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

August 13, 2015

Campaign Finance Reform PAC Wants to Be a Player in 2016

Bennet is one of two Senate race endorsements End Citizens United PAC has made so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bennet is one of two Senate race endorsements End Citizens United PAC has made so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new campaign finance reform political action committee expects to be among the top five outside groups to assist campaigns this cycle. 

End Citizens United PAC has raised more than $2 million from its online supporters since it formed in March and says it’s on track to raise $25 to $30 million to funnel through a yet-to-be-created independent expenditure arm.

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August 12, 2015

Two Democrats Get J Street Help in Maryland Senate Race

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Ever since the major Democratic contest between Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen began for Maryland’s open Senate seat, both campaigns have been wondering who the major liberal Jewish lobby organization J Street would end up helping in the race.

On Wednesday, they got their answer: Both.

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Senate Majority PAC Targets Kelly Ayotte With Early TV Ad

Ayotte is a New Hampshire Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte is under fire by D.C. Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan waits on the sidelines, allies in Washington are not waiting to get involved in what is shaping up to be a hotly contested re-election contest for Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

On Wednesday, the Democrat-supporting Senate Majority PAC released a new television commercial that seeks to combat ads released last month by Americans for Prosperity. A source that tracks campaign ads said the group spent $250,000 on its buy. Full story

August 11, 2015

5 Things We Learned From Claire McCaskill’s Memoir

McCaskill is a Democrat from Missouri. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCaskill’s new book, “Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir,” was released on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s new memoir, “Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir,” dropped on Tuesday, revealing anecdotes from her career in politics in Missouri’s state capitol and the nation’s.

Aside from deeply personal anecdotes and some local intrigue, McCaskill shed light on the inner workings of two nationally watched U.S. Senate campaigns and her dealings with other women in politics. Full story

August 10, 2015

‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Challenges Mike Bishop in Michigan

Gilbert, of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, will challenge Bishop. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Gilbert, of “Little House on the Prairie” fame, announced her first run for electoral office. (Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Actress Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the TV show “Little House on the Prairie,” is running as a Democrat for Michigan’s 8th District, she announced Monday afternoon.

“I’m running for Congress to make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today’s economy,” Gilbert wrote on her campaign site. “I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done.”

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Carol Shea-Porter Files to Run Again in New Hampshire (Updated)

Shea-Porter, who has filed to run for her old seat, is seen here in 2013 speaking to the press after a briefing on Syria.   (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Shea-Porter, who has filed to run for her old seat, is seen here in 2013 speaking to the media after a briefing on Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Updated 4:09 p.m. | Democratic former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has filed to run again for her old New Hampshire 1st District seat, setting up what could be the fourth election between her and GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta.

The conditional factor will be whether Guinta, who has refused to resign over a campaign finance scandal, stays in the race. He could still resign, in which case there would be a special election. Or he could choose not to seek re-election.

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Planned Parenthood Says Shutdown Would Hurt GOP Senators

Planned Parenthood funding could be an issue in next year's competitive Senate races. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Planned Parenthood funding could be an issue in next year’s competitive Senate races. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATE: 3:56 p.m. | If Republicans in targeted Senate races like those in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania vote to defund Planned Parenthood after its recent controversies, polling released by the group claims they could face political backlash of their own.

On Monday, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund unveiled the results of a set of polls conducted last week by Hart Research Associates, which found that nearly two-thirds of likely voters in all three states still support the group — even after an anti-abortion group released videos that appear to show officials from the group speaking callously about the sale and harvesting of fetal tissue.

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Ted Cruz Opens His Playbook for the ‘SEC Primary’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Sen. Ted Cruz said the turnout and raucous reception he received Sunday at a pair of campaign rallies in Alabama reminded him of the Iron Bowl.

With Alabama and Auburn yet again predicted to be the cream of the crop in the Southeastern Conference, the Texas Republican’s 2016 presidential campaign might want to plan now for a tailgate at the college football classic.

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Milton Wolf, Jerry Moran Face Off Ahead Of Possible Primary Challenge (Updated)

Wolf and Moran went head-to-head for the first time on Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wolf went head to head with Moran for the first time on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 4:13 p.m. | As conservative Kansas doctor Milton Wolf considers a Republican primary challenge to Sen. Jerry Moran, he confronted the incumbent Monday over Wolf’s beef with the state’s Republican Party from his last campaign.

Last week, Wolf was cleared by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts from a charge he had divulged privileged patient information on Facebook. That charge was first raised during his 2014 primary challenge to Sen. Pat Roberts, which Wolf believes was furthered by the party’s leadership and Moran.

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Katie McGinty Brings On Ed Rendell as Campaign Chairman (Updated)

Rendell encouraged McGinty to get in the race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rendell encouraged McGinty to get into the race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:56 p.m. | Democratic former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell will chair Katie McGinty’s Senate campaign, her team announced Monday.

“It is an honor to have Governor Rendell as the chair of my campaign. He knows how to win tough races and I appreciate his support and encouragement,” McGinty said in a statement emailed to reporters Monday morning.

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In Kansas, Milton Wolf Mulling a Second Conservative Challenge

Wolf is considering challenging another Senator from Kansas from the right.  (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Wolf is considering challenging another Senator from Kansas from the right. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the view of Kansas doctor Milton Wolf, there might be an illness shared by his state’s two Republican senators: They’re not conservative enough.

Wolf has already once declared himself the cure: In 2014, he led an aggressive, but unsuccessful, primary challenge that placed him within 7 points of Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

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August 8, 2015

Rand Paul Makes His Pitch, Brushes Off Indictments

Paul speaks to supporters at the Pints for Liberty event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul speaks to supporters at a “Pints for Liberty” event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Sen. Rand Paul’s target audience is unique among the presidential contenders. It skews younger and more libertarian.

That may make the Kentucky Republican the ideal candidate to attend a “Pints for Liberty” event, as he did Friday, but Paul says he also thinks that appeal suits him for a long campaign slog. Full story

August 7, 2015

Party Politics: Washington Watches GOP Candidates Debate

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06:  Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush participate in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Donald Trump listen as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answers a question at the FOX News-Facebook GOP debate on Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

While the Republican presidential candidates were on stage in Cleveland, several Washington clubs took on the air of sports bars at debate-watch parties scattered across the city.

Roll Call did the bar crawl and hit those at the National Press Club, the Union Pub and Johnny Pistola’s.

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At Debate Night at the Movies, Cheers for Candidates, and the Moderators

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 6: Charleston area Republicans watch the Republican primary debate at the Mount Pleasant Cinebarre theater during the Charleston County GOP debate watch party in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Charleston area Republicans watch the Republican debate on Thursday at the Mount Pleasant Cinebarre Theater in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — It was a full house at a South Carolina movie house Thursday night for a special show: the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 cycle.

The venue was perfect for a show with bombastic businessman Donald Trump.
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August 6, 2015

Rep. Corrine Brown Files Lawsuit Against Redrawn Florida Congressional Map

Brown filed a lawsuit to try and stop the implementation of a new Florida congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brown filed a lawsuit to try and stop the implementation of a new Florida congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the validity of a proposed redraw of the state’s congressional map, alleging the draft plan violates the Voting Rights Act.

Brown’s lawsuit comes a day after the state legislature released a draft redistricting plan that completely changes her 5th District — a long, spindly seat that meanders from Jacksonville south to Orlando. The current iteration of the district initially sparked the court case that led the state Supreme Court to throw out the map last month.

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