Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

July 3, 2012

Massachusetts: John Tierney Tries to Turn the Page After Bad Week

Massachusetts: John Tierney Tries to Turn the Page After Bad Week

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:45 p.m. | Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney (D), facing allegations that he had knowledge of his inlaws’ gambling operation, held a press conference today in an attempt to answer questions and turn the page away from a politically damaging story.

“I am telling the truth. I have always told the truth,” he said at the press conference where he explained he was aware of what he thought was a legal off-shore gambling operation, according to the Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson. Full story

Montana: Democrats Go Up With New Ad Against Denny Rehberg

The Montana Democratic Party has released a new television ad accusing Rep. Denny Rehberg of voting for lower tax rates for the wealthy.

Rehberg is challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D) in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

Full story

DCCC Fundraising Surges Since Supreme Court Decision on Health Care

DCCC Fundraising Surges Since Supreme Court Decision on Health Care

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said the group has raised $2.3 million since last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $2.3 million since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision Thursday ruling the Affordable Care Act constitutional.

In a press release, the DCCC said the average contribution was $35 and that “Saturday was the single biggest grass-roots fundraising day in DCCC history.”

“House Democrats are shattering records because Americans are energized about historic protections for middle class health care consumers and appalled that Republicans plan to vote to put insurance companies back in charge of their health care,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said in a statement. Full story

July 2, 2012

New York: Court Hears Charlie Rangel Ballot Challenge

New York: Court Hears Charlie Rangel Ballot Challenge

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s a bit of a worm in the apparent Big Apple primary victory of storied Rep. Charlie Rangel (D).

Rangel originally appeared to have beaten his top competitor, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, by a wide margin. The New York City Board of Elections now says that with normal ballots counted, Rangel is up by only 802 votes, or about 2 percent of votes cast.

But with more than 2,000 other paper ballots, such as provisional and absentee (from city voters as well as military service members overseas), as yet uncounted, his margin could shrink.

The results are still unofficial and there is a possibility, if very slight, that Rangel didn’t actually win the election. Or, at least, that there could be a recount. Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 4:44 p.m.
House 2012, N.Y.-13

Texas: Michael Burgess Backs Ted Cruz for Senate

Texas: Michael Burgess Backs Ted Cruz for Senate

Rep. Michael Burgess made an endorsement in the Texas Senate runoff today even though most Members are sitting on the sidelines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) announced today that he is backing former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in the GOP Senate runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).

“Ted Cruz is that strong, proven conservative leader, a constitutional scholar, and a fighter through and through,” Burgess said in a press release. “He’ll lead the fight to stop the Obama agenda, and I look forward to fighting alongside Ted to repeal every word of ObamaCare.”

Cruz is engaged in an increasingly tough runoff campaign with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The winner of that July 31 race will almost certainly become the Lone Star State’s next Senator. Full story

Wisconsin: Pat Toomey Endorses Mark Neumann for Senate

Wisconsin: Pat Toomey Endorses Mark Neumann for Senate

Sen. Pat Toomey (above) endorsed for Rep. Mark Neumann, who is seeking Wisconsin's open Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) endorsed former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) today in his campaign for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat. Toomey is the fifth GOP Senator from the party’s more conservative wing to endorse Neumann.

“Congressman Mark Neumann is a man of courage and principle, and I am proud to endorse him in his run for the U.S. Senate,” Toomey said in a press release. “In this era of skyrocketing deficits and stagnant economic growth, Mark is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington.”

Neumann, who is locked in a tight primary race against three GOP competitors, is thought to have the most conservative record of the Republican candidates. He has been endorsed by conservative activists groups such as the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund in addition to getting the backing of Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.).

Despite the high profile endorsements, Neumann trails former Gov. Tommy Thompson by a substantial margin in recent polls. The winner of the Aug. 14 GOP primary will face presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) in the November general election.

Conservatives, meantime, took aim at Thompson over the health care law.

Full story

After Health Care Ruling, Law Still Politically Toxic

After Health Care Ruling, Law Still Politically Toxic

Democrats won a victory with last week's Supreme Court ruling, but that doesn't mean the law will become more popular for the party politically. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law is a historic policy victory for his administration and the Democrats who lost control of the House and their filibuster-proof Senate majority pushing the reform through Congress in the face of united GOP opposition.

But the politics of the Affordable Care Act — or “Obamacare” — are unlikely to improve for Obama and Congressional Democrats running for re-election in 2012, and in fact could boost presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and GOP candidates running down the ticket. Why isn’t Obama’s victory likely to translate into a political boost at the polls? Because, voters’ negative feelings about Obama’s health care overhaul had little to do with questions of its constitutionality. Full story

House Majority PAC, SEIU Make Fall TV Ad Reservations

House Majority PAC and the Service Employees International Union announced today that they are partnering in their effort to aide House Democratic candidates and will reserve $19.7 million in television advertising across 38 media markets.

The reach of that buy is “at least 47 competitive Congressional districts,” according to a press release from the Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC.

Of the nearly $20 million reserved, House Majority PAC put up $16 million and SEIU plans to spend $3.7 million.

Full story

NRCC Hits California Dems in Ads; DCCC Robocalls on Health Care Repeal

The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin airing new ads Tuesday attacking California Democratic Reps. Lois Capps, John Garamendi and Jerry McNerney on the 2010 health care law, days after the Supreme Court ruled it to be constitutional.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began live-calling and robocalling residents in 10 targeted districts, knocking mostly Republican incumbents for wanting to repeal the health care law.

Full story

Jim DeMint PAC to Go Independent, Increase Fundraising

Jim DeMint PAC to Go Independent, Increase Fundraising

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is cutting official ties to his Senate Conservatives Fund leadership PAC to allow the fundraising outfit to form a super PAC. While DeMint may continue to attend fundraisers for the new super PAC — named Senate Conservatives Action — campaign finance laws prohibit him from asking donors for money directly.

The new structure will allow the group to raise and spend unlimited funds to support reliably conservative Senate candidates. It also ends the $5,000 limit on individual contributions. The group has raised $17 million since 2009, $8 million so far this year, under the limitations governing politicians’ PACs. Full story

June 29, 2012

Florida: Ron DeSantis Goes on TV

Congressional candidate Ron DeSantis, who has recently received a series of impressive endorsements in his bid for the GOP nomination in Florida’s open 6th district, went on TV recently with a simple direct-to-camera ad.

“Politicians play by their own set of rules, we pay the tab,” he says, standing in what appears to be a living room. “They spend us into oblivion, yet they give themselves generous pay and benefits. Worst of all, they disregard their oath to the Constitution. This has to stop,” he says, as light patriotic music begins to play.

Full story

June 28, 2012

Arizona: Trent Franks Endorses Two House Candidates

Arizona: Trent Franks Endorses Two House Candidates

(Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Trent Franks (R) doled out two more endorsements in Arizona GOP primaries.

Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally and former state Sen. Jonathan Paton touted Franks’ nods Wednesday. Full story

Virginia: State Democrats Expand Campaign

The Virginia Democratic coordinated campaign, dubbed VA Victory 2012, announced this week an expansion of its organizing efforts in the battleground state.

The coordinated campaign announced nine new senior hires who will oversee a team of more than 30 organizers from around the state, as well as six new offices — including in Roanoke, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia — to go along with its three offices in Richmond, Alexandria and Virginia Beach.

State party Chairman Brian Moran announced the additions of Deputy Field Director Arthur Scott, Targeting and Data Director John Davis, and seven regional field directors, who all work under Keren Charles Dongo, the VA Victory 2012 director.

The commonwealth is home to tossup races at the presidential and Senate levels and at least one competitive House race.

NRCC Elevates Six Young Guns Candidates

The National Republican Congressional Committee has announced that six candidates have reached the committee’s “Contender” stage of the Young Guns program.

Four of those six are running in the same district: businesswoman Lisa Wilson-Foley, state Sen. Andrew Roraback, veteran Justin Bernier and real estate developer Mark Greenberg. All are vying for Connecticut’s 5th district GOP nomination.

The others are ex-Erie County Executive Chris Collins, who won a GOP primary Tuesday and is challenging Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in New York’s 27th district, and former Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii). He is challenging Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), a rematch of their 2010 contest.

“These candidates have worked hard to meet the benchmarks that have been laid out before them and are determined to hold Washington Democrats accountable this November,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said.

The Contender level is the third of four steps to attaining Young Gun status at the NRCC.

Hawaii: Ed Case Agrees to General Election Debate

The Democratic primary might still be six weeks away, but former Rep. Ed Case (D) and former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) have already scheduled a general election debate.

The only thing stopping the two from debating on Aug. 15 is Rep. Mazie Hirono, who is challenging Case for their party’s nomination and is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the Aug. 11 primary.

According to a release from Case, the Maui Chamber of Commerce is hosting the business-focused debate and has invited the primary winners. Case said he looks forward “to many real debates with Linda throughout the general,” should he make it there.

Meanwhile, a fundraising appeal from Hirono cites Lingle’s “vanity TV channel” and asks supporters to help match the $30,000 Lingle will spend on it over the next six weeks.

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