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Montana Candidate’s Comments Raise Questions About Corporate Money
Gianforte and Quist both claim they refuse industry PAC contributions

Republican Greg Gianforte, left, is running against Democrat Rob Quist in a special election to fill the at-large Montana congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who’s now serving as secretary of the Interior.

Comments made by Montana Republican Greg Gianforte on a national fundraising call last week raise questions about what he meant when he said that industry PACs could contribute to “our Victory Fund.”

Both Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist say they have refused to accept corporate PAC money in the race for Montana’s at-large House seat. But when asked on last week’s call, audio of which was obtained by CQ Roll Call, whether he still did not accept PAC money, Gianforte gave a confusing answer. 

Defeated Lawmakers Trek From the Hill to Middle Earth — And Beyond
Life after Congress has included ambassadorships for dozens

Former Sen. Scott Brown was nominated by President Donald Trump to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If three makes a trend and four creates a pattern, then dispatching favored congressional losers to New Zealand has become not just a sliver but a pillar of the American diplomatic order. 

When Scott Brown takes over the embassy in Wellington by this summer — his confirmation virtually assured thanks to the endorsements of both Democratic senators who have defeated him — the onetime matinee idol for Republican centrists will become the fourth former member of Congress who’s assumed that particular ambassadorship after being rejected by the voters.

Trump Order Could Lure Churches into Dark Money Politics
IRS directed to not enforce so-called Johnson Amendment

President Donald Trump signed an order Thursday that would allow religious organizations to engage more in elections without losing their tax exemption. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Halftime for Special Election Bragging Rights
As South Carolina votes Tuesday, neither side in Trump referendum fight has an edge

This year’s special elections could be a more reliable bellwether of President Donald Trump’s effect on the political landscape, Hawkings writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the many ways sports and politics are alike is that the “expectations game” is central to both.

The incessant boasting and trash talk by the players makes great theater, but no difference in the outcome of any match or any election. Over time, however, critical masses of paying customers will start shifting their passions elsewhere if the advance histrionics and the eventual outcomes don’t occasionally match.

Georgia Runoff Will Test Both Parties’ Political Alliances
Parties gearing up for expensive fight in Georgia's 6th District

Karen Handel, seen her in 2014, is uniting the GOP behind her after finishing second in Tuesday’s 18-candidate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — For a brief moment, Georgia’s 6th District was quiet.

Out-of-state journalists who flooded this suburban battleground headed for the airport Wednesday morning. After a very late Tuesday night, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel held no public events in the district the next day. Instead, they gave interviews on cable TV — a reflection of how nationalized this race has become. 

With Enthusiasm High, Democrats School Potential Candidates on Realities of Running
The party is seeing unprecedented early interest in running for Congress

Amid the high interest, many first-time candidates may not be aware of what it takes to run for Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All around the country, Democrats interested in running for office are crawling out of the woodwork. But how many of these potential candidates will turn into serious congressional candidates? 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already talked to 275 people in 68 districts wanting to run — 20 people in one Illinois district alone.

RNC, White House Try to Avoid Obama’s Missteps
GOP operative: ‘Is the president even interested in party building?’

Republican National Committee officials say they are working closely with the White House on strategy and messaging. But some GOP operatives contend coordination is lacking and that could weaken the party.

Opinion: Trump Is Paying Back Corporations by Wiping Out Regulations
11 protections have been lost through CRA resolutions so far

More than 80 days into his administration, the CRA resolutions are the only legislation of consequence that President Donald Trump has signed, Gilbert writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If many of President Donald Trump’s proposals become law, regular Americans — including many diehard Trump supporters — have a great deal to lose.

In the past month, this has been illustrated most clearly through Trump’s health care plan and his proposed budget, both of which would harm regular Americans to pay back the Republicans’ benefactors and corporate cronies.

Stockman Says He Can’t Afford a Lawyer
Ex-Texas congressman accused of using charitable donations illegally

Former Rep. Steve Stockman said he can’t work because his job requires international travel and he surrendered his passport to authorities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, accused of helping to steal $800,000 in charitable contributions, told a federal magistrate Wednesday that he can no longer afford his boutique lawyers because he has only $17 in his bank account.

Stockman, 60, who vacated his House seat in 2014 after an unsuccessful bid to knock off Sen. John Cornyn in the Texas Republican primary, owns a home, a rental property and two vans, according to the newspaper’s account of court testimony. His wife earns $6,000 a month. But he told U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson that he had exhausted his assets during the lengthy investigation and had to dismiss the lawyers from an elite Texas law firm who had been representing him, the Houston Chronicle reported. 

NRSC Sets Off-Year Fundraising Record
GOP Senate campaign committee raised $7 million in March

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $7 million in March, its highest monthly haul for a non-election year. 

So far this year, the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm has raised more than $16 million and has more than $13 million in cash on hand, according to numbers obtained first by Roll Call.