donors

Sen. Ted Cruz gifted Houston Rockets tickets worth $12K
Texas Republican was criticized for cursing the team in last year’s Game 7 loss to the Warriors

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received over $12,000 worth of Houston Rockets tickets in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Sen. Ted Cruz stood courtside, gleefully grinning during pregame on the night the Houston Rockets were bounced from the 2018 NBA playoffs in a devastating Game 7 Western Conference finals home loss to the Golden State Warriors, a marquee matchup the Texas Republican was able to watch for free thanks to a powerful Republican donor.

Cruz attended the May 28, 2018, game with a ticket gifted to him by Robert Marling, the CEO of Woodforest National Bank and a financial supporter who contributed to his Senate and presidential campaigns.

Small dollars a big deal as GOP sees untapped potential in Trump supporters
Party effort to steer campaigns to new ‘WinRed’ system met with grumbles and suspicion

The Trump campaign has endorsed WinRed, the GOP’s new fundraising platform that the RNC is trying to get all campaigns to use. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Convinced there is untapped potential with conservative grassroots donors, Republicans have long bemoaned their lack of a fundraising tool for small-dollar donations as pervasive as the Democrats’ ActBlue. 

But since Republicans rolled out their own centralized platform earlier this year, there’s been grumbling within the party that the effort runs afoul of conservative free-market ideas. 

Conservative judicial group is top donor to GOP state elections arm
Judicial Crisis Network previously spent millions to support Trump’s Supreme Court nominees

The Judicial Crisis Network spent millions to support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the face of vocal protest like this one in September 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The GOP senator who hasn’t raised any campaign money so far
Some expect Shelby to not run for reelection in 2022

Alabama GOP Sen. Richard C. Shelby’s campaign hasn’t received any contributions since he won his current term in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby has raised no money at all from individuals or PACs for his personal campaign account since he won his last election in 2016, which could fuel speculation that the 85-year-old is serving his last term.

Shelby’s campaign account still holds the nearly $10 million that was left unspent after he won his sixth term by nearly 30 points.

Former Rep. Cliff Stearns dinged as FEC cracks down on ‘zombie’ campaigns
Stearns spent thousands at a social club for lawmakers soon after he registered to lobby

Former Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., is a senior advisor based in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C., office and serves as a member of APCO’s International Advisory Council. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Campaign finance regulators dinged former Rep. Cliff Stearns Tuesday for spending leftover campaign funds on personal expenses, the opening salvo in a new crackdown on so-called “zombie campaigns.”

Stearns illegally reached into his old campaign committee, Friends of Cliff Stearns, to pay for dues to a Washington, D.C., Republican club, meals and hotel stays for years after his departure from Congress seven years ago, according to a settlement agreement between the former Florida legislator and the Federal Election Commission. 

North Carolina gears up for competitive special election in 9th District
Voters in the 9th and 3rd districts head to polls on Sept. 10

Voters in two North Carolina districts head to the polls on Sept. 10, but only the race in the 9th District is expected to be competitive. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress and Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

With the Republican drama in North Carolina’s 3rd District primary runoff now settled, attention in the Tar Heel State shifts to the more competitive of the two House special elections to be held on Sept. 10. 

Voters in the 9th District will choose a new representative in a redo election of last fall’s contest, which was never certified because of ballot fraud connected to the GOP nominee’s campaign. 

Rep. Katie Porter’s $1 million second quarter paces vulnerable Democrats so far
More than 17,000 unique donors have contributed to the California Democrat’s campaign since January

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Katie Porter raised more than $1 million in the second fundraising quarter of 2019, the most reported so far of nearly three dozen House Democrats in districts leadership has deemed vulnerable.

The California freshman Democrat’s grassroots efforts in the 45th District have paid off, with twice as many small donors — those who gave $100 or less — giving money to her campaign in the second quarter than in the first quarter, according to a news release Wednesday from her campaign.

Prosecutors want to tell jury about Rep. Duncan Hunter affairs with women he worked with, including his own aide
Hunter says his support for Trump made him target of ‘political prosecutors’

Prosecutors say in court filings that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., pursued five intimate relationships in total. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter illegally used campaign donations to finance extramarital romantic relationships with women he worked alongside, including one of his aides, federal prosecutors have alleged in a court filing.

The California Republican’s lawyers countered by accusing the prosecutors of targeting the congressman over his early support for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar gets primary challenger
Immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros interned for Cuellar in 2014

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, one of the more conservative Democrats of Congress, is getting a primary challenge from the left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Henry Cueller, one of the more conservative Democrats in Congress, is getting a primary challenger who has support from the progressive group that backed New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her bid for office.

Immigration and human rights lawyer Jessica Cisneros, 26, who was an intern for Cuellar five years ago, announced her primary campaign Thursday to unseat the eight-term incumbent in Texas’ 28th District that stretches along the southern border with Mexico and reaches north into San Antonio.

Rep. Hartzler to host $500-per-person event for defense executives on eve of defense markup
The timing may raise eyebrows in the lobbying community and among campaign finance overhaul supporters

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., left, and Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., leave the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on June 13, 2018. Hartzler has invited defense industry executives and other D.C. insiders to a luncheon fundraiser Tuesday, on the eve of the panel’s signature markup of the year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated June 10, 2019, 10 p.m. | Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a high-ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, has invited defense industry executives and other D.C. insiders to a luncheon fundraiser Tuesday, on the eve of the panel’s signature markup of the year.

House Armed Services has scheduled its marathon markup of the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which sets the Defense Department’s annual policy and budget priorities, for Wednesday.