Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) began airing a new ad today, featuring former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, a Democrat.
“Scott Brown is a person that I have great admiration for,” Flynn says to the camera, sitting in his living room. “I’ve found him to be a regular guy: honest, hardworking. He’s also an independent voice,” he adds, as b-roll of the Senator appears on screen.
“I’m a Democrat, but I’m tired of all the polarization, the pettiness, the bickering,” says Flynn, who served as mayor of the Bay State’s capital from 1984 to 1993. “Scott Brown is a person that you can work with. I mean, I’ve been involved in politics for almost 50 years. That’s the name of the game, electing people you can trust. I think that person really is Scott Brown.”
A source familiar with the buy said the ad was backed by $426,000 on broadcast and cable television statewide, today through Aug. 5. There was also a $25,000 buy on WJAR, the NBC affiliate in Providence, R.I., which reaches a chunk of southeastern Massachusetts, from Aug. 6 through Aug. 12.
Brown is locked in tight race with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer advocate. In a state that will vote for President Barack Obama, Brown has worked to position himself as a solutions-oriented, independent Senator. Ads like this one would appear to help burnish his bipartisan credentials, especially with an important swing block of blue-collar voters.
Roll Call rates the Massachusetts Senate race as a Tossup.
DETROIT — Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) sat in the audience Thursday night, quietly listening to his opponents debate.
Four candidates — including his colleague, Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) — touted their credentials for the seat, while Clarke sat out of the debate, watching among a small crowd in the Wayne State University Law School auditorium.
Last month, Clarke said he would no longer participate in debates because of “racist rhetoric” in the 14th district race. But in a bizarre evening, Clarke appeared at the National Association of Black Journalists forum anyway to promote his struggling candidacy.
“I thought this was the proper forum for everyone to actually compare who we are as people, and for me to be able to address firsthand any issues,” Clarke told reporters afterward. “I felt it was important for me to be here and be available at this one time.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hit the airwaves in Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin with television ads targeting Democratic Senate candidates.
The chamber is also targeting independent Senate candidate former Gov. Angus King in Maine. The ads criticize the candidates on a range of issues, including support for the Affordable Care Act, proposals to increase taxes and votes on energy issues.
“With so much at stake in this election, the Chamber will continue to execute the largest voter education campaign in our history,” chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “We will support candidates who will fight for free enterprise and oppose those who consistently support more government and stand in the way of economic growth and job creation.”
Independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the chamber spent more than $5.3 million on ad buys and production costs for the series of spots. The group typically spends heavily to defeat Democratic candidates.
The chamber vowed to continue its efforts into the coming months in a press release. Full story
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce began airing an ad this week against Maine Senate frontrunner Angus King (I), knocking him for his financial management of the Pine Tree State during his eight-year tenure as governor.
The Chamber backs Republican Charlie Summers, who faces an uphill battle for the open seat of retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R). The effectiveness of the ad in knocking down King — widely liked in Maine — will probably go a long way to determining whether national Republicans make a push for the seat at all this fall.
Updated 5:44 p.m. | State Speaker Chris Donovan’s (D) former campaign manager, Joshua Nassi, has been charged in connection with a contribution scandal that has put the Donovan campaign for the 5th district on the skids, according to the Danbury News Times.
Federal authorities have spent the past several months investigating an alleged quid pro quo scheme involving donations to the Donovan campaign and tobacco tax legislation in the state House. Nassi was dismissed from the campaign in early June.
There had been rumblings in Arizona political circles of an internal campaign poll showing a wide lead for Rep. David Schweikert for several days. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 10:05 p.m. | Rep. David Schweikert led fellow Republican Rep. Ben Quayle by 16 points in a recent Schweikert campaign internal poll.
The two Congressmen are engaged in a blockbuster Member-vs.-Member race for Arizona’s 6th district that has caught the attention of state Republicans. According to the survey from this past Sunday, 49 percent of respondents supported Schweikert, while 33 percent said they intended to vote for Quayle.
There had been rumblings in Arizona political circles of an internal campaign poll showing a wide Schweikert lead for several days.
The poll, conducted by Adam Geller of National Research Inc., was conducted July 22 and was a live telephone survey. It included 300 “likely GOP primary voters” and had a margin of error of 5.66 points.
Whoever wins this race will likely have a lock on the district for years to come. Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
Updated 10:05 p.m.
A source in the Quayle camp said that it is a close race and Schweikert is “not ahead.”
A new Democratic poll shows Rep. Mazie Hirono (above) leading former Gov. Linda Lingle in a general election matchup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Update 11:00 a.m.| A Democratic poll released this morning found Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) well ahead of former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) in a test of Hawaii’s likely general election Senate matchup.
Hirono led Lingle by 19 points in the poll, conducted by the Mellman Group on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. It was released today, the same day that Hirono and former Rep. Ed Case will meet for their final debate before the Aug. 11 Democratic primary and as Hirono highlights her ability to work across the aisle on behalf of Hawaii’s interests. Full story
Rock musician Ted Nugent and country music star Rodney Atkins are scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to headline events for GOP Senate primary candidates.
Nugent is set to perform Thursday for former Gov. Tommy Thompson; Atkins is scheduled to perform for businessman Eric Hovde on Aug. 1. The campaigns hope to translate the musicians’ star power into enthusiasm as the campaign for the primary nomination enters its final weeks.
“This is a rally, a serious rally, for my friend and the great American blood brother for freedom, U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson,” Nugent says in a voice recording sent to Thompson supporters. “If you want upgraded quality of life for the American dream, vote U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson.”
The Atkins event was described by the Hovde campaign as the kickoff to its get-out-the-vote effort. Full story
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley opened a federal political action committee this week, further fueling chatter that the second-term Democrat is eyeing future office.
O Say Can You See PAC will help federal candidates and two state ballot initiatives in the coming months, longtime O’Malley aide Rick Abbruzzese confirmed to Roll Call today.
“It’s a mechanism to help support these ballot initiatives and contribute to the national conversation,” Abbruzzese said.
Democrats often mention O’Malley as a potential candidate for president in 2016. The governor has upped his national presence in recent years, including taking the reins of the Democratic Governors Association. Full story
Former Rep. Harry Mitchell (D) has endorsed state Senate Minority Leader David Schapira in the Democratic primary for Arizona’s newly drawn 9th district.
“I believe it is important that we elect someone who understands and values our community — and will work hard to represent it,” he wrote in a statement. “This is why I’ve decided to cast my primary vote for Tempe’s State Senator, David Schapira.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) today endorsed Rep. John Mica (R) in his race against Rep. Sandy Adams (R) in Florida’s newly configured 7th district.
“John Mica is a proven leader who doesn’t just talk; he achieves sound conservative results,” Huckabee said in a statement. “If conservatives want a man of action and a man we can count on, I urge my fellow Floridians in Central Florida to join me in supporting John Mica.”
The endorsement comes after former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) backed Adams.
Mica and Adams are locked in a nasty contest for the district north of Orlando. The winner of the Aug. 14 contest is likely to be coming back to Congress next January, given the GOP lean of the seat.