Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 20, 2014

April 23, 2012

Utah: Orrin Hatch Keeping His Head Down

Utah: Orrin Hatch Keeping His Head Down

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Sen. Orrin Hatch is breathing a sigh of relief, he isn’t acting like it. In a brief interview with Roll Call this evening, the Utah Republican declined to gloat about his Saturday victory at the state GOP convention.

Rather, Hatch displayed the same attitude of determined but disciplined caution he has exhibited since beginning what many believed was an uphill campaign for re-election two years ago.

“We were very pleased. A couple months ago people were saying I couldn’t come out of the convention,” Hatch said, absent any of the emotion that his optimistic comments suggest.

Full story

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Launches TV Spot Backed by Big Bucks

Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, the presumptive Democratic nominee for Senate in Massachusetts, launched a biographical TV spot today backed by a very significant advertising buy.

A Republican source told Roll Call the buy was for $770,000 over the next two weeks.

In the ad, Warren introduces herself to voters and talks about her childhood.

Full story

April 22, 2012

Indiana: Daniels Goes to Bat for Lugar in TV Spot

Indiana: Daniels Goes to Bat for Lugar in TV Spot

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The campaign advertisement Sen. Dick Lugar’s (R-Ind.) supporters have been waiting to see on their television hits the airwaves on Monday.

Indiana Gov.  Mitch Daniels (R) delivers a hearty endorsement for the embattled six-term Senator in a new television spot, declaring, “I can’t think of anyone so reflective of the thinking, principles and ideals of our state.”

Lugar faces the toughest primary challenge of his career on May 8 against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Support from the popular Daniels, one of Lugar’s closest political allies and his former top Capitol Hill aide, aims to push the vulnerable Senator over the finish line.

In the spot, Daniels vouches for Lugar on location from the Senator’s family farm. It’s a quiet response to recent attacks about Lugar’s residency in the state.

A spokesman for the Lugar campaign, Andy Fisher,  said the spot will run on cable and all broadcast markets across the state at an elevated level.

April 21, 2012

Utah: Orrin Hatch, Dan Liljenquist Will Face Off in Primary

Utah: Orrin Hatch, Dan Liljenquist Will Face Off in Primary

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Sen. Orrin Hatch and former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist will face off in a June 26 primary for the Republican nomination in Utah.

The 78-year-old incumbent came up just short of securing his party’s nomination today at the state Republican convention in Salt Lake City, but he starts out favored against his conservative challenger. Full story

April 20, 2012

Maryland: Martin O’Malley Discusses Redistricting

Maryland: Martin OMalley Discusses Redistricting

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) addressed his state’s redistricting process and the subsequent fallout from it at a breakfast briefing with reporters today.

“There were, of course, bumps and bruises and divisions. No one likes redistricting. There are no real winners,” he said at an event hosted by Third Way, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C. He added a caveat that at times there are “coincidental or incidental” winners in redistricting.

The Democratic Member who most vigorously opposed the map that O’Malley eventually signed into law was Rep. Donna Edwards.

Full story

Ron Johnson Endorsing, Stumping for George Allen Today

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson today will endorse and later appear alongside former Sen. George Allen, who is running to win back his former seat in Virginia.

The Republicans will hold a small-business roundtable this afternoon at Bill’s Barbecue, a Richmond institution that recently closed five of its eight area locations, according to local reports. Johnson, who was recently tasked with coordinating Senate Republicans’ messaging, ran his own business for three decades before being elected to the Senate in 2010. Full story

EMILY’s List Doles Out Five New Endorsements

EMILY’s List Doles Out Five New Endorsements

EMILY's List will endorse ex-state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and four other women in their races for Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List will announce today that it is endorsing five House candidates as part of the Democratic effort to regain control of the chamber this fall. The women are running in districts where the races are tossups or slightly favor Republicans.

The Democratic candidates getting the pro-abortion rights group’s stamp of approval today are:

  • Attorney Shelley Adler, running in New Jersey’s 3rd district against Rep. Jon Runyan
  • Attorney Kathy Boockvar, running in Pennsylvania’s 8th district against Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick
  • State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, running in California’s open 26th district
  • Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, running in New Hampshire’s 1st district for the nomination to challenge Rep. Frank Guinta
  • Former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, running in Arizona’s new 9th district

April 19, 2012

Is Larry Kissell Opponent Richard Hudson a ‘Birther’?

Is Larry Kissell Opponent Richard Hudson a Birther?

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Is Richard Hudson, a former Hill chief of staff and now top contender for the GOP nomination in North Carolina’s 8th district, a “birther”?

It certainly sounds like it. At a county tea party forum on Tuesday, Hudson said there was still some ambiguity as to whether the president was a citizen of United States. Full story

DSCC Outraises NRSC in March

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee both turned in strong fundraising in March, but the DSCC outraised its GOP counterpart by about $1.6 million, according to figures released by the committees today.

The DSCC raised $7.4 million and ended March with nearly $24 million on hand. The NRSC raised $5.8 million and had nearly $20 million in the bank on March 31. Full story

Illinois: Joe Walsh, Ex-Wife Agree He’s Not a ‘Deadbeat Dad’

Illinois: Joe Walsh, Ex Wife Agree Hes Not a Deadbeat Dad

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Walsh’s (R-Ill.) former wife has dropped her six-figure child support lawsuit against him, relieving the freshman lawmaker of a major political albatross ahead of the November elections.

Walsh and his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, released a joint statement today announcing they had worked out their financial issues privately and declared the Congressman is not a “deadbeat dad.”

“Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support,” they wrote in a statement. “We both have been loving and devoted parents to our children, ages 24, 21, and 17, and are happy to avoid a public legal fight hurtful to our entire family and look forward to caring for our children in private.” Full story

Gallup: Congressional Approval Ticks Up to 17 Percent

Maybe Americans have learned to hate the game and not the players. But probably not.

Approval of the way Congress is handling its job ticked up to 17 percent, the highest since last July, according to the latest Gallup poll, released this morning.

That’s a bit higher than the all-time low of 10 percent in February.

Disapproval of Congress now stands at 79 percent, also the lowest disapproval number the respected polling company found since July. Full story

DSCC Raised $7.4 Million in March

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $7.4 million last month, leaving it with nearly $24 million in cash on hand as of the end of March.

Last month’s total bumped the committee up to $17.7 million raised from January through March, its best fundraising quarter ever, according to the committee. Full story

April 18, 2012

Arizona: Ron Barber Goes Up With First TV Ad

Ron Barber, an ex-aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), went up with his first ad in the race to finish his one-time boss’s term. The buy came less than a day after the GOP selected veteran Jesse Kelly as its nominee in the race.

Barber’s ad is positive and biographical. He touts his work with the mentally disabled, running a small business and as a Congressional staffer. According to GOP ad trackers, the campaign is putting $40,000 behind the ad.

“I’m Ron Barber, and I’ve seen a lot in my life,” Barber says in the narration.

Full story

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows Altmire-Critz Race Close

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows Altmire Critz Race Close

Reps. Jason Altmire (left) and Mark Critz prepare to shake hands before a debate at the WPXI studio in Pittsburgh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jason Altmire led Rep. Mark Critz by a mere 4 points in a test of Tuesday’s Democratic primary matchup, according to a poll released today.

The Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV poll showed Altmire ahead of Critz 43 percent to 39 percent in the finals days of their increasingly competitive contest.

The two Democrats are facing off in southwestern Pennsylvania’s 12 district after GOP-led redistricting combined their current territory. Full story

DCCC Reserves $32 Million for Fall TV Ads

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reserving more than $32 million in broadcast television time in the districts of 26 Republican Members, seven Democratic Members and three open seats.

It’s the earliest in a cycle that the DCCC has placed a buy reservation for the fall campaign, a move that saves the committee money and ensures good placement for the spots.

The buy, described to Roll Call by a DCCC official, is mostly concentrated in states where the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are likely to be playing.

The TV reservation was placed in such a way as to shield the specifics of the DCCC’s strategy. For example, the committee booked $3.6 million in the Philadelphia media market. That means ads could run against Pennsylvania GOP Reps. Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, Mike Fitzpatrick, Charlie Dent or New Jersey GOP Rep. Jon Runyan — or a combination of some of them. No one will know until the ads actually ship, giving the DCCC a strategic advantage. Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 1:23 p.m.
Ads, DCCC

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