Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 24, 2014

May 8, 2012

New York: Super PAC Takes Aim at Charlie Rangel

New York: Super PAC Takes Aim at Charlie Rangel

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a nonpartisan super PAC that has successfully targeted incumbents this cycle by supporting primary challengers, will next turn its substantial financial resources against longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

The group announced it “will make independent expenditures opposing Rep. Rangel and supporting state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.” Super PAC spokesman Curtis Ellis wouldn’t specify how much the CPA would spend against Rangel, but he noted that in its previous efforts, the group usually spends six-figure sums in its races. Full story

Minnesota: Rick Nolan Wins DFL Endorsement in 8th District

Former Rep. Rick Nolan was overwhelmingly endorsed by the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party over the weekend in the 8th district, the party’s best chance to pick up a seat this year.

Nolan won 76 percent of the delegate vote at the district convention, but he still faces a competitive Aug. 14 primary against Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson and Tarryl Clark, the 2010 nominee against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in the 6th district. Clark, who moved to Duluth to run for this seat, announced in March that she would not participate at the convention. Full story

Kentucky: Alecia Webb-Edgington Gets NRA Endorsement

State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, in a competitive Republican primary to replace retiring Rep. Geoff Davis (R), picked up the endorsement of the powerful National Rifle Association on Monday. It could give her a boost in a close race as the May 22 primary looms.

“As a gun-owner, concealed carry permit holder, and NRA Member, I am proud to have the support of the nation’s premier defender of Second Amendment rights,” she said in a statement. Webb-Edgington faces Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore and tea-party-affiliated Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie, among others, in the primary.

Illinois: GOP Leaders Narrow Field to Replace Tim Johnson to Four Candidates

Local GOP leaders selected four candidates to vie for the nomination on May 19 to replace retiring Rep. Timothy Johnson on the GOP ballot.

On Saturday, Stark County Republican Party Chairman Mike Bigger announced the following candidates would proceed to the next round: former Johnson aide Jerry Clarke, former Miss America Erika Harold, businesswoman Kathy Wassink and Rodney Davis, a former aide to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.). Full story

May 7, 2012

California: Sherman Files FEC Complaint Against Berman

California: Sherman Files FEC Complaint Against Berman

Rep. Brad Sherman (above) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against his Democratic opponent, Rep. Howard Berman. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California Rep. Brad Sherman filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Rep. Howard Berman, the latest shot between the two Democratic colleagues and fierce opponents in the June 5 all-party primary.

The complaint, dated Thursday and released to the media today, alleges improper coordination between the Berman campaign and a pro-Berman super PAC, Committee to Elect an Effective Valley Congressman.

It specifically argues that consultant Jerry Seedborg was paid more than $130,000 in the first quarter by the Berman campaign while Seedborg’s firm Voter Guide Slate Cards is owed nearly $24,000 for work performed for the super PAC in the same three-month period. Full story

Montana: Jon Tester’s Fifth TV Ad Focuses on Ethics

Sen. Jon Tester (D) today launched his fifth television ad of the campaign — a positive spot that highlights his ethics record.

The ad features three voters touting their support for Tester, including a retired federal prosecutor, a teacher and former Rep. Pat Williams (D-Mont.). It’s a follow-up to Tester’s 2006 campaign, which focused on the ethics issues of then-Sen. Conrad Burns (R). However, the ad mistakenly tells viewers to go to for more information. The actual address is

“Jon Tester promised us he’d be a different kind of Senator, and he is,” retired federal prosecutor Sherry Matteucci says in the ad. Full story

Obama Campaign to Go After ‘Contract-Killer’ Super PAC Ads

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign strategist David Axelrod warned today that the president’s campaign would respond aggressively to the “Karl and Koch brothers’ contract killers in super PAC-land” and treat their ads as if they came from Mitt Romney himself.

Axelrod was referring to GOP strategist Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads and the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, who have bankrolled several conservative political action committees. Both are expected to play a large role in attacking Obama and other Democratic candidates this year.

On a conference call with reporters during which the campaign detailed a $25 million positive ad buy in swing states during the next month, Axelrod said Romney can’t sell his policy prescriptions, which the strategist ripped as backward-looking and as a doubling down on tax cuts for the wealthy.

“He’s basically reduced to running a negative campaign, just as he was in the primaries,” Axelrod said. “We have a different approach.”

Full story

South Carolina: André Bauer Launches Ad in New District

Former two-term Lt. Gov. André Bauer (R) today launched a campaign ad to boost his Congressional bid in South Carolina’s new 7th district.

Backed by uplifting music and patriotic imagery, the ad outlines his accomplishments in eight years as lieutenant governor.

“In these uncertain times, we need a leader we can count on. André Bauer is a proven conservative who blocked over $2 billion in tax increases, kept property tax relief alive, reformed the state’s office on aging, while cutting his own pay,” a male narrator says. “Think what he could do with this place,” he says, as an image of the U.S. Capitol comes on screen.

Bauer faces a competitive primary for the nomination in this likely Republican seat. Among other opponents, he will be on the ballot with Florence attorney Jay Jordan, Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice, and Chad Prosser, the former director of South Carolina’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

The Bauer ad is backed by a $40,000 buy in the Myrtle Beach-anchored district on broadcast and cable television over two weeks.

May 5, 2012

Obama Kicks Off Campaign With a Roar

Obama Kicks Off Campaign With a Roar

(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/ Getty Images)

President Barack Obama today cast himself once again as the candidate of hope and change as he kicked off his re-election campaign by trying to recapture the magic of his run four years ago.

“You tell them, it’s still about hope. It’s still about change. …We can make a difference in the life of this country,” Obama exclaimed toward the end of an impassioned, 40-minute speech in Columbus, Ohio. Full story

May 4, 2012

Virginia: Majority PAC Follows Crossroads GPS On the Air

The airwaves are heating up in what could be among the nation’s biggest 2012 battlegrounds.

A Democratic-aligned outside group announced today it is going on the air in the Senate race, targeting former Virginia Sen. George Allen. The ad comes one week after a GOP-aligned outside group took on Allen’s opponent, former Gov. Tim Kaine. Full story

California: House Majority PAC on TV for Julia Brownley

House Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting Democratic House candidates, hit the airwaves today in support of Assemblywoman Julia Brownley in California’s 26th district.

This is a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, who are looking to capitalize on Rep. Elton Gallegly’s (R) retirement and a more favorable district following redistricting. However, with multiple Democrats running in the all-party primary, there is a chance the party’s vote splinters, allowing state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (I), a former Republican, to advance to the general. Full story

New Jersey: Bill Clinton Endorses Bill Pascrell

New Jersey: Bill Clinton Endorses Bill Pascrell

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:36 p.m. | President Bill Clinton has done it again.

Today he announced he is backing Rep. Bill Pascrell (D) over fellow Democratic Rep. Steven Rothman in their New Jersey primary. This is the third Member-vs.-Member race the former president has waded into — and in each case he has backed the lawmaker who supported his wife in the 2008 presidential race.

Full story

Indiana: New Independent Poll Gives Richard Mourdock a 10-Point Lead

Indiana: New Independent Poll Gives Richard Mourdock a 10 Point Lead

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) trailed his primary opponent by 10 points in a new independent poll released today.

In what will likely be the final independent survey released before Tuesday’s GOP primary, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) led Lugar, 48 percent to 38 percent, in the Howey/DePauw University Indiana Battleground Poll.

The numbers showed Lugar’s dire straits in his quest for a seventh term. A similar poll from late March gave Lugar a 7-point lead over Mourdock, 42 percent to 35 percent.

The poll surveyed 700 likely Indiana GOP primary voters on April 30 and May 1. The margin of error was 3.7 points. Here’s a copy of the full polling memo below:

Rep. Joe Donnelly is the likely Democratic nominee. He’ll face the winner of the GOP primary.

May 3, 2012

Nebraska: Rick Santorum Backs Jon Bruning for Senate

Nebraska: Rick Santorum Backs Jon Bruning for Senate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) threw his support behind state Attorney General Jon Bruning’s (R) primary bid for the open Nebraska Senate seat today.

The endorsement marks the former presidential candidate’s first foray into Congressional politics since dropping out of the national race in April, and it puts him at odds with some conservatives and tea party champions in Washington, D.C. — including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) — who have backed state Treasurer Don Stenberg. Full story

Arkansas: Tom Cotton Gets John McCain Endorsement

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today gave his endorsement to Tom Cotton, who is running for the GOP nomination in Arkansas’ 4th district. Cotton, an Army reservist with an impressive biography and a Harvard Law School degree, may get a boost from the endorsement in his competitive primary with 2010 GOP nominee Beth Anne Rankin.

“Tom Cotton volunteered to fight for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan when he could have continued a promising legal career,”  McCain said in a statement. “We badly need this kind of courage and selfless service in Congress — particularly to address our economic challenges. I’m asking the voters of the Fourth District to send Tom to Congress so he can join the fight for freedom there.” Full story

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