Steve Peoples

Cicilline’s Unpopularity Sparks 2012 Primary Talk

He may be among the most unpopular freshmen in the nation, but Rep. David Cicilline will run for a second term next fall in deep-blue Rhode Island with the firm backing of the Ocean State’s Democratic machine.

Already a broad coalition of key state legislators, municipal officials and Congressional allies have gathered behind the former Providence mayor, who has struggled under a rash of negative news about his handling of the capital city’s finances.

Democrats Run Ad Targeting Chip Cravaack Car Lease (VIDEO)

Updated: 5:18 p.m.

The newly formed Democratic group House Majority PAC will begin airing an attack ad on cable television Friday targeting Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack’s car.

Speaker Jumps Into Open-Seat Race in Connecticut

State Speaker Chris Donovan is expected to launch a Congressional bid today in Connecticut's 5th district.

The Democrat becomes the instant favorite to replace Rep. Christopher Murphy (D), who is running in the open-seat Senate contest. Donovan joins a field that already includes former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

Wisconsin Freshman Goofs on Disclosure Forms

Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) isn’t doing himself any favors.

Duffy, already a top Democratic target, stumbled in trying to fill out a personal financial disclosure form, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which unearthed a series of irregularities.

GOP Regains Financial Footing With Majority

Fundraising numbers released this week signal what could be the beginning of a new era in Capitol Hill's money wars.

Over the past four years, the National Republican Congressional Committee has toiled in the shadow of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's fundraising dominance, an advantage that arrived with the Democrats' House majority and was solidified by the Obama White House. Since 2007, the DCCC has raised, on average, $18.6 million more each year than its Republican rival, excluding loans and lines of credit.

Between the Lines: Schwarz and Schauer Drawn Out of Old Michigan Seat

Republicans plan to pass a new Congressional map that makes Rep. Tim Walberg's (R) district safer for him. But at least one former GOP Congressman from Michigan isn't happy about it.

Former Rep. Joe Schwarz, who lost to Walberg in the 2006 GOP primary, told Roll Call neither he nor former Rep. Mark Schauer (D) are pleased that the GOP's proposed map moves their hometown of Battle Creek in Calhoun County out of the 7th district and into the 3rd district.

NRCC Outraises DCCC in May

The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised its Democratic rival for the month of May, finishing the reporting period with double the cash on hand as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The NRCC raised $4.6 million in May, while reporting $10.6 million in cash on hand and $7 million in debt left over from the 2010 campaign cycle, according to figures obtained by Roll Call.

Buerkle Becomes Democrats’ Prime N.Y. Target

Democrats believe the road back to a House majority runs through New York.

And Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle is perhaps the most vulnerable Republican freshman in a state crowded with GOP freshmen.

Openly Gay Democrat Might Seek New York Seat

The list of potential Anthony Weiner successors is starting to grow.

Lynn Schulman, a Queens Democrat who ran for the City Council in 2009, has been approached by Queens County officials about a potential run, according to the New York political blog “Capitol Tonight.”

Anti-Abortion Group Raps Romney for Not Signing Pledge

One of the nation's most outspoken anti-abortion rights groups is putting an unwelcome spotlight on Mitt Romney's anti-abortion credentials.

The former Massachusetts governor's position on the issue, which has evolved over time, became a distraction during his 2008 run for president. Earlier this week, he stated on national television that he is "firmly pro-life."

Special Election Scramble Begins in N.Y.

Updated: 5:59 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's resignation Thursday creates more questions than answers for the future of New York's 9th district.

Home State Blues: 2012 Contenders Have Tough Climb

In the hunt for the White House, the GOP's leading presidential contenders know they would struggle to win the voters who know them best.

From Minnesota to Massachusetts, the governors and Members of Congress who make up the evolving Republican field acknowledge that a path to general election victory might not include their home states.

Santorum Staffs Up With Loyalists

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has named his national communications team, a group largely consisting of staffers close to the former Pennsylvania Senator.

John Brabender will lead the team as a senior advisor and media consultant. Having worked with Santorum for years, Brabender also worked for several GOP campaigns last cycle, including those of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Sens. David Vitter (La.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.). His résumé also includes work for the Republican Governors Association and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign.

Connecticut Poll: Voters Like Murphy More Than Bysiewicz

Connecticut voters have a more favorable view of Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) than of his Democratic rival in the Nutmeg State's 2012 Senate contest.

Murphy's apparent advantage was outlined in polling released Tuesday by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, a think tank based in Hartford, Conn, that hired Pulse Opinion Research to survey 500 likely Connecticut voters on June 9.

Ex-Rep. Patrick Murphy Asks Supporters to Help

He has been out of office for six months, but House Democrats have recruited former Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy in the fight to rally the liberal base.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee distributed an email from Murphy over the weekend accusing House Republicans of trying to delay or block the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

N.Y. Democratic Chairman Not Joining Weiner Resignation Chorus

Washington’s top Democrats called on Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign this weekend, but the leader of New York’s Democratic Party refused to follow their lead.

State party Chairman Jay Jacobs told Roll Call on Monday that calling for the embattled New York Democrat’s resignation wouldn’t do any good.

2012 Race Steeped in Tea Party
White House Hopefuls Must Woo Activists to Win

Tea party activists are struggling to rally behind a single presidential contender as disparate groups with conflicting priorities balance candidate viability with conservative purity on policies that extend well beyond the spending concerns that spawned the movement just two years ago.

And Republican presidential campaigns are actively courting the grass-roots conservative movement for the passion, money and army of volunteers that fueled massive Republican gains last fall.

Ex-Rep. Chris Shays Interested in Senate Bid

Former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) told Roll Call he is "very interested" in launching a Senate bid to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I).

"We are looking into it very closely," Shays said Friday, noting that he had some personal issues to work out first.

Maine Redistricting On Tap This Year After Court Ruling
Democrats are worried about a court order that will force Maine to redraw its two Congressional districts before the 2012 elections.
The Pine Tree State had been scheduled to finalize a new map by 2013. But this week’s ruling, the result of a lawsuit, forces state leaders to reshape its federal districts by Jan. 1, 2012.
The new timeline would require a change in state law, which gives the new Republican-led state Legislature the ultimate say over the...
Rick Santorum First 2012 Candidate to Run Ads

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) released the first advertisement of the 2012 presidential campaign Friday, another signal that the Republican field is moving into a new gear.
The 60-second radio ad, his first paid spot, will begin running Monday on national satellite radio and later in the week on radio stations in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, according to his campaign.
“Over half of America now receives some sort of government benefit and 40 cents of that dollar that they’re getting, they’re charging their children and their grandchildren for the rest of their lives,” Santorum says in the ad. “That is immoral. That is wrong. Someone has to have the courage to go and tell the American public we can’t afford the government we have now.”

A Santorum spokeswoman would not disclose the cost of the ad buy, but she said it would run for two weeks.