Griffin Connolly

Texas Governor Wants Blake Farenthold to Pay for Special Election
GOP lawmaker resigned earlier this month over sexual misconduct and hostile workplace allegations

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is asking former Rep. Blake Farenthold to pay for the June 30 special election to fill the seat the congressman vacated when he resigned earlier this month.

Abbott wrote a letter to Farenthold Wednesday to “demand” that he “cover all costs” for the June 30 special election in Texas’ 27th District.

Special Election For Farenthold’s Seat Set For June 30
If necessary, runoff would likely be in September

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called a June 30 special election to fill former Rep. Blake Farenthold’s seat.

The filing deadline for candidates is Friday at 5 p.m. local time. Registered voters in Texas’ 27th District can cast their ballots during the early voting period from June 13 through June 26.

‘Robust’ Security for GOP Baseball Team’s First Practice Since Shooting
Four wounded and gunman killed in shootout at Alexandria ball field last year

Republican lawmakers will lace up their cleats Wednesday morning for their first practice of the year at the baseball field in Alexandria, where a gunman wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others last June.

This year, authorities are taking no chances on security.

Former Florida Reps. Murphy and Jolly Floating Bipartisan Governor Bid
The two have traveled together speaking on gridlock and dysfunction in Washington

Two former Florida congressmen are mulling joining forces on a bipartisan ticket to run for governor.

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, is considering running alongside former Republican Rep. David Jolly, depending on the results of a poll Murphy commissioned this week, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

McCain at Home Recovering From Another Surgery
No timetable for senator’s return to Washington

Sen. John McCain has been discharged from the hospital and spent time at his ranch in Arizona on Monday night, according to a tweet from his wife, Cindy.

Last Sunday, McCain, 81, was admitted to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and underwent surgery to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis, his office announced in a press release last week. He emerged from the operation in stable condition.

Democrats’ Poll Puts Grimm Up by Double Digits Over Donovan
Dems ‘desperate’ for Grimm because he has ‘zero shot of winning in November,’ incumbent says

A new Democratic poll of voters in the Republican primary for Rep. Dan Donovan’s seat shows challenger Michael Grimm up by 10 points, but the incumbent says that’s what they’d like you to believe.

Grimm led Donovan, 49 percent to 39 percent, among GOP voters in New York’s 11th District in the poll released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ political arm, which hopes to flip the seat blue in November.

Senators Skeptical of Kim’s Nuke Pledge As Trump Prepares for Summit
North Korean leader says he’s putting a freeze on nuclear and medium- and long-range missile testing

Senators from both parties offered measured applause to President Donald Trump over the weekend after North Korea announced it would suspend nuclear and medium- and long-range missile tests ahead of Trump’s planned summit with its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The North’s promises to stem its nuclear weapons program “show that the president has put Kim Jong Un on the wrong foot for the first time,” Sen. Tom Cotton said Sunday on CBS's “Face the Nation.”

Texas Governor Wants ‘Emergency’ Special Election for Farenthold’s Seat
Special election must wait until Nov. 6 midterm under current rules

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to have a special election to replace former GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold as soon as possible, and he’s asking whether he can suspend certain election laws to do so.

Abbott sent a letter Thursday to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton outlining his desire to hold a special election soon and asking what laws he could bypass to speed up the process.

Dent Suggests He’s Pursuing Cable TV Opportunities
Pennsylvania GOP rep would join long list of lawmakers-turned cable news contributors

Rep. Charlie Dent could become the latest lawmaker-turned full-time cable television pundit after he resigns next month.

The Pennsylvania Republican announced this week he will leave Congress for good sometime between May 8 and Memorial Day. Dent said as early as last September he would not run for re-election this year.

Amazon’s Bezos Contributed Over $20,000 to Members of Congress
Recipients: Washington’s two Democratic senators, Jason Chaffetz and Orrin Hatch

Jeff Bezos has given more than $20,000 split between four lawmakers — two Democrats and two Republicans — since he bought The Washington Post in October 2013, a review of the billionaire’s Federal Elections Commission files revealed.

In the last three election cycles, Bezos has donated the maximum amount allowed by election laws to two Washington Democrats and two Utah Republicans.

Sinclair TV Owner Maxed Out Donations to Gianforte, Montana GOP
Robert E. Smith, who identified himself as ‘retired’ and worked in real estate, also donated to Trump’s campaign

An owner of the controversial Sinclair Broadcast Group has donated more than $10,000 to Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte in the last year and a half.

Robert E. Smith, whose family owns the largest local television station operator in the country, gave the maximum $5,400 to Gianforte’s campaign in March, The Guardian reported. He did the same last year, ahead of Gianforte’s 6-point special election victory over Democrat Rob Quist.

House to Hold Memorial Service Wednesday for Late Rep. Louise Slaughter
Service at 4 p.m. in Capitol’s Statuary Hall

The House will hold a memorial ceremony for the late Rep. Louise Slaughter Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Statuary Hall in the Capitol.

The service will be open to members of Congress, Slaughter’s family, invited guests, and credentialed media.

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy to Step Down In May
Jesuit priest has served in the role since 2011

The in-house chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives is stepping down next month after seven years in the post.

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, 67, a Catholic priest of the Jesuit order, has served in the post since 2011, when then-Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pegged him for the post.

Planned Parenthood, Other Groups To Spend $30 Million on Midterms
Progressive coalition to target young and minority voters in Florida, Michigan, and Nevada

A coalition of liberal organizations that includes the political arm of Planned Parenthood rolled out a $30 million program Monday to mobilize “infrequent voters” to cast ballots for progressive candidates in the  midterm elections.

Infrequent voters include people of color, women and young people, the coalition says in a joint news release.

Search Continues As Republicans Pass on Running for Ryan’s Seat
State Sen. Dave Craig says he won’t run to replace his former boss

Wisconsin Republicans are still searching for a suitable candidate to fend off popular Democratic candidates in the once-safely red 1st District that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said last week he won’t run for again.

Wisconsin state Sen. Dave Craig, a former Ryan aide was the latest to pass on running for the seat Ryan is vacating at the end of his term, Craig tweeting Friday night that he was thankful for the support he had received from those encouraging him to run, but “the timing to run for Congress is not right for our young family .”

Lieu Apologizes for Inviting Parkland Student to Try California Pot
Kyle Kashuv has gained popularity on Twitter among conservative circles

Rep. Ted Lieu issued a quick apology on Twitter Sunday after inviting a Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivor, Kyle Kashuv, to California to experience the state’s “awesome cannabis” when he turns 21.

“While I am proud of California’s legal cannabis law, I can see why saying this to you can be misinterpreted because you are not 21,” Lieu wrote in reply to Kashuv about the post. “I hereby apologize. You should listen to your parents.”

Democratic Challenger to Conor Lamb Drops From Race, Endorses Him
Lamb running unopposed for Democratic nomination in PA’s new 17th District

The path to represent Pennsylvania’s new 17th District has gotten clearer for Rep. Conor Lamb after another Democrat dropped from the race Sunday to support the new congressman.

Democratic candidate Ray Linsenmayer appeared at joint news conference at Lamb’s campaign headquarters in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, to tell volunteers from both campaigns he was suspending his campaign and throwing his support behind Lamb, who currently represents Pennsylvania’s old 18th District.

Sen. Doug Jones Tells LGBT Staffers He’s Discouraged By Trends in Alabama
Democratic senator, who has a gay son, sees state going in ‘opposite’ direction of LGBT rights

Sen. Doug Jones is a political outlier, a Deep South advocate in the Senate for gay and lesbian people.

Nary a social progressive had emerged from conservative Alabama to represent the state in the U.S. Senate until Jones, a Democrat, pulled off a stunning upset in December over the GOP hard-line conservative nominee, Roy Moore.

FCC Rejects Democrats’ Request to Review Sinclair License
Broadcast group made its anchors read a promotional script blasting other outlets’ ‘fake news’

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai declined Thursday to follow through on a request from 12 senators that his bureau review Sinclair Broadcasting group’s license and temporarily block its merger with Tribune Media.

Eleven Democratic senators and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote their request in a letter to Pai Thursday that highlighted the local television media conglomerate’s recent move to force its anchors in dozens of U.S. cities to read a scripted, uniform segment blasting “fake news” and media bias that favors liberals.

Republican Group Runs Ad Defending Mueller Investigation on ‘Fox And Friends’
Senate Judiciary panel to vote on bill to protect Mueller after reports Trump wanted him gone

If President Donald Trump was tuning into his favorite morning news shows Wednesday, he may have noticed a peculiarly placed advertisement.

Republicans for the Rule of Law — an initiative spearheaded by a cadre of GOP politicos and conservative commentators — kicked off its campaign to defend special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s  2016 election meddling and its alleged ties to Trump’s campaign with a television ad that aired on “Fox and Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”