Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2015

July 17, 2015

Kathleen Matthews Defends Donation to Blunt

Matthews introduces herself to voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Matthews introduced herself to voters when she kicked off her campaign in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:28 p.m. | As she seeks the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, political newcomer Kathleen Matthews might have a hurdle to jump in convincing Free State voters of her progressive bona fides.

Matthews, a former Marriot executive and a longtime D.C.-area TV news anchor, contributed $2,600 to Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri in 2014. During an appearance Friday on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, Matthews was asked about the contribution.

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Democrats Try to Turn Trump’s Trolling Into Treasure

Trump's presidential candidacy has been fundraising fodder for Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trump’s presidential candidacy has been fundraising fodder for Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:05 p.m. | It’s too early to tell whether Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy will hurt the Republican brand and alienate Hispanic voters the GOP needs to win the White House in 2016. But Trump’s vitriolic comments on Mexican immigrants is having one immediate effect on the elections.

A handful of Democratic candidates and committees have sent out fundraising and list-building emails denouncing Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants. Both are crucial components for successful campaigns.

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Failed but Not Forgotten, Linda McMahon Keeps Hand in GOP

NJ Governor Chris Christie Campaigns With Connecticut Senate Candidate Linda McMahon

McMahon campaigns with Christie in the closing weeks before her failed 2012 Senate run. (Getty Images file photo)

There was a time in 2012 when it looked like Connecticut might do what it had never done before: Elect a female senator.

WWE co-founder and former CEO Linda McMahon was investing tens of millions of dollars of her personal fortune trying to become the state’s first Republican senator in more than two decades.

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Where Are They Now? 2010 Republican Senate Challengers

Despite losing two Senate bids, McMahon is still involved in GOP politics. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two years after her unsuccessful run in 2010, McMahon spent another $50 with similar results in 2012. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Flash back to 2010, when moderate New England Republican Linda McMahon was on the Connecticut ballot to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Christopher S. Dodd. A self-funder, McMahon was one of several candidates who Republicans hoped could help flip the Senate.

But the former WWE executive went on to lose to Sen. Richard Blumenthal by 12 points. McMahon wasn’t alone. Across the country, Republican Carly Fiorina fell well short of knocking off California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

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July 16, 2015

Edwards Shakes Off Van Hollen’s Outside Money Pledge

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

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

On the heels of a fundraising quarter during which she was seriously out-raised by her Democratic rival, Rep. Donna Edwards said Thursday she disagreed with a proposal offered by Rep. Chris Van Hollen to try to keep outside money out of their race to replace outgoing Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.

Van Hollen’s campaign manager emailed Edwards’ campaign manager Thursday morning asking her to join Van Hollen in signing the “Free State Pledge,” a proposal that would require the two campaigns to pay 50 percent of the cost of an outside-financed advertising buy to a charity of the opposing candidate’s choice.

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Making Their Mark: Rating 2016 Campaign Logos

Walker unveiled his campaign logo when he announced he was running on Monday. (Getty Images photo)

Walker unveiled his campaign logo when he announced he was running on Monday.

Presidential candidates’ logos are just part of a campaign’s effort to connect with voters, but they say a lot about the candidate’s brand and help with name recognition.

CQ Roll Call asked designers who specialize in creating logos and brand identity what they thought about the 2016 crop of candidates’ logos. Here are some of their critiques.

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Campaigning in the Capitol Is Tricky Business (Video)

Sanders addressed reporters Tuesday in the Ohio Clock Corridor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders addressed reporters Tuesday in the Ohio Clock Corridor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Let’s say you’re running for president. Your opinion on a major policy issue is sought after by journalists and voters alike. As a senator, you can step in front of one of the Capitol’s many microphones at pretty much any point and command an audience. But now that you’re seeking the presidential nomination, things get a little trickier.

The perceptions, at least. And maybe also with the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

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Louisiana Campaigns Tread Water Until Vitter’s Race

If Vitter is elected Louisiana's next governor, political dominoes there could quickly start to fall.  (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If Vitter is elected Louisiana’s next governor, political dominoes there could quickly start to fall. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For a number of ambitious Republicans in Louisiana, a whole lot hinges on the state’s gubernatorial election later this year — and Sen. David Vitter.

Vitter is one of four candidates facing off in the Pelican State’s “jungle primary” in October. He will be up against two other Republicans and one Democrat in a race that, unless a single candidate gets half the vote, would advance the two top candidates to a runoff in late November. Full story

Designers on 2016 Presidential Campaign Logos: Meh

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s entrance into the 2016 presidential race also meant the unveiling of his campaign logo: a bolded version of his last name with an American flag standing in for the letter “E.”

Professional designers for the most part were not impressed with Walker’s logo — especially given its similarity to the logo of eyewear company America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. And the general consensus on his logo and those of his rivals? A resounding “meh.”

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7 Key Numbers From Second Quarter Fundraising

McSally raised $1 million in the second quarter, a huge sum for a House member. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McSally raised $1 million in the second quarter, a huge sum for a House member. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2016 elections still more than a year away, a dive into quarterly fundraising reports is one of the best ways to assess the viability of campaigns.

Those who add to their war chests by consistently raising large sums show strength. While those who underperform accumulate doubt.

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July 15, 2015

Florida Redistricting Creates Giant Game of Musical Chairs

Jolly is running for Senate in Florida in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Jolly’s House district is likely to become a Democratic one. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The music has started in a game of musical chairs in Florida that will have sweeping implications for the state’s political landscape.

Republican Rep. David Jolly will likely announce a bid for Florida’s open Senate seat next week, the first implication from the Florida State Supreme Court last week striking down the state’s congressional map. Jolly’s 13th District is likely to favor a Democratic candidate after the map is redrawn, pushing the one-term Republican to enter the already crowded GOP Senate primary to replace GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, who is forgoing re-election to run for president.

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July 13, 2015

McCain Primary Opponent’s Website Reveals Plans Early

A screen shot of Ward's website where her campaign prematurely plans to run for U.S. Senate. (Roll Call photo)

A screen shot of Ward’s website where her campaign prematurely revealed plans to run for U.S. Senate. (Roll Call photo)

Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward is expected to announce her primary challenge against Republican Sen. John McCain on Tuesday. But on Monday, her campaign sort of let the cat out of the bag.

The main page of Ward’s campaign website on Monday showed a fundraising appeal. But earlier in the day, if a visitor typed in “KelliWard.com/about,” they would see a 404 error page, which linked to a series of posts on the “campaign news” section declaring Ward’s intentions. The posts were taken down from the section later Monday.

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Harry Reid Talks Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton

Reid talks Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid talks Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used to raise money for him and that he really likes Hillary Rodham Clinton, even if he hasn’t formally endorsed her presidential bid quite yet.

The Nevada Democrat’s comments about Trump, Clinton and predicting a 2016 Democratic takeover of the Senate came on a Las Vegas radio program where the retiring senator has appeared frequently over the years. Full story

Rick Santorum Undeterred by Debate Format

Rick Santorum speaks to reporters at the Monitor Breakfast (Courtesy of Bryan Dozier/The Christian Science Monitor).

Rick Santorum speaks to reporters Monday at the Monitor Breakfast. (Courtesy of Bryan Dozier/The Christian Science Monitor).

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is at risk of being excluded when the presidential primary debates kick off next month, but that doesn’t mean he’s worried about his chances in 2016.

“I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to things that go on this far ahead of a national vote,” the Republican White House hopeful told reporters Monday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Full story

Danny Tarkanian to Run for Nevada House Seat

Tarkanian is running for Nevada's open 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tarkanian is running for Nevada’s open 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Danny Tarkanian, the son of the legendary University of Nevada, Las Vegas, basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, announced a bid Monday for the Silver State’s open 3rd District, setting up a GOP primary in a tossup race.

Tarkanian will challenge state Sen. Michael Roberson for the Republican nomination in this seat — left vacant because of GOP Rep. Joe Heck’s Senate bid.

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