Eliza Newlin Carney

K Street Lobbyists Still Love Marco Rubio

K Street has largely turned a cold shoulder to the 15 Republicans and five Democrats dominating the presidential contest, as lobbyist bundlers take a back seat to both low-dollar contributors and mega-donors bankrolling outside groups.

Money Flowed to McCarthy as Speaker-in-Waiting

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy received a windfall of six-figure checks from CEOs, Wall Street investors and other high-dollar GOP donors during the short window he was the front-runner to be the next House speaker. 

Ryan's Fundraising Adds to Speaker Pressure

Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan’s stature as a GOP rainmaker is one reason so many of his colleagues want him to run for House speaker, now that California’s Kevin McCarthy has dropped out.

Speaker Fight Widens K Street, Tea Party Rift

California Republican Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the race to replace Ohio’s John A. Boehner as speaker intensifies the ideological warfare between pro-business Republicans on K Street and tea party activists.

Early Money Flows Into Senate Races

In theory, Democrats should be poised to play offense in a Senate election where they must hold onto only 10 seats while Republicans defend 24. But a huge, early spending blitz by GOP party committees, candidates and outside groups may upend expectations in contested states from Illinois to Nevada.

McCarthy Raises Campaign Cash, But He's No Boehner

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is one of the strongest campaign fundraisers in his conference, but he still can't hold a candle to outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, say Republicans mulling McCarthy as Boehner's successor.

K Street Crushed, Conservatives Elated over Boehner Departure

In a testament to the deep divide between the business and tea party wings of the Republican Party, the news of Speaker John A. Boehner's pending departure left K Street lobbyists reeling and conservative activists jubilant.

Outdated Voting Machines Could Pose Headaches in 2016

Fifteen years after hanging chads in Florida forced the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the contested 2000 presidential election, dysfunctional voting machines could once again disrupt Election Day, warned a report released Tuesday.

High-Dollar Fundraising Makes Comeback, Raising Concerns About Bribery

Thirteen years ago, following a string of scandals that included Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers to reward big donors, Congress banned lawmakers from raising the unlimited campaign checks known as soft money.

Clinton Foundation's Missteps Point to Broader Problem

On the surface, the uproar over foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of State looks like another example of the Clintons behaving badly. But the problem goes beyond the Clintons and could tar Republicans as well.

GOP Leaders Tap K Street, Wall Street Cash

The top three GOP leaders in the House collectively raised $7.3 million in the first three months of this year for joint fundraising committees, a type of campaign account that under new rules may collect contributions of six figures or more.

Grassley Resistant to Criminal Justice Overhaul, but Says He’s Willing to Talk

Sixteen senators and representatives accepted an invitation to the White House from President Barack Obama on Feb. 24 to discuss ways the administration and Congress could work together to pass a meaningful criminal justice overhaul.

Pillow Talk Tests Ethics When K Street Marries Capitol Hill

Questions about the influence of lobbyist spouses have confounded lawmakers for decades, and now confront the House Ethics Committee as it probes whether Kentucky Republican Edward Whitfield broke rules because of his staff’s work with his lobbyist wife.

Presidential Hopefuls Skirt FEC Rules | Rules of the Game

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s political organization is opening  a campaign office for him in Iowa. Ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is meeting with major donors and hosting dozens of fundraisers around the country. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former senator, secretary of State and first lady, is quietly hand-picking a team of high-level advisers to run her anticipated White House bid.  

Yet none of these presidential hopefuls has officially declared their candidacy or even announced plans to test the waters of a White House run. That’s given them free rein to raise money through a crazy quilt of campaign-style committees, from tax-exempt issue groups to personal leadership political action committees, unrestricted super PACs, foundations and political organizations. Oversight is scant and disclosure spotty.  

Presidential Hopefuls Skirt FEC Rules | Rules of the Game

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s political organization is opening a campaign office for him in Iowa. Ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is meeting with major donors and hosting dozens of fundraisers around the country. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former senator, secretary of State and first lady, is quietly hand-picking a team of high-level advisers to run her anticipated White House bid.

Yet none of these presidential hopefuls has officially declared their candidacy or even announced plans to test the waters of a White House run. That’s given them free rein to raise money through a crazy quilt of campaign-style committees, from tax-exempt issue groups to personal leadership political action committees, unrestricted super PACs, foundations and political organizations. Oversight is scant and disclosure spotty.

Roll Call's Guide to the Most Clever Leadership PAC Names

What’s in a leadership PAC name? Plenty of dough, as the members who run these personal political action committees have learned. Leadership PACs run by lawmakers pulled in roughly $400 million in the 2014 election cycle, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of data.  

Such PACs compete not only for dollars, but for clever names, often concocting elaborate acronyms or catchy regional references to woo potential donors. From the Penguin PAC run by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, to the Blue Hen PAC run by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., leadership PACs are named for animals, plants, landmarks, colors and the campaign platforms of the politicians who run them. Once run principally by congressional leaders — hence their now-outdated moniker — leadership PACs are so ubiquitous they are routinely set up by freshmen, and even sometimes by candidates who have not yet won election.  

Roll Call's Guide to the Most Clever Leadership PAC Names

What’s in a leadership PAC name? Plenty of dough, as the members who run these personal political action committees have learned. Leadership PACs run by lawmakers pulled in roughly $400 million in the 2014 election cycle, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of data.

Such PACs compete not only for dollars, but for clever names, often concocting elaborate acronyms or catchy regional references to woo potential donors. From the Penguin PAC run by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, to the Blue Hen PAC run by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., leadership PACs are named for animals, plants, landmarks, colors and the campaign platforms of the politicians who run them.

IRS Wars Heat Up | Rules of the Game

Both Republicans on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration have brought fresh artillery to their war over the IRS and its policing of politically active tax-exempt groups.  

GOP leaders are taking advantage of their new Senate majority and expanded House ranks to step up ongoing probes into IRS targeting of 501(c)4 social welfare groups, including tea party organizations. Republicans in both chambers have also introduced legislation that would block the IRS from issuing any new regulations to constrain political activity by tax-exempt groups until early 2017. The Stop Targeting Political Beliefs by the IRS Act would “halt further action on the IRS’ proposed targeting regulations until the Justice Department and congressional investigating into the IRS’ previous targeting are complete,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said when introducing the bill last month with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. An identical House bill was introduced by Reps. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. and Peter Roskam, R-Ill.  

Anti-Disclosure Backlash Carries Risks for GOP

At a private gathering of conservative political donors last year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded the state of American elections today, which he described as more deregulated than at any point in recent memory.  

“We now have, I think, the most free and open system we’ve had in modern times,” McConnell, then the Senate Republican leader, told donors gathered at the annual retreat organized by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.  

Parties Poised to Exploit Broad New Rules | Rules of the Game

When Congress moved quietly late last year to permit much larger contributions to the political parties, some experts cast the rules change as, at best, an improvement on the old system, and, at worst, inconsequential.  

“This isn’t going to be a game changer for big money in politics,” Jonathan Bernstein, political scientist and columnist, said of the higher limits . The limits now allow an individual to give as much as $1.7 million to the parties in one election cycle — an exponential increase over the previous per-cycle cap of $64,800.