Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Posts by Bridget Bowman

69 Posts

October 29, 2014

Convicted Murderer Endorses Lee Terry

Convicted Murderer Endorses Lee Terry

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vulnerable Rep. Lee Terry received an emphatic endorsement Wednesday, but the Nebraska Republican is not likely to tout this show of support on the campaign trail any time soon.

KMTV in Omaha, Neb., reported that at a hearing to examine his competency, convicted murderer Nikko Jenkins shouted, “Vote Lee Terry guys, greatest Republican ever.”

The irony of Jenkins’ statement is that the National Republican Campaign Committee released an ad last week attempting to link Jenkins to the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Brad Ashford.

Jenkins killed four people after he was released from jail early, and the NRCC attempted to tie Ashford’s support of the so-called “good time law” to the murders. “Brad Ashford supported the good time law and still defends it, allowing criminals like Nikko Jenkins to be released early,” the ad’s narrator said.

Terry is struggling to keep his seat as he faces questions about statements he made during the partial government shutdown in 2013. A recent Democratic poll showed Terry trailing Ashford. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race a Tossup.

Related:

NRCC Throws Hail Mary in Nebraska House Race (Video)

New Poll Shows Lee Terry Still Trailing

Meet the House Republican Still Sweating the Shutdown

A Good Year May Not Save These Three Vulnerable House Republicans

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:46 p.m.
Reps

October 28, 2014

Massive Senate Campaign Reports Slow Down FEC (Updated)

Updated 3:47 p.m. | If you’ve been searching through Senate campaign finance reports recently, you’ve probably noticed an unusual message at the top of the Federal Election Commission website.

In bright red text, the FEC cautions visitors that there is a delay in posting third-quarter campaign reports for Senate candidates because the reports, submitted on paper, are larger than usual.

“Total page numbers far exceed all previous election cycles, and the Senate Public Records Office is continuing to process and forward additional campaign reports to the Commission,” the message reads. “FEC staff are processing and posting PDFs of those reports within 48 hours of receipt.” One of the largest reports filed belonged to Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running for Senate in Iowa. His report amounted to more than 26,000 pages. The FEC posted his third quarter report in six different PDFs.

An FEC spokesman said the commission has posted 138,000 pages of third-quarter reports so far. At this time last cycle, the FEC had processed 96,000 pages, meaning there has been a 45 percent increase in size over the past two years.

The spokesman could not speak to the reason for the sharp increase in size, explaining that a contractor inputs the campaign data into an electronic format. The commission will have to wait until it receives the contractor’s data before it determines the cause of the increase.

The bright red message gracing the website was a proactive step to alert reporters that the FEC was aware of the delay and were working to address it. The FEC is now back to its normal schedule for posting the reports within 48 hours of receiving the files from the Senate Office of Public Records.

Senate candidates are required to file paper reports, so they mail them to the public records office, which then scans the paper report and sends it to the FEC, where staff transfers the file into a PDF. The deadline for the third quarter reports was Oct. 15.

“Reporters and other members of the public were looking for reports that had not been posted,” the FEC said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “It seemed expedient to explain why. This is the first time that the FEC has received such a large volume of pages in Senate paper filings in a reporting period, which has caused the delay. Our normal practice is to post PDFs of all paper-filed reports within 48 hours of receipt at the Commission, and we met that goal in the vast majority of cases. Bear in mind that third-quarter Senate filings are still arriving at the FEC, along with pre-general reports covering more recent activity. ”

Correction 5:24 p.m.

An earlier version of this post misstated the options senators have when filing their FEC reports.

Related:

2014 Senate Chart: Third-Quarter Reports

Third-Quarter Fundraising Reports: House Races to Watch

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

October 27, 2014

Cedric Richmond Has ‘Every Intention’ of Pitching Next Year

Cedric Richmond Has Every Intention of Pitching Next Year

Richmond on the mound in 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite impending shoulder surgery, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., said he plans to return to the mound for next year’s Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game and help Democrats hold onto the coveted Roll Call Trophy.

“I do have every intention of pitching in next year’s game,” Richmond said in a phone interview Monday.

The Louisiana Democrat said the surgery to repair a torn labrum, or joint cartilage, and bone spurs in his right shoulder will take place in New Orleans the week after the elections.

But Richmond said if the doctor says he will not be able to play in the annual summer game, he will postpone the surgery to after the 2015 game, giving him an entire year to recover.

Richmond said pitchers typically take a year to rehabilitate from the surgery before pitching again but he was optimistic that he could recover in six months, considering he only pitches once a year.

Richmond helped the Democrats beat Republicans 15-6 by pitching each inning during the game this past June, but he was fighting through pain in his shoulder. His teammates were aware he was struggling, but Richmond said he never discussed heading to the bench. Shoulder pain has plagued him for at least the past three years, but, after this year, enough was enough.

“I’ve been pitching in pain, but it was just unbearable after this past year,” he said.

Though Richmond was adamant he would pitch again next year, he said Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., would be able to fill his cleats on the pitcher’s mound if necessary.

But Richmond plans to return to Nationals Park in June. “I just like the game,” he said, noting that the event also benefits local charities. Richmond also said the game is an opportunity to form bipartisan bonds and boost Democratic morale.

“Although the Republicans control the House,” said Richmond, “this is a great way to build relationships across the aisle and at the same time keep my Democratic friends excited.”

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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Cedric Richmond’s Pitching Arm Threatened by Shoulder Surgery

Cedric Richmonds Pitching Arm Threatened by Shoulder Surgery

Richmond will have surgery after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic baseball star Cedric L. Richmond will undergo surgery after Election Day to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder, threatening the golden pitching arm that has led the Democrats to victory since his first Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

The Times-Picayune reported the surgery Monday as part of an interview with the Louisiana congressman, who said he could not lift his arm for two weeks after this year’s game.

“I suspect some Republicans are going to be excited when they see me walking around in a sling,” Richmond told the Times-Picayune. The surgery is set for some time after Election Day.

Richmond pitched the entire night in the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, helping the Democrats beat their Republican opponents 15-6. Richmond played baseball for Morehouse College and has been a Democratic star since he first took the mound in 2011.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 17, 2014

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins ‘Top Dog’ Competition

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins Top Dog Competition

Hammie greets one of her admirers. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

A 12-week-old English bulldog burst onto the Capitol Hill scene this year, winning the second annual “Top Dog” competition.

Hammie, who can be spotted roaming around the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, beat out nearly 60 other dogs in the online competition for cutest Capitol canine, hosted by constituent engagement firm Fireside21.

The competition garnered more than 80,000 votes (participants could vote multiple times) and Hammie’s owner said the pup, who took 35 percent, had a fan base extending beyond Capitol Hill.

“People were excited about her. Plus my family back home, they voted. And the people who I got her from in Tampa, they voted,” said Hammie’s owner, Corey Hamilton. “Everybody just started voting for her. She’s always out and about. I live on Capitol Hill, too, and so we’re always out and I think that’s what got the word out.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:35 p.m.
Critters

October 14, 2014

Larry Pressler for D.C. Mayor?

Larry Pressler for D.C. Mayor?

Headline from June 11, 1998. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

If Larry Pressler doesn’t win a Senate seat in November, he might think about running for D.C. mayor. It wouldn’t be the first time.

The independent candidate and former Republican senator shaking up the South Dakota Senate race contemplated running for D.C. mayor in 1998, after he lost his re-election bid in 1996 and was working as a lobbyist.

The Daily Kos unearthed an Associated Press report Monday on Pressler’s potential mayoral bid, which cited an interview with Roll Call. So we dug through our archives and found the original interview that splashed the June 11, 1998, front page with the headline: “Pressler Plans Run for Mayor.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:32 p.m.
#tbt, DC, Sens

September 30, 2014

During Recess, Congress Goes to the Dogs

With their tails wagging, Maya and Cash trotted around House office buildings Tuesday to raise awareness for a bill to protect pets of domestic-violence victims.

“If we could do this with all legislation, I think Congress would get more done,” said one delighted Hill staffer in Rep. Alcee L. Hastings’ office when the dogs came through the door.

Cash, a black-and-tan coonhound, had a blue pack on his back holding “Dear Colleague” letters urging members of Congress to support The Pet and Women Safety Act, sponsored by Reps. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The bill expands protections to pets of domestic-violence victims and includes a grant program to incorporate pets into domestic-violence shelters.

The tall hound is a regular visitor in Clark’s congressional office and belongs to the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Brooke Scannell. “He likes to sit in on meetings,” legislative assistant Steve Thornton joked. Full story

September 25, 2014

David Catania Strings Up Muriel Bowser With Puppet Power (Video)

Updated: 1:16 EDT

It’s not easy being green … and a political machine.

No, Kermit the Frog has not become a modern-day Boss Tweed. But a new political ad makes a nod to the Muppets by featuring plenty of puppets and a narrator that is a bright green and yellow puppet contraption dubbed “your political machine.” For good measure, the ad-makers throw in an homage to Alfred Hitchock Presents by making the background music Charles Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette.”

The campaign for David Catania, independent candidate for D.C. mayor and a D.C. Council member, released the ad Wednesday. The minute-long ad has more than 7,000 YouTube hits and takes plenty of swings at Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser, also a member of the council. The machine’s green and yellow colors just happen to mirror Bowser’s campaign colors, and, for that matter, the colors of her predecessor on the council, ex-Mayor Adrian Fenty.

“Why do you support Muriel Bowser?” the political machine asks puppets on the streets of D.C., to which one responded, “Muriel isn’t afraid to speak out, even when she doesn’t quite understand the issue, like neighborhood schools.”

“Don’t be a puppet,” the ad concludes. “Vote Independent November 4th.”

Ben Young of the Catania campaign said the puppet ad was pitched by their digital consultants. Young did not know the exact cost of the ad but he said the ad will not be airing on T.V. He said that the pupeteer’s creations were very intentional, down to making the “political machine” resemble a reel tape recorder, which Young said, “like our political machine is no longer relevant or useful.”

Bowser Communications Director Joaquin McPeek responded to the ad in an email to CQ Roll Call, writing, “The only thing more comical than his puppets is his internal polling.”

 

 

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:28 a.m.
DC, FightingWords

September 17, 2014

Revving the Engines of Bipartisanship

Revving the Engines of Bipartisanship

Biden spoke to the crowd at the reception Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Don’t be too surprised if you see a Mustang and Corvette racing around Northwest D.C … followed by a motorcade of Secret Service officers.

“We agreed to a one loop race around the Naval yard,” former Utah Gov. John Huntsman joked Tuesday evening, saying he challenged Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to a race to see if his Mustang could outpace Biden’s Corvette.

Huntsman, the former GOP presidential candidate and ambassador to China, was joking but that would be certainly one way to bring Democrats and Republicans together, which was the focus of a Tuesday evening reception at the British ambassador’s residence and hosted by No Labels, the organization Huntsman co-chairs that works to bridge partisan divides. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 2:46 p.m.
DC, Parties

September 12, 2014

Bill Maher Names Flip a District Pick

Bill Maher Names Flip a District Pick

Kline is the target of Bill Maher’s Flip a District effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 3:44 p.m. | From now until Election Day, comedian Bill Maher has made it his mission to ensure Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., does not come back to Congress.

On Friday evening, Maher announced Kline as the target of his Flip a District campaign after the six-term Republican garnered the most votes from viewers during a live taping of his HBO program, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.

“I know what you’re thinking: You never heard of John Kline,”  said Maher, who added Kline is “one of those silent threats you never see coming … He’s not funny. He’s just wrong about everything.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:46 p.m.
FightingWords, Reps

September 11, 2014

Republicans Bid Farewell to Bachmann … for Now

Republicans Bid Farewell to Bachmann ... for Now

Bachmann leaves Congress at the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Guess what, Nancy Pelosi? I’m not going anywhere,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told the more than 100 people gathered at her private farewell event Wednesday evening.

Where exactly she is going is still a mystery. But Bachmann will be leaving the House at the end of the 113th Congress, having announced her retirement in May 2013. But on Wednesday night, a sense that the Minnesota Republican would not fade from public life permeated the tributes and discussions among the guests packed into the National Republican Club of Capitol Hill’s Eisenhower Room.

“It was wall to wall people,” one attendee told CQ Roll Call, who also said the guests enjoyed mini crab cakes and other finger foods and some drinks from the bar. The attendee spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event was closed to the press. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:15 p.m.
Parties, Reps

September 5, 2014

Rep. Gwen Moore Arrested During Fast-Food Protest

Rep. Gwen Moore Arrested During Fast Food Protest

Moore was arrested Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., was arrested Thursday afternoon while protesting with fast-food workers during nationwide strikes to raise the minimum wage.

“I take great pride in supporting Milwaukee workers as they risk arrest in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow for their families,” Moore said in a statement following her arrest.

The protest was part of the national “Fight for 15” campaign, in which fast-food workers in more than 150 cities across the country went on strike to fight to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Moore engaged in a sit-in with an estimated 75 to 100 protesters outside of a McDonald’s in West Milwaukee, Wis. According to the West Milwaukee police department, officers responded around noon to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting protesters blocking traffic on a parkway.

After West Milwaukee police asked the protesters three times to leave the road they were occupying, police arrested Moore and 26 other protesters who refused to leave and issued them all citations.

 

“She did not tout that she was a member of Congress,” Moore’s spokesman Eric Harris told CQ Roll Call in a Thursday phone interview, though he noted that people around her pointed out her occupation to police.

According to Harris, Moore and the other protesters were placed in a police truck for about an hour. Moore was then taken to a squad car where she was held for roughly 35 minutes. She and the others arrested received a citation for disturbing the peace. Moore’s citation will cost the congresswoman $691.

In light of the unrest and the shocking police response to protests in Ferguson, Mo., in August, Harris was quick to point out that the police were cordial to the protesters. “The West Milwaukee police were appropriate in how they handled everything,” Harris said. “They handled everything gracefully and appropriately.”

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 11:33 a.m.
Reps

July 28, 2014

Pete Gallego Saves Choking Child During Flight Home

Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, jumped into action during a flight home to Texas on Friday night to help a young boy next to him who was choking on a chicken nugget.

“I had my headphones on and was listening to some news articles,” Gallego told CQ Roll Call during a phone interview Monday, when he heard a commotion next to him.

Beside the freshman congressman was a 3-year-old boy and the boy’s mother, who was also holding a baby. The woman stood up and started shouting, “Oh my God, my son is choking! He’s choking!”

“I turned around quickly and I had to unbuckle his seat belt,” said Gallego. He then put one hand on the child’s back and one on the child’s sternum, and gently pushed forward. “As I did that he turned around to look at me and I ended up with chicken nuggets on my chest,” but the child was alright. Full story

July 23, 2014

Fantasy Baseball Winners Hit a Home Run

Fantasy Baseball Winners Hit a Home Run

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez at the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roughly one month after the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, players and fans have another reason to celebrate their performances at Nationals Park.

The winners of the Roll Call Fantasy Baseball competition were announced Wednesday, granting some coveted prizes to the top three fantasy teams.

As part of the competition, contestants could choose nine players from either team and earn points based on each player’s performances. A player earned 10 points for a single, 20 for a double, 30 for a triple, etc. Full story

July 18, 2014

Rep. Ruiz Assists Passenger During Flight Home

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., was called into action while flying home Thursday when a young woman a few rows in front of him began having a seizure.

A Ruiz spokesperson confirmed Friday that the former emergency room doctor did assist the woman on his flight. Ruiz checked to make sure her condition was not serious enough to warrant an emergency landing.

According to the Daily Caller, the woman Ruiz helped, Lisa De Pasquale, is a columnist for the conservative Breitbart News and Townhall websites. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee saw fit to send out an In Case You Missed It email with Betsy Rothstein’s DC story.

De Pasquale told HOH that she was “very grateful that Congressman Ruiz was there!” In an email, the scribe related that “I didn’t let on to how scared I was that I didn’t remember anything that happened before, during and immediately after the seizure. He sat and talked to me for the remainder of the flight. We talked about religion and books, and nothing about politics. It was great!”

This was not the first time Ruiz lent a hand during an in-flight medical emergency.

In October, Ruiz was headed to Texas when a passenger collapsed during the flight. Ruiz helped stabilize the passenger and, in that case, the passenger’s condition caused the plane to land in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday’s incident occurred during the California Democrat’s typical flight home, which stops in Phoenix. Ruiz’s fellow House member, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was on the flight and witnessed Ruiz assisting the passenger.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Rep. Sinema’s party.

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