pacs

Campaigns Aren’t Equipped to Vet Donors
Contributions from white supremacists have slipped through in the past

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign donated to charity money it received from a white supremacist leader in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the past week has reaffirmed, most congressional candidates don’t want to be associated with white supremacists.

But when it comes to campaign donations, candidates have little control over who supports them. It’s easy enough for politicians to donate to charity or refund contributions from controversial sources. The hard part is finding them.

John Curtis Wins GOP Primary for Chaffetz’s Seat in Utah
Provo mayor had been attacked for his Democratic past

Utah Republican John Curtis won the 3rd District Republican primary on Tuesday. (Courtesy John Curtis Facebook page)

Provo Mayor John Curtis has won the Republican primary to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Utah’s 3rd District.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Curtis had 41 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. The other two contenders, former state Rep. Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge, trailed with 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively. 

Tight Race for Chaffetz’s Utah Seat Due to Outside Spending
Three GOP candidates face off in Tuesday’s primary

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz vacated his House seat in June, triggering a special election in the 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican primary to fill former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat has tightened in the final days before the Tuesday election, thanks to buckets of outside money being poured into the race.

The primary is “certainly not a race [where] I would want to bet the farm on who was going to win,” veteran Utah GOP consultant Dave Hansen said.

How the Health Care Industry Has Been Giving to Congress
FEC reports show millions of dollars spent already this year

Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., conducts the confirmation hearing for Alex Acosta, nominee for Secretary of Labor, in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in Dirksen Building, March 22, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY

As health care came to the forefront this year in Washington, groups focused on the issue continued using their political action committees to attempt to influence the debate.

California GOP Incumbents Will Make Democrats’ Challenge Expensive
Democrats hope to flip nine of 14 Republican-held seats in 2018

Rep. Ed Royce is one of several California GOP incumbents gearing up for expensive re-election fights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Democrats hope disapproval of President Donald Trump will help flip nine of California’s 14 Republican-held congressional seats, but campaign finance reports show Republican incumbents will make it expensive for them.

Six of them raised at least $750,000 during the first half of 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. While Democratic challengers have raised less so far, they’ll get help from the party and outside groups past the primaries.

Brooks Tries to Break Through in Alabama Senate Primary
GOP lawmaker meets with voters to counteract deluge of negative ads

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, a candidate in the state’s special election GOP Senate primary, takes a break from campaigning at a stop in Jacksonville, Ala., to call in to a radio station for an interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — When Rep. Mo Brooks walked into Crow Drug Health Mart here late Thursday morning, he was greeted with a reality check.

“The Luther ads have killed you. Not killed you, but they have made a difference,” said Jay Colvin, a middle-aged pharmacist who owns the store on the perimeter of the town square. 

Opinion: Forget the Moderates, Only the Die-Hards Can Get Health Care Back on Track
Kennedy and Hatch a great example of working across the aisle

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, left, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts at a 1997 press conference introducing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the failure of health care reform taught us anything last week, it’s that somebody somewhere in Washington is going to have to start compromising if anything is ever going to get done.

But if you’re thinking a successful compromise is going to come from moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., think again. Although those senators’ roles will be important, all of the moderates from both parties together still don’t have enough votes to pass legislation.

DCCC Organizers Launch New Partnership With Swing Left
Groups are teaming up to knock on doors

Volunteers for Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for the Georgia 6th Congressional district, arrive in his campaign office in Atlanta, Ga., to canvass the district (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Organizers associated with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are launching a new partnership with Swing Left, an organization focused on flipping House seats, to expand the committee’s voter outreach in key districts, according to emails obtained by Roll Call.

Organizers on the ground in competitive House districts sent out emails to Friday encouraging supporters to attend a “Summer Canvass” on Saturday to talk to voters. The organizers, who are in the districts early as part of the committee’s “March into ’18” effort, are encouraging people to volunteer to knock on doors and talk to voters about the 2018 election. 

House Defeats Amendment to Cut One-Third of CBO Staff
‘It was CBO’s reluctance to change their erroneous forecasts’

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., offered the amendment that would have gotten rid of an 89-person CBO budget analysis division. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Wednesday night rejected, 116-309, an amendment that would have eliminated one-third of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The amendment, offered by Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith to the four-bill appropriations minibus the House is currently debating, would have abolished CBO’s 89-employee budget analysis division and saved a total of $15 million in salaries. Roughly half of Republicans joined Democrats in voting down the amendment.

Ron Johnson Targets Member Health Care in Obamacare Debate
Seeks vote on a plan reminiscent David Vitter quest

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has an amendment regarding member health insurance benefits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ron Johnson is reviving a proposal to strip federal contributions for lawmakers’ health insurance on the exchanges set up by the 2010 health care law.

The Republican from Wisconsin filed the amendment to the pending health care reconciliation measure on Tuesday, and speaking Wednesday on a Milwaukee-based radio show, Johnson sounded intent on getting a vote as part of the process of unlimited amendments known as the vote-a-rama.