Tim Walberg

‘Forever Chemicals’ Seep Into Michigan’s Water (and House Races)
PFAS contamination is a worry across the state

When Rep. Fred Upton faces off against his Democratic challenger in Michigan’s 6th District, so-called forever chemicals will be on many voters’ minds. Above, Upton runs out of the Capitol after the last votes of the week in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Years after the Flint water crisis drew national attention, another water pollution issue has emerged in House races in Michigan.

Residents are growing concerned about human exposure to so-called forever chemicals, known as perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. The chemicals, linked to health problems such as hypertension in pregnant women and a higher risk of developing certain cancers, have been found in groundwater and drinking water systems across the state.

General Election Matchups Take Shape in Michigan
Democrat Rashida Tlaib set to become first Muslim woman in Congress

Former state Rep. Gretchen Driskell easily won the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 7th District on Tuesday night, setting up a rematch against GOP Rep. Tim Walberg. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are targeting five House seats in Michigan, and the general election matchups started to take shape Tuesday night. 

Voters in two safe Democratic open seats also went to the polls to pick their nominees Tuesday, one of whom, former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, is set to become the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress. 

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

DCCC Adds Two Black Candidates to Red to Blue
Women now make up the majority of 33 candidates in program

Texas Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones made the DCCC’s Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is releasing its fourth round of Red to Blue candidates Thursday. 

The nine latest additions include two African-Americans. The DCCC had been criticized for not including any black candidates on the list so far this cycle.

Word on the Hill
Scalise scoots, Lieu trolls Trump, and a new elected Ellison

No comment: Microphones stand in front of a the bust of former Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth before the Democrats’ press conference on tax reform outside of the House Ways and Means hearing room Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. And some of the best ones are those that we come across while reporting the big ones.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Vernon Ehlers, Former Longtime Michigan Congressman, Dies at 83
Ehlers was known as champion of the Great Lakes and science education

As a congressman from Michigan, Vernon Ehlers used his physics background to advance environmental and STEM legislation for nearly two decades. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first research physicist ever elected to Congress, Vernon J. Ehlers was known for his legislative work to bolster scientific research and education, raise fuel economy standards, and protect clean air and water.

Ehlers, who represented Western Michigan in Congress for nearly two decades, died Tuesday at the age of 83. His death was confirmed by the Zaagman Memorial Chapel in Grand Rapids, which did not immediately indicate the cause of death, The Detroit News reported.

At the Races: Things Might Be Getting Mo Strange in Alabama

The campaign of Alabama Sen. Luther Strange criticized one of his primary opponents, Rep. Mo Brooks, as hypocritical. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Do voters care about floor procedure? Two candidates in a crowded special Senate primary are spending time feuding over the filibuster, so they might find out next month when they, and several others, face off for the GOP nod. 

When Rep. Mo Brooks released the first ad of his Alabama Senate campaign, he made a splash by threatening to filibuster — by reading from the King James Bible — any spending bill that doesn’t fund President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Democrat Seeks Another Crack at Walberg in Michigan
Gretchen Driskell lost by double digits in 2016

Democrat Gretchen Driskell is seeking a rematch against Rep. Tim Walberg in Michigan’s 7th District. (Courtesy Gretchen Driskell for Congress)

Democrat Gretchen Driskell wants a second round with Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan’s 7th District after losing to him last fall by 15 points.

With her announcement Wednesday to run again in 2018, Driskell, a former mayor of Saline and two-term member of the Michigan House of Representatives, is the first Democrat to enter the race.

Trump Nominees for Labor Board Could Nix Obama-Era Rules
‘This represents a huge opportunity for reform’

President Donald Trump leaves the East Room after signing the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 at the White House June 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s nomination of two attorneys to serve on the National Labor Relations Board would give the panel a Republican majority that could roll back a slew of labor regulations.

William Emanuel of Littler Mendelson, a law firm that represents employers, and Marvin Kaplan, counsel at the independent federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, have been officially nominated to fill two openings on the five-seat board.

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.