Industry dollars flow amid 'war on coal'
Last week, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) met with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) and several business leaders in the state, including some from the Coal Association, to discuss winning what they call the Obama administration's war on coal. The roundtable discussion at Walker Machinery in Belle, W.Va., just south of Charleston, was a chance for Manchin to prove his pro-coal credentials amid what could shape up to be a tough re-election campaign.
Top GOP contributor embroiled in Texas waste controversy
A Texas billionaire who is one of the top Republican campaign contributors of the 2012 presidential cycle is at the center of an ongoing controversy over a waste storage project near Andrews, Texas. Harold Simmons, a majority owner of Waste Control Specialists, has donated more than $11.5 million this election cycle, according to Political MoneyLine, with most of the money -- at least $10 million -- going to American Crossroads, the conservative super PAC connected to Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's political guru.
Members facing members are the unluckiest members in the world
House lawmakers have already seen two of their senior colleagues fall to other members in contentious intraparty primary battles this cycle -- as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) lost to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) in Ohio and freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) defeated Rep. Don Manzullo (R) in Illinois -- so it's likely members still waiting to face off in the election this year are taking notes. With new district lines in place across the country in the wake of the decennial reapportionment process, nearly two dozen lawmakers found themselves competing with a fellow incumbent to return to Capitol Hill in 2013.
House candidates hoarding cash in critical Mountain West battlegrounds
Congressional candidates in a half-dozen Western states are charging ahead to their respective primaries -- many now just two months away -- with incumbents and challengers alike exceeding the $1 million mark, according to recently filed campaign finance reports. Democrats made significant gains in the Mountain West in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, but Republicans came roaring back in 2010, and the region should be a major battleground in the fight to control the House of Representatives next year.