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

Posts in "Nationwide"

October 30, 2014

Jared Polis Completes Jury Duty

Rep. Jared Polis has now, officially, sat in judgment of his fellow man. The verdict: Jury duty is A-OK.

Jared Polis Completes Jury Duty

(Courtesy Jared Polis)

The Colorado Democrat Tuesday got tapped to report to Boulder County Court. He spent Wednesday hashing out the particulars of the assigned case — a minor dust-up involving ownership of a dangerous animal — with his fellow panelists.

“All of the jury members were very thoughtful, and we were unanimous in our verdict,” Polis said in an email about his vote to acquit the pet owner in question.

The sequester-free experience marked Polis’ inaugural visit to a jury box. “For all six of us, it was our first time,” he noted.

Although his schedule was predictably full (something about an election next week … ), Polis appears to have emerged from the brief stint ever-appreciative of democracy in general.

“Serving on a jury is one of those things like voting; it’s a responsibility of citizenship. Even when it’s not convenient, it’s our responsibility to our justice system and to our country,” he said via email. “It was an honor to be able to serve, even though it came at a very challenging time.”

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 29, 2014

Ohio Natives Stump for James Traficant Flick

C-SPAN’s most prominent space cadet may be gone. But a handful of still-spellbound Ohioans — including Rep. Tim Ryan — simply cannot stop talking about larger-than-life former lawmaker James A. Traficant Jr.

Ohio Natives Stump for James Traficant Flick

Traficant (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fledgling filmmaker Eric Murphy attempts to deconstruct the unbelievable life of the late Ohio Democrat in his evolving documentary, “Traficant: The Congressman of Crimetown.”

The long-running project, which Murphy hatched roughly half a decade ago, aims to shine a light on the two mindboggling chapters of Traficant’s career: His meteoric rise as the mob-baiting sheriff of Youngstown, Ohio, who later beat an FBI-led bribery sting, followed by his arrival on Capitol Hill and subsequent fall from grace due to a fresh set of corruption charges.

Murphy has taken to Kickstarter to raise the capital required to sew up the mostly finished flick (he wants to add music and do some polishing); with over a month to go on his fundraising campaign, Murphy is more than half-way toward reaching the $17,500 goal posted online. Full story

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

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October 27, 2014

We Were Told There Would Be No (Fundraising) Math

There’s just a week and a day to go until Election Day, which means we may be able to save our inbox from fundraising spam hell in just a few short days.

Although HOH tries desperately to pay politics no mind, activists from across the ideological spectrum continuously flood our email (just like yours) with panic-ridden pleas for just enough cash to save a candidate from professional doom if we just ACT NOW!

This year’s midterm elections are shaping up to be a down-to-the-wire contest, with control of the Senate very much in play. A potential downgrade to minority status has a handful of Senate Democrats on high alert, perhaps none more so than Mark Pryor. Full story

October 22, 2014

Bobby McKenzie Slams ‘Foreclosure King’ in New Campaign Spot

Democrat Bobby McKenzie utilizes an age-old TV favorite — the (overly) dramatic re-enactment — to shame Republican primary winner David Trott for making a buck off financially distressed Michiganders.

The new ad, which Team McKenzie began broadcasting Wednesday in the Detroit market, continues a line of attack the Freedom’s Defense Fund political action committee employed (unsucessfully) against Trott earlier this year to try and save Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., from becoming a short-timer.

McKenzie one-ups FDF’s static recapping of the 2011 eviction of the now-late Texana Hollis, a centenarian who was forced out of her home on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Trott & Trott handled part of the deal), by showing a pair of shadowy thugs bursting through a defenseless old lady’s door and rolling the confused, wheelchair-bound invalid right out onto the street.

Full story

October 21, 2014

Scott Brown Writes Off Bay State Naysayers

Senate hopeful Scott P. Brown has no interest in what non-believers from his former home state have to say about his bid to topple New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

“I’m not gonna worry about what, you know, somebody from Massachusetts thinks about a New Hampshire race,” the one-time Bay State Republican assured Boston radio show host Howie Carr Tuesday. Full story

Politicians Opt to Swap Sweets, Brews and ‘Cue in World Series Bets

Whichever club clinches the best-of-seven World Series — be it the back-after-nearly-three-decades Kansas City Royals or the ring-collecting San Francisco Giants — stands to earn their respective congressional delegations a humdinger of a celebratory feast.

Democrats in both chambers have seized on the season-ending baseball saga (Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri) as an opportunity to talk smack to one another and trumpet their most prized regional spoils.

Over in the House, Minority Leader and self-styled cacao connoisseur Nancy Pelosi of California would presumably treat Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II of Missouri to a basket of gourmet confections should the Royals complete their Cinderella story.

A Pelosi aide confirmed that she has, in the past, rewarded others with samples of Ghirardelli and TCHO creations. “But of course we don’t plan on giving up any chocolate,” Team Pelosi suggested.

Cleaver has countered with the promise of a president’s platter from Gates Bar-B-Q, which is renowned for its pork ribs and burnt ends.

“I don’t usually gamble, but I will make an exception and wager some of the finest barbecue Kansas City, Missouri, has to offer,” Cleaver said in a statement. “Victory shall be sweet indeed.”

Full story

October 20, 2014

Jason Chaffetz’s Stolen Moments

Rep. Jason Chaffetz doesn’t like being away from Washington, D.C.

He loves it.

The aversion to #ThisTown, one might be surprised to learn, has nothing to do with the hyperpartisanship plaguing the current Congress or the mania surrounding the upcoming midterm elections.

The guy simply prefers basking in the glory of nature. And he strives to preserve those fleeting memories by capturing all he can through the lens of his digital camera.

Jason Chaffetz’s Stolen Moments

(Courtesy Rep. Jason Chaffetz)

“Mostly I like photographing wildlife. It’s a little more adventurous,” the Utah Republican told HOH about his penchant for sneaking shots of stunning creatures in their natural habitats.

The avid outdoorsman compared photo stalking with hunting — “I like hunting, but you can’t always get a permit or a tag. You can always have permission to go out and try to photograph an elk,” Chaffetz suggested — sans the bloodshed, of course. Full story

October 17, 2014

NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

Northern Virginia Democrats on Thursday rallied around retiring Rep. James P. Moran at the sold-out 21st Annual Kennedy-King Dinner, a political fundraiser focused on feting progressive leaders and civil rights champs.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly took the opportunity to commemorate his long-serving colleague by presenting Moran with a flowery tribute destined to be woven into the fabric of the Congressional Record during the post-election lame-duck session.

NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

(Courtesy Team Connolly)

“It is impossible to crystalize the entirety and the enormous impact of Jim Moran’s political career on our lives here in Northern Virginia … and on our nation,” Connolly reportedly assured the crowd huddled together at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Per an attendee, House hopeful and Moran’s presumed replacement, Don Beyer, paid tribute not only to his predecessor, but also heaved rhetorical laurels at one-time Moran aide and renowned Democrat strategist, the late Mame Reiley.

“I have just been blessed to be able to represent the people of the 8th District for 24 years,” Moran told the assembled well-wishers.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 16, 2014

Dream Defenders Out ‘Vote or Die’ Diddy

Back when he was still somewhat culturally relevant, Sean “INSERT NONSENSICAL NICKNAME HERE” Combs attempted to herd disenchanted youth into the election booth by spearheading the hyperbolic “Vote or Die” project.

A band of Florida-based activists known as Dream Defenders is sounding a similar alarm leading into the upcoming midterms. But its message is deadly serious.

DD, which rose to prominence in the aftermath of the killing of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, is urging minorities to protect themselves from future gun violence via the provocative “Vote or Vest” campaign.

Full story

October 14, 2014

Hillary Clinton Fan Achieves Sheer Ecstasy

“Ma, hurry and pull the car around!”

Hillary Clinton Fan Achieves Sheer Ecstasy

(Screenshot)

“I got her! I really got her!”

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 9, 2014

Old Rick Weiland Medicine Show Hopes to Strum to Senate

Rick Weiland, the former Hill staffer hoping to return to D.C. as the next Democrat to serve South Dakota in the Senate, has suddenly found himself thrust into the spotlight thanks to a trio of quirky campaign songs that have actually been a long time coming.

Weiland released his first political song parody, set to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere,” earlier this spring.

“I just got the idea that this was perfect for the campaign,” Weiland said of the a-ha! moment he had while rolling around the Mount Rushmore State while listening to the Man in Black. Full story

October 7, 2014

Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Read on Joe Biden

It’s no wonder Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. feels like he’s been reduced to a living, breathing punchline.

According to a handful of Californians, the man who is currently a heartbeat away from becoming commander in chief could just as easily be mistaken for a Republican, a terrorist or a supporting character from “Pineapple Express.”

Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Read on Joe Biden

(Screenshot)

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel uncovered the utter lack of name recognition that dogs the VPOTUS by posing a simple question to Los Angelenos: Who is Joe Biden?

“He’s like the assistant president, or something,” was the best this civics-challenged sample of the population could come up with.

Biden is out west raising money for the party, and is expected to roam around the city later today.

To wit, if L.A. wants to get to know the ′Vette-loving Delawarean a little better, somebody ought to open up a Capriotti’s ASAP.

Related Stories:

 

Official Transcript of Biden Event Excludes ‘Bitch’ Quip

 

Congress, Motivated by Joe Biden

Biden Stumps For Capriotti’s Subs

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.

Lee Terry Erroneously Courts New Constituency

Lee Terry Erroneously Courts New Constituency

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It would appear that Rep. Lee Terry, if only for a second, was up for making new friends on the World Wide Web.

As astutely theorized by Omaha-World Herald scribe Matthew Hansen, the Nebraska Republican randomly expressed his gratitude to a well-established gay and lesbian community in the Windy City instead of presumably thanking the youth-oriented outfit he’s championed in the past.

 

 

A simple mistake, no doubt.

Terry and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., had, apparently, been in contact with the nonprofit children’s group a day before.

 

Full story

Kirsten Gillibrand’s Book Tour in Political Territory

Kirsten Gillibrands Book Tour in Political Territory

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Andrea Mitchell, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Connie Britton, Gloria Steinem and Sen. Cory Booker. These are some of the folks Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has hung out with as part of the publicity tour for her book, “Off the Sidelines: Raise your Voice, Change the World.”

Since the book’s Sept. 9 launch in Manhattan, the New York Democrat has gone coast to coast this political season, touching down to talk about her political memoir, often side by side with a compatriot who embodies the book’s message for women to get involved in public life.

Full story

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