Washington (CNN) – An impassioned Bill Clinton campaigned for Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s re-election on Friday, telling voters the Democrat “has worked her heart out” on behalf of Arkansas in the Senate.
And, using very harsh words, Clinton accused national labor unions campaigning for Lincoln’s opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, of trying to manipulate Arkansas voters to “terrify” other Democrats in Congress into cowering to union demands.
Clinton appeared at an event at a historically black college in Little Rock with Lincoln. The two-term senator is locked in a tight run-off with Halter for the Democratic Senate nomination after neither candidate cracked the 50-percent mark in a May 18 primary.
The run-off will be held June 8.
At the Little Rock event, Clinton praised Lincoln while training his fire at labor unions that have poured money and manpower into the race to help Halter.
Reading from a Washington Post article that quoted a national labor union leader saying that forcing Lincoln to “fight this kind of fight” might make other senators “think twice about it,” Clinton said that national labor unions had decided to make Lincoln “the poster child for what happens when a Democrat crosses them.”
“In other words, this is about using you and manipulating your votes to terrify members of Congress and members of the Senate from other states,” Clinton told the crowd. “Now if you want to be used that way, have at it.”
(CNN) - Bill Clinton heads back to Arkansas Friday to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.
The former president and former Arkansas governor will campaign with Sen. Blanche Lincoln at an event in downtown Little Rock.
The two-term senator will face off against Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a June 8 runoff election in the battle for the Democratic nomination. Lincoln won 44.5 percent of the vote in last week's Democratic Senate primary, with Halter, who's made gains with the help of union and progressive groups as he challenges Lincoln, grabbing 42.5 percent, and conservative Democrat DC Morrison at 13 percent. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote, a runoff between the top two candidates is necessary.
"I'm extremely grateful for President Clinton's support in this campaign and look forward to our 'Countdown to Victory' kickoff event," says Lincoln, in an e-mail released by her campaign.
Washington (CNN) - Fresh fundraising numbers might spell trouble for Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. The Democrat raised less money in the last filing period than run-off opponent, Lieutenant Gov. Bill Halter.
Both campaigns released campaign finance reports on Thursday.
For the period between April 29 thru May 19, Lincoln's net contributions totaled $552,289.91. Halter raked in $777,119.94. That means Halter outpaced Lincoln by just over $224,830.
Most of Lincoln's total - nearly $233,000 - came from political committees, such as PACS. Just over $319,000 came from individuals.
In contrast, most of Halter's funds - just over $753,000 - came from individuals, whereas just over $24,000 came from political committees.
While Halter may have won this fundraising cycle, Lincoln has the clear edge in cash on hand – holding just over $1.5 million than Halter. The lieutenant governor entered the race just over 12 weeks ago.
Washington (CNN) - A political ad featuring a moving truck and miles of highway made its debut Tuesday on Arkansas airwaves, painting incumbent Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln as an out of touch Beltway insider who has left her constituents behind and moved to Washington.
The 60-second spot comes courtesy of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a major labor union and supporter of Arkansas Lieutenant Gov. Bill Halter, Lincoln's Democratic opponent.
Lincoln was forced into a June 8 run-off with Halter after neither candidate captured 50 percent of the vote in last week's Democratic primary.
Labor unions have played an active role in the race, portraying Lincoln as a Washington insider out of touch with Arkansas Democrats – a charge Lincoln has responded to by pointing out that many of the labor unions, including AFSCME, are based in Washington, D.C. themselves.
But that hasn't stopped the union attacks.
"When Blanche Lincoln moved her family full time to Washington, D.C., she quickly became part of the place," the spot's narrator says. "And that's the problem."
Washington (CNN) - A Democratic candidate, who does not have President Obama's endorsement, is happy to borrow a signature slogan from the president's 2008 campaign: "Change."
That familiar one-word motto is the title of a new TV ad, released Thursday, from Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. The Democrat is locked in a run-off with Sen. Blanche Lincoln after neither candidate captured 50-percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.
The run-off is set for June 8.
Halter's new 30-second ad mentions the word "change" four times, an average of once every seven seconds.
(CNN) – CNN projects that Arkansas' Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate will go to a runoff.
With 50 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, Sen. Blanche Lincoln led Lt. Gov. Bill Halter 43.6 percent to 42.2. percent. Businessman D.C. Morrison had 14.2 percent.
To avoid a runoff, a candidate would need at least one vote more than 50 percent.
(CNN) – Sen. Blanche Lincoln had an early lead over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in Arkansas' Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
With 21 percent of precincts reporting, Lincoln had 44.8 percent of the vote. Halter had 41.1 percent, and fellow Democrat D.C. Morrison had 14.1 percent.
A runoff will be held if no candidate gets more than 50 percent on Tuesday.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Wall Street is poised to score a victory in its efforts to beat back a crackdown on banks that trade the complex financial products known as derivatives.
On Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., proposed a compromise change to the Wall Street reform bill that would water down a proposed ban on derivatives trading by many financial firms.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., has been a driver of the push on the swaps ban. Her measure ranks among the top hangups threatening final passage of the overall reform bill.
Lincoln was in Arkansas on Tuesday facing a tough primary election. Her spokeswoman said she would fight to keep the ban.
"Sen. Lincoln is fully committed to her provision and will fight efforts to weaken it," said Lincoln spokeswoman Katie Laning Niebaum. "Her proposal has received bipartisan support and she will defend it on the Senate floor."
Little Rock, Arkansas (CNN) – The campaigns for Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lieutenant Gov. Bill Halter are in full swing Tuesday as each candidate in the Arkansas Senate Democratic primary tries to get enough votes to break the requisite 50-percent mark to avoid a run-off.
Lincoln and Halter voted and spent much of the day trying to shore up support or win over voters.
"We had 25 hours of non-stop campaigning. And [it's] culminated [in] coming here to vote," Halter said at the Central Baptist Church – where he voted. "It's been terrific."
Lincoln, voting at the St. James United Methodist Church, expressed a similar sentiment.
"I've had a wonderful reception across the state," she said to CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.
And yet, the slams that have marked much of the race were still on display with just hours to go before poll closings.
(CNN) - Politicians can usually count on at least one vote on Election Day: their own.
But Sen. Blanche Lincoln ran into a bit of trouble Tuesday in Arkansas.
During the Election Day rite-of-passage photo opportunity in which candidates cast a vote – presumably for themselves – Lincoln hit a snag. The candidate was asked to produce her driver's license and voter ID card before voting at a polling station in Little Rock, because records indicated she had already voted absentee.
Lincoln's campaign staff was aware of the problem, and the candidate was allowed to fill out a provisional ballot.
Lincoln said she typically votes absentee, but notified officials last month she intended to vote in person for this election - but voter rolls were not updated to reflect the request.
"We normally do this, you have to just fill out a form to ensure that they know that you haven't voted twice," Lincoln told reporters after being allowed to vote using a provisional ballot.