Erik Paulsen

Congressional Leadership Fund Reserves $48 Million in TV, Digital Ads
Super PAC is aligned with House GOP leadership

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman is among the beneficiaries of the Congressional Leadership Fund’s fall ad reservations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership, is making $38 million worth of television reservations for ads in the fall, and an additional $10 million investment for digital ads.

CLF is the first outside GOP group to make early advertising reservations ahead of the November elections, and it is investing four months earlier than it did in the 2016 cycle. Locking in airtime early allows the group to make the reservations at lower rates.

Tariff Fallout Could Shape Midterm Battlegrounds
Political observers in both parties are taking stock of potential effects

President Donald J. Trump with Rick Saccone speaks to supporters at the Atlantic Aviation Hanger on March 10 in Moon Township, Pa. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The Trump administration’s controversial plan for new tariffs may seep into the debates of competitive House races — well beyond Pennsylvania steel country — that will determine in November which party controls the chamber.

Opponents of the tariffs on steel and aluminum also warn that if the administration carries through with the proposal and if other nations retaliate, the issue could spill into even more congressional districts, including in Republican-leaning farm country.

Rep. Patrick Meehan, Staple of the Game, Missing From Congressional Hockey Roster
The 10th annual game puck drops Thursday

Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan, right, battles for the puck during the fourth annual Congressional Hockey Challenge in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are gearing up for the 10th annual Congressional Hockey Challenge on Thursday with one major teammate missing from their roster.

Arguably Congress’ biggest hockey fanatic and a former professional hockey referee, Rep. Patrick Meehan is not slated to play. The Pennsylvania Republican is facing accusations of sexual harassment and using taxpayer funds to settle a misconduct case with a former staffer. He is not running for re-election.

Freedom Caucus Members Withholding Votes GOP Needs to Pass CR
“The votes are not currently there to pass it with just Republicans,” Meadows says

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows says the votes are not currently there to pass a CR with just Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:09 p.m. | While a majority of House Republicans appear ready to support a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open through Feb. 16, enough Freedom Caucus members remain uncommitted to make passage questionable.

“The votes are not currently there to pass it with just Republicans,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said before a crucial House GOP conference meeting on the topic Tuesday night.

Members of Both Parties Criticize Trump’s Vulgar Immigration Remark
After White House initially doesn’t deny accounts, Trump tweets early Friday that he didn’t say it

President Donald Trump early Friday said that he didn’t call Haiti and African countries “shithole countries” despite multiple media reports of accounts from lawmakers who were in a meeting about immigration policy. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Members of both parties roundly criticized President Donald Trump after the Washington Post reported he called Haiti and African countries “shithole countries.”

The White House did not initially deny that Trump made the remarks in a bipartisan meeting about immigration.

DCCC Announces Second Round of ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates
With seven additions, Red to Blue program includes 18 challengers so far

Army veteran Max Rose, who’s running in New York’s 11th District, has been named by the DCCC to its Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming seven more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which highlights Democratic recruits who have met certain campaign goals.

The list of challengers, obtained first by Roll Call, brings the total number of Red to Blue candidates to 18. The DCCC is rolling out additions to its list more frequently and in more targeted batches than in previous cycles. The committee released its first round of picks in November.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith Picked to Replace Al Franken in Senate
Says she will run for election in 2018 in Likely Democratic race

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, seen here with former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, will fill the Senate seat vacated by DFL Sen. Al Franken. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday said he would appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill the Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to announce his resignation date. 

Smith said Wednesday she will run for the remainder of Franken’s term, which is up in 2020. The special election will be held concurrently with next year’s midterms, when Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Amy Klobuchar also faces voters.

Minnesota Governor to Announce Senate Appointment Wednesday
Senator Al Franken still hasn’t said when he’s resigning

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, seen here leaving the Capitol on Dec. 7 with his wife, Franni, after announcing he’d resign last week, hasn’t set a date for his resignation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday will announce his selection to fill the seat of Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to set a date for his resignation. 

Dayton has been expected to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, his former chief of staff, to the seat. She’d have the option of running next fall to fill out the rest of Franken’s term, which is up in 2021. 

What Happens to Franken’s Seat If He Resigns?
Governor would appoint placeholder, followed by special election in November 2018

There could be two Senate elections next fall in Minnesota instead of just one. If Sen. Al Franken steps down, there would be a special election for the remainder of his term. Senior Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat is also up next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken isn’t up for re-election until 2020. But if he announces his resignation Thursday, the North Star State will be holding two Senate elections next fall.

Ahead of next November, though, not much would shift in the Senate. If Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton appoints another Democrat immediately, the balance of power in the Senate would remain unchanged.

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 10 More Challengers to Watch List
PAC now has 23 candidates on watch list for 2018

Lauren Baer, who’s running in  Florida’s 18th District, is one of 10 more Democratic candidates that NewDemPAC is adding to its list of candidates to watch in 2018. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 10 more challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018 — a continued effort to get involved in House races earlier this cycle. 

The latest additions by NewDemPAC, obtained first by Roll Call, come from across the country and include a second former member of the coalition. The PAC announced its first 13 candidates to watch earlier this year.