Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 2, 2015

July 9, 2012

Texas: Republican State Legislators Come Out Against Ted Cruz

Updated, 6:09 p.m. The Texas Republican establishment on Sunday came out hard against former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) in his upstart Senate bid.

Nearly every state Senator signed an open letter addressed to “Fellow Texans” that offered a defense of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is running against Cruz in a July 31 GOP primary runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).

The letter never once mentions Cruz by name. But it makes clear the state Senators’ displeasure with statements he has made on sanctuary cities, state spending, the state’s Transportation Security Administration “Anti-Groping” bill and a state income tax.

Full story

New York: Adriano Espaillat Concedes (Again) to Charlie Rangel

New York: Adriano Espaillat Concedes (Again) to Charlie Rangel

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, seen here campaigning last month, conceded again to Rep. Charlie Rangel today, bringing the contentious primary officially to a close. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D), the top rival to Rep. Charlie Rangel in a bitter and closely contested primary, today conceded the race for the second time.

Espaillat also said he was dropping a lawsuit regarding the vote-counting in the June 26 race. On Election Day, it appeared Rangel had won by a wide margin, but further counting of ballots found the race to be much closer.

“My attorneys have advised me … that the math just doesn’t work. It’s virtually impossible for the results to change,” Espaillat said at a press conference today, according to a tweet from the New York Observer. Full story

DSCC Files FEC Complaint Against Independent Groups

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that conservative independent outfits 60 Plus Association, American Crossroads, and Americans for Prosperity have violated federal election law by primarily working to influence federal elections while not disclosing their donors.

“Respondents are raising and spending millions of dollars to accomplish their major purpose of influencing federal elections, while hiding their funding sources. By operating in secret, they have violated and continue to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil wrote in the complaint.

The six-member commission, composed of three Republicans and three Democrats, has been gridlocked along partisan lines for the past few years and in many cases has struggled to attain the majority necessary to reach a decision. Campaign finance experts said the FEC typically takes longer than a year to resolve such complaints, making it unlikely that the issue will be resolved before the November elections.

The DSCC complaint comes on the heels of a similar request filed with the FEC last month by Robert Bauer, general counsel to the Democratic National Committee and President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. That filing asked that the FEC require American Crossroads to disclose its donors.

The groups responded to the complaint, characterizing it as a baseless effort to attract publicity.

“This latest complaint is virtually identical to the complaint filed by the Obama campaign and DNC two weeks ago,” American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio wrote in a statement to Roll Call. “[I]t is baseless, completely redundant and serves no purpose other than to generate headlines, as it was distributed to the news media before its recipients. Crossroads takes compliance very seriously.

60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin argued that the complaint cannot be considered seriously because it only addresses conservative groups.

“The fact it includes only GOP leaning groups — and none of the coordinated campaign expenditures being made between and among the DNC, DSCC, and the Democrat’s House campaign committee — shows it’s naked politics pure and simple,” Martin said in a statement.

The DSCC maintained that it expects the FEC to consider the complaint seriously.

“These organizations are actually claiming that they are no more political than a church, a synagogue, or even the American Cancer Society. It is patently absurd and we certainly expect the FEC would take action,” Cecil said in a statement emailed to Roll Call. “Right wing billionaires and corporations are getting special treatment, while any other American must adhere to strict limits and disclosure requirements.”

Arizona: Condoleezza Rice Endorses Ben Quayle

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice endorsed Rep. Ben Quayle (R) today in his bid for re-election.

Quayle is in a Member-vs.-Member primary fight with fellow freshman Rep.David Schweikert.

“We must send the best people to Washington to represent us and Ben is someone who understands the values and principles that make — and keep — America exceptional,” Rice wrote in a press release. “Ben Quayle is part of a new generation of effective leadership throughout the country and the state of Arizona and I am proud to support and stand with Ben in Arizona’s 6th congressional district race.”

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Indiana: Richard Mourdock Bests Joe Donnelly in 2nd-Quarter Fundraising

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) raised substantially more than Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) during the most recent fundraising quarter for the Senate race in Indiana.

Mourdock raised more than $1.6 million from April through June. That second-quarter time period includes the five weeks leading up to Mourdock’s May 8 primary victory over six-term Sen. Dick Lugar (R).

Donnelly raised just more than $900,000 in same time period, to close the period with more than $1.3 million in cash on hand. the Congressman’s campaign spokeswoman confirmed today.

Mourdock’s campaign would not say how much they had in the bank until later this week.

The deadline to submit second-quarter fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission is Sunday.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.


Mitt Romney Outraises Barack Obama in June

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney far outraised President Barack Obama in June.

Romney for President, Romney Victory and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $106 million last month, and the coalition ended June with $160 million in cash on hand, according to a Romney campaign press release.

The Obama campaign raised $71 million in the same period, according to several reports.

The margin between the two campaigns doubled from last month, when Romney outraised Obama by $17 million.


Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Pulls in $8.67 Million in 2nd Quarter

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Pulls in $8.67 Million in 2nd Quarter

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elizabeth Warren, the presumptive Democratic nominee for Senate in Massachusetts, raised an astronomical $8.67 million in the second quarter of this year. It’s an extraordinary sum to raise in three months and leaves Warren with $13.5 million in cash on hand for her fight against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

Brown has not released his fundraising figures for the second quarter yet, but he ended March with $14.9 million in the bank.

“We still have a long way to go until November 6th, and Wall Street and other powerful interests are going to continue to send their millions to Scott Brown,” Warren campaign manager Mindy Myers said in a statement. “But with the power of working men and women in the Commonwealth behind us, we will continue to have the resources we need to compete and win this fall.”

Roll Call rates the Massachusetts Senate race as a Tossup.

Kentucky: Andy Barr Poll Shows Him Behind by 5 Points

Kentucky: Andy Barr Poll Shows Him Behind by 5 Points

Rep. Ben Chandler (D) leads Republican Andy Barr by 5 points in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district, according a newly released Republican poll.

Among likely voters surveyed in late June, Chandler got 47 percent to Barr’s 42 percent. The poll, conducted by well-respected GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for the Barr campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee, found Barr’s support remains unchanged since a February poll. Chandler’s support ticked down 2 points over the five months, a shift well within the margin of error. Full story

Florida: Allen West Challenger to Post $500,000 Quarter

Patrick Murphy, the likely Democratic nominee in Florida’s 18th district, raised an impressive $508,000 in the second quarter of 2012 in his bid to unseat outspoken GOP Rep. Allen West. Murphy’s campaign will announce the numbers later today.

The businessman, a former Republican, ended June with just less than $1.3 million in cash on hand. He ended March with just more than $1 million in the bank.

West ended March with more than $3.3 million in cash on hand. He does not appear to have released his second quarter numbers yet. Filings are due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday.

Roll Call rates the race for Sunshine State’s 18th district as Leans Republican.

July 6, 2012

Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter Resigns From Congress

Michigan: Thaddeus McCotter Resigns From CongressThaddeus McCotter" src="" alt="" width="445" height="295" />

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:30 p.m. | Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who ran a quixotic presidential bid and then failed to get enough signatures to appear on the GOP ballot for his 6th term, announced late today he had resigned from office.

“Today I have resigned from the office of United States Representative for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District,” he said in a statement sent out by his campaign and posted to Facebook. Full story

New York: Charlie Rangel Vote Drama Deepens

Updated 6:38 p.m. | Longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel probably received more votes than any other candidate in June’s contentious and close 13th district Democratic primary in New York. But that doesn’t mean the 21-term Member has won renomination to his seat just yet.

The ongoing drama continued today as the New York City Board of Elections counted votes in the Harlem and Bronx-based district. With more ballots left to count, Rangel’s lead widened to more than 1,000 votes, according to a local reporter.

But the most interesting news came from a column in today’s New York Daily News. Columnist Juan Gonzalez said there were some apparently unusual meetings held between a BOE official and Rangel aides.

Full story

Texas: Ted Cruz Internal Poll Shows Lead Over David Dewhurst

Texas: Ted Cruz Internal Poll Shows Lead Over David Dewhurst

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Ted Cruz led Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by 9 points in a recent internal poll conducted for the former Texas solicitor general’s campaign, a Cruz source has confirmed.

From the earliest days of the race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), Dewhurst has been the frontrunner. But in this survey, 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for Cruz. Forty percent supported Dewhurst, and 11 percent were undecided.

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Crossroads GPS Begins Gargantuan Anti-Obama TV Push

Crossroads GPS, the juggernaut Republican-affiliated group, today announced a $25 million television ad blitz over the next month knocking President Barack Obama for his handling of the economy.

The effort begins with an ad, titled “Excuses,” that will start airing next week on broadcast TV in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. Full story

July 5, 2012

New York: Charlie Rangel Vote Drama Continues

New York: Charlie Rangel Vote Drama Continues

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vote counting continued today in New York’s 13th Congressional district to determine who won the close Democratic primary race between Rep. Charlie Rangel and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.

The Associated Press determined Rangel to be the winner by a comfortable margin on the night of the election, but by Saturday, his lead was down to 802 votes. The Board of Elections today began counting provisional and absentee ballots.

It still appears unlikely that the 21-term incumbent will lose the race, but the case is under review by a judge, who could call for a recount, or even a revote, if irregularities in the voting process warrant. Full story

Connecticut: Internal Investigation Clears Chris Donovan

Updated, 4:26 p.m. | An internal investigation released today shows that Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan (D) “had no knowledge of illegal contributions to his campaign,” according to the Hartford Courant.

A quid pro quo scandal involving tobacco legislation and campaign donations has rocked the Donovan campaign for the past month. An FBI sting resulted in the arrest of Donovan’s finance director and the termination of two other staffers.

Donovan’s political opponents from both parties were highly critical of the report, conducted by former U.S. Attorney Stanley Twardy. Per the Courant, Twardy lacked subpoena power and attorneys prevented interviews with central figures in the investigation.

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