Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 28, 2015

July 16, 2012

Sheldon Adelson Gives $5 Million to YG Action Super PAC

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million to YG Action Fund, a super PAC run by two former top aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

The donation helped YG Action Fund achieve its best fundraising quarter since opening shop last year. The super PAC raised just more than $5.3 million from April through June.

The money came just in time for the group to spend more than $500,000 to boost Richard Hudson, a former House chief of staff, in the runoff for North Carolina’s 8th district on Tuesday. Full story

July 14, 2012

Rhode Island: Gemma Draws Ire of Fellow Dems in Race Against Cicilline

Updated 4:16 p.m. | Businessman and Congressional Democratic candidate Anthony Gemma has asserted that he will support fellow Democrats Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. James Langevin, according to The Providence Journal.

“‘He is planning to vote for Senator Whitehouse’ and will back Langevin, too, said Gemma spokesman Alex Morash,” writes The Journal.

Gemma, appeared on The Buddy Cianci radio show and lashed out at those in the Rhode Island Democratic establishment who have chosen to support Cicilline over him. The exchange begins around 5:45 here.

“I’m going to be honest with you … I’m frustrated with Sen. [Sheldon] Whitehouse, that he has not stepped up and done what’s right for me, and his constituents are telling him in droves that I am the right candidate and know it for a fact,” he said.

Full story

July 13, 2012

Arizona: John McCain to Endorse Ben Quayle

Arizona: John McCain to Endorse Ben Quayle

Sen. John McCain has informed Rep. David Schweikert that he will endorse Rep. Ben Quayle in their Member-versus-Member Republican primary in Arizona, according to a Schweikert source.

Schweikert did not seek McCain’s endorsement. Those in the Schweikert camp are under the impression that Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) helped facilitate the endorsement. The Hotline first reported the news.

Full story

Wisconsin: Hovde, Thompson Respond To Criticism With New Ads

A busy week in Wisconsin’s GOP primary for the state’s open Senate seat concluded with new defensive ads from former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde. Thompson’s ad counters allegations that he supported President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law, while Hovde attacks former Rep. Mark Neumann, another GOP candidate, on fiscal issues.

The conservative Club for Growth unveiled an ad earlier today that attacked both Hovde and Thompson as part of a nearly $600,000 broadcast and cable buy in the Badger State. The group endorsed Neumann last September.

Thompson’s ad pushes back on claims that the former governor once supported the Affordable Care Act, an allegation that has been perpetuated by the Club for Growth and others. The ad, which a GOP operative said is part of a more than $125,000 buy, shows Thompson wearing a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle through a rural area.

Full story

Arizona: Jon Kyl, John McCain Endorse Jeff Flake

Arizona: Jon Kyl, John McCain Endorse Jeff Flake

Rep. Jeff Flake got about as big of a boost as one can get in Arizona Republican politics. In Phoenix today, GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain endorsed the six-term Congressman, who finds himself in an unexpectedly competitive primary in his bid for Senate.

Kyl, the retiring Senate Minority Whip whose seat Flake is seeking, has particular credibility with Arizona conservatives and his endorsement could be helpful. McCain’s backing could also be useful — he easily won re-election in 2010 after trouncing former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the GOP primary.

“It’s been a tremendous honor serving Arizona in the United States Senate. It’s important to me that my successor listen to the citizens of Arizona and work hard on their behalf,” Kyl said in a statement. “My choice is Jeff Flake. Jeff is an honest, thoughtful conservative, and he’s already proven that he is an effective reformer. Jeff will fight for what’s right.”

“It’s not easy for one man to make a difference in Washington, but Jeff Flake has,” McCain added. “Jeff stood up to congressional leaders in the House when they were spending too much. They tried to punish and silence him, but Jeff Flake persisted. Eventually, they came around to his way of thinking, and there are no more earmarks in Congress.”

Full story

Wisconsin: Club for Growth Hits Tommy Thomspon, Eric Hovde in New Ad

The Club for Growth launched a large broadcast and cable ad buy today throughout Wisconsin targeting current GOP Senate primary frontrunners former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde.

By taking on both frontrunners, the club reaffirmed its support for former Rep. Mark Neumann, despite his low numbers in recent polls. Many observers have said that dividing support among Thompson’s various challengers would only elevate the former governor above the fray of other candidates. Full story

Hawaii: Fundraising, Dueling Polls in Senate Race

In their potential showdown for the Hawaii’s open Senate seat, Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) and former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) have in the last two days announced their second-quarter fundraising and released dueling polls.

Lingle raised more than $1.1 million in the second quarter, outpacing Hirono, who brought in $941,000 from April to June and had $2 million in cash on hand as of June 30. Lingle did not release her cash-on-hand total. Full story

July 12, 2012

Harry Reid: Shelley Berkley Will Be Fine

Harry Reid: Shelley Berkley Will Be Fine

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reiterated on Thursday that he is unconcerned about the viability of the Senate candidacy of Rep. Shelley Berkley, despite the Ethics Committee launching a formal investigation of his fellow Nevada Democrat.

“Frankly, I think it’s good that this is all coming out in the open,” Reid said of the investigation while on a conference call with reporters. Full story

Florida: Sandy Adams Gets Sarah Palin Nod

Florida: Sandy Adams Gets Sarah Palin Nod

Sarah Palin made her first House endorsement of 2012 today in a Member versus Member race. (Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Sarah Palin today endorsed Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams in her Member-vs.-Member GOP primary brawl with 10-term Rep. John Mica. It is the former vice presidential candidate’s first House endorsement this cycle.

Adams, a freshman, has strong tea party support in the Sunshine State’s 7th district, a seat north of Orlando where both Members are running as a result of redistricting. Mica, the chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has locked up a solid chunk of establishment backing.

The former Alaska governor’s endorsement goes a few steps beyond a boilerplate statement and knocks Mica. Full story

Maryland: Redistricting Map Critics Meet Referendum Threshold

Maryland’s controversial redistricting map will be put to the voters in a referendum this fall.

Enough signatures were validated Wednesday afternoon to meet the legal threshold of about 56,000 signatures to put the map on the ballot when voters go to the polls in November, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. The referendum awaits official certification from the board and that process is not complete.

If the referendum is certified by the board, it is uncertain what will happen if voters strike down the new Congressional boundaries map. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) told the Baltimore Sun that even if voters overturn the map, he would send a new one to the Legislature with only “marginal” changes.

The map was considered one of the ugliest in the country. Democrats and Republicans alike howled over the boundaries after its October release. The most common derogatory description for the new lines was “Rorschach test.” Roll Call rated Rep. John Sarbanes’ (D) 3rd district as one of the five ugliest districts in the country.

But it is the 6th that was affected the most politically. Maryland Democrats went into redistricting with the intent of picking up another seat in the delegation, and they likely will accomplish that goal in the fall elections. Lawmakers redrew Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s district (R) so dramatically that his once-safe seat now favors the  Democrats.

Even Democrats critics of the overall map emerged, most notably Rep. Donna Edwards. But it was Republican state Del. Neil Parrott who led the referendum effort.

Texas: San Antonio Mayor Endorses Pete Gallego

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro endorsed state Rep. Pete Gallego this morning in Texas’ 23rd district Democratic runoff.

Gallego is running in a primary runoff against former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez for the right to challenge Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R) in the fall.

“He is the best candidate in this race to take on Quico Canseco in November, and a proven leader whose steady hand we can count on to serve our community in Congress for years to come,” Castro said.

Full story

Nevada: Shelley Berkley Hits Back in Two New Ads

Rep. Shelley Berkley responded with two new Senate campaign television ads launched three days after the Ethics Committee announced that she was the subject of a formal investigation.

The Democrat’s ads, unveiled today, both downplay the scrutiny the Congresswoman is facing and turn the focus back onto the voting record of Sen. Dean Heller (R), whom Berkley is challenging. The Las Vegas Sun first reported the ads this morning. A source told Roll Call that it is a “very significant buy.” Full story

Wisconsin: Club for Growth Going Up With Senate Ad Buy

The Club for Growth will go up with a sizable ad buy in the competitive Wisconsin Senate GOP primary Friday, according to sources with knowledge of the race.

The club endorsed former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) in September and has attacked former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who began the Senate race as the frontrunner due to his high name identification, from the right.

But businessman Eric Hovde has emerged as the primary conservative challenger to Thompson in recent weeks despite the club’s endorsement of Neumann. Recent polls have shown Hovde and Thompson breaking away from the rest of the GOP primary pack. Hovde, who has never before served in public office, has spent millions of his own money to introduce himself to Wisconsin voters.

It is unclear what the content of the Club for Growth ad is, and whether it targets Thompson or both Thompson and Hovde. It’s unlikely the spot is a positive ad highlighting Neumann’s record.

The primary is Aug. 14. The winner will face Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in what is expected to be a hard-fought general election this fall.

NRCC Locks In Third Clip of Young Guns

NRCC Locks In Third Clip of Young Guns

Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, who is running in the state's 2nd district, was one of seven candidates announced in a new round of the NRCC's Young Guns today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee today announced its third round of Young Guns — candidates who have reached the highest tier of the committee’s recruitment and candidate support program.

The seven new candidates are:

  • Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, running in Florida’s open 22nd district
  • Attorney Ben Lange, running in Iowa’s 1st district against Rep. Bruce Braley (D)
  • John Deere attorney John Archer, running in Iowa’s 2nd district against Rep. Dave Loebsack (D)
  • State Senate President Kevin Raye, running in Maine’s 2nd district against Rep. Mike Michaud (D)
  • State Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer, running in North Dakota’s open at-large seat
  • Businessman Danny Tarkanian, running in Nevada’s open 4th district
  • Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, running New York’s 27th district against freshman Rep. Kathy Hochul (D)

Full story

Texas: Club for Growth Announces TV and Radio Ad Buy for Ted Cruz

As expected, the Club for Growth announced this morning that it was making a significant financial investment in former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who is battling Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Senate Republican primary runoff.

The $1.5 million buy is sizable but does not go as far in Texas as it would in other states with cheaper media markets. The runoff election is scheduled for July 31.

Full story

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