Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 17, 2014

February 6, 2012

California: AFSCME Picks Berman Over Sherman

California: AFSCME Picks Berman Over Sherman

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

Rep. Howard Berman (Calif.) has won the endorsement of a second major labor union in the last month for his primary battle with fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman.

The California arm of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees announced it is backing Berman, who “has been a tireless advocate for the rights of public employees, defending workers’ rights in the courtroom as a labor lawyer and working to achieving collective bargaining rights for thousands of California public employees during his tenure in the state Legislature,” said Barbara Blake, an executive board member.
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Kentucky: Redistricting Plan Prompts Plea From Andy Barr

Lexington, Ky., attorney Andy Barr, who lost his 2010 bid against Rep. Ben Chandler (D) by 647 votes, blasted out an urgent request to supporters Monday asking for their voice in stopping a redistricting bill.
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Utah: Mailers Hitting Both Sides in GOP Primary

Utah: Mailers Hitting Both Sides in GOP Primary

Sen. Orrin Hatch has been supported by advocacy group Freedom Path in his quest for re-election in Utah. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two outside groups were filling Republicans’ mailboxes recently with contrasting views on candidates in Utah’s Senate race.

Several Republicans, including former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod, are challenging Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) from the right, while conservative groups FreedomWorks and Club for Growth are actively pursuing his defeat. Full story

Texas Redistricting: Deal or No Deal?

Texas Redistricting: Deal or No Deal?

Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco would get a boost under Texas' latest redistricting plan, because his 23rd district would get more Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Texas attorney general announced both parties reached a compromise map in the Texas redistricting case today — hours before the court-mandated deadline to keep the April 3 primary.

But the majority of the plaintiffs say there’s no compromise yet, and a federal court in San Antonio suggested it agrees.

Texas will pick up four House seats in 2012 because of population growth, mostly in the Hispanic community.

Lone Star State GOP lawmakers passed an aggressive new Congressional map last year, but the plan has been stuck in court as the state seeks pre-clearance approval under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

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Giffords Endorsement Talk Swirls Around House Staffer

Giffords Endorsement Talk Swirls Around House Staffer

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Pool)

In Tucson, Ariz., all anyone in politics is talking about is the special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

And that discussion has focused on one man, Ron Barber, who currently works for the 8th district’s interim Congressional office and was one of the staffers injured during the January 2011 shooting rampage.

“We’re hearing that there’s a strong likelihood that Ron Barber will be announcing in the next few days,” Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Rogers said. “It’s not certain yet, but it seems likely.”

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Arizona: Quayle Opts to Run Against Schweikert

Arizona: Quayle Opts to Run Against Schweikert

Rep. Ben Quayle will run in Arizona's 6th district, setting up a Member-vs.-Member battle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s finally on. Rep. Ben Quayle (R) made official what many Arizonans speculated for months: that he will run against fellow Republican Rep. David Schweikert in the race for Arizona’s 6th district.

“The work of Arizona’s redistricting commission has placed many people in difficult positions, but at the end of the day my choice is to continue representing the people I represent today,” Quayle said in a statement on his website. “The large majority of them are in District 6, and their values are my values.”

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Pennsylvania: FreedomWorks to Back Tim Murphy’s GOP Opponent

FreedomWorks will back Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R) primary challenger, former Capitol Hill aide Evan Feinberg, on Tuesday, according to local GOP sources.

The conservative activist group announced Monday it would hold a press conference near Pittsburgh to make an “important announcement regarding” the race for the 18th district.

Jacqueline Bodnar, a spokeswoman for FreedomWorks, would not confirm the Feinberg endorsement to Roll Call. In an e-mail, she said the top official for the group’s political action committee will join “multiple local tea party and limited government groups” at the press conference “on specifically how we plan to help our activists out in the Congressional race.” Full story

Michigan: Hoekstra Doubling Down on Controversial Super Bowl Ad

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) defended his controversial Super Bowl spot, telling reporters Monday that the ad targeting Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) doesn’t “criticize the Chinese at all.”

Hoekstra’s advertisement has come under fire for its stereotypical depiction of a young Chinese woman riding her bike through a rice paddy field and speaking broken English.

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Maryland: Hoyer to Endorse Garagiola

Maryland: Hoyer to Endorse Garagiola

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer will endorse Maryland state Sen. Robert Garagiola this week. (Douglas Graham/ CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is set to endorse Maryland state Sen. Robert Garagiola this week, Roll Call has confirmed.

Garagiola has been running as the party establishment candidate in the state’s 6th district Democratic primary, and the Hoyer endorsement will further add to his frontrunner status.

Garagiola is seeking to challenge Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R). Bartlett has cruised to re-election in recent cycles, but redistricting put his seat in danger. Full story

February 4, 2012

Obama, House Republicans Try to Put Points on the Board

Obama, House Republicans Try to Put Points on the Board

Rep. Patrick Meehan, delivering the GOP's weekly address, said Congress should extend the payroll tax cut for a full year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In their weekly addresses, both President Barack Obama and House Republicans tried to put some legislative points on the board.

As the 2012 elections heat up, both the White House and its Republican opponents are pushing targeted legislative initiatives that could pass — or at least put the other side in a tough spot.
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February 3, 2012

Missouri Court Decision Dings Carnahan

A Missouri circuit court today ruled against a group of citizens hoping to overturn the Show-Me State’s Congressional redistricting maps on the grounds that they did not meet state constitutional muster.

That’s bad news for Rep. Russ Carnahan, whose current district was essentially eliminated in last year’s redraw. The new map puts him in the same district as fellow Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay, setting up the potential of a Member-vs.-Member race.

Carnahan, a four-term Congressman, supported the plaintiffs’ case and had hoped for a court to draw him a new district where he could comfortably run.

The plaintiffs argued that the new lines, passed over the Democratic governor’s veto, did not meet the state constitutional requirement for compactness. The circuit court had earlier dismissed the case but the state Supreme Court ordered the lower court to look at the merits of the compactness claim more closely. The court did that over the course of a short trial and, today, the judge tartly decided not to rule in the plaintiffs’ favor. Full story

Florida: Redistricting Plan Moves to the Senate

The GOP-controlled Florida state House passed a Congressional redistricting map today, moving the Republican-friendly lines one step closer to becoming law.

The map passed by a margin of 80 to 37. The lines are identical to the version passed out of the House Redistricting Committee that solidifies the substantial GOP advantage in the delegation. The map can be seen here and is expected to pass the state Senate and be signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott (R) soon. Full story

Freedom Path Mailer Hits Orrin Hatch Challengers

An outside group that’s aired two statewide TV ads that promote Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s conservative credentials has now taken a more aggressive approach in assisting the six-term Republican’s re-election.

Freedom Path, a 501(c)(4) issue advocacy organization, is out with a direct mail piece that informs voters about legislation it says former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod supported last year that blocks access to public records. The ad makes no mention of Hatch or the Senate race, but they happen to be challenging Hatch.

“Politicians Dan Liljenquist and Chris Herrod,” the mailer reads. “Special Interests’ Dream. Utah Taxpayers’ Nightmare.” Full story

Morning Roundup: Peacing Out

Morning Roundup: Peacing Out

From left: Retiring Blue Dog Reps. Heath Shuler, Mike Ross and Dan Boren. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Much has been written this cycle about the dwindling number of Blue Dog Democrats in the House. The group’s membership bore the brunt of the Democrats’ 2010 shellacking, and so far this Congress seven Blue Dogs have announced they won’t be back or are already gone — four are retiring, one is running for Senate and ex-Reps. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.) and Jane Harman (Calif.) resigned. Three of the four retiring are pictured above.

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.) became the latest Blue Dog to head for the exit Thursday, when he announced that after recently reflecting on his political career, he had decided he doesn’t want to return to Congress. “I feel very confident there’s going to be 20 others that take our place next year,” he told Roll Call’s Jessica Brady and Daniel Newhauser shortly after releasing his news Thursday. Full story

Maine: Democratic Poll Shows Michaud With Big Lead

Maine: Democratic Poll Shows Michaud With Big Lead

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Michaud has a solid lead over his Republican challenger in Maine’s 2nd district, according to a poll commissioned by the Democratic lawmaker’s campaign.

Michaud led state Senate President Kevin Raye (R) 55 percent to 32 percent in the poll conducted by Democratic polling firm Normington Petts. The survey also showed Michaud with a favorable/unfavorable rating of 51 percent/19 percent and with 88 percent name identification in the redrawn district.

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