DCCC

Ethics expert: GOP ‘crosses the line’ with House hallway ambushes
DCCC complaint says NRCC violated ban on using official resources for campaigns

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., is chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Having video trackers shadow candidates to get campaign dirt has become a common tactic, but the National Republican Congressional Committee  went too far if it directed aides to ambush Democrats in House office buildings, experts on congressional ethics said.

Though a GOP spokesman called it “frivolous,” the experts said there was merit to a complaint filed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee against the chairman of the NRCC, Rep. Tom Emmer. It could lead to the Minnesota lawmaker facing an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

At the Races: Managing impeachment (and the spotlight)

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Democrats try to expand House battlefield by targeting six more districts
With legislation stalled, campaign memo recommends blaming GOP and McConnell

The DCCC has once again added Alaska Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving House Republican, to its target list. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six new targets to its 2020 battlefield, hoping to flip more Republican-held seats while protecting its House majority.

Having made historic gains in the 2018 midterms, Democrats started the year on defense. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to retake the House, and their first targets will be the 30 districts President Donald Trump won in 2016 that are currently represented by Democrats.

Dems say GOP broke ethics rules using video trackers in House office buildings
Democratic campaign arm seeks ethics probe

Democrats accused Minnesota GOP Rep. Tom Emmer of violating House ethics rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is accusing its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, of violating ethics rules by sending trackers to video record members of Congress in House office buildings. 

The DCCC filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Monday alleging the NRCC and its chairman, Minnesota GOP Rep. Tom Emmer, violated House rules barring lawmakers from using official resources for political purposes.  Twitter accounts for the NRCC and some of the committee’s spokespeople posted videos of Democrats in House office building hallways being questioned by someone in December and January. 

West Virginia’s Richard Ojeda is back, this time running for Senate
Ojeda ran for House and president, now takes on Shelley Moore Capito

Richard Ojeda ran for West Virginia’s 3rd District in 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Richard Ojeda, the West Virginia Democrat who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, lost a bid for the House in 2018 and made a short-lived run for president, is now trying to challenge Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito this year. 

Ojeda, a former state senator and retired Army major, announced his campaign on social media and in a blog post on the website of DemCast, a nonprofit advocacy group. 

Michigan Republicans line up to keep Justin Amash’s seat in the party
Except he’s still in it, and running for reelection as an independent

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash says he’s running for Congress as an independent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash may be making new friends in Washington, with some Democrats suggesting the Republican-turned-independent help prosecute President Donald Trump at his Senate impeachment trial.

But back in Michigan’s 3rd District, Republicans — including those who supported him or donated to him in the past — are competing to replace Amash to help the party regain a seat that has long been safely in its column.

Amy Kennedy running to challenge Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey
Kennedy, a mental health advocate, is the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy

Democrat Amy Kennedy, who announced a campaign for congress in New Jersey's 2nd district Monday, is pictured next to her husband, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and children at a Senate hearing in July 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amy Kennedy announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New Jersey’s 2nd District on Monday.

The wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy is hoping to take on Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who flipped the district from red to blue in the 2018 midterms but has since changed parties and is now a Republican.

House retirements already outpace average for past election cycles
Decisions by 27 lawmakers compares with average of 23 per election cycle, and more could be coming

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is the latest member of the House to announce his retirement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The number of House members deciding to retire has already exceeded the average for recent election cycles, and more could be coming as lawmakers return to the nation’s capital after the holidays.

Since 1976, an average of 23 House members have retired each two-year election cycle, according to CQ Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, the publisher of Inside Elections. In 2019 alone, however, 27 House members announced they will retire, opting not to run for reelection nor for another office (these figures do not include lawmakers who have resigned or died while in office). 

Trump announces Jeff Van Drew will become a Republican
Van Drew, as a Democrat, voted against impeaching the president Wednesday night

Rep. Jeff Van Drew is seen in the Capitol during procedural votes related to the articles of impeachment on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew is, as expected, switching parties. 

“Jeff will be joining the Republican Party,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, with the freshman congressman by his side.

Their voters backed Trump. They voted to impeach him. Now what?
Trump-district Democrats eager to pivot forward. Republicans say not so fast

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., talks to reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

CLARKSTON, Mich. — Jeff Noftz, a bicycle shop owner in this quaint suburb, can’t wait to see Donald Trump go. Just a few blocks north on Main Street, Christina Calka, who owns a women’s boutique, defended Trump and thought the entire impeachment process has been a “waste of time.”

At Union Kitchen and Bar, a converted church known for its mac and cheese, Marcie Wagner compared Trump’s presidency to being married to an alcoholic. She’s more concerned about the direction of the country than ever before. “I’ve found myself actually weeping,” the 56-year-old psychotherapist said.