What’s sticking out in the flood of fundraising numbers coming out this month? The Hotline found plenty to buy and sell in these reports:
— Senate. The most glaring fundraising disparity of the quarter was in North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan‘s (D) $3.6 million far outpaced the $1.6 million Thom Tillis raised, as the state House speaker toils in an extended special legislative session. The other EMILY’s List nominees in Georgia and Kentucky raised about as much or more. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) outraised Sen. Mark Pryor (D) again, and state Sen. Joni Ernst‘s (R) quarter in Iowa was important considering her previous fundraising struggles — but even though she bested Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), she still has catching up to do in cash on hand.
— House. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) ($742,000) and challenger Andrew Romanoff (D) ($842,000) are both winners: They’re keeping pace with each other and might be the best-equipped opponents out there to define themselves in outside spending-dominated House races. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s (D-FL) continued strong fundraising ($752,000) has helped keep his race quiet, while Rep. Chris Gibson‘s (R-NY) $819,000 quarter was especially important given Sean Eldridge‘s (D) self-funding ability. But further south in New York, Rep. Michael Grimm‘s (R) paltry $71,000 means he might run out of money quickly in the fall — when outside help might not be there, either.
— Governors. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who raised $8.2 million from January through June, is a sound stand-in for the ranks of incumbent guvs vastly outraising their competition. (Mary Burke (D) raised $3.6 million and trails Walker in cash 3-to-1.) Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D) was one of the few to buck the trend. But in Massachusetts, favorite Martha Coakley‘s (D) efforts have been underwhelming, both compared to Democratic rivals and especially to Charlie Baker (R).
Candidate fundraising doesn’t mean what it used to, but it’s still important — and more than a few candidates have something to celebrate or mourn in the recent reports.
— Hotline Staff
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Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."
Conrad Burns, the colorful livestock auctioneer and radio executive from Montana who served three terms as a senator, died on Thursday at age 81. Burns "was ousted from office in 2006 under the specter of scandal after developing close ties to "super-lobbyist" Jack Abramoff," although no charges were ever filed.
In an exchange not ripped from the page of The Onion, Vice President Biden revealed to a Vatican cardinal that he's been betting reporters on which cars are faster. After meeting privately with Pope Francis, Biden met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. Within moments of greeting one another, Biden said that he'd met with the pope and, gesturing to the press pool, "I've met with these guys too." Singling out reporter Gardiner Harris, who recounted the exchange, he said, "I had to pay this man $10. He's from the New York Times. We had a bet: which is the faster car, the newer Cadillac or the new [Tesla]. ... The Tesla's two tenths of a second faster. But I lost. I paid my $10." He joked that he's "seeking absolution."