pacs

Pence’s Battleground Stops, PAC Raise Eyebrows Amid Trump Scandals
VP’s office calls talk ‘ludicrous’ — but others see ‘too many coincidences’

Vice President Mike Pence leaves a meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center last Thursday. Two days later, he stopped in two presidential battleground states, Pennsylvania and Ohio, en route to his native Indiana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence has quietly spent his weekends visiting key battleground states, raising eyebrows in political circles about just what the ambitious politician is up to as scandals threaten Donald Trump’s presidency.

Last weekend provides a glaring — and fascinating — example. The former Indiana congressman and governor returned to the Hoosier State to deliver the commencement address at Notre Dame. But his route back home included stops in two perennial presidential battlegrounds: Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Giffords Shooting Memorial Has Become ‘Politicized,’ Barber says
After Arizona House approved funding, attempt stalled in Senate

Former Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., was among those wounded in the shooting at a constituent event for then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attempts to build a memorial at the site of the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords stalled because they became “politicized,” former Arizona Rep. Ron Barber said.

Survivors of the January 2011 shooting that killed six and severely injured Giffords and 12 others have raised more than $5 million to create a memorial in downtown Tucson.

How the Koch Network Could Sink Tax Overhaul
Lobbying network poised for policy win

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: Americans for Prosperity Foundation chairman and Koch Industries Executive Vice President David H. Koch (C) listens to speakers during the Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conservative political summit is organized by Americans for Prosperity, which was founded with the support of Koch and his brother David H. Koch. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The lobbying and political network of Charles and David Koch, bogeymen to Democrats for years, is poised for a significant policy win — but it will come at the expense of fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Their victory also could derail a policy goal they share with those same Republican lawmakers: a permanent comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

GOP Super PAC Airs Closing Ad in Montana Special Election
Congressional Leadership Fund has invested $2.5 million in race

Democrat Rob Quist, right, is vying with Republican Greg Gianforte in the race for Montana’s at-large House seat. (Courtesy Greg for Montana, Rob Quist for Montana)

The biggest Republican outside spender in Montana’s upcoming special election is using its final television ad to underscore the narrative it has tried to paint of Democrat Rob Quist.

The TV spot, launching Friday, is part of the Congressional Leadership Fund’s $2.5 million investment in the May 25 special election for the at-large House seat, in which Quist faces Republican Greg Gianforte. The fund, backed by House GOP leadership, has released four other ads attacking the Democrat, most of which have gone after his personal financial troubles. 

South Carolina GOP Runoff Heading for Recount
Ralph Norman leads Tommy Pope by 200 votes

Ralph Norman leads Tommy Pope by 200 votes in the Republican primary runoff for South Carolina’s 5th District. (Courtesy Ralph Norman for Congress Facebook page)

Updated May 17, 12:56 p.m. | The Republican primary runoff for South Carolina’s open 5th District seat is heading toward a recount.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, former state Rep. Ralph Norman led state House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, 50.3 to 49.7 percent, The Associated Press reported. The margin of just 200 votes is narrow enough to trigger an automatic recount, under state law.

Vodka and Gelato Tycoon Challenging Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen
Did Democrats just recruit their own Stewart Mills?

Congressional candidate Dean Phillips says Democratic efforts to tie the incumbent to President Donald Trump didn't work last cycle. (Courtesy Dean Phillips for Congress)

long-haired, wealthy businessman whose last name evokes one of Minnesota’s largest family fortunes announced a run for Congress on Tuesday.

No, this isn’t the return of Stewart Mills — yet. (There’s talk the two-time Republican candidate would run again in the 8th District if Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan does not seek re-election.)

Republicans' Latest Health Care Challenge: Selling Their Bill
Only one major outside GOP group defending the plan on air

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur says outside groups are “intentionally confusing people” about the GOP health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the Republican health care plan continuing to earn negative headlines and unfavorable poll numbers, House GOP lawmakers returning to Washington this week have a public relations challenge of epic political proportions.

They succeeded — barely — at passing their health care bill. Now they need to sell it.

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. 

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)

Meet the Republicans Who Voted ‘No’ on the Health Care Bill
All of them outran Trump in their districts in 2016

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voted against the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

Twenty Republicans bucked their party and voted against the health care overhaul on Thursday.