donors

‘No PAC money’ pledges leave corporations in a partisan bind
Corporate PACs fear upending of their ‘balanced approach’ as more Democrats reject their cash

The lawmakers refusing PAC money have been almost entirely Democrats, and that's raising concerns for corporations and trade groups. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Hundreds of PAC people escaped Washington earlier this month for a South Florida resort, huddling over the latest trends in political money and seeking clues about the future of their beleaguered enterprises.

One breakout session, dubbed “Under Siege,” aptly portrayed the angst that hung over the crowd like the shade cast by palm trees over the hotel pool. These folks run the political action committees of corporations and business associations just when a growing contingent of lawmakers is rejecting their donations.

Latest fundraising numbers from Beto O’Rourke and others are ridiculous
Texas Democrat raised more in 24 hours than earlier top candidates did in an entire cycle

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke reported raising $6.1 million within 24 hours after announcing his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When covering campaigns on a day-to-day basis, it can be easy to lose perspective, particularly when it comes to money. Million-dollar figures are thrown around without much thought. But the amounts of money being raised by candidates right now, particularly Democrats, are absurd.

I glanced back at competitive races nearly 20 years ago for some context, and the comparisons between a day of presidential fundraising and entire, top-tier congressional contests are staggering.

Beto O’Rourke breaks presidential fundraising record with $6.1 million haul
Texas Democrat on campaign swing through states Trump won in 2016 after launching campaign Friday

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a St. Patrick’s Day party in Dubuque, Iowa, on Saturday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beto O’Rourke raised a record-breaking $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign on Friday.

The former Texas Democratic congressman collected $6,136,763 from donors in every U.S. state and territory, his campaign announced in a news release Monday.

Graves sees a positive role for GOP in new select climate committee
Louisiana Republican is optimistic some bipartisan ideas can come out of the panel

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., right, here in May 2018 with Reps. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., is the ranking member on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Garret Graves says he wasn’t keen on joining the select committee to address climate change formed by the new Democratic House majority in January.

But on Feb. 28, weeks after the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had been formed and long after the Democrats had announced their roster, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed the Louisiana Republican as co-chairman.

Trump to frustrated Jewish Dems: GOP will welcome you with ‘open arms’
Fires off religion-based tweet minutes after offering ‘warmest sympathy’ to New Zealand after slaughter in mosques

President Donald Trump, pictured here during CPAC 2019 on March 2 near Washington, on Friday offered frustrated Jewish Democrats a home in the Republican Party. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday claimed Democratic politicians treat Jewish people with “total disrespect,” saying his Republican Party would welcome them with “open arms.”

He used a morning tweet to claim the so-called “‘Jexodus’ movement” of offended Democrats out of the party after a freshman congresswoman’s recent controversial remarks is fueled by “Total disrespect!” shown to them by Democratic politicians.

Small-dollar donors could hold the balance in 2020
Concerns about money in politics are empowering individual voters

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday, collected almost half of his $79 million Senate haul last cycle from small donations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Poll after poll shows that a wide majority of Americans denounce the role of money in the nation’s political campaigns — so their behavior in response might come as a surprise: More Americans are donating to candidates, particularly in small-dollar increments.

Molly McCloskey, a 27-year-old who works in advertising in Chicago, said she ponied up several donations, none larger than $40 and most closer to $15, in last year’s campaigns to support Democratic candidates. “There were times where I felt helpless, so I donated,” McCloskey said. “It felt like some sort of action, like I was doing something.”

‘Zombie’ spending marches on as HR 1 faces Senate death, complaint says
Measure would address alleged misuse of campaign accounts after lawmakers leave office

Allegations of using campaign money for personal expenses after leaving office is the subject of a Federal Elections complaint against former Republican Rep. Ander Crenshaw of Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the Senate prepares to face off in the coming weeks over House Democrats’ sweeping political ethics overhaul bill, a provision aimed to curtail so-called “Zombie” campaign spending is getting renewed attention. 

That’s the use of campaign money to pay for personal expenses after a lawmaker has left office. And it’s the subject of two Federal Elections Commission complaints filed this week involving former Republican lawmakers, Florida’s Ander Crenshaw and Georgia’s John Linder

Trump to face reporters after 5 days of silence and a run of bad news
Previous spans of silence have ended with eruptions from POTUS

President Donald Trump, after a five-day break, will face reporters’ questions Wednesday afternoon. Such silence spans have ended with presidential eruptions since he took office. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS - “Just another quiet day at the White House,” a reporter said to a Roll Call scribe as they left the executive campus Tuesday evening. “Too quiet,” the Roll Call reporter responded, adding: “Can’t last much longer.” The first reporter nodded knowingly and said, “Yeah...”

More than a bit out of character, President Donald Trump has not uttered a word in public since Friday. That is scheduled to change Wednesday afternoon — and anything could happen.

Sarah Sanders won’t say if Trump really thinks ‘Democrats hate Jewish people’
In rare briefing, press secretary merely says president has ‘laid out clearly his position’

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did nothing Monday to walk back President Trump reportedly saying he thinks "Democrats hate Jewish people." (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday opted against walking back President Donald Trump’s contention that congressional Democrats are an “anti-Jewish party.”

Trump on Friday told reporters that recent controversial remarks about the influence of Jewish donors on politicians by freshman Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments show “the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party” and an “anti-Jewish party.”

3 takeaways: Weekend reinforces that Trump is his own communications director
President spends weekend retweeting of conservative lawmakers, pundits after Bill Shine’s departure

Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity interviews President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sept. 20. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive, is no longer White House communications director. But President Donald Trump’s weekend messaging shows he might not need to fill the position.

Trump returned to the White House Sunday evening after a weekend at his South Florida resort without speaking to reporters. Several shouted questions about his new request that lawmakers give him $8.6 billion for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border barrier. A Roll Call reporter asked about Michael Cohen accusing the president of lying when he claimed his former fixer lied about not asking him for a pardon.