Controversy Swirls as Lawmakers Eye Campaign Finance Changes
Possible Johnson amendment repeal is among most-watched developments

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., concludes a news conference after the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on March 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers continue to debate major changes to political money regulations as part of a year-end spending package, despite opposition from numerous congressional Democrats and campaign finance watchdog groups.

Even with congressional primaries already underway, the proposals could play out in the November midterm elections if enacted, campaign finance experts on both sides of the debate say.

Corruption Trial Begins for Former Rep. Steve Stockman
Prosecutors call the allegations against former Republican congressman a ‘white-collar crime spree’

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, and two aides are accused of using $1.25 meant for charitable groups for campaign and personal expenses. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The corruption trial for former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, accused of using charitable donations for campaign and personal use, is set to begin on Monday.

Prosecutors in the case have called the allegations against the former Republican congressman a “white-collar crime spree,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

Conor Lamb Helps Democrats Raise Campaign Cash
Pennsylvania special election results spurs fundraising pitches

A supporter holds up a lamb cutout before Conor Lamb, Democratic congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th district, spoke to supporters at an election night rally March 14, 2018 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democratic candidates and liberal organizations are seeking to capitalize on Conor Lamb’s apparent win in Pennsylvania, invoking his name in fundraising pitches nationwide.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers from Michigan to Nevada, along with groups focused on everything from political money to Social Security, are trying to seize momentum from Lamb’s showing in Tuesday’s special election to help them woo donors and to validate their policy views.

Plenty of Pitfalls for Hill Staffers Doing Campaign Work
Lines between official and campaign time can be murky

Staffers doing campaign work have to make sure they’re not doing it on government time. But there’s no set way to keep track of that time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With campaign season here, Hill staffers are likely to find their duties expanding with election-related tasks.

Press secretaries and senior staff doing paid or volunteer campaign work routinely flock to nearby coffee shops with their personal laptops to send campaign press releases or go on walks to take reporters’ calls about their boss’s re-election. Campaign work has to be done on staffers’ own time, off government property.

Steyer Pumping $7 Million Into Florida, California for 2018 Democrats
Steyer’s NextGen America staff and volunteers targeting millennials

Tom Steyer (NextGen Climate/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.5)

Former hedge fund executive Tom Steyer is committing $7 million to turn out young voters and get Democrats elected in Florida and California in 2018, he announced Wednesday.

The billionaire’s millennial voter engagement group, NextGen America, has launched a 10-state plan backed by a pledged $30 million from Steyer. The Democratic donor sees energizing millennials politically and registering them to vote as keys to securing majorities in the House and Senate in the 2018 midterms. 

Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Raises Election Law Questions for Trump
Democratic lawmakers have asked FBI to investigate payments from president’s lawyer to porn actress

Pornographic actress Stormy Daniels alleges she had an affair with President Donald Trump during the months after first lady Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As special counsel Robert S. Mueller III continues to probe members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for possible collusion with Russia, some lawmakers have raised ethical concerns over the president’s alleged cover-up of an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York and Ted Lieu of California, both former prosecutors, have asked the FBI to investigate payments from Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, to Daniels, who filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the president in Los Angeles Superior Court.

‘It’s Fake News!’ GOP Lawmaker Yells About Mass Shootings Coverage
Rep. Claudia Tenney reams media and Democrats for politicizing mass shootings

New York Rep. Claudia Tenney called media coverage of mass shootings “fake news” at a campaign event Sunday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Claudia Tenney reached her wit’s end at a campaign stop Sunday while she tried to clarify controversial remarks she made after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.

“It’s fake news!” the New York Republican said about the media coverage of her comments and of mass shootings in general. “I answered your question every which way. It is fake news. Bye.”

Campaign Legal Center Files Complaint Against Pro-Doug Jones Super PAC
Group says ‘secrecy scheme’ cooked up by Highway 31 threatens to create a new disclosure loophole

The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against a super PAC backing Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., during the December special election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The watchdog group accused Highway 31 of engaging in a “secrecy scheme to spend $4.2 million in the race” to support the Democratic candidate, reported.

Part of the complaint is that Highway 31, which is headquartered in Birmingham, said it spent $1.15 million in Alabama’s special election.

The Slow Breakup Between Democrats and the NRA
Group’s all-or-nothing approach to gun rights is forcing some to abandon ties

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, left, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both received donations from the National Rifle Association in 2010, two of 66 incumbent Democrats to receive money from the group that cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just eight years ago, the National Rifle Association dished out $372,000 in campaign contributions to a record 66 Democratic incumbents.

By the 2016 cycle, that number had dwindled to four.

RNC Raises $12.4 Million in January
Has four times the amount in the bank as it did at this point ahead of 2014 midterms

Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel exits the stage after speaking ahead of President-elect Donald Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in December 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

The Republican National Committee announced that it has four times more cash on hand than it had at this point ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

The RNC said it raised $12.4 million in January and has a total of $40.7 million cash on hand.