting Three House Democrats

Ashford is the target of GOP ads in his Omaha-based House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashford is the target of GOP ads in his Omaha-based House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will go up with television and digital ads in three districts this week targeting Democratic incumbents the committee hopes to pick off in 2016, according to a source with knowledge of the buys.

The NRCC will spend a combined six-figure sum on a month’s worth of ads hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters, Brad Ashford and Rick Nolan on national security issues, according to the source. The early buy is a sign Republicans will still play offense against vulnerable House Democrats in 2016, even as the GOP defends a number of seats Democrats often carry in presidential cycles.

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August 14, 2015

Democrats Courting ‘Gold Standard’ to Unseat Young in Iowa (Updated)

Democrats want to wait for the strongest candidate to challenge Young. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Democrats want to wait for the strongest candidate to challenge Young. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Updated Aug. 17, 11:11 a.m. | Democrats are getting a candidate in Iowa’s only tossup congressional election — just not the one they’re ready for.

Iraq War veteran Jim Mowrer announced Monday he’s challenging freshman Rep. David Young in the 3rd District.

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Graham Looks at Early States as ‘the Way Forward’

GREENVILLE, S.C. At a Republican primary debate watch party in suburban Charleston last week, there was something missing: any sign of support for home-state Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham, the well-known national security hawk, was relegated to an earlier panel for lower-profile presidential candidates that he came to call the “happy hour” debate” by the rules set by Fox News, so perhaps the absence of supporters with buttons and bumper stickers was not surprising.

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August 13, 2015

Campaign Finance Reform PAC Wants to Be a Player in 2016

Bennet is one of two Senate race endorsements End Citizens United PAC has made so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bennet is one of two Senate race endorsements End Citizens United PAC has made so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new campaign finance reform political action committee expects to be among the top five outside groups to assist campaigns this cycle. 

End Citizens United PAC has raised more than $2 million from its online supporters since it formed in March and says it’s on track to raise $25 to $30 million to funnel through a yet-to-be-created independent expenditure arm.

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August 12, 2015

Two Democrats Get J Street Help in Maryland Senate Race

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Ever since the major Democratic contest between Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen began for Maryland’s open Senate seat, both campaigns have been wondering who the major liberal Jewish lobby organization J Street would end up helping in the race.

On Wednesday, they got their answer: Both.

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Senate Majority PAC Targets Kelly Ayotte With Early TV Ad

Ayotte is a New Hampshire Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte is under fire by D.C. Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan waits on the sidelines, allies in Washington are not waiting to get involved in what is shaping up to be a hotly contested re-election contest for Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

On Wednesday, the Democrat-supporting Senate Majority PAC released a new television commercial that seeks to combat ads released last month by Americans for Prosperity. A source that tracks campaign ads said the group spent $250,000 on its buy. Full story

August 11, 2015

5 Things We Learned From Claire McCaskill’s Memoir

McCaskill is a Democrat from Missouri. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCaskill’s new book, “Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir,” was released on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s new memoir, “Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir,” dropped on Tuesday, revealing anecdotes from her career in politics in Missouri’s state capitol and the nation’s.

Aside from deeply personal anecdotes and some local intrigue, McCaskill shed light on the inner workings of two nationally watched U.S. Senate campaigns and her dealings with other women in politics. Full story

August 10, 2015

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Challenges Mike Bishop in Michigan

Gilbert, of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, will challenge Bishop. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Gilbert, of “Little House on the Prairie” fame, announced her first run for electoral office. (Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Actress Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the TV show “Little House on the Prairie,” is running as a Democrat for Michigan’s 8th District, she announced Monday afternoon.

“I’m running for Congress to make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today’s economy,” Gilbert wrote on her campaign site. “I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done.”

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Carol Shea-Porter Files to Run Again in New Hampshire (Updated)

Shea-Porter, who has filed to run for her old seat, is seen here in 2013 speaking to the press after a briefing on Syria.   (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Shea-Porter, who has filed to run for her old seat, is seen here in 2013 speaking to the media after a briefing on Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Updated 4:09 p.m. | Democratic former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has filed to run again for her old New Hampshire 1st District seat, setting up what could be the fourth election between her and GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta.

The conditional factor will be whether Guinta, who has refused to resign over a campaign finance scandal, stays in the race. He could still resign, in which case there would be a special election. Or he could choose not to seek re-election.

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Planned Parenthood Says Shutdown Would Hurt GOP Senators

Planned Parenthood funding could be an issue in next year's competitive Senate races. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Planned Parenthood funding could be an issue in next year’s competitive Senate races. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATE: 3:56 p.m. | If Republicans in targeted Senate races like those in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania vote to defund Planned Parenthood after its recent controversies, polling released by the group claims they could face political backlash of their own.

On Monday, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund unveiled the results of a set of polls conducted last week by Hart Research Associates, which found that nearly two-thirds of likely voters in all three states still support the group — even after an anti-abortion group released videos that appear to show officials from the group speaking callously about the sale and harvesting of fetal tissue.

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