Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

July 15, 2014

John Boehner Raises More Than $6.2 Million

John Boehner Raises More Than $6.2 Million

Boehner is an Ohio Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio will report bringing in more than $6.2 million in the second quarter across three committees, according to fundraising figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

In that haul, Boehner raised $871,000 for his re-election, $5 million for his nationally focused joint fundraising committee, and $300,000 for his leadership PAC.

Full story

Democrats Try to Turn Cory Gardner Into Todd Akin (Video)

Democrats Try to Turn Cory Gardner Into Todd Akin (Video)

Udall is a co-sponsor on the Senate bill in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats want to make Rep. Cory Gardner the next Todd Akin — but it’s not so easy.

The Colorado Republican is challenging Sen. Mark Udall and putting a pivotal race in play for his party, which must net six seats to win control of the Senate. In response, Democrats have focused their attacks on Gardner on women’s health issues — a topic that has proved to be a land mine for some Republican hopefuls in past races.

On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to have a procedural vote on a measure that would effectively nullify the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed some employers to not offer birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The vote will likely fail, but it’s given Udall a prime opportunity to serve as one of his party’s top voices on the issue in Washington and home in Colorado.

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DCCC Tops NRCC in Second Quarter Fundraising

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee topped its Republican counterpart by $1.3 million in June fundraising and $5.6 million in the second quarter overall, according to figures released Tuesday.

The DCCC’s $10.9 million haul in June was bolstered by digital fundraising efforts tied to the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case and Speaker John A. Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama. The committee ended June with $50.9 million in cash on hand, with four months left to go until the elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $9.6 million in June, according to The Associated Press, and ended June with $42.5 million on hand.

Faced with the cash disparity, the NRCC is making a strong push for members of the House Republican Caucus to pony up their dues to the committee.

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden named Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois as the NRCCs “Battleground Program” chairmen. These members will serve as Walden’s top lieutenants to collect dues from their members.

Democrats hope to cut into the GOP’s 17-seat margin in the House.

Michael Grimm Fundraising Comes to Near Halt in June

Michael Grimm Fundraising Comes to Near Halt in June

Grimm's fundraising has slowed since his indictment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., raised just $23,000 from June 5 to June 30, as he continues to struggle for donations to his troubled re-election campaign in his Staten Island district.

Grimm finished the month with $1 million still in cash on hand but was $439,000 in debt, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

The incumbent faces tough odds for re-election after being indicted in late April on multiple fraud charges. That led to an immediate plunge in campaign contributions, as he raised $47,000 from April 1 to June 4.

And he faces a top Democratic recruit in former New York City Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia Jr. Full story

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Alex Mooney

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Alex Mooney

Alex Mooney was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Republican Alex Mooney on Tuesday in his competitive bid to replace GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia’s 2nd District.

The endorsement could potentially lead to support on the airwaves from the organization, which has already spent more than $14 million on races this cycle, according to numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Senator Alex Mooney has a demonstrated record leading on policies that promote job growth and a flourishing economy,” U.S. Chamber National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a statement. “In today’s economy, it is critical that we have pro-growth leaders like Alex Mooney in Congress.” Full story

Clay Aiken Bests Renee Ellmers in Second Quarter Fundraising (Updated)

Clay Aiken Bests Renee Ellmers in Second Quarter Fundraising (Updated)

Aiken is running for Congress as a Democrat. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:20 p.m. | “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken announced raising $450,000 from April through June for his bid in North Carolina’s 2nd District — more than his Republican opponent, GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers.

The Democrat, who faces an uphill climb to defeat Ellmers and has not yet reported his second-quarter fundraising to the Federal Election Commission, did not release his cash-on-hand total as of June 30. But that haul is a sharp increase from what he raised in the first three months of the year. Aiken had just $74,000 in cash on hand as of April 16, a few weeks before the state’s May 6 primary.

At that point, Aiken was locked in a competitive Democratic primary with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who died one week after the primary after falling outside his home.

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Voters to Pick GOP Nominees in Alabama, North Carolina Runoffs

Voters in Alabama and North Carolina head to the polls Tuesday to choose the Republican nominees in two deeply conservative House districts.

In Alabama’s 6th District, GOP voters have a choice between conservative activist Gary Palmer and state Rep. Paul DeMarco. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., announced his retirement last fall, creating this open-seat race.

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July 14, 2014

Paul Broun Endorses Candidate in Georgia

Paul Broun Endorses Candidate in Georgia

Jody Hice was endorsed by Paul Broun. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Broun, the Georgia Republican who lost a Senate primary in May, endorsed pastor Jody Hice in the July 22 runoff to replace him.

Broun had stayed out of the GOP primary in the 10th District until now, saying he did not want to anoint a successor. But in a Monday radio interview in Georgia, Broun said recent events pushed him to support Hice over businessman Mike Collins in the July 22 runoff.

“Just recently Mike Collins has rejected and repudiated my simple four-way test. … Jody Hice has pledged that he is going to use that same four-way test as he evaluates legislation and Mike Collins just recently said that he rejects that test,” Broun said on Georgia’s Morning News with Zoller & Bryant.

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Louisiana Senate Race Has One Fewer Republican

State Rep. Paul Hollis, a Republican waging a bid in Louisiana’s competitive Senate contest, withdrew his candidacy Monday.

Hollis was running as a more conservative option to GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, as Republicans challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu. His exit provides one less hurdle for Cassidy to advance to a runoff with Landrieu, but Cassidy’s main intraparty adversary remains: Rob Maness, a Sarah Palin-backed retired Air Force colonel.

Candidates have until Aug. 22 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid. Fewer candidates in the race — no matter the party — should give Landrieu slightly better odds of avoiding a runoff.  The top-two finishers in the November jungle primary advance to a December runoff unless a candidate receives a majority of the vote. Full story

NRCC Tasks Members With Collecting Conference Dues

NRCC Tasks Members With Collecting Conference Dues

Scalise is the incoming House Majority Whip. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden announced the names of his top lieutenants in the push for member dues ahead of the fall midterms, according to an internal conference email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Walden named Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois as the NRCCs “Battleground Program” chairs.

“As you know, the Battleground Program is the major dues drive of the year,” Walden of Oregon wrote. “With their enthusiasm and fundraising efforts, I am certain that we will be able to continue our attack on Democrat candidates in for supporting flawed and costly legislation like ObamaCare.”

Full story

July 13, 2014

Rich Candidates, Poor House Districts

Rich Candidates, Poor House Districts

Poliquin is running for Congress in Maine. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

Mo’ money, mo’ problems? That’s the case for a few deep-pocketed House candidates, whose affluence has become a political issue in the districts they seek this November.

Wealth is commonplace in Congress, where one-third of the members are worth more than $1 million. But this cycle, at least four candidates running in competitive House districts boast a personal net worth in excess of $8 million, according to financial disclosure forms. And in the final months of the midterms, their opponents have found ways to use their means against them. 

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same playbook that sunk Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Last cycle, Democrats successfully used Romney’s estimated $250 million net worth — along with his career as a venture capitalist — to convince middle-class voters he didn’t have their best interests at heart. Hillary Rodham Clinton, considering a second presidential bid, has also taken heat recently for talking about financial struggles, despite the hefty speaking fees she earns and her relatively newfound riches.

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July 12, 2014

Terri Lynn Land Targeted in Super PAC Ad in Michigan

Terri Lynn Land Targeted in Super PAC Ad in Michigan

Gary Peters is getting some outside help. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad Saturday aimed at the Republican vying for Michigan’s open Senate seat.

The Democrat-aligned super PAC’s spot, backed by a nearly $650,000 buy and running for two weeks, features three state residents criticizing former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land on issues including tax breaks for the wealthy and women’s health, while labeling Land a “career politician.” Full story

July 11, 2014

House Democrats Have Mixed Reaction to Florida Redistricting Ruling

House Democrats Have Mixed Reaction to Florida Redistricting Ruling

Brown, right, blasted the ruling in the Florida redistricting case. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats on Capitol Hill expressed mixed reactions Friday to a new court ruling that declared Florida’s congressional map unconstitutional.

A judge ruled Thursday that the Sunshine State’s 5th and 10th Districts, held by Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Republican Rep. Daniel Webster were unconstitutional — effectively tossing out the entire map drawn by Republicans in 2012.

It’s still unclear if this means the map will have be redrawn before November. The Miami Herald reported Thursday night that a new map will not be used until 2016. But Democrats remain hopeful changes could come earlier and are making preparations for the 2014 elections to be waged over new lines in the Sunshine State.

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Pryor Starts Reserving Fall Airtime in Pivotal Senate Race

Pryor Starts Reserving Fall Airtime in Pivotal Senate Race

Pryor is ramping up his air war. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor has been buying up fall airtime for a race critical to nearly every hypothetical Republican path to the Senate majority.

The two-term Democrat, who faces the fight of his political life against GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, has so far reserved several hundred thousand dollars worth of TV time for the closing six weeks of the race, according to a media-buying source. The Pryor campaign would not comment on its media strategy, but that’s just an opening salvo in a state already seeing a plethora of spending from outside groups and both campaigns.

Amid a vigorous on-air back-and-forth over tornado disaster relief and religion in the past week, the contours of Pryor’s path to re-election remain unchanged. The Arkansas Democrat is banking that voters’ familiarity with him — and their disbelief that Cotton is on their side — will outweigh the antipathy toward Washington and President Barack Obama.

“Mark’s been around a really long time and his family has been around a long time,” said Sheila Bronfman, a Democratic consultant in Arkansas and longtime ally of the Clintons. “People like him and they trust him. They trust where he comes from and how he was raised, and I just think that’s making a big difference here.”

Full story

July 10, 2014

Judge Tosses Two House Districts in Florida Redistricting Trial

A state judge ruled Thursday two Florida House districts violated the state’s constitution, following a dramatic trial questioning the state’s recently redrawn boundaries following the 2010 U.S. Census.

It is still unclear whether the ruling will affect the 2014 elections.

Judge Terry Lewis ruled the 5th and 10th Districts, held by Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Republican Rep. Daniel Webster, respectively, violated the state constitution’s Fair District Amendments. He said the districts violated the 2010 amendments because they are not compact and were drawn to favor the Republican Party. The judge had some strong words for the Republican operatives and consultants that he ruled influenced the redistricting process.

Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:04 p.m.
Uncategorized

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