| Ward Baker

February NRSC Monthly Roundup

“Prolific Senate spells trouble for Democrats in 2016”

“Prolific Senate spells trouble for Democrats in 2016”

In a must-read piece, Politico explains that with the productivity of a Republican-led Congress, our majority has effectively deprived Senate Democrats of a campaign message:

"In their bid to retake the Senate, Democrats long planned to paint Republicans as irresponsible stewards of government who threatened shutdowns at every turn.

Those plans have largely been dashed — by a relatively productive Senate. And that’s left the minority grasping for a compelling case to make to voters for ousting the GOP majority."

Yet, far more importantly, our majority has provided the American people with legislation – with solutions, to grow our economy and to strengthen our national security.

As Democrats grasp for a message, we at the NRSC continue to work tirelessly – just like the majority we are determined to protect.

The NRSC conducted field schools in Arizona, Kansas and Missouri in February, training over 250 staffers, interns, and key volunteers on best practices in grassroots campaigning and data in the 2016 cycle, incorporating the lessons learned in 2014 and the new technology they will be utilizing this cycle.

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Also our staff has been out helping Senator Shelby in his race in Alabama.

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We hit the airwaves again this month, with television ads in both Missouri and Nevada. The spots highlight Catherine Cortez Masto’s out-of-state trips – paid for by special interests looking to buy influence, and Jason Kander’s misplacement of taxpayer dollars.

In case you missed it, take a look at our ads:

"Jason Kander’s Spending Party"

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"Around The World With" Catherine Cortez Masto

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Check out some of our candidates’ top Instagram photos from the past month…

@johnmccain: Sun☀️ and Signatures on a beautiful Arizona Saturday. #azsen #teammccain #azpolitics #azwx #youngrepublicans #phoenix #azsen

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@royblunt: I’m humbled to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We owe our way of life to the bravery and dedication of our nation’s veterans, and we can never stop finding ways to improve their lives. Thank you all for this honor.

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@kirkforsenate: #KirksBattleBuddies conquered another enormous set of stairs today at the #HustleUpTheHancock stair climb. We’re proud to overcome our physical challenges for a good cause. #ILSEN

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@senrobportman: Keeping the tradition alive! Valentine’s at Jane’s favorite Skyline Chili.

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Thank you for all that you do.

Ward Baker

NRSC Executive Director

P.S. If you would like to receive daily updates from our Communications Department please email Andrea Bozek at [email protected] to sign up for our Morning Business email.

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To The States…


Alaska Dispatch News reported that Senator Lisa Murkowski’s first campaign ad features endorsements from three Iditarod mushers.

The Christian Science Monitor praised Senator Murkowski – calling her efforts "a picture of how bipartisanship works."

Alaska Dispatch News reported that Murkowski led a field hearing in Bethel to examine energy innovation in high-cost areas of the country.

The Associated Press reported that former Senator Mark Begich will not run for office in 2016.


The Arizona Daily Star reported that Senator John McCain far "outpaces others in fundraising."

Cronkite News also reported on Senator McCain’s "enormous advantage" as he "easily outdistanc[ed] challengers" in fundraising.


Thanks to Senator Michael Bennet and his opposition to legislation that would have prohibited the transfers, the Associated Press reported that Gitmo detainees could be headed to Colorado.

  • Politico Pro reported that at a recent Christian Science Monitor breakfast, the NRSC dubbed Bennet “Senator Gitmo.”

Colorado Peak Politics reported on Senator Bennet’s continued silence on President Obama’s energy tax.


The Miami Herald reported that just like in 2012, "Privileged Patrick" Murphy’s super PAC is being bankrolled by his dad.

  • Politico Pro: "…relying on a most traditional source of cash: dear old dad."

The Miami Herald also reported that like the Progressive Democrats of America, liberal icon Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorsed Alan Grayson over Murphy.

Sunshine State News reported that the NRSC continued to expose "Privileged Patrick" as he sprints to the left.

Sunshine State News also asked: "Why Isn’t Senate Candidate Patrick Murphy Under Investigation?"

One of Murphy’s most influential donors – Harry Reid, hit the panic button by inserting himself in the messy primary battle. Independent Journal Review reported on Grayson’s scathing response to Reid’s preference for the "corrupt Establishment errand boy.”

Roll Call reported that Grayson also attacked Murphy for owning a stake in "an anti-union construction company."

Florida Politics reported that yet another poll shows Grayson leading Murphy.

Florida Politics also reported that the president of the Florida Democratic Progressive Caucus blasted the state party for "trying to shove Murphy down the throats of all state Democrats."

Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi hung Murphy out to dry as WRDQ reported that she stands behind Grayson amid his ethics investigation.


The Associated Press reported that another one of Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s Democrat colleagues endorsed Andrea Zopp. Congressman Bobby Rush joins Danny Davis, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Michael Madigan, Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers, the Cook County Democratic Party, Michael Sacks – Mayor Emanuel’s “go-to-guy,” and the chiefs of staff for both Barack and Michelle Obama in refusing to endorse Duckworth.

Congressman Davis also explained to CLTV that Zopp is "more focused" than his colleague, Duckworth.

Meanwhile, The Hill reported on Zopp’s continued momentum as "not everyone has flocked" to Duckworth’s candidacy.

Roll Call reported that Senator Mark Kirk’s campaign launched a new TV ad exposing Duckworth’s reckless support for accepting 200,000 refugees – 20 times more than President Obama.

Roll Call also reported on Duckworth’s dangerously ignorant claims on the radicalization of Muslims.

Illinois Radio Network reported that Zopp bashed Duckworth for her “safe politics.” Duckworth announced her support for President Obama’s nuclear deal with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism just two days before the House vote.

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Duckworth’s faux Wall Street outrage as she privately buys stocks in the very companies she publicly criticizes.

Senator Kirk received an "A" grade from the Illinois Education Association.

The Washington Post reported on Senator Kirk’s renewed efforts to pause Syrian refugee admissions amid fears of fake passports.

Meanwhile, Crain’s Chicago Business called Congresswoman Duckworth’s Syrian refugee proposal "wild-eyed."

Reuters reported on Senator Kirk’s bipartisan legislation to boost electronic warfare technology.

A member of the Chicago Tribune‘s editorial board wrote that at the first debate between Duckworth, Zopp, and Napoleon Harris, "Democrats punt[ed] on entitlements."

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune also wrote that "Zopp zaps Duckworth in final Democratic U.S. Senate debate."

The Washington Examiner reported that despite talking a big game on the Flint water crisis, Congresswoman Duckworth skipped the Safe Drinking Water Act vote.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the "charges that Kander was flip flopping" on President Obama’s dangerous Guantanamo proposal.

KOLR reported that Senator Roy Blunt officially launched his re-election bid this month in Springfield.

The Hill reported on Senator Blunt’s letter asking the Obama administration to provide details regarding the timing of the $1.7 billion given to Iran.

KRCG reported that Senator Blunt was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Missouri VFW for his commitment to veterans and their families.

KMIZ reported that Senator Blunt visited the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute to express his gratitude for firefighters and their important work.


KTVN unloaded on Catherine Cortez Masto for being "difficult" to reach.

Gray Television reported on Dr. Joe Heck’s efforts to ease the financial aid application process.

KKOH reported that Dr. Heck’s Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act – legislation to combat veteran homelessness, passed the House.

The Nevada Appeal wrote that as a doctor, a brigadier general, a businessman, community volunteer, and congressman, "Dr. Heck brings wealth of experience to Nevada race" with an "impressive resume."

KOLO-TV reported on Dr. Heck’s efforts to ensure that emergency medical teams can continue administering life-saving medication.

A new One America News Network poll showed Dr. Heck leading Cortez Masto.

New Hampshire

Given her reckless budget veto and failed drug czar, the New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board wrote that the outlook for "Governor Gridlock" Maggie Hassan "is not so good."

The Union Leader editorial board also blasted Hassan for "essentially canceling out the votes of more than 9,000" Granite Staters.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that as Hassan refused to deny her "stealth campaign," a supporter attempted to physically block the questioner.

The Hill reported that as national security emerges as a top issue in the Senate race, Hassan has been criticized for her silence on foreign policy issues.

Senator Kelly Ayotte penned an op-ed in the Union Leader on her commitment to holding the Department of Defense accountable for wasteful spending.

The Telegraph editorial board wrote that "Hassan will need to show NH more" after she "stuck to her usual talking points" in the state of the state address.

Following Bernie Sanders’s victory over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza named Hassan among the biggest losers of primary.

The Telegraph also wrote that Senator Sanders’s overwhelming victory "showcased a rift voters had with high-ranking Democratic figures in the state."

In a must-read piece, Refinery29 interviewed Senator Ayotte about her passion for empowering women.

As the Pentagon prepared to release its plan to close Gitmo, WMUR-TV reported that Senator Ayotte reaffirmed her commitment to fighting the dangerous move.

North Carolina

Politico reported that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr launched his first TV ad. The spot highlights Senator Burr’s strong record on national security.

Senator Burr penned a Daily Caller op-ed on his efforts to stop the IRS from rehiring employees who get fired.

The Fayetteville Observer reported on Senator Burr’s bipartisan legislation to stiffen background checks for military day care facilities.

The Fayetteville Observer also reported that Senator Burr helped introduce a pilot program to support military families and youth resiliency.

The Asheville Citizen‑Times reported that Senator Burr condemned President Obama’s dangerous plan to close Gitmo.


Politico reported that New Leadership for Ohio – the super PAC backing P.G. Sittenfeld, launched four new ads attacking "Retread" Ted.

The Blade reported on the concern among Democrats over "Retread" Ted’s record and candidacy. Former Ohio Democratic chairman Jim Ruvolo declared that “…Ted Strickland can’t” beat Senator Rob Portman.

After he endorsed Sittenfeld, former Governor Richard Celeste sat down for an interview with WKYC – during which he said, “I’m frankly disappointed that Governor Strickland hasn’t agreed to debate P.G.,” and, “I think it’s a disservice to both the democratic process and the voters.”

The Sandusky Register reported that only Sittenfeld showed up to what was supposed to be a Democratic debate.

The Canton Repository published an editorial blasting "Retread" Ted for refusing to participate in primary debates – calling it "a disservice to the voters."

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Senator Portman "leads Strickland 6-to-1 in campaign cash."

A day after noting that Strickland “has been AWOL in his own campaign,” The Blade blasted "Retread" Ted for his refusal to debate.

The Morning Journal News editorial board wrote that "Strickland’s tenure remains a bad memory for many Ohioans."

Roll Call reported that Senator Portman’s campaign launched a new web ad highlighting "Retread" Ted Strickland’s dangerous national security record.

WSYX reported on Senator Portman’s legislation to fight Ohio’s heroin epidemic.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that "Retread" Ted’s EPA dealt a weak punishment to the official at the heart of Ohio’s current water crisis.

Cleveland.com reported that Strickland "[waffled] on how he would vote on any anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee."


Katie McGinty for Senate campaign chairman Ed Rendell is hedging his bets on…Katie McGinty’s candidacy. PennLive reported on Rendell’s praise for McGinty’s primary opponent, Joe Sestak.

Politico exposed the bipartisan disdain for "Corporate" Katie’s trip through the revolving door at one of the nation’s largest energy companies.

OZY dubbed McGinty "the pro-fracking environmentalist" as she is caught in a "tug-of-war" in the fracking debate.

The Daily Caller reported on Sestak’s defense of the Iranian Navy’s decision to capture 10 American sailors.

The Pittsburgh Tribune‑Review reported that another ethics complaint was filed over Sestak’s violation of DOD guidelines.

From his record of bipartisanship to his standing as a champion for economic growth, a PennLive op-ed explains why "Sen. Pat Toomey deserves re-election."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that as McGinty cozied up to the Washington establishment, a local county Democratic committee chair noted that she is “is still an unknown to many of our voters.”

PennLive reported that "Sen. Pat Toomey’s war chest continues to dwarf those of his rivals."

WTAE-TV also reported on Senator Toomey’s "sizable fundraising advantage" over Sestak, McGinty, and Fetterman.

The Morning Call reported that despite being the Democrat establishment’s pick, McGinty is losing the money race in the messy primary battle.

Given Senator Toomey’s "substantial fundraising advantage" and poll numbers, The Hill wrote that the winner of the messy Democratic primary "will face an uphill battle in the general election."

WCAU reported that Senator Toomey received an award from Chester County District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan for his support for law enforcement.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the new TV ad highlighting Senator Toomey’s efforts to protect children by keeping criminals out of our schools.

PoliticsPA reported that Senator Toomey’s campaign launched a new web video exposing "Corporate" Katie’s record of fighting for…herself.


PolitiFact took a deep dive into Senator Russ Feingold’s career politician status – "the lion’s share of Feingold’s career has been in politics or government."

The Washington Free Beacon reported that Mr. Clean – Senator Feingold, has accepted $260K in bundled lobbyist contributions.

The Washington Free Beacon also reported on Senator Feingold’s slip of the tongue – abruptly stopping himself from saying he supports single-payer health care.

The Associated Press reported that Senator Feingold – who still refuses to say who he’ll endorse, skipped the Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee.

Ahead of the debate in Milwaukee, Politico Pro reported that the NRSC linked Senator Feingold to socialist Bernie Sanders.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that this month marked the fifth anniversary of Senator Feingold’s scam PAC – Progressives United. To celebrate, Republicans delivered a cake to Democratic Party headquarters in Madison.

The Daily Caller reported on Senator Feingold’s Supreme Court hypocrisy, having once promised to block President George W. Bush’s nominees.

Wisconsin Watchdog asked "What would Russ Feingold’s 1992 self say to the 2015 version?"

Wisconsin Watchdog also reported on the Supreme Court hypocrisy of "Filibuster Feingold."