Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2014

March 26, 2012

Obama Campaign Staffs Up Biden Team

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has hired senior staff to aid Vice President Joseph Biden.

Sheila Nix has been named chief of staff to the vice president; Scott Mulhauser has been named deputy chief of staff; Sam B. “Trip” King III has been named political director; Amy Dudley has been named press secretary; Nora Cohen has been named deputy director of advance; and Virginia Lance has been named scheduler. Full story

Montana: Tester Launches First TV Ad

Montana: Tester Launches First TV Ad

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

Montana Sen. Jon Tester today launched his first TV ad of the cycle, a 30-second positive spot featuring the first-term Democrat back home on the ranch.

“Sitting out here makes the partisanship back there seem pretty ridiculous,” Tester says in the ad. “Montanans don’t care which party gets the credit or the blame. That’s why I’m focused on doing what’s right for Montana — always.”

Full story

March 23, 2012

Pennsylvania: Critz Makes Major Ad Buy

Rep. Mark Critz is about to unleash a $600,000 ad buy in his primary campaign in Pennsylvania’s 12th district , according to the website Keystone Politics.

Critz is locked in a heated Member-vs.-Member primary with fellow Democrat Rep. Jason Altmire.

Critz had about $465,000 cash on hand as of the beginning of this year. That would make this a substantial, all-in buy for Critz about a month out from the April 24 primary.

Roll Call rates this race in the general election as a Tossup.

March 22, 2012

Indiana: Club for Growth Backs Ex-Rep. McIntosh

The Club for Growth backed former Rep. David McIntosh’s (R) comeback bid in Indiana’s open 5th district today.

“David McIntosh has long been a champion of economic freedom, and we are excited to endorse his candidacy,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.

McIntosh is in a crowded field of GOP candidates seeking retiring Rep. Dan Burton’s (R) seat in central Indiana. The club’s support will only boost the former Member ahead of the May 8 primary. Full story

Arizona: Quayle Fires Back at Club for Growth

Arizona: Quayle Fires Back at Club for Growth

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ben Quayle (R) came out swinging today against the Club for Growth.

In a scathing missive, he responded to club president Chris Chocola’s threat Wednesday to Republican House leaders over Quayle’s re-election race.

Chocola threatened to throw all of the group’s support behind Quayle’s primary opponent, fellow GOP Rep. David Schweikert, if leaders showed favoritism toward Quayle. Full story

Indiana: Dick Lugar’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Updated 6:55 p.m. | Sen. Dick Lugar’s (R-Ind.) re-election campaign has seen better days, even this cycle.

The six-term Senator faces a tough primary against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock on May 8, but this must be Lugar’s worst week yet for his prospects. A request for response from Lugar’s team was not immediately returned this afternoon.

In the meantime, here’s the countdown of Lugar’s lackluster week:

1. This morning, former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) chimed in with his support for Lugar on C-SPAN. Conservatives loathe Specter — a former Republican who lost re-election as a Democrat in 2010 — and Lugar’s backers probably wish he kept these four words to himself:

2. Lugar will have to cough up $4,500 to pay back the government for his Indianapolis hotel stays during visits to the Hoosier State, according to a Politico report out this morning. Forget the actual sum: The news underscores Lugar’s residency problems again. He doesn’t own a home in Indiana, and his office made taxpayers foot the bill for his overnight trips —  accidentally, Lugar says.

Full story

Maryland: Donna Edwards Backs John Delaney

Maryland: Donna Edwards Backs John Delaney

Rep. Donna Edwards announced her support of businessman John Delaney in the 6th district race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards today endorsed businessman John Delaney in the 6th district race, putting her on the opposite side of three of her fellow Democratic colleagues.

While it does not carry the stature of a national endorsement from President Bill Clinton, Edwards’ support has strategic and symbolic resonance of its own.

Delaney is facing state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola in what has become a tough Democratic primary. The 6th district was essentially redrawn with Garagiola, who is deeply entrenched with Maryland Democratic insiders, in mind. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is backing Garagiola, along with Reps. Elijah Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger. Full story

Dennis Kucinich to Visit Washington State … Again

Dennis Kucinich to Visit Washington State ... Again

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is heading back to Washington state next month, stoking speculation he might be considering a comeback bid on the West Coast.

Kucinich will address a forum on protecting Social Security at Highline Community College on April 12, according to the group Washington Citizens for Kucinich.

But this may not be just any cross-country speaking trip. Last year, Kucinich flirted with running for a new House seat in the Evergreen State before seeking re-election in a redrawn Ohio district against his longtime colleague, Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

Kaptur walloped Kucinich by a 14-point margin in the Democratic primary earlier this month. But since his defeat, the 65-year-old hasn’t exactly ruled out another run somewhere, at some point in time. Full story

Shop Talk: Andy Stone Joins House Majority PAC

Veteran operative Andy Stone is joining the Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC as communications director, the organization will announce today.

“We are thrilled to have Andy on board,” the political action committee’s executive director, Ali Lapp, said in a statement obtained by Roll Call. “Andy brings many assets to House Majority PAC — his understanding of the House, experience in California — one of our most important states in 2012 — and he knows firsthand what it’s like to be fighting for progressive principles and policies every day.” Full story

Mitt Romney Does Hill Meet and Greet With Jim DeMint

Mitt Romney Does Hill Meet and Greet With Jim DeMint

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) met with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Capitol Hill this morning, an event described by sources as a courtesy call that occurred at the former Massachusetts governor’s request.

Following their one-on-one discussion, DeMint and Romney were joined by a small group of additional Members, sources said. DeMint’s office declined to discuss the meeting but made clear that no endorsement of Romney was forthcoming. DeMint endorsed Romney in 2008 but has declined to back a White House candidate this time around.

“Senator DeMint has made it very clear he’s not endorsing in the presidential primary, he’s simply been meeting with candidates out of courtesy. Senator DeMint is focused on electing principled conservatives to the Senate like Don Stenberg, Ted Cruz, Mark Neumann and Josh Mandel,” DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said in an emailed statement, referring to GOP candidates the Senator has endorsed in Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin and Ohio, respectively.

North Carolina: Larry Kissell Poll Shows Him Under 50 Percent

North Carolina: Larry Kissell Poll Shows Him Under 50 Percent

Rep. Larry Kissell is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll released today by the campaign of vulnerable Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) showed he led his GOP challengers in horserace matchups but didn’t get support from the majority of voters in his newly configured district.

In a head-to-head ballot test with GOP frontrunner Richard Hudson, a former Congressional aide, Kissell received 46 percent to Hudson’s 36 percent. In matchups with neurosurgeon John Whitley and state Rep. Fred Steen, 46 percent of voters said they would vote for Kissell and 35 percent for Whitley and Steen.

Kissell’s name identification district wide is 64 percent, according to the poll, conducted by widely respected Democratic polling firm Anzalone Liszt Research. Full story

North Carolina: Rouzer TV Ad Hits Obama, Emphasizes Bio

North Carolina state Sen. David Rouzer, locked in a contest for the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Mike McIntyre (D), released a TV ad knocking President Barack Obama’s “liberal compass” and then introduces himself as a candidate with “North Carolina values.”

The first 10 seconds of the ad slam the president for spending, debt and unemployment. Then the spot abruptly shifts to a bio spot for Rouzer.

“I was raised to work hard and have faith in the Lord,” he says. “Sen. Jesse Helms taught me how to defend those values, so in Raleigh, I cut wasteful spending and opposed Obamacare. And in Washington, I’ll do the same.”

Full story

March 21, 2012

California: Speier Backs Hahn Over Richardson

California: Speier Backs Hahn Over Richardson

Rep. Jackie Speier (above) has endorsed Rep. Janice Hahn, who is battling Rep. Laura Richardson in a Democratic primary in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jackie Speier (D) is the third sitting Member to endorse Rep. Janice Hahn in her race against fellow Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson in the redrawn 44th district.

“I’m very proud to strongly back her re-election campaign because I know that she’ll continue to advance the causes that her constituents care about,” Speier said of Hahn, who is heavily favored in the race. Full story

California: Race Pits Phil Donahue Against Barney Frank

Former TV talk-show host Phil Donahue is headlining a fundraiser on Capitol Hill tonight for 2nd district candidate Norman Solomon.

Full story

Super PAC Looks for Next Primary Targets

Super PAC Looks for Next Primary Targets

The Campaign for Primary Accountability has targeted Rep. Tim Murphy in his April primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Campaign for Primary Accountability aided freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s victory in Tuesday’s primary, and now the group has set its sights on a few more incumbents.

The super PAC will target Pennsylvania Reps. Tim Holden (D) and Tim Murphy (R) in their April 24 primaries, according to spokesman Curtis Ellis. Full story

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