Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 1, 2015

June 22, 2015

Kentucky Congressman Yarmuth Will Seek Re-Election

Yarmuth, center, unexpectedly announced he will resign his Kentucky House seat Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Yarmuth, center, announced Monday he will seek to retain his Kentucky House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., announced Monday he will seek a sixth term in Congress, ending speculation that he would not run for re-election.

“I decided to run again because as the lone progressive voice on federal issues in Kentucky, particularly within the federal delegation, I think I have a responsibility to battle for the values that I think this community shares and I certainly champion, and those are things that help the average working family get additional opportunity and get ahead,” Yarmuth told Kentucky media outlet cjn2’s Pure Politics at his campaign headquarters in Louisville.

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June 19, 2015

GOP Pollster to Christian Group: Balance Ideology With Electability

Public Opinion Strategies

Bolger said Republicans will have to quickly rally around their presidential candidate if the nominating process stretches into the summer. (File Photo by Tom Williams/Roll Call).

A top Republican pollster on Friday stressed to a gathering of the Christian right the need for an electable Republican presidential nominee, saying a nominee who can beat Hillary Rodham Clinton is a top priority among Republican voters.

With a wide open Republican field, Glen Bolger told the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference his research shows that for GOP voters, electability might outweigh how close a candidate aligns to their values.

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DCCC Outpaces NRCC in May Fundraising (Updated)

Rep. Greg Walden is chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Greg Walden is chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:32 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $700,000 more than the National Republican Congressional Committee in May, according to figures provided to CQ Roll Call.

The DCCC brought in $4.4 million last month, while its Republican counterpart raised $3.7 million over the same period.

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NRSC Bests DSCC in May Fundraising (Updated)

Ron Johnson is among the Republican senators facing competitive re-elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There are several Republican senators running in states the president carried in 2008 and 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:45 p.m. | The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised nearly $1 million more than its Democratic counterpart in May, according to figures provided to CQ Roll Call.

The NRSC raised $4.5 million last month, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee brought in $3.6 million.

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By Emily Cahn Posted at 10:27 a.m.
Democrats, DSCC, Fundraising

June 18, 2015

Cruz, Paul and Rubio Make Their Case to the Faithful

Cruz greets guests at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz greets guests at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Of the three presidential candidates who spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference in Washington, D.C., Thursday, there was no question whom the audience was waiting for.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz walked on and offstage to raucous applause. The 300 or so lunching faithful erupted into cheers even before his introduction was complete.

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Democrats Court MMA Fighter for Heck’s House Seat

miller.clinton

Miller, right, appears with Bill Clinton and other Democratic candidates during his 2014 campaign. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Staff from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee were in Las Vegas Wednesday to meet with former Secretary of State Ross Miller, hoping to recruit him to run for Nevada’s 3rd District, according to two sources with knowledge of the meeting.

Incumbent Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., is expected to enter the open-seat Senate contest to replace retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — leaving vacant this competitive Clark County-based seat. And Democrats say Miller would be a top recruit.

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Fleischmann Prepares for Fighting Off Another Primary Challenge

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

Fleischmann, speaking Wednesday as he arrives at the Capitol for votes, said he is more involved in fundraising this cycle. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

Tennessee Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann knows a thing or two — or three — about tough primaries; and he’s stockpiling money for a fourth.

Fleischmann’s primaries have never really been about ideology. His district went for Mitt Romney by 28 points in 2012, and he’s dished out plenty of red meat rhetoric to them. Earlier this month at a GOP gathering in Chattanooga, he said of his guest, conservative South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, “Whether you are Hillary Clinton or any other lefty out there, you better beware because Trey Gowdy is out there and he is going to get you.”

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Takano, Takai, Takei and a Takaucus

Takai. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Takai. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Takano and Takai, who know Takei, are teaming up on the Takaucus, a project titled by Tonko.

“I hope you’re not getting confused,” Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, said with a laugh. Full story

June 17, 2015

Colorado GOP Squabbles Complicate Bennet Challenge

Republicans hope to target Bennet in Colorado in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans hope to target Bennet in Colorado in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A war between the Colorado Republican Party’s top brass is raising questions about whether the party can recruit a top-tier challenger needed to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in the state’s must-win U.S. Senate seat.

State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, along with former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., tried to oust state Republican Party Chairman Steve House, according to multiple local reports. The two reportedly threatened to reveal — what House said were false claims — that he cheated on his wife if he didn’t step down.

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Unions Target California Democrat Over Vote on Trade

Unions are searching for a primary opponent to Costa over his trade stance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Unions are searching for a primary opponent to Costa over his trade stance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:40 p.m. | Updated to better define Rob England’s job title.

The Democrats’ battle over trade is not yet over, but unions are already zeroing in on a scapegoat: California Rep. Jim Costa.

Costa is one of 28 Democrats who voted for Trade Promotion Authority last week — a vote that would give President Barack Obama the power to negotiate a trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations. Unions, which say Obama’s plan will cost jobs in the U.S., have frozen campaign contributions to Democrats and threatened to put up candidates in primaries against those who support Obama’s trade agenda.

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June 15, 2015

Outside Conservative Groups Playing Defense This Cycle

Lee, who rose to power in an anti-incubment wave, now benefits from the same protections as other incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lee, who rose to power in an anti-incumbent wave, now benefits from the same protections as other incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Five years ago, Mike Lee rode the anti-establishment wave and unseated Utah Sen. Robert F. Bennett, one of the first casualties of the tea party revolution.

This cycle, with Lee in the Senate, conservative outside groups — known in the past for provoking GOP primaries against incumbents — share a common goal with the National Republican Senatorial Committee in deflating primary challenges from Lee’s left and defending him in the general election.

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June 12, 2015

Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. | Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post, in the first case of its kind.

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.

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By Emily Cahn Posted at 12:58 p.m.
FEC, Shop Talk, Super PACs

Blum Says Others Will Support Him If Republicans Don’t

Blum is one of the most endangered House Republicans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Blum is one of the most vulnerable House Republicans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Iowa Republican Rep. Rod Blum’s re-election effort is not getting much support from his party. But that’s just fine with him.

The freshman Republican alienated himself from some of his GOP colleagues after he cast his first vote in Congress against John A. Boehner’s speakership — despite getting Boehner’s support in his 2014 bid for Iowa’s 1st District. And while Blum admits his vote has hurt his relationship with groups such as the National Republican Congressional Committee, he says there are other outlets he can turn to for support.

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June 11, 2015

Putnam Partners Hires Longtime DCCC Aide

Kevin McKeon, a Democratic operative who spent four cycles as an aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will join Putnam Partners as a senior vice president, according to an announcement provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“Kevin is an accomplished campaign strategist with the experience to help our candidates and other clients run smarter and more effective campaigns” Mark Putnam, the firm’s founding partner, said in a release. “Kevin brings years of experience at the DCCC helping win tough data driven and aggressive campaigns using the latest technology and analytics.”

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June 10, 2015

2016 Prospects Encouraged to Do the ‘Full Grassley’ in Iowa

Walker greets guests before Ernst's motorcycle ride on June 6 near Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Walker greets guests before Ernst’s motorcycle ride on June 6 near Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Sen. Joni Ernst’s motorcycle ride and barbecue got most of the attention last weekend as Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa, but the state’s senior senator spent plenty of time with the presidential prospects as well.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley isn’t expected to have any trouble winning a seventh term, but he’s taking nothing for granted. He told Roll Call last week he anticipates making appearances with other candidates and said there would be more fundraisers for his own political efforts.

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