Welcome back to Hotline Sort. The RGA outraises the DGA in the second quarter, CBS reports that Chief Justice John Roberts had a change of heart while deciding his position on the health care law, the DCCC targets ten Republicans with health care robocalls, and Romney jerseys may be coming to a minor league soccer match near you. Here's today's rundown:
9) Taking advertising on soccer jerseys to a whole new level, the New York Times reports that an anonymous donor has paid a minor league New York club to put Mitt Romney's name and slogan on the team jerseys.
8) The DCCC is launching robocalls against nine Republican members and one GOP candidate on the issue of health care. "Congressman Lungren is looking out for himself and the big insurance corporations that fund his campaign, not the middle class," says the speaker in the call running against Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif. The others who are being targeted with DCCC calls are: Reps. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., Robert Dold, R-Ill., Judy Biggert, R-Ill., Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., Anne Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., and IL-13 Republican Rodney Davis.
7) The Seattle Times editorial board endorsed Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna for governor of Washington on Friday, writing that "we believe McKenna has the intelligence, the local knowledge and the strategy to right-size government in a new economic era." An endorsement from the state's largest paper is a boost for McKenna. who needs to win 40 percent of the vote in King County (where Seattle is located) to have a real chance in the fall.
6) Engaged in a tight race against Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, Christie Vilsack came out against the federal health care law's individual mandate provision on Sunday, saying she'd vote against it if given the opportunity.
5) It looks like the scope South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's clout is about to increase. Politico reports he is forming a super PAC, and cutting formal ties to his Senate Conservatives Fund leadership PAC. The super PAC will allow him to spend and raise money without limits. DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund has been an influential force this cycle and last; and unconstrained by contribution limits, he should be able to wield even more power -- by electing more like-minded conservatives.
A big test of the new super PAC is whether it will be up and running early enough to help DeMint-favored Senate candidate Ted Cruz. DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund transferred about $1.2 million to the Cruz campaign coffers.
4) The DGA will announce today that it raised $13 million across all entities in the second quarter of 2012. That haul includes money raised from its affiliated 501(c)4 arm. In the same period, the RGA raised $16.7 million not including money from its affiliated 501(c)4 arm. Neither group released its cash on hand total for the end of the period.
3) As we first reported this morning, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is endorsing Mark Neumann in the Wisconsin Senate race. Neumann's now backed by the Club For Growth and a former president of the Club For Growth. During the stretch run of the Wisconsin race in July and August, look for Neumann to double down on an argument that he is the most fiscally conservative candidate in the race.
2) CBS News reports that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the conservative justices on the court who wanted to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care law, before switching his view. One of the most striking parts of the story is that Justice Anthony Kennedy, viewed as a swing vote, made a month-long effort to bring Roberts back to his original position.
1) Eight days ago, it looked like 21-term Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., had overcome ethics woes and changing demographics in his district to turn back a primary challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.
But on Saturday, CNN reported that following a legal challenge from Espaillat, an unofficial tally from the state Elections Board shows the congressman leading by 802 votes (with all election day ballots counted), with about 2,100 absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be tallied. Rangel's lead looks fairly safe, though not certain, given the number of ballots outstanding
The plot will thicken when the state Supreme Court holds a hearing on Monday to assess Espaillat's campaign claim that city election officials were blocking access to the ballot-counting process . Stay tuned to Hotline On Call this week for more as this story unfolds.
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