campaigns

Rep. Katie Porter’s $1 million second quarter paces vulnerable Democrats so far
More than 17,000 unique donors have contributed to the California Democrat’s campaign since January

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Katie Porter raised more than $1 million in the second fundraising quarter of 2019, the most reported so far of nearly three dozen House Democrats in districts leadership has deemed vulnerable.

The California freshman Democrat’s grassroots efforts in the 45th District have paid off, with twice as many small donors — those who gave $100 or less — giving money to her campaign in the second quarter than in the first quarter, according to a news release Wednesday from her campaign.

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ‘deep state’ defense falls apart
Judge unconvinced by defense’s argument that negative headlines will poison San Diego jury

A U.S. District judge ruled Monday ruled against a motion by lawyers representing Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., to dismiss his campaign finance violations case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s bid to dismiss the corruption charges against him by alleging a “deep state” conspiracy by U.S. attorneys fell apart Monday when it was revealed that Hunter’s lead attorney had attended the same Democratic fundraiser he said biased prosecutors. 

U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan ruled against a motion filed by Hunter’s team, arguing the case should be relocated or dismissed because two of the prosecutors attended a 2015 fundraiser for Hillary Clinton who was running for president, Bloomberg reported. Their attendance, Hunter’s attorneys said, meant they would be biased in the case against Hunter — an early supporter of Trump.

House brief on Trump’s ‘disdain’ kicks off what could be messy two weeks
Cases in D.C., New Orleans showcase tussle between branches of government

House Oversight and Reform chairman Elijah Cummings is leading a House effort to subpoena President Donald Trump’s financial records. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House told a federal appeals court Monday that President Donald Trump has “disdain” for congressional oversight ahead of action next week on the House’s efforts to subpoena his financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA. The brief sets the stage for what could be a messy couple of weeks legally on fights between Congress and the administration. 

“Mr. Trump’s disdain for the constitutionally based role of Congress in carrying out oversight of the Executive Branch, and for the specific investigations of the Oversight Committee at issue here, is not a basis for this Court to reverse the district court’s holding that the subpoena is valid and enforceable,” the brief stated.

Federal judge says Rep. Duncan Hunter's personal relationships can be described to jury
California congressman accused of using campaign funds to pay for ski trips and trysts

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A federal judge in California is allowing evidence of Rep. Duncan Hunter’s alleged extramarital affairs to be used in a criminal trial against the Republican congressman, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The ruling on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California relates to a case in which Hunter is alleged to have illegally used campaign donations to finance his affairs, some of which involved women he worked with, including an aide. A Justice Department filing from last week in the same court said he used campaign donations to pay for ski trips, nights out in Washington, D.C. and Uber rides between his offices and the homes of the women he allegedly had intimate relationships with. Hunter is scheduled to go on trial in September on 60 charges that include conspiracy, theft of campaign funds and wire fraud.

FEC fines Florida-based company for illegal contribution to support Rick Scott's 2018 campaign
Ring Power Corp. violated ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors

The New Republican PAC, which supported the 2018 campaign of Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, shown, refunded a $50,000 contribution shortly after an FEC complaint alleged it violated a ban on donations from federal contractors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Federal Election Commission fined a Florida company for making an illegal campaign contribution to support Florida Sen. Rick Scott's 2018 campaign, according to documents obtained by Roll Call Tuesday. 

The $9,500 fine levied against Ring Power Corp., which sells and leases industrial machinery, represents a rare penalty for a company found to have violated a 75-year-old ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors.

Prosecutors want to tell jury about Rep. Duncan Hunter affairs with women he worked with, including his own aide
Hunter says his support for Trump made him target of ‘political prosecutors’

Prosecutors say in court filings that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., pursued five intimate relationships in total. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter illegally used campaign donations to finance extramarital romantic relationships with women he worked alongside, including one of his aides, federal prosecutors have alleged in a court filing.

The California Republican’s lawyers countered by accusing the prosecutors of targeting the congressman over his early support for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

With ‘Kamala’s Corner,’ Harris wants to speak directly to black women
The Democratic candidate gets her own column in Essence Magazine

Sen. Kamala Harris is polling fourth in South Carolina, an early primary state where black voters make up about 60 percent of the Democratic electorate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Kamala Harris hopes to reach a key Democratic voting bloc with her new column in Essence Magazine, a periodical geared toward African American women and a staple in black households for almost 50 years.

For Harris, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, “Kamala’s Corner” gives her an opportunity to speak directly to a black female party base that might not yet be familiar with the political newcomer. Black women make up a significant portion of Democratic primary voters and also play an important role as party organizers.

Ethics report on former Schweikert chief of staff raises questions about lawmaker’s conduct
Schweikert says he will not let ethics cloud deter re-election efforts

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., said the ethics investigation into him and his chief of staff was prompted by a disgruntled former employee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. David Schweikert’s former chief of staff used official funds on a six-day trip to Arizona in which he attended Super Bowl XLIX; separately, he made impermissible contributions to his boss and received income beyond the House’s outside earned income limit for his position, according to a report made public Wednesday by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Many of the allegations into the former chief of staff, Richard Oliver Schwab, Jr., relate to Schweikert, who is under the scrutiny of a House Ethics Committee investigative subcommittee.

Rep. Greg Pence tweaked his campaign finance report ‘to avoid confusion ... from hostile reporters,’ spokesman says
Report had said Pence spent thousands on ‘lodging’ on Trump International Hotel

Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., amended campaign finance reports to address questions about spending at Trump International Hotel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Greg Pence, facing scrutiny for spending campaign funds on overnight stays at the Trump International Hotel, tweaked his campaign finance filings Tuesday “in order to avoid confusion here from hostile reporters,” a spokesman said.

A report to the Federal Election Commission shows that Pence, the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, has spent$22,064 at the Trump's hotel in Washington since December for various fundraising-related expenses.

Rep. Hartzler to host $500-per-person event for defense executives on eve of defense markup
The timing may raise eyebrows in the lobbying community and among campaign finance overhaul supporters

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., left, and Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., leave the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on June 13, 2018. Hartzler has invited defense industry executives and other D.C. insiders to a luncheon fundraiser Tuesday, on the eve of the panel’s signature markup of the year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated June 10, 2019, 10 p.m. | Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a high-ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, has invited defense industry executives and other D.C. insiders to a luncheon fundraiser Tuesday, on the eve of the panel’s signature markup of the year.

House Armed Services has scheduled its marathon markup of the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which sets the Defense Department’s annual policy and budget priorities, for Wednesday.