Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 3, 2015

June 11, 2015

Putnam Partners Hires Longtime DCCC Aide

Kevin McKeon, a Democratic operative who spent four cycles as an aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will join Putnam Partners as a senior vice president, according to an announcement provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“Kevin is an accomplished campaign strategist with the experience to help our candidates and other clients run smarter and more effective campaigns” Mark Putnam, the firm’s founding partner, said in a release. “Kevin brings years of experience at the DCCC helping win tough data driven and aggressive campaigns using the latest technology and analytics.”

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June 10, 2015

2016 Prospects Encouraged to Do the ‘Full Grassley’ in Iowa

Walker greets guests before Ernst's motorcycle ride on June 6 near Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Walker greets guests before Ernst’s motorcycle ride on June 6 near Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Sen. Joni Ernst’s motorcycle ride and barbecue got most of the attention last weekend as Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa, but the state’s senior senator spent plenty of time with the presidential prospects as well.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley isn’t expected to have any trouble winning a seventh term, but he’s taking nothing for granted. He told Roll Call last week he anticipates making appearances with other candidates and said there would be more fundraisers for his own political efforts.

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Senator Discloses Parkinson’s, Still Plans to Run in ’16

Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson has Parkinson's disease, he announced Wednesday.

Sen. Johnny Isakson has Parkinson’s disease, he announced Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:53 p.m. | Sen. Johnny Isakson announced Wednesday that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, but will still run for re-election in 2016. Full story

June 9, 2015

5 Congressional Maps That Redistricting Could Change for 2016

The Supreme Court will decide a redistricting case this month with implications for House members in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court is expected to decide a redistricting case this month with implications for House members in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legal battles over redistricting in nearly a half-dozen states could leave operatives from both parties scrambling to understand a new political landscape in the months leading up to next year’s primary and general-election contests.

The biggest domino in that fight will fall by the end of June, when the Supreme Court is expected to announce whether it is constitutional for an independent redistricting commission to draw Arizona’s congressional map. If the court deems the map unconstitutional, it would upend Arizona’s district lines, and affect other states that also utilize independent redistricting commissions.

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Brian Sandoval Won’t Run for Nevada Senate (Video)

Sandoval is not running for Senate in Nevada. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sandoval is not running for Senate in Nevada. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brian Sandoval, the popular Republican governor of Nevada, announced Tuesday he won’t run for the Silver State’s open Senate seat.

“I have said many times that it is an honor and a privilege to serve as Nevada’s Chief Executive and that I love my job. My heart is in my responsibilities as Governor and continuing to build the New Nevada,” Sandoval said in a statement. “My undivided attention must be devoted to being the best Governor, husband and father I can be. For these reasons, I will not seek the United States Senate seat that will be available in 2016.”

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June 8, 2015

Van Hollen’s Former Staffers to Host Fundraiser

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A number of Van Hollen’s former staffers are contributing to his campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated, June 9, 7:30 a.m. | Along with congressional leadership experience and some high-profile endorsements, Rep. Chris Van Hollen has another source of funds for his U.S. Senate campaign: some influential former staffers.

The “Van Hollen Alumni and Friends” are hosting a fundraiser at Sonoma Bar & Restaurant on Capitol Hill Wednesday evening to benefit the seven-term Maryland Democrat’s campaign, according to a fundraiser invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.  And the host committee list reads like a who’s who of former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffers from Van Hollen’s tenure as chairman for the 2008 and 2010 cycles. Full story

Outside Groups Wage Ad War for Votes on Export-Import Bank

The Club for Growth cancelled its in Stewart's district after he came out against the Export-Import Bank (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth canceled its ad in Stewart’s district after he came out against reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chris Stewart represents Utah’s solidly red 2nd District. And he sounds like it.

“Oh yeah, duh,” he told CQ Roll Call when asked whether he thought the free market could do a better job than the government promoting U.S. exports overseas. “I’m a conservative Republican.” Full story

June 4, 2015

Arizona’s Salmon Bides His Time on McCain Challenge

Salmon said some of his colleagues have been pressing him to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Salmon said some of his colleagues have been pressing him to run for Senate against McCain. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The pressure for Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon to challenge Sen. John McCain doesn’t end with conservative outside groups hoping to unseat the five-term senator.

“Numerous members in the House — and some members of the Senate,” have encouraged Salmon to run in a GOP primary, “which has shocked me greatly,” the congressman told CQ Roll Call Wednesday.

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Sean Eldridge Passes on Another House Bid in New York

Eldridge won't run for a seat that's likely to be open next year if Gibson retires. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eldridge won’t run for the seat Gibson, above, is vacating. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Sean Eldridge, who failed to unseat Rep. Chris Gibson in 2014, told Vanity Fair that he will not mount another bid to represent New York’s 19th District.

The district, which President Barack Obama carried twice, is a top Democratic target, and with Gibson retiring at the end of this term, and Hillary Rodham Clinton likely topping the ticket, Democrats are looking at the open seat as one of their best pickup opportunities. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Tossup.

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Pew Poll: Immigration Pessimism on the Rise

Support for a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants remains strong, but the number of Americans who believe immigrants are a drain on the country is on the rise, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

The center reports 72 percent of Americans said in a poll conducted in May that undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay in the country legally, if certain requirements are met. That result has fluctuated only slightly in recent years, according to Pew.

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By David Eldridge Posted at 10 a.m.
Polling

America Rising Hires Three for 2016

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Howard Berman speaks with staff as they try to keep the prying eyes of a tracker away in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican opposition research firm America Rising will announce Thursday three new additions to its senior leadership team for the 2016 cycle, as well as a handful of promotions, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“America Rising is heading into the 2016 cycle equipped with one of the best teams of researchers and analysts in the game today,” Joe Pounder, president of America Rising, said in a statement. “Many of these individuals helped establish America Rising’s success last cycle, and with their leadership, we will be holding Democrats and the left accountable in 2016.”

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Democrats Frustrated by Unions’ Cash Freeze Over ‘Fast Track’

Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO, which has frozen campaign contributions to Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO, which has frozen campaign contributions to Democrats over a trade bill being debated in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of Democrats’ best team players on the campaign finance front is playing hardball this cycle, withholding campaign cash over a package of trade bills being debated in Congress.

The AFL-CIO, along with some public sector unions, announced a campaign finance freeze in March. Unions hoped the threat of withholding contributions would scare Democratic lawmakers out of supporting President Barack Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track,” to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement labor groups say would hurt manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

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June 3, 2015

Kathleen Matthews Joins Race for Van Hollen’s Seat

Matthews introduces herself to voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Matthews introduces herself to voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The race to succeed Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen in Maryland’s 8th District became even more crowded Wednesday, when former Marriott executive and news anchor Kathleen Matthews announced her candidacy.

“I have spent a lifetime shattering the glass ceiling, advocating for women and children in all of my career work as well as being a strong fighter for human dignity, opportunity, as well as equality,” Matthews said outside the Silver Spring Metro station. “And those are the values that I want to bring to the U.S. Congress.” Full story

June 2, 2015

Kelly Wins Runoff for Mississippi House Seat

Kelly won a special election in Mississippi. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP File Photo)

Kelly had the support of Nunnelee’s widow, and a base of voters from his role as DA in a number of the district’s counties. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP File Photo)

District Attorney Trent Kelly, a Republican, rolled to victory in a special-election runoff in Mississippi’s 1st District Tuesday night, The Associated Press reported.

Kelly, who will succeed the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee, took 70 percent of the vote in his win over Democrat Walter Zinn, according to the AP.

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DNC’s Mo Elleithee Leaving Politics for Georgetown

Elleithee is leaving politics. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elleithee said he is leaving politics “to learn how to do it better.” (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, announced in a post on Medium Tuesday that he’s leaving the DNC to serve as executive director of the newly created Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Service.

“I’m leaving politics to learn how to do it better,” Elleithee wrote. “And I’m counting on young people to show me how.” Full story

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